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cougaraz

Live from Grand Princess, Roundtrip San Francisco, 14-24 August 2019

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7 minutes ago, PSCSkipper said:

Please don't stop your live comments.  Having two people reporting on the same cruise makes for a more interesting perspective on the experience.

Cougar and his beautiful wife were most gracious and encouraged me to keep posting. 

 

I will I’ll try not to restate anything he has covered and will answer any questions to the best of my ability. 

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1 hour ago, cougaraz said:

During our walk around, we proceeded outside to take some pictures and enjoy the warm sunshine.  I don’t think many people say or hear those words when referring to San Francisco

its been really hot over the whole of northern california this week its getting up in the 105's where I am about 2 hours from S.F. so the bay has been a little warmer than normal with this seemingly last gasp of heat tryign to remind us of summer. but overall a very very mild summer for most of northern california not like back east where they were in the upwards of 110 plus we use to have those summers but  Ithink all my rain dancing helped stop that cause construction in 120's is horrible.

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Thank you for doing this live post. We board the Grand on October 13th for a north coast cruise. October 13th can come soon enogh!

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Cougaraz!

We were on the Grand last month and had club class dining with Giovanni as the head waiter in Club Class!

Would you please tell him "Hello" from Mr. Frank and Julie !

We'll be back on the Grand in January. Could you please ask him  if he'll still be on the Grand then?

We loved the Club Class dining and Giovanni was the hit of the entire ship!!!!!Julie and Frank

Chico, Ca

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Usually "Live from..." posts are from one user, and hijacked by posters who aren't there, never been there, and never going there. It is refreshing to see two (or more) posters on the same cruise in the same thread.

 

Following this with interest as DW and I will be doing a 7 day Costal on the Grand out of SF this coming October. We have previously done the Grand 10 day RT SF to Alaska voyage.

 

Cheers to the OP and Mikado... enjoy your trip!

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2 hours ago, The Mikado said:

 Yes, any wine you bring on board has to be in your carry-on baggage. There won’t be any problem with half a case in a box but you will have to keep it with you once you come on board. I did see where they were offering to allow early boarders the ability to store their carry-on bags in the Explorers Lounge until the rooms were made available. 

Thanks Mikado!  I'll probably go with the standard 6 bottle carry case from the winery. Easy enough to carry around.

 

I appreciate the info.  Enjoy the cruise!

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Cougars, are they doing the Totem Pole Carving in the Atrium on this cruise?

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Regarding the Chorizo remarks...there is Mexican Chorizo which those of us in California use in eggs, chili beans, tacos, etc... Spanish Chorizo is more Kielbasa like in that you can slice it and it has different spice components. They're both yummy, but not the same thing at all.

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Interested to know if they have a Naturalist aboard?  We always try to attend the morning lectures in the Princess theater but admit some are better than others.

Didn't notice if you are doing Glacier Bay sonic cruising, but we booked the one on the 24th because we love Tracy Arm!

if possible mention about the lecture series even if you don’t attend and who they might have as it will help us semi-plan.

Thanks.  LOVE reading ALL of the “live from” postings...keep it up, both of you.

😄 

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23 hours ago, The Mikado said:

Additional observations:

 

The first hiccup came at dinner. We were “confirmed” for a table for 2 over 6 weeks ago as verified on our booking docs. We showed up to dinner and were directed to a table for 6... with all 6 seats occupied. Back to the maitre’d. The word “confirmed” has, evidently, been given a new definition by Princess. It now means “We really didn’t think you took us seriously when we promised you a private table just for the 2 of you”. So, they sat us at an empty table for 2 which, for some reason, we can’t have for the rest of the cruise, just for last night. Some sort of resolution was promised for tonight, but not necessarily involving a “We really mean it this time” confirmed table for 2. 

 

Dinner, itself, was somewhat disappointing. The “crab cake” appetizer was a lot more “cake” than “crab” with an unpleasant, vaguely crab-like doughy taste and consistency, on top of which was ladled a partially-congealed flour-based sauce. Ick. 

 

I had the mussels and chorizo main dish. The mussels were OK but the chorizo seemed to be more kielbasa-like. Again, OK but surprising. I grew up in LA and I ate a lot of chorizo over the years. I think all my old burrito stand cooks would have looked at this sausage and said, “Que?” It was served with a small bowl of ice-cold, underdone steak fries. 

 

The waitstaff was was excellent and very friendly. 

 

Really rough seas seas last night and into this morning exacerbated by our cabin location up high and far aft. My wife has her patch glued on and is sawing away. 

