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About BarbinMich

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Detroit suburbs
  • Interests
    travel, genealogy, photography, gardening
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, Celebrity, HAL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. I may be wrong, but I think if a Princess ship is doing a port visit at NY, it will dock at the terminal on the west side of Manhattan as it's more convenient for city sightseeing. Otherwise, ships that start and or end their cruises in "NY" use the Brooklyn Terminal, probably because it's closer to 2 of the 3 airline terminals than the Manhattan dock.
  2. Usually discounts are only on port days as the Spa is less busy with so many pax off the ship.
  3. Somehow my DH and I have managed to do just fine sitting on our twin beds if we're in the cabin during the day when we find the need to retreat there, which is rare for me, at least. And we've done a lot of TAs with many sea days. To each their own. On HAL ships the bed(s) are under the window and thus TV viewing from there is not great. But the couch is across from the TV-problem solved.
  4. That's ok. Actually, I think Inside cabins are smaller than Outside cabins. On Princess the latter are 172-180 sq. feet and the former are more like 140-150 sq. feet, I believe. We've only had an Inside once and that was on a 7-day Royal because they have few, if any, outside non-balcony cabins and thus balconies are more expensive than the OVs on the older ships. We don't want a balcony and certainly don't want have to pay more than for an OV just because it has a balcony. But that inside only had room for the double bed and a wall opposite with a desk, fridge and storage--no chair and not a place you want to spend any time except to sleep IMHO. The Royal/Regal have no OV cabins like the older ships do on Plaza deck--our favorite location for its convenience.
  5. They wouldn't fit in outside rooms either; need a minisuite or better to have that kind of room. We have cruised mostly on Princess, but have sailed on HAL and Celebrity occasionally. It is nice to have a couch which I believe all HAL OV and better cabins have. The only time we had a couch on Celebrity was on the Eclipse and it was actually a twin-size bed with vinyl covering with wedge cushions forming the back. Not comfortable for us shorties. Also made for less room for the desk area, which ends up being tiny.
  6. There are "true" 14-day cruises (i.e. you don't return to the port of origin) and B2B cruises which are 2 7-day cruises. We've done both, but prefer the former. Who wants to be in Ft. Lauderdale in the middle of a cruise? The 14-day cruises have no repeat ports and more sea days than B2B cruises. B2B may have a different itinerary for each 7-day period, but also may not.
  7. I agree that May is a great time to visit Alaska. We've been there 4x: 2x in May, 1x in June, 1x in Sept. Would never go again in Sept.--no snow around Glacier Bay, lots of rain, etc.
  8. I tend to agree with Pris. One advantage (and about the only one I can think of) of Celebrity is its attention to Cruise Critic. They do a gathering for a roll call without a pax having to make the arrangements. They have a staff member assigned to Cruise Critic--we talked to the fellow several times on our Eclipse cruise; I assume that person has other duties as well.
  9. The two ships are only 200 pax different so essentially the same size (Solstice-2,852; Ruby-3,080). Perhaps the layout gives the impression of being smaller. We've been on the Ruby and most all the other Princess ships and on the Eclipse and other older, smaller Celebrity ships. Solstice is a sister ship of Eclipse, Equinox and Silhouette. I would say the Atrium is one of the most different between the 2 ships. Eclipse's is a vast 3-deck high space where nothing ever happens except what goes on at the "front desk". Ruby's atrium is smaller, but is the center of many onboard activities including a bar and the Intl Cafe (food, coffee). I prefer Princess cabins to those on the Eclipse (e.g. closets are better and more convenient). All that plus Solstice's shorter time in Juneau and no Glacier Bay would make me choose the Ruby. We've sailed to Alaska 4x on Celeb. (1), HAL (2), and Princess (1). Whatever you choose, enjoy your first Alaskan cruise!
  10. I disagree re needing transportation if you can walk a block or two. There are sidewalks along the road where the piers are. We've done several B2B's out of PE and on "turnaround days" have easily walked over to Walgreen's or whatever the drugstore is at the corner of the main drag (17th St); also have met friends for coffee at the Starbucks also on the main drag.
  11. While we've never been thru the Suez Canal, we've been thru the Panama Canal multiple times and in both directions. I agree with the above advice! One time while going thru the P.C. I sat in the "window well" in our Plaza Deck cabin as we were lowered in one of the locks just to see what it was like (and to enjoy the a.c. <g>), otherwise I've always been roaming the ship for different views.
  12. As the daughter of two parents who died from other forms of cancer (ovarian and liver), I'm bugged every time we're on a Princess ships that does the "Walk". Of course it's voluntary, so we don't have to participate and we don't--I give to local cancer-related orgs as well as Memorial Sloan Kettering Hosp. (NYC) which does a lot of cancer research. I just think it's a mistake for a corporation to pick out one charity and only "support" that one on their cruises. Here's a link to an article that has graphics re the cancer death rates for men and women: https://www.unitypoint.org/desmoines/services-cancer-article.aspx?id=c9f17977-9947-4b66-9c0f-15076e987a5d. Lung cancer is the biggest "killer" for both men and women (28% for men, 26% for women). Breast cancer is 2nd largest cause at 14% for women and prostate cancer is 2nd for men at 10%. Do other cruise lines do this as well (we've mostly sailed on Princess)?
  13. Per Wikipedia the Ruby Princess carries 3,080 pax, so only a few hundred more than the Solstice. They both were launched in 2008. Solstice is slightly longer at 1,003 ft vs 951 for Ruby--presumably not really noticeable. So IMHO the physical aspects are similar, but what happens onboard is a bit different in our experience. We've been on the Ruby 3x for a total of 32 days and on the Eclipse (very similar to Solstice) for 14 days. We prefer Princess as it's usually less expensive than X for a similar cabin and for its generally better onboard offerings.
  14. The location of the spa on the older Princess ships hardly block views IMHO; please explain. It's between the gym (all the way aft) and the rear elevators. And its relocation to Deck 5 was a major disappointment to those loyal pax who liked to book cabins in that area for the convenience to the atrium, dining rooms, Intl Cafe, theater, etc. and for the price point. Not everyone wants a balcony or an inside cabin. We used to cruise Princess 2-3 times a year, usually doing 2 TAs and one Caribbean cruise so being able to book Deck 5 cabins made it more affordable and having a window was very welcome on those long TAs! On the positive side, I will say the ship was stunning (esp. the atrium) on our first cruise on her (we've done 2 for a total of 24 days) and I loved the Horizon Terrace (covered area behind the Horizon Court) on our Carib. cruise. But there are other somewhat mysterious deficiencies: casino is tiny and very crowded with slots, gaming tables and pax, Princess Live! is an inadequate and poorly planned replacement for Explorers on the older ships, no OV non-balcony cabins as noted above.
  15. The last time we sailed on HAL (Apr 2017), we had to stand and wait until all pax with more stars (4 and 5, I believe, and many of them arrived after we did) had checked in. I wouldn't have minded so much if they had offered a seat to us with fewer stars. Prior notice of this practice would have also been appreciated so we could at least wait in some comfort at our hotel.
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