Thursday, November 5, 2015

Ahhhh A Sea Day – Finally

We got an hour back last night and after a very restful night and the extra hour we feel almost human again. 

You can feel the vibe on board wrapping up the cruise.  I heard that there are just around 450 doing in transit (staying on board for the next voyage).  So all the others are getting their luggage tags, disembarkation information, lines at the Purser’s Desk are long with questions.  I will add that many of the questions that people have for the Purser’s Staff can be answered in the paper they deliver to your cabin with the disembarkation information.  So read that first before heading down to the desk and save yourself some valuable vacation time.

We relax in the cabin for quite a while, reading, watching tv, doing Sudkoku puzzles, and even writing the blog and actually being able to post it with my computer if I move the laptop to the floor in front of the cabin door.  It must be the laptop issue cause I can access the wifi pretty good with phone and tablet from cabin but signal with laptop is not as good.  Maybe if someone can answer why here that would clear things up for me.

When we do head out we see that Crissy The Captain Circle Host is in her office and we stop in to say hi.  She says “hey where were you last night, you weren’t at the Most Travelled Cocktail Party”.  No… we say, we didn’t qualify.  She says yes you did and shows us the list.  We did qualify and we weren’t even at the bottom.  I tell her we never got the invite.  She apologizes and feels bad, it must of got lost somewhere.  No worries we tell her, we are totally fine.  She pulls out the next sailings list and says “okay here you are on the list for the next one, we just make the cut off at 488 days” and the next sailing it will be a luncheon. 

I also want to say thanks to Sharon/Bruce and Peter for their lovely comments that I just approved for the last post about Remembrance Day.  Yes I agree there are very wonderful people from all over the world and then sadly ignorant people too from every part of the world.  It is too bad she just was not open to the answer instead of being defensive.  But overall we have seen many wearing poppies, and they are from many different nationalities.

This makes me stop and comment on the makeup of the passengers.  I am actually surprised at the makeup.  My first thought when we booked this voyage was that the passengers would be mostly very old – cause how many working people get that much vacation.  I really anticipated mainly British, Canadians, and Americans.  But I have been wrong.  There are many younger people, lots of young couples.  A few on their honeymoons.  A handful of kids – maybe a dozen, and they are young kids that are too young for school.  A few babies – so cute! 

There are many Americans and Canadians and British, but we have met people from Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, India, large group from Korea, China, Argentina, Peru, Brazil and Japan.  It has been lovely to sit with some and learn about them and even the language barrier seems to disappear when you are at sea.

There are many first time Princess Cruisers on board, and even more Gold/Ruby too – and it warms my heart to see so many experiencing the joys of cruising.

Although this makeup is nice now I feel it could change on turn around day for the crossing, but hey I have been wrong before – oh don’t tell my husband that though.

We get a notification in our cabin about the Venice Water Shuttle service that Princess offers.  You see we arrive on Thursday at 1 pm.  The first leg goes until Friday at noon, then the second leg starts at noon and we don’t set sail until Saturday at 1 pm (I believe off hand without checking paperwork). 

Princess is offering a shuttle from close to the pier to a stop close to St. Mark’s Square (Maritime Station).  The cost of the shuttle is $29 US per person.  It is good from when we dock until the next day at 12:30.  For us in transit folks we got notification that if we still want the shuttle for the first day of the next leg it would be another $29 US fee per person.

This can be a good option for those who want simplicity and just want to get right to St. Mark’s Square.  For us though this would not be worth it for us.  We want to go along the Grand Canal, we also may need to take the valparetto to other areas.  So we are considering the 48 hour transit pass that you can buy once you arrive for 30E each.  Note the cost of each valparetto trip is 7E so all we need is to really do just over 4 trips in the three days.