 

Minor quibble: our robes were also “confirmed”... which, I suppose, explains their absence from our room. 

Oh Dear - it sounds like some improvement is in order. I honestly think "turnaround" day are the worst on any cruise I have been on. Even if  you do a back to back there is always some kind of chaos. 2 years ago Princess undertook a huge menu change and the results have been interesting; some good, some not. I think the waitstaff makes the dinner; and I hope they were quick to resolve or replace what you did not care for or what was not hot. Good luck with the regular table and robes. (Similar thing happened to me when I pre-purchased wine & soda package....in Dec, in Jan and in March; on the Crown and the Regal).

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Friday August 16th, At Sea

Hello Loyal Readers! Thank-you for tuning in to hear about our adventures at sea…

All in all, we continue to sail under very fair conditions.  Seas remain slight, but the breeze is fresh an is producing some small whitecaps.  There is blue sky breaking through the clouds and on the sunny side of the ship temperatures are very comfortable.  Over the past 24 hours the ride has been gentle and mellow.

 

Yesterday was a very relaxing and enjoyable sea day onboard the ship.  I have to say that the Princess Patter was so full of interesting activities that we had to make choices and miss some events we might otherwise have attended as there were simply a finite number of hours in the day and we love to spend time eating, reading and napping as well.  Our first breakfast of the cruise was a treat especially as we arrived at 715 to a nearly empty dining room! There is something so luxurious and decadent about being waited on at breakfast.  We were surprised to learn that as an additional benefit in Club Class, Giovani is now making omelets to order at breakfast, with a wide selection of fillings to choose from.  Melissa opted to start with a melon plate, while I had a bowl of Raisin Bran.  I ordered the Mexican omelet which came from the kitchen and Melissa ordered a ham a cheese omelet which Giovani made just feet away.  Both were very tasty and as expected, a very nice selection of fresh pastries were available as well.  I think that the small luxury of fresh baked pastries, breads and cakes at every meal can get lost in the overwhelming food choices on a cruise, but it really does add such a nice touch to every meal. 

 

To answer a question that has been swirling on the Princess boards, I did walk through the buffet yesterday morning and indeed omelets made to order are available there.

 

After breakfast, we ventured up to Club One5 to join of fellow Cruise Critic users for the meet and greet.  The group was small, but we had a very nice conversation and the views from One5 are very hard to beat.  It is always nice to put faces and real names to the avatars from online.  We took some time to catch up on emails and other internet business before heading off to lunch.  The internet onboard remains fairly consistent with what we have experienced in the past on Princess.  The WiFi connection in our stateroom seems to be strong and has been reliable across multiple devices.  Other notes on our room, it is pleasantly cool, but we have kept the thermostats set to the lowest available temperature and according to our digital thermometer that maintains a very pleasant 70 degrees.  In a perfect world, I would like the coldest setting to be too cold and have a little extra capacity, but as we are sailing through a cool part of the world, we are a just a door opening away from temperatures in the low 60s outside on the balcony.  The water pressure is very strong and the hot water is available at any desired setting between luke warm and ‘burn the dirt off’ hot!  My only complaint about the bathroom is that I think the lighting is a little lack luster.  The three overhead lights are sufficient, but only just barely.

 

We opted to take our lunch in the dining room again and were treated to a fantastic meal.  There never really was much doubt about where we would dine, because they were serving Chicken Korma and it is one of Melissa’s absolute favorite Princess dishes.  Our meal was enhanced by sitting next to a very friendly couple from the Bay Area who are very experienced cruisers and world travelers.  I love hearing stories of people’s adventures and adding locations to my growing list of places to visit.  Melissa started her luncheon with pea soup, another of her favorites,  and I had an appetizer portion of the fresh pasta which was a tomato sauce with garlic, tomato, sage and some red chili…absolutely delicious!!  We both had the Chicken Korma, accompanied by a dizzying array of condiments for our main.  The flavors were spot on and the dish was more than generous on the portion size.  For dessert, Melissa had butter pecan ice cream and I had the rice pudding.  Rice pudding is interesting, because it is such a classic comfort food dessert that my Dad used to love, but it hit the spot with just a few bites of sweet to close out the meal.

 

After lunch, Melissa and I separated, she headed to the Lotus Spa for a massage and I was off to the Wheelhouse Bar for the Veterans get together.  We had a very nice group of veterans assembled, including a Marine who was wounded on Iwo Jima.  It is always great to have all who have served meet and share in the brotherhood.

 I will relay Melissa’s assessment that her overall spa experience was a 6 out of 10.  The women’s locker room had no functional lockers as none of the dials or locks worked resulting in all the females having to change and then carry all their clothes/valuables into the actual treatment room. The Spa Staff didn’t even try to pretend the locks worked but no notices were posted in the locker room. She said her bamboo massage treatment was okay but the female massage provider was definitely not an expert. Finally, she subjected her to some rather unrealistic sales pitching, including a recommendation that for her ‘health’ she return for some medi-spa work, products totaling $250 and 2-3 other treatments.  I do feel that on this particular cruise, the Lotus Spa sales and marketing is a little over the top and honestly for the quality of product they are delivering, they are overpriced.  This isn’t to say that you can’t have a nice treatment or experience, but I think they just push too hard and under deliver. That being said, Melissa said she did enjoy some down time on the cruise and feels blessed to be able to get a treatment.

 

What does one do after a massage and a big meal?  Of course, one takes a nice long nap!  The relaxed motion of the ship is better than just about anything invented by modern pharmacology and when paired with a full belly and no work to be done, it makes for a powerful sleep aid. 

 

After showers and dressing for dinner, we opted to skip the event in Club One5 and instead visited the Wheelhouse Bar for a pre-dinner drink.  I really like their revamped cocktail menu, focusing on some classics and expanded offering of craft beers.  I was very surprised to see a Sculpin from Ballast Point on the menu and for less than I could get a bottle at home in San Diego.  There was some very nice live music from Holiday Dreams, doing jazz and dance standards.  Our cocktails, a real daquiri and a Sidecar, were very nicely prepared and the dark wood, brass and green tones were a great setting.

 

As we have come to expect already, dinner was a parade of flavors, highlighted by the deft touch of Giovani with the pasta.  We arrived at dinner at 730 and the Davinci Dining Room was hopping.  Both Club Class and the rest of the room were busy and there was a lively atmosphere that was contagious.  The dinner menu was both broad and deep in its offerings.  I have read some recent reviews that menus on Princess were smaller in their offerings, but empirical evidence does not bear that out.  The menu featured seven main course offerings, including a pasta, a vegetarian option, two seafood options, a poultry option, the Curtis Stone Crafted pot pie and a beef entrée.  With the addition of the always available options, there was an additional pasta, seafood and beef offering, plus a burger.  For those dining in Club Class, there was a futher pasta selection offered and an additional seafood main.

Melissa started with a nice lamb and barley soup coupled with a delicious dinner roll, while I went with the mushroom tart.  I found the creamy sauce to be flavorful and absolutely bursting with great earthy flavor of mushrooms.  Giovani’s pasta of the evening was spaghetti with tomato sauce, herbs and shrimp.  I would say it was delicious, but I don’t think that would do it justice.  In fact, we asked both Giovani and our waiter exactly what type of negotiations would be necessary to take him home with us.  Melissa’s main was the Shrimp Americain offering and I had the Curtis Stone pot pie.  Melissa got the better of the arrangement, her grilled shrimp were perfectly cooked and not over sauced.  The pot pie was okay, but a bit too much butter and cream and not enough leek and seasoning.  Dessert for me was a souffle, because well, why would you not?  I mean honestly, I am not going to make myself one at home and none of the restaurants in my neighborhood have it on offer.  Melissa built her own Sundae, which looked good, but we all know she is just saving up for a Volcano.  All in all, we are more than impressed with the dining room food service thus far.  The menus are varied and our food and service have been spot on.

 

After such a full day of relaxing, we were exhausted and did manage to get to a fairly early bedtime.  It was a perfect first sea day, we are fully into relaxation mode, we have met some great people, have been eating delicious food and having a great time.

 

As an added bonus to today’s update, let us spend a moment to talk about passengers behaving badly onboard.  Specifically, let’s talk about bare feet and their appropriateness for public places, quite simply, they just aren’t.  I am willing to give a free pass to a woman who put on shoes for dinner only to discover that they were simply murder on her feet and needed to make it back to her room for a change.  It isn’t exactly polite, but I think everyone could understand the situation and it was temporary to achieve some obvious relief from pain.  However, intentionally removing your shoes, while in a bar on the ship and then choosing to sit such that your feet are actually on the chair is never okay.  In fact, putting your feet, bare or not, on furniture in a public place is never okay. 

 

That is all for now folks! Appreciate you tuning in as we sail north to Alaska!

 

And if you see Melissa out and about, wish her a Happy Birthday today! 

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20 minutes ago, cougaraz said:

Friday August 16th, At Sea

 

Hello Loyal Readers! Thank-you for tuning in to hear about our adventures at sea…

 

All in all, we continue to sail under very fair conditions.  Seas remain slight, but the breeze is fresh an is producing some small whitecaps.  There is blue sky breaking through the clouds and on the sunny side of the ship temperatures are very comfortable.  Over the past 24 hours the ride has been gentle and mellow.

 

 

 

Yesterday was a very relaxing and enjoyable sea day onboard the ship.  I have to say that the Princess Patter was so full of interesting activities that we had to make choices and miss some events we might otherwise have attended as there were simply a finite number of hours in the day and we love to spend time eating, reading and napping as well.  Our first breakfast of the cruise was a treat especially as we arrived at 715 to a nearly empty dining room! There is something so luxurious and decadent about being waited on at breakfast.  We were surprised to learn that as an additional benefit in Club Class, Giovani is now making omelets to order at breakfast, with a wide selection of fillings to choose from.  Melissa opted to start with a melon plate, while I had a bowl of Raisin Bran.  I ordered the Mexican omelet which came from the kitchen and Melissa ordered a ham a cheese omelet which Giovani made just feet away.  Both were very tasty and as expected, a very nice selection of fresh pastries were available as well.  I think that the small luxury of fresh baked pastries, breads and cakes at every meal can get lost in the overwhelming food choices on a cruise, but it really does add such a nice touch to every meal. 

 

 

 

To answer a question that has been swirling on the Princess boards, I did walk through the buffet yesterday morning and indeed omelets made to order are available there.

 

 

 

After breakfast, we ventured up to Club One5 to join of fellow Cruise Critic users for the meet and greet.  The group was small, but we had a very nice conversation and the views from One5 are very hard to beat.  It is always nice to put faces and real names to the avatars from online.  We took some time to catch up on emails and other internet business before heading off to lunch.  The internet onboard remains fairly consistent with what we have experienced in the past on Princess.  The WiFi connection in our stateroom seems to be strong and has been reliable across multiple devices.  Other notes on our room, it is pleasantly cool, but we have kept the thermostats set to the lowest available temperature and according to our digital thermometer that maintains a very pleasant 70 degrees.  In a perfect world, I would like the coldest setting to be too cold and have a little extra capacity, but as we are sailing through a cool part of the world, we are a just a door opening away from temperatures in the low 60s outside on the balcony.  The water pressure is very strong and the hot water is available at any desired setting between luke warm and ‘burn the dirt off’ hot!  My only complaint about the bathroom is that I think the lighting is a little lack luster.  The three overhead lights are sufficient, but only just barely.

 

 

 

We opted to take our lunch in the dining room again and were treated to a fantastic meal.  There never really was much doubt about where we would dine, because they were serving Chicken Korma and it is one of Melissa’s absolute favorite Princess dishes.  Our meal was enhanced by sitting next to a very friendly couple from the Bay Area who are very experienced cruisers and world travelers.  I love hearing stories of people’s adventures and adding locations to my growing list of places to visit.  Melissa started her luncheon with pea soup, another of her favorites,  and I had an appetizer portion of the fresh pasta which was a tomato sauce with garlic, tomato, sage and some red chili…absolutely delicious!!  We both had the Chicken Korma, accompanied by a dizzying array of condiments for our main.  The flavors were spot on and the dish was more than generous on the portion size.  For dessert, Melissa had butter pecan ice cream and I had the rice pudding.  Rice pudding is interesting, because it is such a classic comfort food dessert that my Dad used to love, but it hit the spot with just a few bites of sweet to close out the meal.

 

 

 

After lunch, Melissa and I separated, she headed to the Lotus Spa for a massage and I was off to the Wheelhouse Bar for the Veterans get together.  We had a very nice group of veterans assembled, including a Marine who was wounded on Iwo Jima.  It is always great to have all who have served meet and share in the brotherhood.

 

 I will relay Melissa’s assessment that her overall spa experience was a 6 out of 10.  The women’s locker room had no functional lockers as none of the dials or locks worked resulting in all the females having to change and then carry all their clothes/valuables into the actual treatment room. The Spa Staff didn’t even try to pretend the locks worked but no notices were posted in the locker room. She said her bamboo massage treatment was okay but the female massage provider was definitely not an expert. Finally, she subjected her to some rather unrealistic sales pitching, including a recommendation that for her ‘health’ she return for some medi-spa work, products totaling $250 and 2-3 other treatments.  I do feel that on this particular cruise, the Lotus Spa sales and marketing is a little over the top and honestly for the quality of product they are delivering, they are overpriced.  This isn’t to say that you can’t have a nice treatment or experience, but I think they just push too hard and under deliver. That being said, Melissa said she did enjoy some down time on the cruise and feels blessed to be able to get a treatment.

