We cruised…

We took a 3 night cruise from Seattle to Victoria and Vancouver on Princess Cruises ship Crown Princess in mid October. This particular voyage choice fit our idealized desires of a shorter, after season experience where there was less fanfare, less crowds, less duration and after all schools had started. And it departed Seattle, with no messy transfers needed. It fit our budget, which was not low but also not completely extravagant. We decided to grab a decent cabin (a “mini suite” reserve – M1 booking category) This was our first ever (!) cruise, so we wanted to optimize it for our success even if this was a short little jaunt from most cruise perspectives.

So, we cruised.

And, to be certain, these are my experiences. My husband may have others.

Watching episodes of the Love Boat on the Love Boat. We were fully chuffed with the meta-ness of it all, and at times we gleefully celebrated out loud. Clinked many glasses. Princess itself even digs promotion into it ship-wide 37 years after the last airing (as they should – that Hollywood history was a complete corporate TV coup that every PR person should study) It’s the thing that will stick with us forever. That this is what sticks with us as our #1, well, I’ll leave that nuggets of info right here for now.

But I’m getting ahead. So, we boarded.

“Welcome Aboard!”, “Hello!”, “Hello!”, “Welcome”, “Thank you sir”, “Hello!”, “Hello!”, “Hello!”, “Hello!”, “Welcome Aboard!”, “We’re good to meet you”, “hello”, “Hello”, “Hi sir”, “Greetings sir”, “Hello”, “Hello’, ‘Welcome”, “Welcome”, “Hello”, “Welcome aboard”, “Hello!”, “Hello Sir.”, “Welcome aboard”, “Hello!”, “Hello Sir.”, “Hello.”,”Hello.”,”Hello.”,”Hello.”,”Hello.”,”Hello.”

We walked the inside promenade to our cabin, and waded through the vociferous offers left and right. Much like the gauntlet after customs at a Mexican airport (those who know, know…)

Fine jewelry sampler! May I take your photo? Find your perfume essence! Find your favorite high-end booze! May I take your photo? Find your lucky number at BINGO! Find your relaxation with an acupuncture sampler! May I take your photo?

“Welcome Aboard!”, “Hello!”, “Hello!”, “Welcome”, “Thank you sir”, “Hello!”, “Hello!”, “Hello!”, “Hello!”, “Welcome Aboard!”, “We’re good to meet you”, “hello”, “Hello”, “Hi sir”, “Greetings sir”, “Hello”, “Hello’, ‘Welcome”, “Welcome”, “Hello”, “Welcome aboard”, “Hello!”, “Hello Sir.”, “Welcome aboard”, “Hello!”, “Hello Sir.”, “Hello.”,”Hello.”,”Hello.”,”Hello.”,”Hello.”,”Hello.”

As a 3-day itinerary to Victoria and Vancouver, that takes the Victoria Clipper mere hours to complete – well, we were curious on how this would be plotted over 3 days. As it turns out, we actually exited the Salish Sea via the Strait of Juan de Fuca and went out to the depths – to join The Washington Pacific Ocean Parade, sponsored by the Gatsby’s Casino, mid-ship.

So, this is mid-October, folks. In the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

We follow down the straight of silvered, calm waters and exit. We take a left.

Brrrt, BOOM. Shiply-SHUDDER, shudder shudder. BBbbppptbbpt. Random room squeak. Rise to the left. Peak at center. Complimentary room squeak to the prior. Down to the right. BBbbppptbbpt. BOOM. 10 seconds. Ahh, it’s done. 5 seconds – No, fool. Rinse. Repeat.

Night one. Day two. Night two.

So during the The Washington Pacific Ocean Parade, sponsored by the Gatsby’s Casino, mid-ship, there was not any vom for us. Apparently we both have some decent sea legs. That said, at sleep time, in a dark, featureless room, with reserve M1 bedding softly caressing and forming a spring to every body fold – it often felt like my ass was hovering over my head.

I got about 8 hours of sleep – cruise total.

But we persevere. Let’s explore the ship!

“Welcome Aboard!”, “Hello!”, “Hello!”, “Welcome”, “Thank you sir”, “Hello!”, “Hello!”, “Hello!”, “Hello!”, “Welcome Aboard!”, “We’re good to meet you”, “hello”, “Hello”, “Hi sir”, “Greetings sir”, “Hello”, “Hello’, ‘Welcome”, “Welcome”, “Hello”, “Welcome aboard”, “Hello!”, “Hello Sir.”, “Welcome aboard”, “Hello!”, “Hello Sir.”, “Hello.”,”Hello.”,”Hello.”,”Hello.”,”Hello.”,”Hello.”

Time for a nap in the cabin.

The FOOD though! 100% completely excellently adequate to provide nutrients to keep us from being un-alive.

Booze is booze though – so we took advantage of our drinks package. This is where I have to praise some of the tech onboard. We wore these “Medallion” RFID devices on lanyards around our neck. OK, cool – we obviously just tap them when we order stuff. But it’s even more magical. At bars, you would belly up and order, and then that’s it – you walked away when finished. The bartender just knew from your seated position who you were, your picture appeared on his iPad, and that was it. Also, as you approached your cabin, your door unlocked automatically without touching anything – from about a yard away. Kinda spooky. But effective. We grew to love it as we were on the ship. We would not want to wear them anywhere else.

Three hours of sleep and breakfast, after night one of the Pacific Ocean Parade, sponsored by the Gatsby’s Casino, mid-ship. We stumbled to the dining room and managed to order and eat some easy stuff. After the 10 levels of greetings, the steward has taken notice of us and moves toward us with a look of action on his face

Shit, what have we done.

Loudly, so half the dining room can hear, “Sirs!” “You are the RESERVE collection!” “Your dining room is special access!” “You need to go to the blah blah blah whatever entrance to that section of the blah blah wha wha blah dining room.” I think he was kind of disgusted with us, gaining breakfast sustenance with the OTHERS.

OK, dude, we just followed the signs and wanted some eggs.

The Victoria pitstop was nice. We visited and played Haunted Mini Golf! A timely treat of the season – this place is not temporary though, so go visit. Highly recommended – it was fun and they do a good job.

Taxi back to the ship.

“Welcome Back!”, “Hello!”, “Hello!”, “Welcome Back”, “Thank you sir”, “Hello!”, “Hello!”, “Hello!”, “Hello!”, “Welcome Aboard!”, “Welcome Back!”, “hello”, “Hello”, “Hi sir”, “Greetings sir”, “Hello”, “Hello’, ‘Welcome”, “Welcome”, “Hello”, “Welcome aboard”, “Hello!”, “Hello Sir.”, “Welcome aboard”, “Hello!”, “Hello Sir.”, “Hello.”,”Hello.”,”Hello.”,”Hello.”,”Hello.”,”Hello.”

To be honest, on the last night we had a pretty good meal onboard – a place called Sabatini’s. It was an upcharge even with our package. Worth it – I felt this would be a good restaurant anywhere.

Finally, early on day 3, Vancouver’s skyline came into view for a beautiful morning docking.

“Goodbye sir!”, “So sorry to have you leave”, “Goodbye”, “Goodbye”, “Goodbye”, “Goodbye”, “Goodbye”, “Goodbye”, “Goodbye”, “Goodbye sir!”, “Goodbye”, “Goodbye”, “So sorry to have you leave”, “Goodbye!”.

Goodbye, indeed.