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Dont think they have had Norovirus since before Oct 07. I was on in Oct/nov 07 and just back from another cruise.Make sure you use hand cleanser and wash hands frequently. Unfortunately it is the bad habits of your fellow cruisers that leaves one vunerable. Re E-Mail, you can buy packages from the internet cafe for various amounts of time, otherwise I think it was 75c a minute as you are using satellite services. A cabin above the casino should be fine as casinos are not known for rowdiness !!Concentration is the name of the game though they are open late. Being above the wheelhouse bar, theatre or vista lounge can be more noisy as rehersals during the day followed by performances can be disturbing. having said that the cabins have v good sound insulation. I love Sea Princess it has a lovely atmosphere. Say hello to Beckie in Premier Cru for me! One tip, you sound like its your first cruise, you do not have to pay the $10pp a day service charge. As there is 15% added to your drinks bills etc. I have these charges deleted from our account and tip those i want to personally. 2 adults and 1 child comes to £350 over 14 days !! some cruise lines charge even more.
I agree with Macro re: tipping but the only problem with cancelling the standard tip is that the backroom boys and girls don't get a share of your individual tips to waiters etc - as I understand it they can keep these.
In Summer 2006 we followed the Sea Princess out of Southam[ton on The P & O Oriana we were headed for the Baltic the SP was headed for the Med - we were informed that the SP got as far as the Bay of Biscay and had to turn back due to an outbreak o0f norovirus! However the good news is that Princess now have a generally better Alcohol gel routine at Buffets with a crew member squirting it into your hands before letting you into the Buffet area. We certainly didn't see that onboard th QM2 this January - Cunard were very laid back as regards this, even to the extent that the gel dispensers were very often empt.
As far as is reported there have been no further outbreaks on this ship. I do note with dismay that yet another Brit is seemingly paying less than is expected as far as tips are concerned. We know all the arguments for and against the cruise lines using this method to top up remunerations but until they change this method all you are doing by withholding payment is penalising those who have no redress. My advice, as always, is if you don't want to pay that which is expected and you have had good service write to the cruise lines and complain or don't go cruising and cause hardship to those serving at sea ... Nei.
I had a cabin above the casino on both Sea Princess and Dawn Princess and didn't hear a sound on either trip.
Neil, while guests continue to "pay the staff", the cruise lines will not change their ways. They are onto a good thing, collect a fortune yearly from passengers and let the passengers top up the staffs wages. Cruise lines are laughing all the way to the ban.
Bit rich Neal telling those who object to the surcharges being imposed by cruiselines in the name of 'tipping' not to cruise. If we didnt cruise they would all be out of a job. The price we pay for a cruise is touted as being 'all in' with charges for 'extras' such as restaurants up front. These are very hidden. No amount of writing will get you anywhere. It is refusal to pay that will make a difference. If we all refused to pay then either they will pay wages commensurate with the job or they will lessen the discount they offer to cruisers - both of which is fairer to all. At the end of the day theses cruise lines are lying to us the prices they are advertising are not what is actually charged !
Have just come back from 14 nights on sea princess in the mediterranean. It was beyond all my expectations we enjoyed the ship and our time on shore, although a bit short on time ashore. We stopped the tips because we did not kow what the service would be like. Once again this was excellent so we payed more than the recommended tips because we wanted to, not because the shipping line told us to.I would love to go cruising again.