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Old October 4th, 2001, 02:49 PM
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Default 1st cruise in over 2 yrs., need updates

Anyone who could help, please take the time if you can.

We just signed up for the 10/11/01 cruise on the Ocean Princess the day before the terrorist attacks. Without going into great detail, my hubbie and I have had a rough year, 3 surgeries between the two of us (2 major) and we had finally talked ourselves into a holiday, the best kind; Princess cruises taking care of our every need and want instead of each of us taking care of the other for awhile. Then the whole world changed forever and, well, we all know the rest. After a week of feeling guilty about even thinking of ourselves with all of the tragic events unfolding in others lives, we finally have decided that we are still going.

So, please, if anyone knows info on taking liquor onboard, tips for excursions on that itienerary, or if any of you are on this voyage and would like to share a cab ride, or a glass of wine or beer onboard, please post here. We have cruised before, (one with Regency, one with Celebrity, and four with Princess) but any recent suggestions for sightseeing, shopping, or the wonderful tips for cruising in general that are always on these boards would be awesome!

As I said before, it has been 2 yrs., almost 3, since our last cruise and things have changed so much since then, I would really appreciate all of your help.

So Thank you all in advance, I will be running back
here to my local library this coming Sat. to use their computer
again (mine has taken a long, long leave of absence) to check
for replies, hope to see some from you kind souls!
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Old October 4th, 2001, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: 1st cruise in over 2 yrs., need updates

Hi Linda,
So glad you decided to go ahead with your cruise on Ocean Princess, beautiful ship. We were on Ocean last year so it was before the tragic events, so until we go this Dec on Golden, don't know besides the extra security how cruising has changed. I think you and your husband will love the ship, very easy to navigate around and I love the fact that their pools are fresh water, we had no problem bringing beer onboard, but that may of changed too.

Sounds like you 2 deserve a little R&R, enjoy it!

Donna
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Old October 6th, 2001, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: 1st cruise in over 2 yrs., need updates

Linda,

The French have a saying that translates something like, "The more things change, the more they remain the same." On the whole, not much has changed to any great degree aboard this class of ships, -- which, BTW, is the best class of cruise ships that I have found to date.

>> Princess has introduced "Personal Choice Dining" on this class of ship -- which means that you now can choose between assigned seating in one main dining room and open seating in the other. If you choose open seating, you can make dinner reservations like you would for a nice restaurant at home or simply go to the dining room when you are ready to eat. Of course, open seating means that you will not have the same tablemates and the same waitstaff throughout the cruise.

>> With the introduction of "Personal Choice Dining" came a change in tipping policy. By default, Princess now bills $6.50 per passenger per day to your shipboard account for tips for the dining staff. At your discression, you may ask the purser's desk to raise or lower this amount. If you choose traditional dining and you prefer to tip in the traditional way, simply ask the purser's desk to remove the automatic gratuity and give your tips directly to your servers. Note that this change does not affect tipping of cabin attendants.

>> The cruise industry has been pushing "alternative restaurants" that have surcharges. The "Sterling Steakhouse" (in the same area as the Riviera Grill) is the only such "alsternative restaurant" aboard MV Ocean Princess.

>> On this class of ship, the Horizon Court has continuous food service on a "24x7" basis with a variety of buffets appropriate to the time of day and a bistro operation at night. There's also a pizzeria at the top of the atrium that opens throughout the afternoon and again in the later evening and a grill by the pool that's open for lunch. None of these alternatives have any surcharges.

Finally, if you meet a couple named "Norm & Lu" (note spelling), say hello to my parents -- who are taking the same cruise.

Norm.
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Old October 8th, 2001, 09:52 AM
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Default Re: 1st cruise in over 2 yrs., need updates

Thank-You so much, we were wondering about PC dining as we have opted to try it, your info was very informative. Do they still have a captain's cocktail party or is that now gone? And are there problems bringing on a bottle of wine or Bailey's for a pre-dinner drink in our cabin? How do you make dinner reservations for PC dining, we didn't find anything specific on that in the papers that Princess sent.

Again, thanks for the help and we will definitely keep our eyes (and ears) open for your parents, I wish them a wonderful time!
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Old October 8th, 2001, 11:07 AM
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Default Re: 1st cruise in over 2 yrs., need updates

Linda
Just returned last night from Grand and we didn't observe any problem for people wishing to bring liquor on board in either carry-on or suitcases. Also there was no problem returning from ports of call with liquor. They checked for security but didn't take liquor away (to be returned later) as they do on some other cruise lines.
They didn't have a Captain's Welcome cocktail party. I think that was for past passengers only on the 2nd formal night, and as this was our first cruise with Princess, we'll have to wait until next time!
I don't know about reservations for PC Dining, as we chose, and enjoyed Traditional dining.
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Old October 10th, 2001, 05:38 AM
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Default Re: 1st cruise in over 2 yrs., need updates

Thanks everyone for the help, we sail tomorrow and hope for peaceful, relaxing, and safe voyages for all . Linda
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