2018 Alaska Roundtrip Seattle Cruise: Episode #1, Packing, Traveling, Westin Seattle, & Transfer to Terminal 91

Hi Everyone! I hope that this blog post finds you all doing well. Wow, it is now October and Chris and I returned from our Alaska Seattle Roundtrip cruise way back in August. It has taken me that long to be able to sit down and to begin writing my blog for this wonderful trip! I’ve been decorating for Fall and as a lot of you know, I have a pretty busy life with my Arlynn’s Country Craft Corner YouTube Channel where I share many hours of my time crafting, decorating, and chit-chatting with some of the most lovely people on the planet. 🙂 But, my first social media love is right here, my blog, this is where I started sharing my life…yes, all of my crafts and decorating, but, also another love of mine, our travels. So, I’m excited to be able to sit down and start sharing about our latest cruise. As some of you know, I am one of the Administrators on a Facebook Cruising group called ALASKA CRUISES ON PRINCESS (yes, its name is presented all in capital letters on FB).  My co-admin Pam who is an awesome friend and also a great Travel Agent and I sponsored a “Group Cruise” to Alaska. Pam is a lovely lady who I have become very close to in the years that we’ve admin’d together…trust me, we’ve had some harrowing moments and we definitely run a tight ships (pun intended). NO negativity or rudeness is allowed in our group and we have upwards of 8000 member nowadays. WOW!! ANYway, we decided to do a one of the roundtrip cruises that Princess Cruise Lines offers in Alaska. I was excited about this as Chris and I had never done one of the roundtrip itineraries. One other thing that I was so very excited about was that my dear friend Barbara and her hubby Don would also be on this cruise with us…Chris and I just adore these two and have become very close to them. 🙂

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ANYway, I will not yammer on here…even though this is my blog and I tend to yammer a lot in here, let me get started sharing first how I prepared myself (packed) for this cruise, then about our travels to get over to Seattle (seamless travel day), & then we’ll transfer over to Terminal 91 at the Seattle Cruise Port where we’ll be ready to embark onto the Ruby Princess for yet another wonderful adventure in Alaska–my very, very happy place.

First, let me share what our Itinerary would be for this cruise (excuse the month of May dates, I just went onto Princess.com and found our same itinerary):

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When I was preparing for this cruise, I of course took some time to choose my Alaska Cruise Wardrobe. I created a video highlighting said wardrobe for my Arlynn’s Travels YouTube Channel. Here is a link:

Alaska Cruise Wardrobe #3 (w/Packing Cubes & Garment Folder Demo):

 

I also shared my new “What’s in my Carry-On & “My” Must Haves video:

 

Pam and I had a plan for Embarkation Day, we were planning to have a little get-together that day where we’d have a drawing for some door prizes (she and I both donated items that we had received on past cruises), and I created these magnets as a gift for everyone to take back to their Stateroom Door (which as we all know by now are metal as are the walls and ceilings in a cruise ship’s stateroom). More about the get-together in an upcoming blog post:

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It was finally time to pack up for our next adventure, so I’ll share a video of me literally packing for our cruise. I utilize my packing cubes and garment folder in this video:

As usual Chris handled his own packing which for an Alaska cruise includes all of his camera equipment. I was pretty excited about one of those pieces of equipment btw, Chris chose a brand new *big* camera lens for his Birthday present (a Sigma 150/600), and wait until you see some of the pictures he captured with that lens. ANYhoot, it was finally the morning that we were to embark on our journey. As is usually the case, I just didn’t even bother going to bed the night before because we had to be at the airport at an unGodly hour…haha…we left out house at 2:45am on August 10th, 2018. Here I am standing at our kitchen island ready to go, adrenaline pumping and a bit sleep deprived. 🙂

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Christin our daughter had arrived and was going to be staying as, bless her, she always does to house and doggie sit for us. I knew that we didn’t have one worry in the world about how our home and pups would be treated while we were gone. So off we zipped, we got on I-95 and headed South as we were going to be flying out of Richmond International this time around (thank goodness y’all…I cannot stand Dulles airport). So we parked our car in the garage where I clicked off a picture to help us remember where exactly we parked and headed into the terminal and before we knew it we were taking off and heading to Seattle. Honest to goodness, our flights were all on time and smooth as could be…I was very grateful.

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And there is a shot Seattle from my window on the jet, notice the cruise ships in the picture…yep, that is Pier 91 and where our cruise ship the Ruby Princess would be sailing into and then out of with us on board the next day. 🙂 IMG_4314.jpg

We landed at the Seattle Tacoma airport on time and headed to baggage claim to collect our luggage and to meet the Princess Representative as we had arranged for a Princess transfer to our hotel. We did have a bit of a hiccup with said transfer, we ended up waiting for about an hour and were finally put in a “limo” (a large town car) because they deemed we had waited way too long. I don’t think it was Princess’ fault, instead I think that the shuttle folks at the airport were the ones that dropped the proverbial transfer ball. 😉 Regardless, we were transferred to the lovely Westin Seattle Hotel (arranged through Princess).

