Expired Hot Deals

$59 USD 3-night Princess Cruise from LA to Vancouver - May 5 ($134 taxes included)

  • Last Updated:
  • May 15th, 2019 5:44 pm
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Oct 5, 2007
5029 posts
1242 upvotes
Toronto
maverikbc wrote:
May 13th, 2019 8:58 pm
Has anybody here gotten on this deal?
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Mar 21, 2006
3558 posts
391 upvotes
Vancouver
i6s1 wrote:
Apr 25th, 2019 10:46 am
Demographics are mostly middle-aged people. Not to many kids or younger adults. But there's always some.
The timing of the reposition cruises also drives the demographics--Apr/may for the start of the Alaska cruise season and Sept/Oct for the end of the Alaska season. The kids should be in school not on a cruise.
Last edited by kmchow on May 14th, 2019 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mar 21, 2006
3558 posts
391 upvotes
Vancouver
vancityguy0 wrote:
Apr 25th, 2019 3:38 am
Aaaah...so I’m out. The suspect demographic is a massive dealbreaker. Thanks for the tip!
You may appreciate the older clientele if you get stuck on a boat filled with screaming and yelling kids. Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Cold Sweat
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Mar 21, 2006
3558 posts
391 upvotes
Vancouver
BritsinCanada wrote:
May 11th, 2019 11:33 am
This is a ship relocation. For the Vancouver-Alaska cruise season. You won't find these in peak season!
There still will be deals in peak season, but typically they're last minute deals that appear within 72hrs of the actual cruise. So if you can drop what you do and fly off immediately, then you can benefit from those.
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Mar 21, 2006
3558 posts
391 upvotes
Vancouver
For those looking for another reposition deal or missed the recent ones, check out Sept/Oct as the cruiseships prepare to leave Vancouver to LA and beyond. There should be good deals as Norwegian is bringing 2 of their largest ships to Vancouver for a special reposition cruise. They normally don't visit Vancouver b/c of their size.
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Nov 29, 2006
1006 posts
297 upvotes
not really sure when they pop up or how to look for them, but if anybody sees another repo deal.. please post it (preferably a new thread)!
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Mar 15, 2005
1632 posts
347 upvotes
Fly from Bellingham through a cheap airline.
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Jul 7, 2017
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938 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
ktkn wrote:
May 14th, 2019 11:37 pm
not really sure when they pop up or how to look for them, but if anybody sees another repo deal.. please post it (preferably a new thread)!
Sign up with the usual suspects (Princess, RCCL, HAL, Celebrity, Carnival). Specials are fired out to those on the list.

Vacationstogo.com has OW specials (supposedly including port fees) from Vancouver to Alaska OW for ~USD360 tomorrow for a week, and the same for a week coming back. OW r/t from Vancouver easily costs that much.
Almost too cheap to shop through RFD
Sr. Member
Mar 11, 2002
729 posts
177 upvotes
kmchow wrote:
May 14th, 2019 3:59 pm
You may appreciate the older clientele if you get stuck on a boat filled with screaming and yelling kids. Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Cold Sweat
Just got off a re-positioning cruise from Hawaii to Vancouver aboard RCL Ovation of the Seas, worse cruise ever (in the 20 or so I have done) I much prefer the older crowds who at least are in bed by 9pm :D vs the constant running and screaming kids rampaging the halls at all hours of the day.. (I blame the parents not the kids for the lack of supervision)

Pros/Cons: (Not including the pre-cruise/post-cruise Cluster...)
- Overcrowded venues (even when compared against the 6000pax Oasis, which didn't feel crowded)
- Buffet hours were really strange, (Prior experience is "some" form of buffet capacity open from 6am > 10pm, but here nope fairly large gaps where "sorry the buffet is closed, you want a glass of water go down 9 decks and get it there.. " and then "Cruise compass and signage show the buffet as being closed, yet some random station is still open with breakfast stuff.. Yup what a waste of food, if people arn't aware it's available)
- Poor food quality, (I get cost cutting/profit maximization as food quality is generally getting worse vs 10 years ago.. but this one takes the cake, "Let's mask everything with salt" Case in point: French Onion Soup, very few onions, diluted "broth" really salty.. Request a low sodium/no sodium version, and it was full of onions and the sweetness associated with it. Crab Cakes were offered on 3 different nights, first 2 nights was "pollock" and only on the 3rd night(not formal) were they real crab cakes..
-Shows/Entertainment - Much too loud, spoke to one of the AV Techs who said they aim for 90+DB's where the soundboard is (back center of the room) so feel sorry for the kids who were in the shows as that volume could be damaging to them and again this is on the parents... (Content wise we liked some and disliked others (personal taste) But from a technical quality/budget level would have to say RCL has the best entertainment at sea
-Service was generally excellent with staff trying hard to make you happy (especially considering the food issues!)
-Survey fishing... "Perfect "10" score surveys, were asked for over the PA almost every night and by the various wait/service staff..
-Upselling/pay to play.. - Really pushing their "Key"/Suite privileges by blocking off chunks of the theater and the lineups for "common folk" for things such as bumper cars/trapeze were nuts, I heard at one point people lined up 75 mins for bumper cars (3min activity)... But if you had "the key" you would have a shorter line. I understand why but this is the first time I've ever seen it taken to this level..