 

 

 

What does one do after a massage and a big meal?  Of course, one takes a nice long nap!  The relaxed motion of the ship is better than just about anything invented by modern pharmacology and when paired with a full belly and no work to be done, it makes for a powerful sleep aid. 

 

 

 

After showers and dressing for dinner, we opted to skip the event in Club One5 and instead visited the Wheelhouse Bar for a pre-dinner drink.  I really like their revamped cocktail menu, focusing on some classics and expanded offering of craft beers.  I was very surprised to see a Sculpin from Ballast Point on the menu and for less than I could get a bottle at home in San Diego.  There was some very nice live music from Holiday Dreams, doing jazz and dance standards.  Our cocktails, a real daquiri and a Sidecar, were very nicely prepared and the dark wood, brass and green tones were a great setting.

 

 

 

As we have come to expect already, dinner was a parade of flavors, highlighted by the deft touch of Giovani with the pasta.  We arrived at dinner at 730 and the Davinci Dining Room was hopping.  Both Club Class and the rest of the room were busy and there was a lively atmosphere that was contagious.  The dinner menu was both broad and deep in its offerings.  I have read some recent reviews that menus on Princess were smaller in their offerings, but empirical evidence does not bear that out.  The menu featured seven main course offerings, including a pasta, a vegetarian option, two seafood options, a poultry option, the Curtis Stone Crafted pot pie and a beef entrée.  With the addition of the always available options, there was an additional pasta, seafood and beef offering, plus a burger.  For those dining in Club Class, there was a futher pasta selection offered and an additional seafood main.

 

 

Melissa started with a nice lamb and barley soup coupled with a delicious dinner roll, while I went with the mushroom tart.  I found the creamy sauce to be flavorful and absolutely bursting with great earthy flavor of mushrooms.  Giovani’s pasta of the evening was spaghetti with tomato sauce, herbs and shrimp.  I would say it was delicious, but I don’t think that would do it justice.  In fact, we asked both Giovani and our waiter exactly what type of negotiations would be necessary to take him home with us.  Melissa’s main was the Shrimp Americain offering and I had the Curtis Stone pot pie.  Melissa got the better of the arrangement, her grilled shrimp were perfectly cooked and not over sauced.  The pot pie was okay, but a bit too much butter and cream and not enough leek and seasoning.  Dessert for me was a souffle, because well, why would you not?  I mean honestly, I am not going to make myself one at home and none of the restaurants in my neighborhood have it on offer.  Melissa built her own Sundae, which looked good, but we all know she is just saving up for a Volcano.  All in all, we are more than impressed with the dining room food service thus far.  The menus are varied and our food and service have been spot on.

 

 

 

After such a full day of relaxing, we were exhausted and did manage to get to a fairly early bedtime.  It was a perfect first sea day, we are fully into relaxation mode, we have met some great people, have been eating delicious food and having a great time.

 

 

 

As an added bonus to today’s update, let us spend a moment to talk about passengers behaving badly onboard.  Specifically, let’s talk about bare feet and their appropriateness for public places, quite simply, they just aren’t.  I am willing to give a free pass to a woman who put on shoes for dinner only to discover that they were simply murder on her feet and needed to make it back to her room for a change.  It isn’t exactly polite, but I think everyone could understand the situation and it was temporary to achieve some obvious relief from pain.  However, intentionally removing your shoes, while in a bar on the ship and then choosing to sit such that your feet are actually on the chair is never okay.  In fact, putting your feet, bare or not, on furniture in a public place is never okay. 

 

 

 

That is all for now folks! Appreciate you tuning in as we sail north to Alaska!

 

 

And if you see Melissa out and about, wish her a Happy Birthday today! 

It sounds like you are both having a great time.

Happy birthday to Melissa.

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23 minutes ago, cougaraz said:

Friday August 16th, At Sea

 

Hello Loyal Readers! Thank-you for tuning in to hear about our adventures at sea…

 

All in all, we continue to sail under very fair conditions.  Seas remain slight, but the breeze is fresh an is producing some small whitecaps.  There is blue sky breaking through the clouds and on the sunny side of the ship temperatures are very comfortable.  Over the past 24 hours the ride has been gentle and mellow.

