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Old February 27th, 2011, 02:12 AM
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Default Virtual Cruise -Sapphire Princess - LA/Hawaii/LA

Sapphire Princess - Day 1 - Feb. 26
My somewhat odd, but for sure certainly pleasant adventure begins today. Mrs. Kuki and I are now onboard the Sapphire Princess, bound for Hawaii, sailing roundtrip from San Pedro, Calif. I’ll be sailing this identical itinerary in late April on board the Crystal Symphony, and will be writing a Virtual Cruise from that ship as well. I invite you to sail along in the comfort of your homes and offices, and hope you enjoy as much I believe I will.

We flew to LAX this morning from Phoenix, Arizona on Southwest Airlines. I’m Canadian, and Southwest does not fly from Canada, as a result it has been several years since I flew them. Our flight was delayed out of Phoenix by an hour and a half, but the crew onboard were so terrific and entertaining, they made up for the delay.

A couple of lines, out of many, that gave me good chuckles:

The flight attendant, during the safety instruction - “if we loose pressure in the cabin oxygen masks will drop, if you’re traveling with a child put their mask on first. If you’re traveling with two children, pick the one with the most potential”.

Pilot - “We’re honored to have pilots from 4 different airlines onboard today. I’m sure you’re asking why they are onboard. It’s simple, on Southwest their luggage flies free.” In fact, I had seen a couple of crew tags from other airlines on some carry-ons as they made their down the aisle, so this wasn’t just a line, but a bit of humorous poke at the other airline pilots.

Kudos to Southwest for keeping me laughing for my 1 hr. 18 minute fight; wish I could fly them more often.

From LAX to San Pedro we took a taxi. It’s expensive at $70. But our driver was the Mario Andretti of Albania. It took us 20 minutes in heavy traffic to get out of the airport, and 9 minutes from there to San Pedro. The trip had more in common with a thrill ride at a theme park than it did with a taxi ride. And I thought I drive fast! Wow!

Arriving at the ship at approximately 2:00 P.M. the check in process was very fast and seamless. We were onboard about 15 minutes later.
We had requested and have been assigned to early traditional seating for dinners. As it turns out, on Sapphire Princess early traditional dining is lunch.

Early seating is at 5:30 P.M.! As we’re heading west, we gain hours during the cruise, so by the time we reach Hawaii we could be having dinner at noon.

Late seating is scheduled for 7:45 P.M. I’m not certain if that’s the norm on Princess these days, or if it’s been adjusted for the age demographic on this 14 night sailing. I’ll check on that later, and advise.

We’ll give this a try, because we want to dine with members of the CruiseMates group. I’ll just have to pretend that I’m from Europe where the tradition is to have the major meal of the day, mid-day.

I’m thinking the good thing about eating that early is we’ll have an appetite to make good use of the 24 Hr. Horizon Court for snacking later in the evening. They just better not be having any of the shows in the showroom pre-dinner, or we’ll be watching the entertainment, and miss breakfast.

In the end, if the early seating does not work for us, we do certainly have the option to switching to “Anytime Dining”.

In today’s report I’ve just had some fun “poking fun”. We’re delighted to be on the ship; from what I’ve seen so far she’s in great shape, and in the coming days aside from telling stories, I’ll try and share some good information, as well as pictures.

Last edited by Kuki; March 26th, 2012 at 01:37 PM.
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