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Published: December 29th 2017
Before we begin, we want to apologize for the formatting of the previous entry. Someone changed how the BLOG tool works since our last usage and we had all the paragraphs run together. Hopefully that "improvement" has been overcome now and it will look better the rest of the time. Hopefully they haven't improved the photo feature too. Now, for today's events:
When we got up this morning the temperature here was 68 (going to a high of 78) and sunny but it was only 11 in St Louis (going to 22). Sorry, but we just had to mention the nice weather one more time.
We got up and had the free breakfast in the hotel lobby. This certainly was not the best meal we are going to have during the vacation, but it also wasn’t the worst “hotel breakfast” we’ve ever had. We arranged for a shuttle ride to the port but it did not leave until 12:30, so we had the morning to rest in the room. We got ourselves and our luggage down to the lobby on time and we were headed off to the cruise ship.
It was only a short ride and we got to the port in just a few minutes. The cruise line collected our luggage directly from the shuttle driver to be screened and delivered to our cabin – no luggage lugging for us – except for a couple of carry-on bags. We did the passport/boarding pass procedures and were in our cabin by 1:10. That is pretty quick. We went up to the buffet for a quick lunch and came back to meet our cabin steward (Ivan), He had poured us each a complimentary glass of champagne. We attended the required Muster Station Drill so we know what to do in case of an emergency, but they have changed the routine and nobody had to bring their life vests with them – before that had been a nuisance walking to and from the drill. They played a “Security” song to the tune of the theme from “The Love Boat” show and even had Captain Stubbing, Julie, Doc and Isaac lecture us.
We returned to our cabin but the luggage had not yet arrived. We are in Caribe 327 and it is one of the mini-suites - like the 2nd half of South America. They had contacted us to see if we wanted an upgrade from our Balcony cabin. Unfortunately we seemed to have gotten spoiled by that experience so we paid the extra $200. Of course we would not have booked it at the original price (about $2000 more), but we splurged for this holiday cruise.
The luggage arrived safe and sound a little before 4:00, but because there are so many people on this cruise, they are having difficulties getting everything on the ship (much less delivered to the cabins) so we will be sailing an hour late. We are all unpacked and everything has a place to be put away in the cabin – the trick tomorrow will be to remember where that place is. They still started their “sail away party” on time and there were a whole lot of people up on the top decks. Either many of them packed bikinis as carry-on essentials, or they were the lucky ones to have already gotten their bags.
At 5:00 the ship actually sailed from the pier. While casting off the ship’s horn played the opening bars of the Theme from Love Boat. Rather than stay on deck, we went to what they called the Exclusive Elite Lounge (otherwise known as Club 6) for special drinks and complimentary hors d’oeuvres. Janet had a Bacardi Limon Mojito and David had a Mayan Mule. We had Smoked Salmon with various other specialties, before going to our dining room – Concerto. There we met up with our tablemates, Jerry and Joyce Deming who had sailed with us in 2016. We had a great time catching up on what’s happened to each of us in the intervening time. We will see them frequently on the remainder of the cruise and that will make it such an even more enjoyable trip. Oh yes – for dinner each of us ordered the Prime Rib with corn-on-the-cob, baked potatoes, and shrimp cocktail for appetizers. Janet skipped dessert while David had a slice of chocolate cake. We are both very full but the meal was delicious.
The show this evening was a song & dance routine by the ship’s production entertainers called Sweet Soul Music, but it also covers a lot of “new cruiser’s” information about the ship and crew. Janet decided to stay in the cabin and rest but David went to see it. It was fast-paced, continuous singing and dancing, and was kind of tiring just to watch them. But it was done well and was enjoyable.
That about wraps up today’s report, except to say that there is a new feature on this ship which is just being rolled out to the Princess Fleet. It is called Medallion Net and is an internal wi-fi network for everyone. As a promotion for Platinum and Elite guests there is unlimited access for Free. They have installed an access point in every cabin, so we have strong signal in our cabin and will not have to go to the Internet Café to send the blog or read our mail. That is pretty nice - especially not having to count the minutes of connections this trip. So with that we will try to post the blog and then call it a day. Maybe tomorrow there will be a few photos to attach. We hope you all had a good day too.
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