Originally posted by penny3333: Here is a link to our pictures from the Emerald Princess, which is a sister ship to the Caribbean Princess. I will be on the Caribbean Princess for the cruise after fllady, so will post some pictures from that when I return on the 4th. It will probably be more like the 10th before they're posted, but I'll let you know. We've sailed on Royal, NCL, Carnival, Costa, HAL, and Princess, so far, to me, Princess does it best. I thought the soda sticker was about $6/day, but someone posted that it was $3.95/day. I don't drink enough soda to make it worth it. There is tea, coffee, juice, punch, and milk to drink for free. Soda by the can is $1.50 plus 15% gratuity. Drinks range from $4.50 up. I believe beer is $3.50/bottle. You can purchase wine in the dining room by the bottle, what you don't drink they will hold for you until the next evening. If you select the Personal Choice dining, you can go to the dining room when you are ready. If there is a line, they will give you a beeper like they do in restaurants and it will go off when a table becomes available. If you select the regular dining option, you have a choice of main or late seating. Also, any night you do not want to dress for dinner, you can go to the buffet (they still require a shirt and shoes at the buffet). The Skywalker Lounge is a great spot to view the ports, as well as a fun place in the evening. Best wishes and have a wonderful cruise!
It must be something new that the forward pool is a quiet zone. Is that pool limited for "sanctuary customers" only? I believe on the Caribbean Princess it was called the Lotus pool & there wasn't a sign. It's fine by me as the main pool can get to much at times with the music, announcements, kids yelling, etc. Nice photo's- We'll be on the Emerald in Dec.
I think the lap pool was open, we didn't go in it. I didn't see many people in it though, so it might have been a part of the Sanctuary, but I don't think so. I went up to the Sanctuary quite a few times and they didn't kick me out. I didn't sit down, just took some pictures and walked around. I even had a glass of water that I helped myself to. I didn't know you had to pay to use the Sanctuary. No one said anything to me for getting a glass of water though. It's a great area, especially pulling into/or out of port. Beautiful views! Be sure to try the gelato at the International Cafe on the Plaza deck when you're on the Emerald. Yummy-3 scoops for $1.50. They also have sandwiches and deserts during the day that are free and some that you can purchase.
The Cruise Answer Book still describes the Hotel and Dining charge as "discretionary" so I assume that means you still have control over it.
But I think most of us consider the automatic charge a bare minimum. Only poor service would rate less than the minimum. And you should address poor service immediately with a department head and not wait until the end of the cruise to express your displeasure with a reduced tip that penalizes everybody.
It might get a little choppy (no guarantees) & I've always found the temps to be on the cool side for the first 2 days. A sweat shirt would be fine for an early morning walk around the deck. We brought our bathing suits one year & didn't use them on the ship at all. There will be some adults swimming but not many - mostly kids.