Friday March 29th – The Adventure Begins


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March 30th 2019
Published: March 30th 2019
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Today we finally got to start a cruise vacation which has been in the planning stage for more than a year. Well we didn’t actually get to the cruising part today, but we have left home and got to Los Angeles where we will board the Star Princess tomorrow. But let’s go back and tell this story from the beginning.

In planning this trip, we set clear ground rules that no one was to get sick or injured while we were away. In the past couple of cruises there have been a variety of medical issues – none are allowed this trip! I guess we should have included staying healthy leading up to the trip too. Our granddaughter Tessa had a reaction to the stitches they used last week to remove pins from her arm, so this week she had to go to the doctor for follow-up treatment. She should be fine and hopefully everyone else will remain healthy (including us) for the whole trip.

The last couple of days we’ve been choosing clothes and various items, trying to make sure we brought everything that we would need. Then it was just an exercise of fitting everything into the suitcases – weight versus space in each bag. This morning we got the last things packed into 3 suitcases and we set up the house for our daughters Valerie and Elizabeth to take care of everything while we are away, including the cat which has been traumatized by the sight of the suitcases – she’s has this experience before. Then about 1:00 our friend Ken Schmalbeck very kindly picked us up and took us to the airport. At last we were on our way!

We had tickets for a 4:40 direct flight to LAX. We had allowed plenty of time at the airport for all the check-in and TSA exercises. Thankfully everything went very smoothly (there were no crowds waiting anywhere) and there was no drama in our pre-flight stuff. With the airlines making adjustments resulting from the grounding of 737 MAX planes, we were always a little concerned that American Airline might choose to redeploy our aircraft for some other route and we would have had to shuffle over to some weird connecting flight. Happily none of those issues arose for us.

The flight itself was about 4 hours which is uncomfortable enough in the economy section, but the flight was actually pretty good. There was a little turbulence a couple of times, but not for too long. We had gone to Jimmy Johns and gotten two tuna sandwiches (it is a Friday in Lent) and chips to bring along for our dinner meal. There were a few others who had done something similar, but they were selling sandwiches which some of the less insightful people bought. Other folks nibbled on their pretzels and looked hungry.

We have not been to LAX in a long time and it was huge back then. So we arranged for Passenger Services to meet the plan and Janet was able to be wheeled through the terminal all the way to baggage claim. Then the “helper” got us a luggage cart, loaded the suitcases from the luggage carrousel and then pushed everything to the Princess agent. She gave instructions for where to catch the bus to the hotel and he got us loaded and on our way.

We had booked a night at the Airport Marriott via Princess and we found there are about 200 people staying here tonight waiting for cruise ships tomorrow. Now we are settled in our room and hopefully will get a good night sleep before we begin the ship activities tomorrow. So that is about all for tonight – tune in tomorrow for more of our adventures.

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