Today we wore special tags identifying us as CC’s - concurrent cruisers. In the morning this meant a lot of standing in line, just as the cruise director warned. Customs and immigration went quickly, but we couldn’t reboard the ship until everyone had gotten off. We totally understand. Next week it could be us hanging on the railing with our fingernails, weeping at the thought of returning to cold, snow, and self cooked meals. The CC’s have also been promised a free bag of laundry, an appreciated item. One of the things we like about Princess is the laundry facilities for passengers to use, but most cruise lines feel that a relaxing vacation does not include doing laundry - or they are happy to charge a few more $$$ to wash it for us.
We were welcomed back on board with champagne and got another glass at a special sit down lunch for CC’s. By the time lunch was over, our new cabin was ready and all the luggage had been moved into it. If we had a penthouse cabin, the butler would have unpacked and hung up the clothing, but reality has got to kick in here somewhere. It would have been more convenient to stay in the same cabin for both cruises, but we saved $700 to switch to a cabin which is located a mirror image across deck on the starboard side. Makes absolutely no sense and was more work for the staff as well as for us.
We used our time in port to take advantage of the economical internet we had brought with an air card from home. Usually we use it as a back up to the satellite dish in the motor home, but it worked hard all day downloading podcasts and email we had missed and uploading blog entries from last week. Ken also listened to the Bears win their game in Detroit via the web. Sometimes, it can be a blessing when we miss a Bear’s game, but they are doing well this year and won again. Go Bears!
After this brief encounter with real life back home, we were ready to return to the fantasyland that is the Allure of the Seas. There are 400 more passengers on board than there were on the last cruise so it will be interesting to see if we notice the difference in terms of crowdedness.
There were nine ships in port today and we all left at about the same time. The ships were lined up with their noses headed out to sea, looking a lot like planes landing at a busy airport. As we sailed past the condos on the beach, we were so high we could look into many of their windows. And many of them were out on their balconies looking at us blowing horns and cheering. A very festive atmosphere.