Jan and Michael live very close to Pier 91, in fact you can see the ships in port and today there is a Holland America ship beside the Crown. In fact we will be with this ship all week as we have the exact same itinerary.
We head to the pier around 11:30 and we drop the bags off.
We enter the port building where agents are numerous and very helpful. There appears to be a lot of new cruisers and therefore a lot of questions. The staff at the pier are busy and so patient and friendly, and what I really love is they are excited for all the passengers as they head out on their cruise.
While filling out the health form we heard a man who was trying to figure out what he could do with his pocket knife. Security won’t let him board with it (note no knives, guns, or any possible weapon are allowed on).
Up the escalator to a large area for check in. I remember when this port was first opened. I think we were like the third cruise to leave from it and it was all new. Well all these years later it still looks great and it flows very well. I wish Fort Lauderdale’s piers were like this.
We head thru the security and because we are bringing on a bottle of champagne we go to the table located just past security where two crew members are and they make note of the one bottle and we continue on.
Because of our elite status we can go in the Preferred line, and today this does help. We later find out there are around 2000 first time cruisers on board! With cruise cards in hand we head to board the ship.
We take note that they are handing out cards with boarding groups and at 11:30 they had group 10, but we are directed to go right on. What I really like is we are directed to a different door to head to the gangway and therefore no line at all for security pictures.
However note the line for non preferred was long it was still quite reasonable.
Once on board it is that immediate “ahhhh we are home” and yes getting on board Princess feels like coming home.
Our cabin is A710 a balcony cabin near the aft on the port side, and we drop off our bags. The rooms are not completely ready so dropping off the bags to give the room attendant the space to do his job. We head out to explore and grab a coffee/tea.
Right away we run into crew we have sailed with. It is so nice to see so many familiar faces. The last time we were on this ship was at the end of April and many are still on board, but there are a few crew that we have met on other ships that are on this ship now. Including Nelson Da Silva the Customer Services Director and Michael Glass the Food and Beverage Director.
We see Alexandra and Michael Smith who work in the shops, and who just got married! We sailed with them many years ago and then were with them again when they got engaged two years ago and now they are married.
We see Claudio Mazzoni the Hotel General Manager who is a dear friend and he is so busy, but is on with his family for a few more weeks.
Mark our favorite waiter is now serving in the Crown Grill at night so that means we need to make some reservations for there to see him. He is up in Sabatinis right now taking care of the reservation line and he looks great. We make reservations for tonight, Skagway night and the last night in Crown Grill. So here is a tip, if you want a reservation for a specialty restaurant just head up to Sabatinis that first day while exploring and make a reservation for either restaurant.
Wandering around some more and the make of passengers is probably the most different we have ever seen. Lots of families, many kids, grandparents, and parents. It is lovely to see so many people being introduced to cruising.
The All Inclusive Drink Package is very popular and they are selling a lot of them. And it seems every kid has the soda sticker on their card.
Bernie gets his suitcase right away so he unpacks but mine takes over five hours to arrive. Weird since they were put on the same cart. Unfortunately when mine arrives it has obviously been in the sun for a long time and many of the chocolate bar treats we have brought for the crew have melted and lost their shape – but still taste great.
We head down for Muster Drill and once that is over we head up on deck for sailaway. It is so hot out, I would say it is around 27 and thankfully being on the water there is a nice breeze.
In Seattle they are not allowed to have the band/music play until we clear the point because of noise bylaws. But as soon as we do clear the point the band starts up and many people are up dancing and having a great time. The pool is packed with kids enjoying the great weather. Sadly I saw a parent with a child in a diaper in the pool, which is not allowed.
Back to the cabin to unpack and get settle before the evening festivities.