All Aboard the Island Princess

We enjoyed a nice lunch before heading to the cruise terminal. I told Sandy that we had been able to have lunch on board when Joe and I went to Cozumel but that we almost missed it because it took so long to get through the lines and checked in. We thought we’d play it safe and eat a quick lunch before hand.

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As expected there were lines but they moved fast. There were kiosks with vendors selling everything from luggage to binoculars to fleece vests. A sign said passengers could leave the line to shop. Wow!  Two different ships were boarding but they had it down to a science. Princess employees stood at each turn directing passengers left or right.

We passed through customs and security within minutes. Then had our photo taken for ship security and were issued our room keys which double as our on board credit account. We filled out a declaration form for customs and then it was onto the ship. Much faster than in Miami! We made such good time that we could have had lunch on the ship!

We met the first of what I call the  “Shipperazzi”, the ever-present ships photographers for our Embarkation Photo.

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They had been terrible on Carnival, in your face everywhere! I was to find that they were much less visible on Princess. We only saw them in the dining room once and when we went to shore.  That was so much nicer.

First up on our to-do list was to find our stateroom. We had reserved an ocean view room but a week before we were to leave we got an email with  “changes”.  The main change was that we moved from Baja Deck aft to Aloha Deck and our stateroom was listed as a balcony room. Gotta love free upgrades. Locating our deck and the hall we set off on the first of many long walks. Our stateroom was still near the rear of the ship, just on the port side instead of aft. Most of the restaurants and activities on the Island Princess were mid-ship. We would get our walking in on this trip. 🙂

Once we reached our room we found a welcome package waiting for us. It included a copy of the “Princess Patter “, a daily newsletter that lists activities, including times and locations. Every cruise I’ve taken has had some kind of daily newsletter and they are important to check in order not to miss anything and plan your day.

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It includes interesting bits and pieces about the Island Princess and it’s staff. It also gave us the daily dress code for dinner in the dining rooms.

Our room did turn out to be a balcony room and our luggage was waiting for us by the door. That was quick service!

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It’s the first time I’ve had a balcony on a cruise and I think I’m spoiled now. If I ever cruise again I will have to have a balcony.

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It makes a world of difference and it will be a real blessing later on. But more on that when I tell you about Glacier Bay.

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Also in the package was a scavenger hunt list. What a great way to introduce the ship. The scavenger hunt was a list of different places on the ship. When you found the location you got a stamp. The completed list was to be turned in at the Welcome Aboard Party for a prize. Off we went to collect our stamps.

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