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Old 01-27-2007, 04:33 PM
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Hello!

This is the best cruise community I've found so far in my young search.

I'd sure appreciate some help with questions for our first time cruising family. We're doing the Alaska cruise from Seattle this June and have lots of questions. Maybe some of the veterans can help...

1) We're not fancy people and hate formal affairs, expensive restaurants. We're happy with the buffet, burger and pizza joint, etc. I keep hearing about "formal nights" and have no desire to do those. From what I hear we're okay on those nights as long as we're not planning on visiting the main dining room (or surcharge restaurants), right?

2) Should we buy the travel insurance from Princess or do you have suggestions on others? I'm especially concerned about the medical evaculation/care given a health concern from last year (as a precaution...).

3) Any suggestions on whether or not to use the Princess bus to and from the airport? We're arriving at 8:30 am, three people, probably four pieces of luggage (won't fit in a typical cab).

3a) Related to the last question, what do we do with our luggage all day before being allowed on the boat? Or perhaps a better question is, how early can we check our luggage with the cruise line?

That's enough for now.

I appreciate your help.
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Old 01-27-2007, 04:53 PM
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In answer to your question on formal night, you do you have to dress formal unless you enter the main dining room. You can eat elsewhere on the ship and just wear you casual clothes. As far as the transfer from the airport to the ship. I have always purchased a transfer from Princess. You retrive your luggage from baggage claim at the airport and a representative from Princess is there to greet you. You follow this person to the bus, the bus driver puts your luggage onto the bus and the next time you see your luggage is at your room on the ship. When you arrive dockside, you are process and allowed onto the ship. It is nice to go through this process and not have to bother with your luggage. We have cruised to Alaska 3 times on Princess and have loved every moment. The beauty of Alaska has always brought us back. Happy Sailing.......
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Old 01-27-2007, 07:35 PM
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Hello jajordan and welsome to cruise-chat;
allow me to just add a little to what Carol61 said (hi Carol61!)
You sound a little like you are put off by the "formal" in formal night; you shouldn't be. I assume you will be having dinner in the dining room on other nights; well "formal nights" aren't THAT much different. Sure, there will be some tuxes and white dinner jackets and some long gowns; but there will be lots of dark suits and ties (me) and basic black dresses with a little tasteful jewelry (my wife); and we never feel out of place.

I guess what I am saying is, the formal nights are a lot of fun--very festive--the dining room staff is even more jovial than usual, and the menu is usually special (lobster, prime rib).
You can have buffet, burgers and pizza all day--every day;
Formal night dosen't mean stuffy. So come on out; have fun;
don't be put off by the word "formal".

And I want to second Carol61"s advice on using the Princess
transfers; it just makes everything so much simpler.
Have a wonderful trip and let us know how it goes.
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Old 01-28-2007, 04:26 AM
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Thanks for the help.

On the formal/suit thing - It's actually the entire concept of putting a suit on while on vacation. Putting on a suit is exactly the opposite of relaxation to me. As long as I have the ability to eat elsewhere those nights I'm good.
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Old 01-28-2007, 07:53 AM
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I understand completely!
And that's one of the great things about cruising: there are options for everybody.
I wasn't trying to twist your arm; I just didn't want you to miss out on something because of a misconception.
Happy sailing!
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Old 01-28-2007, 08:50 AM
PEB PEB is offline
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1) We're not fancy people and hate formal affairs, expensive restaurants. We're happy with the buffet, burger and pizza joint, etc. I keep hearing about "formal nights" and have no desire to do those. From what I hear we're okay on those nights as long as we're not planning on visiting the main dining room (or surcharge restaurants), right?

Yes you can eat in the Buffet or get room service if you wish on Formal nights on Princess.

2) Should we buy the travel insurance from Princess or do you have suggestions on others? I'm especially concerned about the medical evaculation/care given a health concern from last year (as a precaution...).

