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Old June 25th, 2011, 08:54 AM
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I just booked an Alaskan Cruise with Princess Cruises for September next year. I have cruised on Carnival many times before, but never Princess. What are the main differences? Any tips? Thanks!!
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Old June 25th, 2011, 07:14 PM
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Princess is absolutely wonderful in ALaska...Just being in Alaska is a totally different feel in the cruise no matter what ship you are on. Food on Princess I thought was a bit better than Carnival and I love the 24 hour HOrizon Buffet. It is also very good for dinner if you miss you dinner time.

Service was excellent along with the entertainment, although compared to Carnival, they have a more lively kind of entertainment. Be sure to attend the Champagne waterfall on one of the formal evenings, check the Princess platter for day and time.

I think you will find it quiet at night compared to Carnival, but still things to do. Also, when cruising in Alaska, most days you will have excursions at the ports, so you won't be up that late.

I bet you absolutely love your Alaska cruise... Which ship are you booked on? What port do you sail out of too?
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Old June 25th, 2011, 09:19 PM
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Talking Princess

We love Alaska and we love Princess!

One major tip for Princess ships -- do not miss dinner at Sabatini's! This is a great experience!


Check our reports of many Princess cruises and many Alaska cruises at
Cruising with the Halls
And Alaska on Princess at http://users.elite.net/thehalls/sapphire.html
Have a GREAT cruise!
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Old June 26th, 2011, 04:52 AM
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Oh, thank you!!

We sail out of Seattle on the Golden Princess. My husband isn't into the club scene (I can take it or leave it), so it sounds like we'll do fine at night.

Is there a charge for the Champagne Waterfall and Sabatini's?

I was already looking at the excursions and there are a good variety!!

Thanks for the help!!
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Old June 26th, 2011, 12:27 PM
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Default Sabatini's

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Originally Posted by KDGodwin View Post
Oh, thank you!!

We sail out of Seattle on the Golden Princess. My husband isn't into the club scene (I can take it or leave it), so it sounds like we'll do fine at night.

Is there a charge for the Champagne Waterfall and Sabatini's?

I was already looking at the excursions and there are a good variety!!

Thanks for the help!!
The Champagne Waterfall is just a spectator event and no charge.

Sabatini's is an extra charge, I think $20 per person.

We have a page of excursions we have enjoyed in Alaska, only a sample of the many things available. Check out our trip report and pictures at Alaska Excursions Guide
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Old June 26th, 2011, 09:07 PM
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What Donna said! Also, I'd we love "Anytime Dining" and would absolutely recommend it for an Alaska cruise.

If you book Sabatini's for dinner, do not eat anything earlier that day !

If you only "pick" at your food, don't book Sabatini's. If you LOVE Italian food, from the appetizer's all the way through the desert's, go for it !
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Old June 27th, 2011, 01:25 AM
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That's great advice, thank you both!

Fern: We requested the 6p dinner time, as we always have on Carnival. We have enjoyed sitting with the same people each night and making new friends that way. Why do you suggest the anytime dining for Alaska? It is not too late for us to change. Also, we are both "eaters", so we should be fine.

MercedMike: I looked up the Sabatini's Menu and it does look great!! Well worth the $20 cover. They have lunch hours for the day at sea... do you think that would be a good idea vs. Dinner?

Thanks again!
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Old June 27th, 2011, 11:19 AM
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Question Anytime dining

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Originally Posted by KDGodwin View Post
That's great advice, thank you both!

Fern: We requested the 6p dinner time, as we always have on Carnival. We have enjoyed sitting with the same people each night and making new friends that way. Why do you suggest the anytime dining for Alaska? It is not too late for us to change. Also, we are both "eaters", so we should be fine.

MercedMike: I looked up the Sabatini's Menu and it does look great!! Well worth the $20 cover. They have lunch hours for the day at sea... do you think that would be a good idea vs. Dinner?

Thanks again!
Dining hours are always a big question. The big advantage of anytime dining is that you don't have to rush back to the port and get ready for dinner after a big day ashore. For example, in Skagway I can remember getting back to the ship about 5:30 after having driven all day and visited the dog camp and so on. A couple of hours to relax and clean up was welcome. OTOH there might be a night when you want early dinner and the early show and off to bed so you can be up at 5 AM to watch the entry into Glacier Bay where whales are often encountered.

As far as the Sabatini's menu ... the waiter will say, "Just pick out your entree. We will bring you ALL the rest!" It is basically a tasting menu with a small serving of everything on the menu. We have never done lunch there but it should be fun too. The only thing is you will be busy on port days, and on sea days it will book up fast.

Have a GREAT cruise!
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Old June 27th, 2011, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KDGodwin View Post
That's great advice, thank you both!

Fern: We requested the 6p dinner time, as we always have on Carnival. We have enjoyed sitting with the same people each night and making new friends that way. Why do you suggest the anytime dining for Alaska? It is not too late for us to change. Also, we are both "eaters", so we should be fine.

