Saturday, August 26, 2023

Grand Princess Embarkation Day

Hello from the Grand Princess!

front of Grand Princess Cruise Ship
My home for the next two weeks

Before I start with today I must go back to yesterday. Really, it’s a must. While my flight was late getting into Vancouver last night, the excitement of what I saw during the flight made up for any delay. 

How would you feel if you saw this on your plane’s map?
Map of plane flying over Greenland
Being I just came back from Greenland you can imagine how I was feeling. When I looked out the window and found the cloudy skies had cleared and started snapping photos I may have even quoted a Macklemore song and whispered to myself, “This is f***ing awesome.” 

I found Greenland is just like you see on the maps - green and brown on the edges, more glacier-y a little farther in, and then it’s nothing but ice and snow. You can see exactly what I mean by following the progression of photos from the east coast towards the middle.
Southeast coast of Greenland from airSoutheast coast of Greenland from airGlaciers in Greenland from airGlaciers in Greenland from airGreenland from the airGreenland from the air
It was nothing short of spectacular being able to experience Greenland by way of cruising Prince Christian Sound, visiting two coastal villages, and seeing it from above, all in one week. Wow. Just wow.

Okay, back to today. I stayed at the Fairmont Waterfront, a new hotel for me. It’s right across from the cruise port and was arranged by Princess. We always book our own hotel but since I was coming in late and I’m only paying for a solo, it was a better deal to book through them this time. And clearly they get some nice rooms because when I went to look out my window this morning I found I had a little terrace. What a nice surprise. So I went next door to Tim Horton’s, bought a donut, and brought it back and spent my morning outside. Such a nice way to start the day.
Fairmont Waterfront terrace room in Vancouver Canada
I went across the street about 11 and rolled around outside for a while before I decided to go inside the terminal. It’s so nice finally being somewhere I’ve been dozens of times, but in my exploration I discovered something new today. I found an entrance up top where I could avoid all the initial craziness of downstairs. If you’ve been to the port before you’ll recognize the area as the out/back in/escalator area. Being on a scooter I was able to use the door to cut across into the main hallway instead. I’ll be using this entrance from now on, if possible.
Vancouver Canada Place outdoor entrance
You can tell it’s near the end of the season because they have the process down, although being on the scooter saved me a bunch of time and steps. I was onboard with a glass of water sitting in the sun at the back of the ship by 12:03.
Grand Princess Terrace pool
My happy place 
Even though I never went to the dining room on the Island Princess I went for lunch today for old times sake on the Grand. The place was empty (yay) and I quickly had my old standby in front of me, the salmon and orange soufflé. Sorry, I wolfed down the soufflé and completely forgot the picture!
Princess Cruises salmon with dill lunch
My cabin on this ship is a weird one. It’s in the mini suite category - and is considered accessible - but it’s the smallest accessible mini suite I’ve ever been in. Oh, yeah…and it’s only a twin bed set up. No spreading out on an empty bed for me on this ship.
Grand Princess accessible Mini Suite D733
On the plus side, what I lose in cabin space I gain in balcony space. It doesn’t completely wrap around the back but it gets close. It’s totally uncovered which means I’ll either get wet from the rain or people looking down on me. Can’t have it all!
Grand Princess accessible mini suite D733 balcony
Oops, finger in the way
Our departure time has been delayed to a bunkering (fuel) barge issue but we’ll be off to Alaska with our first port being Ketchikan on Monday. See you then!
Smoky sunset at sea
Smoky sail away