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Everything posted by karatemom2

  1. Is a whale watching trip an important aspect of your trip? You will have a much better chance of seeing them on a whale watching trip then from the cruise ship, although we have never done a AK cruise where we didn't at least spot them a couple of times from the cruise ship, even in May. Your odds of seeing whales in Juneau is very high, even in May, but because it is very early in the season, it sounds like the vendor is just covering their bases in the event that you don't see whales. Personally, if it was important to me I would take the chance knowing that the opportunity to see whales is pretty high, but I would go in being ok with it on the off chance it didn't happen. It is more likely you will have success, so it depends on if you are willing to take the gamble of perhaps not being successful. You will see a lot of pretty scenery no matter what!
  2. If you look at the Excursion Detail on the Princess Excursion, the whale watching time on the boat is 2 hours and 40 minutes - so basically 3 hours which is comparable to Harv and Marv. The biggest difference is you will be on a larger vessel as opposed to smaller boat. We have done it both ways and enjoyed both our small boat tour and larger boat tour. We saw plenty of whales both ways. Personally, I really enjoy the salmon bake. It's a little touristy for sure, but the setting is absolutely beautiful with a short hike to a waterfall and some nice entertainment and great food, not just the salmon, but all the sides, dessert, and smores. I could see if you don't like salmon it wouldn't be worthwhile, but if you do like salmon, it's very tasty and a fun experience. It really is just a matter of preference - but either whale watching trip will give you plenty of time on the water and you will definitely see whales, so if you really think you would enjoy the salmon bake as well, the combo trip might be a good option for you. If that is not that important and you think you would prefer a more personal, small boat tour, you might be better off with Harv and Marv, or one of the other small boat vendors that get good reviews here.
  3. Looks like someone is listening, at least for the production shows. None of the other entertainment was scheduled for that time, but I do like your idea of extending it to other entertainers. It is nice to have options!
  4. We are on the June 15 sailing and our Ship Schedule under Journey view has been filling up over the past week at just a little over 60 days out. It’s a nice surprise to have so much detail this early. Since you are not traveling until August, I would imagine yours will start showing up sometime in June if our pattern holds up.
  5. Generally if you get it in before 9 a.m. it will be returned the afternoon/evening of the following day. That can slow down on a longer cruise as it gets further along, especially if there are a lot of Elite passengers on board, but from what I understand, suite passengers get priority so you should expect prompt service. It’s a great benefit and very helpful when packing for longer cruises or cold weather cruises like Alaska where you may be bringing heavier clothes.
  6. Our journey schedule for our summer cruise on the Sky is providing a nice preview of the entertainment schedule, and I was surprised to see at least two of the production shows - Rock Opera and Spotlight Bar - scheduled for a 4 p.m. time, as well as 8 and 10 p.m. I wonder if this is unique to Sky Princess, or if anyone has noticed this on other ships? I love that they are offering three shows which should help with crowding, but also really like the idea of having the option of going to a show before dinner. That hour is generally kind of down time for us - usually maybe hit trivia or go freshen up before dinner, so it’s nice to have the choice to see the show earlier and free up your after dinner time. DH won’t have to fret about not being there promptly to open up the craps table! 😁 Even though we have seen these shows, I always enjoy seeing them again and with different casts, so I welcome this added time option and hope to see it on other ships.
  7. What an amazing trip that will be for your lucky teens! And the Sun Princess appears to be a ship that really offers a lot of amenities for families. We have been cruising Princess with our kids since they were very young, all through their teen years and into adulthood. We are cruising mostly without them now that they are independent adults and I miss them! The kids clubs on Princess are free - included in the cost if your fare. Teens can come and go from the club as they please during open hours, no need for a parent to sign them in or out. They usually have a lot of fun social activities for the teens and our kids always made friends onboard. If you are traveling during school breaks you can count on plenty of kids onboard so they will not be lonely. As far as room advice, maybe someone who has been on the Sun will weigh in regarding the rooms. We cruised with our kids in every kind of configuration from all of us in an inside, ocean view, balcony, or mini suite or suite to booking two rooms - either side by side or across the hall. Budget and your own space and privacy requirements may dictate your decision. But we always had a great time even when we were all cozied up together in an inside room.
  8. I went ahead and booked and paid for it last night and had the confirmation sent to my work email so DH won’t see it. It was nice to find that they let you select for whom it is being purchased as a gift and write a short message. I’m wondering if there will be a card waiting in our stateroom when we arrive? I am ok with no photographer - I imagine they would charge for the photo anyway. I had to buy the photograph from our 360 dinner, which I didn’t mind because it was a really nice family photo, but after so many cruises we don’t usually do the whole photo thing anymore. I will probably follow@Astro Flyer’s idea and just ask our waiter to take a picture with my phone.
  9. Thanks so much for these helpful replies and photos! I’m definitely going to book it and see if I can keep it a surprise - at least until he gets onboard. He never really looks at our travel summary so I don’t think he will catch it if I reserve it in advance. I’m really excited - fingers crossed for a nice evening. I know the fjord will offer fairly protected cruising for a couple of hours when we sail away so it should work perfectly.
