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Posts posted by cruzin4us

  1. WAIT!!!!


    I boarded the Diamond Princess on January 6th to Hawaii and headed directly to the MDR and my mouth was a watering for the Avocado and Bay Shrimp Appetizer to be followed by the Salmon.



    Let Down.....


    I sat down at the table, the menu was place in front of me and I'm like, "excuse me....but this is the wrong menu for embarkation day.   You are supposed to have Avocado and Bay Shrimp and Salmon".    The waiter looked at me and said, I'm sorry Mam, but the menu has been changed but fortunately we still have the Chateuabriand of Beef Tenderloin.....   Wahhhhh


    So, I ordered the two new things on the menu:  Cold Smoked Salmon and Crayfish Tails and the Trout Amadine.   Neither of them were as good as the Avocado and Bay Shrimp Appetizer & the Salmon.


    For Your Viewing Pleasure







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  2. Interesting enough, my go to Princess person for making my reservations said she is now working in a new department.  Apparently, they are now going to be selling cruises as well as resort packages for people that want to either extend their stay either before or after their cruise.    I said "kind of like the packages they have in Denali on the Alaska cruises?".   She said yes, kind of like that.    We didn't talk specifics, so I can't offer anything other than I did ask if she was cold calling people, and she said that she hadn't.   So......maybe there is some truth to this, but I'm with the rest of you and wouldn't do it unless I made the call to Princess myself.

  3. I had the same issue with going from one loyalty level to another.   What basically happens is this:   The loyalty level on the app (when ordering the Medallion) stays at the same level you were when you booked your cruise.    It will not change until you call in.    I called the same lady who booked my cruise and she had to refresh the cruise......simple.    If you were to book a new cruise today, that cruise would have the correct loyalty level.


    I tried the chat feature first and that was like talking to my 2 year old grandchild, so you can skip this route.    Just call your travel agent, PVP or whatever you call your person and have them refresh your cruise.     



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  4. I've got mixed emotions on this.   When I arrive at port and I see my luggage put on the cart with 10-15 other pieces of luggage, I do the quick math....if everyone tipped $5, that equates to $50-$75 for the porter to push the cart inside and unload your luggage....whether he/she does it or someone else.  Max time is probably 10 minutes, if that.    That equates to a pretty good salary in my book.


    Then, when I disembark, and I find a porter.....they usually walk my luggage (and me) thru customs and there is typically a wait.  Sometimes longer than others.    In this instance I have no problem tipping more because they really are doing me a service.   Many times, my luggage has been hauled to the Uber line or farther than would be typically expected.....that's worthy of a bigger tip, at least for me anyway.

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  5. It's all about the laundry for me.   Especially if we are on a lengthy cruise or my luggage is limited because we are flying and don't wan't to pay $140 each way for additional bags.    The rest of the perks don't mean much to me except for priority tendering which is huge when at a port that requires tendering and there is only a few hours in that specific port.


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  6. I attended the Chef's Table Dinner in January on the Diamond.    I hadn't planned on attending until our Meet and Greet and they asked if anyone was interested.    Thus, I got a "spot" at the table.    I received a letter in my room informing me of the time, and the need for closed shoes because we would be going into the galley.   


    Oh, crap......all I had was tennis shoes......    So, that's what I wore.    Felt a little stupid because I was wearing a nice outfit, and tennis shoes did not match in any way shape or form.     There were a couple of people that had on sandals and they were allowed in the galley.    Whether it just wasn't caught, or whether they didn't care, I don't know.   For me though, I wore tennis shoes because I wanted to see the galley and didn't want to risk not being able to go.



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  7. Today was the bittersweet disembarkation.   


    Happy to get home to see my DH.....sad to leave the ship.  I had a wonderful cruise and the food was much better than all my previous Princess cruises post Covid.


