Monday, February 20, 2017

Last Day and Disembarkation

The last day is always sad.  Especially after such an amazing trip.  

It is hard to believe we left home and have been to three countries and three very different types of holidays. Peruvian journey, Disneyland, and Mexican Cruise.

The last day is spent first sleeping in!  Bernie and I head to Horizon Court for lunch and again the buffet is exactly the same as the day prior.  I have never seen this before like it is on the Ruby.  This happens only during lunch and there is still a lot of options to choose from but it surprises me.

We make the rounds of the ship stopping to chat with people we know - passengers and crew.  

Bernie is feeling quite melancholy as he knows that some we will never see again and those that we will see again won't be for a long time.

Barb and Craig have us over for drinks and we sit and chat for quite a long time.  Great cruise friends that I have a lot of respect for.

Tonight is Mongolian Stir Fry at the Cafe Caribe tonight.  Each week this theme has gotten more popular.  Tonight it doesn't disappoint.

Be warned though that they obviously don't clean the fry pan between each person's dish as I got corn kernels when I did not put in any on my plate, also got two pieces of chicken but I wanted vegetarian.  So if you have an allergy to something make sure to let them know.   

After dinner we consider going to see Magic to Do again tonight but we are both a little sad and just want to go back to the cabin and pack up.  

Note they did Magic to Do the last night mainly because the new singers and dancers required more time to rehearse, but normally it is not on the last night.

We are doing walk off - group one tomorrow and our meeting time is 8 am.  We already have one bag packed with our Peruvian clothes.  We pack up the other two bags quite efficiently.  All bags are way underweight (surprise).

The next morning we dock at 7 am and we are cleared around 7:30.  As soon as we head down (7:45) to deck 7 to go to our lounge they have already called our group so we just join the queue to get off.

There is a couple in front of us who clearly are not doing walk off as they have no bags at all.  I am sure they are sneaking off early.  We comment wow you sure packed light. The guys says yeah they accidently took our bags last night.  

Right I think.... I tell him you know they won't have your bags out ready for you when you get off you know.  His wife is telling him "i told you"!  The security asks them what group they are and they can't answer and when they finally confess Aqua 2 security tells them they can't get off yet. They are directed back on.  

We are off quickly, thru customs within 5 minutes and outside by 8:15.

We are heading to LAX and we see a PrimeTime Shuttle that needs two so we join the group for $17 per person to the airport.  Effortless.

Our flight with Air Canada is noon and we arrive in plenty of time.  We splurged with air miles and are flying back business class.  

Once in Vancouver we quickly clear customs and the wait for the bags begins.  Vancouver is really bad a baggage delivery - I know they don't have enough staff.  Our bags are tagged priority but it still took almost a half hour just for the bags to arrive at the carousel.

We are home by 3:45 and unpacking begins.

Stay tuned.  I will be tweaking the blog posts and adding more pictures from the Ruby now that I have my computer and free wifi.  But work comes first so will try to do a bit each night.

Thanks for following.

Thursday, February 16, 2017


We once again sleep soundly and are woken to the sound of room service knocking.  They are 15 minutes early (8:15 - requested 8:30-9) but they are busy and probably just getting a jump on things.  I roll over and wait for alarm to go off while Bernie sips his tea.

Today we slather on the sunscreen (using the 60 SPF now) so we don't get fried. There is a light breeze and the sun is out in full force and it can be misleading.

We meet Lydia and Marco at Vines and we head ashore.  Here in Mazatlan you dock at their industrial pier.  So you will see containers ready for shipping all over the dock.  Becausse of this it is not safe to walk to the gate so there is a small train shuttle with benches that shuttles people back and forth.  It is very efficient and fast and we have never had to wait for one. 

Once we jump off the shuttle we are ushered into the maze of the shops and people selling tours, taxis, tastings for tequilla, and time shares.  We focus and just keep walking to the gate.

We are heading back to Stone Island and we are heading there independently.  We exit the gate and turn left.  Keep walking till the end of the street (maybe 10 minutes if that).  You will see a Naval Base on your left when you come to the end and a path with fences on both sides. 

There is a sign that says Stone Island Water Taxi.  Just walk down the path and buy your ticket from the booth.  Today I paid more attention to the cost.  Written right on the wall is the price 30 Pesos for a round trip.  Which technically should be $1.50 US at the bank exchange rate of 20% but we rarely get that.  Here the conversion is $2 US for 30 Pesos.  No biggie we will survive.  Last week we paid with a $5 bill and got change back so that makes sense.  Again we wish we would of had more pesos instead of being hit with the exchange twice for the 3 weeks.

We walk to the Carmelitas again and we are welcomed and take four lounge chairs and two umbrellas facing the beach.  It is so beautiful here.

We get a bucket of beer and two margaritas! 

We spend the next four hours or so chatting with Lydia and Marco and enjoying the tranquility.  We do get some food but not much.

One tip is make sure you get the menu and keep it to track what you are spending. Again when you see the bill you may want to double check that they have not overcharged.

Aroung 2:30 we start making our way back to the ferry and there is a ferry that is just about to leave but waits for us.  The ride across the channel takes maybe five minues.

Note you can take a taxi to Stone Island (which is really a peninsula).  But a taxi will take a long time as it has to travel all away around the harbour and will cost a lot of money.

If you want to travel into town it is easy too and walkable.  In fact they have made it easy for tourists to head into town by painting a Blue Line on the sidewalk as soon as you exit the pier that leads you to downtown. 

Also there are many expat volunteers at the gate that can answer your questions without any pressures - seek them out.

Once back on board we shower and decorate the bottom of our shower with sand.  Bernie falls asleep while I read.

Tonight is the Most Travelled Cocktail Party and this voyage we have moved up again we are the fourth most travelled couple.  The party is like the other two, but the best part about the party is Colleena who is a hoot!  This time we get a picture wtih the new Captain who just came on board Captain Pomata. 

We head to the Horizon Court afterwards and the theme tonight is Italian Night.  It is busy up here even at 8 pm.  Food is very good and the waiters are quite attentive and helpful.

After the meal we are up on the sun deck to partake in the Love Boat Disco Deck Party that is always a good time.  We dance the night away and even make it onto the Kiss Kam - and Lisa Ball even calls out our name when we appear!  She is a sweetie.

Sidenote: the Intertaional Cafe is improving.  The other day I noticed a Head Waiter down there directing staff and overseeing them.  It improved imensely.  The staff are good but they need direction.  Lets hope it continues.

Duke our Cruise Director has fallen ill a few days ago and Lisa Ball the Entertainment Director had stepped in to take over. But today in Mazatlan Duke was sent home due to illness.  We wish him well.  A new Cruise Director will be coming on in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Puerto Vallarta

Happy Vallentine's Day.  Last night on our pillow as a card from Princess and two of the heart shapped chocolates.

Again this week we wake around 9:30!  Seems every PV day we sleep in.  We don't dock till 10 am but we arrive early and we get clearance around 9:50. 

The ship is decorated with hearts and Valentine decorations all over.  It is lovely and festive.  We have been handing out Valentine treats all week to the crew.

We head ashore around 11 and walk out to the WalMart to the bus stop to Bucerias.  As soon as we arrive there is a bus there and it is one of the AC buses.  Cost to Bucerias is 16 pesos each - just under a dollar each.

One thing we would do differently next time we sail to Mexico we would definately get Pesos.  Currently we have been using US dollar which is widely accepted.  Current exchange rate is 20% so $10 equals 200 pesos.  Exchange rate though at stores, restaurants, taxis etc varies from 18 - 13% ! 