This will probably be our last RCL cruise, going back to Princess (Elite Status) or to Celebrity (whatever their 2nd lowest tier is..) My last cruise ~6mths ago was on the Celebrity Solstice and none of these issues were present.
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Jan 12, 2005
4143 posts
481 upvotes
Scarborough
clboy wrote:
May 15th, 2019 10:50 am
Just got off a re-positioning cruise from Hawaii to Vancouver aboard RCL Ovation of the Seas, worse cruise ever (in the 20 or so I have done) I much prefer the older crowds who at least are in bed by 9pm :D vs the constant running and screaming kids rampaging the halls at all hours of the day.. (I blame the parents not the kids for the lack of supervision)

Pros/Cons: (Not including the pre-cruise/post-cruise Cluster...)
- Overcrowded venues (even when compared against the 6000pax Oasis, which didn't feel crowded)
- Buffet hours were really strange, (Prior experience is "some" form of buffet capacity open from 6am > 10pm, but here nope fairly large gaps where "sorry the buffet is closed, you want a glass of water go down 9 decks and get it there.. " and then "Cruise compass and signage show the buffet as being closed, yet some random station is still open with breakfast stuff.. Yup what a waste of food, if people arn't aware it's available)
- Poor food quality, (I get cost cutting/profit maximization as food quality is generally getting worse vs 10 years ago.. but this one takes the cake, "Let's mask everything with salt" Case in point: French Onion Soup, very few onions, diluted "broth" really salty.. Request a low sodium/no sodium version, and it was full of onions and the sweetness associated with it. Crab Cakes were offered on 3 different nights, first 2 nights was "pollock" and only on the 3rd night(not formal) were they real crab cakes..
-Shows/Entertainment - Much too loud, spoke to one of the AV Techs who said they aim for 90+DB's where the soundboard is (back center of the room) so feel sorry for the kids who were in the shows as that volume could be damaging to them and again this is on the parents... (Content wise we liked some and disliked others (personal taste) But from a technical quality/budget level would have to say RCL has the best entertainment at sea
-Service was generally excellent with staff trying hard to make you happy (especially considering the food issues!)
-Survey fishing... "Perfect "10" score surveys, were asked for over the PA almost every night and by the various wait/service staff..
-Upselling/pay to play.. - Really pushing their "Key"/Suite privileges by blocking off chunks of the theater and the lineups for "common folk" for things such as bumper cars/trapeze were nuts, I heard at one point people lined up 75 mins for bumper cars (3min activity)... But if you had "the key" you would have a shorter line. I understand why but this is the first time I've ever seen it taken to this level..

