Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Island Princess to Alaska, Embarkation Day

We spent the night right at the pier at the Pan Pacific. In all our visits to Vancouver we’ve never sprung for the expensive hotel, but after a week of bumming it in cheap hotels around Washington we decided to go for it. Plus, we think this might be our last trip here so might as well go out with a bang.

It was so easy to get from the hotel to the port. The hotel took our luggage to the port so all we had left was our backpack and an elevator ride that put us at port level. We left the hotel about 1:00 pm and checked in at the port pretty fast. But as usual, the immigration line was huge and we had quite a wait. Once through there we headed right onto the ship.

We are taking this cruise to see a couple of our favorite crew members. We saw our first gal when she was greeting passengers as they were going onboard. We chatted a bit with her and found out she has been switched from room service to the dining room. Boo hoo. When she was in room service we got to see her every single day. She might be working in the buffet in the morning so we’ll have to check there. We really don’t want to do the dining room at night if we don’t have to. We also saw our guy right away as he was working in Crooners. No alcohol for us – just water – and lots of conversation with him until muster drill.

We are so not impressed with the new muster drill routine. Not having to take lifejackets anymore is great, but the lightheartedness of the presentation and lack of authoritative voice for the directions are putting passengers at risk. We’ve had emergencies on ships before. With this new presentation people will really be panicked – and clueless about what to do – in a real emergency. Those of us who cruise a lot know muster drills should be serious business. I fear it will take another Costa Concordia type incident to shake the cruise industry to where they will focus again on the seriousness of the safety presentation.

No balcony for us this time so after muster we headed up to the buffet for sailaway. The buffet on the Island Princess is at the front of the ship so the views can’t be beat. We stayed there through dinner and boy, it got busy. After a while we headed back to our cabin to pick up the goodie bag we had put together for our Crooner’s guy. We always love the smile on the faces when we deliver the huge bags. After that we headed back to the cabin and called it a night early.

Here are the Princess Patters from today. If you'd prefer a Google doc, it's HERE.