Cruising Day 1: The Embarkening

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Thunder and I arrived at Pier 91 and entered the terminal, luggage in tow and documents in hand. We’ve never been on a cruise before and had no idea what to expect. We were, however, sure of one thing: getting 2600 people through security, registration and baggage surrender was going to be a royal clusterf**k. We’re so jaded, aren’t we?

I’m happy to report that from the moment we entered the terminal the people at Princess Cruises were incredibly friendly and competent. There are folks who greeted us and whose sole purpose was to smilingly point the way to the baggage area, health form area, and the registration area. Did I mention the smiling? It must have been contagious because one such gentleman looked at us and asked if we were honeymooners. He said were smiling so much he figured we were just married. Thunder and I got a good chuckle out of that, but more on this particular encounter later.

Lines move quickly and smoothly. The Princess people knew exactly what they were doing, and got us – all of us – on the back in less time that it takes us to park the car at Citifield and get to our seats.

Our room is bigger than I imagined it would be. You hear horror stories about the tiny cabins, but our room was like a hotel room. Bathroom was reasonably roomy, but we were surprised by the shower setup – open with drains all over the floor. But really what were pleased with was the balcony. Now if this were an apartment balcony, it would be a resounding failure, but we weren’t planning on barbecuing out there.. I’d guess about 4-5 feet deep and about 10 feet wide. Certainly wide enough to fit two chairs and a little side table. That’s all we need, really. We just want to watch the scenery go by. With the sliding door to the cabin open, it’s really an extension of the room. The added bonus is that we’re on the Baja Deck. That means that we have a roof on our balcony – no one above us can see down onto our deck (they way we can with balconies below). We also have solid partitions between balconies on our deck. It is reasonably private. Really lovely.

We watched Seattle and Canada go by as we left port – very cool. Speaking of cool…I know they told me we needed jackets. Wow – it got cold very fast. Between the wind and water effects, we need some covering every time we’re outside or on the balcony. I exercised by walking the Promenade deck around the ship and had to watch water underfoot and spray hitting me in the face. Loved. It.

Anyway, tomorrow is cruising at sea until we reach Juneau on Monday. We’ll see what kinds of activities we might engage in from the list on the daily newsletter. I’m all for anything that doesn’t involve me actually interacting with people. Thunder is looking for poker tournaments. Whatever we end up doing, we’ll be sure to bring mittens.

Sep 2nd, 2010

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