Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Host Mike

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 93
Princess News & Princess Chatter / Sky Princess day four observations
« on: March 22, 2023, 10:49:35 AM »
Sky Princess day four observations

   Third of seven time changes occurred at noon today.  Fortunately Captain’s noon announcement tells us what city is needed to reset our iPhone time.  Yesterday it was a place in South Georgia. Today it was Praia, Cape Verde.
   Princess Theater reserved seats are flagged for the Princess Premier $80 per day per person class. They are not in a prime location and they seem to stay empty.
   Staff are standing at each entry door at the Shops of Princess.  They are either there for hospitality or are they are there for enhanced inventory security.
   We noticed that sandwiches are being generally served on small rolls.
   One passenger service rep says that they don’t print transfer tickets unless they are sold on board.  Another passenger service rep says that they print transfer tickets regardless of where they are sold.
   I told Sarah, the young british cruise director assistant that I was from Oklahoma.  She asked me if Oklahoma was in Central America.  I told her that Oklahoma was located in North America just north of Texas.  Then she asked if Oklahoma was a city or a state.  I told her that it was both.
   A few of the female passengers on board are dressing in clothing which hides nothing.
   Princess claim to offering “the best WiFi at sea” on this voyage should say “the worst WiFi at sea.”
   Ship elevator doors close so fast and so hard that a person could easily be injured.
   The itinerant Catholic priest serving on cruise ships including the Sky Princess wears a red cap because he says his priest level falls between that of a bishop and a  cardinal.   When the cap blows away it costs him about $50 to replace it.
   Some shortage of waiters in Fresh Market aka Horizon Court at noon.
   Two day turnaround for Elite laundry on this half empty ship.
   Minibar very limited trading options do not seem to match with the official Princess position.
   For a time this morning the oatmeal toppings were near the oatmeal but then they were moved away.  Cream-of-Wheat is by one day advance request.  Figs are hard to find. Such is the life of a poor sailor.
   Seems like there are a lot of Canadians, as always, on this voyage.
   I took photos of the two 220 volt electrical outlets on the wall under the head of the bed.  One was used to feed both bed lights and the other was unused.  The outlets exactly match the European outlets on the desk.

Note to RichC – I chose to have no Princess pricy upgrades.  I’m just Princess Standard in an ordinary balcony cabin (that happens to have a deeper deck) in the back of Dolphin deck very near the elevators.  No noise is heard in the cabin from the elevator lobby.

Princess News & Princess Chatter / Sky Princess day three observations
« on: March 21, 2023, 09:49:50 AM »
Sky Princess day three observations

   Spotlight Bar production show pre-show arrival music was unexpectedly loud. The pre-show songs included an obscure cool song from Sons of Anarchy.  The production show had great dancing and singing along with some booming bass and strobe lights hitting the audience in the face near the end.  A few women in the audience stood up and acted like star struck teenagers during the show finale.
   I  noticed for the first time that Princess Theater reserved seats have a blue jacket on the back cushion.
   The cabin desk chair is very heavy.
   Our cabin steward, who I can barely understand, left a surprise premade towel elephant in the cabin.
   It’s day two waiting for Elite laundry to return.
   Tonight is the second Princess Theater show that features opera type singing.  Will there be star struck women standing during the opera style singing finale?  We shall  see.
   Aft dining room on formal night was nearly empty for the first hour.  When we left, for maybe the first time, I didn’t see anyone wearing a T-Shirt.  Very few men were wearing ties.
   Noticed that Princess is recruiting more wait staff from Africa.
   Bread seems more hard crusted than expected.
   Today is another back to back time change at noon.  Yesterday it was late afternoon before they updated the time on the video displays near the elevators.  I figured out how to reset iPhones for time changes IF I can figure out what major cities, if any, exist in this mid Atlantic time zone.
   Ship captain is no longer coughing during announcements.
   Food quality on the Sky Princess is quite good other than there seems to be a shortage of salt for seasoning in the galleys.
   The tall cup of brewed coffee price in the International Cafe has increased to $2.95. 
   Even “on-sale” cheap costume like jewelry in the Shops of Princess is expensive.
   The Sky Princess Fine Art Gallery gouache paintings appear to be exact replicas of what you see on all of the other Princess ships.  Basically what you see is reproduced on an acrylic printing press.
   I’ve come to the conclusion that the music trivia contests are created by U.K. people and are  based on the U.K. charts.  In one past 50’s music trivia contest one of the answers was flat out wrong. 
   The number of bingo blackout calls needed to win is nearly always 55 calls.  Each card has a serial number and typically a computer, behind the scenes, plays all cards in the room at once.  When the computer sees a bingo it can flash a light to the caller so that the caller will quietly pause the game and wait for a winner to shout out.
   Cruising speed of the Sky Princess has been 19 knots for several days.
   We have learned that a Heathrow security workers strike begins the day before we disembark. A rail strike will occur on the day we disembark.
   SES Internet speed is still in the 2 up 2 down range with ping around 200-300 and jitter improving from the 123 to 37.  Paramount plus streaming is a no go on my iPad.
   So far the Atrium/Piazza has not been filed with sale tables.  Just a few ship photographers here and there in the evening.

