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  #1  
Old June 1st, 2005, 10:54 PM
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pamwinn pamwinn is offline
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Default Caribbean Princess 6/4-11/05 Journal

6/1 Precruise-Random thoughts.

Let the journey begin. Today was the last workday for teachers. We both hurried home and started frantically packing. We are severe procrastinators, especially when it comes to figuring our who can outwait the other. I do everything in preparation for a cruise. I choose the ship and itinerary. I choose the cabin. I book the cruise. I track airfare prices until I get the best possible rate. I use Priceline to get good deals on hotels and rental cars. I memorize the deck plan. The night before the cruise, the anticipation of it all getís the better of me. I am out of steam. Itís his turn. Rex made a list of last minute things we need to remember to do. It's on a legal pad, full from top to bottom. I hope we donít loose the list.

Itís break time, letís crack open a bottle of red wine and procrastinate more. Okay. Itís only 7:30 PM, we have plenty of time. We fly from Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale tomorrow. The flight doesnít leave until 11:30 AM, we have plenty of time, get me a Heineken, please. We are charging the laptop, the cell phones, the digital cameraís, and the iPodÖ.canít do much until thatís done anyway.

Okay, letís eat the lo-cal vegetable soup. We wouldnít want to be bloated on the plane tomorrow.

The dogs (3 miniature pinschers) know we are leaving. It is so annoying when they sneak poop in the suitcase. Bitzi the beast is the one who does that. Popi and Pipi would never do such a thing.

I have really over packed this time and so far we have both decided to forego formal night. Letís see, I have a swimsuit that I might wear just to scare the kids out of the adult pool. I have packed 3 regular t-shirts, 5 polo style t-shirts, 6 sleeveless tops, 5 pairs of shorts, 6 pairs of slacks (drawstring, of course) and 9 Hawaiian print blouses. I am taking 2 pairs of flip-flops, a pair of sandals, a pair of tennis shoes and a pair of deck shoes (unless we through in the formal stuff at the last minute). I have the swimsuit cover-up and some sexy pjís. Well, twenty years ago I might have looked sexy in them but I can pretend. I don't have to look at them anyway. I am an expert mirror dodger.

Itís after dinner, couch time! Who wants to miss Evander Holyfield doing the Cha Cha Cha? Thereís nothing on so Iíll watch anything to delay the inevitable. Iíll change the sheets during a commercial.

We are so tired. Leaving for the cruise the day after the last day of school, is probably not the wisest move. But hey, I can sleep all summer.

Changed the sheets so they will be "almost" fresh when we return. We canít finish packing tonight. We are both exhausted. Nite, nite.

Oops, canít go to bed yet. Rex is using wood clamps, half-gallon chicken broth cans and the empty liquor bottles that he hoards to stretch his socks. There are some family secrets that will stay secret but I am going to reveal just a few of the less odd. I would take a picture of all the liquor bottle socks but the camera is in the backpack. Maybe in the morning.

Rex snuck to bed while I was typing this. Is snuck a word? Goodnight.
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  #2  
Old June 1st, 2005, 11:02 PM
luv2travel2beaches luv2travel2beaches is offline
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Hope you have a great trip beginning tomorrow. I will look forward to your day by day info. Sleep tight!
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  #3  
Old June 2nd, 2005, 01:23 PM
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dbmiller1956 dbmiller1956 is offline
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Thumbs up Thanks for sharing...

Am looking forward to your postings each day. Will be on the CB in October so will live vicariously through you for a week.

As for Evander Holyfield...that was the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life!

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  #4  
Old June 2nd, 2005, 08:15 PM
Kellie in Texas Kellie in Texas is offline
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Pam - I was reading your journal at work this morning and laughing out loud several times. We'll be on the CB on the 10/22/05 voyage and I'm looking forward to more of your musings. Kellie in Texas
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  #5  
Old June 2nd, 2005, 08:48 PM
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What a wonderful sense of humor!!! (I may borrow a few of those lines...especially scaring the kids out of the pool )
I look forward to reading more !!

Have a wonderful vacation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Deb
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  #6  
Old June 3rd, 2005, 07:55 AM
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pamwinn pamwinn is offline
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Default Part 2

6/2 Precruise- Flying to Fort Lauderdale

From 5:00 AM until we left the house it was hectic. Rex says everything to himself out loud and I always think he is talking to me and then I forget what I was doing because usually itís two things at once with two pending. I finally had to request he stop doing that and only speak if he was speaking to me.

