Alaska: Back to Back Voyage of the Glacier Cruises, Episode #3: Embarkation, Stateroom Tour, Princess Patter, & More

Okay, where did I leave off, ahhhhh, yes, it was finally time for Embarkation! Trust me y’all, I had been planning, waiting, planning, dreaming, planning, planning, and planning some more for this trip for over a year.  One of Chris’ nicknames for me is “The Planner”, Not.Even.Kidding…he chuckles at me all of the time for my planning ways. 😉  So as we traveled via motor coach from the airport to Canada Place I was getting more and more excited as each second passed, and when I laid eyes on that beautiful Coral Princess, I just about hopped out of my seat with excitement…like I mentioned before, I felt like a little child on Christmas Eve…a-n-t-i-c-i-p-a-t-i-o-n of the memories that I knew were getting ready to be made.


So our bus barreled down underneath of Canada Place and pulled into a parking space, we sat there for a second and then a Princess Representative came onto the bus and gave us instructions as to what would be happening next.  He told us that we were to head on into the cruise terminal and straight on over to check-in–there were plenty of Princess/Canada Place employees directing our route.


First, as you read that sign, Chris and I didn’t have to worry about our baggage because if y’all remember, we had dropped our luggage off with the Princess Rep at the airport and it was most likely transported separately and already on board or in a holding area waiting at the ship. Now, moving on along, because Chris and I are at the “Platinum” level in the Captain’s Circle program (which just means that we’ve spent a copious amount of money with Princess and have cruised a lot) we were sent directly to a Princess “Preferred” Check-In representative. Normally, we would have been directed to a “Priority Boarding” waiting room, but, because they had started the Embarkation process, we were whisked straight over to the check-in.  Before I go further, here is an explanation of what one receives when they reach the Platinum level in the Captain’s Circle:

“Complimentary Cruise Atlas^
Every year you will automatically receive a copy of our Princess Cruise Atlas. It includes details on all itineraries and sailings for that year, making it easy for you to plan ahead.

Preferred Check-In
When you arrive at the port, don’t wait in line. You, along with your family or guests that are traveling with you in the same stateroom will be invited to use the Preferred Check-In desk to help expedite your embarkation.

Platinum Disembarkation Lounge
In recognition of your loyalty, and to make your last morning with us more enjoyable, we invite Platinum Members to use the Platinum Disembarkation Lounge, offering light refreshments and peace while you await disembarkation.

Complimentary Internet Credit
Each Platinum Princess Cruises Captain’s Circle member will receive a complimentary Internet credit to be used either on the computers in our Internet Cafés or wireless Internet on the passenger’s personal wireless device. The amount of complimentary Internet is determined by the length of the sailing.

  • Voyages 7 days or less, 150 minutes
  • Voyages 8-20 days, 250 minutes
  • Voyages 21+ days, 500 minutes

As a Platinum Captain’s Circle Member you will be recognized as such when you initially log on to the Internet onboard. Upon the initial log on you will see a screen which shows you how many complimentary minutes you are eligible to receive. In addition, you will have the opportunity to select more minutes at the available rates. This offer is only available at the time of the initial log on.

Only usage exceeding the allotted amounts will be charged to your onboard folio. The Internet activation fee of $3.95 is waived for Platinum and Elite Princess Captain’s Circle Members.

*Members are eligible for a higher tier on the next cruise following completion of necessary cruises and/or cruise days. Land portion of cruisetour does not apply.
^For UK and AU/NZ Members, your Cruise Atlas is mailed out upon request. UK Members please call 0845 355 0065, AU Members please call 13 24 88, NZ Members please call 0800 780 717. #Subject to availability. Not combinable with any other Internet offer.”


And here is what our cruise card looks like…These cards are going to go away (I’m betting) pretty soon as Princess is rolling out the Ocean Medallion across the fleet in the coming months.  If you’d like to read about the Ocean Medallion, here is a little LINK for you.