Princess News & Princess Chatter / Sky Princess day two observations
« on: March 20, 2023, 10:38:35 AM »
Sky Princess day two observations

o   Noticed that Princess Theater aisles have warning lights where he steps are deeper.
o   No receipts are provided in the restaurants or bars.  You have to keep very close watch on your shipboard account.
o   Dear wife (DW) says that the Princess bathroom body wash does not have a pleasing smell.
o   Princess daily tip charge of $16 to $18 per day per person plus the mandatory tips at every bar  really takes a enormous bite out of your OBCs.
o   Music trivia contests are fun but it is nearly impossible to win a bottle of wine because the contest is rigged with a few songs and artists that are very obscure. The music during the contest on this ship is blasting, as is the norm on Princess.
o   Near the back of the ship you can still see stars at night but it is not easy due to ship lights and blowing smoke from the funnels.
o   Ship time changes at noon today.  Who ever heard of the ship time changing at noon?  And how are our cellphones and wristwatches going to update DW asks?
o   Internet speed is still 2 up and 2 down.
o   On these newer Princess ships the fitness center is open 24 hours a day.
o   30 minute Princess Theater shows seem to be a thing of the past.  45 minute shows seem to be the new normal.
o   Loyalty desk gal (formerly Captain’s circle rep) told me that she had never heard of additional OBCs being rewarded for  20+ Princess cruises (credits).

Note to RichC: The travel router I have is the GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 (Slate AX).  There are cheaper travel routers but this model works perfectly for me other than occasionally needing a few seconds to authorize a device log in.  It never times out. As far as T-Mobile WiFi calling goes, I’m talking about cell phone talking in airplane mode, not Internet texting or data communicating.  Others have confirmed that on Sky Princess the ONLY offer for a mini-bar swap is a bottle of wine.  Our coughing captain’s special loyalty lunch party has not yet been held AFAIK.  I’m just a few days short of the needed cutoff  since this repo cruise is full of Super Elites.  The bathroom soap dispenser squirt issue appears to be common on the Sky.  The problem is that the squirt handle is very difficult to push. I have learned from my DW that the trick is to put the dispenser down in the wash basin, aim the nozzle toward the mirror away from you and push the nozzle down hard.  Since this voyage is so empty Princess Theater reservations are a non-issue.  On the cabin TV input observation, no HDMI inputs are visible but a small part of some sort of connector cable was visibly hanging a little below our TV . I did look like a USB connector is located on the bottom edge of the TV on each side.   Strangely our cabin TV is ever so slightly tilted on the mount.

