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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 12th, 2002, 04:16 PM
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Default Diamond Alaska Questions

We're planning an Alaska family cruise in June 2003. There will 10 of us in either 3 or 4 cabins.

General Alaska question: For Inside Passage is the port or starboard side better or does it make a difference?

Diamond question: Are there any rough deckplans out there for the Diamond yet?

Some of the newer Princess ships have Family Cabins. I'm curious about the pricing of them compared to the combination of one balcony cabin & one inside cabin across the hall (2 people in each - have to put the teens somewhere). Does anyone know?

I wish Princess had continued the sailings from San Francisco. They sold out so quickly I was hoping they'd get the hint.

Thank you!
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Old July 12th, 2002, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Diamond Alaska Questions

cutelittle,

"General Alaska question: For Inside Passage is the port or starboard side better or does it make a difference?"

It should not really matter. The straits of the inside passage have land on both sides offering similar views, and the time spent outside the straits but in view of land probably will be about the same either way.

"Diamond question: Are there any rough deckplans out there for the Diamond yet?"

Preliminary deck plans should be available in the 2003 Princess Alaska brochure. You can order a copy of the brochure directly from Princess Cruises (1-800-PRINCES(s)).

"Some of the newer Princess ships have Family Cabins. I'm curious about the pricing of them compared to the combination of one balcony cabin & one inside cabin across the hall (2 people in each - have to put the teens somewhere). Does anyone know?"

"Family cabins" is not quite accurate. Rather, MV Grand Princess, MV Golden Princess, and MV Star Princss have two "family suites" each. According to Princess's description, each "family suite" (http://www.princess.com/onboard/flee..._rooms_fs.html) "is actually two self-contained staterooms interconnecting through a large living room which leads to an oversized private balcony." In reality, it looks like there was some sort of problem with the location of what would have been the doorway into the forwardmost minisuites on the Dolphin Deck so they blocked it off, took out the partitions dividing what would have been separate sitting rooms and balconies, and reconfigured the head, closets, and bedroom of the affected minisuite into a bunk room (with twin upper and lower bunks) and additional closet space.

Fares for "family suites" are on par with the fares for minisutes, but are based upon quadruple occupancy rather than double occupancy. These fares obviously would be somewhat more expensive than standard cabins with or without balconies.

"I wish Princess had continued the sailings from San Francisco. They sold out so quickly I was hoping they'd get the hint."

The cruises operating round trip from Seattle next year should be an interesting experiment.

OTOH, I would like to see a "Pacific Northwest" itinerary operating round trip from San Francisco with ports of call in Victoria, Seattle, Vancouver, and Portland or perhaps round trip from Portland with ports of call in Victoria, Seattle, either Tacoma or Bremerton, and Vancouver....

Norm.
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Old July 14th, 2002, 11:08 AM
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Default : Re: Diamond Alaska Questions

Thanks for the info Norm. We'll probably book this week if the reservations are open. Our TA was on a fam but the assistant said Princess didn't quite have their schedule together yet (two weeks ago).

Our family is celebrating 100 years of marriage and are taking this cruise together. In 2003 my parents will be married 50 years and my sister and I will both be married 25 years. With all the schedules to work around, we could only find a window open from June 23 to July 6 to complete the cruise. If that's the worst of our problems, we have nothing to complain about!

Your idea for the Pacific Northwest cruise is a great one. We'd sign up right away. Another one from SF would be SF-Monterrey-Morro Bay -Santa Barbera-Catalina Island-LA or back to SF. The possiblities for shore excursions would be fabulous. Of course they'd have to repeal the Hayes Act (what good does it do these days anyway?) I guess the ship could make a run to Ensenada or Rosarita Beach unless Catalina decided to declare it's independance.

SF is still dithering over upgrading the cruise ship terminals there. You'd think doing it would be obvious to them.
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Old July 15th, 2002, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: : Re: Diamond Alaska Questions

cutelittle,

"Another one from SF would be SF-Monterrey-Morro Bay -Santa Barbera-Catalina Island-LA or back to SF. The possiblities for shore excursions would be fabulous. Of course they'd have to repeal the Hayes Act (what good does it do these days anyway?) I guess the ship could make a run to Ensenada or Rosarita Beach unless Catalina decided to declare it's independance. "

Actually, it's the Jones Act that's the problem. Basically, the Jones Act has two crucial requirements.

>> 1. A ship of foreign flag must call at a foreign port before disembarking passengers at a port of origin in the United States if it makes any ports of call after departing from the port of embarkation. (The law permits a "cruise to nowhere" because a ship must be able to return to its port of departure without penalty in an emergency.)

>> 2. A ship of foreign flag must call at a "DISTANT" foreign port befroe disembarking passengers who embarked at any U. S. port at any other U. S. port. (Basically, the ports of Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Oceana, the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao, and the territorial islands of countries that qualify as "distant" are considered to be "distant" under the Jones Act. This isn't quite precise, but close enough for the present discussion.)

The government levies a fine against the cruise line of $2,000 per passenger who disembarks illegally, so all cruise lines have pretty strong incentive to comply. Note the following, by way of example.

>> Princess's "Panama Canal Adventure" itineraries between California (San Diego, Los Angeles, or San Francisco) and Florida all call at both Cartagena, Columbia (or Colon, Panama, while calls at Cartagena remain suspended) and Orangestad, Aruba, which are distant foreign ports.

>> Princess's "Canada and Colonial America" itiernary along the East Coast of the United States at the end of the "Canada and New england" season always originates in Montreal rather than New York.

>> Norwegian Cruise Line's cruise around the Hawaiian Islands also calls at Fanning Island, which is part of Kiribati -- actually a "distant" foreign port even though a "near" foreign port would be acceptable.

>> All of the "Caribbean" and "Mexican Riviera" itineraries that operate from U. S. ports return to their respective ports of embarkation.

Norm.
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Old July 17th, 2002, 01:57 AM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: : Re: Diamond Alaska Questions

Norm:
Is the Maritime union that strong that this act doesn't get modified or scuttled?
Frank
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Old July 17th, 2002, 10:30 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: : Re: Diamond Alaska Questions

Frank,

"Is the Maritime union that strong that this act doesn't get modified or scuttled?"

Yes, apparently so. Politicians still see the issue as a political hot potato.

Norm.
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Old August 5th, 2002, 07:44 PM
DrWong
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: : Re: Diamond Alaska Questions

Although now that American Hawaii Cruises and United States Lines are defunct, and the only remaining American flag ships are limited to river and coastal cruisers, there wouldn't be much domestic pressure to retain the Jones Act's exclusivity, would there?
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