    Disembarkation was a bit of a mess.   I was scheduled to get off the ship at 8:45.    I wasn't in any hurry so hung out talking with Brian and Rowena for a bit.   We worked our way down to deck 5 and the line was circled around the Piazza and thru the art gallery.   We decided to just wait until we saw the end of the line because we sure couldn't get to the back with all the people.   So, we just sat in the Internet Cafe chatting.   


    About 8:30 (or so) there was an announcement that said "Due to the High Tide disembarkation is going slower than anticipated".....What?   We are in SD and the weather is beautiful, it's not windy and we are docked.   Made no sense to me.    That was until we finally got ready to get off the ship and we saw the gangway.    Man, was it steep.  Anyone that had luggage with wheels had a difficult time toting in down that steep incline.    The crew was helping almost everyone that had luggage.   It was crazy, crazy steep.   Now I understood the delay.


    Found my luggage pretty quickly but getting thru the masses of people that were trying to board vs those getting off was an absolute cluster F.....    All it would have taken was a big STOP sign for those entering for the pier for the next cruise.  For crying out loud, the faster you let us exit, the faster you will get on.   I felt like I was in the Drake Passage where to Oceans collide.   We couldn't get out, they couldn't get in.......we all just stood deadlocked.    DUMB.    I didn't have plane to catch but those that did were starting to panic.     Don't the new cruisers realize we had a bunch of Covid Cases onboard?    The last thing they should be doing is mobbing us that are trying to get off the ship.    Crazy morning.


    Got home, happy to see my DH and 2 cats.   Even got the bags unpacked and stuff put away.


    Cruise:    Hawaii is a fun place to go......especially in January when the whales are in Maui.   Never witnessed anything like that day (all from the ship).  Didn't need to pay for an excursion.


    Sea Days:  You have to like sea days if you want to do the Hawaii cruise as there were 10 of them.   The Pacific can be calm or it can be rough.   It just depends, some are easy, others you need sea legs.   Saw at least 10 injuries due to falling on the rough seas.   One was high heel related, 3 related to stairs, and the rest I'm not quite sure how they happened.   Saw many on crutches, one with a dislocated elbow that had to be reset (yes, on the cruise), many with casts.    So, if you need a walker, a cane or whatever.....don't be shy, use it!     


    Crew:   Always happy, cheerful and willing to please.


    Ship:   Shows some wear around the edges (rust), but carpeting is new and the ship is very clean.    One of the most comfortable ships I've been on.


    Food:  I'd give it a 9.5/10 for the dining room,   3/10 for the Buffet.     You can read my prior posts on the food and you can see a day by day blow of what I consumed.   They worked really hard in the MDR and it showed.    My issue with the buffet is the items are always cold.....way too cold for my liking.


    Bidets:    I'm mixed on these.   Some worked, some didn't.   The one in my room worked well and I love the heated seats.    The instructions were different from bidet to bidet.   Spent a lot of time pressing buttons trying to figure them out just to finally decide I must be using a broken one.    So, the one in my room I liked, the others around the ship I finally gave up trying to use them.


    I've got a few cruises coming up so I do have something to look forward to.   Nothing worse that debarking and not having a cruise booked for the future.


    Mexican Riviera (Discovery) March 4

    Alaska (Ruby) May 17

    Iceland/Greenland (Island) Aug 9

    Scottish Highlands & Wales (Island) Aug 25

    S. America / Antarctica Jan 4


    Doing these "Lives" are kinda fun if the internet works well.    It did this trip, so I posted away.   When I have issues, l hate doing these so I can never commit fully.   I'm a post as I go, I'm not much good at going back and trying to recreate my cruise.


    So, thanks for following along on my food extravaganza/cruise.   







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  8. I was also on a cruise to Hawaii in November (Ruby) and many, many people were coughing….me included.   

    I tested negative 5x for Covid as did most of the others that had the same cough.  I believe we all had RSV but I didn’t have a doctor confirm this.   It was. 30 day dry cough that was horrible to hear.   That’s why I’m doing this cruise.  It’s a makeup cruise to myself.   



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  9. On our Galley Tour the other night we saw how those hard, round crusty rolls are made.  