Sure if we were just down for a week with three stops we probably would of just kept the US dollar but with 9 stops in Mexico we should of just gone to a bank and taken out Pesos.  Which would of been so much easier than working out the conversion all the time.

Right now we are converting Canadian to US (as US is used on ship) and then converting again to Pesos.  But again if you are American and coming here just for the 3 port stops you can easily get by with American you just will be dealing with poor exchange often.

Okay back to today.  We board the bus to Bucerias (it has Bucerias written on the side of the bus or windshield) which then goes to Sayulita.  It takes about 40 minutes to get there (still working on building that overpass).

We get off right near the square and we walk down to the beach and head back to El Buro where we went a few years ago.  We sit at a table that has an umbrella and a lounge chair. 

We order drinks and some food and enjoy the scenery.  The water is perfect - warmer than Mazatlan was a few weeks ago. 

Here we are asked if we want massages, tattoos, horeseback riding, parasailing and shown pretty much everything to buy by sellers walking by.

When we get the bill we notice it is added up wrong so they correct it.  I am going to say it was an honest mistake but it seems to be a regular occurance in some countries.  They give us an exchange of 18% so in total we get have a great meal and drinks for $30 US.

We walk back to the main square where there is a taxi stand.  We ask how much is it to the cruise port - 300 pesos.  Okay and as we wait for the taxi another couple arrives and they are going to the Marina (very close to the port but before the port) and they are quoted 250. 

He tries to get all four of us into his taxi to share and we all said what?  He then says 250 each then.  We all shake our head and say no we won't get squished in the small car to save 50 pesos (although the other couple would still pay the same). 

It is always hard when you are travelling because you just don't know what to expect in price. Or if you are being taken.  Although the price was minimal here it adds up.

It is just hard to know what a regular rate should be as they don't often post prices.  But always make sure you ask the price before you get in.

Well we are in the taxi and we are off and OMG it reminded me of the crazy ride from Port Everglades in Florida to the airport one time.  This driver was in and out of traffic all the way.  Took no time at all - maybe 20 minutes! 

We are dropped right off at the entrance to the pier and we wind our way thru the port - note they check your cruise card and your bag at the gate.  Then the ship checks your card, bings you in and checks your bag too.

Back in the cabin we shower and create a beach in the base of our shower.

We feel so much better after the shower and cleaning off all the sunscreen, salt, and sand.

First Two Sea Days

I haven't been posting for two reasons.  First things are very similar to the last two cruises.  Second wifi has been intermittent from our cabin location at least - not sure about elsewhere.  I can usually get on but then getting to a webpage is difficult.  So I just log out and take it as a sign that I should post later.  But overall the wifi has been pretty good - we have certainly seen it a lot worse.

For the first sea day we went to the buffet in Horizon Court and I was very impressed with the food.  I especially enjoyed the sandwich station.  Now many other ships have this too but this one was especially great with lots of different spreads and salad mixtures - chicken, egg, tuna etc.   I also enjoyed the spring roll and beef satay.

The next sea day we were up there again for lunch and it was exactly the same buffet.  Spring Rolls, beef satay, fried chicken, thai soup - exactly the same.  I have never seen them repeat buffets.  Of course there is still lots of choices even if they are repeated but it is not what I have seen before.

There have been tons of activites throughout the days.  Including yesterday the martini demonstration for which I was able to shake my stuff to Beyonce's All the Single Ladies!  And an appletini was my reward.

The weather this cruise is way better than the first leg, and even better than the last leg.  By noon on the second day the sun was out and many were out on the sun decks enjoying the sun. By the second day it was hot and the sun was strong - although in the shade it could be cool.

I did go down to Promenade deck to watch for whales on the open deck. Today there are more white caps in the water making it much more difficult to spot the whales spouting. But we do spot a few and one breeched very close to the ship.

I also saw lots of dolphins and turtles.  My funny of the day was when a woman approached and asked if we had seen whales and when we said yes she commented "does Princess feed them to get them to come".  Ahh no these whales are in nature and they are in their breeding grounds currently, we just happen to be sailing right by them.

Dinner last night was at Share.  We wanted to Ayyleen again as our server and she truly did not disappoint.  She knows her stuff and she is so professional.

We enjoyed some Proseco - thank you HGM - wine and then port.  Dinner was six courses of true bliss.  We were stuffed!  I am going to miss eating here.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Embarkation Day - Last Cruise on Ruby

Today is the end of our second leg and the begining of our next and last leg of our trip.  We dock early and the ship is cleared and the first group of passengers is allowed off at approximately 7:20 (self assist disembarkation).

Of course it is impossible to sleep in on turn around days as cabin stewards get their carts ready and filled with supplies for a busy morning of changing everything in the cabin for the new passengers.

Then passengers are up early and lots of banging of doors/closets/drawers as the last items are packed away. 

We gather our items that we want to wash in the laundromats and put a wash in.

Today I agree to go with Bernie to breakfast in the dining room.  Da Vinci on deck 6 is the dining room that is always open for breakfast and lunch.  We ask for a table of two and we are told are you sure you don't want to share.  Nope we want a table for two.  Gee it feels like we are being reprimanded for wanting to sit just the two of us. 

The head waiter - Antonio (not the friendliest guy) shouts out a table number to a waiter and we are lead to a table for two.  Now the ironic thing is the dining room is empty - it has just opened.  There are a lot of tables available so not sure why we are made to feel like we are bothering them. 

Now I will add that the head waiters I am sure are pushed to their limit as there are fewer tables now because of Club Class and they are trying to accommodate all the passengers the best they can.  It is a real struggle and it is not their fault - but it is affecting how they present themselves to the passengers.

Breakfast was very very good.  I had that yummy crusted french toast and it was very hot and fresh - not an easy thing to do on a busy ship.  Our servers kept our coffee and tea refilled and service was some of the best we have had.  But it was not a full dining room, but this is what we expect in Princess with regards to service.

Bernie wants to head ashore but I really don't so he heads off on his own to get some items ashore.  He did return saying he had issues at the customs.   A lot of question -- where are you going, when did you enter, what do you do for a living.  When he told them he was getting right back on the ship they responded how come you have so many holidays?  Boy talk about third degree - it is not like he is staying in the US he is coming right back.  We are Canadian and are quite happy with staying in Canada.  But I do know they do question singles a lot more than couples as it happened to me once when I travelled by myself with a friend.  Anyways he got off finally and returned shortly after noon.

For me I met all the in transit people in Wheelhouse for 10:15.  They did have to call three people who were not there at 10:15 but around 10:30 we were all walked off and directly to customs where they took my customs form and looked at my passport then directed out.

From there we are lead out the door of the building and to the port entrance, up the escalator and then thru security.  ARGH I have my Princess tote bag that I carry with me often while on board.  I also have my stainless steel water bottle with water in it.  This security won't let us bring water on (don't want us to smuggle alcohol) so I pour out my water.  Then when my bag goes thru the scanner they ask if they can check it.  They find my small mini bar vodka that I carry in it sometimes to add to soda.  They tell me I am not allowed to bring it on. I say it is from my Princess Mini Bar!  I am in transit, I just got off and going right back on.  Nope they take it.  Oh well I should of known better and just left my bag.

Once we clear security we are lead to the intransit seating area where we sit for only about ten minutes.  We are directed back on board around 11:20 where I take a seat in the IC and enjoy another cappuchino and a salad and sandwich.

