These posts have been very helpful to read and have answered many questions I have about our cruise - Thankyou!! My Husband and I are leaving (assuming my passport arrives in time!!!) for London July 13th and will cruise on the Sea Princess 7/14-21. We are first time cruisers and our travel Agent hasn't been very helpful (I was determined to get on this ship and it was 95% booked and I called around until someone could get us a cabin.) I have never met her in person but the conversations we have had on the phone, she seems quite young and the only cruise she has been on is a 3 nighter from Southern CA. to Mexico. I'm hoping to find someone who is familiar with the ports we are going to:
We will also be staying in London 4 nights after our cruise and would love any suggestions for good eats/sights (we are staying in the St. James area @ The Crown Plaza).
Question 1 - In Amsterdam, there are 2 excursions I would like to go on. One is from 3:15-6:45 (Canals & Van Gogh Museum) and the next one is from 8:15-10:15 (Red light district.) Is there enough time between tours? How do I get from one to the other?
Question 2 - Is there any way of knowing when the formal nights are ahead of time?
Question 3 - My Husband and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary on board. Our travel agent made note of this on our cruise info. Will they be doing something that will embarress me?
Question 4 - since this ship is leaving from London - do we tip in US dollars or pounds (we will probably simplify our lives and deal withit by charge card at the end... but still curious!)
Question 5 - The weather report has shown it to be in the 60s in London. How should I pack for this cruise/ trip?? Too cold for the pool?
Question 6 - We are on the Emerald deck E327. It is mid ship but I just discovered the night club is either 1 level above or below our cabin. Should I be worried?????
Eough questions for now!
Thanks in advance!
It's obvious you're excited about your cruise from all the questions. That's great.
1. Coordinating your excursions will be the job of the cruiseline. If you book two different ones and there is a conflict in the times they will notify you and give you an oppt'y to re-book one or the other or choose which to drop if there are no others that you want.
2. The sea days on your cruise are Monday the 16th and Friday the 20th. These will almost certainly be your formal nights. They plan them that way so you don't feel rushed or exhausted from excursions and can prepare at your leisure to attend.
3. They will do something for your celebration, happy anniversary by the way. It varries slightly from line to line and sometimes from ship to ship. A balloon or flower boquet in your cabin, a special desert delivered to your cabin, something similar in most cases. Nothing major or embarrasing. Around half the passengers will be celebrating something onboard. Cruises are what people do for anniversaries, birthdays, honeymoons, graduations, etc.
4. tips will be in U.S. dollars unless you booked with an agency in another country. Whatever currency you used to pay for the cruise is what the grats will come off in. Using the CC is wise.
5. Bring a wind breaker with a hood that also repells water. Everything else is common sense packing for the temp you described. If it rains and you get soaked, you'll be miserable. Keeping dry is priority one.
6. Why worry, there are no more cabins at this point, that sailing is sold out. That means there is nothing you can do about it. No need to worry about things you can't control. Bring some ear plugs just in case noise is a problem. My brother in law used to be an airline mechanic and worked on jets in the military before that. He sent me a supply of ear plugs they use around jet engines and they work. Don't know where you can find them at stores but I'll bet someone here will know. they also have good ones at gun/shooting supply stores. Just go prepared.
Krysta, congratulations on your anniversary and cruise! Welcome to Cruise-chat. The Sea is my favorite ship from the Princess fleet, so far that is, we're scheduled to sail on the Emerald in November, Lord willing. I do take ear plugs with me, not for the noise from the clubs, but for my hubby's snoring. I honestly have had no trouble with noise in any location we've been in. We've been on the Aloha, Caribe, and Baja decks. Once in a while you might hear someone walking down the halls if they've had a few too many, but that's about it. Normally for a celebration, Princess will put balloons on your door and bring you an awesome desert cake in the dining room. They will usually sing Happy Anniversary/Birthday/etc. to you. We hope you will be visiting the site as an addicted member like the rest of us! Best wishes.
Krysta, if you wish that they NOT sing happy anniversary to you - in other words, if any of the special attentions mentioned above will be embarrassing to you, you can ask your TA to take the anniversary notation off your record. There are many quiet ways you can celebrate your anniversary; one of the best might be to make a reservation for dinner that evening in one of the alternate restaurants onboard, then take in a show or spend the evening in a lounge that appeals most to you. I'd suggest a stroll on the deck, but that can be windy and cool a lot of times!
