Hawaii: Packing, Traveling, Dinner With Dear Friends, & Embarkation

What? It was finally time to pack?!! Really?!  I was doing the happy dance at that prospect, I had been planning, gathering, and organizing for months and months readying us for this wonderful 15-night Hawaiian cruise through the Princess Cruise line. 🙂

So let’s not waste any more time with me chatting aimlessly away, let me show you quickly what my packing looked like.  As I mentioned in my “What’s In My Carry On, My Must Have’s, & Packing Tips and Tricks” blog entry, I had all of those spiffy packing cubes and a packing envelope to utilize, and utilize them I did to the fullest capacity.  I was able to take twice as many outfits than I usually take and they came in completely handy considering that we were embarking on an ‘ever weather changing’ type of cruise.

Here is our Itinerary:

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As you can see, we cruised out of Vancouver, B.C. and we had 5 sea days on the front and back ends of this cruise, so I knew I’d need some warmer clothing to cover what I figured would be cooler days.  I’d also obviously need warmer clothing once we got to the more tropical (gorgeous) climate in Hawaii.

So here is how I got everything packed up–You can take a look at my “Hawaii Cruise Wardrobe Choices” to see exactly what I packed.

I started with my tops, I packed them into the “Eagle Creek Packing Folder“:

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I fit a plethora of tops in that envelope, I know I had over 20 of them in there, along with a light-weight knit blazer.  I was thrilled!!

Next, I utilized one of the large packing cubes for all of my slacks and capris:

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I utilized the other packing cubes for all of my unmentionables, socks, and pjs…Here is what my large suitcase looked like, it all fit beautifully!

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I then packed up my smaller suitcase with all of my Must Haves using great care to wrap some of the breakable items in bubble wrap and/or paper towels to pad everything nicely…Have y’all seen how those airport folks toss your luggage around? Yeah, I didn’t want to have my perfume broken or a bottle of fingernail polish shattered, so I did take some time to make sure everything was nicely and succinctly packed. 🙂

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So, I was all ready to roll!  Our flight was at 7am the next morning and we had to leave our house at about 3:15am in order to get to the airport, get parked, go through security, and well, y’all know the drill.  Our daughter Christin came over to our house and moved in…bless her heart, she took great care of our home and our dogs while we were away.  She and I sat up and chatted until it was time for me to jump into the shower at about 2am…I was SO excited, I could not sleep…thankfully, my hubby was able to snooze a bit before we left for the airport.

Okay, so it was *finally* time to leave our house and head to the airport; I was completely ready, but, I had to say my last goodbye to these three sweet pups…When they look at you like this, it makes it really hard to walk out:

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BUT, I managed to muster up the strength to leave these sweet things and so the hubby and I headed out for our grand adventure…BUT, wait, we had to drive through a bit of snow when we were on our way to the airport…Snow? In April?!  UGH I guess stranger things have happened, but, not many around these parts..haha…

So, we finally made it to the airport, through security, and we were waiting to board our flight…and, I remembered I hadn’t taken a picture of my outfit–one thing that I’ve promised y’all I would do…SO, what did I do, I went and found a full-length mirror in the bathroom at the airport and took this…LOL…I can hear y’all chuckling right now. 😉 A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do you know?! 😉

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That was my traveling outfit…I’m so glad I had that light jacket on because it was freezing on the plane and it was quite chilly when we got to Vancouver.  I also dressed a little nicer than I might have otherwise done because we were going to be meeting my dear friend Liz and her hubby for dinner that evening and I knew this outfit would carry over to that event nicely. 🙂

Thankfully, our flights–we had two, we had a bit of a layover in Denver–were uneventful, everything was on time, and the weather was perfect for flying.  Gosh those rocky mountains were just gorgeous too…

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We landed at the Vancouver, B.C. airport at around 1:30pm (losing 3 hours as we traveled across the USA) and then Princess took over. 🙂  I love using Princess transfers because even through they might be a bit pricey, using them takes the worry out of how you are going to get from point A to point B.  So we gathered our luggage and then made our way to customs–pretty painless process, and then we found our Princess rep right there waiting for us, she took us straight to a taxi and handed the driver a voucher to show him where he was to take us and that also served as his payment.  IMG_1260