I am pleasantly surprised to see Caroline aka Frenchie walking by - she spots me and we hug.  It has been a long time since we saw her.  She is on board to replace Lisa Ball as Entertainment Director but for the next few weeks she is doing some head office stuff on board.  We catch up with her about what she has been up to and how she is.  Hope to get a chance to sit down with her over a drink this week.

By 1:30 it is getting busy with all the passengers getting on.  We agree to go hideout in the cabin, where Bernie quickly falls asleep.  Me I am not so lucky - just too much noise from bags being delivered to people arriving and cabin stewards knocking on doors and checking in.

Muster Drill and All Aboard is 3:30 and we relax in the cabin while it is going on.  Again because we are in transit we do not have to attend the Muster Drill.

Our friends Barb and Craig are on board and we head down to their cabin B750 (aft facing cabin) for sail away and drinks and to catch up.  It is lovely too see them both again and to be at sea with them again.

Their balcony cabin is all the way aft - so it is quiet and the balcony is as long as the ones on Caribe deck.  Their view is of the wake which is quite soothing.  There is a beam on the balcony but it is no so bad but it does impeed the view.  However it does come in handy if it is windy as it does shelter you from the wind. People either love or hate wake views.  I don't mind them as it is quite soothing but it is very noisy and hard to talk on the balcony.  Note that because the balcony is pretty much entirely enclosed with side walls almost to the ceiling noise bounces and is amplified when talking.  For some this many not be an issue as that wake view is worth it but it is good to be aware of it.

We agree to meet in Vines for a drink and then to go to Salty Dog for dinner. 

We arrive at Salty Dog and there is only one other table (another shows up later).  Edward shows us to a table for four and we place our order.

Today I had the macaroni and cheese with lobster and then the short rib poutine.  Both were very good but again we were served both courses pretty much at the same time.  We have been here four times and two times they served each individual course and two times they served the two course together.  Ironically we have had the same waiter each time.

The biggest issue with Salty Dog is the servers are actually bar staff.  And even though I love them and they do the job they are not servers.  There is no offer of salt/pepper, no check in to see how the meal is.  Also we often have to flag them down to get things including the bill.  I feel they could improve the whole experience if they put experienced servers in place here.

Off to bed, we are tired - okay I am tired and I am asleep before 10 pm.

Couple things to report - Hotel General Manager is now Riccardo Capraro.

Comedian for opening show is Phil Tag.

Thermal suite is $238 for a couple $139 for a single.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Thoughts After Our Second Mexican Riviera Cruise

As I wake to the sounds of cabins around us waking up and preparing for our arrival in San Pedro.  My mind starts to ponder the last cruise and what I should write about.

After tossing and turning for an hour I finally grab the tablet and start to write while it is fresh.

We are on for three cruises in total that all do the Mexican Riviera.  We have just finished our second leg and have one more to go.

First off we are really enjoying the demographics of these 7 day voyages on the West Coast.  Lots of first time cruisers and newer cruisers with over half of the ship having done less than five cruises.  This last trip had only 200 elites!

It is so lovely to see the excitement and fun that the people on board are experiencing.  Many more people are out late, drinking in the bars, playing in the casino, attending shows, participating in events and dancing into the evening.

I am guessing when I say I think the average age is around 45 with more kids and famillies (multi generational families) and seniors too.  It makes for a great dynamic that we don't find often on longer voyages.

It does take more patience as people learn the learning curve of cruising.  For example where all the washrooms are, how it is a cash free environment, getting coffee with your coffee card, to the flow of using a non lined Horizon Court.  It is interesting and does take some patience for those of us who come by this skill after so many cruises. I offer assistance when asked or when they look desparate.

I can't tell you how many times we have sat with people on board and chat and they proudly disclaim they are on their 3rd, 5th, 11th or even proudly tell me that they are elite and tell me the beneifts of being elite.  With them never asking me how many cruises I have done, nor do I tell them.  It is just nice to see how excited they are and proud they are too.

Sadly the dining room has not improved and even got worse - see post from second sea day dinner.  No matter if it is breakfast or lunch (open seating) or dinner, wait staff are overworked and can't provide the service we have come to love with Princess.

The head waiters are totally different that what we have had on other ships.  They are not very friendly (even the ones we know from previous cruises) and not once in the two weeks have we had a head waiter come to our table to see how things are going.  Nor do they welcome us very friendly when we arrive or anyone else for that matter that we have seen.

I understand tables for two are a premium and don't mind waiting if necessary but boy do they make you feel like you are doing them a diservice by asking for one. 

I totally see that this is a staffing issue and lack of team work.  Where some waiters are not busy in their section are not told to assist those that are busy.

The other issue with lack of tables for all meals is that a large section of the dining room is closed off for Club Class.  Each meal that we have eaten there sees only a handful of tables being used with over 75% sitting empty in that section.  Waiters standing around with nothing to do.

I will add before people slam me is that we have done a lot of cruises with Princess and this service is not the norm and not what is expected when we choose Princess.  Yes we could address it and I am sure it will improve for us but it does not fix the overall problem for everyone.  This is obviously a big problem and needs to be address from the top down.

For some reason we have had more issues with our bill this week.  Three different errors have appeared on our bill.  All have stemed from the dining staff.  I believe this is because they still do paper tickets here and write your folio number and errors can happen there.

Once we were charged twice for a specialty restaurant and the other two were charges for beverages in the dining room when we had not even dined in the dining room.

But make sure you are always checking your account, either with paper print outs or on line.  I love the online version as it shows up very quickly if not immediately and you can address it.

The Horizon Court has been very good.  Great selection and the service has been fast and efficient unless it is packed.  I have especially enjoyed the themed buffets.

Again we dined at both Share and Salty Dog (in fact twice at Salty Dog this voyage).  We are enjoying the different food options on board.  Share is a lovely addition and is a special meal that I encourage you to try if you call yourself a foodie (thinking of my friend Jim in NS).  If you are not really into specialty restaurants then you certainly can find great food all over for free.  But if you are a seasoned Princess Cruisers and looking for a bit of change sail the Ruby and enjoy Share and/or Salty Dog.

The International Cafe is still the hub of the ship and even though at times service is better than last week is still very poor.  For example yesterday I sat in the Atrium along the outer circle of the Piazza in one of the heavy chairs for twenty minutes and not once did a waiter even come by even though there were at least four waiters working. I finally gave up and left and was going to get my own drink but the line was at least ten deep.  Not sure what is going on here but the staff definately need direction here and more supervision.

Entertainment on board is very good.  Actually I would say the entertaiment is similar to what we see on a ten day voyage but this is packed into a 7 day.  Three production shows!  Comedians, magicians, deck party, trivias, games, folklore show, movies and way way more.  The team seem happy and friendly and all over the ship. 

The early show still seems to be the busiest.  So if you want to go to that one go early. But normally the later show you can find seats closer to start time.  Oh and bar service in here is very good too.

We got to attend the Platinum/Elite Lounge more this voyage and enjoyed it.  Staff here are so helpful and friendly and the food is just right for a pre dinner snack.

This trip we enjoyed the open decks more too.  The weather was very good - a bit hotter than last week (I felt).  The open decks were busy but not too crazy.  You could always find a chair.  It might not be right at the pool but a deck higher or forward was no issue. 

