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mini-live from the Grand Princess: first Hawaiian sailing post covid--Jan 4-19, 2022


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BOARDING TO START OF 2ND SEA DAY

 

It looks like no one is doing a live from our cruise & so many people are wondering about Hawai’i cruising so here is a little update. I don’t want to take the time from my cruising adventures (& eating) to do a full live but thought I might post some highlights & thoughts every few days. Maybe some others from this cruise will drop in & fill in the gaps.

 

So far, the most stressful part of the cruise has been the preparation & wondering what might happen. Once we left home everything has been lovely.

 

Pre-cruise we did the home tests that Princess recommended. We decided it was worth the cost to not have to stress if our tests would get cancelled or if the results would be done in time, particularly since we were going to need to test during New Year’s weekend. We (my sister, bro-in-law & I) were glad we did as testing got challenging due to surges from Omicron. We got a pack of 6 tests from E-med to have extra. Testing was easy, except BIL got a guide with an accent that he couldn’t understand, fortunately he did his test 3rd so I could walk him through what they were saying.

 

Boarding was easy & we were on, with our carryon items in our rooms & to dining room lunch in no time. Dining room lunch on boarding day always makes me feel like the cruise has started! After lunch was back to rooms where our room steward greeted us, told us that she would only do our room once a day but we could have turn down service if we wished (we said once was fine), checked our Hawai’I safe travels QR code (she will also be monitoring our mid cruise covid tests) & gave us a slip of paper with her name & how to contact her during the cruise. Luggage arrived shortly after (well before sail away). We stopped by our muster station & watched the safety video & all was good for sail away. Said goodbye to San Pedro & out to sea.

 

The seas were moderately rough & pools were closed for the first sea day but just gentle rocking this morning. We are especially happy that Tiki Dave & Leialoha (aka ELUA) are our Hawai’ian ambassadors: we have enjoyed Hula & ‘ukulele lessons from them, Dave’s port talk & their music so far. Was happy to learn that if we miss a port talk or enrichment presentation, they will be on the TV later. Midday we received notification of time & date for our covid testing (ours is 2 days before & 2 days after but others are different days so there is a range) watched the video instructions & it looks quite similar to the home test we did pre cruise. Tonight is formal night & then the day after Hawai’i &2 days before Ensenada.

 

Random thoughts: The ship is sailing at 40 to 50% capacity (1200 to 1300 passengers) depending on who you ask. Some notes: there were people boarding without smart phones & the crew was able to assist them but sometimes it is challenging to find the right person to help. Most people on the cruise seem just glad to be out sailing again despite some inconveniences. We have seen people having trouble with dropping in for dinner, so I would suggest making reservations (even same day) on the app. We picked same time/place every night as we like having the same wait staff. Food has seemed comparable to previous cruises & BIL is very pleased with the variety & quality of fish/seafood. We were glad to find the Princess sleep program (8 hours of background music/waves) to counteract our neighbors’ LOUD TV. My BIL said he saw dolphins yesterday morning.

 

I will try to post again before we reach Hawai’i & then again after. Off to enjoy the cruise. Aloha! ...photos to follow...

 

 

 

271546845_10226852066351433_4365499759198301073_n.jpg

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Thank you for doing this!  We are going to Kauai on 2/6 for a land vacation, so I am gathering all I can about Hawaii.  We have an NCL cruise set for next December, hopefully, things will have significantly improved by then, but I said that last year too!

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1 hour ago, travelin.sisters said:

We were glad to find the Princess sleep program (8 hours of background music/waves) to counteract our neighbors’ LOUD TV.

Is this on the television? I haven’t heard about a sleep program.

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3 hours ago, travelin.sisters said:

BOARDING TO START OF 2ND SEA DAY

 

It looks like no one is doing a live from our cruise & so many people are wondering about Hawai’i cruising so here is a little update. I don’t want to take the time from my cruising adventures (& eating) to do a full live but thought I might post some highlights & thoughts every few days. Maybe some others from this cruise will drop in & fill in the gaps.

 

So far, the most stressful part of the cruise has been the preparation & wondering what might happen. Once we left home everything has been lovely.

 

Pre-cruise we did the home tests that Princess recommended. We decided it was worth the cost to not have to stress if our tests would get cancelled or if the results would be done in time, particularly since we were going to need to test during New Year’s weekend. We (my sister, bro-in-law & I) were glad we did as testing got challenging due to surges from Omicron. We got a pack of 6 tests from E-med to have extra. Testing was easy, except BIL got a guide with an accent that he couldn’t understand, fortunately he did his test 3rd so I could walk him through what they were saying.

 

Boarding was easy & we were on, with our carryon items in our rooms & to dining room lunch in no time. Dining room lunch on boarding day always makes me feel like the cruise has started! After lunch was back to rooms where our room steward greeted us, told us that she would only do our room once a day but we could have turn down service if we wished (we said once was fine), checked our Hawai’I safe travels QR code (she will also be monitoring our mid cruise covid tests) & gave us a slip of paper with her name & how to contact her during the cruise. Luggage arrived shortly after (well before sail away). We stopped by our muster station & watched the safety video & all was good for sail away. Said goodbye to San Pedro & out to sea.

