Well, that was unexpected.
I woke up this morning expecting to see land on both sides. Beautiful scenery. Trees and mountains and maybe a whale or two. Yet none of it was there. What the heck? We've done this itinerary multiple times and this is usually one of the days full of natural beauty. I turned on the ship's location screen on the TV to get my bearings on what was going on and saw this:
That might not look like anything that important, but usually when we leave from Vancouver and head north to Alaska we take the beautiful scenic route I've marked in red below. Believe me, the difference between those two routes is huge.
I was a bit sad. I was looking forward to grabbing my computer, sitting near a window and typing, and looking at the beauty all around. But it was not to be. I don't know if this will always be the path the Royal takes (maybe because of its larger size?) but it was a surprise, and not in a good way. By mid-afternoon we were back on course.
It was a good day. We were able to visit with our dear crew member we came to visit and even ran into one of the gals who used to work in International Cafe that took such good care of hubby in the past. She's on to a junior waiter position too so no more IC for hubby. However, he never worries about the quality of coffee when we're on the Royal. They have real ground coffee for free in the buffet. (Unlike most Princess ships that have coffee made from a concentrate. He can't stand that stuff.)
I had to make a stop at the Internet Cafe today to get my free minutes straightened out. We applied hubby's free minutes to the unlimited plan but I decided to keep my minutes to use. It showed I had 250 minutes instead of the 150 I should have for a seven day cruise. They had automatically given me 250 for the 14 days we are on. But we are technically on two seven day cruises so I actually should have had 300 minutes to use. The manager said he couldn't (or maybe wouldn't?) do anything about it until the second leg of our cruise. So I'm using hubby's unlimited when he's not online and will deal with mine later. I'm sure there will be a time when we both will want to be on at the same time so I'll hold my minutes for that. (By the way, the MedallionNet internet speed on the Royal is so much better than last week's Ruby Princess sucky MedallionNet.)
I also had to stop by the Captain's Circle desk today. She was the first person this whole cruise (I know it's only been 24 hours) who greeted me by name by using the Medallion. (Well, after she called me by another lady's name who was in the same area. I'm guessing the system still needs some work?) I'm celebrating a milestone on the ship this week but hadn't received anything in my cabin about it so I wanted to see if my days from Ruby Princess had caught up with me. They hadn't. It's straightened out now and since we're on next week as well we will be celebrating the milestone then. What milestone? 500 days sailing on Princess. Woo hoo! 750 here I come. (Maybe?) While I was there she also gave me the invitation to the Most Traveled Guest party for tomorrow night. When I told hubby about the party he panicked a bit - he had sent out his only pair of dress pants to the laundry last night. He scrambled to get our cabin steward to chase them down and expedite the cleaning. They got on it and he is good to go. Whew.
I put the Encouraging Words Project note and dollar in a sugar container in the buffet and also in the Wake Show Box. I'll be doing that each day again this trip. I'm always excited to see how the cruise director responds to the one in the Wake Show box. Some get the purpose of the encouraging words (I do a little write up and explain it to them) and some don't. Hubby watched the CD (Matt O is his name) in action today at different activities and was very impressed. He is authentic, engaging, high-energy, and loves what he's doing. He's definitely the best we've ever seen. And we've been on lots of cruises with Princess (like 500 days worth!) so we should know.
We had breakfast and a mini-lunch at the buffet today. I've said this before, but the buffet here is just plain amazing. Multiple lines, multiple choices, good food and plenty of space to move about.
Here it is at 8 pm and I just realized tonight is formal night. Oops. While we could have headed back to the buffet for dinner, our cabin is at the very, very front of the ship, so it just didn't seem like it was worth the effort to put our shoes on to head to the very back of the ship. Room service it is.
We set our clocks back an hour tonight and arrive in Ketchikan at 6:30 in the morning tomorrow. Not sure what the day will hold yet.
If you're looking for the Princess Patter to see what was happening around the ship today, you can find it here.