Sad to see not only people saving chairs with a towel but some people thought it was okay to have a chair in one spot and a chair in another spot.  One day up on the Sun deck we had a couple in front of us use two chairs in the sun, then two others over in the shade.  Really!  Also people seem to think that staff are there to pick up after them at all times.  If you leave your chair for  good take your towel/s.  Don't leave them there for deck staff to pick up.  One they don't know necessarily if you are done.  Second someone probably would love to use that chair so take the towels so others can use them when you are done!  It is very easy to dump the towels in the used towel bin that is located all over the place.

Our cabin steward is wonderful.  He is the quiet type but is what I call the nija steward.  As soon as I open my door his head pops out somewhere nearby to say "hi miss Vickie".  I swear I leave the cabin for a bit and the bed is made and towels changed. He is like a nija, sneaking around changing towels, making beds, replenishing ice! 

Bar staff again are fabulous. So friendly, helpful and kind. They are busy with so many people getting the drink package but even if you just want a glass of water they are very helpful and ready to say hi and see how you are doing.

This is the handover cruise for our current captain - Marco has been so nice and so visible all over the ship.  He is approachable and friendly and even willing to answer questions - even the simple ones.

Even posing for pictures with passengers in the elevator when I got on one day.

Purser staff are patient and helfpul but you can see that these 7 day voyages and newer cruiser issues are tiring.  But they handle them patiently.  Although I will add that we do notice that sometimes their answers (from what we have overheard at the desk) are stock answers and sometimes more to quiet the passenger.

All our issues we have encountered, mainly with errors on our bill, have been dealt with and corrected and usually followed up with a call to the cabin to state that it has been corrected.

This voyage we did go into the boutiques and buy a few items - cologne and Tommy Bahama T-shirts.  We recognize some of the staff here from previous cruises and all are very friendly and helpful and again very patient.  But boy can some passengers be mean - so just remember if you have an issue take it up with the Shop Manager not the sales staff as usually their hands are tied.

Laundry for elites has been coming back the next day (again with only 200 elites it is understandable).  But we have been using the Laundry facilities each turn around day too to do a large load.  Often if a mark does not come out from the onboard laundry it will come out when we do the regular wash.

The ports have been great.  I really enjoy visiting Mexico.  Just wish our Cabo stop was longer.

We are excited to have one more voyage to go and we are even more excited for our friends Barb and Craig to come on.

So stay tuned.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Cabo San Lucas

We wake and realize we are anchored in the harbour of Cabo San Lucas.  Tenders are required here and they are giving out tender tickets in Michalangelo Dining Room. 

But for us we are staying on.  I know sounds boring but because last tender is 1:15 and by the time we are up and ready we really would not have that much time ashore. We love Cabo but unless we had something really planned we are better off staying on today. There is a restaurant we love to visit but it is open only from lunch onwards and it is a bit far from the pier so it is fruitless to head there.

Instead we head to the International Cafe and enjoy two coffees and a bite to eat.  The staffing here has improved this voyage I am happy to say.

The IC is very very quiet though and most servers are just wandering around chatting up with everyone.

Have to say I love the three guys who work at the IC food bar handing out the food.  So lovely and I especially love when they are putting the food out and they are singing.

I had a good giggle when this woman approaced one of the staff and said where is the gangway adn the crew said "there is no gangway this is a tender port and you have to go to deck 4 to the tender boat as tender tickets are no longer required".  The woman with frustration said "but we were told the gangway is on deck 7 why do they keep changing it".  The crew member patiently said again just head down one deck and board the next tender and offered to show her.  We giggled and said to each other "boy deck 7 would be fun to try and board a tender - maybe it is a zip line".

There are a lot of interesting comments and incidents since there are so many new cruisers.  Some are cute, some are downright funny.   You forget what it is like to be on a ship when you sail so often. But saying that some things just are really just common sense.  Like the woman who compained that there is just too much food options in the buffet - well you don't have to eat it all.

We change into our bathing suits and slather the 30 SPF sunscreen on and head up to the main pool for some sun.  There are a lot of lounge chairs around as many are off. The views are stunning and the pool is quiet.

It is hot!  And we have to occasionally submerge in the pool just to cool off.  It is cool the pool but within a minute your body gets use to it. 

As the day continues it gets busier and busier but there were still lounge chairs to be had around the pool. 

I grab a hotdog and fries for lunch and enjoy the ice carving demo and then the bar wars.

As we sail away from Cabo we watch the whales and even see a turtle!  Dolphins too! I will add that we had so many people that were trying to see whales but after only a few minutes would give up.  If you want to look for wildlife you need to look out at the water!  Scan the horizon back and forth and look for disruption in the water.  You will be surprised at what you see!  Today we probably saw around 50 sightings of whales and dolphin. 

This couple that was standing beside us at the railing commented that these whales don't breech and jump but the ones in Puerto Vallarta do.  Ahhh what? we say... yes these ones do.  No he insists he has never seen these ones breech.  Well we saw many of the jump the other day when we were sailing south.  He insists they don't.  Yup I am not making this stuff up.

Around 3:30 we are back down in the cabin showering and relaxing.

It is formal night tonight and we dress and head up to the Horizon Court for Dinner - their theme is Fisherman's Corner (but there were lot of non seafood items too).

Our Captain Circle Party is at 7;15 - the most travelled this voayge is Mr. James Tang and Ms Linda Lin with 1793 days!  Wow that is a lot of days.  We are #9 and #10 most travelled but a long ways from their # of days for sure.

We sit with Colleena's (Captain Circle Host's) Dad at the party along with our friends we are sailing with. 

After the party we meet up with Lisa for some wine in Vines and catch up with how she has been.  It is a real treat to be sailing with her again.

Oh I should add while I am thinking about it.  We saw a few people that came back from shore with the palm leaf hats that they make.  One guy had one with an iguana made on top of it.  They are really cute hats.  But remember you can not bring them back into the US.  No agricultural items can be brought ashore in the US.  No flowers, fruits or plants including hats made from palm leaves.

Evening Activities included: Mariachi Melodies with Trio Los Brillantes, Comedy and Magic Showtime with R. J. Lewis, Movies Under the Stars Jack Reacher, Never Go Back, Yellow Diamonds Event and Raffle, The Vocal Stylings of Sonia Selbie, Piano and Cocktails with Alex Howland, Latin Hour with DJ Walter, The Marriage Match Game, Karaoke Madness, and the Grand Piazza Gala Party and Balloon Drop.

Mazatlan - Relaxing Day

I had a night of minimal sleep.  Not really sure why but I was awake at 4 am and tossed and turned.  When Bernie woke at 8:30 he turned and said that we should just stay on.  I know he is right.  I need to sleep or I will not be a good travel companion and my patience will be minimal.  And we were here last week and had a great day and we are back next week too.

Bernie dressed and went out and I rolled over and feel asleep finally.

There is an Crew Emergency Drill happening and they make announcements that can be heard in the cabin so it is hard to sleep too much but I sleep in between announcements.

When I finally woke at 11 we both doned our bathing suits and lots of sunscreen and went up to deck 16 forward where there was no one and settled in.

It is very hot and we needed to cool off periodically in the pool.  Oh and the pools were cold but once we were in it was perfect and we were so very hot getting in so anything would of been cold.

The new group of dancers on board are practicing the Love Boat Disco Deck Party - boy that must be hot.

We relax in the sun for quite a few hours.  Lots of sunscreen!  I am not getting burned in odd spots like last week.  And there are a lot of people walking around with bad sun burns.

