Tag Archives: Royal Caribbean

Dare I believe it?

Immediately after our cruise to the Baltics in 2019, we set up a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords on Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas for August 16, 2020. Along about March of 2020 everything started being canceled due to COVID-19, including our cruise.

Royal Caribbean did a thing called Lift and Shift, so we could chose another cruise for 2021 and we decided on Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Alaska Southbound from Seward with Cruisetour in September 2021. We had been to Alaska before but the Cruisetour was particularly appealing.

Experience the authentic interior of Alaska in supreme comfort, with luxury transportation. Enjoy travelling on the Wilderness Express®, a luxurious, glass-domed train cars, through the interior of Alaska. Royal Caribbean also employs a fleet of deluxe motor coaches to travel the interior byways of Alaska.

Then, it looked like September 2021 was a no-go because Canada didn’t want cruise ships sailing past their country, let alone doing Cruisetours through it. <sigh>

Our Edinburgh Tattoo for August 2021 was cancelled, of course. I had expected that but bought tickets “just in case”. I was surprised when they let me exchange those for 2022. I had assumed it would be a donation to the cause.

I started looking at other places we could possibly go. I thought of doing yet another Bermuda cruise but they, like so many others, had a quarantine in place. I couldn’t see finding – and paying for – 7 nights quarantined in a hotel room in Bermuda before the cruise.

When Royal Caribbean started posting cruises in the United States again, I started looking around to see what could fit in our schedule and chose Alaska again, this time from Seattle (remember, Canada doesn’t want us!) I’ve been to Seattle a few times and Tom has been but we’ve never been together. I had also always wanted to see Sitka, so this looked like a good-ish compromise. Not the Norwegian Fjords but we all have to compromise.

When it looked like this trip was a “go”, I got the hotel lined up. After the cruise was confirmed (for now!), I started looking for cheap reasonable flights, preferably nonstop. After a frustrating time on a few websites, I finally remembered that Royal Caribbean had a flight component called Air2Sea. I had some flights to choose from, and found one that actually arrived home on the same date we disembark. 11:57 pm, but still – same day! These flights were also over $400 cheaper than my searches on other websites.

Tuesday, March 4 ~ Panama Canal Cruise

ft-lauderdale

 

What a day!  I spent most of the first part being nervous that we would miss the ship.  There were phone calls from employees that weren’t sure what to do while we were gone, emails…

At 11:00 we were supposed to check out and housekeeping came by to check on us and I told her  “soon”.

My sandal broke, the part next to the heel separated from the sole.  <sigh>

Finally, we checked out at noon and set off to find the place to return the rental car that we never really used.  A wrong turn or 2 and we finally got there about 1:00.  Tom called for a taxi.  We waited and waited.  Tom called again.  Finally, the driver got there and we reloaded our luggage.

Fortunately, the port was only about a mile a way but there was a lot of traffic to the port and all cars had to stop and everyone had to show IDs.  That slowed everything up.

Dropped off our luggage and finally got in the terminal building.  It was nearly 2:00.  Tom had been thinking we had until 4:00 to get onboard – I reminded him that this ship sailed at 4:00.  We had to be on by 3:00.

Fort Port Lauderdale Embarkation 

Weather Forecast:  Sunny High 77 / Low 69

Sunrise 6:41 am / Sunset 6:23 pm

From the Navigator: As soon as all the passengers and crew are onboard and all pre-departure checks have been completed, the Captain will give the order to let go our mooring lines.  Once clear from the berth, Coral Princess will make her way out of the harbor before disembarking our pilot and altering our course to starboard.  We will then set southwesterly courses through the Straits of Florida toward the Old Bahama Channel, as we make our way towards Aruba.

A hustling, bustling port – not just cruise ships.  As far as I could tell, we were the only cruise ship there.

A lot of people got there about when we did but the lines moved fairly quickly…until it was time to actually board the ship.  That’s when you swipe your new card and they add your picture to the record for to be sure you’re who you say you are when you come back from port.

We got on the actual ship and were directed to the left.  We followed lots of other folks and ended up at an elevator.  Up to our cabin and our first 2 pieces of luggage were already there.  The third was only a few minutes later.  Very speedy!

I like this ship – Coral Princess!

