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Live from the Sky Princess- January 28, 2023 Our Big Old “Do-Over” Cruise


TracieABD
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Saturday, January 28, 2023
Fort Lauderdale
 
Oops! I did it again!
 
Hello friends-
I have debated whether or not to blog this cruise... but my blog has become my "memory", so to speak, so here goes... 
 
A few years ago, Jon (my amazing husband) and I decided to stop giving gifts for birthdays and holidays- instead we focus on adventures. So this is my Birthday Adventure Cruise (Otherwise known as the BAC). It is a big birthday for me... ends in a zero- and might rhyme with mixty. But I'm not telling...
 
This is another lap around the Western Caribbean. One of our favorite "do nothing" cruises. It is easy for us to get to- we have already been to the ports- and we get to have someone cook and clean for us. What's not to love? This will be a new ship for us! Yay! I love that new ship smell.
 
We booked a few months ago- the lowest category interior. We are pretty much newlyweds, so we are fine in small spaces- When we received the email to bid for an upgrade- we bid on 4 options for an oceanview or balcony. I bid low- I mean loooooowwww.  About three weeks ago, I received 3 emails rejecting 3 of our bids. No worries- I am happy with what I booked.  And then the 4th email arrived. Our 4th (and highest bid) was accepted. We received a BC- balcony on the Deck 17 close to pools, MUTS and bars… not our thing- but that is how the bidding system works- I was fully prepared to make the best of it, though. I did make a call to Princess and after hours of being on hold- I tried the Live Chat feature. The CSR was able to help me. We moved back to a BE on the Caribe deck! Win! Loved the location and none of the pesky other parts (connecting cabins, bump out bunks, public spaces above or below, dubious “white spaces”, etc…) We were over the moon!
 
A few days ago, we received a complementary upgrade to an MB- mini suite on the Riveria deck. Again, all the boxes were checked and we are even happier with our new digs! Gotta love Princess!
 
As some of you may know, our last cruise did not go so well. Jon got Covid on the ship- and I was soon to follow. Honestly, I did not think a cruise was in my future for some years to come… Princess did their best while we were on the ship, and while it took 7 months, they did send a check with all of the necessary reimbursements and refunds. 
 
So here I sit in the hotel in Florida- waiting to board the Sky Princess in a few hours. I really love this time- just before a cruise- when there is so much excitement and promise!
 
I will do my best to keep you posted!
 
Thanks for following along-
Tracie-Lynn
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Glad you are both well enough again to resume cruising!  And very nice to hear that free upgrades are still granted - you both deserve it.  Have a fantastic, safe and healthy cruise this time.  Will be following along.

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4 hours ago, TracieABD said:
Saturday, January 28, 2023
Fort Lauderdale
 
Oops! I did it again!
 
Hello friends-
I have debated whether or not to blog this cruise... but my blog has become my "memory", so to speak, so here goes... 
 
A few years ago, Jon (my amazing husband) and I decided to stop giving gifts for birthdays and holidays- instead we focus on adventures. So this is my Birthday Adventure Cruise (Otherwise known as the BAC). It is a big birthday for me... ends in a zero- and might rhyme with mixty. But I'm not telling...
 
This is another lap around the Western Caribbean. One of our favorite "do nothing" cruises. It is easy for us to get to- we have already been to the ports- and we get to have someone cook and clean for us. What's not to love? This will be a new ship for us! Yay! I love that new ship smell.
 
We booked a few months ago- the lowest category interior. We are pretty much newlyweds, so we are fine in small spaces- When we received the email to bid for an upgrade- we bid on 4 options for an oceanview or balcony. I bid low- I mean loooooowwww.  About three weeks ago, I received 3 emails rejecting 3 of our bids. No worries- I am happy with what I booked.  And then the 4th email arrived. Our 4th (and highest bid) was accepted. We received a BC- balcony on the Deck 17 close to pools, MUTS and bars… not our thing- but that is how the bidding system works- I was fully prepared to make the best of it, though. I did make a call to Princess and after hours of being on hold- I tried the Live Chat feature. The CSR was able to help me. We moved back to a BE on the Caribe deck! Win! Loved the location and none of the pesky other parts (connecting cabins, bump out bunks, public spaces above or below, dubious “white spaces”, etc…) We were over the moon!
 
A few days ago, we received a complementary upgrade to an MB- mini suite on the Riveria deck. Again, all the boxes were checked and we are even happier with our new digs! Gotta love Princess!
 
