I just printed my boarding passes. I embark on this journey near 4 am on Friday from a tiny airport in Salisbury Maryland and make my way to Philadelphia and then on to San Francisco CA. I am looking forward to escaping the hazy hot and humid August weather in the mid-Atlantic.
I thought I would share with you a short list of things I look forward to on every cruise.
- Sail Away – drink in hand; wind in my hair; watching the ship pull away from the dock, out into the channel/bay and then through the breakers into the ocean. Many places I have been you wave to the people who sit out on their apartment balconies; or are fishing along the channel etc. My most memorable sail away was in the Azores; where the shore was lined with local people; children running and waving.
- Pub Lunch on a sea day (hoping for 2 on this sailing) – It is styled after a British Pub lunch with bangers and mash; ploughmans lunch ( Just in case you wonder what that is; look at this article ) and fish and chips. I always order the fish and chips which are served with “mushy peas”. Princess Cruise Lines has it figured out and my British friend enjoyed the lunches as much as I do. One cruise I was on recently also offered fried shrimp in the basket with chips. That was a surprise and I enjoyed it as well. People who KNOW line up by 11 am to be among the first seated. These lunches are held usually in one of the large cocktail lounges instead of the dining room.
- Knitters and Knatters (Where people who do needlework/fiber art get together and stitch and chat). This is usually a 9am gathering in a quiet cocktail lounge on the ship; and even though I don’t knit, I do take along my English Paper Piecing projects.
- Platinum & Elite evening cocktails – this is a “special cocktail hour” for people who have cruised at least 8 times with Princess (earning Platinum status). Discounted drinks and lovely horderves before dinner.
- Sunsets observed from onboard the ship (I gave up on sunrise 15 cruises ago). Yes; I still take pictures of them; every trip.
- That rocking motion that will sooth you to sleep
- Dressing for dinner in the Main Dining Room and deciding what wonderful food to have each night for dinner.
And of course for this trip there is an entirely unique list
- Sail Away under the Golden Gate Bridge
- Cycling in Alaska
- watching for wildlife and the overall beauty and wonder and scale of Alaska
- cooler temperatures during a very hot summer
I think this is my 21st cruise, and 17th on Princess Cruise Lines. I’ve sailed with Orient Lines; Carnival; Celebrity and Oceania as well. Loyalty does pay off; as I have learned. Princess has lots of “extra’s” for returning passengers, in their “Captains Circle Program“. I enjoy the free internet; laundry, mini-bar most of all.
My travel companions over the years varied. My first cruise was a 7 day Carnival cruise to the Western Caribbean. It was a “one and only” with my first husband less than a year before he died. It was one of those “someday we will” trips. After that trip; I was invited by my dear aunt to take an extended trip; transatlantic with her. We flew together to Athens and sailed all the way back to Baltimore MD. She hooked me on long lazy days at sea; and really helped me to relax during a very stressful time.
Two months after my husband passed she called me up one day and said “Let’s go” and I booked another trip; from Rome to Venice; a 12 day trip; where we were joined by 2 ladies we had met on the Athens to Baltimore trip.
My lovely aunt and I sailed together several more times; going to Hawaii, and into the Panama Canal; and on a big family trip to Mexico. I also traveled with a couple of friends on European and Mediterranean cruises.
My “new” husband got a “trial” cruise to Alaska to see if he passed the test! He failed the inside cabin test; so when I go with him, I get a balcony or a mini-suite. Happy hubby means happy life! I book a cruise for “just the two of us” every 3 or 4 years and force him to go and have fun. We do like taking a trip to warmer climates in the middle of a cold winter!
Lately I have been traveling with my younger sister. She and I are embarking on cruise # 3 for the year! Since she retired she is really enjoying traveling and how can I say no when she calls!
Often times I have another cruise on my mind before the current one even sails; and ALWAYS keep a future cruise deposit in at Princess. So; sailing to Alaska this weekend and thinking ahead to the Southern Caribbean for February or March.
Do you enjoy travel and planning? Do tell……………..