Jay's Internet Log

Archive for November, 2017

WC 2017 Day 1 – Boarding Regal Princess

by on Nov.17, 2017, under Vacation, Western Caribbean 2017

At 16:04, with all pre-departure checks satisfactorily completed, Regal Princess slipped her moorings and maneuvered clear of the berth. After swinging the bow to Port we made our way through the channel and out of the harbor before disembarking out pilot at 16:31. We then began setting a North Easterly course across the Straits of Florida passing the Northern point of the Great Bahamas Bank as we began transiting the North West Providence Channel between the islands of the Bahamas.

We had a reasonably timed flight (8:30AM) to Fort Lauderdale today. It was early enough to get us here mid-day to board the ship. The problem came when we had to take the usually 10 minute drive from the airport to Port Everglades. There were EIGHT ships in port today, and traffic was a nightmare. It got to the point where our bus driver cut across the non-moving traffic onto a back-road and up a few blocks, where we hit some more traffic, but essentially cut off everyone where we were waiting previously. When we finally got to the entrance, a guard asked the bus driver if anybody had guns. He said “no”, and then got waved in. The whole trip from the airport to Port Everglades ended up taking about an hour.

We booked this cruise for the sole purpose of trying out Princess’s new Ocean Medallion, which is a small RFC device that is used to access your stateroom, order food to be delivered anywhere on the ship, and keep track of your family members, etc. About a month ago, we received an email stating that we were not chosen to participate in this, which rubbed me the wrong way. I got over it after about a week. They also have a nice, new terminal that is very technologically advanced with screens and a cool electronic underwater portal of sorts. It’s pretty nice.

Regal Princess is the sister ship to Royal Princess which we took across the Atlantic Ocean back in 2013. One thing I noticed was that Regal Princess appears almost spotless, even compared to Royal Princess back when she was brand new. This may have been because Princess Cruises’ senior management was onboard last week.

We boarded the ship and immediately went to Alfredo’s, which is an amazing little Italian restaurant with the best minestrone soup. Heather and I got some soup and a few small pizzas while Mom and Dad unpacked in their room.

A recent change is that you no longer have to take your life vest to the Muster Drill, er, Guest Safety Assembly, which it’s now called. This drill is required by law, and teaches you what to do in case the ship needs to be evacuated due to an emergency. They created a really nice video and instructions sung to the tune of The Love Boat. I could tell that everyone was enjoying it, even the crew.

This ship is so large that I couldn’t tell once we started moving. By the time we got up to the top decks, the ship was already almost out of Florida, and the crowd assembled on the top decks was the largest I’ve ever seen.

For dinner, I had prime rib and chili, but the best part was that our table was right next to the window. I was asleep about an hour after dinner. It was a long day, and tomorrow should be a nice day at the beach.

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