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Old October 6th, 2004, 01:01 PM
Christina M
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Default Disapointmet in cuts on arrival and departure times

Hi everyone,

My fiance and I will be going on our first cruise (and honeymoon) on the Dawn Princess on Oct.24th to the western carribean. I have just looked at the princess website and noted the times on our itinerary have been cut. It is a ten day cruise and we were supposed to stop at cozumel, grand cayman, ochos rios, st.thomas, st.marten, and princess cays. Princess cays has been changed to a day at sea, which I understand due to all the damage to the island. The rest of the itinerary has had the times changed and we have lost at least 2 hours in each port, except for Grand Cayman. I know we won't be stopping in Grand Cayman due to all of the damage it sustained, but princess reps. still insist we will be stopping!!! I inquired with princess as to why they have cut our times in the few ports left on our schedule and couldn't get a straight answer out of them. Has anyone else ever had the times on their itineraries cut between booking and sailing? We have scheduled a couple of our own excursions and I don't think we will have any extra time to shop in some ports. As a first time cruiser I am becoming very disappointed in the whole process, especially after putting out so much money! I guess I am just venting and looking to share my grief with someone else.

Christina
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Old October 6th, 2004, 02:11 PM
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Default Re: Disapointmet in cuts on arrival and departure times

We're due to sail on the Dawn in December (our first cruise and same itinery). We're very disappointed to find eXactly the same, port time cut and Princess Cay replaced by day at sea and Grand Cayman could still be a no go ) Does this always happen with cruises? I can understand weather etc can cause problems but surely some sort of alternative could be offered even if its say two days instead of one in St Thomas.
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Old October 6th, 2004, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: Disapointmet in cuts on arrival and departure times

It is not as simple as just deciding to go to another port. First of all, distances have to be calculated (can you get there without putting the rest of the itinerary into shambles); second will there be a spot available at the alternative port (ports can only handle a limited number of ships - can't overwhelm the infrastructure of the islands and the capabilities of the port to handle the ships and passengers.) Also, some supplies are taken on at port, and you have to arrange for the supplies to be shipped there, etc.

I understand the frustration of picking a cruise because of an itinerary and then having it changed significantly. But, this has been a highly unusual year as far as hurricanes are concerned and it has caused many cruise lines to scramble to replace/revise itineraries. Front line phone reps of the cruise lines are usually the last to know about changes to itineraries and scheduled replacements. As for the conflicting information about Grand Cayman, it is because the cruise lines may be getting conflicting information about just when the port may be reopened to cruise ships.

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Old October 6th, 2004, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: Re: Disapointmet in cuts on arrival and departure times

>I understand the frustration of picking a cruise because of an itinerary and then having it changed significantly. But, this has been a highly unusual year as far as hurricanes are concerned and it has caused many cruise lines to scramble to replace/revise itineraries.<

That might explain it for the Caribbean but Princess is also shorting the Island Princess arrival port in Hilo, HI and the last port, Kauai with no explanations. It is my contention that they are slowing down the ships to save fuel costs as the price of oil is skyrocketing but I have nothing to confirm it.

Frank-in-CA
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Old October 6th, 2004, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Disapointmet in cuts on arrival and departure ti

Cruise lines also could be cutting down their times in ports to save on the cost of port charges. Cheaper to cruise then to sit in port.
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Old October 6th, 2004, 08:41 PM
kk
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Default Re: Disapointmet in cuts on arrival and departure times

The Dawn Princess has an engine out and that is why there is so much time changes in the ports. I think everyone has been fairly reimbursed for the changes. We have 4 stops on a 10 day cruise next week. This is fine by me.

I have heard on other boards that ships ae stopping at Grand Cayman then week. DO not know lines or ships or even if it is true, but the rumor is out there. That could be why you are not getting a straight answer on that.
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Old October 6th, 2004, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: Disapointmet in cuts on arrival and departure times

We were on the CP for the first extended cruise. When we first got the news that we'd stay over-night at Cozumel, our waiter mentioned that it was the first time this had happened in his 4,5 years working on a cruise ship. The remaining extra days were spent at sea. So this year's hurricane season, and the resulting changes are not typical.
We also did not know that the itineay was changed from Eastern to Western Caribbean, until we arrived at FLL the day of the cruise. So I wouldn't rule out a last minute change

I think it's better spending time at sea especially since just about all the islands are effected in some way ; no waking up early, no planning excursions, no worring about returning on time, just a chance to relax on the ship.
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Old October 6th, 2004, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: Disapointmet in cuts on arrival and departure times

I guess I can understand the neccessity for changes because of the hurricanes, but I've never heard of the port times being shortened in every port. I've been sailing for 15 years and have never had this happen on one of my cruises. Christina, I'm sorry you are experiencing this on your first sailing. It sure makes the entire process seem not so straight forward. Let me assure you, when you cruise outside of hurricane season (especially the late winter/early spring) things go much smoother. I know that doesn't help for this cruise, but I do hope you won't rule out future cruises based on these hickups. Enjoy your honeymoon for what it is...a vacation from the usual stresses of life! Congratulations.
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Old October 7th, 2004, 01:03 AM
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Default Re: Disapointmet in cuts on arrival and departure times

Christina M, We are also disappointed in the cuts. We are sailing on the Dawn Dec. 13 for a 10 day cruise to the southern carribean. We chose this itinerary last June because of the number and varied ports of call. The hurricane season has probably caused Princess to cancel 2 of the 6 stops (Princess Cays, Margarita) due to weather related damage. I can understand the port cancellations but I am puzzled as well by the reduced time in the remaining ports of call. We are travelling the same route with 2 less ports so why the fewer hours in the ports we are visiting? This obviously has nothing to do with restocking logistics. The suggestion of slower sailing speeds to save fuel seems plausible, perhaps reduced port fees as well. It does concern me if the Dawn is still sailing in hurricane season with a failed engine?? I personally don't consider a $300 shipboard credit for 2 people an adequate reimbursement (not cashback but a shipboard credit) for a $3000 cruise price. We will have to cancel an excursion in Margarita but that can't be helped. We will keep our fingers crossed in the hope that Princess will arrange for another/alternate port of call by the time Dec. rolls around.

