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Unread 25 Oct 19, 07:11 PM  
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Melanie R
Sprinkling Pixie Dust

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Glaciers & Glowtinis - Day 9 Changeover Day

Today was to be my last morning onboard the Coral Princess and I was going to be sorry to leave it behind, even though I was heading straight to another ship for another 3 days cruising.

My next cruise had been a very last minute addition to my trip and as such I was going to be switching to an inside cabin for the duration, so would no longer have the luxury of a balcony to relax on during the time we would be at sea. My next cruise was heading to San Francisco and the fact I was switching ships was entirely down to my lack of planning when booking the trip there are several itineraries which do sail from San Francisco to Alaska and with a little bit of forward planning I could have booked one of those, but I digress!

I had been allocated a disembarkation time of 9am initially, but when I checked the schedule, there was a time slot of 10:15 for those transferring to the Golden Princess, so I had headed to reception to change my timeslot. I had assumed that the transfer would mean that luggage would automatically be transferred to the next ship by the porters, but no, when I checked this at reception I was told I would have to collect it as usual and hand over to the porters myself to be loaded onboard the Golden Princess. I do have to wonder given this is the case, why there is a special disembarkation slot for transfers, as the actual process is exactly the same as any other disembarkation! 🤔

I knew that despite my later slot, I had to be out of my stateroom by 8, so I was up early again and packed up the last minute bits and pieces into my bag and went for a last look out from the balcony.

The weather in Vancouver today was glorious warm and sunny and I was glad I had thought to keep my sunglasses with me rather than packing them!

I had a quick look around to check I hadnt left anything behind (not thoroughly enough I was to realise later ) and headed up to the buffet to get some breakfast.

I found a table easily enough this morning as people had already started to leave the ship by now, and went to collect some tea and toast I wasnt particularly hungry this morning.

Once I had finished, I collected my bags and headed to the lounge to wait for my timeslot to leave the ship as I had around and hour and a half to wait. The lounge was reasonably full but still had seating available, so I found a quiet corner, poured myself a coffee from the supplies they had in the lounge (a very nice touch there were hot drinks and pastries to help yourself to while you waited) and got out my iPad to watch a movie while I waited.

My timeslot was called around 5 minutes early, and I picked up my bags and headed off the ship. It was a very smooth process and as I emerged into the terminal luggage collection area, found my case almost straight away and headed through customs with the minimal of fuss so far so good!

Then I encountered the chaos of the cruise terminal! I had no idea what the process was for passengers transitioning from 1 ship to another, so I asked a Princess rep where I needed to go to check in for the Golden Princess and to leave my luggage. She directed me to a waiting area, but as I approached it to enter was told by the gentleman manning it that it wasnt open for another hour and I needed to wait outside!

Nobody seemed to have a clue what the process was, so I decided to head completely out of the terminal and then head in as I had done when I checked in for the previous cruise.

To do this, I followed the signs and was directed to a lift, with the longest queue I have ever seen for a lift! This was to take me down to the arrivals area where I could leave my luggage with the porters. I spent 20 minutes queuing for the lift but eventually I was in the right area, picked up a tag for my case and handed over to the porters. I found out it was extra busy today as there were 3 ships in port rather than the more usual 2.

I headed back upstairs to find the check-in desk for the Golden Princess and was told it wouldnt open for another 30 minutes, so I found a bench and sat down to wait. I got chatting to a lovely couple who were waiting to check in for the Coral Princess it was now headed to Australia via the Panama Canal pity I didnt have enough leave to have stayed on for that one 😂

Check in eventually opened, and I was very quickly processed and given my new cruise card and before long was headed on to the Golden Princess. My first impression was that it was a much bigger ship than the Coral Princess, but that it was also going to be one of those ships which would be hard to navigate and I very quickly found my first impression to be correct! Other than P&Os Britannia which I personally found difficult to find my way around, this was one of the most confusing ships I have been on!

I straight away got lost trying to find the lift to take me to the correct deck for my stateroom the lift I was standing in front of had no buttons to call it then I realised these were for the cruise staff only, and the passenger lifts were around the corner. Once in the lift I headed to the Baja deck (I had picked a room on the same deck as my last cruise to try to avoid confusion my memory is shocking since I hit late 40s!) and located my new stateroom right at the end of the corridor and the aft of the ship. This was an inside stateroom, and was perfectly adequate for my needs, but after a week in a junior suite with outside space, it did feel a little compact to say the least

I deposited my bags and jacket and headed up to the open decks to enjoy the sunshine it really was a lovely day in Vancouver!