We did tip him when he got us to our destination, the Four Seasons Hotel (accommodations also arranged through Princess):

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Our room was lovely and very well appointed:

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The hotel’s ‘bell-hop’ for lack of a better word delivered our suitcases almost immediately:

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And here was our view:

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It was time for us to head out to meet Liz and her hubby for dinner, they were staying at a hotel down the street (bless their hearts, they had taken one of the B.C. Ferries over to Vancouver from their home in Victoria and stayed the night there JUST so that we could spend some time together—how sweet was *that*?!!). 🙂

WAIT:  Before I continue on, Liz took this picture of our cruise ship the Star Princess before they left their home on Vancouver Island (Victoria). Yes, she *can* see the cruise ships come and go from her back deck…how awesome is that?!!

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Okay, to continue on, the hubby and I decided to walk on over to their hotel. 🙂  It was SO good to see Liz again, I just hugged and hugged her. 🙂

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And we sat and chatted for quite a long time before heading to a lovely Italian restaurant for dinner:

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Then off to dinner we went we dined at Al Porto and boy was it ever delicious!

After dinner the hubby and I went back to our hotel and fell straight to sleep…As I mentioned earlier, we had lost 3 hours flying across to that coast and we were pretty bushed. 🙂

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When we awoke the next morning, we were excited, first because we were meeting Liz and her hubby for breakfast at our hotel, and second,  we’d then be off to our cruise ship to embark on our Hawaiian journey…Here is my outfit for this day’s adventures:

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1V4A3527We had a lovely time with our now VERY dear friends at breakfast.  It was so nice to be able to spend some good quality time chatting and enjoying one-another’s company.  My hubby and I are very blessed and lucky to have them in our lives…<3

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It was time to say goodbye to Liz and her hubby…OH the bittersweet feeling I felt, and yes, I was a bawling baby when they were driving away and Liz’zy was blowing us kisses…

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I know we will see them again…hopefully sooner than later!!!

***Thank you for coming over to Vancouver Liz, I loved seeing you, hugging you, and getting to spend time with you–you are very special to me!! MWAH!!

Before long it was time for us to meet our motor coach (another Princess transfer) out in front of our hotel:

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While we were at breakfast, the Princess folks had come and collected our luggage and they had secured our bags along with all of the others’ bags that would be transferred from the hotel to the ship that was moored up at Canada Place not too far away. 🙂

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Princess is so efficient and organized…honestly, they leave nothing to chance and take such good care of you. 🙂

We were off to find our cruise ship now, here was our first glimpse of the Star Princess, I took this from the motor coach:

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The embarkation process was pretty painless, although we were among the very first travelers on board the ship, so we had to wait in a holding area for about 1/2 hour before we were able to board:

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Here we are in line waiting to take our first step onto the ship:

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The very first place we went was to our Stateroom, Mini-Suite D620–I’ve created a video tour of our room, here is the link if you’d like to take a look-see…I tried to be very thorough in my description. 🙂  Here are some pictures:

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And here I am standing on our nice-sized balcony (that yes, is open to above, there is no covering over it–which is fine with us). 🙂

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And it was time to set-sail toward Hawaii–We’d be “at sea” for the next 5 days and I will admit that I wasn’t quite sure what we’d be doing for 5 days at sea (not to mention the 5 at sea days returning…haha), but, I think you’ll see as we move through my blog posts that Princess definitely fills up the hours nicely. 🙂

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Here is a video of us leaving Canada Place and I also give a quick Stateroom Tour of MiniSuite D620:

I have a much more intricate room tour here:

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Bye bye land, we would not see one iota of land for the next 5 days…

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I cannot tell you how excited I was to finally be on that cruise ship and on our way to the beautiful Hawaiian islands. 🙂  For my next entry, I will describe those sea days. 🙂