As some of you may know, our last cruise did not go so well. Jon got Covid on the ship- and I was soon to follow. Honestly, I did not think a cruise was in my future for some years to come… Princess did their best while we were on the ship, and while it took 7 months, they did send a check with all of the necessary reimbursements and refunds. 
 
So here I sit in the hotel in Florida- waiting to board the Sky Princess in a few hours. I really love this time- just before a cruise- when there is so much excitement and promise!
 
I will do my best to keep you posted!
 
Thanks for following along-
Tracie-Lynn

Ohhh, I love those Deck 17 Sun Deck balcony cabins...my go-to cabin on the few ships that have them! But I am glad you got one to your liking!

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I'm on the Sky beginning February 4th for four weeks.  I also am in same balcony cabin for first three weeks and the last week in a guaranteed  interior (IC) cabin and have bid to upgrade.  Still haven't heard yet about bidding results and have not yet received a cabin assignment.  Hoping my bid gets accepted or maybe a free upgrade.  How many people are on your cruise.  Looks like next couple of sailings are full.  Have fun.

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Thank you for blogging about your cruise! This will be our first time on the Sky Princess sailing 02/24/23 and our first time to the Western Caribbean!

We also booked an interior cabin and have put in a bid for balcony, but our sailing looks pretty full. 

 

I can't wait to hear about your cruise and the ports! 

Happy sailing!

 

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5 hours ago, TracieABD said:
Saturday, January 28, 2023
Fort Lauderdale
 
Oops! I did it again!
 
Hello friends-
I have debated whether or not to blog this cruise... but my blog has become my "memory", so to speak, so here goes... 
 
A few years ago, Jon (my amazing husband) and I decided to stop giving gifts for birthdays and holidays- instead we focus on adventures. So this is my Birthday Adventure Cruise (Otherwise known as the BAC). It is a big birthday for me... ends in a zero- and might rhyme with mixty. But I'm not telling...
 
This is another lap around the Western Caribbean. One of our favorite "do nothing" cruises. It is easy for us to get to- we have already been to the ports- and we get to have someone cook and clean for us. What's not to love? This will be a new ship for us! Yay! I love that new ship smell.
 
We booked a few months ago- the lowest category interior. We are pretty much newlyweds, so we are fine in small spaces- When we received the email to bid for an upgrade- we bid on 4 options for an oceanview or balcony. I bid low- I mean loooooowwww.  About three weeks ago, I received 3 emails rejecting 3 of our bids. No worries- I am happy with what I booked.  And then the 4th email arrived. Our 4th (and highest bid) was accepted. We received a BC- balcony on the Deck 17 close to pools, MUTS and bars… not our thing- but that is how the bidding system works- I was fully prepared to make the best of it, though. I did make a call to Princess and after hours of being on hold- I tried the Live Chat feature. The CSR was able to help me. We moved back to a BE on the Caribe deck! Win! Loved the location and none of the pesky other parts (connecting cabins, bump out bunks, public spaces above or below, dubious “white spaces”, etc…) We were over the moon!
 
A few days ago, we received a complementary upgrade to an MB- mini suite on the Riveria deck. Again, all the boxes were checked and we are even happier with our new digs! Gotta love Princess!
 
As some of you may know, our last cruise did not go so well. Jon got Covid on the ship- and I was soon to follow. Honestly, I did not think a cruise was in my future for some years to come… Princess did their best while we were on the ship, and while it took 7 months, they did send a check with all of the necessary reimbursements and refunds. 
 
So here I sit in the hotel in Florida- waiting to board the Sky Princess in a few hours. I really love this time- just before a cruise- when there is so much excitement and promise!
 
I will do my best to keep you posted!
 
Thanks for following along-
Tracie-Lynn

Thank you for taking us along!

if it doesn't put you out would you please post the menus!

Thank you

Hugs

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January 28, 2023

Somewhere in the Caribbean Sea

 

It’s a Charmed Life

 

Hi friends-

 

The whole day… Charmed. Seriously. Amazingly. Awesomely. Charmed.

 

No one got much sleep last night, yet we were still up and at ‘em early this morning. We stayed in Miramar last night. The hotel experience was pretty meh… I was a bit worried that it might set the tone for the week. But not so.

