Thursday, December 10, 2015

Three Days at Sea

Instead of writing three blogs for each day at sea with basically the same stuff I will just write a summary or events and thoughts and experiences.

First we are sailing late at night past the strait of Gibraltar.  A few passengers that we run into are disappointed that we are not doing this during the day.  

One man actually stated that he wished they would sail by during the day. When we say that that would have been difficult without altering our itinerary and I would of much preferred the time in Barcelona than leaving early just so I can see the strait during daylight.  Somehow people think that the ship can just speed up or spend an extra day at sea so we can see things at the best time.  It just doesn’t work that way.

But we did see the strait of Gibraltar – we passed it around 11 pm and Bernie and I were up on the Sports Deck playing shuffleboard and checking out the city lights on both sides of the two continents. 

The Patter is filled with all kinds of activities during these sea days.  My goal is to try something new each day.

I attempted carpet bowling two days in a row and did well enough to win a magnetic clip – again, attach it to your cabin wall and hand the necessary papers to get them out of the way and easy access to.

We played elevator roulette with cruise staff Tin Tin and had a good laugh.

Chris is now Cruise Director since Dan Appleby left.  He has stepped into the roll very smoothly and he is doing very well.  The first morning show was a little rushed and he talked so fast it was hard to follow but since then he is a natural.  I spot him often around the ship checking out the many events and he is very approachable and helpful. 

One thing we have taken note of is they are no longer listing the theme of the buffet each night in the Patter.  When we ask they say that it is a general theme each night.  This saddened us as we love the Asian, German and Indian buffet themed meals.  But I will add that the food at the Horizon Court is still amazing and we are really enjoying it.  Also the beautiful views out all the windows (because it is at the front of the ship) really add to the atmosphere.

Once again I participated in the Mastermind trivia and well I am officially not smart enough to continue, but I bet the finale will be great.

We participated in Passenger Feud the other night with a lovely couple from Kansas and it was good for a laugh, but really where did you get these people that you supposedly surveyed?

Movies are top run at night and are show the next day in the cabin on channel 21  – and they do show a movie in the Princess Theater in the afternoon too. 

Lots of lectures, shopping events, casino tournaments, trivia, organized exercise, un hosted get together (knitters and knatters, service club, lgbt, singles, etc), wine tastings (Maitre d’, Super Tuscan and Grapevine) happening, dance classes, seminars (photography, art, wrinkle remedies, hair, etc), shuffleboard challenge as well as basketball, ping pong, walking, you name it.

Then the regular demonstrations, martini, fruit carving, etc.

George doing the 60 second frenzie

Tried the 60 second frenzy but didn’t do well – missed the music that they normally play during it.

We are also attending the Most Travelled Luncheon which was held on the 17th in Sabatinis.  We just made the cut off and are happy to be participating.  We were sat at the table hosted by Duncan the Environmental Officer. 

The meal was outstanding:  Trilogy of the Sea – cold water lobster salad, pancetta wrapped sea scallops, mini tiam of yellow fin tuna tartare.  Then a choice of entrĂ©e:  Chilean sea bass poached in court-bouillon or panko crusted lamb chop or melenzane alla Lucullus which was baked eggplant rolls filled with angel hair pasta fresh tomato sauce, sweet basil and mozzarella cheese (this is what I had).  

For dessert flourless grand marnier orange almond bar – served with macaroons.  The whole meal was amazing and we loved meeting the two other couples at our table too.

After the luncheon we went back to the cabin and basically didn’t leave until around 7 pm.  We watched two movies and read and had a relaxing afternoon – guilt free.

We received our disembarkation request form for a time we want to get off.  Also the form for the EZ check out.  For $20 (plus any applicable baggage fees) each we can have our bags checked straight thru to our final destination.  We did sign up for this and they required a copy of our flight itinerary (not just the booking number) which is new. 

They also have the Princess airport shuttle option available too - $19 for Fort Lauderdale Airport $24 for Miami airport.

My favorite thing is to sit in some of the public areas, sip my coffee and read or do puzzles and of course you end up meeting some very nice, interesting, funny, upset people.  Often you overhear conversations too and I bite my tongue in responding. 

However I do like to share some of the conversations here. 

One couple bickered back and forth outside the coffee bar on where they should sit, what they should do, what drink to have, you name it.  Heck I wanted to decide for them so they would shut up.

One man ordered his coffee from the bar staff at the coffee bar.  He gave them his coffee card and was very upset when he got it back and they punched it for the coffee.  When he screamed at the server she calmly responded “sir you purchased your coffee card on another ship and the procedure is when you buy the card on a different ship you get one punch for coffee or tea.  It is only free on the ship you purchased it on, it states it right on the back”.  Well that was not making him happy, once she left he continued and said “I hate the games Princess plays” to me.  I responded “maybe you need to learn the rules of the game, they are written on the back of the card you purchased”. 

Up in Horizon Court for dinner a couple behind us is discussing a shore excursion with a single woman who is standing beside them.  Now she is angry about an excursion and she is talking so loudly (I am sure to let others hear) to the couple.  It appears the excursion was not as stated and she is not happy with the resolve.  Apparently after discussing it with someone in the Shorex Dept (who was incompetent – her words) she was given a 30% refund.  This did not make her happy.  She proceeded to complain about the next person above that who spoke with her.  Again complaining loudly about how mean this person was.  Now anyone who works with the public knows when you are rude to them chances are you will not get as good a resolve as when you talk to them politely?  Anyways she went on for a good ten minutes – and I think her ranting and raving made her look bad.  Oh and apparently she knows this Jan woman who runs the company and she will have a word with her when she gets home – me smirking.

Normally people are just not informed and this causes a lot of confusion.  Unfortunately the Purser’s desk doesn’t always know either.  The passport to value booklet is free and everyone gets one when you get on board – really the coupons are not necessary to get the deal.  When someone called the front desk to ask why they didn’t get one they were told they don’t offer them anymore.  Obviously this is incorrect because we got one.  The coupons are on display in the shops and other venues are applied if you purchase what it applies to.  Our cabin steward gave us ours. 

Another couple wanted to trade in their mini bar for two coffee cards but was told at the front desk that they no longer do this.  Again they are misinformed or just don’t know.  They still do this and all you have to do is call the room service and they will take care of it. 

Of course the front desk can’t know every department’s issues and what the procedure is but many of these things should be communicated better.

Overall the three days at sea have given us an opportunity to rejuvenate and rest and guiltless sleep ins and reading for hours.


  1. We love sea days. Some people find them boring. But that's only if you let that be. Always plenty to do.

    As for the front desk not knowing what's going on...there really is no excuse for that. With today's technology, they should be able to keep up. This is where people go for information.

    Love following along on your journey.

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