Anyway, here is what my card looked like:

IMG_7978 2.jpg

The sticker that you see on the card is one that shows the waiters/waitresses/bar folks that I got the “Soda & More” Package.  Here is a blurb about what I was able to get because I had the “Unlimited Soda & More Package”:

“Indulge yourself with this premium Unlimited Soda & More Package, entitling you to unlimited fountain soft drinks, plus mocktails, juices, and complimentary hot chocolate throughout your cruise. Price includes service charge. Package must be purchased for full length of voyage, cannot be shared, is non-transferable, and is non-refundable within 3 days of sailing.”

ANYhoot…We also filled out our health questionnaire as well…we were moving so fast through this process that I did not have one second to click off a picture of that… <sigh>. It in effect asks you whether or not you’ve been sick in the last so many days and such.

We were also given a little map of the Coral Princess that was folded up to be the same size as our cruise card…Here is what it looked like:

Okie dokie, next stop was U.S. Customs…We literally just walked to where they collected this green card that the check-in person had given to us, a U.S. Customs employee collected our green card and we were then free to board the ship.  It was NO big deal…Not sure how it is for others who aren’t Americans…truly, I do not know.  I was not allowed to take pictures in this area, so therefore this is the only picture that I have of that time.IMG_7978

Next stop was Security where we had to take out our laptops and put everything through scanners (like you do at the airport…didn’t have to take off our shoes though).  And after we cleared that, we were walking up the gangway and boarding the Coral Princess:

Right after we stepped on board our pictures were taken so that they’d have a picture that would go hand in hand with our cruise cards.  To clarify, cards are scanned every time you disembark and when you reembark they compare your card with *that* picture. 🙂 Then we stepped over to have our Embarkation picture taken—Y’all won’t get to see that picture because Chris and I looked awful…yes, just awful in that pic…haha.  We had been told that our Stateroom – Mini Suite D407 was ready and that we could head strait to it, and that is exactly what we did. 🙂

Here is my YouTube video from my Arlynn’s Travels Channel where I give a very detailed video tour of our Mini Suite D407…I’ll post pictures below as well so that y’all can get a closer look at things. 🙂



That was a very, very nice Stateroom. 🙂 We found our Princess Patter for that day on the desk…Here it is:


In addition, we had ordered a couple of things from our Cruise Personalizer and both things were sitting there waiting for us when we entered the room.  One thing was a “Water Package”…12 bottles of water for a little over $6.  NOTE: Please know that if you would like bottled water like this, you *must* order it via your Personalizer ***before*** your cruise…this package is not available for purchase once on board. 🙂


And yes, we did “purchase the water”, I’m not sure why they call it a “gift”…although it was a gift to ourselves..haha. 🙂 IMG_7989

There was also this Welcome Aboard letter:


And this lovely gift that we did NOT purchase for ourselves:


And there was this spiffy cup that I received because is comes along with the Soda and More Package:


We were so happy to be on board and I could feel the stresses of travel start to lift.  Chris went off to purchase a Coffee Card from the International Cafe…Here is an explanation of what a coffee card is:

“Savor the rich offerings of our New Grounds coffee program. We’ve partnered with the American Barista & Coffee School to ensure our baristas are trained in the fine art of handcrafting freshly brewed specialty coffees. Featuring premium beans sourced from Caffe Boasi in Italy, you can choose from espressos, cappuccinos, lattes and even hand-crafted iced tea fusions and more. And be sure to purchase a New Grounds Coffee Card on board for great savings. Of course, complimentary hot coffee is available in our dining rooms, bars and the Horizon Court.”

