Friday, November 21, 2014

Thursday November 20, 2014 – Boarding the Golden Princess San Pedro

When we wake at around 8 am we both comment boy that air conditioner was loud and don’t recall the AC units being so loud at this hotel.  But I had ear plugs so that helped, Bernie has some too but he can’t remember where he packed them – the usual.

Bernie showers and dresses and heads down to the Enterprise office to return the car.  That was convenient as we were able to park right at the hotel in one of the car rental return spots.  The total cost of the car came to $30 for the day, that was a deal.

While he is gone I shower and dress and we both repack the bags – now why was it that the bags seem heavier and more full than when we arrived.  I know because we just shoved everything in them we we packed the last night.  We will do a better job when we get off the Golden to fly home.

We head downstairs with our bags and leave them with the concierge until we are ready to catch the shuttle to the pier at noon.  Yeah we are taking the shuttle to the ship, normally we would walk but both of us don’t feel like dragging the bags today.

We decide to just have breakfast at the hotel, they have a breakfast buffet that is $14 and is nowhere as good as the ship’s breakfast but will do, but it is just warm.  Next time if we go back we will order from the menu instead of the buffet.

Last night we found a Starbucks that is relatively close to the hotel, about a kilometer away.  Don’t know why we had never found it on earlier visits but those who know me know this is where my happy place is.  So we walk up 6th street to Gaffney and turn right and the Starbucks is in the next block. 

We are back at the hotel around 11:40 and get our bags and the shuttle leaves about ten minutes later.  And of course the pier is so close we are there in five minutes.

You can see how close the Crowne Plaza is from the pier

For some reason I was expecting craziness at the pier.  You know a three day trip, lots of new cruisers, everyone wanting to get on right away.  But I was completely wrong.  In fact when we walked in there was maybe a dozen people filling out the health form – it is the longer one that has the Ebola questions and the agent there confirms you have filled it out correctly and initials it.  We head up the escalator and head to the Preferred Check in for Dolphin deck, again there is only one person in front of us. 

We hand over our passports, get our cruise cards and we are told that the rooms won’t be ready until 1 pm but we can drop off our carry on bags if we need to.  We go thru security and even that was quick, and many people are carrying on all their bags because of the shorter cruise length.

There is really no one waiting to get on board that I can see, but because we are Elite we are directed right onboard.  Pose for the Embarkation Picture and we are in our cabin on Dolphin Deck in 733 right away. 

Feels odd to have just gotten off the Grand that is the same size/similar ship but different too.  We can’t help but comment about the differences.  In fact our very first back to back was on the Grand then the Golden on two seven day Caribbean cruises way back in 2001.

I comment to Bernie about the narrower corridors… I took a pictures of each ship’s corridors and will put them up later to show everyone.  Yes the Grand has lovely wide corridors but they take away space from the closet for this.  Golden’s is narrower but has the bigger closet.

The ship is not full, in fact many cabins by us are empty…. And a lot of first time Princess Cruisers.  Which is great to see.  It is always fun watching them experience cruising for the first time.  Lots of younger people too.  What a great way to go away for the weekend with friends.  I think they are selling a lot of the All Inclusive Drink Packages!  I am just glad we are at the back of the ship in a corridor that is almost never passed by.  Lots of families too…. Lots of kids.

Our thoughts on the cabin:

Bernie, the couch is not comfortable at all and is not conducive to watching the bigger tv from.  He does not like the cupboards that are beside each of the beds cause they are useless big spaces, would have been better with drawers (which I know other ships in this class have).  

He loves the mattresses.  Lots of storage and shelves to put things.  The three closets are big, the one cupboard though has two rods, but the upper road is useless cause there is not enough clearance to the next rod.  He makes note that the toilet seat lid does not stay up if he has to pee because of the handle… but of course this only affects men.

Vickie’s thoughts:  it is quiet, love the long desk area and big mirror.  The steward says he can put the two twin beds into a Queen Bed configuration but there is not a lot of clearance, but we decide to keep it as two twins.  The bathroom is large and adequate for our needs.  The Door to the cabin is on the side, when the room service attendant came by she actually opened the bathroom door to exit instead of the cabin door.

There is no full length mirror anywhere.  For someone in a wheelchair they would not see below their head.  

The closet has two rods for hanging but the top one is useless cause anything you hang on it hangs well below the bottom rod.

Also there are two hooks on the bathroom door at a reasonable height for someone in a wheelchair.  But are totally useless if you are average height.  You certainly can't hang your robe on it cause it drags.

The grates in the floor in the bathroom are excellent drains and work wonderfully.  Although we notice an odd odor and it smells like sewer smells and we have to keep the cabin door all the time to keep the smell contained.

Muster Drill happens and we had to bring our life jackets here too.  Vista Lounge is our Muster Station but it is not even full.  After the drill we hear an announcement that many people did not attend the drill and they must attend another one. 

We are leaving late it appears for some late arrivals.  When we finally pull away it is totally dark out.

We are dining tonight at the Crown Grill for a change. 

Oh forgot to mention that the Golden has the new internet pages with the Patter and menus and on board account etc.

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