They are doing the big Onboard Outlet Sale where everything is $10.  I stop in but I don’t really spend much time and walk back out soon thereafter.  I do head up to the Calypso Cove and I do buy two tops that are discounted already and then add the 10% elite discount, yeah.  Bernie picks up two Tommy Bahama t-shirts and I buy a Princess 50th Anniversary Key Chain and two 50th Anniversary Mugs for our friends.  Note if you buy three 50th Anniversary items you get an extra 10% off.

After a relaxing morning we both agree we should head back to Alfredos Pizzeria and we are seated at a lovely table with a view of the water – it is a very nice day out there, sunny but windy – which can make it cool. 
Marvin is here to serve us again and a short while later Bonnie and Jim come in and we invite them to join us. 

After lunch I wander around and Bernie heads back to the cabin to read.  I love just wandering.  I grab my camera and chat with people I run in to.  I do stop in the Casino for a bit, I haven’t been in here as of yet so I have to make my donation.

I set up my pin with my card and load $20 into a poker machine.  The couple next to me are playing and the man turns and says “are you Vickie” yes I am… and we chat for quite a while and I have lost my $20 and put in another $20.  When I end up with $22 I decide it is best to just cut my loses and cash out. 

Back in the cabin around 2:30 I call my friends John and Karin and head up for a visit.  They are just one deck above us and I stop first at the Wheelhouse right at 3 pm for a drink for the Happy Hour, buy one get one for $1. 

Well sitting in the cabin we chat, laugh, catch up, laugh some more, drink and around 4:30 Bernie comes up too and we repeat!  This is really what cruising is about.  Great friends you meet and it has been so nice to reconnect with them.  We sailed with them for the first time many many years ago and sailed a few times after that and we keep in touch but to actually spend so many days at sea together only makes me smile.  Cheers Karin/John!

Well after a long afternoon we are having to get ready for the Captain Circle Party.  There are two parties tonight one at 5:30 and ours at 7:50 (strange time, but hey we are good).  We dress and head to Explorer’s lounge for the party.  They have a roped off area to welcome us to the lounge and it looks lovely and special.  The officers are right there to welcome us all.  The lounge is full but it appeared that everyone was accommodated.  Crissy’s Mom is on board and we ask where she is so we can join her as she is sailing by herself and Crissy is busy working.  We sit with Maureen and get to know her better.  She is a proud Mom and she should be Crissy does an amazing job. 

The Captain is quick and the whole party is done in around 20 minutes.  The Most Travelled Couple Mr. and Mrs. Stein have 1,698 days!

After the party we head to the Wheelhouse Bar with Crissy and Maureen and enjoy a cocktail and great conversation. 
It is now 9:30 and we haven’t eaten dinner yet so we head up to the Horizon Court for dinner. 

We had good intention of heading out later and seeing the show On the Bayou but we feel the need to reconnect with the bed and get a good sleep.  Might be all the drinks we had in the afternoon that may have had something to do with it. 

I really wanted to see the singers and dancers on board before they got off but sadly we just didn’t swing it.  The new dancers and singers are already on board and they are doing handover.  We will have to see the show next sailing I guess.

Things happening today:  Zumba, Culinary Demonstration, Trivia, Texas Hold’em, Bingo, Pub Lunch, Matinee Movie Run All Night in Princess Theater, Accordion Class, Movie Poster Trivia, On Deck for the Cure Walk, Art Auction, Ballroom Dancing Swing and Jive in Wheelhouse, Veterans Get Together, Destination Expert Talk about Venice, Maitre d’Wine Club, Afternoon Tea, Afternoon Movie Skyfall, Singles Get Together, The Sound Of Music Pop Choir Performance and Friends of Bill W Meeting.

Tonight’s Events:  LGBT Get Together, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on Muts, Ballroom Blitz Dance Date, On the Bayou Show 8:30 and 10:30, Marriage Match Game Show, Who Sang What Love Edition with a Twist, 50th Anniversary Gold Balloon Drop Party at 10:45 and then Dancing in Explorers.

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