Rare We_like_to_cruise Posted January 10 #1 Share Posted January 10 (edited) This post was recognized by LauraS! "Another from We_like_to_cruise! Thank you for generously sharing your time at sea with everyone at Cruise Critic!" We_like_to_cruise was awarded the badge '"Live from...."' and 5 points. Welcome to my occasional musings and reports from the Island Princess. We are onboard for a total of 111 days (!) and have been having a blast the last few days. It is only the first week of 16 so we are certainly in the honeymoon phase. If you have read any of my previous postings (link below) you know that are are a couple in our 60s retired in the Tampa, Florida area. We are a go-with-the-flow type (mostly) and glass-half-full (always). OK enough with the metaphors. But I promise to tell the good and the bad about our travels. We have been on many cruises, but this is by far the longest. The last few days have been filled up, so today I finally got a chance to sit down and compose my thoughts. I will probably post in spurts after having the opportunity on sea days to write. So, ports, although in the correct order, will not be posted each day. And, since CC makes it impossible to edit after the fact, I will copy and paste from a Word doc. We booked this cruise – round trip from Fort Lauderdale - back in 2021. Of course it was cancelled, twice, so we were super excited to finally board the ship this week. Could we spend almost four months on the Island Princess ??? Honestly we weren’t sure, so earlier this year booked a B2B that kept us on her for a month. That was enough to convince us it was a go. There have been ship wide changes even since that cruise six months ago; more about that later. Although we had booked WC2023 quite a while ago, it was primarily in the last 12 months where we got serious about our planning and booking excursions. We had a very very active Roll Call; I think there were 300+ contributors and well over 250 pages of information shared on this website. Helpful hints on the visas we needed, private excursions, get-togethers, etc., were provided. Members organized games, athletic events, pub crawls, slot pulls and more. Wonderful group of people and I am grateful for their assistance. Pre-cruise we had to make sure all of our bills were on auto-pay. Had to file an extension for our taxes, notify our neighbors of our absence (our fantastic next door neighbor is retired law enforcement) and arrange for someone to come in and routinely check the house. We had to make sure we had a sufficient amount of our maintenance meds. Our auto insurer recommended we change our coverage at considerable cost savings since we would not be driving. Almost every day we thought of another item for “the list”. Yes, there is an enormous amount of preparation. Our friends and family always asked the same question – how do you pack for four months at sea? Early on we decided to bring a core group of clothing for about 14-16 days. We would then plan on doing laundry on a sea day every few weeks at one of the convenient Laundromats, one on each floor. A container of detergent pods, some dryer sheets and we were set. We are nearly Elite, will become so during one of the segments, so that will take some of the pressure off. Our trial run of packing our clothes was quite frankly a disaster. Way too much stuff! More like a month’s worth of clothes, not two weeks. (Not pointing any fingers, but DW owns an awful lot of shoes!) So, we took everything back out of the eBags and scaled down. We realized to save space in the cabin all luggage must fit under the bed. So instead of bringing four large suitcases, we brought two large ones and numerous smaller ones that could all fold up inside the large one. That is where some of the “freebie” duffels and bags DW got from her DSW shopping came in handy. Embarkation day was January 5 and on January 4 we had 14 bags packed. The two largest bags held our clothes and formal wear. The other bags held medication, vitamins, health and beauty aids, shoes, shoes, hiking boots, electronics, cameras, games, a box of 50 skinny hangars, etc., etc. And etc. Fortunately everything found a place in our cabin and now it is quite cozy. We do not feel cramped at all and had no trouble storing all of our belongings. We did leave some “stuff” in bags under the bed if it was not needed on a regular basis. Everything fit under the bed as planned and all shelves and drawers were filled. Here is a link to my last Live From - Edited January 10 by We_like_to_cruise spacing 12 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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