Once we made it out of the driveway, things went smoothly. We arrived at the Atlanta Airport at 9:30 AM and left our car in the Park and Ride lot. The bus dropped us off in front of the Air Tran curbside checking in. We checked our luggage, and upgraded to business class. I donít understand why more people donít do this. It is inexpensive and the seats are much more comfortable. We almost always end up in row 1 with plenty of legroom.

We had breakfast and the traditional Bloody Mary at the airport before we moved to gate.
We were first on and first off the plane.

Itís been raining forever in Atlanta and it followed us to Florida. The plane had to circle the airport for more than an hour due to severe thunderstorms and torrential rains. We did not mind, we took a nap.

From the FLL airport, we took the rental bus shuttle and picked up our car. It some kind of Mazda designed for Lilliputians but fine for a couple of days. Who would buy one of those though?

We drove to the Renaissance and checked in then drove around a little. We went to Las Olas BLVD and promised ourselves we will return if it stops raining. We stopped by the store for bottled water and a few other essentials then went to 15th Street Fisheries for dinner. We had heard so much about this place that we were anxious to try it. I am not going to beat this restaurant in the ground but we wonít give it a second chance either. That lesson only cost us fifty dollars. I will mention that we dined in the casual downstairs venue and that I had a lobster roll and potato salad and Rex had fried shrimp as that is his quest- the perfect fried shrimp. The potato salad was weird but I think it might have made a nice potato soup. It was not as thick as potato leek soup I make so it flattened out and spread across the plate.

After dinner, we returned exhausted to our hotel and called it an evening.

6/3 Precruise- The Day Before The Day Of

It is almost 7AM and I have showered and am waiting for Rex. We are on the 6th floor with a view of the port. We would be able to see the Caribbean Princess arrive tomorrow morning but we have heard she will be at Pier 18 instead of Pier 2 where she is usually docked.

I think the pier move is due to the OAS meeting coming to town. Many dignitaries and George ďSomebodyĒ will be here. The 17th street Bridge will be closed from today through the 8th. A lot of activity can be seen below. Fences and barricades are being erected and law enforcement is very visible. Plan accordingly if you are arriving soon.

The bath and body works products provided by the hotel in combination with the water here has given my hair the baby bird look. I like it!

We walked from the hotel to the Bonjour Bakery and Cafť for breakfastÖ.and also the free wireless Internet access. This is a good place for a light breakfast or lunch. They have an array of quicheís and croissants and other assorted pastries for breakfast and deli style lunch.

More laterÖÖ..
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  #7  
Old June 3rd, 2005, 08:11 AM
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Default This is great - keep it coming!

We'll be on the CB 8/6/05. I, too, am the chief organizer of our family cruise planning every bit of our journey, down to the last detail and will, of course, be the one everyone blames when things go wrong.

I look forward to your moment-by-moment happenings. Do you by chance teach English? Great writing - love your witty humor.
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  #8  
Old June 3rd, 2005, 09:15 AM
madelinerose madelinerose is offline
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Hysterical!!! Stretching socks??? Baby bird hair!
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  #9  
Old June 3rd, 2005, 11:22 AM
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This is very funny and I'm looking forward to the rest of the journey!

I agree with you about 15th Street Fisheries.....unfortunately we ate upstairs and spent a lot more than your $50 mistake! Worse meal that we have ever eaten!
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  #10  
Old June 3rd, 2005, 01:07 PM
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Waiting for more.......
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  #11  
Old June 3rd, 2005, 02:49 PM
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Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunluva7
We'll be on the CB 8/6/05. I, too, am the chief organizer of our family cruise planning every bit of our journey, down to the last detail and will, of course, be the one everyone blames when things go wrong.
Sunluva---I can definitely relate to and sympathize with you on being the chief cook & bottle washer --- most responsible person in our group --- whatever happens, we're "responsible." Maybe we should have people in our groups sign a "disclaimer" releasing us from whatever goes haywire. LOL

Whoever this talented writer is, I'm looking forward to reading the journal everyday. We are booked for 10/15 and have read different reviews about many pre-cruise hotels. We've already changed twice. And I appreciate the comments on the 15th Street Fisheries, won't go there.
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  #13  
Old June 3rd, 2005, 03:43 PM
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laurashelby laurashelby is offline
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Smile

Can't wait to hear more. Have fun!!
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 04:14 PM
jerseygirl3 jerseygirl3 is offline
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We had a fantastic dinner at the 15th Street Fisheries. We ate upstairs and went for the Sunset Dinner Special ($16.95 for a complete dinner, appetizer to dessert and coffee). You just have to be seated by 5:30 p.m. We thought the food was outstanding, as was the service. Could the downstairs venue be that different?
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  #15  
Old June 3rd, 2005, 05:09 PM
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double s double s is offline
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Default The "other" responsible family member - LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by chm1219
Sunluva---I can definitely relate to and sympathize with you on being the chief cook & bottle washer --- most responsible person in our group --- whatever happens, we're "responsible." Maybe we should have people in our groups sign a "disclaimer" releasing us from whatever goes haywire. LOL

