Showing posts from August, 2015

What is Better Than Coffee? Cruise With Them

Our friends Dolores and Laura had told us they would be in Vancouver before getting on the Grand Princess for a three day cruise to San Francisco.

We really wanted to see them and knew whatever time we had with them it would be very limited before they had to get on the ship.

Well.... why not join them I suggested to Bernie.  The price sure was right $188 for an inside, and $218 for a balcony.  

Then Bernie suggested why not take some time and visit his niece who recently moved with her husband and two young boys to just outside of San Francisco.  

Even better, I have never met her boys and would love to see Erin again.

So we booked a BD balcony guarantee and then went and used our points to secure tickets for a flight home.

The next day we were assigned a cabin.  A BC category A617 and I was happy.  Bernie was a little concerned about the possible noise from the Horizon Court just above us.  He suggested I contact Connie our travel agent to see what she could do.

My suggestion to her was if…

Seattle - Disembarkation

Another cruise is done.  We wake and know it is time to get back to reality.

We shower and pack up the last of the items.  

We have chosen to do the earliest walk off and were assigned the first group at 7:30.  

I shower while Bernie heads upstairs to get a small bite to eat and bring back some fruit for me to have in the cabin.

We leave the cabin at 7:30 and thank Enrique for all his hard work this week.  We always leave the auto tips in place and we have tipped him extra three times this week.

The Platinum/Elite Lounge is Da Vinci Dining room.  We figure it will be rather quiet since there are not many that fall into that category.  In fact we are first to arrive.  But a couple who walk in behind us grab a paper and head to a table.  Only to come back a minute later and wonder about breakfast. Seems they think they are serving breakfast here this morning.  Riz (Captain Circle Host) directs them to the Botticelli Dining room, which can be confusing for some.

We chat with Riz for a minute w…

Victoria - Last Day - AKA Sad Day

After the Most Travelled Luncheon we return to the cabin to change.  It is around 2 pm and we are full and all I want to do is just crawl into bed and have a nap.  But I won't, it is the last day and I want to enjoy it to the fullest.

The Cabin Steward - Enrique - has put the bed protector on the bed so we can start packing.  But we are doing early walk off so we will just pack late today or early tomorrow.  One nice thing about not having to fly home is that we can just throw the things in the bag and close it and go.

I head up to the top deck to catch a bit of the Deadliest Catch - Crab Sort Gameshow. It was quite fun to watch.

Oh did I tell you what a squirrely day it has been weather wise.  We keep entering these fog banks and the fog horn sounds periodically.   Then we come into beautiful sunshine.   It is warm enough that people are out on the pool decks and in the pool.  It is amazing how cool it can be when you are out in open waters.  There was also more movement last night …

Most Travelled Luncheon - Last Day

We are honoured to be invited to the Most Travelled Luncheon.  A few years ago Princess introduced this luncheon (sometimes a cocktail party) to the top 40 most travelled passengers on any given cruise.  Lately we always make the cut off but sometimes it is close.  This sailing we are the fourth most travelled on this sailing.

Riz Sirilan is the Captain Circle Host and she sent out the invited on the first day for the luncheon.

Today it is held in Sabatinis and it is a sit down meal.

Normally you are sat according to where you fall on the list.  Top three couples sit at the Captains Table.  Next three are at the Hotel General Manager's Table (but today it is both Customer Services Directors - Stefano and Nelson), etc etc.

But I should back track.  When the open the doors to the restaurant you hand in your invite and Riz will introduce you to the Captain.  They will then take your picture - and you get a copy of it at the end of the meal.

You are then led to your table.  We are sitting …

Last Day - Why We Stop in Victoria - Passengers Vessels Services Act

Well one thing I know for sure - Seven Day Cruises go way too fast.  It is already the last day of the cruise!  Seems like we just got on.

It feels like a sea day though because we don't dock in Victoria until 7 pm.

Now I heard a lot of people commenting about why such a short time in Victoria.  Why are we stopping there at all?  Let me try and answer this.

It all has to do with the Passengers Vessels Services Act - PVSA of 1920 for more info click here.

This law was brought in to build up the maritime industry.  In order for ships to transport passengers from one US port to another US port and NOT stopping at a foreign port they had to have a few things.  

The ship had to be constructed in the US, owned by US citizens and crewed by US citizens.  

Of course most cruise ships don't fall into these categories.  Most are built elsewhere, are registered in Panama/Bahamas/Bermuda etc.  And they are crewed by many different nationalities.  All of these are cost effective for a cruise line…

Ketchikan and Formal Night

We dock very early in Ketchikan - so early I don't even notice that we docked.  Oh by the way we docked around 6 am.  There are four ships in port today - aka busy day.

The weather is overcast with a chance of showers.  Not cold, just cloudy and damp.  
See picture above it says it all.

Sadly we are not in port for that long.  The Crown comes here late in her itinerary and has to leave early so she can make it to Victoria late tomorrow.  Trust me I heard people grumble about the short stop here but it isn't like this ship is a plane that takes off and lands somewhere in a few hours. Victoria is quite a distance and we have to stop in Victoria by law so because of this we leave at noon.

The ship seems quiet.  Many have gone ashore for the morning.  Bernie and I contemplated going ashore but we are quite happy to stay on board and use the ship as our floating resort.  We have been to Ketchikan a few times and we know we will be back.

Today we are docked all the way in Berth 4 which i…

Tracey Arm

Today is the WOW day - it is the day we sail up Tracey Arm.

You need to get up early cause we enter Tracey Arm early - 6:45.  The sights are stunning.  The channel is only 1.5 miles wide so you have views of the mountains on each side.  

Make sure to check out the view and how the ship maneuvers around Big Bend and the "S" Turn.  

If you check along the shore lines around the sandy muddy flats you could spot a bear, but we didn't.

We spot the Star Princess coming out of the channel - boy they were there very early.  As they pass right beside us there is hooting and hollering and lots of waves.

We are sailing towards South Sawyer Glacier but there sure is a lot of ice in the water.

There are some rules that need to be followed and this will effect the passengers. 

They are not allowed to discharge grey water here so laundries could be closed and if you put laundry in for them to do it may take a little longer.

You will not get paper cups while traveling here to ensure that nothin…