After breakfast, we roamed around a bit to see what was going on. Lots of grumpy people it seemed and most of them speaking English (and pretty colorful English at best). Many were angry that their tours had been cancelled because of another impending high tide. It was just safer to stay in our room, which we had until checking out at 11.
At 10:30, we gather our carry-ons together and headed for the lobby. It was amazingly quiet. TBG checked out and we found two chairs. At 11, the Princess rep approached us (we had spoken with her before) and told us that we were ready and to please get into the water taxi. Three other couples joined us – one gentleman happened to be retired AT&T – oh, dear, TBG had a new best friend.
Check in was pain free, although the young lady at the embarkation gate kept arguing with me that we needed to give her a number. At the desk, we were told we didn’t need on as there are only ten suites on the ship. Yes, well, no one told her that. Finally, she let us go, I think more to shut me up. No problem with security, although the gentleman taking photos started laughing when TBG fixed my hair (it was a little windy on the way over) and retook the shot.
Then, home sweet home, as The Pacific Princess feels. We found our way to our cabin, marveling at the changes along the way. (And, Woobie, they did not replace the faded paintings in the buffet. :P). We found our cabin (6088) and entered.
It was very different, all the old blue furniture had been replaced by ultra-modern beige furniture - no longer two chairs and a sofa, now it’s an L-shaped lounge. The potted plant in the corner has gone and is replaced by a chair. The bed mattresses had been switched out and now it’s a super soft down mattress topper with down pillows. Nice, but I wasn’t sure what my back would think as it prefers hard. The wooden dining table and chairs had been replaced out by a marble topped table and four chairs. The carpet and matching lightweight curtains are now a pretty golden color – overall, the room is much brighter. The rest was pretty much the same, although they did add a blu-ray player.
Princess has instigated something called ‘Club Dining’ - we are no longer assigned a table and table mates, nor are we assigned a time. We came come anytime between 5:30 to 8:30. Lots of two tops because these is open only to suite folks. And again, there aren’t many suites on board. Nice, but I miss our table in the corner.
Lunch was lovely. I had a Tuscan chick pea soup and chicken cacchatori (spelled horrifically wrong) and TBG had a shrimp and avocado salad and then ricotta and spinach ravioli. We headed back to our room for a bit of a nap and woke to find one suitcase (the duffle with our dirty clothes in it) had arrived. I got the laundry ready to go (it’s free and while it took me a while to warm up to someone else doing my laundry, I quite like it now) and by then the other suitcases had arrived.
We had been very careful at the Bauer to not unpack too much, so it felt like Christmas morning as we put things away. It’s amazing to me how much less we packed on this trip (I only know this because we had empty drawers afterwards).
We had invited a few Cruise Critic friends over and shared some champagne with them as we got to know each other off line. Bruce, whom I had a devil of a time with e mails, was funny and gracious as was Judy, his wife. Carol and Derrick (dear me, he’s English and I love his accent) were a delight. We are meeting up with Bruce and Judy to go shopping for the Sailaway party tonight. The store was closed because of the high tide. We are hoping it’s not the same on Tuesday.
After hefting a few glasses, we broke up and we headed to The Steak House for dinner. Aside from a very bizarre choice of music, it was a lovely evening. I had lamb and TBG had a steak. We started with shrimp over papaya and rocket, then TBG had a shrimp bisque that was very shrimpy and I had a Black and Blue onion soup (blue because of the blue cheese and black for Jack Daniels). Then our entrees arrived, which came with asparagus, creamed spinach and mushrooms. I was too full to even consider dessert, but TBG had a passionfruit tart. I found a lovely wine, Zen by Zin, of course, a California wine… which was cheaper than the Italian wines offered. I’d been going for a Chilean, but it was sold out. Sigh…
After that, we rolled our way back to the cabin. TBG worked on the computer and I read until I couldn’t keep my head up. It was sad to leave our little nest in the Bauer, but it is very nice to be back with Princess.