 

 

 

Yesterday was a very relaxing and enjoyable sea day onboard the ship.  I have to say that the Princess Patter was so full of interesting activities that we had to make choices and miss some events we might otherwise have attended as there were simply a finite number of hours in the day and we love to spend time eating, reading and napping as well.  Our first breakfast of the cruise was a treat especially as we arrived at 715 to a nearly empty dining room! There is something so luxurious and decadent about being waited on at breakfast.  We were surprised to learn that as an additional benefit in Club Class, Giovani is now making omelets to order at breakfast, with a wide selection of fillings to choose from.  Melissa opted to start with a melon plate, while I had a bowl of Raisin Bran.  I ordered the Mexican omelet which came from the kitchen and Melissa ordered a ham a cheese omelet which Giovani made just feet away.  Both were very tasty and as expected, a very nice selection of fresh pastries were available as well.  I think that the small luxury of fresh baked pastries, breads and cakes at every meal can get lost in the overwhelming food choices on a cruise, but it really does add such a nice touch to every meal. 

 

 

 

To answer a question that has been swirling on the Princess boards, I did walk through the buffet yesterday morning and indeed omelets made to order are available there.

 

 

 

After breakfast, we ventured up to Club One5 to join of fellow Cruise Critic users for the meet and greet.  The group was small, but we had a very nice conversation and the views from One5 are very hard to beat.  It is always nice to put faces and real names to the avatars from online.  We took some time to catch up on emails and other internet business before heading off to lunch.  The internet onboard remains fairly consistent with what we have experienced in the past on Princess.  The WiFi connection in our stateroom seems to be strong and has been reliable across multiple devices.  Other notes on our room, it is pleasantly cool, but we have kept the thermostats set to the lowest available temperature and according to our digital thermometer that maintains a very pleasant 70 degrees.  In a perfect world, I would like the coldest setting to be too cold and have a little extra capacity, but as we are sailing through a cool part of the world, we are a just a door opening away from temperatures in the low 60s outside on the balcony.  The water pressure is very strong and the hot water is available at any desired setting between luke warm and ‘burn the dirt off’ hot!  My only complaint about the bathroom is that I think the lighting is a little lack luster.  The three overhead lights are sufficient, but only just barely.

 

 

 

We opted to take our lunch in the dining room again and were treated to a fantastic meal.  There never really was much doubt about where we would dine, because they were serving Chicken Korma and it is one of Melissa’s absolute favorite Princess dishes.  Our meal was enhanced by sitting next to a very friendly couple from the Bay Area who are very experienced cruisers and world travelers.  I love hearing stories of people’s adventures and adding locations to my growing list of places to visit.  Melissa started her luncheon with pea soup, another of her favorites,  and I had an appetizer portion of the fresh pasta which was a tomato sauce with garlic, tomato, sage and some red chili…absolutely delicious!!  We both had the Chicken Korma, accompanied by a dizzying array of condiments for our main.  The flavors were spot on and the dish was more than generous on the portion size.  For dessert, Melissa had butter pecan ice cream and I had the rice pudding.  Rice pudding is interesting, because it is such a classic comfort food dessert that my Dad used to love, but it hit the spot with just a few bites of sweet to close out the meal.

 

 

 

After lunch, Melissa and I separated, she headed to the Lotus Spa for a massage and I was off to the Wheelhouse Bar for the Veterans get together.  We had a very nice group of veterans assembled, including a Marine who was wounded on Iwo Jima.  It is always great to have all who have served meet and share in the brotherhood.

 

 I will relay Melissa’s assessment that her overall spa experience was a 6 out of 10.  The women’s locker room had no functional lockers as none of the dials or locks worked resulting in all the females having to change and then carry all their clothes/valuables into the actual treatment room. The Spa Staff didn’t even try to pretend the locks worked but no notices were posted in the locker room. She said her bamboo massage treatment was okay but the female massage provider was definitely not an expert. Finally, she subjected her to some rather unrealistic sales pitching, including a recommendation that for her ‘health’ she return for some medi-spa work, products totaling $250 and 2-3 other treatments.  I do feel that on this particular cruise, the Lotus Spa sales and marketing is a little over the top and honestly for the quality of product they are delivering, they are overpriced.  This isn’t to say that you can’t have a nice treatment or experience, but I think they just push too hard and under deliver. That being said, Melissa said she did enjoy some down time on the cruise and feels blessed to be able to get a treatment.

 

 

 

What does one do after a massage and a big meal?  Of course, one takes a nice long nap!  The relaxed motion of the ship is better than just about anything invented by modern pharmacology and when paired with a full belly and no work to be done, it makes for a powerful sleep aid. 

