Jay's Internet Log

CCC 2016

CCC 2016 Day 5 – Cruz Bay, St. John

by on Jan.16, 2017, under CCC 2016, General, Vacation

At around 5:00AM this morning Pacific Princess passed Virgin Passage, between the islands of Culebra and St. Thomas before altering her course to port and approaching Cruz Bay from the south. She passed Dog Island on her port side before arriving at her anchorage position in Pillsbury Sound.

We had no tour today. This is Heather and my first time in St. John, though Mom and Dad have been here before. This is a tender port, which I always like. The weather was spectacular.

We tendered in and walked up the street one way and around a few shops. There was a lot of standing water, but Heather had doused me in deet, so hopefully we didn’t get bitten by any mosquitos. After shopping for about a half hour, we decided to go the other way on the street in order to find a pharmacy, as Dad needed some Hydrogen Peroxide for a cut. Heather decided to go back to the ship as her back hurt from the extreme gingerbread house making yesterday. Mom also hurt her back from this, probably from bending over making the house.

Mom, Dad, and I walked up one street to a rotary, and we then had to choose from five different directions. Some locals pointed us in the right direction, but this was no easy walk. We finally got to the pharmacy, bought some things, and headed back. Nobody fell, which was awesome; also the goal.

Back on the ship, Heather was resting, but got up to watch The Legend of Tarzan in the Princess Theater. We had just watched this movie a few weeks back, but Mom and Dad had not seen it yet. Dad wasn’t a fan, though I enjoyed the movie.

For dinner, I had a cowboy steak, which is a sirloin steak with barbecue sauce and crispy onions on top, along with carrots and small potatoes. Heather and I lost the photography raffle, then watched a comedian named Thien Fu. He joked that he has a brother named Kung. He juggled a lot, and made us laugh.

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CCC 2016 Day 4 – At Sea

by on Jan.16, 2017, under CCC 2016, General, Vacation

Today Pacific Princess continues on her southeasterly heading towards Cruz Bay. Early this morning she passed the Turks and Caicos Islands on her starboard side, at a distance of 40 nautical miles. Tonight she will approach the north coast of Puerto Rico as she sails towards her first port of call Cruz Bay.

SWEAT UPDATE: I learned that an elderly woman had been staying in our room for a full three months prior to this trip, so I know whose sweat I was sleeping in the other night. Thankfully, after a full replacement of everything except the mattress, I think we’re good. I was told that the US Coast Guard inspection threw everything off.

This morning, we went upstairs and met with Mom and Dad who were finishing their breakfast. I then went to my hair appointment, which was nice, and I think my hair is shorter than it’s ever been.

I had lunch with Dad up on the back deck while Mom and Heather entered in a Gingerbread House competition. I’m so glad that the ship is embracing Christmas as much as it is. I wasn’t sure if they would or not, but we have multiple Christmas trees all over the ship, along with Christmas songs playing on all ambiance speakers. The staff are all wearing Santa hats at times too, along with Christmas lights, and funny antlers.

After lunch, Heather had a hair appointment, and I went to a complimentary wine tasting. It was nice. I took a few laps around the track while Heather napped, then we got ready for dinner. It’s formal night tonight, and of course, our air conditioner had an issue, so getting ready was quite interesting.

For dinner, I had leg of lamb, a salad, and French Onion Soup! We’re now sitting in the lounge waiting for the show tonight. Tomorrow we have our first stop of the trip, and we’ll be in St. John, which is a first for me. We have no tour planned, so we’ll just walk around, hopefully on a beach.

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CCC 2016 Day 3 – At Sea

by on Jan.16, 2017, under CCC 2016, General, Vacation

Today at sea, Pacific Princess will sail southeast along the Eastern edge of the Caribbean Sea. This afternoon at approximately 1300, she will pass San Salvador Island on her port side. San Salvador is believed to have been the first land sighted and visited by Christopher Columbus on his first exhibition to the new world in 1492.

Well, this is a first, and please don’t be eating while reading this first paragraph. I fell asleep wonderfully last night as this ship was moving around quite a bit, and still is as I write this. I awoke sometime in the night drenched in sweat. It wasn’t my sweat, and it wasn’t Heather’s. My pillow, sheets, and comforter all smelled this way. Earlier in the day, we had asked for an additional comforter and some pillows for Heather, and hers did not smell. I was so tired that I put a towel down and fell back asleep, randomly switching out pillows when the smell woke me up.

