Royal Princess, Back-To-Back Turnaround Day Sunday Nov. 3, 2013
This was our very first back-to-back cruise, so it was a totally new experience for us. Before leaving home we had called Princess Cruise Lines to inquire about the standard procedure; Would we have to leave our cabin? Would we have to leave the ship? We were assured that since we had booked the same cabin for both sailings, we could keep everything in our cabin, just vacate it for the usual morning housekeeping, and that no, we wouldn't have to get off the ship.
However,the disembarkation information that arrived in our cabin mailbox the night before said otherwise. It said that we would have to disembark, go through customs and immigration and security again, then would be put in a holding area until re-boarding after 12:00 p.m.
So,after breakfast and a chat and sad goodbye to our friends who were leaving thatday, we sat out by the pool in the sun, where it was quiet and peaceful away from the hustle and bustle of disembarkation day.
Around 11:00 a.m. we made our way to the meeting place in the Symphony Dining Room,where we were handed a change of itinerary. Our original itinerary had us going to Princess Cays first, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten. Due to some extreme weather conditions and 5 metre high swells in Princess Cays, the Captain had made the decision to bypass the Cays, reverse the other two islands, and tack on another visit to Grand Turk at the end of the week. Although saddened to miss Princess Cays, I really didn't mind going back to Grand Turk and Margaritaville!
By 11:30 a.m. we were called to disembark, and were escorted to the baggage holding area, rushed through customs and security in record time, then abandoned along with a few hundred others in a very long line in a completely empty baggage terminal, where we stood and watched new passengers boarding ahead of us. I thought this rather a poor practice, we were not even ushered into the usual seating area, just left standing in the baggage terminal. Fortunately the wait was not much more than 30 minutes, and we re-boarded the ship, had new photos taken for our sail cards, and were able to go straight up to our cabin once again.
Of course by now we were ready for lunch, so headed straight for Horizon Court. It was nice knowing where everything was located this second time around! Again,we were pleased to be greeted warmly by all the wait and serving staff; we found this ship-wide throughout the cruise, wonderful friendly staff and crew.
As it was not a particularly nice weather day, cloudy, windy and off and on showers, I found a place under cover near the pool and tried to read a book while half watching video concerts on the huge MUTS screen.
The Sail Away party started around 4:00 p.m. and this time it was well attended and lots of fun, although maybe that was because I knew all the entertainment staff already and they encouraged me to come up and dance on the platform between the pools. Our Cruise Director Sam was there, with Deputy Dan, giving away raffle prizes from the Treasure Hunt (I didn't win again), and the rest of the entertainment staff had everyone dancing to the live music by the band "Steele."
And so, we were off again, leaving Fort Lauderdale behind and on to 6 more days of adventure in the Caribbean. Little did we know what an adventure it would be.... Cheers!
Last edited by rollerdonna; November 29th, 2013 at 09:20 PM.