 

We left the hotel at 8:17, stopped at Starbucks for breakfast sammies and coffee, and headed back to Fort Lauderdale. Traffic was light and we got there in less than a half hour.  The last couple of times we have been to Port Everglades it has been a bit of circus- and my worry was increased, because the Sky was berthed at Pier 21- not Pier 2. But the signage at the port! Holy cow. Maybe it was already there or maybe it is new- but so much easier. There were big colour-coded signs. And because Pier 26 and Pier 22 and Pier 21 are so close together, they even painted the roadway which lane was best for which pier. How easy is that?!

 

We dropped luggage (all 146 pounds- don’t judge. Seriously. Don’t judge. I can feel the judgy-ness) and headed back to the airport to drop the rental. We were in an Uber less than 20 minutes later with dear Luis- brand spanking new to Uber- Luis. He had never been to port before- we helped. A lot. We were back to port by 9:45 am.

 

The most challenging part of the day was the line outside of the terminal- we had to wait for about 30 minutes for the ship to zero out. There were two lines- one for priority embarkation (platinum, elite, and suites) and a standard line. Once the line opened, we never stopped moving. We were directed upstairs to the lounge- yes- there were pastries and bevvies. Unlike Terminal 2- they did not segregate the Elites and the Platinums into separate areas.

 

Of course, Jon and I were anxious to board- because- Sanctuary. It is always about the Sanctuary for us. We watched so many transit passengers board- and then it was our turn. It was a first. We were on board at 10:30 am. Unbelievably efficient.

 

We moved quickly onto the ship and up to Deck 18 Forward. Yay! We were the first in the Sanctuary line! And…. We did not get the full week. There are over 400 transit passengers on this cruise- and they get priority at booking. So there is that. We did get the 4 port days and passed on two morning slots. We would always prefer afternoon- for the tea. We are grateful that we got what we got.

 

We headed down to the International Cafe (IC) for some tea. I was fussing with Medallion app when I noticed that we had a shared table for dining. No offense to the 3,229 other passengers on board- I am certain they are lovely- but Jon and I are a bit gun shy. We are trying to reduce the risk of a second round of Covid by limiting a lot of contact. We are also some of the only people on the ship consistently masking.

 

At lunch in the MDR (because nothing starts a cruise off better than lunch in the MDR), we spoke with the Maitre’d, Giuseppe, about our seating concerns. He directed us to go to the Cielo dining room at 6 pm- and they would help us figure something out. He is so sincere you can’t help but trust him.

 

We took care of the safety requirements and went to our room at 1pm. No luggage- but that was fine- we managed a little business and headed down to the Internet Cafe for assistance with the Medallion thingy- yep- we are “Assistance in the Internet Cafe for the Medallion thingy old.” Natalya was great- she had us up and running in no time. I adored her efficient “no nonsense” approach. They had a lot of people to help those of us, so the wait was relatively short. (Actually, we had no wait- because- it has been a charmed day! We arrived ahead of the wave). When we went back to the cabin- Luggage!

 

It is amazing how quickly time passes on a ship. Soon, it was time to head down to dinner. And just as Giuseppe told us, when it was our turn to be seated, we were directed to a lovely corner table in one of the small back dining rooms- by a window! We loved our waitstaff- and we are looking forward to getting to know them a bit more over the next week. Giuseppe stopped by to say “hello”- a really touching and personal gesture.

 

Dinner was delicious. I had the pork and Jon had the snapper and we both had dessert and I even took pictures. I just have to figure out how to download them. Presentation was absolutely on point and the food was really well seasoned. It felt like Princess dining of old. It felt like “Welcome home”.

 

We rushed off to see the comedian. The theater was packed- and he just did not hit the mark with us. Not our type of humor, but most of the audience seemed to really enjoy the show.

 

We are exhausted so we headed back to the room- to read and do a little yoga. And that is where I will leave you… the ship is gently rocking us to sleep.

 

Thanks for following along!

 

More tomorrow-

Tracie-Lynn

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Thanks for posting, Tracie.  I'll be following you on the Sky thus your comments and observations will be very much appreciated.  Blue skies and calm seas to you.

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15 hours ago, TracieABD said:

 

January 28, 2023

Somewhere in the Caribbean Sea

 

It’s a Charmed Life

 

Hi friends-

 

The whole day… Charmed. Seriously. Amazingly. Awesomely. Charmed.

 

No one got much sleep last night, yet we were still up and at ‘em early this morning. We stayed in Miramar last night. The hotel experience was pretty meh… I was a bit worried that it might set the tone for the week. But not so.