I wander around and take some pictures of the area from ship so that I can later put up more detailed information on where things are and how to get to it from the ship.

Around 3 we head back to the cabin to shower and tidy up.  We decide to head to the Happy Hour in the Wheelhouse bar.

Happy Hour means you buy one drink at full price and you get the exact same drink for a $1.  It is busy but not as crazy as it is when we are at sea where it is crazy!  Dominique takes care of us -- yes she has moved from Crooners to Wheelhouse this voyage. 

Jerry joins us for drinks.  I had the Captain's Bounty and after two I am feeling good!

Happy Hour last two hours which is kind of long.  It isn't like I can drink more than two drinks anyhow but I guess it gives people more time to enjoy a drink at least.

Even though we stayed on, there are a lot of activities happening if you want to stay busy. 

Things happening are Morning Trivia, Movie Jason Bourne, Pictionary, golf putting challenge, carpet bowl challenge, 80's music trivia, afternoon tea, and Mariachi sailaway party.

After happy hour we head back to the cabin to change for the evening.

The Most Travelled Cocktail Party is happening at 7 pm in Adagio.  It is exactly the same as last week.  We pose for a picture, we say hi to some of the officers and we take a seat.  Today we are sitting with Gidea the Crew Manager and the Future Cruise Consultant (sorry forgot her name).  It is nice to chat with them and we know so many people that they do.  We also enjoy learning more about South Africa.

After the party we decide to head down to Salty Dog again.  It is 8 pm so there is no problem getting in.  In fact for most of the meal we are the only people there.  The meal was really good.  This time I had the soup and grilled cheese and then the mini burger - but we can't finish it all, we are stuffed. 

Tonight there doesn't seem to be a lot happening but that could just be us as we were on last week so some things we don't want to see again. 

Events tonight are:  Showtime is vocal stylings of Rebecca Jean The Girl from Oz.  Love Boat Disco Deck Party Dance Class in club fusion, Comedy Showtime at 7 and 8:45 of A. J. Jamal, Effy is having a party, $500 Blackjack Tournament, Karaoke, Love Boat Disco Deck Party.

Oh it was Italian Night in the dining room.

For us we wander around a bit after dinner but we both agree to just call it a night and head back to the cabin to relax - but we are asleep just before 10:30.  Guess we needed it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Puerto Vallarta

We sleep so well that we don't wake up until 9 am; however we did go to bed rather later as we watched a movie.

Docking is scheduled for 10 am and we are the #1 pier. 

We head ashore to meet up with our friend Greg who retired from our work last October.  He and his wife Barb moved here a week later!

We had told him to meet us around 10:30 - 11 but of course we are there then, but we are on ship time.  Which is one hour behind.  So keep that in mind if you are meeting up.

A quick ride in a taxi and we are at their apartment.  A beautiful 2 bedroom 2 1/2 bath place overlooking the hill side with stunning views of the water.  Oh I could get use to this.

We enjoy their company and get to learn all about the ins and outs of moving down here as Canadians full time.  We have always thought about it as an option for us, now it only makes us think even harder about this option.

Later in the day we head down the hill to the malecon and have a great meal all together.

Around 5 we head back towards the ship and wander around a bit near the pier.

I wanted to see if we could easily access the beach near the ship.  And you can. 

Exit the pier area/shops.  There is another market/flea market in front of you when you exit and just keep going straight towards the hotel/apartment in front of you.  Turn right and there is a path that takes you right to the beach.

Now beaches in Mexico are all public.  Hotels will have a roped off area that they have lounge chairs that you can not access but you can lay your towel down and enjoy the beach.

I am sure there are restaurants/hotels that will allow to use their facilities for a fee or if you eat/drink there.

Back on board I take a few pictures. 

The issues with Share have been cleared up.  The extra charge has been removed and the discount of 15% for the wine has been applied. Mario the Head Waiter there took care of it all in the end and he was very professional and helpful.  We also had him take note for reservation for next sailing for six of us.

Then we head to Skywalker for a drink in the Elite lounge and dinner in Horizon Court.

Back in the cabin at 9:30 and we are beat - and we think enjoying a quiet night is what we need.

Monday Evening - Dinner at Share

Tonight we are dining at Share.  Our reservation is for 7 and we start with a drink in Skywalker's Elite Lounge.

I order a Cosmo and notice they have the menu cards on the table.  This is a good idea because normally we can order any of the drinks from the elite menu but since this is a 7 day voyage there are a few less choices.  Last week I ordered a mojito and was charged full price. Normallly this is one of the choices (or at least on a longer voyage) but not on a 7 day voyage.  So take note.

We are sat at a table that is well I think way too big for 2, but great for 4 or 6.  Our waiter introduces himself - sorry I forgot his name but he is from Serbia.  He explained the menu to us and we asked for a wine suggestion and he had a great suggestion.

We had brought up one of the coupons from the coupon book that gives you 15% off a bottle of wine when you order one in a specialty restaurant.  Problem is later we notice it was not put thru.  We are working on getting the Purser's staff to correct it.

I purposely did not bring my camera and just wanted to enjoy the meal and the company so I am not going to report on each item but rest assured it was amazing.

I absolutely loved the salad.  The poached lobster was amazing but very rich.  I had the mushroom ragout that was also amazing and very flavourful and couldn't finish because I was getting full and wanted to save room for dessert.

The dessert was the cheesecake that again was so yummy! 

We left very full and happy.

We then attended the Once Upon a Dream Show - which we have no seen in years.  Really enjoyed it and especially enjoyed chatting with this lovely lady (Betty) beside me who is in her 80s and told me she marched in the Women's March.  So impressive! 

Later when we got back to the cabin we had officially received our invite to the Most Travelled Party which is Wednesday night.

I then checked our on board account and noticed that we did not receive the discount for the wine and we were charged twice for the Share Cover Charge. 

First thing in the morning Bernie goes down to get it fixed.  Removing the extra Share Charge was not an issue.  But getting the 15% discount was an issue and we have to check back later.  So if you are going to use one of the coupons double check that it is processed.

Monday, February 6, 2017

2nd Sea Day - Monday

I wake and feel very rested.  I dress quickly to head to speed suduko but when I get there we soon all realize that there was an error.  The Patter says speedy scrable, but the online version says speedy suduko.  Oh well - I suck at scrabble so I just return to the cabin.

I shower and get ready and we are down in the International Cafe enjoying our coffees.  They are having the big bijoux sale today so there is a long queue until the shop opens then it flows well. 

After about an hour we head up to Crooners to a bit more quiet.

Here we run into Jerry and Nanette where we catch up with them.  Then we head to the Pub Lunch together where I enjoy fish and chips!

Back to Crooners to talk some more until we agree we should head out to the balcony to watch for whales.

And boy were we not disappointed.  We are sailing right past Cabo San Lucas. I swear we saw around a 100 sightings of whales - now sometimes it was the same whale reappearing but it was truly a lovely sight.

Also there were lots of dolphins playing in the wake.

So many were out on their decks enjoying the natural beauty.

We all enjoyed a bottle of wine and great company with great friends.

When we left I took the elevator up to the Lido deck and when I got in there were a few others and the Captain.  I thanked him for the great show of wildlife!

Tonight we are dining at Share again at 7 pm.  It is also formal night. 

Once Upon a Dream is being performed in the Princess Theater at 8 and 10 pm.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sunday Night on the Ruby - ARGH Dining Room Issues

We dress for dinner and head to Vines to meet up with Karen and Barb.  Just after 7 pm we head to Michalangelo Dining Room (Anytime all evening) and request a table for four.  But they said if we join two others they can accommodate us.  So we said sure but then we are told to wait.  Not long though.

