Saturday, February 24, 2018


After a very fun night (yes two nights in a row) I realize I am getting older!  I just keep up like I use to.

Thankfully today is a later arrival so even though I was wide awake at 4 am (after going to bed at midnight) I am able to fall back asleep around 8.

Captain announces that we will be arriving earlier than schedule – Yeah Captain Nash. 

We are along side the pier and people are filing off about an hour earlier than planned.

For us it is a day that plans are a little up in the air.

Bernie really wants to go to Klein Bonaire to drift snorkel and I too would really like to do this but I am afraid I am just way too tired and my throat is very sore. 

Could I be getting that darn cold that is making it’s path across the world and onto the ship.  Well probably.  Bernie has had it (although he did not get a sore throat) and is feeling much better.  With two late nights I may have worn myself thin and am not fighting the germs very well.
So I decide to stay on and go and get a hot tea and find a quiet spot to do more research for Chile.  I manage to write detail reports for the port stop of Puerto Montt Chile. 

I later get a big salad.  Oh Horizon Court is so nice as most are off and I have my pick of food items and seats. 

I forgot to mention that when I first came up I ran into Giovanni from the Philippines.  He just joined in Fort Lauderdale.  We first met him on the Ruby when he was Mark’s assistant.  We saw him again last Spring on the Royal but he was already off in the Fall when we were here. 

Bernie returns to the ship around 3 pm.  He took the Klein Island ferry for $20 return trip.  He absolutely loved it and could not stop raving about it when he returned.

We decided to both head ashore around 4 to find something for my sore throat.  Oddly my card is acting up.  It isn’t working when I go to bing out with security.  They fix it they say and off I go.  When I got on it worked fine and it was still working to get into my cabin.

Later in the evening I tried to use it in the slot machines and it kept showing card error.  Again back down to the Purser’s desk and a new card.  This is my third card this cruise and it usually happens at least twice a cruise.  I have removed all things magnetic but I am still having issues.  It works in my door but doesn’t work for other things. 

For our evening it is a quiet one.  After showering we just done some shorts and t-shirts and head up to the buffet for Italian night.  Neither of us feels very hungry.  We both get a bowl of soup, a roll and some cheese and that is enough.

We sit with friends in Vines for a bit while I sip a hot toddy.
Hopefully this will aid in me sleeping soundly and ease the sore throat.

Bernie is out wandering the ship participating in some trivia and enjoying himself I am sure.

It will be a restful night for me. I finish watching the documentary move called Step (loved it) and will watch another movie.  Perfect night!


Oh what a fun night that was and I sleep so very soundly.  When I wake we are already docked in Grenada.

I get my blog written for yesterday and posted.  Bernie calls from upstairs to say that there is no reason to rush to the Sanctuary as a rain shower is passing.

I take my time. I get dressed, gather my items for a day of relaxation and head up to the Pastry Shop on Lido to get my soy latte.

The wonderful Indonesian crew member (sorry can’t recall his name) is so sweet and makes me a special latte made with love he says and it has an interesting foam art.  But can't post that picture.  Ahhh….

I get into the Sanctuary and you can see that we have had a downpour.  The chairs are covered though and it is relatively quiet in here.

When the rain stops though it is like a sauna and very hot!
I don’t think I am lounging for more than a few minutes when I need to get up and cool off in the pool.

Looks like quite a few people stayed on board.  We do love Grenada and the beach is our go to thing to do here but since we have an early departure and the skies are not cooperating we decide to stay on. 

Another great thing to do here is get a yummy meal. Our favorite is BB’s Crab Shack.

For those that like to tour – check out Fort George or head further afield to experience the spice island and what it has to offer.

Again the rains start and we all take shelter in the Sanctuary cabanas. 

The poor staff are so busy with covering the lounges, uncovering the lounges, changing towels, covering them again when it rains and repeating. 

