Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Cruise Port Presentations by Vickie Bowne

If you are a cruiser and haven't checked out vickieandbernietravel.blogspot.com, you need to! Vickie blogs all about Princess Cruises but also has a TON of port information for cruisers. She was also the South America destination expert for the Royal Princess, will be a Port Lecturer for a South American sailing on the Celebrity Eclipse, and then a Port Lecturer on a Mediterranean sailing on the Island Princess. She is a busy lady! 

Vickie has also started adding her ship lectures to her blog and YouTube. Check them out!


Thanks for sharing your talents with the world, Vickie!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

How to Get to the Promenade Deck on the Royal Princess

If you're considering a cruise on the Royal Princess but are concerned there is no Promenade Deck, don't worry. There is! You'll find six doors leading to outside seating. But those doors are a bit hidden. Take a look at my video where I'll show you how to find those somewhat-secret doors!


Want try out a Princess Cruise? Contact me! I'm a Princess Commodore, the highest level of Princess Cruises expert there is in the travel agent world, and an official Princess Alaska Expert. Let me help you put together a cruise suited just for you. Click right here to let me know what you're looking for. I look forward to working with you!

How to Get from Anchorage, Alaska to the Whittier, Alaska Cruise Port

Looking for your transportation options when cruising Alaska with Princess Cruises? If you are doing a northbound or southbound Alaskan cruise with Princess, take a look at this video of how to get to and from the Whittier, Alaska cruise port.


Want try out a Princess Cruise? Contact me! I'm a Princess Commodore, the highest level of Princess Cruises expert there is in the travel agent world, and an official Princess Alaska Expert. Let me help you put together a cruise suited just for you. Click right here to let me know what you're looking for. I look forward to working with you!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Handicap Accessible Balcony Cruise Ship Cabin on the Royal Princess


We recently stayed in a handicap accessible balcony cabin on the Royal Princess. For those wanting to know what these cabins look like, I've got plenty of photos for you. This particular cabin is A303 on the starboard side of the ship and is designated as a BB cabin. We've also stayed in A302 on the port side and the cabin set up is exactly the same. These cabins can accommodate up to four passengers with upper berths. The bunk beds are fully recessed into the ceiling and cause no obstruction at all.

I've added a couple notes about some of the features of the cabin with corresponding pictures.
 Both sides of the bed have double drawers so there is plenty of storage within reach.
 Two chairs and a table are in the cabin but can be moved out of the way, if needed.
There is a nice sized enclosed closet. In one of our cabins we found the ladder to the bunk bed in the closet. The ladder kept falling towards our clothes quite often. In our other cabin, the steward had removed the ladder so it didn't get in our way.
Next to the enclosed closet is a cabinet with shelves and the safe. As we had plenty of drawer storage easily accessible next to the bed we found we rarely used these shelves.
  Just like with all Princess cabins, the small refrigerator was within a cabinet.
The bathroom was spacious and having plenty of grab bars was a big plus.
The sink was a bit smaller than what we've come to expect on the Royal Princess and the storage space wasn't ideal as the shelves were high and smaller.
The bar separating the toilet from the shower could be lowered and raised as needed.
The shower had a bench that could be raised or lowered as well. 
Even the shower head height was adjustable.
The back of the bathroom door had a grab bar and there were knobs for hanging clothes at two different heights.
As this was a balcony cabin they had made adjustments to make it accessible.
 First, the carpeted area just inside the cabin had a gradual slope to it.
 With a ramp to the balcony.
The ramp is only down when the door is completely opened. There is a piece at the bottom of the balcony door that, when closed, moves the ramp up.
 When the balcony door is completely closed, the ramp's edge is folded up against the door.
While narrow like the other balconies on Royal Class ships, the balcony for this accessible BB cabin is longer than most.
The railing has a second railing attached to it. This closer railing was narrower and made it much easier to grab when trying to get up out of the balcony chairs.
The balcony is completely covered but you can see the Skywalk and the Bridge from the edge.
We were happy with the accommodations this cabin provided. Remember, if you are booking an accessible cabin with Princess you will be required to fill out paperwork to show your need for such a cabin.

Because of hubby's cerebral palsy and difficulty with mobility and the steps into the bathroom and shower in the standard cabins, we probably could have been requesting accessible cabins for all our past cruises. We never once have, wanting to leave them for someone who needs them more than he does. Even these accessible cabins in the photos were not requested by us. (We booked guarantee cabins at the very last minute and these were the cabins we were assigned to us.) However, for the first time ever we have asked for an accessible cabin for an upcoming mini suite booking. (As an FYI on minisuites - they have a tub/shower combo. As hubby's unable to climb over a tub to get into a shower, an accessible cabin was our only option.) I will be posting photos of that cabin next month.

Want try out a Princess Cruise? Contact me! I'm a Princess Commodore, the highest level of Princess Cruises expert there is in the travel agent world, and an official Princess Alaska Expert. Let me help you put together a cruise suited just for you. Click right here to let me know what you're looking for. I look forward to working with you!

Friday, September 6, 2019

An Interview with First-Time Cruisers on Princess Cruises

Looking for advice for (and from) first-time cruisers? Join me for another interview with 11 year old Emily and her mom as they share what they've learned after taking their first Princess cruise.

