Showing posts from September, 2016

Disembarkation in San Francisco

We wake just before 7 to the feeling of the ship docking.  

We quickly shower and head to the dining room for some cereal and fruit.  

We are asked for a table of two and we were told it would be a while.  

Now we can see that the dining room is not busy and we know they want to discourage people from asking for deuces.  But today we just don't have time for a big table.

We say we will wait and about five minutes later we are taken to a table for two.  Hmm, we know the game but if you want a table for two then hold your ground.  But again have to say dining on the Island in the Dining room is a game of patience and understanding.
The service was great and we were in and out within 20 minutes.
We are in the first walk off group.  We meet at our assigned time of 745 in Wheelhouse - note there was no Platinum Elite disembarkation lounge.

Things are running a bit late.  At around 8:15 we are called that we can get off.  
The issue really is not with Princess it is more with the Customs agents…

Sea Day Evening - Dinner at The Bayou Cafe

When I wake Bernie is getting ready.  I am feeling much better.  A nap was a good idea.

Bernie heads to Crooners so I can get ready.  I meet him there around 7 pm.  We both enjoy a Bramble and he tells me about a conversation he had with these three women from Vancouver.  

One woman went on about once you move up to the next level in the Captain Circle program Princess automatically upgrades you.  

Bernie tried to correct her but she was adamant. Note she was platinum and never did ask Bernie about his loyalty level or experience with Princess.  

But sorry ladies upgrades prior to a cruise do not have any bearing on how often you have cruised.

The next woman asked Bernie what was the longest cruise he had been on.  He responded 49 days.  Her response was oh I never could do more than ten to twelve days as I have pets.  Bernie nodded, her next comment was that her dream was to do a world cruise.  Bernie smiled and said you do know that a world cruise is longer than 12 days by around 10 Time…

Sea Day – Friday

You would think I could sleep in.  Nope!  I am awake as Bernie heads out to get a tea.  After a half hour of him being gone I head out too to find him.  

I find him chatting with Monika and we all head to the dining room for breakfast.  A quick bowl of cereal and a fruit plate and we are good to go.  Note the dining room is only open until 9 so make sure to arrive before then.

I missed Mark Harris’ lecture yesterday but we make a point of getting to it today.  His talk is all about dolphins.   Quite enjoyable and Mark keeps it light and fun.

After the lecture we sit in Crooners and catch up with Mark for over an hour.  So nice to see him again.

Of course if Bernie has any say we are heading back to Alfredo’s for lunch and sure enough that is where we end up.  

Today it is much busier but just as good as yesterday.

I am able to get online and check in for our flights tomorrow.  

We have around 500 in transit staying on for the Panama and pretty much all those getting off tomorrow have walk of…

At Sea After Victoria - Evening

As Bernie returned to the ship we both knew where we would be eating.  Alfredo’s!  Bernie’s favorite.  On the Island Princess Sabatinis opens at lunch as Alfredo’s Pizzaria.  

We are seated by the window where we watch our departure from Victoria.

Our server Rosa surprises us as we just sailed with her on the Royal at the beginning of this year.  Since then she has gone home to Argentina and come to the Island. 

Bernie gets the vegetarian and I get the Margarita Pizza.   Note the menu is more limited than the larger ships dedicated Alfredo’s but it is still very good.

The afternoon calls for a nap.  Two nights with little sleep is catching up with me.

After a short nap we head off to Crooners to meet up with friends from my Facebook fan page as well as the Princess Cruiseline Lovers page.  

Pat and her Mom, Diane, Monika, us and Mary Jane and Peter.  I should say that we first tried to get into the Elite lounge in Explorers but it just had Bingo and they need to clean and set up for elite l…

Victoria - Port Stop

We left Vancouver at 4 pm and we are docked in Victoria at 7 am. Now I am not sure the routing but boy 15 hours to get here, we must of gone very very slow, or maybe we went out into open waters and did circles cause the distance between the two cities is not very much.