This morning, I told our room steward about the issue, and was able to get the whole bed except the mattresses replaced. Hopefully tonight will be better. We awoke and went up to the pool. It was 77 degrees, which was a tad cold for me, but I went in for about 10 minutes before retreating to the hot tub. We had sit-down breakfast, and then went to a port lecture.

At lunch, we sat with a random group of passengers, and told them of our night. Two of them happened to be Princess employees, and urged us to tell the head of housekeeping. Two others had friends on the ship for the past six weeks, and told us that many passengers had fallen ill. This was the straw that broke the Camel’s back for Heather, and she went to talk to the passenger services desk while I came up to write.

UPDATE: Heather is back and we were told that no sick people were in our room. The head of housekeeping wants to speak with me, so that should be a fun conversation that I didn’t want to have.

This afternoon, we are going to go to the scavenger hunt drawing that we missed on our last cruise. After that, I might take a nap in our new bed before dinner. We are planning on going to see the comedian from last night, Steven Scott, who made me laugh a bunch of times. Tomorrow is another full day at sea, and I’m getting my now-normal haircut and shave. I sure need it!

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CCC 2016 Day 2 – Boarding Pacific Princess

by on Jan.15, 2017, under CCC 2016, General, Vacation

This afternoon, once embarkation has been completed and the safety drill has been carried out, Pacific Princess will depart Port Everglades. Once clear of the buoyed channel, she will continue East and proceed through the Northwest Providence Channel around the Bahamian Banks.

I planned to get up at 4:30AM and walk up the beach to see the ship arrive, but once 4:30 came, and I saw how dark it was outside, we decided to stay in the hotel and not risk getting mugged out on the beach.

We had a nice breakfast at the hotel, and then took a van over to Port Everglades. There were three Princess ships here today; Royal, Island, and Pacific Princess. Since we weren’t coming in via plane, there was next to no waiting to get onboard. It also helps that this ship only holds about 700 passengers, compared to 3600 on Royal Princess.

This is my fifteenth cruise on Princess Cruises’ ships, and I’ve now hit the maximum level in the Captain’s Circle loyalty program, which basically means free laundry. This is quite the perk, and we plan to use it daily. I even packed a bit lighter due to having this service. Pacific Princess is a Renaissance-Class ship, and the last that Princess Cruises owns. This is the fifth itinerary that we’ve taken on one of these, and they are easily our favorite ships in the Princess fleet.

We walked around the ship, got a few scavenger hunt stamps, had some lunch, and went to the muster drill. I then went up to the top deck in order to record the sailaway. All three Princess ships were scheduled to leave at 4PM, but none of us did. Island Princess was the first to leave, around 4:45, followed by Royal Princess at 5:15. We went to dinner and our ship eventually pulled out around 6PM. This was at least partly due to the US Coast Guard inspection that we were told went well.

Dinner was somewhat of a mess because the food was still being brought onboard while dinner was starting. I had Prime Rib and chili. We are now sitting in the theater waiting for the welcome show and comedian. I hope it’s a good one, but no matter what, the ship is rocking nicely, and I’ll sleep well tonight!

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CCC 2016 Day 1 – Hartford → Ft. Lauderdale

by on Jan.15, 2017, under CCC 2016, General, Vacation

Our day started with a trip to Bradley International Airport at 5:30AM for the flight to Ft. Lauderdale.  We’re traveling down a day early in case there was a weather event that might delay us. We arrived and took a van to our hotel, a Courtyard Marriott, right on the beach. We even saw Santa out on the beach, which was pretty cool. We took a walk down the boardwalk, and the sun was extremely bright. 

Heather took a short swim in the pool, and we then walked around the beach and talked with a lifeguard.  I had this plan in my head to wake up at 4AM and walk about a mile down the beach to the rocks, in order to film the ship arriving a la Venice.

We didn’t really do a whole lot else this whole day, but it was warm out, which was a nice change.  We had dinner in the hotel, and got an early night’s rest.

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