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Everything posted by SargassoPirate

  1. It usually takes me about three days to get from "No" to "here's your tokens". I'm currently on the world cruise and after a day one No, on day three the tokens appeared on the desk in my cabin. I just let the room steward know when I need some more, although recently because of problems with the token vending machines, the laundromats are free. To turn No to here's your tokens, I start with guest services, then escalate to the floor supervisor through the room steward, and then the hotel director. It's worked so far.
  2. No separate suite lounge, but Elite, Platinums, and Suite guests have a dedicatedly "lounge" event from 4:30 to 6:30 in the Explorers Lounge on deck 6. They setup a small buffet with some excellent nibbles and often have a piano player. Suites also have an exclusive breakfast in Sabatini's each morning.
  3. I dropped by the slots in the backroom area twice yesterday - a sea day - once in the afternoon and again in the evening. Each time there were maybe three to four people at the slots actively playing and smoking. They each had a ash tray, but there were no other ash trays visible. And, there was nobody just sitting around smoking and not playing. So much better than other Princess ships where smoke from the Casino drifts into the Piazza and Crooners and the staff refuse to close the doors to prevent it. We enjoy Crooners, but not when it may as well be a smoking venue.
  4. The casino is adjacent to the Explorer's Lounge where the P&E event is held every night. I've never caught even a whiff of smoke when walking by the casino and that's at least twice each evening. Here's a pic to show how open the casino is to the deck 6 corridor.
  5. I walked through the casino and could not find any slots or anywhere else designated for smoking. There are some slots back in one corner, but I didn't see any signs. There was a faint odor of old cigarette smoke in that area. I didn't see any ash trays either, so I don't know how they handle smokers there. Maybe I'll check it out some afternoon or evening and see what I can observe. Here's a pic of that corner area with slots.
  6. Since I was up early this morning, I went on a quest to investigate the casino smoking issue. Here's what the Patter said on the first day of the WC.
  7. The Island Princess casino is pretty much open to the deck 6 corridor and I have never smelled any smoke migrating from the casino and as open as it is, I would smell it. Churchill's on deck 7 just off the atrium is a popular smoking spot and usually busy. The only other place smoking is allowed is an outside area on deck 15 on the starboard side. Seems like the Patter had some information about the smoking venues, but being a non-smoker I don't recall the language. I'll see if I can get a photo to post.
  8. I'm on the Island now. I've cruised on the Coral twice, so the Island felt very familiar on boarding day. I do miss the Vista lounge and the full wraparound promenade - and whoever thought replacing the Vista with cabins was a good idea should be busted back to designing bus benches for a living. That being said, I never have trouble finding a quiet spot to read - something that's disappearing on the larger ships as somebody thinks we need to be blasted with music everywhere. The Plaza is a nice area to relax and listen to some acoustic guitar or strings in the evening and able to actually converse with fellow passengers. The casino is smoke free and this smoke does not migrate from the casino to other areas. The Melanoma Deck is plagued by chair hogs with no enforcement, but I prefer to remain cancer free and leather-skin free, so I avoid that area in favor of the solarium pool. The ship is in good shape and looks better than some younger ships I've been on. The crew is constantly doing maintenance and cleaning. The food in the MDR is second to none, so much so in fact that I sometimes eat all three meals there rather that compete with the walking dead, zombie apocalypse crowd in the Horizon Court. In a nutshell, it's a wonderful ship and I would rather sail on the Island or the Coral in favor of the newer ships. JMHO
  9. Can you provide the section of SOLAS that mentions kettles? Seems odd that if they are such a fire hazard that they are provided in the UK and OZ market. I suspect it's an revenue hazard and not a fire hazard in the other markets.
  10. Once you've seen it in action, that's enough. I do enjoy watching the staff set it up, but skip the actual event. I wonder if people ever look at those photos again?
  11. Then why bother to spend any $ at any of those places that are uncomfortable? I'm on the Island Princess now and it is such a radical difference from the larger ships that SWMBO will have to put up a good argument to sail on anything but the Island or Coral again. I truly enjoy being able to meet and chat with other passengers in just about any venue without having to shout at somebody sitting next to me on a barstool at GS.