Sneak Peek and link:

Hawaiian Cruise: First Day On Board & 10 Sea Days

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Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

~Arlynn ❤

12 thoughts on “Hawaii: Packing, Traveling, Dinner With Dear Friends, & Embarkation

  1. Jan Butler

    Arlynn, Once again you’ve hit a home run!! Great way to make sure I’ll be checking back all day until day two is posted! LOL
    So glad you had time to visit with your friends again. How special that time is for all of you.
    As you know I’m on the short count down to my first cruise, Alaska in 26 days. I wonder if you could let me know what the safety drill is like? Does it happen when you’ve left port? or before you sail away? Is everyone standing for a long time on the outside decks? I’ll be in a suite on Caribe Deck of the Coral Princess if that makes a difference in where I’ll have to go. I’m only concerned because I can’t stand in one place for very long due to arthritis in my spine and knees. If you don’t have time…no worries, I’m just curious and won’t expire if I don’t have all the answers prior to leaving…take care and BTW…you are beautiful in coral/pink!!
    Jan B

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    1. OHHHHH Jan, I’m so excited for your upcoming Alaska cruise…It is an amazing place, full of wonder and unsurpassed beauty. 🙂

      Now, regarding the Muster Drill, you will get your first Princess Patter when you get to your Stateroom and it will say where your drill will take place & and your specific Muster ‘Station’ will be listed on your cruise card and on the sign on the back of your Stateroom door. For the drill, no one will be standing outside on any of the decks, all of the drills are all held on Deck 7–Promenade–the same deck that all of the lifeboats are attached to. Typically, you will be in one of the many bars on that deck; my advice to you is to head on down to the Muster Drill 30-45 minutes before it is scheduled to begin — take a book or a crossword puzzle book along with your life jacket and you’ll be able to find a seat. If you wait until they sound the alarm for the drill to start, you definitely will not be able to find a place to sit and will most probably get caught in a crowd of people trying to traverse to their station. 🙂 OH yeah, another advantage of going early is that you’ll be able to take the elevator down to 7, if you wait until they sound the alarm, you’ll have to traverse the steps (unless you let them know ahead of time that you need assistance).

      Thank you so much for your sweet words about my blog and about my jacket…I love that color…I used to be afraid to wear bolder colors, no more though. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tiffany

    I enjoy reading your blog. Your packing tips are awesome. My boyfriend and I will be on the Ruby Princess to Alaska in a few weeks. Super excited. Glad to hear you enjoyed HI, we just moved back to CA (San Francisco area) from the Big Island. Aloha!

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    1. Aloha Tiffany!!! Thank you for your sweet, sweet words about my Blog…I love writing it and sharing our experiences. 🙂 How nice for you and your boyfriend that you were able to live on that gorgeous Big Island!! I’m so excited for you and your upcoming Alaska cruise on the Ruby–she is a ship that I’d love to sail on. 🙂 🙂

      Like

  3. Mary

    Arlynn,
    What a wonderful blog. My husband and I took the Hawaii trip last year round trip out of San Francisco on the Star also. It was our first princess cruise. We are hooked. I loved the packing cube tips. I got some for Chirstmas and will be using them on my next trip. I’m happy to hear they are working well. I watched your video yesterday on the mini suite. It looks like you ran into rough seas. I think it’s the nature of the beast out in the open ocean. Thank you for your blog it is informative and entertaining.

    Like

    1. Hi there Mary,

      Thank you so very much for your kind words about my blog, I have really enjoyed expanding it to include our cruises and packing tips and tricks, etc… Let me tell ya girl, I was so skeptical about those packing cubes and envelope, but, once I started working with them, I couldn’t believe how well they worked, I highly recommend both products. I took tons of clothes, and as you well know, on that particular cruise one needs a good variety of clothing. 🙂 You are right, we sure did run into some very rough seas, fun times for the hubby and I, but, I did see some green faces wandering around, poor things. We rocked and rolled for several days. 🙂

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