This will probably be our last RCL cruise, going back to Princess (Elite Status) or to Celebrity (whatever their 2nd lowest tier is..) My last cruise ~6mths ago was on the Celebrity Solstice and none of these issues were present.
I just did Celebrity Solstice from Honolulu to Vancouver and it was great!
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Sep 23, 2013
393 posts
337 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
@clboy, sorry to hear you didnt enjoy this past cruise. As a fellow seasoned cruiser, I am embracing the changing dynamic of cruising. Families are more and more becoming the target demographic, no longer the retirees. RCL, NCL, Carnival, and Disney of course, will inevitably have lots of kids. So will cruises that involve ports with beaches. It was a mistake on your part to board a hawaiian cruise with RCL. In your list of pros/cons, I found very little pros with a whole lot of petty cons. Did you enjoy any part of your it?
Sr. Member
Mar 11, 2002
729 posts
177 upvotes
hartzfizzo wrote:
May 15th, 2019 11:46 am
@clboy, sorry to hear you didnt enjoy this past cruise. As a fellow seasoned cruiser, I am embracing the changing dynamic of cruising. Families are more and more becoming the target demographic, no longer the retirees. RCL, NCL, Carnival, and Disney of course, will inevitably have lots of kids. So will cruises that involve ports with beaches. It was a mistake on your part to board a hawaiian cruise with RCL. In your list of pros/cons, I found very little pros with a whole lot of petty cons. Did you enjoy any part of your it?
@hartzfizzo To be honest, no. I've done the round trip Hawaii from Los Angeles (15 days) on Princess and that was a blast with a ton of things going on during that cruise, and my last cruise before that on the Solstice was a blast, I have also done beach destination cruises around "out of school time" I chalk up the running kids in the halls/venues to poor parenting In one sentence poor planning on RCL's part (i'll get into this more below), and I guess I was not "excited" to use a chunk of my annual leave on something I was no longer looking forward to.

Onto the rant (read only if you want an honest non-suger coated review)

At the time of booking Oct/Nov 2018 there were 3 cruises 2 x RCL (Ovation + Radiance) 1x Celebrity (Solstice?) with 10-12 day itineraries from Honolulu to Vancouver generally consisting of a couple stops in the islands before the 5 days at sea to Vancouver.

We picked the Ovation of the Seas as we had heard good things about this Quantum Class ship from family who were onboard shortly after it launched in 2016, and we were excited about all the amenity/activities onboard that we have never tried on other (Primarily Princess/Celebrity ships/HAL)

Our original Itinerary was Depart Honolulu > Kona>Volcano at night >Cruising the Napali Coast>2 Days Maui > Sea Days > Victoria > Vancouver

With the highlights being Kona (we have never been there, but we have been to Hilo and the Volcanos National Park) and the overnight in Maui (wanted to tackle the Road to Hana) we have been up to Haleakela before so Hana was our big thing.

After booking I promptly started to follow the Facebook/Cruise Critic Groups.

89 days to sailing (yup right after final payment) An Itinerary change notice was sent saying "oops the ship needs to have both the annual US Coast Guard Certification and Initial Inspection (As this ship has never been to the US) and as such the cruise before you will lose Maui, you will lose Kona the Napali Coast and the ship will spend 3 days tied up alongside the pier at Honolulu, for a Corporation like Royal Caribbean who are constantly adding new ships to their fleet they knew damn well that this would be required and should have either

- Scheduled 3 days between cruises (yea right)
- Built the schedule around having an overnight in Honolulu

Yes there was compensation offered 1/11 of the Cruise Fare (As Refundable OBC) , but it was more with how they phrased things out. "You get a day to enjoy beautiful Honolulu" - (If Honolulu was your embarkation port and you were interested in Honolulu, would you not have flown in earlier? Especially if no overnight was listed) and " Instead of cruising past Kilauea at Midnight we'll do so at 9pm" (Volcano has been dormant and the lava flow location changed since the seismic activities ended in April 2018) While the dormant volcano is no fault of RCL and at booking the "hope" of seeing a nighttime lava flow from the water was a motivator) for RCL to say "We will now sail past the Volcano (Dormant and no indication (for months) of any change) at a more reasonable 9pm" FYI: Sunset in Hawaii is around 7pm
- all in all the messaging comes across as being insensitive and canned.

Following day (88 days to cruise) - "As part of the inspection power will be turned off etc..." and (embarkation) boarding will have to be after 2PM. Over the coming weeks this messaging had changed a fair bit with confusion about whether you could drop luggage off in the AM, and have it checked directly to having to "retrieve" said luggage between 2-3p and whether or not carry on bags would be "stored" prior to boarding. In reality the dockside staff were confused about the whole en-devour and 1 passenger was even told that they had to pay to store their bags.

