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Ken the cruiser

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About Ken the cruiser

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    Farming, bees and cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, Celebrity and Crystal
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Anywhere there are animals

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  1. IMHO you book a sky suite with all the perks and Celebrity with their Luminae restaurant is definitely in the same league as O.
  2. As noted in my signature we’ve sailed on a variety of cruise lines and enjoy all of them for different reasons. First, itinerary for us is the big driver as we like cruises that are from 3-5 weeks with unique itineraries. We find that Princess, Crystal, HAL and Oceania usually offer a wide variety to choose from, with Princess leading the way. Second goes to the cruise line that gives us the most bang for the buck. On Princess we sometimes can book a full suite, like the 25 day Easter Island one we’re on right now, for about $360 pp/day before TA and loyalty perks. On our upcoming Asia/TP cruise with the BSE perks included, we’re paying about $290 pp/day for an aft-facing Penthouse cabin. But as far as transoceanic cruises, we can usually get a sky suite on Celebrity with all the perks for under $300 pp/day. On similar O cruises in an A category balcony cabin, we are usually paying at least $350+ pp/day. Third is entertainment. We are in our mid 60s and like to laugh as well as go to quality production shows in the evening in a nice theater. Both Princess and Celebrity fill this need quite nicely. They also offer a wide range of things to do on sea days. O on the other hand is pretty weak in this area. Fourth and definitely not the least is quality Internet service. In this area Princess and Celebrity both shine whereas O, especially on their larger O class ships, fall way behind. As far as food goes, they all offer quality food so that is really not a big driver for us. I will say this though, we ALWAYS have fun on every cruise we go on. It’s all about attitude and enjoying being with the one you’re with. Happy cruising!!!
  3. @LeeWyou are exactly right. We talked with the CC lady that seats us in the evening and she said there are some fixed seating tables in the Bordeaux DR as a spill over from the Provence DR directly above. She also mentioned folks can reserve a table in the open seating area, but only in the 5:15 and 7:30 time slots. That's good info to know if we ever need to use that option on future cruises
  4. Wow! I’ll have to ask the lady who seats us in the CC dining area tomorrow night if they still have tables reserved for early fixed seating in the Bordeaux dining room. We were under the impression the Provence dining room on deck 6 was the only one designated for fixed time dining.
  5. That is a very good point. If an additional 300 passengers are added to the ship and both MDRs, traditional and open seating, are not increased in size, then it would seem the available fixed seating times would be filled much quicker than in the past thus causing more “overflow” demand for ATD.
  6. For reference, here’s a couple of pictures from our aft-facing balcony we took a few days ago.
  7. We have been through the PC twice with one time being 2 days ago on the Island Princess. The other time was on the HAL Veendam. Both times we were in an aft-facing cabin. If we were booking a PC cruise on the Insignia and it was within our budget, we would book one of the aft-facing A1/A2 balcony cabins if any are still available. The view of the locks as you are leaving them is simply wonderful plus you can have breakfast on your balcony while you’re going through the first set if the timing is right.
  8. In our case there are a couple of reasons for eating early. First, for digestive reasons as we are in our mid 60s, we like to eat early and usually are in bed before midnight. In addition as we like to go to the 7:30 early show in the main theater followed by any game show entertainment in the Explorers Lounge at 8:30, it’s kind of a must we finish eating around 7 pm. But that’s just us. I’m sure other folks have their own reasons.
  9. Just curious, but why not just book an early fixed seating table for 2 and avoid all the stress of standing in line hoping there will be one when you finally get to the front of the line and are seated in the open seating MDR?
  10. Making the decision not to cruise with a specific line again, as in our case, is usually based on a culmination of issues, with the last one simply being the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. For us when the negative issues got to the point where even the thought of booking a cruise with a particular line, in our case HAL and O, didn’t leave a feeling of euphoria, that’s when we knew it was time to move on as there are plenty of other cruise lines with great itineraries to choose from.
  11. We are currently on the Island and dining in the Club Class area on this cruise. However, on our next two on the Island, we will be dining in the MDR. We’ve noticed on this cruise at 5 pm, when we like to dine, there is a LONG line waiting to be seated in the Open Dining section when it opens. Because of this and since we like dining at a table for 2, we’re thinking on future cruises we should try to reserve an early fixed seating table for 2 which on the Island is in a separate dining room directly above us. But we’re curious, what is the reason why there are so many folks in line when the Open Seating MDR opens at 5 pm? Is it because you need to reserve those early fixed seating tables for 2 at least 12+ months in advance or is there some other reason for this?
  12. We use the onboard wifi while on a cruise and use FB Instant Messenger to char we our son and an app called Hang Out to chat online with our daughters. We also bring a RavPower Travel Router so we both can have access at the same time to the Internet via one unlimited single user shipboard account. You can actually have up to 5 active devices behind the TR if they are within 50’ of it.
  13. We just made it through the last set of locks at Miraflores around 5 pm. The picture below was taken after we left the older locks on the right (in the picture). If you look to the left, you will see the entrance to the new Third Set of Locks for the Supermax ships. Look closer and you might be able to see the massive Evergreen container ship that was going through about the same time as us. The ship in front was a HUGE oil tanker.
  14. Around 7:30 this morning we started our trek through the Panama Canal and should be finished around 6 pm this evening on the Pacific side.
  15. Leaving Cartegena now and on our way to the Panama Canal with an estimated time of going through the first lock around 8 am. We had been to Cartegena a few times before, so we just decided to walk along the pier to burn some calories. It turned out to be a great idea as they had a free bird aviary within a couple hundred yards of the ship, loaded with flamingos, parrots, peacocks and even a 3 toed sloth! Another cool thing we discovered about the Island Princess today is that with the recent aft design changes that everyone seems to have an opinion about, one positive is that the aft/side facing mini-suites on both the Dolphin and Caribe decks are now covered whereas they were previously uncovered based on many photos on the internet. I know everyone probably knew that, except of course for us. But, knowing that little tidbit will definitely help us in the future when picking mini-suites on future sailings on this ship.
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