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Friday, May 2, 2014

Departure from Ft. Lauderdale and First Three Days at Sea

Departure from Ft. Lauderdale and First Three Days at Sea

Our hotel, Hyatt Place, made arrangements to get its guests to the cruise ships Sunday morning. We gathered in the lobby and about 11am with our luggage on the trailer and the bus left for Port Everglades where our ship was docked. We made sure our luggage was off the trailer and into one of the ship’s containers and then joined hundreds of others waiting to get through security and get our boarding cards.

This is our first cruise as “Elite” passengers (15 or more cruises with Princess). We got to skip the long lines, quickly got our cards and made it up the gangway. There the ship’s security takes your photo and we headed for our balcony cabin # B428, on the 11th deck, port side, amidships. 
Our first job was to unpack the carry-on bags and go to lunch. Remember!  We don’t miss the meals!!! By the time we got back our two other suitcases had arrived and we set about unpacking and getting things in order.  We were ready to cruise.

The mandatory emergency drill was next so we joined our other passengers in the Explorer’s Lounge and listened to the rules on the ship. Truthfully, I slept through most of it and woke up in time to put my life jacket on.  Don’t worry, I’ve heard it before.

Our days at sea usually begin around 7am when room service knocks on the door with a pot of coffee and yogurt.  Couple hours later we go for the rest of breakfast.

Mary Alice has found a beginners’ Zumba Dance class she likes, also a Portuguese refresher class, and Trivial Pursuit which is for both of us. The dance exercises and foreign languages are strictly hers. I normally walk three miles on the Promenade Deck. After a light lunch (this means skip the French fries and only get one scoop of ice cream), we find something to do in the afternoons. For me this often includes reading a few pages and taking a nap. MA likes to go up to the pool and the Jacuzzi.

Our first day on the ship we went to the Crooners Bar for a prearranged get-together with our new friend Mitch from Chicago. Mitch had helped MA online with bus information from the ship to downtown London (for the end of the cruise).  They chatted about this on a Princess feature called “roll call” where you could chat online with fellow passengers on your same cruise and compare notes about tours, weather, who plays bridge, etc.  “Roll call” was how we found out about Alla tours in Russia which turned out to be a great option to ship sponsored (more expensive) tours. For some reason Princess recently took “roll call” off line. Maybe that’s why!

Bermuda is our first port of call.  See you later.  WW

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