Sunday Feb 23 – Embarking on the Cruise


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North America » United States » Florida » Fort Lauderdale
February 24th 2020
Published: February 24th 2020
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Hello everyone. This morning we slept in at the hotel (Red Carpet Inn) until about 8:00. We had a pretty good night’s sleep and we were all ready to start our cruise day. We went with the Sieberts to breakfast in the hotel restaurant at 8:30 but found there was a line of people waiting out the door to get a table. This is the only restaurant nearby, so without a car everyone had to eat at the same place. But we got seated in about 30 minutes and had a good big breakfast.

By 10:00 we were back in our room and packing all the suitcases. We lounged around until the checkout time at 11:30 and went to the front of the hotel with our luggage to wait further for our free shuttle to the cruise terminal. They were having some difficulties with the bus and a lot of people grabbed cabs or Ubers and made their own way to their ships. Since we had plenty of time, we waited and about 12:30 they announced the bus for Regal Princess was ready. This was actually about an hour before we expected, but we got on anyway and were driven to the port. There were actually 9 cruise ships in port today so there was a delay getting through the traffic at the entrance, but we were driven around the port and finally to our terminal.

We got out of the bus and our luggage was collected by the Princess staff and sent ahead for our cabin. We had been told that a wheelchair would be available for Janet once we got inside the terminal. Unfortunately, the story changed once we were there and they said we should have gotten it outside. But Janet was able to use the walker to get through the maze of registration and then we could sit for a while. They did bring a wheelchair and they took us the rest of the way to our cabin. Hooray, we were “all aboard”.

One funny thing is that everything had to go through security like an airport before boarding the shipt. We put everything in our bags/purses and passed them through the x-ray machine while we walked through the scanner. They wanted Janet to slide her walker through the x-ray machine, but it wouldn’t fit. So they decided it wasn’t necessary after all and she could smuggle anything through that she wanted. Also the Virus Check consisted of filling out a 3-question form, using pencil, and saying that we were feeling fine, we had not been to China in the last 14 days, and we hadn’t been exposed to anyone with the virus in the last 14 days. There were no temperature checks and we all went merrily onto the ship.

We went to the Horizon Court buffet for a light lunch about 2:30 and then went to our Muster Station for the mandatory “life boat drill” at 3:15. With all the 3500 passenger on deck 7 and all the drills ending at the same time, that made a real bottleneck trying to get back to the cabins via the elevator systems, So we just waited around for the crowd to thin and then we got back to our cabin (Caribe 512) about 4:00. Our luggage had arrived while we were out and that allowed us to unpack and get things arranged in our cabin for the cruise.

The ship sailed about 4:15 and they played the Love Boat theme over the ship’s horn as we sailed out of Ft Lauderdale. The Sieberts came down to our cabin at 5:30 so David and Jim could have a couple of beers on the balcony while Janet and Kathy talked in the cabin. Since we have gotten enough perks from our many voyages with Princess, they have started stocking a few drinks in our refrigerator – thus the beers. We went to the Symphony Dining Room a little after 6:00 and had a very good Prime Rib dinner with assorted appetizers, side dishes and desserts. Janet and Kathy had some wine with dinner since they missed the beer course, and everyone had a good evening.

We finished just before 8:00. The Sieberts headed for the Princess Theater to see tonight’s entertainment and we went back to our cabin to settle in for the night. Janet has been wrestling with the Medalion Feature on her phone since we got on the ship but now has overcome those difficulties with the. It incorporates a lot of features – showing how to get around on the ship, tracking where her companions are on the ship, and probably much more – but we haven’t been to the training course and so there may be more to learn tomorrow.

One other thing we want to note is that our Travel Advisor at Princess (Rose) sent us a nice flower arrangement as a Bon Voyage gift. It was a pleasant surprise when we got back to our cabin. That pretty much finishes our report for today. We are underway on the High Seas and are having a good time. FYI the temperature in Florida today was about 73 degrees. Tomorrow in the Bahamas is supposed to be about the same. Hopefully you are having good weather back at home. GOOD NIGHT.

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