|Us boarding the Caribbean Princess|
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Cruising for a Birthday.....mine!
Cruising for a Birthday…..mine!
Mary Alice and I usually try and get away in January which goes back to her working as a CPA. She wanted a vacation before tax season. (She also wanted a vacation after tax season.) So we decided on a Princess cruise in the Caribbean from the Port of Houston. This is our 17th cruise and 15th on Princess. With so many cruises the perks begin even before the ship leaves the dock. We were upgraded to a mini suite which we really like. It has a separate sitting area with its own TV and I can go there when I get up early and watch Fox News. Yes, Princess has Fox New, channel 40. It also has ESPN with all the football and baseball games, satellite reception permitting.
This is a seven day cruise so packing was no problem.
Our dog Tanner senses when we are getting ready to leave. Susan, Tanner’s rescue Mom, has taken him in on our travels. He seems to love going to her house because he has so many playmates, five Irish wolf-hounds, a poodle and a West Highland terrier. I got his crate and food in the car and said let’s go. He jumped right in and we were off for his vacation. My last sight of him was getting acquainted with his Irish wolf-hound buddy.
I got back home and put the suitcases in the car, got dressed, and ready to head to the ship around 11am. That’s when Mary Alice got an email from Princess delaying our boarding until 2PM due to the Noro Virus on the previous cruise and very late docking of the ship due to dense fog. Then the crew has to scrub down the entire ship after all the incoming passengers departed. Soon we got another email saying there was a further 4 hour delay. That put us back to 5:30. Finally we left home at 4:15 and got to the port around 5:30PM and met with a huge traffic snarl with about a thousand cars trying to get into the parking lot. It took over an hour to get the car parked, go inside, pass security and get our boarding pass.
Our dinner companions for last evening were four elderly ladies from Texas. When the first course was served, the lady to my left (Judith, an amazing 85 year old) asked if she could say the “blessing”. Right away we knew we were at the right table. Back to the cabin after to unpack and settle in. This morning, never one to miss a meal (even on a diet), we joined some new folks for breakfast. Mary Alice had a fascinating conversation with a young man who by profession was a hang gliding instructor. He told her if she had ever had a dream where she is flying through the air (without an airplane and she has), then she was a great candidate for hang gliding lessons. Fortunately he and his wife live in Seattle and I’m guessing we’re not going there anytime soon. I think Mary Alice wants to leave these kind of self-flight events to George Bush Senior!
We are at sea for two days. MA’s going to join the book club and they are doing “The First Call from Heaven”. I’m watching football all afternoon, either pool side or here in our cabin looking out over the deep blue seas!
One more thing. This Noro Virus thing is highly contagious and therefore Princess has taken extreme measures to be sure no one gets it or passes it on. For example, there is no butter or bread basket on the tables, no salt and pepper shakers, no sugar and cream, no flowers. At the buffet you cannot serve yourself, even for something as simple as an apple. Everything there is handed to you. If you’re in a dining room, the waiters bring salt and pepper in paper packets, hand you the sugar packets, pour your cream, and serve the bread and butter with tongs. But then, Mary Alice bought something in the boutique and they handed her the community pen to sign the receipt. Go figure. That’s what hand sanitizers are for.
Stay tuned! Wayne