2014-03-14 14.24.38 2014-03-14 14.24.36 2014-03-14 14.24.32 2014-03-14 14.24.17 2014-03-14 14.24.07

The cabin is (or seems) bigger than the one on Norwegian (NCL).  There is a desk instead of a couch (NCL).  The couch wasn’t very practical – the desk really is.

We have a walk-in closet which is really nice.  We haven’t even filled it halfway up (yet).  It’s at a right angle to the sleeping area which makes it seem like a separate room.

The bathroom is small.  I think the shower is smaller than NCL’s but I don’t spend that much time in there.

The end tables by the bed have actual drawers instead of open shelves.

The chairs on the balcony recline.  They’re fixed on NCL.

No coffeemaker, though.  NCL had one in the cabin.

We have a TV guide telling us what is on for the whole trip.  The new Hobbit movie will be on later.  Glad we didn’t see it in the movies.

Pool/Beach towels are in the closet.  We return them to the cabin and the steward brings us new ones.  We didn’t have to check them out and return them to the pool each day.  Hooray!

This ship has a self-service laundry on each deck.  I’ve never seen that on another ship.

We went off for muster  Here, we had to take our lifejackets and put them on at one point.  NCL, we didn’t take them.  They showed us how to jump off the side, if necessary.  Um, no.

I noted for future reference that many women on here wear white long pants.  Not likely!

Tom went off to a meeting, I did some church work – uploading Sunday’s sermons.

I took a little video of the sail away and some regular pictures.

http://youtu.be/snOVmXcPO-0

 

2014-03-04 16.27.33

The sheriff’s boat, acting as pilot

2014-03-04 14.03.35 2014-03-04 14.03.43 2014-03-04 14.03.52 2014-03-04 16.26.55 2014-03-04 16.26.58 2014-03-04 16.27.07 2014-03-04 16.27.41 2014-03-04 16.30.38 2014-03-04 16.30.46 2014-03-04 16.31.25 2014-03-04 18.49.05 2014-03-04 18.49.10

Tom came back and wrote some emails.  I think I napped.  I didn’t feel like getting dressed for dinner so we went to the buffet.  It seemed smaller than NCL but then I realized that they didn’t have the pizza and burgers mixed in.  The buffet was all real food.  Among other things, I had prime rib.  Yummy!!!   We got to sit right ”up front” in the center of the stern.  Very impressive!

We walked around a bit, trying to get our bearings.  This ship has a lot of wood on it, more “real” than the mostly metal ones I usually see.  Teak tables, wooden doors.

I understand that this ship line used to be P&O from England before they became Princess.  There are British hints all over, from the afternoon Tea Time, to the huge selection of teas at dinner.  There are also pictures from the P&O line on the walls and 2 grenadiers guarding the casino.  Tom thinks that P&O might have stood for Pacific and Orient – I’ll look that up when we get home.  (Note – it is Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company)

I had wanted to go to the 7:45 Welcome Aboard show but there was some email to be sent.  I think I rested my eyes.

Then, we went out and walked around some more – by Movies Under the Stars (MUTS) which seems to mostly be showing a variety of things.  There are 2 movies later this week that I’d like to see.  They put cushions on the deck chairs and give out blankets, popcorn,  cookies and milk.  It’s also right by the ice cream, pizza and grill so not too much chance of hunger.

We walked all around a couple of decks.  It seems like we’re nearly alone on this cruise.  Except for embarking, we’ve seen very few other people.

At 9:30, we did see  the show.  I thought that they would do snippets from upcoming shows but the singers/dancers did a “welcome to Princess” type song and dance and the comedian told some jokes.  The cruise director, Susan Rawlings,  told us a bit about what was coming up.

Walking around some more.  We decided to get some pizza but they were just closing up.  Back to the buffet – Horizon Court – and I had some fruit (and another egg roll)

There was a note on our bed after dinner that they would be happy to deliver whatever fruit we wanted to our cabin.  Nice touch.  Also, a Princess tote bag.

We had chocolates on our pillow!

Just a bit of church work, should have taken about 2 minutes, tops, but it took 11, thanks to this s-l-o-w internet connection.

I think I fell asleep almost immediately.  If anything, I read one paragraph in my book.

%d bloggers like this: