I’ve been travelling and wanted to share some of my adventures on the Caribbean Princess Cruise I recently took. I’m going to break this into a series of posts because they will be mostly photos. Come along for the trip!
My trip began in the early morning on October 19, 2022 departing from the Salisbury Maryland regional airport. I took a short 30 minute flight to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The aircraft out of Salisbury is an Embraer ERJ-145, a small jet with a 2 & 1 seating configuration. I love to pick a seat on the left side and don’t feel crowded by a seatmate on this small aircraft. When I got to Philadelphia, I realized my inbound and outbound gate were the same, so no shuttling to another terminal, and I would re-board the same aircraft for the flight to Quebec City. I had a layover, long enough, to grab some breakfast at Qdoba in Terminal F.
I’m glad I had a hearty breakfast, because my next meal was in the late afternoon. My sister flew from Las Vegas, on a red eye, and arrived in the city before I ever left Philadelphia. She had a very long night! We were staying halfway between the airport and the port in Quebec City, and given the taxi fare for each of us just getting to the hotel, we were not interested in venturing too far out. The hotel location was chosen because it was one of the few where I could ensure a handicap accessible room, with 2 beds, in a building that was also accessible for my sister.
My sister and I walked from our hotel, Hôtel & Suites Le Dauphin Québec, to a place called Bières & Frites. It was the only place walkable in the vicinity other than Tim Horton’s which had closed early. Bieres & Frites, was not the healthiest choice for lunch/dinner, but it was delicious, from my point of view. My sister, not so much! I ordered a Hot dog with fries and she got the traditional Quebec Poutine.
Honestly, the look on her face was priceless! She did not enjoy Poutine at all. But….the beer was good~!~ And so was the bottle of wine and dessert we took back to the hotel for later in the evening. 🙂
We spent one night at Hôtel & Suites Le Dauphin Québec before boarding the ship. The hotel was excellent with a great coffee bar, self serve in the lobby, and a little breakfast box to enjoy in the morning. There was fresh fruit on offer in the lobby, and they did have menus for local restaurants offering delivery. In all, the room was perfect for a disabled person, and they were so kind to allow my sister to check in very early. Her overnight flight and early check-in allowed her to get a long nap before I arrived.
On departure, they summoned a taxi for us, and explained to the driver our destination at the port, in Old Quebec City. That trip was a delight, the driver acting almost as a tour guide as he navigated his way to the line up downtown in the port. The fare, for the 2 of us was less than each of us paid to go half the distance from the airport. Needless to say, we felt thankful to the hotel for contacting the right taxi company.
We were able to board the Caribbean Princess within a few minutes of arrival. My sister and I were sharing a handicap accessible cabin, A303, on deck 12 of the ship. We used the forward elevators and our cabin was just across from the elevator lobby. The cabin was massive. Plenty of room for someone using a wheelchair or a walker. Big restroom with a roll in shower and lots of grab bars, and a seat to use while showering. Storage was plentiful with a large wardrobe for hanging garments and shelving behind one door, as well as 4 drawers for each nightstand and 3 at the desk area. There were 3 glass shelves in the bathroom for toiletries, and shelves in the shower for your personal shampoos etc. My only storage issue was there were not enough hooks in the bathroom up high for hanging robes.PRO TIP – I always pack heavy duty hook magnets and used them on the back of the bathroom door and on the wall for various items. Only a couple of power outlets on the desk and another PRO TIP is to bring a cruise approved power supply with multi outlets and usb charging points.
The balcony was great, with a ramp for a wheelchair, was about 5 foot deep x 12 foot wide. It was the entire width of the cabin.
The best part of all, when entering the cabin, was we were on the starboard (right) side of the ship, facing the city. The view was amazing!
After embarking, we both settled into the beautiful lobby area of the ship, and ordered cocktails. And, as was to be the situation for the rest of the cruise, my sister was constantly being greeted by lovely crew members who remembered her from her earlier sailing on board for 5 weeks over the summer.
When travelling with Princess cruise lines, the ships feel like home. We have both been on well over 20 sailings, some together and some not over the years. We’ve sailed several times over our birthdays, and I try to make it special for my sister. One thing I do is “decorate our cabin door” for her birthday. I try to find things that are easy to pack, and will go on the door with a few magnets. (It helps to find your cabin when you are out very late too)
Part of the benefits to sticking with a cruise line is their loyalty programs. We enjoyed every evening going to the Platinum and Elite cocktail party. There are always appetizers and special cocktails to enjoy before dinner.
The next best thing is we used the ship as our hotel for the night, and didn’t sail away until the following evening! That meant, we were able to dine aboard or off ship. We chose to dine onboard, at one of the ship’s specialty restaurants, The Crown Grill. We were celebrating Anne’s birthday when we boarded, so the venue was perfect and so was the meal.
We knew we were going to indulge and celebrate Anne’s birthday, and Princess Cruise Lines did not disappoint us with this delightful meal. The dessert for Anne’s birthday was just as lovely.
Wandering the ship after dinner, we stopped in the Good Spirits lounge, and my sister again encountered another friend in the crew. She brought a small gift to him, in the form of a Costco size bag of beef jerky. I’m sure there was a story there, but it was apparent to me he enjoyed seeing her and receiving the gift!
Our journey was only beginning and we had 14 days on board the Caribbean Princess. We sailed from Quebec City to Fort Lauderdale Florida, and I will be adding some of my adventures in upcoming posts.
Do you have a favorite cruise line or a favorite way to travel? Share your story in the comments.