 

We left the hotel at 8:17, stopped at Starbucks for breakfast sammies and coffee, and headed back to Fort Lauderdale. Traffic was light and we got there in less than a half hour.  The last couple of times we have been to Port Everglades it has been a bit of circus- and my worry was increased, because the Sky was berthed at Pier 21- not Pier 2. But the signage at the port! Holy cow. Maybe it was already there or maybe it is new- but so much easier. There were big colour-coded signs. And because Pier 26 and Pier 22 and Pier 21 are so close together, they even painted the roadway which lane was best for which pier. How easy is that?!

 

We dropped luggage (all 146 pounds- don’t judge. Seriously. Don’t judge. I can feel the judgy-ness) and headed back to the airport to drop the rental. We were in an Uber less than 20 minutes later with dear Luis- brand spanking new to Uber- Luis. He had never been to port before- we helped. A lot. We were back to port by 9:45 am.

 

The most challenging part of the day was the line outside of the terminal- we had to wait for about 30 minutes for the ship to zero out. There were two lines- one for priority embarkation (platinum, elite, and suites) and a standard line. Once the line opened, we never stopped moving. We were directed upstairs to the lounge- yes- there were pastries and bevvies. Unlike Terminal 2- they did not segregate the Elites and the Platinums into separate areas.

 

Of course, Jon and I were anxious to board- because- Sanctuary. It is always about the Sanctuary for us. We watched so many transit passengers board- and then it was our turn. It was a first. We were on board at 10:30 am. Unbelievably efficient.

 

We moved quickly onto the ship and up to Deck 18 Forward. Yay! We were the first in the Sanctuary line! And…. We did not get the full week. There are over 400 transit passengers on this cruise- and they get priority at booking. So there is that. We did get the 4 port days and passed on two morning slots. We would always prefer afternoon- for the tea. We are grateful that we got what we got.

 

We headed down to the International Cafe (IC) for some tea. I was fussing with Medallion app when I noticed that we had a shared table for dining. No offense to the 3,229 other passengers on board- I am certain they are lovely- but Jon and I are a bit gun shy. We are trying to reduce the risk of a second round of Covid by limiting a lot of contact. We are also some of the only people on the ship consistently masking.

 

At lunch in the MDR (because nothing starts a cruise off better than lunch in the MDR), we spoke with the Maitre’d, Giuseppe, about our seating concerns. He directed us to go to the Cielo dining room at 6 pm- and they would help us figure something out. He is so sincere you can’t help but trust him.

 

We took care of the safety requirements and went to our room at 1pm. No luggage- but that was fine- we managed a little business and headed down to the Internet Cafe for assistance with the Medallion thingy- yep- we are “Assistance in the Internet Cafe for the Medallion thingy old.” Natalya was great- she had us up and running in no time. I adored her efficient “no nonsense” approach. They had a lot of people to help those of us, so the wait was relatively short. (Actually, we had no wait- because- it has been a charmed day! We arrived ahead of the wave). When we went back to the cabin- Luggage!

 

It is amazing how quickly time passes on a ship. Soon, it was time to head down to dinner. And just as Giuseppe told us, when it was our turn to be seated, we were directed to a lovely corner table in one of the small back dining rooms- by a window! We loved our waitstaff- and we are looking forward to getting to know them a bit more over the next week. Giuseppe stopped by to say “hello”- a really touching and personal gesture.

 

Dinner was delicious. I had the pork and Jon had the snapper and we both had dessert and I even took pictures. I just have to figure out how to download them. Presentation was absolutely on point and the food was really well seasoned. It felt like Princess dining of old. It felt like “Welcome home”.

 

We rushed off to see the comedian. The theater was packed- and he just did not hit the mark with us. Not our type of humor, but most of the audience seemed to really enjoy the show.

 

We are exhausted so we headed back to the room- to read and do a little yoga. And that is where I will leave you… the ship is gently rocking us to sleep.

 

Thanks for following along!

 

More tomorrow-

Tracie-Lynn

love your postings ... could you please adjust the font size for us?

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January 29, 2023

Still out to sea… and pretty much out to lunch too

 

Attack of the F’Urchins- Touched for the Very First Time

 

Hi friends!

 

I swear we were asleep within 5 minutes of last night’s blog post. And finally we slept. Hard. I did not wake up until 8:30 this morning. It was glorious! The bed in our cabin is so comfy. So. Stinking. Comfy. Do you think they will miss it, if I decide to pack it in my suitcase?- as sort of a de facto souvenir- per se. Ok. They probably will miss a whole darn bed.