Click on the icon below to have a listen:

Ready to take your first Princess cruise? Contact me! I'm a Princess Commodore, the highest level of Princess Cruises expert there is in the travel agent world, and an official Princess Alaska Expert. Let me help you put together a cruise suited just for you and your family! Click right here to let me know what you're looking for. I look forward to working with you!
Deb

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Onboard Activities for Princess Cruises Kid's Clubs

Here is where you'll find the onboard activities provided for kids aged 3-17 on Princess Cruises. While these are specific to Alaska, they should give you an idea of the variety of activities and experiences provided for kids on Princess Cruises.

If you haven't had a chance to hear my interview with a parent and child as they shared their experiences with the kids club on Princess, take a listen by clicking on the description below:


The Beach House for ages 13-17.

Want your kids to try out the kid's club on Princess Cruises? Contact me! I'm a Princess Commodore, the highest level of Princess Cruises expert there is in the travel agent world, and an official Princess Alaska Expert. Let me help you put together a cruise suited just for you and your family! Click right here to let me know what you're looking for. I look forward to working with you!
Deb

All About the Kid's Club on Princess Cruises

Are you interested in knowing more about the kid's clubs on Princess Cruises? Take a listen to 11 year old Emily as she tells me all about her experiences. Click on the icons below to go straight to Part 1 and Part 2 of the interview. 


If you are looking to see what kinds of activities may be happening during the week for each age group, take a look at the onboard listings from a recent Alaska cruise:
Camp Discovery - The Tree House, ages 3-7.
Camp Discovery - The Lodge for ages 8-12.
The Beach House for ages 13-17.

Emily also shared photos of some the crafts she made. Thanks, Emily!


Want your kids to try out the kid's club on Princess Cruises? Contact me! I'm a Princess Commodore, the highest level of Princess Cruises expert there is in the travel agent world, and an official Princess Alaska Expert. Let me help you put together a cruise suited just for you and your family! Click right here to let me know what you're looking for. I look forward to working with you!
Deb

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Royal Princess Turnaround Day in Vancouver, August 31

Hello from a cloudy/sunny/cloudy day in Vancouver. After being in chilly Alaska, the warmer temperatures here feel just outstanding.

Moving cabins was easy, as usual. The things from the drawers went back into our suitcase and all our clothes stayed on hangers. We left our cabin at 8 and let our cabin steward know we were heading out. He contacted his supervisor and when the new cabin was ready they moved our things for us. By the time we got back from our face-to-face with US Customs and Border Protection our new room was ready. We moved straight across the ship from the starboard to port side on the same deck. Everything is in the same exact place in the new cabin so it's like we are in the same cabin. Just have to remember to turn left, not right, when getting off the elevator. Next cruise we go back to our original cabin so we'll be back to turning right instead of left. (Good thing I'm not directionally challenged. I won't comment on hubby's sense of direction.)

While the move when smoothly, the in-transit process in Vancouver is most definitely the day's everything-isn't-always-perfect-in-the-cruising-world Public Service Announcement. See that building right there with the flat white roof and green windows? Like right off our balcony? That's the terminal where we had to do our face-to-face. I'm not about to put anything in writing about who is to blame, but I will say we stood in line for a very long time and my phone showed we were also traipsed a mile through that building before we could get back on the ship.
But we'll forget about that and focus on the good. This week my husband is hitting his 500th day with Princess. The celebration started with the flowers that were delivered to the cabin and continued with the chocolate covered strawberries and champagne. Eat the strawberries, give the champagne to someone we know on the ship is the plan. From the experience we had when I celebrated my 500 days a couple months back I know it'll be a good week.
Our ship is leaving Vancouver super-late because of the tides and the ship needing to fit under the Lions Gate Bridge. Instead of leaving at 4pm or so today we'll be leaving tomorrow morning around 1 am. All passengers still have to be on board by 5pm but the crew get to stay out until 11pm. Yay for the crew! But because of our super-late departure again this cruise our call to Ketchikan will be cut short.
A beautiful night in Vancouver

I won't be blogging live these next two weeks unless something comes up but I will be working on some new videos and articles. By the end of these next two weeks I hope to have the following information/videos/audio posted on the blog:

  • Interview with 11 year old Emily about the kids club on Princess Cruises.
  • The interview with Emily and her mom about what they learned as first time cruisers, their impression of Princess, and of the Ocean Medallion. 
  • Ordering food, drink, and services through the Ocean Now section of the TV and through the app.
  • Information on Ocean Compass - how to add passengers into the messaging system, find traveling companions around the ship, and directions on how to find your own way around
  • Demonstration of the Play Ocean portals
  • Cabin tour of a handicapped balcony stateroom
  • Ways to get from Anchorage to Whittier, including how the Egan Convention Center staging area works
  • Review of Crown Grill
  • How to find those somewhat secret doors on deck 7
  • An interview with Matt O', Cruise Director Extraordinaire (I hope!)
  • And probably something else I can't think of as I sit here with my feet up on the bed typing this.

Yikes! Now that I look at that list I'm not sure I can get all those things posted in two weeks, especially with the speed and reliability of MedallionNet in Alaska. But I'll try!

Alaskan cruise number 19 and 20 here we come...

Want to find out more about what to do in Alaskan ports?
Check out my Cruising Alaska resources: