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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

Pacific Coast Seabird Cruises from Southern California to Vancouver

Albatrosses, Pterodromas, and Seabirding in Comfort

Tour Information

Note: The information presented below has been extracted from our formal General Information for this tour.  It covers topics we feel potential registrants may wish to consider before booking space. The complete General Information for this tour will be sent to all tour registrants and of course supplemental information, if needed, is available from the WINGS office.

RESERVING YOUR CABIN WITH PRINCESS CRUISES: Your berth on this cruise should be booked over the phone with Princess Cruises to make sure your booking is added to our group number (see details below). All cabins will work equally well with the planned activities. Price depends largely on cabin class with cabin base prices beginning at about $339 (including Port Fees).  Princess Reservation Telephone: 1-800-774-6237 (From the US and Canada) and 0-843-373-0333 (UK).

Note: Because we’re a group, all bookings from North America should go through our group organizer with Princess Cruises, Melissa Mesker at 1-800-901-1172 ext. 21678 or mmesker@princesscruises.com. Her hours are 7:00 am-3:45 pm Pacific Time, Monday – Friday. It’s best to book your cabin through the number above and not through a standard travel agency or website such as Kayak, Expedia, or Travelocity (or over the Princess website). If you get her voicemail leave a message with the following information (or dial 0 during the message for one of her support team):

  1. I’m booking into a group.
  2. Our agent is Melissa Mesker
  3. Group Name: Wings Coastal
  4. Our group code is TPC
  5. Our cruise number or voyage code is 6110

You can also book through the standard Princess Reservation Telephone at 1-800-774-6237 (From the US and Canada) and 0-843-373-0333 (UK). When you connect with a Princess reservations agent, begin by telling them the above (including our agent’s name) before booking your cabin.

For reference:

Cruise Dates: 3-7 May 2021

Cruise Route: 4 Day Pacific Coastal (Los Angeles to Vancouver, Canada)

Ship: Coral Princess

Choosing a cabin on the Coral Princess: The closest interior (non-view) cabins to the birding spot are on Deck 11 between rooms B220-221-224-225, B317-321-325-329-etc… This area is 4 floors from the birding spot and should also be quiet. Interior cabins on Deck 12 will work fine too (just one more floor away from the birding spot). If you are worried about the movement of the ship then more stable interior cabins are on Deck 5, though these are also near the Casino and may be noisy late into the night.

If you prefer a more expensive cabin with an ocean view the closest cabins to the birding location are on Deck 8, in the bow of the ship. Cabins on deck 8 mid-ship are also close to the birding location and more stable than in the front.

Additional information to have at hand before calling to make your booking:

  • - Your name(s) as they appear on your passports (first, middle and last)
  • - Your date(s) of birth
  • - Captain’s Circle Member numbers (for past Princess Cruises passengers) for all persons who may have them
  • - Phone numbers, mailing addresses, and email addresses for all persons who do not have Captain’s Circle member numbers
  • - Preferred bed configuration (queen vs. twin) for all staterooms – please note for cabins of 3 or more bed configuration may not allow a queen bed. Princess can provide specific bedding configuration details for each cabin as needed.
  • - Family stateroom configurations planned in advance (i.e., for families exceeding 4 persons; maximum stateroom occupancy is 4) or ask about Family Suite accommodations for up to 8 passengers.
  • - Dining selections (early, first, or late Traditional Dining, or Anytime dining) Note: Select “Anytime” dining.
  • - Any Special Requirements, including but not limited to: special dietary requests like food allergies and dietary restrictions (i.e., vegetarian, kosher, vegan, etc.), or medical considerations.
  • - Any birthdays, anniversaries or other special occasions that you would like celebrated while onboard

As a general rule, your passport should be valid for at least six months after the date the tour ends. It is always a good idea to take photocopies of your passport and air ticket with you when traveling abroad. They can prove invaluable in helping you get replacements if your original documents are lost or stolen. You should pack the photocopies separately from the originals.

SECOND ID: When boarding on the cruise, the Princess Cruise staff will sometimes keep your passport until the end of the cruise (and present it to the immigration service at each landing if applicable). That means that during the land excursions, you will travel with your cabin key replacing your ID on the ship. It is highly recommended you bring a second ID with photo (Driver’s license for example) in case you need to prove your identity for any reason.

TRANSFER BETWEEN AIRPORT AND HARBOR: Transfers to the harbor (from the airport) and back from the harbor are not included in the WINGS quote. We highly recommend that you organize your transfer to/from the airports through Princess Cruises. It is easier to do it this way. They can also help with airline reservations.

Important: Princess will not allow you to take one of their shuttles between the airport and harbor if your flight time for your arrival/departure is under the 6hr minimum before/after your embarkation/ disembarkation. In this case you will be obliged to organize your transfer by yourself (by taxi for example), but we highly recommend considering at least 6 hours between your flight and embarkation/disembarkation.

HEALTH: The most current information about travelers’ health recommendations can be found on the Centers for Disease Control’s Travel Health website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list. Specific vaccinations and proof thereof may be required to enter the country.For entry and exit information please visit the U.S. State Department’s website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html. We strongly recommend contacting your doctor well in advance of your tour’s departure as some medications must be initiated weeks before the period of possible exposure.

Princess Cruises places a strong emphasis on keeping healthy and many Purell hand disinfectant are provided throughout the ship. Unfortunately with 2000+ customers on the ship (plus a crew of over 1000), it is always possible to catch a bug, and we recommend bringing cough and cold medications.

Since it may be impossible to obtain personal medications while on the cruise, please bring what you will need.

SMOKING: We follow Princess Cruises policy while onboard ship. Clearly marked “Designated Smoking Areas” are available onboard. Generally, these areas include cigar lounges, a section of the nightclub, as well as a portion of the open decks. Please do not smoke near the birding group or in your staterooms. The use of electronic cigarettes is allowed within the confines of the guest’s stateroom (balcony not included) and within designated smoking areas only.

PACE OF THE TOUR: The main tour starts after meeting on the Coral Princess cruise ship at a time and location to be discussed in your Final Information packet sent about a month prior to the cruise. The location of the group for birding while on board the ship will depend on the weather conditions and time of the day. This will be explained by your leader during the first meeting. When sailing, the leader will indicate exactly where and when he will be birding, and you can join for him as long as you want: for just a couple of hours if you also want to enjoy some of the activities offered by the cruise line, or full day if you don’t want to miss any seabirding action.

During the sailing days, the leader is usually on deck birding from dawn to 6:00 p.m. and you can join him when and as long as you want. The leader will need to take occasional breaks, of course. There may of course be special areas during which we’ll want to be on deck regardless of the time. The leader will brief you on these well in advance.

CURRENCY: USD on board ship. Your credit card will be used for incidentals and drinks, etc.

CLIMATE: Bring plenty of warm, layered clothing for being out on the decks for hours. It will be quite chilly in spring! Wool cap, light gloves, down parka or down jacket or vest and sweater with windproof jacket, rainpants to cut any wind and/or a light pair of long underwear. Footgear should be the MOST comfortable thing you have for standing for a bunch of hours. For dinner attire, see below, under Meals.  Bring a bathing suit if you want to visit the pool, jacuzzi, etc. There is also a fitness room.

ACCOMMODATIONS: During the cruise, you can choose between several levels of accommodations, see https://www.princess.com/ships-and-experience/ships/  to learn more.

FOOD: An impressive variety of food is served on board ship. Food is served 24 hours a day, and there is no obligation to eat all meals with the group. For lunch, the easiest option is usually to eat at one of the buffets or have a pizza or sandwich. The buffet option is available for dinner as well, though some participants may opt to have a more formal dining experience at one of the ship’s restaurants. Each day the leader will let you know where and when the group will meet for the daily list round-up, and at which restaurant the group will take dinner.

Note: Be sure to select “Anytime dining” when registering for your cabin booking with Princess Cruises.

DRINKS ON BOARD: Princess offers at no charge water, ice tea, or lemonade. When on board, WINGS doesn’t cover other drinks. Therefore, any other drinks such soft drinks, mineral water, or any kind of alcoholic beverage will be charged to you. Luggage is scanned every time we go on board, and only one bottle of wine, for the entire cruise, is accepted per passenger. If you bring more than one bottle (or another bottle at another landing) Princess will charge you a corkage fee (approximately 15 US$ per bottle).

TIPPING: Gratuities for WINGS leaders are at your discretion and are not included in the tips that Princess adds.  Princess simplifies the tipping process by adding, a discretionary gratuity of $16.50 per guest for suites, $15.50 per guest for mini-suites and $14.50 per guest (including children) in all other staterooms, per day, is automatically added to your shipboard account on a daily basis. This gratuity will be shared among those staff who help provide and support your cruise experience, including all waitstaff, stateroom stewards, buffet stewards, and housekeeping staff across the fleet.

INTERNET: Internet is available on the cruise ship but is quite expensive and often very slow.

ELECTRICITY: On the ship, current is 220V AC. The outlets in your rooms are the standard flat pin as in the United States. Most rooms have two outlets; the obvious one at the desk in the room but also a second behind the TV (which may or may not require unplugging the TV). If you have more than four items you’ll need to charge, it’s recommended to bring a plug-in that will give you more outlets. You shouldn’t have any issues plugging in anything that is considered dual-voltage (120/220). Check for this in the fine print on your device or adaptor. You may want to consult Magellan’s International Travel (www.magellans.com), which features a complete range of adapters and converters (and has details on whether or not you’ll need them).

DRESS: Informal dress is acceptable everywhere, but a nicer outfit is useful if attending more formal dinners on your own or with the group at the end of the cruise.

Updated: 07 February 2020