We are sat at a table and we introduce ourselves.  The other couple is from Nevada.

Sadly things went downhill from there when it came to service and food.  I started with the pineapple and prickly pear salad which was good.  Bernie and Karen got the crab and artichoke dip which came and it looked horrible - kind of like cat food.  It was so dry and had obviously been sitting for a long time.

Then we wait and wait - almost 20 minutes before the entrees come.

Eveyone gets their entree but I am waiting for mine. I ordered the Fetticini Alfredo - the one off the always available items. Everyone is eating but me - I am told they are backed up in the galley. 

Finally I get it and it is hot and good but a very small portion - almost an appetizer portion.

Bernie had the seafood skewer and the shrimp were burned on one side, the salmon was overcooked and dry, the scallops were good he said.  He was very disappointed.  No one came to ask how the meal was. 

I really didn't want to stay for dessert - I wanted to call it a night but the rhubarb napolean sounded good so I got that and it was very good and glad I ordered it.  Barb got the Volcano Sundae - try it!

So tonight's meal was sort of the breaking point.  Last sailing we had issues in the dining room - although food was good service was lacking.  Tonight it was both. In all dinner took an hour and 45 minutes. And the dining room was not even full, maybe 3/4 full.

I know this is not unique to Anytime as I have heard from others that Traditional Dining is experiencing issues too. 

But after dinner we both agreed that we are going to eat elsewhere for dinner from now on for the rest of this trip.  We do have friends coming on next voyage so we may dine again in the dining room then but we are going to limit it. 

After dinner we thought of going to the Production Show Magic to Do but decided to pass and head up on deck for a bit of a walk.  It is a little cool but rather pleasant. Then we agree to put on our bathing suits and have a good soak in the hot tub.  It was just what we needed and felt great.

Other things happening tonight are:  Cocktails at Effy store, Magic to Do, Majority Rules Game Show, 70's Night, Famous Faces Trivia, MUTS is showing Doctor Strange.

First Sea Day

Bernie is up very early today and is showered and dressed by 7:30.  I just stare and say I will relax in the cabin while he heads out to get breakfast.

I forgot to mention that we went to see Colleena our Captain Circle Host and find out that we are #9 Most Travelled this voyage.  I am not sure what the cut off is for the top 40, sorry.  I also let her know that our loyalty credit did not get applied this cruise.  We get a $100 on board credit so it is important - you get $100 after sailing 51 times.

It is always interesting to be on the same cruise as a back to back to see what exactly is different from the first cruise.

There are some new crew members.  Also the party band has changed; Starwave joined yesterday.

Also a new group of Princess singers and dancers joined yesterday and will be rehearsing all week and will be on their own next sailing.

Today Magic to Do is in the theater instead of last formal last week.

Of course today is also the American Super Bowl game.  It is being shown in Explorer's and MUTS and in the Casino.  Pre game show is in Club Fusion as Explorer's is being used earlier in the day for the Art Auction and it takes time to break down.

The Casino is doing a Big Game Score Pursuit -- pick a square, hit the right score and for a $10 bet win up to $300 instant cash.

The game is early as we are use to be on the east coast so it is later then.  Today it starts at 3 pm.  Note none of the commericals can be played from the satellite due to rules.

But we don't follow football so we will be dining in the dining room.

Also happening today is Zumba, Muts is showing Galaxy Quest, Pop Choir Sign up, Trivia, Shopping Spotlight Show, ping pong challenge, fruit and vegetable carving demo, digital camera scavenger hunt, line dancing and so much more.

Our day was relatively quiet.  Coffee, crosswords, reading and chatting with friends.

The International Cafe Coffee bar is still having problems.  Staff levels seem to be fine but rarely do we find someone to order from.  So we usually end up getting in line and getting our drinks.  But the coffee is good and the staff and food at the IC are very good.

We decide to have lunch in the dining room which was very good - Thai Soup and the burger and fries. 

There was no pub lunch today because of the big game. It will happen tomorrow.

After lunch we decide to head up to the Sun deck as it has gotten nicer and the wind has died down a bit too.  We sit right behind the Sanctuary and it is perfect.  At first I needed a jacket but it then got quite warm and even got a bit burned.

Around 3 we head back to the cabin to relax.  It is crazy busy at the MUTS pool as the game is being played there as well as Explorers.

Turn Around Day - Saturday

Well you already know that I was up early.  I later returned to the cabin and we did a load of wash.  I know we get free laundry but it works but it really doesn't get items really clean.  For example a shirt Bernie had with a mark on it on the front did not get removed after the ship's wash but came out perfect as we did are wash.

We shower and dress and tidy up the cabin.  Our new mini bar is delievered and we just leave it on the desk as we want to trade out many of the items, but wait until tomorrow to get thru to them.

Our In Transit gathering spot is Wheelhouse Bar at 10:15.  But we head off the ship around 9:30 to do a few errands. 

Oh you know how often they are looking for the missing In Transit people to meet up.  Well we were told later when we reboarded that they were looking for us and another couple. Gee didn't they realize that we binged out at 9:30 with our old cards?  So when you get angry that someone hasn't shown up for in transit cutsoms clearance it could actually be that they are not even on the ship.  That they were missed.

We walk to Starbucks and then to a Dollar Store.  We want to get some treats for the crew for Valentines Day.  Then to Rite Aide to get some toilitries that should tie us over until the end of the voyage.

Our favorite little restaurant for great Mexican is our next stop for lunch and doesn't disappoint.

After lunch we decide to head back to the ship.  We arrive around 1:30 and flash our in transit cards and head right to security and then on to the ship.  We did notice that the security line was a bit long and slow but all other areas were very fast and no lines and they were boarding people right away.

Once back on board we drop our bags and put our things away.  And we are tired so just relax a bit and Bernie even naps for a bit.  But it is very very noisy around the ship as people find their cabins, get bags delivered and people unpack and drawers and cupboards slam shut.  This is normal but also means it is impossible to nap.

I wander around for a bit and pick up a drink and people watch.  The crowds/demographics are very similar to last cruise.  I find out later there are over 800 first time Princess cruisers.

Muster Drill is about to happen so we head to the cabin and relax during the drill.  Remember if you are in transit you do not need to attend the Muster Drill (well you can if you want but not required - however after 30 days on board you are asked to re attend).  So we lay in the cabin and listen to the drill (as it is broadcast ship wide, including your cabin).  Oh and later that night we did get a letter (as did the coulpe across from our cabin who is also in transit) saying we did not attend the drill and that we would have to attend one the next day.  A call to the Purser's Desk to tell them we were in transit and they said sorry they made an error and sent it to everyone in error.  That is the first time we have had that happen.

Up to the Sun Deck for the sailaway party and we run into our friend Karen and her friend Barb who is travelling with her.  She is from Vancouver too and we have sailed with her before.

Back to the cabin to clean up and dress for dinner.  We are heading to the Salty Dog tonight.  We couldn't get thru to the Dine Line to make a reservation all day so we gave up and just showed up at the restaurant and we had no problem getting a table; however I know that a reservation is recommended.

This time I start with the short rib poutine and then the mushroom ragout with fried egg.  Very good but prefer the burger.  For dessert I had the doughnuts and mocha mousse.  Gee I know I am not getting the names correct.  I will post pictures later and the correct name and description when I get home and can review my notes.