Whoever this talented writer is, I'm looking forward to reading the journal everyday. We are booked for 10/15 and have read different reviews about many pre-cruise hotels. We've already changed twice. And I appreciate the comments on the 15th Street Fisheries, won't go there.
i loved the "precruise" journal and will continue to read it! I just had to respond and see if you saw me.
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  #16  
Old June 3rd, 2005, 08:00 PM
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pamwinn pamwinn is offline
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Default 6/3 Continued

We spent 7 hours at Sawgrass Mill Mall. It is huge! We discovered that one of the suitcases still has some space in it as evidenced by the massive shifting and subsequent wrinkling of our fresh, professionally laundered clothing. We walked so much my heal cracked! Ouch! Rex and I both bought a pair of walking sandals and I found yet another pair of drawstring slacks to add to my collection. Rex bought some jammies, though I was enjoying his lack thereof.

If you read our Sapphire Inaugural Cruise journal last year, you may recall that Rex hoards his clothes. He thinks he is saving his favorite stuff for later. That means, regardless of the 4 suitcases of clothing we brought, he is wearing yesterdayís outfit. Go figure.

We had a couple of beers at Cocoís Tiki bar and listened to Jimmy Buffet and James Taylor. We found a 10 buck coffee pot in Target. We are among those who bring our own pot. I knowÖI used to think the coffee pot people were weird too.

For some reason I puffed up and my hands are so swollen, they look like those of a much younger womanÖ.no wrinkles at all.

We chose to have dinner nearby as we were wearing down again. We tried Carlos and Pepeís because I thought I read on Cruise Critic that it was rated the best Mexican restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. I hope that is not the case. I thought it was okay and they do use brisket or skirt steak instead of ground beef but they also use cheddar cheese and liquid smoke. The portions are massive. Should you decide to try this restaurant, order half of what you think you want. I had a Mango Margarita and enjoyed it.

So far, the best restaurants weíve been to in FLL are Biminiís Boat Yard and Kellyís New England Seafood restaurant. You are probably expecting me to be one of those people who complain a lot about cruise food. That is not the case. Princess food is far better than anything weíve had since leaving home and I am looking forward to it. The only thing Iíve ever had on a cruise I didnít much care for is deep fried boiled eggs.

Cruising is the way to go. We can fly through some cash while on land.

Itís almost bedtime as I type this. I am seated at a desk with a mirror behind it and I canít help but glance up at myself every so often. I am hoping that the red dots on my upper lip will disappear but they havenít in spite of using every healing ointment known to medical science. That hot wax they used when ripping out my mustache as I was wailing like a siren left me damaged. For some reason, I always have some sort of facial aberration just prior to going on a cruise.
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  #17  
Old June 3rd, 2005, 09:42 PM
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sunluva7 sunluva7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamwinn
Itís almost bedtime as I type this. I am seated at a desk with a mirror behind it and I canít help but glance up at myself every so often. I am hoping that the red dots on my upper lip will disappear but they havenít in spite of using every healing ointment known to medical science. That hot wax they used when ripping out my mustache as I was wailing like a siren left me damaged. For some reason, I always have some sort of facial aberration just prior to going on a cruise.
Oh my - maybe the folks at the Princess Spa can help with this. You are too funny.
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07/29/2013 Grand Princess ~ San Francisco to Alaska
08/02/2012 Ocean Princess ~ Ireland & Scotland
08/01/2010 Emerald Princess ~ Western Caribbean
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  #18  
Old June 4th, 2005, 08:58 AM
PM Cruisers PM Cruisers is offline
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We're in Ft Lauderdale getting ready to board the CP as well. I agree with the comments about Carlo's and Pepe's... we ate there last night too. I thought it was just OK and much more expensive than we are used to for Mexican... not to mention we left half the dinner.
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  #19  
Old June 4th, 2005, 10:25 AM
ahracer ahracer is offline
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Pam,

Thanks for taking the time to post your daily journal.

Scott
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  #20  
Old June 4th, 2005, 10:27 AM
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Pam..I remember reading your Sapphire review!!! It was the highlight of my week back then!!!

Janet Evanovich has NOTHING on you!!

I know you will have an AWESOME cruise!!!

Deb
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