Lamar Senior High School
for The Class of 1959
|This site provides information regarding your Reunion Pleasure Cruise held in the Spring of 2006 for the Class of 1959 from Mirabeau B. Lamar Senior High School, Houston, Texas. Guests were welcome and were included. The term "Medicare Cruise" does not imply official affiliation with any government organization or the Social Security Administration. We think. Provide your updates, additions, or corrections to the page webmaster: Mike@Blackledge.com|
|Larry Hitt's last summary of
information regarding the cruise is found here.
Dining options enjoyed are here.
|Provided: two-page info
sheet on The Cruise - as MS Word file - or a text/.rtf file - or as a PDF file.
|Available is this map of the itinerary and the final list of your classmates
who participated: Medicare
|Our group contact was Kathy
Holland with CruiseCenter for questions re the Class of 1959
|To see the vessel, visit www.princess.com
and click on Ships
and then Grand Princess.
Larry Hitt (as of 6 February 2006):
Here we are 60 days away
I’ve been accumulating
information on a number of
points for the past few months that will be covered in this note. Thanks for your many e-mails sharing cruise
experiences and opinions that will help make the trip enjoyable for all
us. One of the best resources for
information is the website that
Options - As far as I
know, everyone has already made a choice and advised
For a good description of
the options, you can read the
attached PDF that
Here are the current elections:Traditional Dining – -
Traditional Dining – - None
Anytime Dining - Pace,
On a related topic, did
you know that you can bring your own
supply of wine on board? I learned
Shore Excursions – I noticed on the Princess website that shore excursions should be arranged six weeks in advance so you might want to consider those options soon.
Shirts – Dee Bell went on a cruise in December and saw a group that had matching shirts – let me know if you are interested in having some made for our group and I’ll look into it.
Bios – Our group is a mix of
Send a note if you have any comments or suggestions. We can still take on more cruisers so get in touch with other classmates ASAP!
Frequently Asked Questions (and a few answers) regarding the Class of 1959 Medicare Cruise:
Q: So whose idea was this anyhow?
A: During the 45th Reunion several folks within the Class of '59 started talking about this cruise idea. For examples of some of the preliminary discussions that went on in the planning, see below on this page.
Q: Cruise Center has reserved 15 inside cabins, plus 20 outside with balconies - what if we oversubscribe?
A: We blocked out cabins based on our initial estimates of how many classmates/spouses would participate. More cabins are available if needed.
Q: The great rates make me want to invite a couple of non-Lamar friends to join us - is this allowed?
A: The more the merrier! A few of us even have spouses than are non-Lamarites, so go for it!
Q: The Grand Princess has three primary dining rooms: Botticelli (traditional assigned time dining), Da Vinci (anytime dining), Michelangelo (anytime dining). Do they all have the same food? What's the down side of assigned time seating?
A: It appears they all offer the same menu. More on dining options is found here. No real downside to having an assigned time (and area) for seating, as if one decides to eat in another venue, you can - no penalty for not showing up at your assigned time in the main dining room.
Q: What's the story on the $70 tip requirement - are there other tips involved in the cruise?
A: Tipping is $20 per cabin per day (total of $140 for 2-person cabin for the trip) - that covers EVERYONE, no more tipping required.
Q: Any other costs associated with the cruise?
A: Any other payments or charges are voluntary on your part. For example: If you want to participate in (organized) Shore Excursions, they are each charged separately. More on this below.
Q: Will I need a passport?
A: Yes, everyone will need a passport. Our cruise timeframe will be part of the first phase of the government's new travel initiative. Not only must your passport be current, but it must be valid for a period of six months after our cruise returns, i.e, valid until 8 Oct 2006 (this is actually an old rule, but one which not everyone knows).
Q: What's the story on my "booking" or "confirmation" number?
A: Once you make your deposit, Kathy will send you a receipt with a booking number. The booking number is listed as the Confirmation No. in the upper right hand corner of the Cruise Reservation section of Kathy's receipt. It will be six characters, something like: GPXX9Q - With that booking number, you will fill out an immigration form on www.princess.com - this is important to prevent any delay for you at the ship. Also, the "booking" (confirmation) number will be necessary later if you wish to sign up for any of the shore excursions you may want to experience.
Q: How do I complete my registration after I receive my "booking number"?
A: Visit the Princess website home page ( www.princess.com ), and click on "Cruise Preferences" at the top. A Login page appears. Fill in name and booking number and click enter. A "Booking Summary" page appears. Click on "Passenger Immigration" and fill out. (Note: The form asks for information on a credit card that doesn't expire until after the cruise ends. If yours expires before then, it won't let you even partially fill out the form, so you may have to wait until your card renews.)
You should also fill out the "Cruise Preferences" section. (Note: Even if you fill this out completely, the Booking Summary Page will state that it is "Incomplete." It will still save your indicated preferences, but your cabin mate must also fill out this section for the "Incomplete" to go away.
Don't try to fill out the "Shore Excursions" section now. This won't be available until 120 - 60 days prior to the sail date.
Finally, in the upper right corner of the Princess home page you'll see "Sign In." Ignore this, as this is for former Princess Cruisers - eventually you will be one, but not today!
Q: How do I obtain a passport?
A: You can download the form and application at www.usps.com/passport. You can also list the ten closest (full service post office) locations to your zip code where you can go to get your passport photo and turn in your application.
Q: Are there events planned on the cruise?
A: Grand Princess has many events and shore excursions planned. At each of the four stops, passengers have their choice of several planned excursions (which will involve additional payments per person) or they can explore on their own. The 2006 shore excursions will be listed for you to sign up for about 120 days before our cruise. You can get an example of shore excursions descriptions and costs from the 2005 information currently listed: www.princess.com
1 May 2005 thoughts
from Jeremy Wicker to Larry Hitt:
Subject: Cruise Ship Choices2 May 2005 Response back from Larry:
Thanks for your enlightening note regarding Princess Cruises' Grand Princess. I was aware of their upscale amenities and reputation for better food and but did not include them in the search because of the date range we were focusing on. We did not want to sail in a week in which college kids would be on spring break so we considered only cruises starting mid April and later. That effectively eliminated Princess options since they reposition to Europe after the April 8, 2006, sailing. However, because of your note, I've looked more closely at spring break schedules today and found that most of them are over by April 1! Please see this South Padre Island website for the 2005 schedule: http://www.spibreak.com/news/schedule.html.
In looking at Princess vs. RC pricing by cabin category, Princess is $150 more for both Inside and Ocean View, the same for Balcony, and $50 less for a Suite. I don't think $150 is enough to deter someone from considering the trip.
The itinerary for the two ships is somewhat different: while both go to Cozumel and Grand Cayman, RC stops in Key West (or Jamaica), Princess goes to Belize and Costa Maya on the Yucatan coast.
So, all things considered, I think we should now strongly consider the Grand Princess sailing dates of either April 1 or April 8, 2006. I'll pass this on to our travel agent contact and ask them for an alternate proposal. I'm also copying some interested Lunch Bunch classmates for their feedback.