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Topics - Host Mike

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"Cabins toward the centre of the ship on lower decks are the best if you can get them," Princess Cruises Captain Alessandro Genzo shared during a recent cruise, reports Travel and Leisure.

Not only will you be centrally located for access all the fun things on a ship, but the main drawcard to a midship cabin is its stability."

"Travel agents from Travel Counsellors were invited to bring their families onboard for the day to experience the Princess Difference and see all the Princess has to offer for families. The day started with a snippet of entertainment in the Princess Theatre, followed by time in the youth centres where the children were given a Stanley Bear to take home. Then there was free time to explore the ship, have lunch on top deck and use the pool facilities.  Agents gave extremely positive feedback – for some, it was their first time on a cruise ship – and adults and children alike had an amazing time onboard."

"While most people may think of Princess Cruises as a cruise line for baby boomers, Sun Princess aims to attract a younger, livelier crowd. This is immediately apparent when walking around the ship's common areas; Sun Princess boasts bold color schemes, endless windows, sparkling lights and a more modern central piazza than other Princess ships."

"If you're considering a cruise on Sun Princess, you should know that this isn't your traditional Princess ship. The look and feel of this vessel are younger and livelier compared to other Princess ships I have sailed on. Gone are the hallways filled with cruisers knitting and playing cards; in their place, you'll find dancing, entertainment, music and activities around the clock.";board=439.0

Cruising Tips Chatter / 10 things you should never do at mealtime
« on: June 24, 2024, 07:12:24 PM »
  • Approach the buffet with unwashed hands
  • Pick up food with your hands
  • Bring your plate up for seconds
  • Skip the made-to-order options
  • Keep quiet if you have dietary concerns
  • Select dishes that are better when made to order
  • Pile your plate so high you can barely carry it
  • Carry multiple plates and cups at once
  • Skip the first-day, self-guided buffet tour
  • Start plating before you’ve surveyed all the options

"IRVINE, Calif., June 24, 2024--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Club Pilates, an Xponential Fitness brand and the largest Pilates brand globally, is "strengthening and lengthening" the amount of fun on its second annual Club Pilates at Sea: An Alaska Retreat, partnering with Princess Cruises for several returning and new experiences sure to thrill guests. Today, the companies announced a host of activities and excursions taking place during the cruise, which sets sail from Seattle and explores Alaska from August 18 to 25, 2024."

"In a lower deck aboard the 4,300-passenger Sun Princess, the largest and newest ship in the Princess Cruises fleet, I’m touring a back-of-house area where giant stainless steel “stomachs” are grinding and using bacteria to digest food waste, turning thousands of pounds of leftovers into a thick, bio-friendly opaque slurry. Meanwhile, another big machine, referred to as the “Hungry Giant” by crew, is taking bones, fruit rinds, and other objects that would destroy your home garbage disposal, dehydrating them, and turning them into what looks a lot like coffee grounds."

