Somewhere at Sea in the Pacific: A few weeks ago, I received an email with a "last minute" cruise deal, offering a week-long Princess cruise on the Mexican Riviera (Cabo... aka Baja... aka California, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta) for the extremely low price of $600 per person... in a balcony room. Plus, the ship sailed from a port just south of Los Angeles!
Before My Dear Readers begin worrying about the Coronavirus, please be assured no one will be allowed on the ship if they have been to China, Hong Kong or Macau in the past 15 days (a passport is required for this sailing), or if they have a fever, etc., etc., etc., and I promise to never drink a Corona beer the entire trip.
DT and I packed our bags and drove to the cruise port in San Pedro in about 2.5 hours, parked our car for $19 per day, and boarded the Royal Princess. The Princess line have adopted a new way to sail - called Medallion Class. All passengers are given a little disk to wear (in your pocket, on a clip, on a bracelet, on a pendant necklace, or in a lanyard) at all times. This little device opens/locks your door, and it is used to pay for drinks or anything else you would need/want to pay for on your sailing. Basically it replaces the usual cruise card, except I think they can know where you are at any given time, which is a little creepy... or maybe not since we are floating around in the Pacific. Medallion Class also means greater wifi - and it is fast (so far) - available at an extra charge.
My medallion is red; Dave's is blue. I have mine on a little clip, so it can hang-out on my waistband with my Fitbit. They are already pals.
Our cabin is pretty teeny, but the balcony is nice, and we have a ton of storage and a ton of hangers.
We are on the 8th deck (of 19 decks) on the port side of the ship. We could see our car in the parking lot from our room. Seriously convenient parking:
After leaving our things in our cabin, lunch was the immediate need. So hungry after our drive. We just went up to the Lido Deck, grabbed burgers and enjoyed the view and sunshine... though it wasn't looking very good looking east.
After lunch we explored the Sports Deck (18) so My Driver could see where he would be hanging out every morning. The track is 7 laps to a mile:
The view to the west shows the mouth of the Port of Los Angeles, and the Battleship IOWA (now a museum) docked next to the Royal Princess.
The Royal Princess was docked facing west, and the ship is too large to do a U-turn in this channel, so at 4p (and after the safety drill), we set sail by the Captain backing this 1,083 feet-long ship nearly two miles... until there was a wide-enough spot to turn around. As we left the dock, we saw (and heard) many sea lions, floated by the USS IOWA, several dock-side restaurants filled with waving diners, and finally out to the open ocean, following a Carnival ship leaving from Long Beach.
As we entered open ocean, a pod of dolphins swam next to the ship! Welcome Aboard!
Dave and I had a rest, figured-out the wifi thing, and remained out on the veranda until it became too dark (and too cold) to remain there. Later, we dressed for dinner (not a formal night tonight - the first night of a cruise is always a bit of a free-for-all... but we still dressed for dinner), stopping at the Wheelhouse Bar for a cocktail, before deciding on the Concerto dining room for our evening meal. Lovely salads, a veggie pasta for Dave, and sauteed chicken and vegetables for me. No dessert. During dinner, our server (from the Caribbean), had her three tables planning her wedding. The bride chose mint as her theme color. A woman from table B is doing the flowers; I am baking the cake. No idea when this fantasy wedding is taking place, but I am not leaving butter out overnight to soften.
The ship is gently rocking us to sleep tonight. So soothing. Looking forward to a nice relaxing week aboard the Royal Princess!
TOMORROW: At sea.
Until my next update, I remain, your sailing correspondent.