We stayed in the Crowne Plaza four years ago. It's a marvelous location. We enjoyed walking around the area, particularly the two nearby gardens (St. James Park and Green Park). It was also a nice walk to the Houses of Parliament, and a more leisurely walk to Trafalgar Square -- and of course, Buckingham Palace is close by. We also thought the Imperial War museum wonderful--this one required a ride on the subway, but it was very easy to get around.
We found the restaurant in the hotel quite good. There are also some great pubs in the area--the hotel concierge can be helpful in this regard.
Other than London, I haven't been to any of your ports, although I will be in Amsterdam within the next couple of weeks. The advice from TrvlPro was right on in that Princess will let you know if there is not enough time between the tours. Meeting places will be indicated on your excursion tickets. From my research, the areas you mention are not all that far apart, and there is also a tram system that can take you from one point to another if you'd rather not walk it. You may have to grab a quick bite to eat along the way.
You've picked a real winner for your first cruise. Enjoy, and happy anniversary!
My husband and I have been on 8 Princess cruises. First of all, you do not have to be worried about tipping. Princess charges you $10 per person per day and that covers everyone in the dining room and the room steward. On a 7-day cruise there is one formal night, you can find out as soon as you board the ship. Often it is the evening of the day you have been at sea, that way people can have their hair done, etc....not necessary.
If your agent turned in your anniversary information the staff will post balloons by your stateroom door at some point in the trip closest to the date. They used to give you a little cake at dinner (which is excellent if you like chocolate).
Certainly bring a bathing suit, although I haven't been on the SeaPrincess, many of their ships have several pool areas, at least one with a retractable glass roof. Bring a light windbreaker and carry a small umbrella daily.
You are not tipping in London if it involves any transportation associated with Princess. You might want to give a Euro or two if you are on a full day off ship tour and the guide was excellent.
Unless you go to bed early, I don't think you will have much noise. We were above the theater one year and mid-afternoon you could hear a muffled rehearsal.
London-You get walk and walk easily around London or take the tube, which is very easy. Go to The Tower of London-beefeaters give fabulous tours and you can see the royal jewels. If Buckingham Palace is open take the tour, if not go for the changing of the guard, make sure you are there before 11:30 a.m.. Go to Westminster Abbey, take the London Eye (huge ferris wheel for a fabulous view), visit the British Museum (make sure you see the Egyptian section and the Rosetta Stone) and the new British Museum Library (see original printed stuff-Gutenberg printing press, original Beatles stuff, etc.
As for Amsterdam, they will bring you back to the ship and start the next tour from there. Yes you have time, but as soon as you get on double check with the tour desk. You can cancel any side trip at least 48 hours in advance.
Copenhagen is fabulous. If you are a walker you can walk from the dock to the center of town. The Rosenbourg Castle is good and there is an American who give tours on the grounds while dressed up. There is a corkscrew shaped church roof-400 steps to the top that's cool. The mermaid statue sadly is a waste because of the litter, the way the light bounces off of it-bad for photos- and the hourdes of people climbing on top of it at any given time. There is a great WWII Resistance Museum. The main shopping mall/walking area is very good. There are two Rosenthal china shops on the Stutgaard and the one closest to the statue of Hans Christian Anderson has a summer sale on Orrefors crystal every summer. As for Tivoli Gardens, it is a huge block square amusement park. Don't do the rides, but walk around and enjoy a meal.
Lastly, I recommend Jeff from Best Cruises, who can be reached at www.bestcruises.com. He's in NJ but deals with the entire US via his 800 #. Because he books so many cruises, many other agents can't touch his prices, they are way under and no one can beat them.
If you are thinking of another cruise, book a "hold" while you are onboard. You get extra shipboard credit, and only need to put down $100 pp, plus it is good for 4 yrs and you don't have to pick a destination.
Thank you so much everyone for your helpful suggestions!
My passport FINALLY arrived in the mail today (I think it had something to do with calling the office of our local congress man asking for help - it arrived less than 24 hours later!)
I now have a fallow up question. I would like to take another cruise to Mexico February 2008. Sorority Chick - you mentioned something about holding a cruise and getting ship credit - what is that? Credit to apply towards drinks and other services while on-board our current cruise?
Krysta, while you're onboard your cruise they will give you the oppt'y to purchase a future cruise credit. If you love cruising and want to go again, I'm pretty sure that'll be the case, buy the FCC. You'll get your money paid credited toward your next cruise and some onboard credit, how much depends on how many nights your next cruise itin is. Onboard credit can be applied to your gratuities, drinks, purchases at the shops onboard, etc. It's money.
If you have a travel agent you want to work with again next time, just let them know you have the FCC and they can take care of things for you as well and apply the credits for you.