The vacation actually started at our house when FIL, MIL and BIL showed up on Saturday morning about 9:45. SIL and her boyfriend (let’s call him, umm, “Tony”) were making their own way to the ship and would meet us onboard. Sonny’s A-1 Limousine Service was scheduled to pick us up at ten o’clock for the trip down to the cruise terminal in Seattle. We have utilized Sonny several times in the past to get to the terminal and have never been less that pleased with his service. Sonny himself arrived early, (on past occasions it has been one of his drivers) loaded all seventeen of our bags, satchels and roll-on coolers into the large black SUV, and we were on the road before the clock had struck ten. Sonny completed the hour-long trip through medium-heavy Seattle traffic in approximately 37 minutes. We almost rear-ended two vehicles and he actually flipped someone off! The trip validated my DW's decision to pack me an extra pair of boxers because “you just never know…” Oh. My. God. The good news is that the trip to the cruise terminal allowed me to cross “Formula 1 Racing” off my bucket list! Anyway, I kinda got the idea Sonny had a couple more trips scheduled that morning. FIL tipped him (perhaps out of gratitude that we had survived?) and Sonny burned rubber out of the passenger drop-off area.
Check-in at the terminal was a breeze. The IL’s went to one agent and the wifey and I went to another. When we reunited I learned that the IL’s had somehow been handed a priority boarding pass! Something about their six Princess cruises trumping our 5 Princess Cruises or some such nonsense. Anyway, since my DW and I had none, they decided to accompany us over to the “Ellis Island” seating section where some 75 hearty super-duper-early passengers had already amassed. We dutifully took our place behind them on the comfortable folding metal chairs and proceeded to wait. Being a typical American, after a torturous minute or two of waiting, I asked to see the priority boarding pass. I noticed it said nothing about the number of passengers allowed to board early and made an executive decision. (Allow me a moment to put on my fire-retardant suit.) After a brief selling job, I enticed the IL’s to follow me as we meandered over to the priority boarding area! This was the life… Now I know how the 1% feel! We were gonna be among the first peeps on the ship! Woo hoo! Then the parade of wheelchairs started. Oh well, you can’t really begrudge folks with limited mobility the right to board first, especially when you just wrangled your way onto your IL’s priority boarding pass, right? In an odd reversal of the old faith-healing gambit, however, I noticed several passengers who had only moments before been jogging past me in the terminal, now wedged tightly into wheelchairs while two out-of-breath little Filipino guys pushed each one up the boarding ramp. Oh well, gotta conserve that energy for dashing to the Princess Theater later and reserving rows of seats for the Welcome Aboard show. Once safely aboard, we went to our room, stashed our hand luggage, and headed down to the Main Dining Room for our embarkation lunch.
I will post the actual cruise details in my next posting. It should be considerably more concise since I started drinking once aboard and, between that and early-onset old-timers, can’t remember much of the next seven days.
"and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by"
Golden Princess - Alaska 08/09
Sapphire Princess - Coastal 05/10
Golden Princess - Alaska 08/10
Sapphire Princess - Coastal 05/11
Golden Princess - Alaska 07/12