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Everything posted by Michael23

  1. I'm a new cruiser, and it looks like there's always a promotion going on. I'm wondering if there tends to be typical sales during different parts of the year for Princess. Like, right now there's the "Landmark Sale," which emphasizes OBC and some discounts for 3rd and 4th travelers. Is that a typical sale during August? If so, what are the most affordable times of year to snag a cruise at a good price with maybe a few decent perks? Other hints for a newbie who wants to stretch his cruising budget? Thanks!
  2. Wife and I went on our first cruise ever this past June on the Island to Alaska and had a fantastic time. We had a comfortable mini-suite that was more comfortable than most hotel rooms we've been in. Staff and over-all service was incredible. I don't have much to compare to, but I wouldn't hesitate to sail on the Island again. Before traveling, I'd read the complaints from those who had been on the non-refurbished Island and anticipated feeling crowded, but that was never our experience: never had to wait for Anytime dining (we were willing to sit with others), always found seats in the Theater if we went about 10 minutes early, and rarely felt "crowd-straphobic" (like when the theater let out). I have two small complaints. The buffet for breakfast was often crowded, but I suspect all ships struggle with that on port days--serving over 1000 passengers breakfast during a 60-90 minute window has to be nearly impossible, yet they did it day after day with smiles on their faces, and we could always find a table out by the pool. Also, I wish the Promenade deck went all the way around the bow rather than having to go inside to get from port to starboard (such a hardship!). After my experience, I understand what Blondilu means by saying their least favorite ship is the one they're not on!
  3. The roll call had some helpful general information about tour companies, but at least so far the private tours being arranged don't really match our interests. I'd try arranging one myself, but as a novice to cruising, I wonder if I wouldn't mess it up. Or is it easier than it looks? Great tip about Jameson distillery. They run a bus from the port to Jameson's when our cruise ship is in port. Transportation and tour cost €25.
  4. Ray--I know! I wish there were some additional English ports. We enter and leave the cruise in Southampton, so we'll spend a few days on either end in or near London. We want to see much more in England, but we'll have to come back for that. Too much world; not enough time! Jocap--Thanks for the reminder about tourist boards. I'm so used to TripAdvisor (and now Cruise Critic), I'd overlooked the obvious. I have a feeling one or two of our best memories of the trip may be in a pub.
  5. My mid-20's son and I are joining the Princess Crown in Southampton after a few nights in London. The cruise visits Cobh, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Invergordon/Inverness, and Le Havre. This is a first cruise for either of us, and rather an unexpected, sudden opportunity (I only booked a week ago). I've taught English Lit for years, and have wanted to see the British Isles for decades. My son is interested in many of the same things, but I know he's more excited to explore the food and drink of new places--pubs and distilleries and foods done differently than at home. We both fully know we won't see it all. We're hoping that this sampling of the British Isles will show us what we'd like to come back to see in greater depth with the rest of the family. As a result of this trip being unexpected, we're trying to keep things as affordable as possible. After a whopping one week of research, it seems to me that my son and I will have plenty to see and do (and eat!) in the larger cities with HOHO's, museums, brewery tours, walking the downtowns, etc. that won't cost very much (I'm hoping ~£60/port total). When it comes to the more rural places (like Invergordon/Inverness), it seems that a tour is really the only way to go, which I know is going to be well above my ridiculously cheap budget. Do you think my basic approach is sound? Would you suggest any changes in my approach? Also, are there any recommendations on must-see's for my son and I? Thanks for your help.
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