At one point they all had on rain slickers – they nicknamed themselves the penguins.  Oh aren’t they adorable, but boy do they work hard.

We are in port with Jewel of the Seas an RCL ship.  It sure is small compared to us.

At 12:45 I head down to the Wheelhouse to partake in the Speedy Sudoku.  Kimmy is still there hosting the Jenga game and take a look at this Jenga tower!  

Nathalie is hosting the Sudoku.  There are not many of us but she makes it feel like we are the special ones to be attending this game with her.  Although I did not win, it is always fun to participate.  So try something new when on board next time.

I head up to the Horizon Court for lunch and it is an absolute ZOO!  Crowds of people force their way to the food items.  I have to strategically make my move to whatever is open.  I grab a big plate of salad and then aim for the toppings. I give up on some that there is no way I will get to without loosing a limb.

Of course it is crazy in here.  Everyone is just getting back on board and they are hungry.  Also the skies have opened and it is driving everyone indoors so why not eat.
I take what I can and head back to the tranquility of the Sanctuary to eat it.

All aboard is 1:30 and the horn is sounded.  It appears there are a few people missing.  The horn sounds again.  Names are called, then names again.  It seems a family is still not back.

The gentleman beside us went off to investigate and came back saying a family was on the pier and they made it back on board just in time.  

We finally did leave and we noticed another ship (A Thompson Ship) is waiting to get in.  The pilots quickly get off our ship and head out to the other ship to lead them in. 

The rest of the afternoon was lovely. The rain stopped, or maybe the Captain just dodged all the rain clouds.  Either way I was appreciative and I am sure the Serenity Stewards were happy too.

I read a lot of my book and stared out at the seas.

At one point I watched a few sea birds (sorry no idea what they were) soaring in the air and couldn’t help notice how graceful they were.  I was just mesmerized and felt so lucky to be on this beautiful ship at this time. 

Of course as our vacation comes closer to the end I always reflect and get a little emotional and I am always so thankful for the blessing that have come our way.

I hope that others on cruises take the time to stop and enjoy the moment.  Take a look at that beautiful sky.  Spot the wildlife around you in the ocean and in the sky.  Listen to that song and the words.  Feel the wind on your face.  

And even more so that special person you are travelling with. Grab their hand and squeeze it tight.  We are all so blessed!

Friday, February 23, 2018


We are not docking till 11 so I enjoy a lovely sleep in. 

After a shower I gather my computer and some books and head out to find a quiet spot to enjoy my coffee and do some research.

But the ship is busy.  People are dressed and ready to get off and are meeting up with friends to plan their days.

I sneak up to Club 6 which is quiet.  The Veteran’s get together is just ending and I take a seat at the opposite end of the lounge.  So proud that Princess does these gatherings.  I also thank them for their service, no matter what country you served for.  It is appreciated.

It is now very quiet and the air conditioning is strong in here but I like it cool but it would be too cold for some, so bring a sweater.  It is a perfect temperature for those dancing at night though.

I am reviewing a Chilean tour book for more research for my destination presentations.  The book comes from the library and I only have a few more days to review it before I have to return it.

The room is starting to fill up.  I finally figure out that they are hosting trivia here.  Matt hosts the trivia and again he is just so funny.  He makes attending a regular trivia even more fun and trust me I need something to keep me going when playing as I just don’t know most of the answers.

We dock and the clearance is stated and the ship feels like the drain has been pulled from the tub.  People funnel out and I feel like I am all by myself.

I too want to go ashore in Martinique.  Last time we were here we took a taxi to a resort and enjoyed the beach.  Read about it here.

Today I am going off by myself.  Bernie is at the Sanctuary relaxing and resting.  He still has that cold so he is doing exactly what he needs to do.  That is the great thing about cruising, a couple can do that and we each know the other is okay.

When I step onto the pier it is very humid and the wind is kicking up.  Make sure you hold onto your hat as you walk along the pier as the wind will pick it up and take it away. 