    So in the first picture you see the man holding the red tray with dough that looks like pizza dough.   Then he sticks it in the white machine and then he closed the door of the Fortuna Machine.    He then turns it on for about 5 seconds and then pulls out the rolls.  It was crazy fast.   I mean really fast.    Fascinating.   And all this time I thought they had about 10 people just making rolls 




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  10. The Last Dinner before I go home and detox from all the food.   Wasn’t particularly hungry after our big lunch in Ensenada but I wanted to give my waiters a little something before I leave.     Even ordered dessert, like I needed it

    Kind of a no themed menu 

    tonight.  Asian, Moroccan and American Food.  

    Crispy Hand Rolled Vegetables Spring Rolls - They were basic, not bad, not great.   Could have been hotter 


    Moroccan Carrot-Chickpea Salad - This was an interesting salad and a good choice.   Had some little red currants ) kind of tasted like a pomegranate cranberry combined.   It was a nice touch to a salad, it made it fancy when budget cuts are everywhere.   Came with choice of dressing.  I chose blue cheese but it would be good with oil & vinegar dressing so it would show off the currants.  I really enjoyed this salad 


    Herbed Turkey Breast, Thyme Jus - This was a good choice.  Super large portion with roasted potatoes and green beans which were buried under the turkey.  Arrived hot and the turkey was moist.   Comes with cranberry sauce on the side.   Really good dinner. 

    Baked Alaska  - It doesn’t taste like the days of old, but it’s still baked Alaska so I ordered it.  Much smaller than I remember but that’s ok.   I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it either and I definitely didn’t need it. 











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  11. Had lunch with Brian and Rowena in Ensenada.   Yes, Brian ate that whole fish burrito!  

    It turned out to be a beautiful day.  We wandered the streets doing some shopping, hitting the Pharmacy and buying some Tequila.   It was a fun day and then it’s home tomorrow.  

    Did my packing and my home away from home looks empty 😢








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  12. 2 hours ago, cr8tiv1 said:

    Disclaimer:  just being ornery:  Passengers didn't pick up the virus from the islands.  "We" still wear masks and social distance.  Our case numbers are small.


    It's got to be by mingling with other "tourist" or other passengers...Like your neighbors who passed it onto others before they were quarantined.  


    With sincere respect, I hope you remain healthy today, tomorrow, plus 5 days.


    Mahalo Nui Loa for taking us along on this journey.  Really enjoyed reading your thread.  


    Malama Pono

    I agree with you, this was brought on by passengers and not picked up in Hawaii. For the first 10 days or so, I didn’t hear or see anyone that looked sick (other than the couple next door to me).   They haven’t left their room for 12 days now.  My assumption is one of them got it and the other got it a few days later (my assumption only).   

    I’m not a mask wearer but I’m a people avoider.  I don’t go to shows or go where there are many people.  Even my dinner table is kind of off my itself.   Tomorrow I’ll wear one while getting off the ship and in Club Fusion where I’m supposed to wait til they call my group.  

    Time will tell if I was exposed, but so far so good.  

    I’ve seen quite a few people carrying around tissues and coughing.   All of which is a big red flag to me.   I wasn’t surprised in the least when the Captain made the announcement.  



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  13. 2 hours ago, ddeprez said:

    I believe I've seen Lobster tails on the menus you've shared twice other than your chef's table experience. We haven't sailed Princess in awhile...are there generally Lobster Tails available at least once?  And thanks so much for all your info. We'll be on this ship one week from tomorrow, so I really appreciate all the info and food porn pics!! 😅

    yes, they serve lobster at least once.   This cruise being 16 days, they served them twice plus the additional time I did the Chef’s Dinner.   

    I loved this cruise, and I hope you have as good of food as I did.  Wish I was tagging along with you!  I originally signed up for the 22nd and 29th cruises and switched last minute to the Hawaiian cruise instead.   

    I’d love to hear your opinion of the food as well.  Safe travels!

