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Published: January 27th 2020
Well, here we are sailing the mighty seas on the Caribbean Princess cruise ship. And here you are, right along with us! Surprise, Surprise, Surprise ....”in the words of Gomer Pyle.” And a surprise to us also. We forgot we got free WiFi for the entire cruise in our sailing package deal. We also received free gratuities and $250 each in room credit. We are mighty happy sailors. Now, those of you who decided to stay landlocked, you don’t have to hold your breath and wait for all these juicy tidbits. We can share it all with you while we are enjoying everything on this magnificent cruise. You don’t have to wait until we return. Can it get any better than that? Nope! Oh, lucky you. This is the way to live. I love it! No cooking, no housekeeping, only relaxing and drinking, eating whatever and whenever an unending amount of nutrients, attending beautiful shows, being waited on hand and foot during our dining experiences and around the ship, seeing and doing new things, enjoying the balmy, refreshing weather, meeting new people and going to interesting places.....and the top nugget of them all: sharing this fabulous experience with friends. Of course,
Sam & Sandy are right with us but this time, more of our friends from Tropical Palms are here too. Joe & Bonnie, Jim & Mary Jane, Jill & Bob and Carolyn & Bill are all part of this cruising party. It makes the adventures ever more exciting when they can be shared with friends. Living the good life! Of course, small Lulu is right in the thick of things. She’s omnipresent....a real party girl! A dream come true.
We boarded our ship, the Caribbean Princess, at Port Everglades on Thursday, January 23rd. We all drove in foursomes to reach Fort Lauderdale. We all made it with no glitches. They have a new system...at least new to us...called the Medallion Class. Cory had applied for it (free and required) at home on the computer. Once, at the boarding area, we had to pick up our individual Medallion “buttons”. All our information is loaded into it. Instead of a sea card, we now use this Medallion for just about everything onboard. It acts as our room key (as you approach our door; it automatically unlocks it), to purchase anything, going on/off ship, locating one another plus chat, see what’s happening
on the ship, check our account, etc. They gave us a free lanyard to hold it. You can also purchase additional, more classy jewelry to hold the medallion. We are content with our free lanyard cause where else are we going to wear it? Parties at Tropical Palms? I don’t think so....not blingy enough! Lulu can use it as she wants when we get back....maybe a small spinner seat for her lovely head or a miniature, round table with no legs (like her).
As I write this seaworthy blog, two occurrences have just happened. One absolutely fantastic. The other is devastating and horrific. Not to interrupt the normal flow of this newsy blog, I shall save these unbelievable incidents for later. Hopefully, I have the fortitude & strength to carry on.
Once onboard, we headed to our rooms. Our luggage had not arrived yet but we could drop off our carry-on bag, etc. Our balcony room is as gorgeous as we remembered. We are on the 10th floor. The rest of the group are scattered throughout the ship. With our medallions, we can track where everyone is located at anytime. We can send chats back and forth. I
think our balcony is larger than last time. Lulu had to sun herself immediately upon getting onto it. She is a true sun worshipper. But the “piece de resistance” is the luxury bed! The heavenly pillow bed. You must remember my reviews of this one of a kind bed...the one I spent days in when I was sick on this cruise in 2018. It supported my weakened, sickly body as if I were lying in a huge marshmallow cloud, surrounded by mega cotton balls. It was a true healing experience. It was so fabulous, we bought the mattress and topper and sleep on it currently in our RV. Remember all this? I wish you could try it for yourself. Just for a little while.
First destination onboard: the bountiful buffet! Where to start and when to end? That’s the problem with this lavish layout of luscious nourishment. I came on this ship as a traveling guest....I’ll probably leave it as cargo.
Walk it off, fatty. We wandered around the decks checking out the shops, lounges and everything else we will revel in over the next 10 days.
Back to our room to unpack. How did we bring
Theater in the afternoon
all this stuff? How? One large suitcase, one small one and a carry on bag. From the looks of it, it could have come in a shipping container. Time for the instructional muster. Fortunately, we were allowed to sit down for it in one of the theaters. Whew!