We are docked at Ogden Point with is around a 7 minute drive to the city center or a 30 minute walk. 

For more info. on visiting Victoria and ways to get around see this blog post by clicking here

The sun is out and it is promising to be a lovely day in the mid 20s.  But it is cooler by the water.

I should let you know as many have asked.  Yes we have been getting the port information sheets.  But yes they are also available in pdf format thru the Princess at sea app while on board.

Talking about the Princess at sea app.  They still have not fixed the way you search for contacts. Currently you have to enter the unique numerical/alpha code that is unique to each passenger which is assigned to you once you register with th…

First Evening - Sabatini Dinner

First stop is Explorer's Lounge to the Platinum Elite Lounge to try a Cosmo.  Maribel is there to quickly take our order – two Cosmos please.  Bernie rates them right up there with some of the bests.  That says a lot.

Yes we are able to order any drink that is part of the special loungers menu for $5. 

A card was delivered to the cabin with the itinerary and what is featured each day.

We sit with two couples from Edmonton and a short while later Monika joins us for a drink. 

Oh did I tell you Monika is the Most Travelled this voyage.  We are in the top 40 but don’t know where we fall. If I can get to see the Captain Circle Host I will find out. (I later find out we are number 5 & 6).  

In lieu of a most travelled luncheon or cocktail party we have been given dinner for two at any of the specialty restaurants.  We will be dining at the Bayou Cafe with Monika on the last night.

Bernie wants to check out the stores as he saw a great Tommy Bahama shirt and t shirt he wanted.  So we get…

Short Weekend Away on Island

A great deal happened and we just couldn’t pass it up.  A three day repo from Vancouver to San Francisco.  Timing was perfect as it fell right during our weekend.

We left home with small carry on bags, two bottles of Vino Verte for dinner with Antonio tonight.

See Antonio is from Portugal and we thought he might enjoy it.  However as we swung the backpack on one bottle fell out and smashed to the ground.  Oops…. Thankfully there is a liquor  store two blocks from the pier where we buy a. new bottle.

We arrive at the pier at 1230.  We are directed upstairs to the conference center where we are divided by ship.  The Volendam is in port with us.  We fill out our health forms.  Then quickly get our cruise cards.

We snake around like we are in a parade heading downstairs to go thru security.  The line is long but it moves very efficiently.

Normally we would go thru US customs but since the ship is heading to Victoria first we don’t go thru customs.  We will however have to clear US customs wh…

Brazilian Visa - Don't Miss Out

Many people ask about getting a Brazilian Visa and how difficult is it. 

Brazil like many countries requires a visa for some Nationalities. First thing to check is click here to see if your country requires a visa. Canadians, Americans, and Australians require visas. British passport holders do not. 

Once you have the page open scroll down to see the number beside your country and then scroll up to see what that number means. 1 means you need a visa 

I can report how our experience was five years ago. It took about a week to gather all the necessary documents and fill out the forms. For use we required:  letter from employer, pay stubs, and travel itinerary. 

We delivered the forms, money and passports to the Brazilian Consulate in Vancouver and because everything was in order we got our passport and visa back about 10 days later.

Note each consulate and country is different. Our experience with the consulate here in Vancouver that represents western Canada asked for different documents th…

South America Planning and Gambling

As many of you know we have been on two amazing South America Cruises.  Have to say that South America holds a special place in our hearts.  It is an area we had always been interested in and it did not disappoint.  And of course we can't wait to get back there.

When planning for 2017 we knew our vacation choice at work was not going to be a good one and we would have to focus on time in January/February.  Not to worry we don't mind that time of year as we always go away then.

We have a few reasons for wanting to head back.

I really want to visit many of the ports again for more research.  My goal is to write more port information and look at port lecturing for South America after I retire. This trip would focus on us looking at the ports on a very practical level for this purpose.We have some friends in Santiago we would really like to spend more time with.  Not to mention we have never been to Santiago and want to spend some time there.Bernie has always dreamed of going to Mach…