I hung out in the room doing that room tour that you saw up there and unpacked as much as I could.  We found out later from our Stateroom Steward Kurt that there was some kind of Coastguard drill earlier and that is why our luggage wasn’t delivered until later in the afternoon. I also walked out onto the balcony every now and again to just take a peek out there and see what was happening:


It was almost time for our Muster Drill which is a maritime ship can set sail unless the passengers know where they are to Muster (gather) if they hear a certain tone come over the PA system.  Chris and I always go about 1/2 hour early so that we can get a seat. And yes, on Princess you carry your life jacket with you and they do allow you to practice how to put it on. One very special thing that happened at our Muster drill was that I met a sweet lady that I had met in the Facebook Group “Alaska Cruises on Princess” (I’m one of the admins in that group).  Phyllis and her hubby Ken walked by us at the muster and we stopped and hugged and Chris grabbed a picture of us.  Here we are standing in our Muster Station, the Wheelhouse Bar. 🙂


It was so good to meet her in person!!! ❤

Chris and I headed back to our Stateroom after that and low and behold, there were our suitcases, so we started unpacking. 🙂 We didn’t head up for the sail-away party, instead we hung out on our balcony and I caught this video. 🙂

Here are some shots that Chris caught with his camera as I was taking video:


After we passed the Lion’s Gate Bridge, we headed for the Horizon Court (the buffet), I did not catch any pictures of what we ate that evening, but, I can tell you that we were quite impressed with the buffet on this trip.  Everything always tasted good, was freshly cooked, and it was always clean as a whistle.  I’ll expound more in future blogs about the buffet and the Coral Princess and my impressions…I’ll just say here that up to this point, the Coral had always been our favorite, and our opinion hasn’t changed after this trip.  We love the Coral Princess!

On our way back to our Stateroom, we walked through the indoor pool area and I clicked off a few pictures…because y’all know, I always had a camera around my neck just in case any photo opportunity presented itself.  You’ll see below that I also took a picture of the roof…apparently it has the ability to retract…neat!!!


Then we walked past the outdoor pool and saw the MUTS screen (Movies Under the Stars):


We went ahead back to our Stateroom, I took a quick shower and we spent the rest of the daylight hours out on our balcony watching the world go by and gazing upon some beautiful sights.  I was calm, I was content, I felt very blessed to be right there at that moment in time, and I was excited for the adventures that were ahead of us. 🙂  It wasn’t long after I had those thoughts that we climbed in bed and were asleep before our heads hit the pillows…stupid jet lag! 😉

Coming next, Episode #4 where I’ll tell you about the first day of our cruise, it was a sea day, but, we still kept busy doing this and that and the other thing. 😉 Here is a sneak peek of that sea day’s sunrise:


And here is a link to Episode #4!


***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 care! ❤

~Arlynn ❤



Hawaiian Cruise: Disembarkation, Final Thoughts, & Home Sweet Home

My goodness gracious, I am finding that I am quite sad and melancholy as I begin to write this my last Blog post in my Hawaiian Cruise Series.  I was pretty sad while I was packing up to leave the Star Princess as well.  It is always harder for me to pack at the end of a vacation than it is to plan the trip, organize the particulars, and pack the suitcases at the beginning of a journey.  <Sigh> Regardless of whether or not I was ready to disembark, it was almost time to do so.  The hubby and I spent the last afternoon on our last sea day packing our bags, we were ready to go…We went ahead and placed our suitcases outside of our stateroom door right after dinner that evening.


We found our ‘End of the cruise paperwork’ in our little mailbox along with our “Red 4” luggage tags that we were to put on our luggage that Princess would be transferring for us.  We had pre-arranged for Princess to transfer us from Canada Place to the Vancouver Airport, and it showed us where and what time we were to report (the Vista Lounge)…


While packing, I made sure to put some shampoo, and my hair gel, and other necessities in smaller disposable bottles so that I could pack up my full-size bottles.  Our daughter Christin had given both my hubby and I disposable (carry-on compliant) bottles; Christin is an organized person like her Mama and she fixed us right on up with all of these sweet little extras this past Christmas. 😉 🙂


Here is a picture of that extra bag that I had packed in my big suitcase all those many days ago, I knew I would need it for this last night; we’d carry it onto the airplane with us.  We put our dirty clothes (packed up in a medium packing cube), my makeup & toiletries, the hubby’s morning toiletries, my curling iron (I used the ‘lovely’ stateroom’s hairdryer that morning throwing in a expletive here and there while drying my hair because it took me forever), and anything else that we saw that we needed to take with us.