 

At the crack of 10 am- we finally crawled out of the cabin in search of the elusive “perfect” coffee. For those of you that know- you know. I have one vice in my life. It is my morning iced latte. Sometimes it can be challenging to get this on a ship. There is a certain order of operations that have to occur in order for the coffee to be considered perfect. It is physics. First the espresso- then the Splenda- then the cold milk- then the ice… If you insist, I will be happy to tell you why. But the real reason? Science.

 

We went upstairs to the baristas at the buffet. We now just get espresso and we manage the prep ourselves. I will warn you- if you are on the Sky and you want espresso AND you are sound sensitive- you may want to go to the IC- the buffet coffee is acoustically disruptive and LOUD. The coffee is fine, but I need a coffee to get through the getting the coffee experience up there. We did manage to get the coffee fixin’s (that’s Southern for “ingredients”) and headed back to the cabin where it is quiet.

 

Once we were properly caffeinated, we headed out to run errands. By running errands- we went to the IC to get more coffee. (Again- don’t judge). I also needed to get another clip for my medallion. Sadly, I lost my last medallion holder during the Covid cruise of 2022. And then we hid in the back of the Crown Grill and played cards. Fun fact: during the day, the Crown is the game room. (I don’t think they have a library on this ship, but I could be wrong).

 

Lunch was in the MDR- as it was Chicken Korma day!!! (This one’s for you, Pescado Amarillo!) Love, love, love chicken Korma- and all of the fun condiments! I limited to a single dish at lunch. Jon had grilled prawns and the carbonara- which is not really carbonara- IYKYK. They add cream and no raw egg- but he said it was a really great Alfredo sauce- so it was an expectation deal.

 

And because you are wondering- what the heck does all of this yammering have to do with F’Urchins? What the heck is a F’urchin? So here goes (and I hope it does not too lost in hubris and/or translation) In the back of the Estrella dining room, they have a wall decor. Looks a bit like a metal urchin- so I was trying to get Jon to touch the decor (I know, I know- bad form. I get it), and when he finally acquiesced, our waiter- Mey ( so sweet and attentive) caught him. Then she had to touch it. Then the people (who may have been on a first date- not kidding) had to touch it. Jon was calling it a “fake urchin” which became a F’urchin. And then we busted out into a rendition of Madonna’s “Like a F’urchin… touched for the very first time” and now we have completed digressed. Yep. They will be very happy to see us go in six days. Very, very happy.

 

(See photo below)

 

After lunch, I went up to the fitness center to do a longer yoga. When I got Covid last May, I actually got fairly sick and I stayed sick for almost a couple of months. While I was sick, I lost a great deal of muscle mass. My breathing was messed up, and it left me with no stamina. In May of 2023,I am planning to hiking the Camino de Santiago in Portugal and Spain (one of the “shorter” paths- a little over 90 miles)- I I got really concerned if I could do it- so I decided to do yoga every day for 90 days… Welp- today is Day 177 (straight) and boy am I doing better. I can finally regulate my breathing and I think I am getting stronger. Bring on that long walk! 3 months and counting!!! The staff in the fitness center, especially Melissa, are so kind. They offered their assistance and were really helpful in finding me a corner to practice. Another reason why I love Princess.

 

However- there is was a tragic occurrence on the Sky today… The soft serve ice cream machine is down! I love the “ice milk” on Princess… and I was not nearly as thrilled with the hard packed ice cream offered in its place. Most other people were thrilled- but I am a weirdo about ice milk. Hopefully, they will get it up and running soon.

 

Jon and I are in danger of starving to death, so we went down to Afternoon Tea and sconey scones! (Yep. That is what we call them.) We asked for mint tea and it took a bit, but we ended up with two pots of mint tea and lovely little sammiches.

 

And that is where I will leave you. Jon has gone up to watch football and I am writing.

 

Anyone want to touch the F’urchins in the Estrella Dining Room?

 

Thanks for following along!

More later!

Tracie-Lynn

D8573DAD-5018-4799-B1DA-C97E399E960F.jpeg

Edited by TracieABD
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On 1/28/2023 at 2:59 PM, nini said:

@TracieABD- Thanks for sharing! I think we may have cruised with you quite a few years ago. We will be on the Sky in June- a new ship for us as well.

January 2015… We just missed each other on a 12 day Caribbean cruise on the Royal, I think… 😉

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22 hours ago, MustangGT said:

Yay!!  Tracie is back!  Love your “Lives”

Fingers crossed we will board for a B2B when you get off the ship.

Can’t wait to read all about it!!

Yay!!! I hope you have an amazing adveuture!

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