Wednesday, May 9, 2018

January 24, 2018 – Fort Lauderdale, FL - Embarkation Day – Sunny – Warm – 80s

Island Princess – Ship Facts

Gross Tonnage: 92,822 tons (net tonnage: 54,054 tons)

Draught: 27.2 feet

Length: 964.3 feet

Beam: 105.6 feet

Delivered: 2003

Max Passengers: 2390 (Crew 810)

The room was totally quiet all night long and the bed in this room was very comfortable.

We had breakfast at their buffet – the usual fare – instant oatmeal (OK), make your own waffle (OK), egg Frisbees (best way to describe them) (questionable) and assorted pastries and coffee.  We ate outside this morning.  Decent breakfast.

We were not able to get a late checkout so we exited the room at 11:45 AM. Ellen took a walk down to Michael’s to get some needlepoint thread, while I watched the luggage. In a few minutes, the woman in charge of the port shuttle said she had gotten a message from the ship saying that people were boarding. The next shuttle would be leaving at 1:00 PM and anyone here would head to the port – all others on the Island Princess would take the next shuttle. I called Ellen and she said she would get back as soon as she could. She must have sprinted because she was back at 12:30 PM just as the first shuttle was getting ready to depart early. We got on that shuttle and in a few minutes, we were at Princess’ Private Pier at Port Everglades.

We handed our bags over to a porter, who seemed totally unfamiliar with our room number format (“has to have a letter in front of the numbers”). We are in a fleet cabin and they just have four numbers. I put the room number on the tags and hoped for the best.

Through some strategic moves (and telling officials I was a guest entertainer), we got moved ahead of the line and quickly into a massive waiting area. It appears that the ship was still being cleaned and no one had been allowed back on board. Our wait in the holding area would be about two hours.

We were told to board with the first non-elite group and that’s what we did. We got on the ship, got photographed, and went to look for our cabin. Cabin 5714 is on the Plaza Deck 5 aft – reachable from the Passenger Services Desk.

IMG_20180124_Cabin 5714

IMG_20180124_checking out bed

Fleet Cabin 5714 (Wow – twin portholes)

The room was very spacious and nice but had not been set up for new occupants – lots of stuff left by the last fleeter. Also, all of the room stewards were moving bags so we could not find anyone to speak to about cleaning our room and supplying towels and soap, etc.

Ellen started working on the excursion sign up – again on this ship, the book is located in the crew area across from the crew office. The book was not ready but we did find excursion forms so we could pick the ones we would sign up for.

We were a bit hungry so we had a slice of pizza at the Pizzeria on Deck 14. When it is fresh out of the oven, the pizza is very good. The iced tea on this ship is dark and strong.

The Captain of Island Princess is Michele Tuvo (from Italy, who ends all of his announcements with “…nevertheless, bye bye”).

We walked around the ship a bit to get re-acquainted with the Island Princess – we were on this ship years ago.  The Island Princess is a little more flashy than some of the other ships we have been on but it is a very fine vessel.

IMG_20180124_Atrium from Deck 8

Atrium from Deck 8

The people I will be working with on this ship are Martin Oakes (Cruise Director) and Simone Smith (Entertainment Director). Simone was busy at training but we did meet Martin in his office on Deck 6 (by the Casino) and went over the list of topics. He told me that my first presentation would be tomorrow at Noon.

Since we are “Crew”, we mustered in the Crooner’s Bar – the drill was rather relaxed – after a few words from Captain Michele Tuvo, a pre-recorded voice (female) went through the muster process – the recording reminded me of the automated safety instructions now being used by American Airlines – a bit of levity was added to her announcement – other ships have not done that. We were scanned in and the drill was over quite quickly.

Our bags had not yet arrived at our room so we had dinner in the Bordeaux Dining Room for “anytime dining”. The line for the Dining room was huge but Ellen got us a remote table for two (while I dropped off the life jackets).

I had a Cesar Salad, the Potato/Haddock Chowder, and Salmon with a baked potato. The food was OK but the service was excellent.

We found a nice place to sit while waiting for the Welcome Aboard Show at 9:45 PM in the Princess Theater. Scott Harris, a comedian, was the headliner – he’s our neighbor down in “entertainmentville” and he told us he was a last minute fill in for an ill entertainer. He found out last night in Toronto that he needed to join the ship and here he was. In any event, Scott (we have seen him before) put on a very good show. Subtle chuckles instead of rib busters.

The good news – our bags found their way in the crew area. We would unpack them tomorrow.

As the ship departed out into open sea, there was a shrill audible in the cabin – since the ship was moving at a good clip, I couldn’t tell what that was. Fortunately, the whine abruptly stopped – I am guessing the azipods were being used to guide the ship through the port and into the Atlantic and they were no longer needed. They stayed off all night – because the engines were still running (not loud), I used earplugs to keep from listening to the changing pitch of the screws. Noise in the cabin is not an issue so far.

No comments:

Post a Comment