There are some pedal bikes you can hire to transport you to the pier entrance for a small fee.

As I get to the end of the pier the skies open and a massive shower hits.  We all take cover wherever we can.  I am under the taxi/tour information tent where I chat with some of the other cruisers.  I also help out by translating for some of the passengers with the locals.  Glad I can help out too and I get to practice my French.  Although many locals speak a bit of English it will help if you can help with a few words, or hey maybe a bit of hand signals.

The rain stops a few minutes later and the humidity goes up.  I take a quick picture and as you can see the humidity is not being nice to my hair and it is hot.  Make sure to bring water ashore and keep hydrated.

There are some lovely artisan shops right there at the pier in some tents. I buy a lovely pair of earrings. They take credit cards and will give you a bit better price for cash – note prices are in Euros but will let you know what the price is in US.

I walk by the water taxi stands which are a very short distance from the ship’s pier.

We are very close to the downtown and it is easy to get to. 

The city is lovely.  I walk along and check out the shops. 

There is a lovely three story mall that has some nice stores inside.

Once outside again I see the local market.  I always enjoy the local markets.

After wandering about the city for an hour or so I wander back on board.

I am up at the Sanctuary in no time and totally relaxing.  

Those serenity stewards are the best.  Again I find the Royal’s Sanctuary to be the best in the fleet – but I am a bit biased.  I even get in a small nap!

We are slow to get moving in the evening and are only out of the cabin at 8 pm. 

Of course you all know where we start out our evening – VINES. 

Bernie and I agree we are due for a pizza at Alfredos. 
Tonight’s buffet theme is Bavarian Night – or German Buffet.  Although we love the German buffet we agree a pizza is more of what we want tonight.
Oh and it was so yummy! 

It is the Love Boat Disco Deck Party and we were not sure if it was going to happen tonight but thankfully the weather cooperated and it is a go!

Todd and Sue are with us and boy did with have a fun night.  We dance all night long – yes I am quoting Lionel Richie!  We were up on the stage too dancing with each other and the cruise staff.

When the dancers come out to perform I watch and try to follow.  Hey I will never see these people again.

The electric slide comes on and Matt O is leading us in the steps.  At one point he turns around and cracks up when he sees that most are facing all different directions!  Yup we are all going by the beat of our own drum. But hey the key is to have fun and we ARE!

There was a few technical issues tonight.  The Mutts Screen was not working.  I joked that one bulb is burned out and the whole lot goes out just like a string of lights on a Christmas Tree!  Just kidding but hey might be!

What is great is seeing how the crew come together to make things work even when not all things work.  That is a great team!

We end the night at the Retreat Pool where BOGO is happening (Buy One Get One for a Dollar).  So glad to get this venue up tonight.  This is the first cruise in four that the Retreat Party is happening tonight.

Overall today rates as one of the best days on this voyage.  

A big shout out goes to Todd and Sue for being a part of making that happen.  

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

St. Thomas

Bernie wakes saying he is feeling good.

Today we are arriving a bit latter than planned.  Our scheduled arrival is for 11:15 now (we were suppose to arrive at 10).  The Allure is also running late too and will be arriving around the same time as us (they were scheduled for 8 am).

I catch up on my blog and Bernie heads up to get a bite to eat.  It is good he is feeling better.

We dock and we are in the Atrium and it is very busy.  The clearance to go ashore happens and the gangways are busy so we just hold back for a bit and it flows rather quickly.
We meet up with Anthony from the Regal at the aft of the Regal and head off to have a drink together. 

Anthony looks great!  We met him many years ago when he served us drinks on the Emerald in Skywalkers.  Over the years we have sailed many times with him and have seen him move up within Princess.  He is now a bartender on the Regal. 

This past year Anthony got married and had a baby boy!  We are so proud of him.

While enjoying our time with Anthony we encounter other familiar friends from the Regal.  Trevor the Steel Pan player (who also had a baby this year).  DJ Shea recognizes us and comes over too.