Now for the next major item on our roster: eating in the dining room. They seated us at a table for ten. Because Jill & Bob booked later than the rest of us, “anytime” dining was the only choice available and it is in a different dining room. We miss them during these times. Our waitstaff are Kristian and Maryna. So many choices, so many courses, so much food! The best part is we don’t have to cook it or clean up after it. A woman’s dream come true! Because Sandy and Sam have gone on 16 cruises with just the Princess Cruise-line, they are classified at Platinum level. Mr.& Mrs. Got-Rocks! If they wanted, they could sit in a special designated area with others that rank high like them. Here the waitstaff is one on one, they run at top speed to attend to their every wish, the staff chew
their food for them, they rub their throats to help them swallow, they wipe their mouths for them and finally, they burp them before carrying them to wherever they desire to go next. But, being the down to earth folks that they are: they selected to sit with all of us! WOW! Aren’t they the best? We, from steerage, are grateful for their presence.
Time to hit the bars and lounges. Eenie Meenie Miney Mo ....where shall we go? A few of head to the Explorer’s Lounge. Guess what’s going on here? Think of Judy at TP. Yes, karaoke. Judy would have topped the show. Jill came back to our table and said she was told we had to leave because a private party was coming in. She thought she heard bible in the conversation. The sign was welcoming the American BOP Association. We were somewhat confused that a religious group was coming into a bar for their meeting. We waited until the very end to eyeball the various folks who filed in. Come to find out, BOP was for Be-Bop enthusiasts: Swing, Jitterbug, Bop, Shag. There were 300 of them that meet every year on a cruise. Dance
We gathered next in another lounge where a trivia type game was being played. You were to name various songs and their artists from the 1970’s. We were too late to sign up but had we, Jill and Bob would have taken home the trophy. Between them, they knew all the answers! Wow! Congratulations! The rest of us sat there mostly like dumps.
Eventually, we made ourselves back to our room. ZOOM! I was in that bed faster than a flash. Ooooo. How I wish you could join us. What a dreamy delight. Zzzzzzzz instantly.
Most of our group gathered for breakfast in one dining area down beyond the buffet. Here they make your omelet as you like it. I have never been a breakfast person so I drank my glass of water while the rest indulged in all sorts of breakfast delights.
Day 2 was a day at sea. We ate, roamed the ship, ate some more, went to a presentation on the Panama Canal, shopped, and checked on a few questions we had. Tonight was formal night so time was needed to get all spruced up and sparkly. We all clean up
nicely. Lulu forgot her gown and tiara so she stayed back and ordered room service. She was content. It had been a long day for her. Following dinner, some of us headed right to the theater for the evening show. Others posed for pictures and I’m not sure if they got into the show, let alone found a seat. It was packed. Cory made a pit stop as I entered the packed theater. I saw a row close to the front that had a couple empty seats. Some lady zoomed ahead of me as she and I stumbled over the twenty five people we had to climb over to get to these seats. Once there, the slug woman who went ahead of me said “what are you doing here....I’m saving all these seats!” I said I hadn’t hobbled over all the people to hear her say she was keeping all these seats. I sat down. She said harshly “are you staying there.” Yep....I certainly was! I figured Cory was on his own now. Now this woman announced loudly she was saving these seats for two friends who were dying of cancer, were on oxygen, and were very sick and frail.
I said I was sorry to hear how sickly her friends were and probably they would fare better in the handicap section rather than trying to crawl over the twenty five people seated in this row. She kept looking around trying to see them. By now the entire theater was full. Cory had to stand at the side wall. The show started at 7:15 pm. At 7:05, they announced there was NO saving of seats whatsoever. Okay, lady! That’s it! The doors had been closed! No more allowed in. I told her my husband was taking this seat. Her ailing friends never showed. How could they even get here as ill as they were? Cory plowed his was through to the seat and plunked down. She was furious and speaking now in a mean, foreign tongue. We ignored her until she pulled our her phone and began taking pictures of Cory & me! That did it! She pushed the wrong button. I told her what she just did was illegal and I was reporting her to security for invasion of privacy. Oh, if only the cruise ship still had people walk the plank. I hauled out my trusty iPad and
shoved it in her ugly face and got my form of identification to show to the “feds”. She shut up at this point and the show began. It was a beautiful show with many, very talented singers and dancers. Gorgeous outfits. “Scag Woman” hustled the other way when it was time to exit.