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Our room was not ready when we arrived, so Chris asked them what they did have available and they said that they had a room that would cost us an extra $50, Chris jumped on that, we were both pretty tired by this point. So up we went to our room on the 44th floor (pretty high…haha):

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Here are some pictures of our room and then after that, I’ll share a video tour narrated by me:

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Here is a close up look at that piece of paper that I read to you during that video:

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BTW…It looks like TSA searched one of our suitcases. I had all of those magnets packed in this bag and I’m betting that is why, of course I don’t know for sure, but, I found this note when I opened this bag while at the hotel:

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And here is the menu and a couple pictures of that sweet restaurant the Blueacre Seafood:

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My head did not even hit the pillow that night before I was snoozing away! I never got to take a picture of how things looked out of our hotel room window at night because, well I was asleep before the sun went down. <go me> 😉 But, we did catch some pretty neat shots the next morning. First of all, we looked out right after sunrise and low and behold there came our lovely cruise ship the Ruby Princess into port.

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Then unbeknownst to me, Chris took this lovely little video of how things looked that morning. You’ll see the Space Needle at the end of this little ditty, I was so tired the day before that I didn’t even realize that it was right over there. 🙂

Shortly after the Ruby arrive, here came Holland America’s Eurodam:

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~~~Side Note here about the room at the Westin, one thing that I wasn’t thrilled about was that they did *not* offer free wifi. I was pretty appalled about that honesty, for all of the money we spent for that hotel (and it was quite a chunk of change), you’d think that they’d offer free wifi in the rooms. That said, they did have plenty of USB ports in the room, here are a couple of shots of them, these were located on the bedside table:

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I was up and dressed very early on embarkation morning, this is the outfit that I chose to wear that day…it was going to be warm, so I chose to wear capris, but, I paired it with a jacket because I knew it would get cooler once we sailed away. 🙂 BTW, I’ve been on a weight-loss journey, in this picture, I had lost close to 30 pounds since our Caribbean cruise in March (I’ve lost close to 40 now).

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Quick comparison picture for y’all… 😉 Picture on the left was while we were on our Caribbean cruise, picture on the right was taken last week here at our house.

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Back to our regularly scheduled programing now…

Chris and I didn’t do too, too much that morning other than have a cup of coffee (Chris) and tea (me) and relax till it was time to go to the lobby and meet up for our transport. At 10:45am we headed down, our luggage had already been collected and whisked away to be loaded and transported separately to the port…OH and yes, we did tip the bellman a few dollars. As we were standing in the lobby with our group, we were all chit-chatting and exchanging stories and such. As I was standing there chatting with a sweet lady, our conversation finally brought us around to know that she was in our Alaska cruising group and was part of our Group Cruise..haha. Small world! Once on our motorcoach, I was able to capture a picture of Beate!! Here she is, to say that she and I were excited is a bit of an understatement. 😉

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It did not take us long at all to get from the Westin to the Seattle Cruise Port and to Terminal 91. As always, everything ran like a well-oiled machine with Princess, they truly have this stuff down to a science.

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Beate and I stopped and posed for one more shot as we were heading in to the terminal:

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Check-in, as always, went off without a hitch, I didn’t take one picture of that process though, but, one thing that had changed was that we didn’t have to fill out one of the health questionnaires; they’ve done away with that. Chris and I agreed that that was a good thing, it was always a pain to stop in mid-stream and fill out that form…and we also agreed that plenty of folks probably were not truthful when filling it out anyway, so really, what was the point…they were there to cruise they weren’t going to let a little cold or stomach ache stop that <sigh>.

Regardless, I did catch this picture of what I saw as soon as I entered the Cruise Terminal:

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Before we knew it, we were walking down the Promenade deck after stepping aboard the Ruby Princess, and our adventure had begun in earnest:

AND we were finally on board the Ruby Princess…YaY!!! I was so excited because I knew the day was going to be a good one, not only were we going to be setting sail for Alaska, I was also going to be meeting Pam and her hubby and so many others that I’d come to know so well through our Facebook Group. 🙂 OH yes, this was going to be a good day indeed!!

I’ll close this one out for now, next up, I’ll tell you about our first day on board the Ruby Princess, share pictures and videos of Pam and I meeting for the first time, and much more! Stay tuned!

***If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me…Psalm 139***

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

~Arlynn

 

 

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