SO, I was as packed as I could be…We had eaten our last dinner in the Horizon, walked around the ship taking pictures, and did some last minute shopping. OH and I went to the Captain’s Circle desk and picked up a couple of “Ruby” Pins…I had lost mine along the way somewhere, they were happy to give me two more.  I had received our two Platinum pins earlier in the day accompanied by a letter welcoming us to our Platinum status…woohoo.  Here is where I put all of my pins along with a pin of the Star Princess (that’s my carry on backpack):


 We came back to our Stateroom and headed out onto the balcony because we could once again see land…


And we also got a little treat! We *finally* saw a wee bit of wildlife…These cute little (relatively speaking) Dall’s Porpoises showed up and were playing right around the ship. 🙂



They were so much fun to watch, I was like a little kid in a candy store…I was jumping up and down and clapping and squealing.  I’m sure the other passengers thought I was a loon, I didn’t care much what they thought honestly, I was just happy to see these cutie pies. 🙂  ANYway, we sat out there until dark taking in the sights and sounds of our last evening on our cruise; bittersweet thoughts along with mixed emotions were flying around in my head.  On one hand, I was ready to go home because I missed my family and my pups, but, I sure wasn’t ready for our much anticipated trip to come to a close. OH well, all good things must come to an end huh?


The next morning, we woke up and our “Log of the Cruise” was in our little mailbox, check out the distance traveled!! Wow Whee!!


And here is my last outfit of the day, comfy and cozy to travel home in:


We stood out on our balcony and watched while we traveled under the Lion’s Gate Bridge one last time:



And onward to Canada Place we sailed:





That is a fake smile on my face, I really wasn’t too, too thrilled in that picture…my hair was sure BIG through…LOL…Again, if a girl can’t laugh at herself, then there is something wrong…;)


We had to be out of the room by 8am, so we complied and headed to the Vista Lounge to wait to be called to disembark.  This is about how I felt about getting off of the ship…I look hateful mean…I’m really just sad…:(




ANYway, we waited for about 45 minutes, and then our number was called and off of the ship we walked, straight into Canada Place, and onto our awaiting motor coach.

<I took no pictures of this process–just wasn’t in the mood I guess>

We had an uneventful trip to the airport, we were familiar with this ride because we’ve always disembarked from Canada Place (we’ve done 4 Alaska: Voyage of the Glaciers Southbound cruises that all ended in Vancouver).  When we got to the airport, we went through US customs there…pretty painless process and then we headed to our terminal and awaited our flight to leave.


There was our first plane…


And we were headed home…Which at this point, I was pretty content to be doing, this is what I saw out of the jet’s window…apparently this is Wenatchee National Forest, Stehekin, United States (according to the time and location stamp in my Photos on my Mac)…


We had uneventful flights home and we landed safely and got back to our house at around 2am the next morning…yes, to say we were tired is an understatement…but, it was good to be home.  Here is what greeted us as we drove up our driveway and made our way into the house. 🙂 🙂 ❤

It was so good to be home!!


And it was SO good to see our pups…



Now for some final thoughts about this cruise.  As I have written these posts one after the next, I have found that I really didn’t have a lot of negative things to say and that’s because this was a wonderful trip that provided my hubby and I with many memories to tuck away and cherish for the rest of our lives.

A  note all of you out there who have been so kind with your comments, thank you so very, very, VERY much, every comment has been taken straight to my heart and I am humbly grateful for the responses that I’ve received. ❤

So, sadly, it is time for me to close this Series out now, I have greatly enjoyed sharing our adventure with you.  For now, I will go back to my crafting, decorating, and DIY projects (why I originally started this blog site…haha).  More travel blogs will appears when we debark on our next journey…most likely with Princess, hopefully, sooner than later.

So for now, I will bid you all adieu and send you my love and say once last time…

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

Much, much love,
~Arlynn ❤