 

The seas were moderately rough & pools were closed for the first sea day but just gentle rocking this morning. We are especially happy that Tiki Dave & Leialoha (aka ELUA) are our Hawai’ian ambassadors: we have enjoyed Hula & ‘ukulele lessons from them, Dave’s port talk & their music so far. Was happy to learn that if we miss a port talk or enrichment presentation, they will be on the TV later. Midday we received notification of time & date for our covid testing (ours is 2 days before & 2 days after but others are different days so there is a range) watched the video instructions & it looks quite similar to the home test we did pre cruise. Tonight is formal night & then the day after Hawai’i &2 days before Ensenada.

 

Random thoughts: The ship is sailing at 40 to 50% capacity (1200 to 1300 passengers) depending on who you ask. Some notes: there were people boarding without smart phones & the crew was able to assist them but sometimes it is challenging to find the right person to help. Most people on the cruise seem just glad to be out sailing again despite some inconveniences. We have seen people having trouble with dropping in for dinner, so I would suggest making reservations (even same day) on the app. We picked same time/place every night as we like having the same wait staff. Food has seemed comparable to previous cruises & BIL is very pleased with the variety & quality of fish/seafood. We were glad to find the Princess sleep program (8 hours of background music/waves) to counteract our neighbors’ LOUD TV. My BIL said he saw dolphins yesterday morning.

 

I will try to post again before we reach Hawai’i & then again after. Off to enjoy the cruise. Aloha! ...photos to follow...

 

 

 

271546845_10226852066351433_4365499759198301073_n.jpg

I never knew there was a Princess 'sleep station'!

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7 hours ago, KLM3164 said:

Is this on the television? I haven’t heard about a sleep program.

yes on the TV...you go to My Cruise...then scroll down & select Princess SLEEP Program then SLEEP Soundscapes it's like 8 hours of first music & waves then the music fades & just waves then in the morning the music gradually returns to gently wake you up

 

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17 hours ago, HBCcruiser said:

Does anyone know if they are offering the Chef's Table? They were not back in October, but I wonder if that has changed. 

I haven't seen any announcements about it or heard it from crew, but another passenger said they were having it

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1 hour ago, travelin.sisters said:

I haven't seen any announcements about it or heard it from crew, but another passenger said they were having it

They almost never (can't say categorically...never) make any announcements about CT. Possibly the only crew that know about it would be wait staff - waiters, maitre d', head waiter.

When we did the CT, we went to Pax Svcs as soon as we boarded and told the person at the desk, "we want to sign up for the Chef's Table". She didn't know what it was & had to talk to someone else to get the info. It seems to be a closely held secret for some reason...kind of like lunch in the MDR on embarkation day.😉

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23 hours ago, travelin.sisters said:

 

Boarding was easy & we were on, with our carryon items in our rooms & to dining room lunch in no time. 

Did you arrive at your room before or after the announcement that all the rooms were available to passengers?   I'm just wondering if it is possible to drop off anything in your room before the announcement is made about the rooms being available.  

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1 hour ago, kokopelli-az said:

Did you arrive at your room before or after the announcement that all the rooms were available to passengers?   I'm just wondering if it is possible to drop off anything in your room before the announcement is made about the rooms being available.  

ok this is the 3rd time I've tried to answer this...keeps eating my replies:

I did not hear the announcement, we arrived for first boarding 11:30 & had wheelchair boarding for one of us, they took us right to our rooms (by or before noon) & they were ready to go

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so this morning I was up early, because we set our clocks back an hour last night & I never adjust well....I wrote a nice long (probably the best ever in the history of cruise critic posts) post which then erased itself instead of posting...I will rewrite it in Word later but for now just wanted to say how wonderful it is sailing with Tiki Dave & Leialoha (ELUA) as our Hawiian ambassadors this cruise...we were so excited when we heard they were going to be with us & they have exceeded our hopes!

 

they are also very happy to be back at sea & doing a wonderful job...we have enjoyed hula, 'ukulele, lei making, port talks, performances & just time to chat if you ever have a chance to sail with them, don't hesitate...they will stay on the Grand for the Jan 19 sailing as well

 

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2022-01-06 12.43.09.jpg

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2022-01-06 18.37.01.jpg

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29 minutes ago, travelin.sisters said:

ok this is the 3rd time I've tried to answer this...keeps eating my replies:

I did not hear the announcement, we arrived for first boarding 11:30 & had wheelchair boarding for one of us, they took us right to our rooms (by or before noon) & they were ready to go

That's great.  I hope this is true when we get on our cruise in February.   We also have the first boarding slot and a wheelchair.   What I really want to do is get the scooter that will be waiting in the room...

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