Of course Bernie stopped by Purdy's Chocolates to pick up some treats to hand out to the crew we knew.
We arrived at the pier at around 9 am and went to the security area where we were happy to be lead to the line for the crew. They confirmed we were on the list as visitors for the day. Scanned our bags - guess no issue with bringing chocolates.
We then snaked our way thru the terminal to the check-in for crew at the pier just before the gangway. Here they once again checked our id, gave us visitor passes to be worn and held on to our driver's license till we got off. We headed up the gangway against all the traffic coming off the ship. Kind of felt like salmon going upstream.
Princess security was there and they scanned our visitor pass and took our picture and binged us in.
Our friend Laura was called and she came and met us and big hugs and smiles ensued.
Down to the International Cafe and so excited to see Beatrice again. But that is one of the only faces we recognize in the IC as all the others have gone home already.
We sit and catch up with Laura and as we sit there we have so many come by and welcome us on board and big hugs again.
It was great to see so many - too many to list - and of course everyone was asking "are you on for the week". Sadly no.... we have to head back to work but will be on in September.
We found out that Claudio the Hotel General Manager is still on and is heading home today but he is still around as his flight isn't until later. We get the chance to meet his beautiful wife and two lovely children.
We find out that Niki is the new Hotel General Manager while Claudio is away. We both smile and say oh we remember Niki from the Star when she was the Customer Service Director. She comes by and we catch up on what she has been up to and congratulate her on her promotion. We are sorry to hear that she won't be on in September, but then again we are happy Claudio will be back on then. Although she does mention to us that she is getting on the Golden and will be there when we are on it in November.
Johan and Laura join us for a lovely lunch in the dining room. Note: Check your Patter when you get on as at least one dining room is open for lunch usually from noon until 1:30.
It had been a while since I had embarkation lunch so I was curious to see what had changed. Not much but it is enough of a selection to really be worth the effort instead of fighting the crowds in the Horizon Court.
I started with the avocado and shrimp salad. I remember it being served in a half avocado but now it is more just a few slices of avocado, but still very tasty.
I decided to go with the hamburger for lunch, I know boring but the other options just didn't entice me enough and I really enjoy their burgers and this one did not disappoint.
I did decide to have the apple Tarte Tatin, but it really was different and not a tart tin at all but the apples were very tasty, but I knew I should behave as I am not on holidays - although I wish I was.
Laura and Johan need to get some work done, so we part ways and tell them we will met up later.
We find all the shoppies (staff from the stores on board) at the forward elevators helping passengers and it was really cute to see how happy they were to see us. Nancy from Mexico was in charge of one of the elevators and she kept saying "stay here until I come back". Sanja came and met us and we caught up with her and gave her a belated birthday card and of course a big hug. We also were so happy to see Clare the Shop Manager as she was getting off today but was still busy doing handover stuff and she informed us she is heading to the Grand so we thankfully will get to see her there.
As the afternoon progressed we both are saying how odd it feels to be on board but having to get off soon. We are not use to that. We don't really have an interest in going back to Alaska but we wish we could stay on and just relax, but something tells me this is going to be a busy cruise.
Why you ask do I say that... well the demographics.... we noticed right away that many passengers were first time or had just a few cruises under their belt. Lots of questions to the staff, lots of younger people, lots of kids. I am excited for them. I remember when I was like them and how everything was so new and fresh and exciting. So many kids will get to experience this amazing adventure and I am pleased.
So around 3 pm we decided it was time to head off (we had to be off by 4) and make our way home. 6 glorious hours on board the beautiful Crown Princess.
Not sure if we will get back on again this summer. We have arranged to meet up with other crew in the coming turn around days to show some of them around and we will be seeing many in just over two months.