Goodbye, Vancouver! Hello, Hawaii! Excited for the new cruise on our favorite cruise line...

St. Andrew's Wesley Church in downtown Vancouver.
The "to do" list is completed.  We did it all; the laundry, filled the pill cases, did the mani/pedi, packed everything and notified family.  This morning we'll grab a taxi for the short drive to the Port Metro Vancouver where the Celebrity Solstice will be prepared for boarding.

As on our prior nine cruises, we prefer to arrive at the pier an hour or two earlier than suggested in the documents, allowing us plenty of time to become familiar with the ship, meet with the maître 'd regarding my restrictive diet, sign up for the ship's WiFi, and relax for awhile in the buffet dining room for a casual bite to eat.

Church across the street from our hotel.  Photo taken through glass on 30th floor.
In most cases, gaining access to the cabins is restricted until around 1:30 pm, allowing staff to prepare and clean the cabins from the last cruise that most likely arrived the same morning, making way for the new passengers.
Tom says this was a Ferrari we spotted in downtown Vancouver.
Checking in for the cruise is usually relatively quick and painless especially when our early arrival allows us to avoid long lines. A few days before each cruise, we check in online in the similar manner as when flying. 

Vancouver is often a starting point (and often ending point) for cruises to Alaska which we'll definitely book sometime in the future.
Its unnecessary to print the documents when passengers are able to show the bar code from their tickets on their smart phone.  With no cell service until we purchase SIM cards, we've printed the documents although we'd always prefer to use digital documents.

Fountain, outside our hotel.
Later today, once aboard the ship, we'll post again with photos of the ship, our cabin and any special features that may catch our eye.  Once the muster drill (emergency procedures) is completed, we'll attend the Sail Away Party, hosted by the cruse line. Usually there's another party that we'll attend, the "Meet and Mingle" which is intended for members of, many of whom Tom has met online.

On the first day on the ship we check out the main dining room's reservation process.  This avoids waiting in line to be seated.  On this last Royal Caribbean cruise, we'd selected 8:00 pm, primarily due to the fact that we often have breakfast and aren't hungry until later.

Much of the produce was imported as is the case in many major grocery stores in the US.  This is unlike the organic produce we've enjoyed in many countries throughout our travels.
Most cruise passengers (during the school season) are senior citizens as opposed to families with children.  Many seniors prefer to dine by 6 pm. We're still full from breakfast by 6 pm and prefer to dine at 8 pm. 

With "My Time" dining, we can select dining times that work best for us allowing us the opportunity to meet new people each night at "shared" tables. Other passengers may sign up for a fixed dinnertime, sitting with the same group each night.

We're also able to choose to dine with people we've met when we're arranged a time to meet at the dining room.  On this last cruise, on three evenings, we dined with new friends in the specialty restaurants but, could easily have dined with them in the main dining room.

We were surprised that prices on produce were less than we'd seen two years ago in the US.
The social frenzy of cruising is the aspect we enjoy the most.  As social butterflies we love meeting new people, learning from their travel experiences and sharing our own.  A cruise is the most appealing social venue we've encountered in our travels.

We're grateful for all the fabulous friends we've made from all over the world on our most recent cruise and also, those on the past eight cruises in 2013, many of whom we happily remain in contact.

Tom eyeballed the baked goods, especially the doughnuts but decided against trying any when the cruise is imminent, a virtual food fantasy on Celebrity.
Look for us tomorrow morning which will include the itinerary for this cruise.  Hopefully, we won't have the WiFi issues we'd experienced on Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas when I was unable to get online.  We'll be out to sea for the first five days of this cruise making it necessary to access to the ship's slow connection.  As always, while in port we'll be able to use XComGlobal's MiFi for a strong connection and ease of use.  

Happy Day to all!

No photo was posted one year ago today, September 23, 2013:
Ironically, we posted the cruise itinerary for the cruise we disembarked on September 14, 2014.  For details of the post, please click here.


Post a Comment