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Extraordinary Cruise – Vacation Day One

It seems everyone woke up early this morning to be ready to leave. We decided at the last minute last night that we might want to get an earlier start than originally planned since it turns out the President is in San Francisco today and it’s also fleet week. Somehow though even with our best efforts there were a few bags that still had to be packed, meds that had to be checked and a bus that needed gas. We were off and running by about 11:00am, not bad at all.

We arrived in San Francisco to a slurry of tourists visiting the wonderful Embarcadero Farmer’s Market and anxiously awaiting the air show that the Blue Angles would be putting on at 3:00pm. We could see our ship as our intrepid driver, Chelsey, drove our bus through the crowds and down to pier 27. The ship was massive and we were all excited at our first glimpse of our home for the next seven days.

We had all thought getting from the bus to the boat was going to be complicated, but I have to tell you the staff at the pier and the wonderful people of Princess Cruises made the entire process so smooth we could hardly believe it. We were on the boat and in our respective cabins in about 35 min.

After that we unpacked and awaited the inevitable safety drill. We did run into one glitch as the Amazing Bruce, (our only traveler using a power chair) decided to drive out to the balcony of our cabin. It was great to see the views of the Bay but then when he attempted to reenter the cabin the ramps on either side of the glass slider separated, leaving Bruce and his chair stuck between the inside and outside of the cabin. Bruce has such a good attitude. He never panicked, just made a few of his signature jokes and awaited his rescue. Luckily again, the wonderful team from Princess showed up with three gentlemen (much to Bruce’s dismay, who was hoping for a few lovely ladies to perform his rescue) who lifted Bruce’s chair from its perch and sent him on his way up to the deck to see the air show and have a late lunch from the ample buffet.

After this we all spent some time exploring the ship and making sure the walkie talkies we brought on board to communicate worked. We returned to our staterooms briefly to find that the lovely people from Vacation Discounters in San Ramon had sent a few treats to make our first day more comfortable. The first one was a plate of chocolate dipped strawberries, yum!

Before dinner we all made our way out to the stern of the ship where we were able to view the sunset while traveling underneath the historic Golden Gate Bridge. We all enjoyed this immensely as it is not an everyday experience. We didn’t even care about the cold wind, it was all so beautiful.

And then it was dinner time. Our first group dinner was in the fancy Michelangelo Dining Room. We had everything from prime rib to salmon to shrimp cocktails to a plethora of decadent chocolate desserts. It is hard to believe that we will be eating like this for a week.

We had planned to enjoy some entertainment after dinner as there was so much to choose from; a country singer in the big theater, a songstress in the piano bar, a comedian in the Vista Lounge and yet having gotten no sleep the night before the majority of us all got to bed early. There will be so much to do the rest of the week. We just can’t wait. Tomorrow our first day at sea…

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