Sunday, May 17, 2015

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 – Hollywood, FL – Mostly Cloudy – Showers – 90F

Embarkation Day

Note.  The Panama Canal Cruise is Segment 6 of the Pacific Princess World Cruise 2015.  Approximately 350 passengers have been on this ship 94 days (traveling about 30,000 Nautical Miles) and will complete the entire 111 day cruise in Los Angeles.  About 300 people are joining the ship in Ft. Lauderdale.  The World Cruisers know each other so its like a very lopsided back to back – 94 plus 17 days.

Pacific Princess:  30,277 tons; Draught: 19.6 feet; Length: 592 feet; Breadth: 83.5 feet; Delivered 10/2002; Capacity: 670; Crew: 373.

Because of the heat (the low was around 80F) we had to leave the AC on – however, the unit was quieter than most (also new) so the ear plugs were able to cancel out the noise.  Also, the room was very quiet so we managed to get a decent night’s sleep.

There are two ships docked in Port Everglades today – Celebrity Infinity and Pacific Princess.  Many of the guests are here for the cruises – both through the Canal – so extra shuttles have been ordered.

We ate breakfast out by the pool – waffles, cereal, and the usual stuff.  It was pretty good even though it was the standard fare. 

At 11:15 AM we went to the lobby to wait for the shuttle – the lobby was full with suitcases everywhere.  We decided to wait outside – it was raining but we were under the overhang.  The shuttle did not arrive until close to Noon.  It was a huge – 60 passenger – tour bus.  The bags were separated into Infinity and Princess groups and loaded onto the bus.  At about 12:15 PM, we were on our way to Port Everglades.  The first stop disembarked all of the Celebrity passengers – about 90 percent of the folks.  I took a look at the bags at the curb to make sure our stuff didn’t get unloaded.  The remaining half dozen people then headed to Pier 2, where the Pacific Princess was docked.  The terminal area was deserted as everyone was already on board. 

While I guarded the bags, Ellen went in and got our cabin number.  Check in was pretty fast – no one in line and no one in the terminal building.  We got our sea pass cards and boarded the ship.  Our cabin was ready.

We are in Cabin 3003 Forward and we are in an outside cabin.  The cabin is spacious with a nice “roomy” bathroom with a real vanity and medicine cabinet.

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Our Cabin with Personalized Name Tags

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Cabin 3003

Although it was late, we had a quick bite in the Panorama Buffet (Salad and pizza).

We also had our usual meeting with the Maitre D in the Club Restaurant and were told that there were no tables for two and that we would need to come down each evening at 6 PM to try to get seating.

Intermittent showers kept people off the deck but once the showers stopped, I was able to get a few shots of the harbor area.

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Causeway – view from Aft

Security seemed a bit higher today – there was an increased police and sheriff presence as our bus entered the pier area.  Coast guard gun boats patrolled near the ship keeping people away from Pacific Princess.  At one point, the gun ship forced a yacht away from the ship.

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You’ve Been Warned

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Armed Escort

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ET On Deck

Captain Tim Stringer announced that the ship would try to get away before the thunderstorms rolled in.  Some bumps are anticipated.

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Port Everglades Sail Away

We watched the rest of the sail away from the Pacific Lounge on Deck 10.

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There was no note from the Cruise Director in the cabin so we went to the Cruise office on Deck 4 Midship.  We did find Cruise Director Matt Thompson and Deputy Cruise Director, Kim Steadman.  They were both busy and we decided to meet after the Life Boat Drill.

A brief meeting with Kim indicated that all 10 presentations were scheduled and they would be at 9:30 AM or so in the Cabaret Lounge.  That’s all I needed to know. 

We had dinner in the Panorama Buffet – Salad, pizza, and some kind of fish. 

The Welcome aboard show tonight featured Alan Bursky, a comedian from Los Angeles.  He was OK – I did like his little bit with Spanish he learned while in college.

We discovered David Crathorne, a pianist/vocalist in the Casino Lounge.  A very good voice and all light tunes including Broadway stuff.  He will be our go to guy on this cruise.

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