All Aboard the Crown Princess - Jan 9

Are we in Fort Lauderale or in Vancouver
Ahhh we are awake and we are in Fort Lauderdale and we are getting on a cruise -- isn't life grand, well not Grand Princess but the Crown Princess awaits.
I open the curtains -- it is pouring rain. Are we in Fort Lauderdale or still home in Vancouver? It looks ugly out, I am not really prepared for this kind of weather.

We get dressed and venture out -- thankfully I brought my windbreaker that has a hood -- and head over to Starbucks. It is packed, because no one can sit outside because it is so cold. We cross the street with our beverages to a small deli place to get a bagel and egg. Doesn't look like the rain is going to ease up, but it isn't going to stop us.
We head over to the Wallgreens just across the street from the hotel. I am getting soaked and I am so cold, but it isn't going to stop me.

Originally we were not going to go to the ship right away, we normally like to wait till later in the day when the crowds have died down. But since the weather is so bad and isn't condussive to wandering the streets we decided to head to the port early. We leave the hotel at 11, and there are a lot of people waiting for shuttles, and taxis -- apparently there are six ships in port today, including the Oasis. We queue up for a taxi and after about 15 minutes we are on our way. The terminal we are at is furthest away and the traffic to get to it is bumper to bumper. We start to question our decision to go to the pier early.

We dropped off our bags, it looked like there were still people getting off! We head into the terminal and are quickly taken to the Platinum Elite holding area, and right away we see Richard and Anita who is the other couple we are sailing with. This is our fourth cruise together (although we didn't really meet until our 2nd cruise) and they are from Vancouver and have become good friends. We don't have to wait too long and we are on board the ship at noon.

This is my 21st cruise, and our 17th cruise with Princess. Our cabin for this sailing is B710 aft.... good location, and well what can I say about the cabins, they all look the same. We have a stocked mini bar (we switch off all the acohol to vodka, and all change the tonic water for Perrier). The mini bar is a perk of being Elite (15 sailings with Princess). You also get free laundry service, afternoon tea to your cabin, canapes delivered to your cabin on formal nights, priority tender service, free wine tasting and exclusive lounge for evening drinks and appetizers each night. This event was held in Skywalkers each night with a drink special each night for $5.
We head up to the Horizon Court for a quick bite to eat before it gets crazy up there.

After lunch we are back at the cabin, still no bags -- wishful thinking because we were one of the first on I was hoping we would of been one of the first to get our bags. But in the end we didn't get our bags until around 6:30 pm. Guess first on last off theory here.
We hear our neighbours and go out on the balcony to see Larry is there, and he calls for Amy to come over and she is surprised to see us. See Larry surprised his wife with a balcony and also the fact that we have side by side cabins. We ask the steward to open the door access between the two balconies, and now we have access to each other's balconies. Rule is though if the sheers are closed that means "do not disturb".
Looks like sail away will be a little delayed because of all the ships in port. Here we see the Ruby leaving on a 10 day voyage. We know a few people on board and we will be getting on her in 10 days for the second leg of our voyage. The Ruby and the Crown are sister ships, so this picture shows what our ship looks like exactly.
Bernie is suffering with a cold, which has gotten worse this evening, so he crawls into bed and I leave with the promise of a Hot Toddy delivered to the cabin on my return. Larry and I head up to the Sun (ha not today) deck to watch sailaway. All the festivities have been brought in to the Atrium because of the weather, but like I said earlier, the weather isn't going to stop us. The weather is actually worse than it was when I did an Alaskan cruise last May.
The Captain commented on the sea fog, he doesn't recall ever seeing that in Fort Lauderdale.
We are on our way, heading out to the Caribbean for 7 nights, crossing our fingers that the weather will improve.
Tonight dinner is in the Horizon Court, but sadly there is no seafood extravaganza buffet like normal. We look forward to the lobster claws, crab legs and shrimp, but all we get tonight with regards to seafood is large shrimp. Guess it will have to do.... we later found out from one of the officers that they have had a supply problem with regards to both lobster and crab legs. Oh well, I am sure I can find something else to eat.
Bernie is sleeping, the Hot Toddy had done the trick and he is out for the night, I decide since we are still fighting with time change and lack of sleep I decide to make it an early night too. Tomorrow is a sea day and I need to rest up for that.

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