Princess News & Princess Chatter / Sky Princess day one observations
« on: March 19, 2023, 02:17:38 PM »
Sky Princess day one observations

•   Boarding at noon in Ft Lauderdale Princess terminal two was speedy except for a delay caused by a very  heavy handed  terminal Xray wand guy.
•   Bags delivered to room within an hour of being placed into the outside cage.
•   Sail away dancers and their dance music by the pool were amazing.
•   Princess Patter is now just one page with microscopic printing and unreliable availability times. (are you listening Loyalty and Events Manager?)
•   Pre-cruise Sabatini reservation form says 5 pm is the opening  time.  Sabatini staff say it is 5:30 pm.
•   Sabatini cabin TV menu says one thing, Actual menu says another.  Staff says “We have a new menu.”
•   Last week’s Sky Princess passenger count in the Caribbean was over 4,000 with lots of kids.  This week’s Sky Princess passenger count for repo is 2,000 with very few kids.  Next cruise will be back to almost 4,000.
•   During Captain’s announcements he starts coughing and then apologizes.
•   Aft dining room is no longer fixed seating.
•   British sounding cruise director is pleasant but talks extremely fast.
•   GL.iNet Travel router combines all of my electronics into one MedalionNet device subscription.
•   T-Mobile WiFi calling works in airplane mode
•   Magician was self promoting and show was OK.  Sound levels at times were blasting.
•   Mini-bar complete trade out was only for one unopened bottle of wine.  Most of us know the potential $ hit from Princess for an unopened bottle of wine.
•   Internet speed – 2 down, 2 up.
•   More than 20 Princess cruises OBC rewards are no more.
•   Cutoff for the Captain’s private party on this cruise is 460 Princess days.
•   Standard balcony cabin bookings (us) were not allowed to bid on a suite upgrade.
•   Non-denominational Sunday service was 100% Catholic, officiated by red capped, good hearted priest who now apparently frequents cruise ships.
•   It appears that gun cokes are free, so far, for the asking.
•   In the top side buffet (formerly Horizon Court) oatmeal is on one side of the buffet, oatmeal toppings are on the other side of the buffet.  Syrup coffee taste is  passible.
•   Bathroom hand soap squirter can squirt all the way across our tiny  bathroom if we (I) are not careful.
•   Our wing of the big balcony Dolphin deck cabins is mostly empty.
•   No comment about a few loud talking/pushy passengers.

"Another first for Princess to supply sustainable power and better maneuverability to save fuel, Sun Princess will be outfitted with two Azipod propulsions for forward and backward movements and the four largest Controllable Pitch Propellers, known as bow thrusters, on the market for sideways navigation."

Plus 34 crew members.

Princess News & Princess Chatter / Re: Sky Princess daily report
« on: March 11, 2023, 03:45:31 PM »
I should have an answer for you after March 18th.  Equally important to speed is will there be forced logoffs after X minutes.

Princess News & Princess Chatter / Sky Princess daily report
« on: March 09, 2023, 04:35:44 PM »
Your editor is taking a 14 day Sky Princess repo cruise from Ft Lauderdale to Southampton with a stop in  Casablanca.  Embarkation is on March 18th.  The ship, so far, isn’t full.  I plan to post an unfiltered report of daily Sky Princess ship life.

"The Ruby Princess, part of the Princess Cruises lines, reported that 284 people, including 34 crew members, had become ill on a round-trip voyage to the Caribbean and Mexico that departed from Galveston on Feb. 26, according to the CDC. There were a total of 2,881 people onboard the ship, including 1,159 crew members."

Monterey has said no to servicing cruise ships coming to its shore. The city-sanctioned message to the industry, approved by a slim City Council vote, was clear: stop visiting Monterey."

Cruising Chatter / The truth about working on a cruise ship
« on: January 26, 2023, 08:50:59 PM »
"From 14-hour shifts to meager pay, working conditions on cruise ships are tough. No wonder it's becoming increasingly difficult to find staff."

"Given the negative market sentiment and forecasts of a recession this year, this stock is unlikely to turn around until investors believe the worst of the potential economic downturn has passed."

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 93