Saturday, January 30, 2016

January 29, 2016 - Fort Lauderdale Turn Around Day

Oh this could be a long day.  With very little sleep I am struggling.  Thankfully I have my latte nearby and I slowly come to life.

Bernie is off to throw the wash in.  Yes we always do a large load of wash on turn around day.  We do get the free laundry perk but doing a big wash every ten days gets it all clean. Really clean!  The ship’s laundry service is great but it often doesn’t get some things out that a regular wash does. 

I start to get the bags out and start packing up things.  We need to change cabins today.  Thankfully we have less stuff now (less wine, toiletries etc) and we are also just moving down the hall to the front of the ship on the same deck.  

We have it all packed and ready to move just before 8 am and when Bernie checks the cabin it is available right now.
By 8:30 we are in the new cabin and totally unpacked.  

Wash is done (some things still need to get ironed) and we are down in the International Café by 9 enjoying another coffee and reading.  Louise and Brian join us and we catch up.

The in transit meeting time is 10:30 in Princess Theater.  Again this turn around we are opting to head off before this meeting time and clear customs and head ashore to do our errands.

Again we walk to 17th Street and hit Publix and Total Wine for our necessary items, toothpaste, salt and vinegar chips for Michael, conditioner, and two bottles of champagne.

Normally we head for lunch next but I am so tired (well really grumpy is what Bernie would call it) and we both agree we should just head back on board. 

I was a little hesitant to head back at noon because I know the pier can be a zoo at this peak time but was happy to say that when we did arrive we presented our in transit cards and we were directed to a door on the far right - marked “in transit”.  No line at all for security!  Then up to the next floor where we joined a queue but it moved relatively quickly.  We were on board around 15 minutes later. 

It is fun to see all the new people coming on board.  Their excitement, their awe of the beauty of the ship, the lost people!  We grab a pizza at Alfredos and it hits the spot.  So I am not hungry anymore but I am so very tired!

It is 1 pm and I get to the cabin, close the drapes, put my ear plugs in and use my eye mask and I am out very quickly. 

I don’t wake until I hear Captain Oliver wake me from a dead sleep.  What is Captain Oliver doing in my cabin?  Oh …. It it is the Muster Drill and his voice is being heard throughout the entire ship.  Well I am not going to sleep anymore and two hours will tie me thru till tonight.
The weather is not cooperating today, it is cool up on deck.  Gee I feel like I am back home in Vancouver it is probably around the same temperature. 

Our friends Angelique and Simon are on board with Angelique’s Mom and friend.  We arrange to head down to their cabin for sailaway (well down from Lido, but one up from us).  They are in M108 it is the first forward cabin on Marina deck and it has a huge balcony.  A bit different layout of the cabin but it works.  Their balcony is right above the wing of the bridge.  Pretty windy when sailing, but great place to be when in port.  I would certainly book this cabin.

We shower and dress for dinner and head down to Vines for some wine.  It is strange not seeing Wilf here, but Ronnie is still behind the bar.

We take our usual seat and order some wine and a man comes over and asks if I am Vickie.  Yes I am!  When he introduces himself as Chris and his fiancé Julie I remember chatting with him on my Facebook Fan Page -- Cruising Princess Cruiseline with Vickie -- about this voyage.  We ask them to join us and we spend about an hour getting to know them.  It is really what cruising is all about.  Connecting with people in a beautiful environment over some good food/good drinks and lots laughs.

Dinner tonight is in Symphony Dining room.  We get there just after 8 pm.  There is no wait at all and we are sat at a table for two in Orlando’s section.  His section is busy but most of his tables are on their entrée/dessert. 

One thing I always hear is how frustrating Anytime Dining is.  Anytime doesn’t mean you will get a table whenever you want it, sometimes you may have to wait.  Of course this depends on the demographics of each cruise.  Last two cruises and this cruise seems to be the same, most people are eating early.  So the main Anytime Dining Room opens at 5 pm - it fills up but 5:30 and then it takes around an hour and a half to eat. So arriving at this dining room between 5:30 and 7 you will probably encounter a wait. 

If you need to have early seating and always want this I urge you to take traditional seating.  Concerto is used for early seating at 5:30 but turns into Anytime at 7:30.

Allegro Dining room has early seating at 5:45 and late at 8 pm.  Whatever you choose remember you are on vacation.  Relax and enjoy the food, the service and the company. 

For dinner I have the prawns with the lemon dipping sauce, then a lovely soup, and for my entrée I have the Curtis Stone pork dish again.  I love this dish, the pork is so moist and tender you can cut it with your fork.  The sweet potato mash has a taste of coconut in it and the pineapple chutney adds a lovely sweetness to it.  The red sauce has a bit of spice.  My only complaint about the dish is it looks so bland.  Everything on the plate is white or beige except for a swish of the red sauce.  It needs vegetables, some color.  But the dish is very good and I would have it again.

After dinner we both skip dessert and head to the gelato bar to get a sundae to share.  While there we spot our friends in Vines so we enjoy the sundae in there.  The Atomic Party Band is playing and we really enjoy them. 

Lots of people are dancing!  After they finish Perry Grant starts up, but really he is not my favorite.  He reminds me of a Liberace character, and really doesn’t play much current music.  This does seem to be apparent in the people who are diehard fans of his, and there are many on this ship.  They love him!  But I am happy to report that Kory Simons is coming back to this ship February 8.

Lots happening tonight on board:  Feature Film Trainwreck in Vista Lounge 7:15 and 10:15, LGBT Gathering, Singles and Solos Mix and Mingle, Variety Showtime in Princess Theater at 8:15 and 10:15 pm featuring vocalist Willis White, Royal Princess Dancers, Showband and Comedian Troy Thirdgill, Late Night Dance Party with DJ Smoke, Where In the World Am I Game Show at 10:15 in Princess Live and of course BOGO Happy Hour in Club 6 at 11 pm.

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