 

 

 

After showers and dressing for dinner, we opted to skip the event in Club One5 and instead visited the Wheelhouse Bar for a pre-dinner drink.  I really like their revamped cocktail menu, focusing on some classics and expanded offering of craft beers.  I was very surprised to see a Sculpin from Ballast Point on the menu and for less than I could get a bottle at home in San Diego.  There was some very nice live music from Holiday Dreams, doing jazz and dance standards.  Our cocktails, a real daquiri and a Sidecar, were very nicely prepared and the dark wood, brass and green tones were a great setting.

 

 

 

As we have come to expect already, dinner was a parade of flavors, highlighted by the deft touch of Giovani with the pasta.  We arrived at dinner at 730 and the Davinci Dining Room was hopping.  Both Club Class and the rest of the room were busy and there was a lively atmosphere that was contagious.  The dinner menu was both broad and deep in its offerings.  I have read some recent reviews that menus on Princess were smaller in their offerings, but empirical evidence does not bear that out.  The menu featured seven main course offerings, including a pasta, a vegetarian option, two seafood options, a poultry option, the Curtis Stone Crafted pot pie and a beef entrée.  With the addition of the always available options, there was an additional pasta, seafood and beef offering, plus a burger.  For those dining in Club Class, there was a futher pasta selection offered and an additional seafood main.

 

 

Melissa started with a nice lamb and barley soup coupled with a delicious dinner roll, while I went with the mushroom tart.  I found the creamy sauce to be flavorful and absolutely bursting with great earthy flavor of mushrooms.  Giovani’s pasta of the evening was spaghetti with tomato sauce, herbs and shrimp.  I would say it was delicious, but I don’t think that would do it justice.  In fact, we asked both Giovani and our waiter exactly what type of negotiations would be necessary to take him home with us.  Melissa’s main was the Shrimp Americain offering and I had the Curtis Stone pot pie.  Melissa got the better of the arrangement, her grilled shrimp were perfectly cooked and not over sauced.  The pot pie was okay, but a bit too much butter and cream and not enough leek and seasoning.  Dessert for me was a souffle, because well, why would you not?  I mean honestly, I am not going to make myself one at home and none of the restaurants in my neighborhood have it on offer.  Melissa built her own Sundae, which looked good, but we all know she is just saving up for a Volcano.  All in all, we are more than impressed with the dining room food service thus far.  The menus are varied and our food and service have been spot on.

 

 

 

After such a full day of relaxing, we were exhausted and did manage to get to a fairly early bedtime.  It was a perfect first sea day, we are fully into relaxation mode, we have met some great people, have been eating delicious food and having a great time.

 

 

 

As an added bonus to today’s update, let us spend a moment to talk about passengers behaving badly onboard.  Specifically, let’s talk about bare feet and their appropriateness for public places, quite simply, they just aren’t.  I am willing to give a free pass to a woman who put on shoes for dinner only to discover that they were simply murder on her feet and needed to make it back to her room for a change.  It isn’t exactly polite, but I think everyone could understand the situation and it was temporary to achieve some obvious relief from pain.  However, intentionally removing your shoes, while in a bar on the ship and then choosing to sit such that your feet are actually on the chair is never okay.  In fact, putting your feet, bare or not, on furniture in a public place is never okay. 

 

 

 

That is all for now folks! Appreciate you tuning in as we sail north to Alaska!

 

 

And if you see Melissa out and about, wish her a Happy Birthday today! 

Thanks

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23 hours ago, Outerdog said:

Usually "Live from..." posts are from one user, and hijacked by posters who aren't there, never been there, and never going there. It is refreshing to see two (or more) posters on the same cruise in the same thread.

 

Following this with interest as DW and I will be doing a 7 day Costal on the Grand out of SF this coming October. We have previously done the Grand 10 day RT SF to Alaska voyage.

 

Cheers to the OP and Mikado... enjoy your trip!

Thank you! Having great time!

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22 hours ago, Gimer said:

Cougars, are they doing the Totem Pole Carving in the Atrium on this cruise?

I had that same question; the partially-carved totem is being stored in the Internet Cafe. Nothing in the Patter as of today.

 

First Formal Night tonight.

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18 hours ago, edspec said:

Regarding the Chorizo remarks...there is Mexican Chorizo which those of us in California use in eggs, chili beans, tacos, etc... Spanish Chorizo is more Kielbasa like in that you can slice it and it has different spice components. They're both yummy, but not the same thing at all.

Yes, I'm familiar with the Mexican kind, not so very much with the Spanish version.