Lexi Cruise Director from the Regal
Yami - Shorex from the Regal

We head over to the bar with the swings close by and meet up with Yami from Shore Excursion Dept. on the Regal.  And Lexi the Cruise Director sees us and comes out to give us a big hug.  

Sometimes we feel so blessed to have made so many great connections with crew on board.  They mean a lot to us and we are very proud of their accomplishments.  I am just so glad we got to dock with the Regal today.

Back on board, Bernie heads to the Enclave and I require a nap. I crashed for two hours!  Woke up feeling relaxed and refreshed.

We shower and dress and head down to Vines for a drink.  It is nice to start out the night here.  It gives us some time to sit and chat about our day.  We watch others go by and watch what is happening in the Atrium.  Tonight it is the Martini demonstration being hosted by Nathalie.

For dinner we head up to the Horizon Court.  Tonight’s theme is American Buffet.  There is a section for roast turkey, pot roast, some spaghetti with meatballs.  There is another section with burgers, Mexican foods, some amazing soups and a favorite of many a Satay section.  Chicken, pork, and beef Satay. There is so much more too. 

After dinner we sit in Crooners and enjoy a Martini and again we enjoy the music playing in the Atrium. We invite a lovely couple to join us when the room starts to get busy.

At 9:15 we attend the Passenger Feud Game and boy is it busy.  Matt and Nathalie are hosting and they make it so much fun.  Again we did not do so well but we had fun.

At 10:15 we are sat in the Princess Theater and a couple next to me says hi and says they follow my blog.  I love when people let me know they follow. 

Comedian Carlos Oscar is the start tonight.  He won Princess’ Entertainer of the Year.  We have seen him a few times and we are so happy to get the chance to see him again.  His show is entirely new and we laugh so hard.

Tomorrow's Patter has Dylan on the cover.  

It is now midnight and we are watching a movie called The Circle.  So I will say good night.  Thanks for following.

Two Sea Days – Sanctuary – Formal Night and So Much More

I know I have not written much in the two days we are at sea. Sorry.  Part is I think “what can I write that is interesting” and then the other reason is I have just been relaxing and no real time to write and post.  Wow first world problems I know.  But many of my followers have been asking and I have run into a lot of fans (and now considered new friends) who tell me they enjoy reading whatever I write. 

So I will indulge you, for those that are interested.

One thing that is great is this new Dinning Options flyer we get each day that shows where and what  you can get and when. Then on the back is “don’t miss items”. I now know this is on a testing basis for this ship only for a few sailing to see about the feedback.  Here are the two from the 2nd Sea Day and the St. Thomas Day.

Both days were spent in the Sanctuary.  Both days were very windy in the Retreat area.  In fact the first day after we left Nassau it got very windy.  It was windy in the Sanctuary but not as bad as the Retreat Pool.  When we left the Sanctuary the entire Retreat Pool was empty. 

while we were in Nassau

While we were in Nassau, can you spot Roy and Sandra

The Captain came on mid day to inform us all that the winds are high and will delay our arrival into St. Thomas.  Same thing happened last sailing. Our arrival is now scheduled to arrive at around 11:15am.  They have not extended our departure time (like last voyage).  Shore Excursions have been adjusted to reflect our arrival.

The ship is moving.  You definitely feel it!  But it is not horrible.  Nothing on tables is moving around like we have seen in the past.

On the second sea day we wake to very high winds! In fact I was not sure if the forward deck would even be open because of it.  So I dress and head up early to check things out.  The Retreat Pool is open but no lounge chairs have been put out (they are still tied down).  It is crazy windy.  In fact it is very very hard to just get to the Sanctuary.  I learned quickly to walk right next to the glassed in wall with railing to make it.

Irena (the manager there) lets us know the Sanctuary is in fact open.  I can see that again the winds are not as bad there. 

