Monday, September 30, 2019

Royal Princess Cabo Cruise Sea Day

We had a smooth ride last night. We were so tired ours eyes were closed not long after dark but not before I saw the Coral Princess alongside us. We've been following her (or she's been following us) since we saw her in Vancouver when we were on the Golden.
She looked much cooler in person than the picture shows.
The night was great for sleeping, and boy we love these new Princess beds. They make us realize we need a new bed at home. But if we had a great bed like this at home I imagine we wouldn't appreciate the ship one as much! We do like this cabin, too. Although again, two TVs and only one TV controller. And (surprise!) I don't get to touch it.

Another thing we like? These new sandwiches at the International Cafe. While I loved my Cuban sandwich, my hubby really, really loved his Italian Brick sandwich. Just look at all that meat! Add in the toasted bread, red peppers, pesto sauce, and cheese? Oh, yum.
We've also noticed the menu continuing to change at the buffet. Many of the signs refer to it as the World Fresh Marketplace. We knew it was coming but it's interesting to see how things have changed in just two weeks.

This morning the buffet had their chocolate breakfast. So. Much. Chocolate.

And the weather? Well, we're making our way to Cabo San Lucas where they are under a tropical storm warning, thanks to TS Narda.
We haven't heard a word about any diversions yet, and based on the weather right now it's surprising there is a storm not far from us.
We're definitely not in Alaska anymore.
Tonight is formal night and even though we have dressy clothes, we'll be heading to the buffet. It's Ramen Station night and hubby can't miss that one.

You can find the Patters from this voyage here.

Maybe see you in Cabo San Lucas tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Royal Princess 5 Day Cabo Cruise

Hello from sunny San Pedro, California.

Here we go with another somewhat quickie cruise, a 5 day with an overnight in Cabo San Lucas. It'll be interesting to see how this quickie compares to the 3 day we just left on the Golden. One thing I already have noticed is the passenger makeup seems to be a bit more on the wilder side on this cruise. Okay, maybe a lot wilder.
Embarkation was not fun. Again, we already had our Medallions and were directed to a very long line to check in. Can we use the Priority line? Nope. It has to be the long Medallion line. Not all of the Medallion check in stations were open so that may have had something to do with the backup.
Next time I'm not going to bring my Medallion and go to the Priority Line instead. It has to be quicker than what we went through today. And the seating areas, particularly in the priority boarding area (where we couldn't even find a seat) were nuts. We sat outside the priority area watching folks with all colors of Medallions crowding the area. And when they did finally open the boarding doors? Oh. My. Gosh. I don't want to experience that again, either.

After much standing around in and out of lines and a bit of sitting, we did get onboard the ship and headed straight to the buffet. 
They handed these out today.
There was a wedding out back on the Horizon Terrace so we had to confine ourselves to one section of the Terrace. No worries as one of the gals we met last time was stationed there. We heard all about the last cruise to Alaska and the one before when the ship had the oil spill in Vancouver. Sounds like the two weeks we were gone from the ship were pretty eventful. The crew is so ready for warm Mexico. 

We again wound up in a mini suite for this cruise as it was another one of the Princess price mistake ones. It's a bummer they don't honor the prices shown on their website, but when they make it up by giving us a mini for an inside price it makes it better.
The cabin is kind of similar to last week's on the Golden, but not quite. I'll get more photos up of this cabin later this week. One thing we did notice is something outside our balcony when we look up.
That's the Seawalk, and yep, people can see us. I think if we tuck close to the door we might be hidden. We'll try it out tomorrow.

Tonight's sunset as seen from our cabin. 

A sea day is up tomorrow.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Golden Princess Mini Suite Cabin

Interested in knowing what a mini suite cabin looks like on a Princess cruise ship? I've got your photos right here. These specific pictures are from the Golden Princess, cabin D326.
If you want to know anything else about cruise ship cabins or have any questions about cruising or Princess Cruises, just ask. 

Golden Princess Repositioning Cruise Wrap-Up

It has been a whole year since we did a short repositioning cruise between Vancouver and some US port. Last time hubby and I told each other they just aren’t worth it. Too short to pack (and unpack) for, services from crew members suffer because they have more of a laisse-faire attitude, and Vancouver is a cruise port difficult to navigate when multiple ships are in port. This time was no different. But this short cruise on the Golden Princess was our best way to see our favorite bartender before he heads to Australia so it was a must-do for us. While I’m certainly glad we were able to spend as much with him as we could, I also know if not for him and a couple other crew we knew it would have been not nearly as enjoyable. We had highs, lows, and some new learnings. You can decide for yourself which category things fall into.

*The Golden Princess is about to be a Princess no more as she will be heading to P&O. (Near the end of next year, I think.) Since the ship isn’t going to be staying in the Princess family, you won’t find the updated MedallionNet WiFi. It’s the same old slow minutes. This cruise it was even shut down for almost 24 hours. (I know, I know, first world problems.)
I know for a fact the crew still had access but passengers did not. Of course, the Internet Manager wouldn’t tell anyone that – just told everyone the entire system was down - but as you know we have folks working on the ship who tell us everything.

*No MedallionNet and no upcoming Ocean Medallion means you’ll find the old mailboxes still outside the cabins.
*No upgrading of food venues also meant the International CafĂ© hasn’t changed out their sandwich and salad menu like the Royal Princess did in the last few weeks. Same things we’ve seen for years and tasty either way.
*We had a mini suite cabin somewhat midship on Dolphin deck. The balcony was almost completely uncovered and those above could see us when we were out there.