 

It still tasted like Kielbasa...

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18 hours ago, Retired Educator said:

Interested to know if they have a Naturalist aboard?  We always try to attend the morning lectures in the Princess theater but admit some are better than others.

Didn't notice if you are doing Glacier Bay sonic cruising, but we booked the one on the 24th because we love Tracy Arm!

if possible mention about the lecture series even if you don’t attend and who they might have as it will help us semi-plan.

Thanks.  LOVE reading ALL of the “live from” postings...keep it up, both of you.

😄 

They've had a couple of video presentations (designed, evidently, to sell the take-home cruise video) but I don't recall any naturalist presentations. None on the schedule today that I can see.

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9 hours ago, live2skide said:

Oh Dear - it sounds like some improvement is in order. I honestly think "turnaround" day are the worst on any cruise I have been on. Even if  you do a back to back there is always some kind of chaos. 2 years ago Princess undertook a huge menu change and the results have been interesting; some good, some not. I think the waitstaff makes the dinner; and I hope they were quick to resolve or replace what you did not care for or what was not hot. Good luck with the regular table and robes. (Similar thing happened to me when I pre-purchased wine & soda package....in Dec, in Jan and in March; on the Crown and the Regal).

We got the robes resolved fairly quickly.

 

The dinner table...eh... we have a table for 2 and that's about all it's got going for it. It looks/feels like they moved 2 larger tables slightly to make room for it and it's about 3 feet from a bus/staging table so a lot of activity swirling around us.

 

The waitstaff has been outstanding.

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14 minutes ago, The Mikado said:

I had that same question; the partially-carved totem is being stored in the Internet Cafe. Nothing in the Patter as of today.

 

First Formal Night tonight.

Please let us know if most people dress formally and if they enforce the wearing of jackets.

P&O do and I always wear a suit and tie on their formal nights, RCCL don't and it's been a few years since our last Princess cruise so I would appreciate feedback.

Regards Graham.

 

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Posted (edited)

I want to thank Cougar for his amazingly-detailed and informative posts. I suggest a travel-writing career when the Navy is done with him. He has a really good eye for the details of what his readers want to know.

 

I promised to only put my oar in (naval-humor) to add things I thought he missed or if my impression/opinion was significantly different than his on an issue of potential importance.

 

That said, the internet is AWFUL. It has been lapped by snails... several times. It's not a satellite issue, it's a ship-board issue because when only connected to the ships intranet, it runs with the speed of a sloth in molasses. It ran fine for about the first 12 hours, then slowed dramatically and has been super-slow for the last 24 hours, at least. After I get my fill of liquid courage at the Maitre d' Wine Tasting, I'm going to complain to the Internet Cafe guys.

 

I continue to be impressed by the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff in all categories. And those memories will last longer than the memory of a less-than-perfect meal.

 

The internet speed... that I'm going to remember.

Edited by The Mikado

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, grapau27 said:

Please let us know if most people dress formally and if they enforce the wearing of jackets.

P&O do and I always wear a suit and tie on their formal nights, RCCL don't and it's been a few years since our last Princess cruise so I would appreciate feedback.

Regards Graham.

 

I did see an older guy show up in shorts/t-shirt at dinner last night and they appeared glad to see him. Odd.

 

I am wearing my full tux tonight. I used to wear my old airline "formal" dress uniform but since I retired 10 years ago, it hasn't been out of the plastic.

 

I will report the attire as requested.

Edited by The Mikado

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I am totally enjoying the "live from" from both of you!  Thanks so much for taking the time to do it, not to mention your internet minutes.  We just returned home from a B2B on the Island R/T Vancouver.  The weather was beautiful, so hope it is the same for your cruise.

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Thank you Mikado for the response to my naturalist on board question.  Yes, they do plug many things as activities that are really sales pitches, but the good part is you can choose not to attend, or, if you realize your mistake, walk out.

 

Enjoy your trip!  We will be walking on right after you get ashore on the 24th.

 

After reading these wonderful postings, especially the FOOD items, I think I’ve already gained a few pounds! 😱

 

60-70 degrees!  BRING IT ON,  Yesterday when we got through at Sam’s Club the car told us it was 127 outside...totally believable even though we were spitting distance from the Colorado River and could hear/see the boats and PWCs racing up and down.  Of course by the time we reached our house it was only 115...must have been all that hot parking lot asphalt and metal cars we were parked with 🤔

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Loving every minute of this post!  Thank you both for all your information!  And a Most Happy birthday Melissa!!!!!  Have a wonderful evening!!🎂

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