Do you suppose it is just coincidental that Princess announced the itinerary changes to our cruise the day after the final payment date had passed??

I am sure there will be many cruisers that will enjoy the extra days at sea. We enjoy going ashore. That said however we have every intention of thoroughly enjoying our vacation regardless of the number of stops we make.

happy cruising Christina...... make the most of your honeymoon cruise... Congratulations.
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Old October 7th, 2004, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: Disapointmet in cuts on arrival and departure times

My TA claims that she has gone to senior levels of Princess' management about the two Hawaii ports with shortened port times and the only reason she is getting is a bureacratic answer of ""Operational and Proprietary Reasons".

BTW, I wasn't aware that port charges varied by time. One would think that merchants woujld want a ship to be in port as long as possible to increase their ability to make more sales?
Frank-in-CA
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Old October 8th, 2004, 06:48 AM
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Default Re: Disapointmet in cuts on arrival and departure times

We are going on the Star in November, it is our first Princess cruise (and honeymoon as well). So far there have been no changes to our ports or their times. We are still listed as going to Princess Cay and to Grand Cayman. I am expecting last minute changes, especially if they are not able to get the islands up and tourist ready by the time Nov 7 comes around. I really don't want another day at sea, we would rather stay longer or goto another port if possible. We live in the hurricane state and have plenty of time at sea when we go on our boat. Christina enjoy your cruise and have a great wedding and honeymoon!

Karen
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Old October 8th, 2004, 07:31 AM
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Default Re: Re: Disapointmet in cuts on arrival and departure times

I go in Jan 02, let us know where you go cause we are courious too.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: Re: Disapointmet in cuts on arrival and departure times

Dawn has an engine out? Do they have that scheduled to be repaired?
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Old October 11th, 2004, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: Disapointmet in cuts on arrival and departure times

she goes in dry doc november 3 so they say.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 08:05 PM
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Default Re: Re: Disapointmet in cuts on arrival and departure times

You may want to visit www.cruisecritic.com as this subject has been discussed in depth. The Dawn was scheduled to go into drydock in early November to replace an engine (in Freeport). However due to hurricane damage at Freeport the drydock has been cancelled. The Dawn has been cutting ports and shortening time in port because of its slower transit time with the bum engine for some time now. My cruise is on December 13 and it seems that through April at least this is going to continue (based on input from travelers who are booked on those cruises). Princess keeps saying it's "operational reasons" but the general concensus of those who have experience with this type of thing is that it's just a matter of the cancelled drydock. After final payment, I'm not sure if there is anything a traveler can do.

Someone mentioned that merchants would want to keep the ships in port for as long as possible. True; but consider that the longer the ship is at sea, the more the passengers are going to spend ON the ship at the casino, bars, gift shops, dutyfree shop, spa, etc. So, as Princess sets the agenda, it is greatly in their favor to shorten time in ports. I think Princess could be a little more forthcoming with information to their customers. It seems they are hiding behind the truth.
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Old October 16th, 2004, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: Disapointmet in cuts on arrival and departure times

>Someone mentioned that merchants would want to keep the ships in port for as long as possible. True; but consider that the longer the ship is at sea, the more the passengers are going to spend ON the ship at the casino, bars, gift shops, dutyfree shop, spa, etc. So, as Princess sets the agenda, it is greatly in their favor to shorten time in ports. I think Princess could be a little more forthcoming with information to their customers. It seems they are hiding behind the truth.<

I agree, I wish Princess would be more forthcoming with information. In our case, I can't see them wanting to keep us at sea any longer as we will be spending 5 days at sea just getting from LA to Hawaii, hitting 5 ports in 5 days and then spending another 5 sea days on the return. It just doesn't make sense. It also is disingenuous to cut short the port times to save port costs. We pay a pretty price for these cruises even though they are a good value. If it costs a few bucks more, add it to the ticket price. No one would probably notice.
Frank-in-CA
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Old October 19th, 2004, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Disapointmet in cuts on arrival and departure times

From what I have read on other boards it would seem that port times have been shortened because while the Dawn can sail just fine on three engines she sails at a slower rate and it takes her longer to sail from port to port, thus the shorter times in port. As for the shorter times after the drydock it has also been reported that the new engine will require a breaking in period before it will be used at normal capacity. As I stated this is what I have seen posted on other websites, while it seems to be a reasonable explanation I can't vouch for the accurracy.
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Old October 23rd, 2004, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: Disapointmet in cuts on arrival and departure times

We are on the March 5th cruise to Hawaii and as of 5 minutes ago my cruise personalizer still shows us with the same time in docking and departing without any changes. Kona 9-7,Hilo 8-6, Honalulu 8-4,Kauai 8-6. Lahaina 8-4. I have read where they are changing the times for the March 20th cruise and some before our cruise which makes me think that the time is a factor for the time changes. I'm sure my TA would have let me know along with my personalizer if it was changed.

Mike
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