Thursday, June 06, 2013

Grand Princess Alaska Cruise - Day 2 at sea

It's about time I publish the next installment of our ten day cruise to Alaska from San Francisco. It takes a couple of days to reach Alaska from our departure port of San Francisco. Those are known as "sea days", days on board without stopping at a port.  I've heard people complain that they are boring but that is not at all the case.  Each evening you receive a schedule of the next day's events.  On Princess Cruises, it is called 'Princess Patter' and it contains literally dozens of things to do. You could stay busy twenty-four/seven, so if you are bored it is on you.

As we have done on other cruises we like to start with breakfast, then we take a take a tour of the ship and take pictures.  There are multiple options for breakfast but today we choose the Horizon Court Buffet on Lido deck.  If there is any food that you crave for breakfast, it most likely will be there.  In fact, the choices can be overwhelming and change some each day. I have some scrambled eggs, sauteed mushrooms, bacon, bagel with butter, cantaloupe and smoked salmon. April has vegetable curry, half grapefruit, rashers of bacon and sausage, roasted tomato and a slice of banana nut bread. Take small bits of what you like and go back for more if need be.  Princess has the tables set with napkins and cutlery and waiters stand by to bring coffee and juices.
Grand Princess Horizon Court breakfast
Grand Princess Horizon Court buffet breakfast

































We start our "photo walk."   This serves two purposes, we familiarize ourselves with the ship and we get photographic souvenirs from our trip. We see the pool, some art work, the ocean and have a lucky whale sighting. While concentrating on photos, I hear a commotion in several languages, finger pointing and finally observe three whale spouts off the starboard aft of the ship.
Grand Princess Pool and Outdoor Theater

Grand Princess Artwork

Grand Princess wake North of San Fran

Grand Princess Whale sighting North of San Fran

After all that, April wants to take the free Zumba class taught by assistant cruise director Ryan. We both do Zumba at home for about twenty minutes several times a week. This class is an hour so I smartly elect to film video. Like in Dirty Harry, Clint Eastwood says "a man's got to know his limitations!"  You know what is wrong with a class of fit women in spandex rocking out to Zumba sounds?  Nothing at all!  In case you are keeping track April is in very front left wearing all black.
After all that excitement we head down the hall and take a free class, "Introduction to digital photography" taught by senior photographer Chris.  An informative class for April and a good refresher for me.  All that fun and it isn't even lunch time yet!  We check out the Piazza, an ornate lobby that houses alternative venues for eating and entertainment.  We admire pastries and such at the International Cafe.
Grand Princess International Cafe Pastry Case

It has been almost six hours since we have eaten! There in the Piazza is Alfredo's Pizza, serving hand pulled artisan pizza all included in the price of the cruise.  You will never go hungry on the Grand Princess!
Grand Princess Alfredo's Pizza

We walk some more to work off the pizza checking out more of the ship. We visit the fitness center, wedding chapel, and the Club One Five disco. We lay out in the sun for a bit and then return inside where I notice April's shoes remind me of the ruby red slippers from the Wizard of Oz.  April,  just click your heels together and say, "There's no place like the Grand Princess!"
The "ruby red slippers"

All this activity has worn us out, so we decide to skip the free cha-cha lessons and adjourn to the cabin for a well deserved nap. Two hours pass and it is time to head off to the DaVinci Dining room for dinner.  We both have the "surf and turf."  I start with a Caesar salad and April, a green salad with balsamic dressing.  We save a little room for dessert, cherry cheesecake and a Napoleon.

We stroll over to the Piazza for coffee and watch the Grand Princess dancers perform "Hey Mambo."
Grand Princess DaVinci Dining Room Dinner


Hey, we are not done yet!  We are are off to "Walk Like a Man," a tribute group to the Four Seasons. We know all the words to the songs!  Excited from the show, we head on up to the Club One Five disco and boogie down.  At eleven, we hit the sack exhausted.

17 comments:

Zoomie said...

What a lineup! No wonder you love cruising.

cookiecrumb said...

And what, exactly, do you like about all this? :)

Greg said...

Zoomie- I almost need a vacation to rest from my vacation! :)

cookiecrumb- The only part I don't like is when we have to leave. I wonder if they have senior assisted living on board Princess Cruises. Imagine :)

Chilebrown said...

When I go on a cruise I would come back as big as a house with all those eating opportunities. You definitely had a full day. I like the image of the water behind the ship. Simple, hypnotic, and contrasting shades/colors. You should of taught the camera class. Thanks for sharing.

Greg said...

Chilebrown- Thanks! The joke on board is that you board as a passenger and leave as cargo. I gained two pounds but the standard they say is ten pounds. Next time I will do the Zumba!

Pam Bell said...

Greg and April - not sure you will remember us but we sat at your table last year on the mexican Rivera Carnival Cruise. I look at your blog frequently. Had to comment since you are cruising. Never have done Princess so curious as to rating against Carnival.hope you both are doing well. Certainly looks like you are enjoying this trip. We just got back from Aruba! Take care.

Greg said...

Pam- Of course we remember you guys!
Every time I watch the Chew I keep looking for you. We picked Princess because they were sailing out of S.F. While the cost is higher there are no other related travel costs. We have been on Carnival four times, Norwegian twice. Princess is clearly a cut above both. Food,service,shows and ambiance all better. We want to do the Caribbean one day. If you get a chance do Alaska.Cold but fun.

Majid Vijah said...
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Frank Sala said...
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Sheila Fossberg said...

Hi Greg... I am enjoying your blog. We enjoyed meeting you and April on the Alaskan Cruise. Now I see why you took pictures of all the wonderful food we enjoyed. Also now I remember how and why I brought home a couple extra pounds with me on that journey! Thanks for the memories!!

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