*While we had two TVs we only had one TV controller to share between the two. You can imagine who was the one in charge of it.
*We I am always interested in where the mini bar items come from. In the past we’ve had Diet Coke from several places around the world. This batch was from Canada and was in French.
*We again found inconsistencies in the level of service the cabin steward provided. Whether it was having to wait for four hours for the cabin to get cleaned, not delivering ice as asked, or the lack of bathroom cleanliness, it’s something we’ve unfortunately seen before. If we had told him we were staying on until Australia I'm sure the service would have been better. And again like in the past, the smoking on the balcony thing was dealt with nonchalantly.

*The tablet Bingo is super-popular. I haven't checked prices in a while, but I did this time.
*Starting this sailing, the Platinum/Elite/Suite Lounge was moved to the Vista Lounge because of the high number of qualifying guests. The time has also been shifted to 4:15-6:15pm. For those interested, here’s the drink list.
*We were excited to see the Royal Princess with us in Victoria, but unfortunately they couldn’t dock. They basically did some paperwork showing they visited a foreign port and then went on their way. We also had other Princess ships following us on our way down to San Francisco. We'll meet up with both the Royal and Coral Princess in Los Angeles on Sunday.

*Since this was a short three day cruise, most people were assigned walk-off disembarkation. Us included. With hubby’s limitations we never do walk-off but decided to just go with it. Since we were heading straight to our hotel to drop off our luggage and then to the San Francisco Giants game we figured it might work out better.

Would I sail another three day cruise? Nope. Another sailing on the Golden? Maybe. Still sail on Princess Cruises? You betcha. We love we can visit our friends in their cruise ship homes. Best part of cruising, I think.

One more thing to note…all these opinions are my own and probably things others may not notice. As much as we cruise we can see nuisances in how things are done fleet-wide. Some ships and some departments do things better and some do things worse. But it doesn’t keep us from coming back again and again.
The view out our balcony this morning. Geez, I should be a photographer.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Golden Princess Sea Day

I tossed around all kinds of song titles for today’s blog post:

  • You Shook Me All Night Long
  • Don’t Rock the Boat
  • Hippy Hippy Shake
  • Shake, Rattle, and Roll
  • I Walk the Line (but not a straight one)
  • Shake it Up
  • Rollercoaster

The Captain made an announcement as we were leaving Victoria yesterday, warning us we were in for high winds and rough seas as we made our way to San Francisco.

He was right.

It was a noisy night. Creaks and groans and shimmies and shakes. The 40+ knot winds and choppy seas made it rough going. Rough enough to grab handrails or walls when possible. Otherwise, a wide stance with arms spread seemed to be the best way to get around. Sometimes the ship was rolling, sometimes pitching, and sometimes both with lots of white caps thrown in.
And an FYI for those in a mini suite: The grab bars in the shower aren’t nearly as effective when the ship is rocking and rolling. At least when you’re in a cabin with just a shower you can both hold the grab bar and lean against the wall when needed. In a mini suite with the tub/shower combo? You’ll find when showering the ship is moving you from one end of the tub to the other as you try to hold on. Might as well call it a spread eagle shower stance. But at least one of us in the cabin smells clean!

The waters have calmed this evening and it’s much easier to get around.
Tonight we used our freebie Most Traveled Guest voucher for dinner at Sabatini’s Trattoria. Big mistake. I don’t know what word best describes how I felt leaving the restaurant. Disappointment? Frustration? Again, we are seeing a pattern on Princess Cruises of crew just not giving a sh**. The food gets served. The server goes away, never to be seen again until the next course comes around. My lamb skewers were so overcooked and rubbery it makes me never want to eat lamb again. I would have asked for something different or to get a lamb skewer do-over order, but the server never returned until he picked it up and took off. Didn’t even get a chance to stop him and ask for anything.

Then my soup was turned from this to this:

without me asking for it, without me being able to stop it. (I so don't do pepper.) And the pasta course? Same thing. He started covering it in pepper again. I was able to get it stopped before it got too covered, but by then it didn’t really matter. I was done. Before our last course was delivered, the head waiter finally made his way to the table to ask how things were going. And me, who usually keeps her mouth shut about these kinds of things, told him. Did he really care? Not sure. Yet again we heard the whole I’m sorry, let me make it right thing. While I appreciate the effort by him for the last course, it gets so very frustrating/disappointing to see this again and again, no matter which ship we are on. I took plenty of pictures, but it doesn’t matter. There is absolutely no way I would recommend Sabatini’s Trattoria on the Golden Princess. Ever. (Sabatini’s on the Royal Princess when Franco is onboard? Absolutely!) 

Tonight’s dinner just put a damper on things. We came back to the cabin, packed, and decided we’re ready to move on. Move on to San Francisco tomorrow where we have a SF Giants Baseball game and where we’ll spend the night before flying out Sunday to Los Angeles. What will we be doing in Los Angeles? Heading back to the Royal Princess, of course! We were on her for her first-of-the-season cruises to Alaska and now we’ll be on the ship for her first-of-the-season cruises to Mexico.

I’m working on a trip wrap-up for this short three day cruise and hope to have it posted in the next day or two.

Until next time….