Thursday, January 29, 2009

On the good ship.....

Of course we were awake before the wake-up call came at 5:30. Caught the 6:00 shuttle to the airport. Check-in and security was quick and easy, so we were sitting at the gate just waiting before 6:30.

We met a couple from NC who were going on the cruise too. Big Mistake to start talking to them. She was grumpy and negative; he was annoyingly talkative. This made the waiting very tedious. They cut at each other constantly; he kept “quizzing” us on every topic of conversation that came up.

When we got to Fort Lauderdale, we had to wait to claim our luggage and then wait for the Princess bus to get to the airport: but when ducks were all lined up, we got on the first bus leaving for the sea port. As platinum members of the Captain’s Club, we got to register early and were actually the very first couple to get registered once they were ready to start registration in what Jim calls “the warehouse.” We waited outside there for about 15 minutes before they were ready, but we were onboard the Emerald Princess and in our stateroom (B201) by 12:30.

Our first action was, of course, to visit the buffet on deck 15 for lunch. We met Danilo, or stateroom steward. He is about 5’ to 5”2”, boney and of middle eastern descent.

After lunch we informally toured the ship. Our stateroom is on Baja deck or Deck 11. Room 201 is the very last room forward on the starboard side on that deck -- a very long walk from the first set of elevators!

The Emerald Princess is larger than even the Grand Princess. It is only 2 years old. In redesigning the ship, they cut down the width of the walking decks and the size of the balconies to make room for more passenger staterooms. There were over 3300 passengers, and everything felt much more crowded than any other cruise we have taken. The EP also has more decks than the Grand or other ships we have cruised on. There are 4 decks above the full-length 15th. The 16th and above are mostly recreational decks. The basketball courts, golf course, running track, kid’s area, and the “night club” are up there.

We stopped by the library on 7 and picked up the quizzes of the day.

Dinner was a seafood fest in the Horizon Court (where we eat most of our meals on most cruises.)

The evening’s show was a comedy magician named Jeff Peterson. We saw his performance in the Princess Theatre (4 decks directly below our stateroom.)

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