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  14. 4 hours ago, cr8tiv1 said:

    Has the room next to you been COVID the entire cruise?  That's a bummer for you and them.

    The have been in Isolation since about day 4.    It’s much more of a bummer for them.  They are an elderly couple and both have mobility scooters.   It’s only an inconvenience for me as I have to remember when I leave my room not to trip over the table (which looks like a balcony foot rest) because it’s always piled high with trays filled with dirty dishes or bags filled with laundry (towels, etc).   I come out my room and take a hard left and it’s there.  I’ve heard some coughing but far less from them than others on the ship that are wandering around.   



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  15. @HaveDogWillTravel

    Well, I thought for sure I’d find the Officer pics on deck 5 near the midship elevators since that’s about the only place I don’t go.   If there was an IC, I’d probably have used those elevators, but I use the forward elevators or I order my coffee off the app.  

    So to deck 5 I headed….nope, not there.   Went to guest services since it wasn’t on deck 6 either…..hmmm 


    When I asked them where the Officer Board was they all looked at me like “I’ve been asked for everything under the sun from passengers but no one has ever asked that question before.”   The 3rd person said, it was on deck 7 starboard side near the Wheelhouse.   So, I braved another flight of stairs, 2 camera crews taking pictures and I found it!     Have no idea how up to date it is 😁

    Usually I always stop and look at the board and wonder why they always take pictures of the with their heads on a slant like they did with 1940’s glamour women 😁


    Since we are on the subject of Officers, I found this Captain pretty boring when it comes to his daily announcements.   He’s got a thick accent and very difficult to understand.    He announces the basic stuff such as how deep the ocean is, how far we’ve traveled in miles and nautical miles, how far we have to go and the current weather conditions.   Not that I expect a comedian or anything.    I know the Captain on the Ruby might add a small tidbit of nautical information like what a fathom is or what the difference is between a nautical mile and a standard mile.    

    oh, all the Guest Services people are wearing masks which I haven’t seen all cruise.  





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  16. Decided to get a head start on packing.  It’s supposed to be a high of 57 tomorrow in Ensenada so no need for any of my Hawaii clothes.  It’s pants and a long sleeve shirt from here on out.  Too cold to sit outside


    I forgot to mention last night at the Chef’s dinner.  The Chef explained every day/night before dinner all the dishes are lined up for him to taste prior to dinner time.  He said the plates must be hot as well as the food and they must be presented well on the plate.  “If not, we have a problem”.  Not sure if all Chef’s fleet wide do this of if it’s unique to this this Chef.    Maybe that explains why the food is seasoned well/correctly, plated nicely and served on hot plates.   Dunno but he made me happy this cruise 😁


    couldn’t order a dirty banana from the casino bar because they ran out of bananas.   Not sure if other bars are out too.  They were also running short on the small bottled waters so the gave me a huge one at no additional cost. 

    Talking out loud to myself and anyone that wants to chime in on the dreaded tipping subject.   I’ve been fortunate to have as close to traditional dining as you can get on Princess.    I have the same waiter and same assistant waiter (he’s new….like brand 14 days new).  Back in the days of old when the waiters relied on what their passengers tipped at the end of the cruise (different from the auto gratuities) they had an uncanny memory of the little things.  For instance, I order an ice tea without exception and one yellow packet of Splenda.   To this date, I have yet to come to my table and they take the initiative to automatically deliver it to my table.    I know this is a petty thing, but every day I ask for the iced tea and then wait for the Splenda.   I’m still planning on giving them a tip but they would have received a larger one had they just taken that little extra step and just done it automatically.  Do any on you understand what I’m talking about?      For example, every morning without exception I head to Good Sprits and order 4 shots of espresso in a flat white.  By day 3, they knew what I wanted as soon as I walked up.    Now, I realize that there are 2447 passengers on board and they can’t remember everything, but that’s pretty basic.   


    Another example is my room steward knows I would like an extra bath towel.    Again, without exception, it is done daily.  