  12. Too loud, not loud enough, too spicy, not spicy enough, too many sea days, not enough sea days - many things are subjective but any industrial hygienist or any competent audiologist will tells you that noise levels such that you cannot carry on a conversation with someone about three feet away is too loud and will damage your hearing. However, most people don't realize it. And some will even tell you they are used to the noise - which translates to they've already lost some hearing. Over amplification to the point of sound distortion will never make up for a space not designed with acoustics in mind, such as MUTS or the Plaza/Piazza.
  13. I carry a small battery/electric fan on every trip - land or sea - and have never had an issue with any cruise line. I would be royally PO''d since I am normally on the warm side and the cabin A/C is often tepid, and I use the fan for comfort. I would contact customerrelations@princess.com and explain exactly what happened and include a photo of the fan with your email. Ask for clarification on exactly what the corporate policy is and the rational for your fan being confiscated. Also, ask for their reply via email and not a phone call so that you may have some documentation for the next time. I have had some success raising issues in that manner. Good luck to you.
  14. The more I'm confronted/reminded about tipping the more I refuse to buy into it. I started my own push back when tip jars showed up at the corner market.
  15. We were on the Regal last year and the music and the staff shouting during the activities in the Piazza there were, seriously, unbearable. Obviously whomever is in charge of the soundboard has no clue that in a space not designed with acoustics in mind you don't just keep cranking up the volume to overcome the design.
  16. Complain, complain, complain, and then complain some more or it will never change. Passengers should not have to bring personal hearing protection to be able to enjoy a cruise. The Island Princess has been the exception to my other cruises on Princess. We find the music in the Plaza enjoyable and not over-amplified. Same for the Wheelhouse. The piano player in Crooners is a bit louder than we like, so we avoid it. Even MUTS is not amplified to the point of distortion. The exception has been live music on the Melanoma Deck. It's so loud that we cannot communicate with the staff to order a burger or a drink - so we don't and we leave. Complain, complain, and complain some more.
  17. I've been using it some in the world cruise and it's been working great. I've used it to order a burger and fries in the solarium pool area, several cans of soda for delivery to may cabin to replenish my mini bar, and a few drinks when the Great Spirits bar was jammed but I had a seat across the Plaza from them. Hope this helps.
  18. Economics 101, charge what the traffic will bear.
  19. I'm reminded of the story of a frog in a pan of cold water. Put the pan on the stove and turn on the heat and the frog will just sit there until he's boiled alive since the temperature rise is so gradual. Don't know if it's a scientific fact, but Princess seems to be turning up the heat and they expect we'll just sit here and take it. The nice thing about a capitalistic free market economy is that we can decide how best to spend our money on the choices we make.
  20. I just enjoyed an included casual dining on the second segment without any charge showing up on my folio, so I guess it works.
  21. And it will be worded something like " for the safety and convenience of our passengers...."
  22. I have a mental list of needs for a cruise that I should probably formalize into a pyramid chart like Maslow did. The solid base for me is a standard booking on a ship with a real promenade. After my base is established, I consider the price points for the extras and if they make sense for me, I'll consider them. I can scratch off most of the extras without much thought - spa treatments of any kind, the Sanctuary, art auctions, bingo, etc. WiFi is a nice to have, unless it's priced out of what I will consider a good value. I got by without WiFi for years on cruise ships and can do so again without causing me any angst. It's any business's job to offer their goods and services at whatever cost the market will bear. If the market won't bear a high price, the business will have to lower their price. It's the law of supply and demand and consumers set the demand.
  23. It will stop when people refuse to pay for overinflated prices.
  24. The "wee dreams" are not so wee with the package. I've been happy with the Plus since I don't have to go down to guest services every day or so to get someone else's bar tab removed from my folio. I guess I'm a convert to the Plus until the next cruise when SWMBO is with me. Then it's back to a la carte.
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