Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ebb and Flow of a Cruise

Nothing better than realizing you have two sea days to ease into your holiday.  You can see the passengers slowly decompressing from work, travel, family and stresses of everyday life. 

There certainly is an ebb and flow of cruises.  The embarkation is hard.  People want on, they want to get settled, they want their bag.  Just trying to figure out the layout of the ship is stressful.  What type of table will they have for dinner, does it have a nice view? How do I navigate this Horizon Court?  Then throw in a Muster Drill which is mandatory and if you have never done it before or don’t know the ship could be confusing.

The crew shine even more these first two days.  They answer questions - where is the washroom?  Where is Alegro Dining Room?  How do I find my cabin? Where can I eat?  Where is Muster Station D? How do I set up my internet?  Is this included in the cruise or do I have to pay more? 

Every question is important to the person asking it.  The crew know this and they patiently direct them to the right place or the right person. 

Inevitably line ups are long for the Purser’s desk with enquiries, especially about accounts, cabins and luggage. 

The Captain Circle Host is also busy.  People need to clear up any discrepancies in their loyalty level.  Oh and in you want to see the Internet Manager be prepared to wait.  I am not always sure why so many wait for the Internet Manager but they do.  The account set up and purchase of a plan (whether it is complimentary or not) is very very easy to follow.  But I think many people need help not so much with the Princess internet but more with their device and how to set it up and how to ensure they don’t incur roaming fees.  So if you are coming on board check these things out with your provider, ask any nearby young person how to connect to a wifi setting. 

Once you get on board let your device connect to the ship’s wifi and then open up the browser and go to the site.  For Royal Princess it is then just follow the prompts to set up an account.

One thing I find if I want to not wait in a line is to write a note and address it to the appropriate person with the question.  Often they address it when they are back on shift and respond directly by leaving a message on my phone.
But I do have to share some funnies that I hear.

On the elevators at the aft and it is just me and this woman and she is complaining “whoever designed the elevators for this ship needs to be fired” oh I respond “the mid ship elevators don’t go to deck 17”  I smile and respond “they don’t go to deck 17 cause there is no deck 17 midship you would be flying into the air if they did”.  She was dumb founded.

Another elevator comment was:  again we were in the aft elevator and this woman was upset because the elevators don’t go to deck 5 in the back.  That is correct I say, if they did you would be forced to work in the galley because that is where the galley is on deck 5 and they would put you to work, so stay away from deck five aft. 

I know it can be confusing but once you have been on one Princess ships they are all pretty much the same. 

Traditional dining is on deck 6 aft.  To get to it you need go use the aft elevators - so walk down the Promenade (dance a bit when you hear music) and then take either the stairs down one flight or the elevators down.

For Anytime Dining they the dining rooms off the Atrium on deck five and six.  Sometimes part of one of these dining rooms is used traditional early seating.  If you are not sure of your dining room and your table, check your cruise card as it is written at the bottom of your cruise card.

So the ebb and flow continues onto the first sea day where people are starting to relax.  People are always up early the first day.  They are excited they want to enjoy the day entirely.

The first thing is breakfast so be prepared for the Horizon Court to be busy as people don’t know the layout yet.  Where do you get toast?  Where is the butter?  Fruit?  Omelets made to order - what is the process?  But trust me by the third day they get it and it flows better.

The Atrium is next - especially when it comes to the coffee card.  People are not sure what is included in the cruise price.  Can I have this donut for free?  Is the coffee included?  What is a coffee card?  I have an old coffee card, why did I get a punch for the coffee?  Lots of questions but the staff are use to it and they are happy to answer.

As the day progresses people are getting settled as the vacation begins, and as people start to understand the flow of the ship.

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