1 week out or so.. (memory's a bit foggy but that seems about right) - Another itinerary change, Victoria will now only be a 6a > 2p instead of the scheduled 9am > 8pm (not a big deal as I have been to Victoria many times)but a lot of people were disappointed due to their Mother's Day plans being disrupted. The reasoning is that there are concerns about being able to get the ship under the Lion's Gate Bridge in Vancouver, as this will be the largest Cruise ship to come into Vancouver. "You get to view the beautiful city of Vancouver during dusk, instead of our originally scheduled overnight entry... This is due to having to enter during low tide" there were some other comments about Granville Street being just like the Las Vegas Strip..." and you can enjoy Sunday Night (Post 8:30p) in Vancouver... LOL :D
A number of passengers decided to bail this ship the night before the actual disembarkation day (Good choice btw... See below)

On Day 2 there was another itinerary change saying the volcano is off and that they would sail past the Napali coast instead and arrive into Maui earlier, some people in party said they saw the paper in their cabin, others said they didn't. I asked the room steward that night about this and saw the paper in there the following day...

On the larger RCL Ships you are able to pre-book certain high volume activities ahead of time (60-90 days out) so that it doesn't become a mad rush once onboard. For whatever reason only 1 show/activity was available for pre-booking so it was chaotic trying to get all your stuff booked as soon as you get on instead of enjoying your vacation.

Boarding - Bag drop in the AM was a mess getting into the port as people dropping bags were mixed in with vehicles/taxis trying to pickup the disembarking passengers. (Some of this "may" have been avoided if the standard "staggered" boarding times were used instead) Coming back in the PM to board, if you arrived before the announced 2pm you could just walk on, 5 mins after 2p and the port was overflowing with people trying to board, and i guess the staff in the terminal were not prepared as many passengers were crammed at certain choke points (escalator to the gangway area) with line cutting/agitated people yelling at each other/complaining.... We had eaten while ashore but talking to some people later in the day they said Windjammer was a zoo.. Bags didn't show up at the room till after 8pm so it was flip flops and shorts in the dining room on night 1 (note it did say no shorts for dinner in the dining room on all the dining related documentation..)

Windjammer(buffet) - this was a weird one, I can overlook the lack of variety of food at Breakfast (no ethnic/English/Asian options) a whole lot bacon/hashbrowns and lineups at the omelette stations and not too much else. For Breakfast on most days it was the 270 Cafe (less crowded) and just a bagel with cream cheese(don't think anyone can screw up a bagel). Their Juice from concentrate (normal) varied from straight syrup to coloured water depending on which time/day/station you happened to be at, same as the "normal" coffee on the ship some days it was "black water" other days it seems whoever filled the machines put twice the grinds in, it doesn't make sense as I watched the workers load a "brick" of pre-ground coffee out of a single package into a new filter on each machine..I have no idea how that got messed up.

Windjammer lunch was overly crowded due to the main dining room only having 2 Menus (with limited choices) available (for 11 nights) with people coming 30 mins before opening to camp a table. Lunch service was not particularly remarkable in the offerings with most items appearing to be like what you would find at those budget buffets.. During lunch service someone would keep getting on the PA to say please eat and leave so others can experience the same... For a ship of this size the buffet didn't appear to be much bigger than the Royal Princess which has nearly 1/4 less people..

Windjammer dinner - Did not dine here due to having a "set" dining time in the Main Dining Room, did stop by after dinner to see the offerings, more/different offerings than the main dining room, and many tables available.

Random Windjammer musings - The ice cream soft serve/regular are both commercially produced "San Bernardo" for the regular ice cream and were both quite good, (Not Gummy like Princess's onboard ice cream, but also not made onboard like Celebrity/Princess)
Burgers - There was no "grill/burger place" where you could get a made to order burger the burgers at the windjammer were sitting under a heatlamp with some onions on top to stay moist.
The hand wash stations with hotwater/soap should be standard across the industry, much prefer that than the sanitizer stations. As mentioned above about the announcements to vacate the full buffet area after eating, I noticed a number of "single" individuals occupying entire large (4 top) tables wearing their "Pinnacle Club" lapel badges while just reading/doing a puzzle while people were trying to find open seats to eat their meals.... (Not sure how indicative this is on other RCL Ships)

Hot dog place by the seaplex - hotdogs here were really good, came back a few times.

Cabin - Had an "obstructed" balcony with only a tiny obstruction if your were looking down through the glass, so that was a "win" for the cabin, Otherwise a fairly standard cabin, just a bar of soap for the sink and shower and a shampoo dispenser on the wall. No body lotion/conditioner etc...(The industry has been moving toward the large dispenser instead of individual product) The toilet had a lot of uh "thurst" so I guess that's a win too :) Have to say the Room attendants are awesome and we got towel animals several nights. No complaints here.