    I think if I was at a different table every night, this wouldn’t be an issue for me because I probably wouldn’t be tipping unless some extraordinary thing took place.  

    There are a few waiters that know I like a Dirty Banana and they will come up and ask if I’d like one today.   That’s the kind of service that I think warrants tipping and what I’m referring to.  

    If my DH was here we would discuss this and come to some mutual agreement as what to tip.   But, since he’s not I’m just talking out loud trying to figure out if it even matters or I’m being petty on such a small thing.  

    oh, for the record:   I have not removed the auto gratuities.  It’s just a matter if I should tip more because they have been my servers for 15+ days.   

    Anyway, that’s my dilemma for today and I’ll probably stew on it all night.  

    Update:   I started typing this before I got to dinner and was going to finish this up after I ate.     Well, my dilemma has now been solved.  Waiting on my table was my iced tea with my Splenda.   😁.   

    Mist if you probably know this, but if you don’t:   Don’t be shy about ordering smaller portions of items such as soups and pastas.   It gives you a chance to try a few more items without the guilt of wasting food.   The guilt from eating them another another story.    


    Gala Night Menu

    Escargot -  on the past few cruises the escargot has been ok, but it seems like something had changed post Covid.   I haven’t been able to put my finger on the problem.   Snails smaller perhaps?   Sometimes the come in bits and pieces.  Tonight these knocked all the others out of the park.  They were large and the garlic butter was the best to date.  Bread dipping in the butter was soooo good.  The escargot was tender and not overcooked.  I could have easily eaten another round as my main course. 


    Roasted Tomato Bisque - ordered just a cup for research purposes.     Basically a roasted tomato soup with a basil pesto drizzled on top.   It came out so hot, I wanted to ask for an ice cube like a child.  ….lol.   Glad I ordered just a cup.   Dang bread is filling me up.   I swear if one person tells me their food is cold, they need to order this soup!   They should serve this for lunch with grilled cheese sandwiches.    I really enjoyed the flavor of this soup.   One of my favs. 


    Lemon-Scented Ravioli, Truffle Oil - Ordered an appetizer size portion (again for research).   On the Discovery it was good,  so I ordered it on the Ruby it was horrid.    So, I was looking forward to trying it here.   The dish arrived on my table and I could smell both the lemon and the truffle.  Good dish if you are going the vegetarian route.    Probably my least favorite item I ordered tonight but it was still good.   Lots of diced tomatoes and asparagus.   Much more veggies that my previous orders.  


    Beef Wellington, Truffle-Madeira Demi-Glacé - BW can be good or excellent and many shades in between.   Sometimes the pastry is mushy or there is more mushrooms between the meat and pastry than there is meat (Ruby).    This BW was cooked rare which is what I asked for.   I tried cutting it and I thought OMG this is the toughest piece of meat ever, until I realized my knife was upside down.    Duh.   It was really good and my meat had to be almost 2” thick 


    Lobster Tail - Ordered just an extra lobster tail, did not want a full dinner with rice, etc.     It was good for the MDR, but not near as good as what I was spoiled with last night at the Chef’s dinner.  

    Crepes Suzette - Probably the worst thing I’ve eaten in the main dining room.  It tasted like dry flour tortillas?   Aren’t crepes supposed to be soft and pliable?  These were like cold flour tortillas ( you know like when you fold a refrigerated tortilla and they break).    Wasn’t a fan.    

    While I’ve been enjoying the meals, I’ve found the desserts seriously lacking in the variety department.   It’s mostly ice creams, flambés, and a few cheesecakes mixed in one in a while and Princess special dessert which is lackluster to me since they have changed many of them.   It’s a just a fancy name for a “try to be fancy” dessert.    Why not some pies like coconut cream, key lime or even berry? 


    Sufficiently stuff, I waddled out of the dining room to go search for the elusive Officer Board for @HaveDogWillTravel

    Normally, I stumble upon this numerous times during a cruise.  This time it’s eluded me as I wander around the ship.   



















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