  10. I am considering surprising DH with the UBD on our upcoming Norwegian Fjords cruise. We have done the breakfast a few times on our scenic cruising days in Alaska a thoroughly enjoyed it. We are leaving Olden at 4 pm the day before his birthday and will have a long scenic trip out of the fjord that evening so I thought that might be the perfect night to do it. We have a forward facing balcony, so lots of room to spare. I would love to hear from those of you who have done it - what should I know, did you enjoy it, any special insights? I’ve watched a couple of videos and it looks lovely but just trying to wrap my head around how the service works in practice since the breakfast is quite different as they just set up the whole thing in one stop and leave as opposed to coming back and forth. It would be great to get a sense of how you found the actual experience and the food.
  11. Sorry to hear that. Hopefully it will start filling up soon!!
  12. Here is just a sample of one day - Day 2 of our cruise which is the first sea day. One thing I noted which is new to us is seeing a production show - Rock Opera- scheduled at 4 pm. We have never seen a show scheduled prior to dinner, but it’s a nice option and they are able to offer it at 3 times this way - at 4, 8, and 10 pm.
  13. Interesting. I was actually quite surprised how detailed our daily schedule already is for our Sky cruise at just over 60 days out. It is really nice to have such a good preview. I wonder if the level of detail and information varies from ship to ship depending on the Entertainment Director. Maybe some are just more proactive in getting the information loaded.
  14. That’s not necessarily the case. We are on the Sky departing June 15 and the entertainment schedule is already very well laid out even beyond production shows. It is showing a couple of comedians, hypnotist, and guest singers listed by name with dates and times for their performances.
  15. Check the Journey View on your Princess Medallion app. They usually start populating the schedule several weeks prior to your cruise. It’s already showing a lot of the daily schedule for our upcoming summer cruise on the Sky, including the production shows - dates and times.
  16. Your room steward can open your door for you. If he is not around you can always go to Guest Services so they can send him to open your door.
  17. Same for is in January. There was a charge for the photo. For the price, it would be nice if they did include it, but we went ahead and bought it because it was such a nice New Year’s Eve photo of the whole family.
  18. Interesting situation. The spa should be checking your medallion when you check in, but I could see this happening. Someone could make a reservation and give a false room number at a spa promotion sign up event when staff are standing away from desk with clipboards. Then when the person checks on they could just say they forgot their medallion in their room. Would be pretty diabolical but a dishonest person might be able to pull it off. And without the actual medallion info to identify the person after the fact, they might not be able to figure it out. Glad you got it cleared up!!
  19. David Cole was a brilliant cruise director. He made our Hawaii trips so memorable. What a gem!
  20. The visitor center is set up on deck outside and the announcements are broadcast via the overhead so that you can hear them in most areas around the ship even when you are outside on deck. Many people on the Grand Class ships take up residence on the promenade deck and you can hear the narration there.
  21. We had one very good experience with EZ Air for our British Isles cruise, with an LAX to Heathrow flight. However, we had a truly nightmare experience when we booked through them for an LAX to Vancouver flight for an Alaska cruise. We were able to work it out, but when I say we literally spent hours on the phone and had to speak to multiple people, it is no exaggeration. We are now pretty set on booking our airfare using points which is what we did for our cruise this summer, so I doubt we would use EZ Air again. However, the rates do tend to be good and when it works well it's great. You really have to stay on top of it though and be prepared to invest the time to fix problems when things go awry.
  22. I'm very sorry about your health problems and no negative comments here. Just the facts. It's a hard no I'm afraid. You may want to read the following article: https://people.com/woman-receives-lifetime-ban-carnival-cruises-after-bringing-cbd-gummies-8404491
  23. Perhaps it was just our experience, but I did note that on our two Southampton cruises this past couple of years, overall people did seem to dress up more on formal nights. Many more men in tuxes and women in very sparkly gowns and cocktail dresses then I have seen on our US departures. We will see if that holds true again on our cruise out of Southampton this summer.
  24. Sounds like you missed the cut off to receive it as a suite perk, but I would still encourage you to consider it as a birthday gift to yourself. We splurged and purchased it for our family of 5 on our New Year’s cruise on Discovery. We go to the theatre a lot and I just equated it to what we might spend on tickets for a show, because it really is an experience - not just a meal. I can say we all found it exceptional from beginning to end - the food, wine, presentation, it’s all very special. I felt it was worth the investment for a one time special evening.
  25. This is not always the case. We have been to Glacier Bay at least 10 times over the past 20 years at all different times from May through August. Only once, on our very first visit was it so rainy and cold that it was pretty miserable being outside. Most other trips have been cool, but lovely, maybe a cloud or a sprinkle but nothing uncomfortable. One year in July it was so hot people were admiring the scenery from poolside in bathing suits. You just never know. We have done the Ultimate Balcony breakfast twice in Glacier Bay and thoroughly enjoyed every second on our balcony. We generally spend the entire day outside looking at the scenery and searching for wildlife. Photo below was our last visit in May of ‘22 and we could not have asked for a more beautiful day. We can’t wait for our next visit this coming September!
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