June 25 – Boarding the Coral Princess

We had a leisurely morning of packing after breakfast at the Blue Horizons

Our last breakfast in Vancouver

Our last breakfast in Vancouver

restaurant. It was a short taxi ride to the pier where the Coral Princess was waiting for us. We had never been in as large a mass flow of people as this before, 2200 moving to our ship and I don’t know how many more to another ship nearby. But it was marvelous how everything has been thought out and there were plenty of people to tell us where to go next. Provisions for security were impressive. We had to show our passport and other documents at least four times, and they took our picture twice and compared it with our passport,

Almost aboard

Almost aboard

etc. We finally got halfway up the gangplank, when they told us they had to change our entrance point because they were moving some equipment or something. Except for that, the whole operation was amazingly well-organized.

Our stateroom is wonderfully comfortable. Our steward Cirelo seems ready to serve us in every way. Once again my computer was saying no networking hardware, but I used my workaround successfully, this time the problem was no connection of the network to the Internet but that was

Our steward, Cirilo

Our steward, Cirilo

because I had not signed up for the exorbitant charge they place on Internet use. I finally bought 200 minutes for $99, and we’ll see how far that goes.

P1060603We heard about a buffet that was open, and we had not yet had lunch so up we went to try the Horizon Lounge and found it was wonderful. It is open from 5:30 AM to 11 PM every day! Sylvia Malvaez and Kat Denk came along and joined us for lunch, too.

We were wondering

Lunch with Kat and Sylvia

Lunch with Kat and Sylvia

about the time zone change, and if it would affect our rehearsal time tomorrow morning at 9:30. But no, we set our clocks back tomorrow night.

It’s tough to get the lay of the land (that’s a poor metaphor on board a ship!), but we began to get a feel for things. It seems like there’s a lot of things going on all over the ship and there is no central directory that lists everything. But every member of the staff is really helpful at every turn.

They announced that the Fire Drill had been postponed to 4:20, and sure enough of that time seven short and one long blast over the PA system meant it was time to grab a life jacket and head for the Princess Theater, where a lady over the PA system explained a lot of things including that the alarm did not mean Abandon Ship. I noticed that the lights were flickering a little bit. I thought added a realistic touch. We put our life jackets but failed to test our whistles which I thought was a shame.
Dinner at 5:15 came around pretty quickly, but off we went to the Provence Room. We were assigned table 118, and lo and behold, we are sitting with our luncheon

Dinner in the Provence Room

Dinner in the Provence Room

companions, Kat and Sylvia again, which is just fine with us. The staff got one entrée wrong which they fixed in a flash and one dessert wrong, which just meant we had an extra dessert, so that worked out well. Time went by and finally they had to throw us out to make room for the next sitting. Tony and I headed for the Wedding Chapel to check out our rehearsal location for tomorrow and found that there was no piano. So off we went to the Customer Service Desk to get things right. It took a while, and two staff members to get everything arranged.
Next on the agenda was another visit to the Princess Theater to get an introduction to the entertainment programs, followed by a routine by Cary Long about new arrivals on cruise ships which was really funny. I think everybody must have recognized themselves somewhere during the routine. Cary made sure we knew he had been on the Jay Leno show not one but two times. Also, it was his 18th anniversary this week, but ours was our 25th!

Back to the cabin for the evening.

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