MercedMike: I looked up the Sabatini's Menu and it does look great!! Well worth the $20 cover. They have lunch hours for the day at sea... do you think that would be a good idea vs. Dinner?

Thanks again!
We enjoy the "Anytime Dining" because we can never be sure when we'll be back from the Alaska shore excursions. Also, when you book "Anytime Dining" if you don't want to go to the Dining Room you don't have an obligation to notify your other tablemates.

JMHO,
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Carnival Inspiration 2002 Carnival Elation 2004
Grand Princess 2004 NCL Sun 2005
Sun Princess 2006 NCL Dream 2007
Caribbean Princess 2007 NCL Dawn 2008
Island Princess 2008 Island Princess 2009
Golden Princess 2009 Carnival Conquest 2010
Grand Princess 2010 Island Princess 2011
Grand Princess 2011 Carnival Magic 2012
Carnival Dream 2012 Island Princess 2013
Carnival Magic 2013 Carnival Legend 2014
Sea Princess 2014
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Old June 28th, 2011, 03:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MercedMike View Post
Dining hours are always a big question. The big advantage of anytime dining is that you don't have to rush back to the port and get ready for dinner after a big day ashore. For example, in Skagway I can remember getting back to the ship about 5:30 after having driven all day and visited the dog camp and so on. A couple of hours to relax and clean up was welcome. OTOH there might be a night when you want early dinner and the early show and off to bed so you can be up at 5 AM to watch the entry into Glacier Bay where whales are often encountered.

As far as the Sabatini's menu ... the waiter will say, "Just pick out your entree. We will bring you ALL the rest!" It is basically a tasting menu with a small serving of everything on the menu. We have never done lunch there but it should be fun too. The only thing is you will be busy on port days, and on sea days it will book up fast.

Have a GREAT cruise!
Oh, I see! Thanks!

I have only cruised with Carnival before, and there was no "anytime" dining. If I change to that, where do they seat you? Are you seated with another group that comes at the same time, or alone? Someone I work with told me they got a private table each night with "anytime".

We enjoy meeting new people, but would rather see the same faces each night. (assuming we like them and vice versa)
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Carnival Pride 04/24/2006
Carnival Pride 05/23/2004
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Old June 28th, 2011, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Fern View Post
We enjoy the "Anytime Dining" because we can never be sure when we'll be back from the Alaska shore excursions. Also, when you book "Anytime Dining" if you don't want to go to the Dining Room you don't have an obligation to notify your other tablemates.

JMHO,
Very true! Thank you!
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Old June 28th, 2011, 01:53 PM
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Talking Anytime

Quote:
Originally Posted by KDGodwin View Post
Oh, I see! Thanks!

I have only cruised with Carnival before, and there was no "anytime" dining. If I change to that, where do they seat you? Are you seated with another group that comes at the same time, or alone? Someone I work with told me they got a private table each night with "anytime".

We enjoy meeting new people, but would rather see the same faces each night. (assuming we like them and vice versa)
Anytime dining is like restaurant dining. You walk up to the headwaiter and ask for what you want. If you go at the busiest times and insist on a table for two with a particular waiter, you will likely have a long wait. If you go at a less busy time and are willing to share with any size table you usually breeze right in. There is also supposedly a "reservation" system but we have rarely had any luck with that. They book all the reservations they will take very early on.

Honestly, a table for two usually bores us. We enjoy the conversation with tablemates. In anytime, you don't get the same table mates every night, which can be unfortunate or can be a blessing! Conversation tends to be, "Where are you from?", "Is this your first cruise?", "See you around goodbye." But you miss out on the risk of getting stuck with some horrible bore or worse obscene slob for the whole week.

If you are really really particular, make reservations for the week the minute you walk on the ship and you can probably get what you want.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MercedMike View Post
Anytime dining is like restaurant dining. You walk up to the headwaiter and ask for what you want. If you go at the busiest times and insist on a table for two with a particular waiter, you will likely have a long wait. If you go at a less busy time and are willing to share with any size table you usually breeze right in. There is also supposedly a "reservation" system but we have rarely had any luck with that. They book all the reservations they will take very early on.

Honestly, a table for two usually bores us. We enjoy the conversation with tablemates. In anytime, you don't get the same table mates every night, which can be unfortunate or can be a blessing! Conversation tends to be, "Where are you from?", "Is this your first cruise?", "See you around goodbye." But you miss out on the risk of getting stuck with some horrible bore or worse obscene slob for the whole week.

If you are really really particular, make reservations for the week the minute you walk on the ship and you can probably get what you want.

I see. Thank you! We really aren't picky, just trying to decide what is best for us based on our options. I think we've decided to go with the 6pm dining. We also are for sure going to try Sabatini's one night. Thanks again!

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Carnival Elation 11/02/2009
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Carnival Pride 05/23/2004
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