"So this year we decided to repeat with a similar cruise for our Golden Wedding on roughly the same route on the brand new Sun Princess. It had the added bonus of allowing us to visit Budva in Montenegro with a port call at Bar (not Kotor). We honeymooned in nearby Budva.
Princess had been informed of our Anniversary date.
We had booked a Cove Balcony Stateroom on Deck 6 aft because we always like to be near the aft Main Dining Room which is just a short distance away normally and was here....but oh no.The ship has so many design faults and dead ends it's a disaster.
We were yards away from the MDR, but no corridor route through. We had to walk forward to the mid elevators up one to Deck 7  back past all the shops and through The Wheelhouse  Bar which is a through corridor route and bears no resemblance to Wheelhouse bars of old being bleak and soul less with folk walking through to and from the MDR ..AND THEN! you have to take the elevator back down to 6 as the restaurants and only MDRS (2) are one above the other on 6 and 7. Both called Horizon Dining Room. Confused the buffet on Deck 8 was now called the Eatery. Every other dining venue and there are several are extra. Even Alfredo's charges, though on the Plus you do get two free casual meals thrown in.
We both agree all the meals we had (bar one tough prime rib) were excellent with several new dishes.
We normally go to Crown Grill first night to avoid the mayhem at the MDR, but no longer are going to pay the extortionate $90 extra for two. Same with Sabatinis. Especially when some fellow cruisers get it thrown in free.
Back to the narrow cabin (although it does have a bigger balcony). On entering the bathroom the toilet lid was cracked from top to bottom we realized that this was probably because someone stepping out of a glass doored shower has nowhere to go but sit down on the toilet and close it. Design fault. Reported seat but still cracked when we left. It would have been better with a sliding door creating more room.
Back to the room in view of the lack of champagne, prosecco or card I used the app to order a Scotch Whisky. I looked at the list not a one zilch! Just bourbon.  I
asked why? Not stocked up sir. They'll have some upstairs perhaps. Oh and NO canapes  anymore for Elite on this ship on Formal Nights.. gone forever perhaps. Dress Code was a shambles, why do we bother?
Elite lounge now 3-5pm no use to us who dine at 7.30pm. Used to be until 7pm
Reduced breakfast menus in MDRs on port days.
Exact same lunch menus in MDRs EVERY DAY when in port and just fast food, tacos, wraps etc.
The wine choice on the Plus package has been reduced. What you enjoyed on the last cruise is now on the Premier package with you paying the difference. IE you just get basic Italian plonk on the Plus package, not good.
The ship has good points.
Elevators are brilliant. AI controlled banks of six. Fast and uncrowded
Can't think of many more.
The mix of passengers is not what we are used to. Of the 4,300 passengers we guessed that  1,500 or so were North American vacationing, so from babes in arms to teenagers. Many well behaved a few not so well behaved.
Princess are aiming for and getting a different market whoopy do!'s not for us.
Despite mentioning it to Guest Services and the Restaurant Manager the night before our Golden Wedding Anniversary not a single thing to mark the occasion. No singing waiters or cake or card...Zilch and this after 30+ Princess cruises.
At least we got asked to the Most Traveled Passengers Cocktail Party, but no mention there either.
Sun Princess never again."

Cruising Tips Chatter / Here are 6 things I'd never do on board.
« on: June 23, 2024, 08:21:53 PM »
  • Pay for upgrades in the main dining room
  • Buy the drink package
  • Touch shared contact surfaces with my fingers
  • Wear my room key around my neck
  • Misname the ship
  • Plan my port-day itinerary so tight that I may not make it back to the ship on time

"Mr Hogan pointed out that Anthony Albanese used be in charge of the infrastructure ministry when it offered cruise ships an exemption to the Coastal Trading Act 2012. This is an act that allows foreign-flagged cruise ships to carry passengers between Australian ports without further registrations and regulatory costs.

In 2018 the exemption was extended for five years, however, last year it received only a one-year extension and a decision is yet to be made this year. This casts doubt over international cruise lines operations in Australia and has stopped them allocating further resources to the region."

"In Sitka, it’s the third time that local residents have tried to put a limit on the ballot. Two prior attempts were rejected by the city’s attorney.

After those failures, organizers created a nonprofit, raised money, hired an attorney of their own, and are trying again with a new draft.

Klaudia Leccese is president of Small Town SOUL, the new nonprofit. She believes Sitka residents are fed up with overcrowding."

"Princess Cruises Celebrations Ambassador Jill Whelan (aka Vicki) will join fellow Love Boat cast members including Bernie Kopell (Doc), Fred Grandy (Gopher) and Ted Lange (Isaac) for the highly anticipated second themed cruise aboard the Enchanted Princess voyage to Canada/New England, August 31-Sept. 7, 2024. Ezra Freeman, the bartender from the recently aired "The Real Love Boat" reality dating series on CBS and Paramount+, also will sail with the stars."

"With limited spots available, the price of the Love Boat VIP Package is $450 per person and can be reserved through a Travel Agent or by calling 1-800-Princess, and referencing the Love Boat VIP Package."

"Starting on July 1, we will display prices that include the taxes, fees, and port expenses we previously quoted separately from the cruise fare. We are making this change to comply with California’s new consumer protection law."

source: Princess email Thu 6/20/2024 11:29 AM

“Yahoo Creative represents a major technological advancement, combining AI, data, and human expertise to usher in a new era of creative for advertisers. It empowers brands to achieve greater personalisation and engagement, driving superior campaign results.”

Major international brands such as Princess Cruises are already using the platform upon launch, which benefits from a built-in first-party data set of more than 205 million of the online giant’s users."

"Princess guests sailing with a Princess Plus or Premier Package on voyages embarking between August 1 and December 1, 2024 will receive double the cruise credits to fast track them closer to their next loyalty tier."

Editor: Some short cruises can now get you free laundry in no time.  Those of us who earned the Elite level the hard way will not be pleased.

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