After we just wander around.  We skip the welcome aboard party as it is the same comedian and we are tired.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Ruby Princess - Thoughts on First Cruise

As I sit here in Vines very early Saturday morning as I woke at 4 am and can't get back to sleep.  I sip my latte and enjoy a fresh baked croissant that is still warm.

I have spent the last hour in bed pondering the last voyage and knew I should write a blog (or for me it truely is like my journal that I share with others).

This seven day voyage is different, it has a totally different vibe than the usually cruises we take at this time of year (10 Caribbean).

Definately a younger crowd, more families, more children of all ages (but a lot of little ones).  I have really enjoyed this crowd.  I am in my early 50s and I would say my age is probably the norm or a little higher than the norm.  Yes there are much older and much much younger.  Whereas on the longer cruises I am definately one of the younger. 

Having this demographics has been a nice treat.  Disco is busy at night, after 10 you still see people out and about and there is a different energy in general.

This voyage had a lot more newer cruisers.  Many more first timers or at least under five Princess cruises.  Sometimes this required a bit more paitence as they learned the ins and out of things like; how the coffee card worked, the layout of the ship, showtimes etc.  But overall I really loved seeing their enthusiasm to learn and experience new things.  And by the third day they seemed to have it down pack. 

Oh and this meant more people using the Princess@Sea App which I really enjoy too.  I found the messenger app to be very helpful this voyage as many of my friends were using it too.

Entertainment on board was top notch, totally blew me away.  With three full production shows and the Love Boat Disco Deck Party we got to see the singers and dancers quite a bit.  I did find out that the next voyage is the transition voyage as a new team is coming on and for our third leg we will have the new team entirely.

But not only production shows - comedians, singers, folklore shows and more.  Then there is all the activities the Cruise Staff did which seem to be in abundance and very well attended too.

Our cabin is probaby one of the best we have ever had.  And those new beds are to die for and really make getting up in the morning difficult as I just don't want to leave.  It is so quiet too that I often did not hear a peep from anyone around me - oh I hope this doesn't jinx it. 

Our cabin steward was the type that is very very efficient but you don't see a lot of.  Any issue we had (sink wouldn't drain well) was addressed right away, followed up to ensure it was taken care of and then reconfirmed that it was all good.  Linens were changed one day in the cruise and even our shower curtain was changed along with all others around us. 

The ship looks great!  I really didn't notice anything blaring that should of been addressed. Overall the state of the finishes, furniture, washrooms and overall ship was excellent.  And after spending three weeks in six different hotels I can say that the state of those hotels - even though considered 4 star or better -- this ships far surpasses all of them.

Food on board was outstanding.  Sure there were the occasional item that I found not to my liking (like the soup the first night) but overall it was a definate 10 out of 10.  Probably some of the best food (aside from the Royal) that we have experienced on board.  Pastries that are flakey, soft and often still hot from the oven in the IC). 

I especially enjoyed the variety of food in the Horizon Court and the different themed buffets. 

Next I have to add that the specialty restaurants of Share and Salty Dog were a very pleasant surprise and a true bonus to this ship.  I liked them more than I thought I would and have booked each for the next week too.

Dining room was a huge disappointement.  With only Da Vinci open for Breakfast and Lunch (on sea days) and part of it sectioned off for Club Class caused problems.  Where there normally would be issuess with trying to sit people in this venue for Breakfast and Lunch it was only compounded by part of it not being accessible.

Long queues and complaints were heard every day.  Whenever we dined there we had to wait and then to look over at Club Class area and see only a handfull of tables being used and the rest vacant with waiters just standing around only annoyed us more.

We dined twice in the dining room this past week.  Since we usually dine later we had really no issue getting a table but there were waits if you wanted to dine before 7:30.  So we were not impacted too much, plus we were offered a reserved table in either traditional or a standing reservation in the dining room but we didn't see the need for this and just kept things open.

Also service in the dining room was hit or miss whenever we dined there.  Often waiters are slammed with tables and are run off their feet.  Instead of providing excellent or even great service they provide adequate service.  Head waiters don't seem to be assisting much here like we have seen on other ships.  Either there has to be more of a team effort or you need more servers.

Also sadly service in International Cafe is probably the worst we have seen.  Waiters roam around but are not efficient.  Often you wait for them to come take orders but walk right past or don't clear plates  (had to bring to their attention a plate of ice cream that had melted all over a table or as i sit here for over two hours no one has cleared my table).  This causes more to line up for coffee.  Other times we have seen wait staff take orders for those in line to clear the queue.  I do hope this improves next sailing.

People have asked how the laundry service is on board and we put in two bags this week and both were returned the next day.  Obviously this is because there are so few elites on board using this perk.

Finally I have to say the crew on here are amazing.  It always surprises me that so many people who have long contracts are confined to a ship and away from their families are so happy and friendly.  They work day in and day out with the public and every single time I see them they are patient, friendly and helpful.  They remember names and greet people by their name.  A kind smile, a pat on the shoulder to say hi and even a hug when they say goodbye. 

This is the reason we sail Princess.  We can get great service, food and itineraries on many lines but Princess' crew are our family and we love our family.

So as we are about to dock in San Pedro today to light fog as the sun starts to rise I say bye to the first leg and hello to the second leg. 

I am excited to see some friends coming on today and to spending more time on this beautiful vessel.

Last Sea Day Evening

Last night and lots happening still. 

Tonight there is the Princess Pop Choir Perfromance, Jewish Sabbath Service, Voice of the Ocean, Muts is showing The Magnificent Seven, The Oceans Trivia, Day of the Dead Festival, The Blank Gameshow, Concert Pink in Melbourne.

The Buffet is featuring a Mongolian BBQ Buffet.

They are offerring Last Day Internet Access of 15 minutes for $8.99.

We head up to the Platinum Elite Lounge (first time up there this cruise).  Where we run into Ginny and Ali and get to catch up with them.  Haven't seen them much this cruise.  It always surprises me how you can be on one ship and not run into people or always run into others.

I ordered a mojito and noticed later that I was charged just over $8 for the drink.  Normally this is one of the elite lounge drinks for $5 but I will check the menu later for this 7 day voyage to see if it is one of the offerrings.  If it is they overcharged me, if it isn't then it is charged at regular price.  Either way I will just leave the charge as is as it is not worth dealing with on the last morning of the cruise.

You really feel the vibration at the aft of the ship, in fact you feel it on all Crown Class ships at the aft.  One reason we never book at aft cabin.  And the higher you go up the more the vibration is felt and skywalkers is really noticeable.

There is definately more movement today heading back to LA and as Ginny says (that I thought was so cute) is it is because we are heading up to LA uphill. 

So yes there is more movement with regards to the seas too today but really minimal and I love the movement, just enough to know I am at sea and to rock me to sleep.

After drinks Bernie and I head to the Horizon Court for dinner.  Tonight they are featuring Mongolian buffet at the Cafe Caribe - note the Horizon Court buffet is offering a standard selection including some amazing mussels.

For the Mongolian buffet you pick a plate and select all your veggies and then your protein and then rice or noodles (or both if you wish) and they stir fry it for you and deliver it to your table.  It is so good!

Not really sure what we want to do tonight.  Not too much happening and we are both tired and you can really feel the ship winding down as groups gather for that one last drink.

Voice of the Ocean is happening but it is really early tonight and we miss it.

