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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Transatlantic Cruise, Regal Princess, April 2016 Day 1

Sunday, April 17th

After 7 long months of waiting for this cruise, we were quite excited to get on board our cruise ship, The Regal Princess. One of our favorite parts of any cruise we go on is stepping on board the ship for the first day of our cruise, especially a ship we haven't ever been on before. This is a fairly new ship, and the sister ship of one we have cruised on the last two times, the Royal Princess. We were pleased that the embarkation, arriving to the port and getting on the ship went quite smoothly.More than ever before. We walked up to the counter, checked in and walked on board...after getting the expected coming on board photo taken by the ship's photographers.

We were not going to be allowed to get into our rooms till 2:00 pm and it was 1:30 pm when we stepped onto the ship so everyone was being guided to the buffet area. We got reacquainted with the types of food on the ship, which is varied and delicious. Princess cruises always do a wonderful job with their food. One of my favorite lunch items from the last 2 cruises was taco salad so I treated myself to another one today. Chuck had a ½ a sandwich and some pea soup. Once we were able to get to our room, we were pleased to see it is the same as last time, with the bed actually heading in the same direction. Our suitcases came soon after we arrived, and we unpacked and met our room steward who is named Renan.

Then it was time to go to the safety drill, a mandatory drill that must happen, on Princess ships at least, before the ship leaves the dock. I don't like the safety drills because everyone must rush to find where they are supposed to be assembling, and it is different for different parts of the ship, then we have to stand around or sit and just wait till the last passengers straggle in. I think some people think they can get out of this drill if they don't show up, but they call your name on a loudspeaker if you don't show up and it just inconveniences everyone else. Fortunately, this only now takes about 15 minutes once everyone is assembled at their muster stations. After returning to our room, we were happy that Renan came back with our complimentary glasses of champagne that Princess cruises gives to all mini-suite and above passengers. We usually go up on one of the top decks (Deck 16) for the sail away party where everyone dances to the band and drink specials are touted by waiters as the ship sails out to sea BUT this time we decided to stay on our balcony and drink our champagne as we watched Fort Lauderdale sail by.

One of the most fun things about this sail away is that the Princess Cruise Line ships play the theme from the "Love Boat" on the ship's horn as it heads out so sea. There are some tall condo buildings that the ship passes and people stand on their balconies and wave. One of the balconies had a very large Princess Cruises flag that they hung off their balcony and some had very loud horns that responded to our horns.

Here's our view from our balcony as we were heading out to sea...

Chuck then went to work out while I went to the library to get a jump start on getting a good book to read on the cruise. The libraries on the Royal and Regal Princess are very small and the choice of books is not very good. I ended up getting the book, "Like Water for Chocolate" for me and the "Biography of Jimmy Stewart" for Chuck.

We went to dinner at the Horizon Court Buffet area and were pleased to see it wasn’t very busy. Most of the passengers were probably at the fancier dining rooms, which are named the Symphony and the Concerto. After dinner, we went to the introductory show which consisted of one song/dance routine from the Regal Princess singers and dancers, and a comedian named Steve Couette. He was pretty funny. The singers and dancers were impressive and better than on many of the ships we have been on so that's a good sign in terms of entertainment for the rest of the cruise. We were tired after that and headed back to the room. I was happy to see there are 18 movies I am interested in watching on this cruise! I know...I am crazy...probably the only person you know who looks forward to cruising on Princess partly for the large number of great movies I get to watch! We already we are moving the clocks 1 hour forward tonight. By the time we hit Denmark, we will be ahead of the East coast of the US by 6 hours.