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Old March 2nd, 2011, 01:18 PM
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Sapphire Princess - March 1
I’d noticed yesterday in the Princess Patters that they are offering a “behind the scenes” tour of the ship for $150 per person (CHOKE). Frankly, I can’t imagine what they could show me on the ship that is worth $300 for a couple (unless there happened to be some lap dances involved).

Yet, this morning I did see what appeared to be a tour group wandering around the ship, with about a dozen participants.

As of today we could tell we were getting nearer to Hawaii. The skies were getting bluer and less cloudy, and by afternoon the sun was warmer, and many passengers reacted by venturing outside.

The cruise line must assume we “more elderly” folks onboard wake up earlier in the morning than the younger “late night party crowd” on other lines. Maybe because we retire earlier, or maybe it’s because we have to get up more frequently to use the washroom; but in either case, Princess begins their activity schedule quite early. By 9:30 A.M there’s Trivia contests going on, and by 10:30 A.M. line dance class. At 1:00 P.M there’s passenger involved “game shows” and at 2:15 in the afternoon they are already hosting Karaoke.

I am far from being a morning person; though I may be awake by 7:30 A.M. I don’t gain consciousness until 11, and no one can expect to see me at the Jackpot Bingo at 11:15.

For anyone who wants to keep busy throughout the day, the day time schedule is jam-packed with choices, including more “Enrichment Lectures”, movies on the big screen in the Princess Theater, and even knitting classes.

For the “vegetables” like me, it’s quite easy to spend the day outdoors poolside, by the Dolphin pool and people watch, while visiting with CruiseMates as they happen to pass by, spending time relaxing on our balcony staring out of the ship’s wake mindlessly, and making time to fit in an afternoon nap while “watching” an in cabin movie. Today was my kind of day because I managed to do all of those things, and not do all the other things.

For some people an itinerary such as this, with 5 sea days in a row would drive them a bit crazy. For me, it’s the best; allowing the hassles of life on land to dissipate and temporarily disappear from my mind, and simply enjoy relaxing.

The nice thing - on this ship you can do either; stay quite busy, or act like me.

Now it’s time to tell you a bit about our cabin, Caribe Deck, cabin 753, an aft cabin, facing off the stern of the ship. C753 is a “standard” size balcony cabin, not a mini-suite. However, due to it’s location on the corner stern it has an unusual balcony design, with curved railing. It is not a wrap around balcony, but it is deeper than many of the other balconies within the same category.

The Caribe Deck standard balcony cabins are amongst the most desired on the ship by those in the know. And that’s because the Caribe Deck cabins on the sides of the ship are deeper than those on Baja or Aloha Decks, plus half the balconies are covered by the ship’s superstructure, and half of the balcony is open. In C753 the entire balcony is covered, and the superstructure above extends several feet past the end of the balcony, making the balcony itself quite shaded. However, the big benefit of this cabin, aside from the large balcony and the incredible views of the wake, is they are also very private.

I’d forgotten how tiny the showers are in these cabins. It appears Mrs. Kuki and I have grown with age (a nice way of saying expanded). Years ago the two of could share the shower space. Today, not only is that impossible, if I want my feet washed I have to stick them out beyond the shower curtain, and ask her assistance. As well, the bath towels are about big enough for someone who can fit in the shower. The really nice thing about the shower is it has great water pressure, and plenty of hot water.

The cabin is equipped with a comfortable Queen sized bed, complete with good quality sheets, covered with a comfy white duvet, and the tiniest “cheap” and uncomfortable pillows I can recall seeing since I was in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s tent jail in Arizona (Google Sheriff Joe to understand reference).

Another comparison to jail house amenities might be the toilet paper. It’s so thin, if you hold it up to the light it’s totally transparent. The wrapping on the roles says 2 layers, but I’m assuming one of the layers is the wrapping.

The cabin itself is in wonderful condition, decorated nicely, plenty of closet space, and certainly completely functional, even for a 14 night voyage.

Finally, some great news to report… today service and food during dinner were as good as I expected of Princess when I stepped onboard. It took until our 4th day, but the service was well paced, and every course, from appetizer through dessert was extremely tasty. As a matter of fact for my entrée I chose the Veal Cordon Bleu, which I don’t recall seeing on a cruise ship menu before, and it was delicious. We didn’t have to orchestrate service for the wait staff, and we even had time between courses to chat a bit with our waiter. Just hoping this is the service level we receive and remember for the next 10 nights.
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