Day 4 – Friday – Sept 28 – Boarding the Ship

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September 29th 2012
Published: September 29th 2012
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Today we start the “sailing” portion of our trip. We have had a great couple of days visiting in California, and learned about many additional places we could have visited if we’d allowed ourselves additional days, but the ship sails today and we aren’t going to miss the ship..

Before leaving the hotel this morning, David had time to add pictures to the Wednesday and Thursday episodes. If you’ve already read those stories, you might want to scroll back anyway and see a few pictures (7 and 6 respectively). They do not adequately reflect the good times we had the past two days, but it might at least give you an idea.

We slept in this morning so we would start the cruise well rested, had breakfast in the hotel, packed all the stuff back in the suitcases and then headed off to San Francisco about 11:00. Traffic was fine on the highways but once we got into the city it was pretty crowded – even when it wasn’t rush hour. We don’t know how “locals” get around in this traffic..

The first (and most challenging) task was to find a gas station in the city. We had arranged to turn the rental car into Hertz near Fisherman’s Wharf instead of going back to the airport.(saved us a $50-60 cab ride). The GPS application directed us to a station but we found another one along the route, so we filled up the car at $4.25 per gallon and were happy that was done. Then off to the Hertz office to turn in the car and catch a cab for a short ride to the pier ($8 fare).

In-processing went very smoothly and we got onto the ship without any difficulties (see the two previous cruises for more difficult embarkation stories). Our cabin is C424 and was specifically selected while on our British cruise last year. It is pretty much mid-ship on the Island Princess and is nicely arranged and has a nice balcony;. We went off for lunch at the Horizon Court and when we got back to the cabin the luggage had been delivered. So we are all moved in and set for a great cruise.

We registered via the Internet Café for 280 minutes of network time, so if the satellites are cooperating then we should be able to post updates throughout the cruise. The first official order of business was the Life Boat Drill. We are assigned to Muster Station C, which turned out to be in the Art Gallery. The good news is that we weren’t tempted to buy anything. The bad news is that there aren’t any chairs in the gallery so we all had to stand throughout the instruction.

The ship sailed about 5:00 and went out under the Golden Gate Bridge. It was chilly and breezy in San Francisco all day, even while the ship was moored. Once they got underway it was really windy and cold on the bow waiting to sail under the bridge. David did stand out there and tried to take a few pictures though, along with an awful lot of other camera-crazy people (apparently none of us ever heard of post cards).

That made David about 15 minutes late for the first dinner. We are at a table for 4 and the others waited for him to show up so we did all have a nice meal. Janet had the “melon ball” appetizer and David had Red Snapper Mojito (it was tasty but kind of an adventurous starter). Janet had the Caesar Salad and David had the chilled Pina Colada soup. We both had the Prime Rib for our entrée. Janet had Hazelnut ice cream with chocolate syrup and David had the Princess Love Boat (a staple dessert on all cruises – Chocolate Mouse on a fudge brownie, with Vanilla ice cream).

Our table mates at Vic and Sarah (we think). They live in Santa Cruz and wanted to hear about our visit with Janel. They said she had shown us the best things to visit, thought the places where we had eaten were the best spots, and were certain the hotel was the best in town. So thanks once more for arranging a superb visit.

Afterwards we went to evening show in the Princess Theater. Above all other places, it is most apparent that this ship is narrower than our last few, which of course equates to fewer passengers. We will probably get info about them later in the trip, but it has a cozier atmosphere than the really large ships. The show was entertaining but nothing special. But it was a nice kickoff to our trip.

Tomorrow will be a day at sea so there will be lots of shipboard activities, but your will have to wait another day to hear about them, That’s about all for now.


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