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Old 07-10-2011, 07:12 AM   #1
wickesy
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow, you're always a day...closer to our next Disney trip
I will be opening a sack full of cards and fighting off the advances of lots of lovely ladies
 
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Life begins at fjord-ty: Day 1 - Embarkation

Today was a day I had been looking forward to for a long time, several years in fact. When I was younger I saw adverts for cruises to the Land of the Midnight Sun - a place where the sun never sets and I decided that one day I would like to do one of those cruises myself, today that day had finally arrived.

I was up at 7:30 and by 8:10 I had done the last few bits of packing (or so I thought) and we were on the road on the way to Southampton. After fighting our way through the London rush hour traffic we made it to the M3 where we had a clear run down to Southampton and were at our first stop, the West Quay Shopping Centre by 10:30. First order of business was to go into the Apple Store to have a quick play with the iPads - no purchase today though, that will have to wait until Florida in September. From there we went to the Game shop where I bought a copy of Professor Layton and the Lost Future to give me something to play on our sea days.

By 11:10 we were at the cruise terminal, which was extremely well organised. I had a sticker in the windscreen showing that I had paid for parking - we were immediately told which lane to go down and at points down that lane were marshals, similar to the ones you get in the Disney car parks, beckoning me forward. Outside the terminal we were greeted by a rep from the parking company who gave me a receipt for the car, explained what would happen when we got back and then took the key from me as porters whisked our luggage away to be put on the ship.

Inside the terminal we filled out the forms confirming that we were not going to be a health hazard before going upstairs where we were given check-in letter G and asked to take a seat to await check-in - unlike the Disney cruises Princess operate a system where you check-in and then immediately get on board.



We sat and had a coke each and were finally called for check-in at 12:10. Within a few minutes we were in the queue for our embarkation photo and then for security. By 12:40 we were onboard the ship, although there was no announcement of our name like you get with Disney. Again embarkation was well organised - at check-in we had been given a sticker which showed that our cabin was in the forward section of the ship and we were told this would assist the staff - as we got on board there were crew members stationed there to direct us to the appropriate lifts to get to our cabins, so within a few minutes we had stepped into our home for the next 12 days - cabin C255 on deck 10 or Caribe deck.


This is the Princess Patter – their version of the Disney Navigator (click for full size)


Welcome Aboard Letter


Although we weren’t going near Germany we did get this warning about the E-coli outbreak


Invitation to the art auction

We dropped off our hand luggage before making our way up to Horizon Court on deck 15 for a buffet lunch. After lunch we signed up for the Ultimate Drink package, which entitled us to free soda, fruit juice, smoothies, mocktails and hot chocolate for the duration of the cruise for a cost of $7 per day plus 15% gratuity.

From there we had a wander around the ship taking a few photos along the way.







Then we pulled up a lounger and sat in the Movies Under The Stars section where ‘Lionel Ritchie Live In Paris’ was playing on the screen. After a while it became too warm sitting there so we moved down to the shade and had a root beer each.









After resting for half an hour or so we went downstairs to unpack, which was when I realised I had forgotten to pack a razor - d’oh - and at 4:15 it was time for the muster drill, so we grabbed our lifejackets and made our way down to our muster station, which was in the Princess Theatre on deck 7.

After the drill we dropped the lifejackets back in the cabin and went upstairs for the sail away party and at just after 5:00 we were on our way.







Once we were well under way we went downstairs for a look around the shops and then went back upstairs to get changed for dinner. From there we went down to Crooners Bar where Dad had a Margarita-tini and I had an Oceans Eleven (Crown Royal, apple schnapps and cranberry juice).

After our cocktail we made our way into the Princess Theatre for the show, which was your usual introduction show with the cruise director explaining what was going to be happening, introducing some of the staff and a couple of acts - a body balancing act from Budapest and George Casey, a comedian from Ireland.



After the show we went down to the Botticelli Dining Room and found a large group waiting outside as it appeared they hadn’t finished the first seating yet. Although our dining time was 8:15 we didn’t get in until about 8:30 and it was almost 9:00 before we had any food on the table. Dad started with fettuccine alfredo while I had vegetable spring rolls and we both had Texas chili for main course followed by hazlenut ice cream for Dad and honeydew sorbet for me.

After dinner we went down to the International Café for a large brandy each and we were upstairs and in bed by 10:30 (which was actually 11:30 as we had to put the clocks forward one hour).

Day 2
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I currently live in London until I have enough DVC points to stay at Animal Kingdom Villas every day of the year

Sep '92, Apr '07 - Contemporary Resort ~ Apr '08 - Animal Kingdom Lodge ~ Aug '08 - Grand Californian ~ Mar '09 - Saratoga Springs ~ Mar '10 - DLP ~ Jun '10 - Inaugural Baltic Cruise
Trip Reports: WDW April '07 ~ Canada August '07 ~ WDW April '08 ~ SF & Disneyland August '08 ~ WDW March '09 ~ Smokies August '09 ~ DLP March '10 ~ Jun '10 - Inaugural Baltic Cruise

Last edited by wickesy; 07-10-2011 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:30 PM   #2
Chilly
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D'oh!
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Looking forward to hearing all about your cruise and seeing how it compares to Disney.
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Old 07-10-2011, 04:16 PM   #3
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you have to forget something - it's the rule. I always settle one I know what it is! Looking forward to the rest of your TR
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:57 AM   #4
tony64
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Nice start David
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:40 AM   #5
Tammy Stringer
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Great start David

Funnily enough Kev's mum is doing a Fjord cruise on Crown Princess now, so I will be reading your trip report and looking at your photos with special interest.

Onto the next part

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Old 07-11-2011, 12:20 PM   #6
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Great start!
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:30 PM   #7
wickesy
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow, you're always a day...closer to our next Disney trip
I will be opening a sack full of cards and fighting off the advances of lots of lovely ladies
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tammy Stringer View Post
Funnily enough Kev's mum is doing a Fjord cruise on Crown Princess now, so I will be reading your trip report and looking at your photos with special interest.
It's A Small World After All.....
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I currently live in London until I have enough DVC points to stay at Animal Kingdom Villas every day of the year

Sep '92, Apr '07 - Contemporary Resort ~ Apr '08 - Animal Kingdom Lodge ~ Aug '08 - Grand Californian ~ Mar '09 - Saratoga Springs ~ Mar '10 - DLP ~ Jun '10 - Inaugural Baltic Cruise
Trip Reports: WDW April '07 ~ Canada August '07 ~ WDW April '08 ~ SF & Disneyland August '08 ~ WDW March '09 ~ Smokies August '09 ~ DLP March '10 ~ Jun '10 - Inaugural Baltic Cruise
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:28 PM   #8
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Great start David.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:10 PM   #9
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Fab photos that is a lot of potatoes waiting to be loaded on
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:42 AM   #10
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Great start David
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Old 07-21-2011, 06:26 AM   #11
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Great start .. looking forward to hearing about Princess as it is the company I used to work for in the 1980s. Funny to see they still have the Princess Patter as I used to deliver those out to the staterooms every evening !! I will be interested to hear how Princess compares to DCL!
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:55 AM   #12
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Great start
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Old 08-19-2011, 02:42 PM   #13
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Finally getting round to reading your report David, great start looking forward to reading more
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Old 09-02-2011, 02:23 PM   #14
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Great start - that's a lot of potatoes! The Oceans Eleven cocktail sounds nice
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