This is up to you but let me say if you do need medical attention it would be extremely expensive on the ship or if you have to be transfered from the ship for medical reasons. If you do not want insurance from Princess there are other companies you can by the insurance from. I would highly recommend it. You may not need it but if you do it will more then pay for itself. Also if you already have medical insurance it may NOT cover you while you are traveling in other places.

3) Any suggestions on whether or not to use the Princess bus to and from the airport? We're arriving at 8:30 am, three people, probably four pieces of luggage (won't fit in a typical cab).

Transfers through the cruise line can help you relax and take care of a lot of worries on what to do with luggage and how to get to the ship. This is a good idea.

3a) Related to the last question, what do we do with our luggage all day before being allowed on the boat? Or perhaps a better question is, how early can we check our luggage with the cruise line?

Any luggage you want transfered to your room will be turned in to the longshoremen and brought to your room by the ships staff. You should keep a carry on luggage with you that holds all your valuables or any required medication because it could take a few hours before your luggage gets to your room.
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Old 01-28-2007, 10:19 AM
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Thanks for all your help, everyone.

Another question - our return flight isn't until about 4 pm. We're using the Princess transfers. How does it work on the last day and will we spend six hours at the dock or airport? I just don't know how it works that day.
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Old 01-28-2007, 01:24 PM
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I would check with Princess and see if they have any tours that you could get in Seattle that would accomodate the time difference between disembarkation and your flight. We have done this a number of time and find it a great way to pass the time as well as getting to see some additional attractions in the port city.
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Old 01-29-2007, 09:10 AM
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We have a round-trip Seatle/Alaska booked in June, and our flight is also at 4 PM on the return. We plan to take the tour Princess offers "Best of Seatle" it picks you up at the ship and drops you off at the airport. It's a great way to see the city, and not spend the whole day at the airport waiting for your flight!
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Old 02-14-2007, 06:50 PM
BJS BJS is offline
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I have to jump in here on the formal night question. For some reason people equate formal night with eating in the dining room and that is not what formal night is. The attire for the evening is suggested to be formal, as described above, and never does it say just for entry into the dining room.

Now having said that....yes it is only a suggestion for the evenings attire (just like the suggestions for attire on the other nights), yes many people feel if they eat in the Horizon court that the suggestion does not apply, and yes some dress formal for only dinner and then change into very casual attire for the shows, etc.

I often wonder why these people choose cruise lines that have formal nights or restrict jeans in the dining rooms if this is not the type of dress they wish for their cruise?

How painful is it to abide by the suggested attire for the evening? Following the suggested attire shows respect for your fellow cruisers who have choosen their cruise based on these dress suggestions.
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Future cruises:
Star Princess - Dec. 2007-Rome- TA
Crown Princess- May 2008 TA & Baltics
Pacific Princess-Nov. 2008-Holy Land & Egypt
Diamond Princess- Apr. 2009 Asia- Bangkok to Whittier
Past cruises:
Golden Princess-2007-Alaska
Sea Princess-2005 Canada/New England
Diamond Princess- 2005 Mexican Riviera
Star Princess- 2004 x2 Med. Venice to Barcelona/ Barcelona to Rome
Dawn Princess - 2004 x3- Southern Caribbean
Grand Princess- 2003 x2 W.Caribbean/ 2004 Panama
Sun Princess- 2003 Mexico
Tahitian Princess- 2003 Tahiti & Cook Islands
Royal Princess- 2003 x2- British Isles / Norwegian Fjords & Iceland
Island Princess- 2003 Panama Canal / 2007 Hawaii
Sky Princess- 2000 China & Orient
Sitmar's Fairwind - 1979 x2- Caribbean/Panama Canal
-------------------------------------------------
HAL-Amsterdam- 2004 Alaska
HAL Ryndam - 2001 x 2- S. America
------------------------------------------
Viking Spirit/Pride -2006 Budapest to Amsterdam
 
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alaska, alaskan, baggage, check, cruise, cruises, early, formal, golden, norwegian, princess, procedure, questions, time, wear

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