Main dining room breakfast - only went once to the "buffet" side instead of the a la carte side (by accident) same stuff as the windjammer but with less people and more restrictive hours. Observed a guy rip into staff for removing the buffet food items before the buffet was closed...

Main dining room lunch - only 2 lunch menus rotated back and forth, a combination of salads/sandwiches/burger(that is prepared elsewhere..) was mediocre, did not return a 2nd time

Main dining room dinner - had an assigned "early" seating dinner for a party of 6 next to our friends who were a party of 5. Our service was excellent with our server doing everything to keep us happy, letting us know what the daily specials were whereas our friends table with a different server they weren't advised. As mentioned in my earlier post, food consistency was an issue with most items being generally salty. One night when a sous chef was trying to upsell the specialty restaurants we commented about the mashed potatoes being really salty, and he admitted that he was aware (even though this wasn't his kitchen) and that if we wanted good food we should go eat in the specialty dining instead...

Other than the general saltiness, "sliced" Beef entrees (prime rib/tenderloin) were all excellent and cooked nicely, anything in a "whole" steak form (NY Strip/Pork Chops) were really tough, Pork was over cooked/Beef had more to do with using lower quality cuts, would guess that this is USDA Select for the steaks... One night there was a beef shoulder that was so overdone that when you poured water over it, the water was absorbed rather than running over the surface...
Fish entrees were well received by my party with no real complaints, Fish & Chips were quite good there too.
Shrimp items look like they used a "smaller" grade vs my last cruise 6 months ago, "Surf & Turf" with shrimp smaller than what you would find in a seafood chowmein at a Chinese restaurant.
Turkey was juicy and well received. Desserts were ok, not good nor bad, one of my issues is that when staff are coming around asking how things are many folks will just suck it up rather than speaking their mind. My friend ordered the seared Ahi Tuna and told them it was fine yet left 3/4 on the plate as it was all grey and dried out from being overcooked.

Shows/Entertainment - outside of the volume being too loud, you can see this is where the budget is spent as the quality of the entertainment (technical/choreography/performers) is superior to anything else I have seen at sea. While the production show story didn't flow or make sense you can tell that the team is dedicated and good at their craft. I heard from others that the music performers in the lounges/music hall were excellent as well but that's not really my cup of tea.

Activities - Onboard there is Rock climbing/surfing/bumper cars/circus trapeze/ifly "skydiving simulator"/North Star "Observatory" - the lineups for Bumper cars was insane, didn't go the circus trapeze as that is a kid's activity. Rock climbing lineups were less than 10 mins. Flow rider (realized that I didn't want to end up broken) so didn't do that. Gym equipment was all new and of pretty decent quality (par for the course) The pools all had life guards and the hot tubs were not packed. The Solarium Pool was generally pretty empty, the water could have been a few degrees warmer if you want to nit pick but otherwise was fine to spend some time. Did not notice any issues with loungers and people "holding" loungers (again not really my thing to bake in the sun)

Ports - Honolulu - spent 6 days already pre-cruise and enjoyed it, did not need 1 more.

Kona - missed due to itinerary change, would have preferred this to Victoria

Kilauea Volcano - Changed then removed due to itinerary change, was in active so nothing lost here.

Napali Coast - last minute change to first "remove" then re-add, the day we sailed by it was raining/foggy so while not fully visible was alright. Kinda spoiled I guess living on the West Coast.

Maui - Day 1, rough seas impacted tendering and when tenders did go out it was a slow process. Just did some touristy stuff for my 2 days here. Heard that over 1000 passengers were booked on excursions to the 2 Luau's. Tendering back to the ship that night was hours long from what I heard from people on board. A lot of cranky guests...

Victoria - Shortened day impacted some people's "self excursions", being local to the area really just went out for a walk.

Disembarkation - What a mess, with the early arrival into Vancouver a number of people decided to leave 1 day early and they were the smart ones.. the ship announced disembarkation was delayed due to "Port Issues" Again being local meant I could watch the chaos, as I read many did miss flights/lose luggage as it was just kinda dumped in Canada Place without proper signage to indicate where your luggage was...

So while not my "worse" vacation ever, I would not have booked this cruise based upon the modified itinerary and would have instead sailed on the Solstice add the poor food quality to it and this became "my worse cruise vacation".

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