Saturday, April 1, 2007

We had to vacate our room at the Wind Chimes Inn by 11 am so we packed everything and took the bags in the lobby of the Inn. We wanted one last look at the beach and to take some photos. So we played beachcomber for a little while and said goodbye to several of the people who were sunbathing.

At 12:00 we called a taxi to take us to Pier #4 where the Golden Princess was waiting. The taxi ride was the usual hair-raising ride through the small, crowded streets, weaving back and forth as we swerved around the cars, taxis and trucks.

Since we were platinum Princess members, we all were allowed to go to the “fast lane” of the checking in process. However, it didn’t do any good in the check-in line to the ship. It was long and slow. Since we were early, Ken wandered around the ship taking photos before the majority of the cruisers arrived….it is 3 football fields long, and there was a lot to see.
Everyone was pleased with their rooms and felt that they were bigger than those on the Royal Caribbean ships.

The first thing Lisa did was to take photos of their room while it was in “perfect” condition. Both of the rooms had nice balconies. We spent most of the afternoon exploring the ship, finding the food courts, bathrooms and common areas. The Golden Princess is a very pretty ship, but I felt the Royal Caribbean ships had more spectular dining areas and lobby.

At 4:30 we went to the Wheelhouse Bar where we met many of the people John had corresponded with on the Meet and Mingle site. It was nice to meet them and know that every once in a while we’d see someone we knew…..there were about 18 of us.

If you plan to take a cruise go to your cruise line website and look for the Cruise Critic or a forum. Type in the name of your ship and sailing date. Leave a message "Hi, we'll be sailing on this ship....I'm _____, who are you and where do you come from?"

After that, we went to the dining room and had our first meal aboard the Golden Princess. When people say that the food is great, the waiters are friendly and you don't have to clean the dishes, they are RIGHT!!! Most of the staff on all of the cruise ships are from 3rd world countries...India, Philipines, Yugoslovia, etc. and speak fairly good English. They are very attentive and do their best to make your dining experience the best in the world.

Back in the stateroom, Jenny fell asleep after a couple of minutes. I think Austin was nodding off too. Austin had a top bunk bed and thought it was really cool. Jen had a fold out bed and she was happy with it too.

John, Lisa, Ken and I stayed up until 11:15 to attend the Bon Voyage party. This ship’s main pool is completely enclosed with a glass roof. It opens like the roofs do at some football stadiums….if the weather is bad, the roof is closed, when it’s good, it’s open. Ken thinks the ship probably goes to Alaska sometime during the year….so, if it’s cold in Alaska, its nice and cozy inside.

It has been raining pretty steadily and the water is rough…not enough to make a person seasick, but almost. (It didn’t bother Lisa, so if the ship had been rockin’ and rollin’ she would have been the first one to notice it)

The Bon Voyage party was great....more food, a live band and ships' crew dancing around with their trays of drinks. After a while, the whole ship was rockin' and rollin' to the calipso beat.
If you've never been on a cruise vacation, there are many things you can expect....every morning under your door or in your mail box you will find a list and times of activities for that day. They are fun things that will introduce you to some of the other cruisers...."Name that Tune", "The NewlyWed (and not so newly wed) Game" (be prepared to answer the question "where was the oddest place you made Woopie?" -- you'll be surprised how many fellow passengers will remind you of your answer!), basketball throw, (won a neat visor doing that one), or how to salsa dance, fold napkins, plus shoot pool, climb a rock wall, play miniature golf, the ever popular gaming tables and BINGO!

At 6:00 am the exercise room opens and classes begin. Not for you??? Ok, the breakfast buffet is open and you have a multitude of choices from hot or cold cereal to omelets, scrambled, fried, or hard cooked eggs, a variety of meats, fruits, breads, juices, yogurt, coffee, tea....just about anything you would want. Eat it in the buffet room or go outside and sit on deck....salt sea air gives you a great appetite.

But, if a buffet isn't your choice...the dining rooms are open for breakfast and you can order off the menu....be brave, order something you've never had. If you don't care for it, the waiter will remove it and you can order something else. One morning I ordered an "English breakfast"...it was a real mistake. It started with lamb kidneys and went downhill from there.

(to be continued)

1 comment:

Dave J said...

What a fantastic blog! I must try harder and spend more time on mine.

Dave Jackson