Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Princess Cays – Sort Of

We were warned that the potential of high winds could prevent us from tendering for Princess Cays and when we awake to the sound of bing bing bing, and we know that our stop has probably been cancelled.

We can see the beach in the distance and it is very windy and we know that Princess takes safety very seriously so for everyone’s safety the port stop has been cancelled.
Of course we hear many people state their disappointment and it is a great stop but a day on this ship, I think is even better. 

Right away Lisa Ball the cruise director comes over the loud speaker to announce a new Patter will be delivered to your cabins as soon as the printer gets it done up.  The schedule on line will be updated quicker and we run into both Simone and Lisa on the Promenade deck and the Atrium handing out paper copies of the new Patter too. 

I am very impressed at how quickly the teams come together to deal with a missed stop.  Events are added throughout the day.  Dining room hours for lunch have been added.  Menus for both the dining room and Horizon Court have been created and right away the food starts to get prepped. 

Now you might think that the menus for both dining areas would just duplicate what was going to be served ashore at the barbecue.  NO…. I am thoroughly wowed when I see the food in the Horizon Court.  The variety and quality is astounding and I know they have worked very hard to make this happen.

Okay back to our morning.  We were okay with staying on (as if we had a choice) but we were not sure if we would of gone ashore anyways.  But this is the first time we feel the crowds on board.  Up in the Horizon Court for breakfast.  It is crazy, but not so much getting the food but finding a seat.  I will say that this ship handles it better than other ships we have been on though.

Lisa is holding her Life At Sea Lecture as an added feature and the place is packed.  People are really interested in ship life and the break down of who reports to who.  I saw this lecture last year and really enjoyed it. 

We head to Princess Live to try out a new activity called Digital Scavenger Hunt.  Geoff and Daniel hand out a paper with a list of places each team has to go to take picture with a team member doing something in each location. 

Some of the places include; chapel, skywalk, duplicating the Titanic scene, on a bike in the gym, shuffle board game, picture with a crew member from Europe, etc etc. 
It was a lot of fun running around the ship getting these pictures and we tied with another team and got water bottles.

Oh this reminds me.  This morning I made a point of carrying out my stainless steel Canadian water bottle to encourage myself to drink more water.  I must of put it down somewhere and totally forgot it.  The next day I went to the Purser’s Desk and it had been turned in (don’t think anyone would want a used water bottle).

Bernie is eager to watch the end a movie he started the other day and I head out and read and then get a late lunch. 

Our last steel pan class with Trevor Cole is today.  We are all doing much better but I am a little nervous about what is going to happen tonight for the grand finale.  We are not totally sure when we play but we are told to be in the Atrium for 8:45 and we should find out then.

We are meeting up with friends tonight for dinner (Todd and Pam, and another couple that I sadly have forgotten their names).  Our hope was to meet up at 6:30 and head in for dinner but the big downside about Anytime is it really is not Anytime.  If you want to eat at 5 to 6 you are good, but anytime between 6 and 7:30 forget it.  Even when we were contacted the first day to see if we wanted a reservation for anytime we are told 5 or after 7:45 (gee that is almost a three hour difference).  So when we are on board we try to go with the flow and just accept 7:45 – 8 pm for a table or else we eat elsewhere.

So when we meet up both dining rooms have said 7:15 – 7:30 for a table.  We are sat at a table in Symphony for six.  The dining room is full with most people just finishing up.

They come out and do the Baked Alaska parade.  So our waiter is busy with the other tables and the parade.  We sit for about 20 minutes before we even get an order and even to order wine. 

It appears to us that he didn’t have an assistant or if he did they were busy elsewhere.  (maybe they were busy singing around the dining room). 

The food was good though I had the watermelon salad and then the Tom Turkey entrée.  Bernie had the mussels and the fries which were cold so the waiter got him some hot ones. 

Sadly I had to leave dinner cause I had to meet the group for the Mardi Gras festivities at 8:45 so I skipped dessert and Bernie found a spot to record the event.

We gathered just beside Vines.  There are decorations around the Atrium.  It feels like a real festive mood.  We are told how the evening will progress and we cross our fingers it will work out. 

The Royal Princess band plays a song to get the party started, then we are lead to the tables with our pans.  The music starts and the flash mob comes out to perform lead by Simone who is really getting into the spirit.  We all tap our sticks to the beat.

Trevor leads us in playing and gee if we don’t actually sound good.  Sure there were a few mistakes but nobody listening can tell we messed up.  After we play the drumming group play and then we came back in.  Bernie got the entire thing recorded and it is just below.

In the end I am glad I did it, it was something different for me to experience.  I got to meet a bunch of new people and I had fun.  Trevor did an amazing job, so patient, so laid back, he made it fun.  There of course is some areas they could of improved on.  Often equipment was not set up when we arrived.  And every time Trevor had to set things up (sometime with help sometimes not) and this took away from him teaching us.  So normally the first ten minutes was busy getting the pans set up when I think talking to the group about the event and going over things would have been more beneficial. 

We take a seat at Vines for some wine.  Ryan welcomes us and right away our wine is brought over and while we are drinking a glass of water is put in front of us without asking.  He is so good, he is kind and very helpful and the fact he knows what we like and recommends wines we may be interested in if we ask. 

Trevor and I

Simone and Bernie

Simone Smith the Deputy Cruise Director comes by and she is dancing and everyone around her is enjoying her antics.  That woman is always smiling and so happy.  She is a joy to be around and lifts everyone’s spirits.  I know I would seek out a cruise just because she is going to be on it.  She heads home tomorrow, but she is so dedicated that she has agreed to take some training in Fort Lauderdale before her flight.  

Apparently she is heading to the Crown and we are happy cause we are hoping to board the Crown in the Summer.  And since the Crown will be in dry dock in Victoria we are hoping to head over to Victoria for a few days to see some of our friends who will be on board too.  Yes Johannes and Claudio we are talking about you.

We finish our wine while chatting with Trevor and Lisa and Simone.  Our aim was to head back to the cabin but we only go up two decks and Kory Simon is playing so we find a seat near Dave and his wife and we each order a martini.  I had this great grapefruit martini… oh I think I found my new drink.

Josy knows how to shake it up

Back in the cabin we see that Jenny our steward has put out the breakfast room service card.  This is nice, cause sometimes when we have done a turn around this is not offered but think this is a good option for tomorrow and fill it out.

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