Day three: our first port of call: Falmouth, Jamaica. Sam, Sandy, Cory and I left the ship and went into their shopping, tourist area. Before we disembarked, we had a crisis to deal with. No....this is not one of the above situations I have previously mentioned. That’s for another blog! The directive stated we needed our drivers license or passport when getting off the ship. Fine. Well, NOT so fine! Where was my drivers license? We searched everywhere and everything in our room. Nada, nothing, zip! Gag! Had my passport but not my license. Cory keeps his and mine together in his special little carry all. So where was it? We tried to think back and decided it had probably been left at the boarding area where we got our medallions. We would just have to check the lost and found at Fort Lauderdale upon our
return. Cory said he checked with guest relations onboard but they didn’t have it. Rats! Worse senerio: I would have to order a new one once back at the RV. We just got new, enhanced ones before we left WellsiIle in October. Rats! Enough for now. In the end, we didn’t need the passport or license to get on or off the ship! Our medallion did it all.
As in times past, “free” gift coupons are given out by the various jewelry stores on the island to get you to come into their store. You usually get a tiny, inexpensive charm. Cute. Then, they grab onto you like a burdock....never to let you go until you buy some mega thousand dollar piece of jewelry. Won’t happen with me....I am not a jewelry expert and too suspicious of it all. So this time, Sandy and I started our freebie search. First store, the attack! Finally, we are sent to the back of the store like starving & homeless people being fed from the outside dumpster. With disgust, they reluctantly hand us our free gift! You have to be kidding! This is another first. Instead of a cheap charm, they presented
us each with a soiled, old stock postcard....from at least the 1950’s. Maybe we could call it as collectible. Look at the bathing beauties! Look at the stains on the back of the card! Talk about cutting back. This is the all time low of low’s. As usual, we had to fight our way out of the store as the disgruntled “Apu Nahasapeemapetilon” (storekeeper from Homer Simpson) screamed that we had to look in their cases. Yeh, right! I almost chucked my dirty postcard at him. But I wanted it for evidence for this blog.
We sauntered along going in and out of identical tourist shops. Tiny, fake gems the size of a salt granule were more of our “freebies”.....you pay for what you get. These cost nothing and they were nothing! Lulu posed for her usual photos.....can you locate her in the all wooden craft market? She’s there....study it hard and you will find her. Just like “Where’s Waldo?” but this time, it’s “Where’s Lulu?”
At the end of the shopping piazza, we boarded the same trolley train we rode on 2 years ago. This time, they had the ability to load Sam right on his scooter.
That worked! Lulu hung on for an unobstructed view. This area of Falmouth is very poor and poverty stricken. We stopped, again, at their oldest Anglican Church. Our guide told us Prince Harry and Megan visited this church a year or so ago. The trolley bumped along and the next stop was at the water’s edge. Pretty. Some passengers dipped their feet in it. We stayed dry. Lulu was soaking wet! Not from this experience. She can’t swim. I had placed her in our carry bag along with a water bottle. The condensation drenched her. She was a soggy mess. Some of her make up was even bleeding onto her arm and hand. She looked like she had red tattoos on her arm. Our guide and driver were excellent. It was good to have our memories refreshed. Nothing had changed in this entire area since our tour of it 2 years ago...nothing!
Back to our ship.....we took a nap. All this fresh air is doping us up. I placed Lulu out on our balcony to sun herself and dry out.
Next on the agenda: EAT dinner. Every night is smart casual dress. Lunch allows casual wear but not
at dinner. I don’t think I packed enough dressy wear. If my mother was here, she could create a top for me out of the table napkins....she was a very talented sewing teacher. Oh, well. C’est la vie. I’m not Vanna White who only wears her fancy dresses one time!
This dinner was super special. It was Bill Booth’s 83rd birthday. Joe & Bonnie and Mary Jane & Jim weren’t there because they had a coupon to go to a speciality restaurant. Jill & Bob we’re still in their own dining room. Carolyn had requested special recognition to be given to Bill. The staff gathered around and sang Happy Birthday to him. Many folks around us joined in. He received a very fancy piece of chocolate cake. Yum-Yum. Happy Birthday, Bill! Lulu sang to Bill in her melodious voice....beautiful.
Our evening ended outside a lounge imbibing on a few pops. So nice being together just relaxing and chatting. I don’t want to leave the ship....ever!
I’m closing this blog at the point. Much more follows.....the good, the bad and the ugly. Keep your device handy. I’ll be posting again at my next rest period when I can
find one. See you back at our room: C239. Please note: there are 29 photos for you to see...keep scrolling And go to a 2nd page.
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