We both layer the sunscreen on and bathing suits and head up stairs to the Sanctuary.  We have it booked for the entire day.

When we arrive Todd and Sue are in the first cabana and have it for the whole day.  They invite us to join them.  So we leave our lounge chairs covered and join them in their cabana.  Each cabana can accommodate four people but if you have four people they each have to have a lounge chair.  So if you book it and you have four people the other two also have to pay for two lounge chairs.  Which we had so we had good intentions to enjoy our lounge chairs but we never left the cabana.

Each cabana comes with a drink package.  It was very difficult to get more exact details of what is included and the cost - I asked, but it is just not available.  But here are the pictures of the sheet that describes what you get for alcohol. 

We got two bottles of wine (as they had it for the full day).

We drank those two bottles and I ordered another bottle. 

Then we had a bottle of Prosecco.  Needless to say we were all feeling good. 

The afternoon got very very hot and being sheltered from the wind in the Cabana made it enjoyable.

Bernie has received the gift of that cold that everyone seems to have.  It is rampant all over North America and it is spreading on board too with new people coming on with new germs.  I am sure even if we would have been at home we would of gotten it too.  I am just working hard to not get it too.

So after a full day Bernie crashes in the cabin and he wakes around 6:30 pm to tell me he is not up to getting dressed and heading out.  I agree he needs to rest so he takes some cold meds. and sleeps.

Me I shower and head out for the evening. 

I arrive in the Atrium just in time to witness the Senior Officers get introduced.  I then meet up with Dylan and we go for a drink in Vines. 

After the drink we head up to the Ocean Terrace to have sushi.  It was very good! 

Dylan heads back to his cabin as he has early hours tomorrow and I then run into Sue and Todd in Vines.    We all head to the 10:15 showing of Encore.

This time we sit on the right side, second row.  Sadly the woman next to me has drips of water falling on her.  I recall this exact spot had the exact same problem two years ago.  I really wonder if it has even been fixed since then? Sure it could be an ongoing issue and I have been told it is condensation but something should be done so passengers don't have water dripping on them.  Or close off that seat permanently. 

Thankfully the woman in that seat is taking it with stride and is laughing about it.  I offer her the napkin from drink.

So don’t sit in the second row, second seat in from the aisle on the starboard side.

The show was still AMAZING.  It is a singing show.  There is some dancing but not like other shows in the past.  Instead it focuses on the stunning voices of the singers and guest Soprano with touches of dancing.

The Princess Orchestra is a big focus too. They do a few instrumental numbers that are quite powerful.

After the show I wander around a bit by myself and spend a bit of money in casino – correction donate some money in the casino. 

I walk back to the cabin via Club 6 where the dance floor is hoping.  I dance a quick song with Nathalie from the cruise staff.  Then I am back in the cabin around midnight!

What a fun night!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Nassau and the Sanctuary

Today we are docked in Nassau and arrival is early.  We did not sleep very well.  Again those worrying issues about my aunts is on my mind.

We are heading up to the Sanctuary for the entire day.
Nassau is lovely if you can get away from the downtown area.  But we have a 12:30 all aboard so for us we have agreed that the Sanctuary is where we are meant to be.  We look forward to a full day of relaxation.

Bernie heads down to the international café to get coffees and says a lot of people are already off.

Oh I wanted to share this new food listing we got with the Patter today.  It lists all the dining venues their times and what they are featuring.  What special items you can get – like made to order omelets.  Also the times for each venue.  Well done Princess.  I later find out that Princess is trying this on a trial run to see how it goes.  I like it, but it is missing Alfredos.

I did notice yesterday when I was doing the Princess end of cruise survey that they had extra questions about food items.  Like do you know about Alfredos freshly made pizza, sushi bar, omelet station etc.  I of course knew about all the items they mentioned but I am sure many don’t know.  This extra sheet with detailed information will really help new cruisers or new cruisers to the Royal Princess.

Well we are off to the Sanctuary.  Will write more later.