Saturday, June 15, 2019

Ordering your Princess Cruises Ocean Medallion

We recently sailed on the Royal Princess, the newest of the MedallionClass™ Princess cruise ships. Today I'd like to share with you what I've learned about ordering the Medallion.

You receive an email inviting you to get OceanReady®. You'll know the cruise is getting closer because you can only get OceanReady® 45 days from sailing. If you want to wait until the cruise is even closer, you have up until 12 days before your sail date to confirm a shipping address.

Before you venture into the OceanReady® waters be sure the details in the Princess Personalizer are complete.

Visit to create a profile.
You will also need to take a couple photos. One is your security photo. This photo is the one used as your official photo for the ship. It's the security photo for embarkation, disembarkation, muster drill, and is the one crew will need to be able to see that you really are you. This photo should be a current one that looks like you, and could even be a selfie. 

You also need a profile photo that can be your photo or something else. This photo will be the one showing up on the screen when you're entering the cabin, on the portals around the ship, and in the OceanCompass app. 

You will also need to link your voyage. The booking number is needed for this part.
While I was able to do some of my setup in, most of it happens in the OceanReady® app.
Travel documents need to be uploaded. (We used our passports.) You can scan them or take a photo within the app and will need to confirm the documents.
You can let them know where you want the Medallion delivered. At this time only US residents can have them delivered. Otherwise you'll be picking your Medallion up at the port.
You can also order Medallion accessories. For a fee, of course.

If you've done everything correctly you'll find green check marks. If not, you'll find orange.

While we could have used the app to show our boarding passes, we went ahead and printed them as a backup. 
We also printed our boarding passes from the Personalizer as an additional backup.

Go through all those sometimes frustrating steps and a box from a Florida address will arrive on your doorstep.
With a pretty MedallionClass™ box inside.
Inside that pretty box is where we'll find Medallions color-coded to our loyalty level. 
Medallions have passenger name, sailing date, and ship names on the front.
Under those Medallions we find some paperwork telling us how to place them in their casings and lanyards.

Under than paperwork we have three boxes. That big box in there? It's just an empty filler box. 
Lanyards and plastic cases for the Medallion with inserts not color-coded according to loyalty level are in the two smaller boxes. 
The lanyards weren't as sturdy and nice as those we received on our last MedallionClass voyage on the Caribbean Princess.
Pop the case apart and place the Medallion in it. Attach the lanyard, if you'd like.

We're not lanyard people so hubby just used his in the plastic case and I used a clip from my Caribbean Princess trip.

Now it's soap box time. Take a look at all the excess garbage created from just two Medallions about the size of quarters. As someone who tries to be a good steward of resources, I find this junk to be unnecessary and environmentally irresponsible.

It would have so much more sense to stick the Medallions in their little sleeve, stick it in a bubble wrap envelope, and drop it in the mail. 

While I would like to say all that work of getting OceanReady® and ordering the Medallion and unpacking the box and tossing all the junk made our embarkation process so much easier, it wasn't the case. Our particular voyage was the first time the Vancouver cruise port was hosting a Medallion ship. All the workers were dressed in Medallion shirts but not one of them was set up to expedite anything. It was just like a regular old check in.
I'll be on several more Medallion voyages on the Royal Princess in the next few months so I hope to have a more expedited check in next time around. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Sew a Vintage Clothespin Bag Dress - Tutorial Tuesday

I don't know about you but I absolutely love hanging clothes on a clothesline. So that makes the project in today's Tutorial Tuesday - a vintage-looking dress clothespin bag - one of my favorite projects ever. 

Looking for more sewing and crafting projects? 

Along with your regular sewing supplies, for this project you will need:
  • 2 pieces of main fabric measuring 18” x 18”
  • One piece of main fabric measuring 9” x 18”
  • Pocket fabric, 7” x 10” 
  • Lining fabric, 18” x 18”
  • Double fold bias tape for pocket edging, pocket, and neckline
  • Rickrack for neckline
  • Ribbon
  • Template downloaded from here
You can find the video directions for this project right here:

While my patterns, templates, and videos are absolutely free, if you feel so inclined please consider a donation for their use. Every little bit helps! Your donation helps support the blog and allows me to continue to provide free content to crafters and cruisers all around the world.  

Rather not donate? No worries - go ahead and use them for free! If you do donate, thank you for your support!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Dining at Sabatini's on Princess Cruises

I don't like Italian food and I certainly don't do pasta, so when we received this coupon book in our cabin with the coveted B1G1 specialty dining coupon,
Sabatini's would have been the last place we would have considered. The coupon can only be used on embarkation day and lucky for hubby, I was feeling a bit adventurous.

The Royal Princess was in Whittier, Alaska on this particular embarkation day. We were in-transit passengers (on the ship the week before) but many of the new passengers still hadn't boarded, let alone have a chance to see if there was a coupon book in their cabins. We made reservations for 5:30 pm and had the place to ourselves. 

I could explain all the courses and tell you how great each one was and how the service was outstanding but that would get boring (for both of us). Instead I'll leave you with pictures. They're worth a thousand words, right?

Compliments from the Chef course:
Herbed & Spicy Focaccia Grissini
Rosemary Flatbread with Air-Cured Parma Prosciutto
Marinated Green & Black Olives
For our antipasti course:
Insalata di Gamberi, Finocchi e Cannellini: marinated shrimp, shaved fennel and white beans, white truffle oil 

Mosaico di Verdure Grigliate e Porcini all’ Olio Vergine d’Oliva: porcini mushrooms, roasted garlic, grilled zucchini and eggplant drizzled with our own extra virgin olive oil 
Pasta course:
Spaghetti allo Scoglio: langostino, diver scallops, tiger shrimp, vongole and black mussels in cherry tomato sauce

Penne con Brasato di Manzo: braised short rib over penne, grana padano 
Main course:
Bistecca Toscana: 10 ounce strip steak with rosemary, garlic and a touch of our own extra-virgin olive oil

Lombata di Vitello al Forno: roasted veal rack with mushroom ragout, barolo glaze
Torta Profumata ai Limoni di Sorrento: citrus tart and chocolate ribbon with orange and balsamico essence
Sinfonia di Sapori: almond, hazelnut and pecan florentine napoleon blancmange, praline mousse and caramel pecan brittle 

Here are the menus in case you'd like to see what other choices they had. Note we ate at Sabatini's not at the new Sabatini's Trattoria.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Thinking about a Vacation?

It took hundreds of thousands of miles by air, land, and sea.
Traveling to all 50 states.
Night after night after night in hotels.
Blogging about some of my adventures along the way.

It took going on over 75 cruises.
Sailing over 500 days on one particular cruise line.
Of writing a book for first-time cruisers.
And teaching cruising classes for Community Education and the library.

It took people telling me ten times over I should be a travel agent before I finally decided. Decided to find yet another new way of sharing my love of travel. I've been quietly working hard in my corner of the world and not saying a peep to anyone. But now it's official.

I am a travel agent! I specialize in cruises, but I can also book hotels and vacation packages and rental cars and tours and more. I am also a Princess Commodore, the highest level of Princess Cruises expert there is in the travel agent world, and an official Princess Alaska Expert.

I am so very excited to start sharing my travel experiences in yet another way! 

Are you thinking about a trip somewhere? Let me do the planning - at no additional cost to you. Fill out the request below form and click submit. You'll hear from me soon!  

Foster Friday

Let's call today Foster Friday. Meet a a couple of the yet-to-be-named babies.

Want to know more about fostering kitties? Check out the video I made for the Simply Cats organization.