Up at Crooners Bernie gets his Bugsy drink for his dessert and we get the chance to say goodbye to many of the people we have gotten to know this trip.  I know some will be long term friends.

But as the night progresses we both agree to just head back to the cabin and watch a movie - Finding Dory.  We are both asleep by 10 pm.

Last Sea Day - Friday

I did not sleep well last night.  I woke up at 2:30 am and was wide awake for two hours. Just not tired!  So I read until my eyes kept dropping and I could fall back asleep.

But needless to say when Bernie woke around 8 he got dressed and went out.

I didn't actually get up until 10:30.  When I showered and dressed and met up with Bernie in the International Cafe.  Still having issues there.  The wait staff seem to wander around but not taking many orders.  So we line up and get a drink -- which is much faster.  But it is too noisy here so we head up to Crooners and sit and read and do crosswords.

Around noon we heading to the dining room for lunch.  We unfortunately get there at 12:15 and ask for a table for two.  This ship does not have as many tables of two - really miss the Royal that does have lots.  Also this dining room has the Club Class dining so a fifth of the dining room is closed off to tables for the rest of us. 

We have to wait for a table for around ten minutes but we don't mind.  However as we walk to our table we see all the empty tables in Club Class and it just seems to be a stupid idea.

We sit and our poor waiter is slamed and so busy.  The food was very good - especially loved the white bean soup.  But we had soup and an entree and gave up waiting for our dessert as we had allready been there for over an hour.

I don't blame the servers, I blam the staffing people as these servers have too many tables and not enough help.  Sadly to save money the service suffers.  With the waiters in Club Class just standing around twiddling their thumbs because they don't have many tables.  What is wrong with this picture?

After lunch we do a little window shopping in the stores.  Lots of things for sale. 

We meet up with Paula for the Movies Poster Trivia where we do okay and enjoy it but did not win.

Bingo is right after and it is the big one so crowds rush in right after. 

I head to Afternoon tea with Paula and some her friends she has met on board.  It was great food, especially loved the egg salad sandwiches and the scones were perfect, soft, hot and yummy.

The Most Travelled this voyage is Mr and Mrs Simons from Utah with 1573 days! 

The clocks go back an hour today - but we will keep them on the hour forward as it changes back the first day again.

I should add the weather is cloudy but very sunny but strong winds.  There are people out on deck but it is cooler as we approach LA.

Other things happening Zumba, Culinary Demo, Onboard Outlet Sale, Trivia, Golf Putting Challenge, Photo Raffle, Buzzwords Game, Movie Jack Reacher: Never Go Back in the Princess Theater, Ballroom Blitz Dance Class - Cha Cha, Pictionary Challenge, Art Auction, Pin Pong Challenge, You'll Be the Judge Gameshow, Walk for the Cure, Movie Poster Trivia, The Touchdown Game, Now You See Me 2 on Muts, Wine Tasting, Name That Tune Challenge.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Thursday Night - Share Restaurant

A lot happening tonight.  It is formal night and there are formal portrait stations set up all over.

Activities happening include: LGBT get together, Mariachi Music in the Piazza, A Tribute to Neil Diamon with Jumari 6:30, 8, and 10:15, Movie on MUTS Jack Reacher: Never Go Back 6:30 and 8 pm, Yellow Diamond Event and Raffle, Los Brillantes in the Piazza, Production Show Magic to Do at 8 pm and 10 pm, Latin Dance Hour in Club Fusion, The Marriage Match Game at 9:15, Karaoke Madness, Grand Piazza Gala Party and Balloon Drop at 10:45 and a lot more.

We head to Crooners for a few drinks and chat with a man named Hugo who is from Italy - in fact his brother is the Captain.  We had seen them together and they do look a like.  Was really interesting chatting about Genoa (where he is from) and hearing about his travels.

We arrive at Share and are sat at a lovely table for two by the window.  Our waiter Allyne from the Philippines is the same lady who showed us the food the other day at the open house.

Elkie recommends an Austrian wine and it is very good.

I have to say we thoroughly enjoyed our meal - probably one of the best we have had on board.  

The courses keep coming and the food is rich but because it is a longer meal it can be savoured and enjoyed with bits of wine and great conversation.

We loved Share so much we booked it for the next sailing too. 

Now for my recommendation - if you are into food, flavours, experiencing food then you will like Share.  If you are more of a meat and potatoes kind of person then it may not be your thing. 

We left Share at 8:15 so it was just over two hours. 

We both want to see Magic To Do so head to the theater for 8:30 to ensure we get a good seat.

The show is amazing.  Well done Princess.  Certainly not at all like their other shows this is more of a production.  Like seeing a play on Broadway.  The dancers and singers totally wowed me.

One thing is because the show is more like see a musical/production show I could see some people not wanting to see it again but we certainly would.  But maybe not two weeks in a row.  Sort of like seeing the same movie twice.

After the show we are tired and head to bed but there is still a lot happening including the balloon drop in the Piazza.

Last Sea Day

Dominique shaking Bernie's Martini
I did not sleep well last night.  I woke up at 2:30 am and was wide awake for two hours. Just not tired!  So I read until my eyes kept dropping and I could fall back asleep.

But needless to say when Bernie woke around 8 he got dressed and went out.

I didn't actually get up until 10:30.  When I showered and dressed and met up with Bernie in the International Cafe.  Still having issues there.  The wait staff seem to wander around but not taking many orders.  So we line up and get a drink -- which is much faster.  But it is too noisy here so we head up to Crooners and sit and read and do crosswords.

Around noon we heading to the dining room for lunch.  We unfortunately get there at 12:15 and ask for a table for two.  This ship does not have as many tables of two - really miss the Royal that does have lots.  Also this dining room has the Club Class dining so a fifth of the dining room is closed off to tables for the rest of us. 

We have to wait for a table for around ten minutes but we don't mind.  However as we walk to our table we see all the empty tables in Club Class and it just seems to be a stupid idea.

We sit and our poor waiter is slamed and so busy.  The food was very good - especially loved the white bean soup.  But we had soup and an entree and gave up waiting for our dessert as we had allready been there for over an hour.

I don't blame the servers, I blame the staffing people as these servers have too many tables and not enough help.  Sadly to save money the service suffers.  With the waiters in Club Class just standing around twiddling their thumbs because they don't have many tables.  What is wrong with this picture?

After lunch we do a little window shopping in the stores.  Lots of things for sale. 

We meet up with Paula for the Movies Poster Trivia where we do okay and enjoy it but did not win.

Bingo is right after and it is the big one so crowds rush in right after. 

I head to Afternoon tea with Paula and some her friends she has met on board.  It was great food, especially loved the egg salad sandwiches and the scones were perfect, soft, hot and yummy.

The Most Travelled this voyage is Mr and Mrs Simons from Utah with 1573 days! 

The clocks go back an hour today - but we will keep them on the hour forward as it changes back the first day again.

I should add the weather is cloudy but very sunny but strong winds.  There are people out on deck but it is cooler as we approach LA.

Other things happening Zumba, Culinary Demo, Onboard Outlet Sale, Trivia, Golf Putting Challenge, Photo Raffle, Buzzwords Game, Movie Jack Reacher: Never Go Back in the Princess Theater, Ballroom Blitz Dance Class - Cha Cha, Pictionary Challenge, Art Auction, Pin Pong Challenge, You'll Be the Judge Gameshow, Walk for the Cure, Movie Poster Trivia, The Touchdown Game, Now You See Me 2 on Muts, Wine Tasting, Name That Tune Challenge.