Thursday, March 26, 2020

December 28, 2019 - Embarkation Day – San Francisco, CA – Mostly Sunny – 60s

The room was quiet and we did get some sleep.  We had a very nice breakfast at the hotel (included) – featuring made to order robotic pancakes, ready made cheese omelets, oatmeal, cereal, and everything else you could want on a breakfast buffet.  The food was very tasty, as well.

We got to the ship at 11:00 AM and found the manifest guy so we could see what room we were in and tag our bags.  He, of course, was confused and kept asking us what deck we were on.  I actually had to find our names on the list in the crew-not crew section. We checked in very fast – we were put in a special line for guest entertainers.

We were on board in no time and had a small lunch in Horizon Court.

I took a great panoramic shot of the bay and the Bay Bridge.

Right now, we are resting in the nightclub, One5, on Deck 15 Aft. 

At 3:20 PM, we went to the Crooners Bar on Deck 7 and joined the other guest entertainers for the lifeboat drill. We were scanned in and listened to a pretty short safety instruction (pre-recorded).  Not as “entertaining” as “Agent Blair” but this electronic women did crack a few jokes.

At 4:30 PM, I was scheduled to meet with Entertainment Manager, Lee Childers, in the Entertainment Office just outside the theater to discuss the cruise lecture schedule.  I knew he had a totally different lecture list than I wanted to use (a crazy mixup in documents sent to Princess).  Eventually, we decided not to mess with the list but to swap one lecture for another.  My first lecture is tomorrow at 11:00 AM in the Princess Theater. 

After meeting with Lee, we wanted to check out our stateroom.  Our room is 7115 – an outside Fleet (Officer’s) Cabin on Deck 7 starboard side forward. 

It is pretty big room, roomier than some outside cabins on other ships we have been on.  It has the all important non-porthole window.  The bathroom is nice with a big sink and a reasonably sized shower.  The phone is a regular phone - one that can reach room service, for example.  The room was clean but un-stocked (soap, shampoo, and towels).  Lee made some calls and we had most things delivered to the room.  More is needed and we will work that out tomorrow.

We had an early dinner in Alfredo’s Pizzeria – I had the Vegetariana Pizza sans zucchini and Ellen had the Margherita Pizza with avocado (no mushrooms available).  I added a green salad with Ranch Dressing (very good by the way) from the International Cafe next door and I had a full meal.  The pizzas were bigger but I would have like more sauce – next time.

A NOTE on the Grand Princess:  There have been some changes to the ship in the past year.  For us, in fleet cabins, we now have RF cards that open our doors (instead of a metal key).  The other cabins also have RF cards instead of the insert type.  The rooms now have spiffy new “Medallion” identifiers in preparation for this ship becoming a Medallion Ship (some kind of digital upgrade).  Almost all of the furniture on the ship has been replaced with new, comfortable seating.  In some areas of the ship, the carpeting seems new.  So, Grand Princess has been spiffed up and feels fresher.

We passed on the show tonight (Dan Delgado – multi-instrumentalist) – instead we listened to the smooth jazz sound of “Supersonics” in the Explorer’s Lounge and then to the piano player, Jan Gulbicki,  in the Crooners Bar (soft music).  The best thing is the volume at both venues is not at an ear splitting level but rather at a mellow comfortable setting.

The captain, Jon Paul Bryant (Southampton, England) told us that after we sailed under the Golden Gate (we left about three hours late), the sea would get “lumpy”.  Well, there were a lot of lumps in the Pacific Ocean when we got to our room.  Our suitcases showed up and trying to unpack while trying not to kiss the carpet wasn’t easy. 

There are plenty of plugs in the room and plenty of shelves for storage. 

The ship is rocking and rolling and the waves are slapping us pretty well.

Hoping to get some sleep.

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