I briefly contemplated getting back off the ship and heading to the Fly over Canada experience which was in the vicinity of the cruise terminal, and had been on my plan for today, but I decided against it as I had a couple of things I wanted to get sorted onboard and decided to get on with those instead. My number 1 priority was to see if I could switch the tour I had booked in Victoria to a whale watching excursion if this wasnt possible, I would definitely be heading off the ship to find one from Vancouver that afternoon. (The ship wasnt sailing until 11pm and we had until 8 to be back on board so knew I had the time)

I struggled to find the excursions desk, so asked at reception they directed me around the corner to a hidden area where they had the future cruises and tucked away the excursion desk. There was no queue (not surprising given it was hard to find!) and I was attended to very quickly there were still lots of availability so it was no problem to book the tour I just had to return the ticket for my original tour when I received it so that they could refund me. I was so pleased I had been able to switch and sent home a pic of my ticket to let everyone know 😁

Next I headed to the desk they had set up to sell internet packages I had found the Wi-Fi package really useful on the Coral Princess so went to see what offers were available for this cruise. I was really disappointed they werent offering the length of cruise option, you had to buy a package of minutes and remember to log in and out to prevent using them up in error I queried this with the guy giving out the information, but he told me this ship was on a different system to the Coral and only head minute packages available and they werent cheap either! I decided that since I was technically in Canada for 2 days and then had a day at sea, without some package I would be out of touch with home until I arrived in San Francisco, so bit the bullet and bought a very expensive package which would give me 2 hours of Wi-Fi and I would have to remember to switch it off when I was finished.😱

Now that I had sorted the first day things I needed to do, I headed off to explore the ship a little, and ended up on the top deck by Sprinkles, the ice cream place! As it was a bigger ship, it had its own special area on the Golden Princess, so I decided I needed to do a comparison check to make sure the ice cream was up to the same standard as the Coral Princess Im pleased to report that it was!

I took a few pics of the Coral Princess which was moored on the opposite berth and then found a spot on the deck to relax for a while.

I set up my Princess Wi-Fi account while I was lounging and logged on to send some more pics home. At this point I noticed my iPhone was getting low on charge, so decided to head back to my stateroom to charge it, and then have a further explore to see if I could find the coffee place onboard.

As I approached my room, I spotted that my luggage had arrived, so I took it inside and decided I wasnt going to fully unpack, just to lift out what I would need for the last few days, so this didnt take too long at all.

I located the charging cable for my phone and looked around the room for the usb charging point. When I had originally arrived in Canada back on the first day, I realised that I had brought the wrong electrical adapter instead of the USA one I had managed to bring the European one instead, but so far had not actually needed one as I only needed to charge my gadgets, and the hotel and the Coral stateroom had both had usb charging points as standard. Im not sure if it was because it was a lower class stateroom or if the Golden Princess just didnt have them, but there was no such point on my room! This was going to cause some issues as I needed to charge my phone, iPad and kindle to use over the next few days.😱

I had brought a power bank with me, so as a stopgap plugged my phone into it and headed down to the shop to see what I could find. I had totally forgotten that the shops dont open while a ship is in port, and given we didnt sail until 11pm it was unlikely to be open today at all! I headed back to my room via the coffee place where I ordered my first latte of the cruise, and once I was back checked on the charge status of all my devices. My kindle and iPad were both fine and would easily last the day and my power bank had plenty of charge to sort my iPhone until the following day, so crisis averted!

It was too nice a day to be stuck in my room, and now that I didnt have a balcony to sit outside on, I collected my kindle, and headed back to the pool deck and a sun lounger.

I finished my latte and spent a lovely couple of hours in the sunshine relaxing with my book, and around 4ish decided I fancied another ice cream so headed back to Sprinkles. I picked up another cone, and then decided
I had been onboard far too long without a cocktail, so after checking out the menu ordered a Greyhound to wash down the ice cream 😍

Once finished, I headed back to reception to pick up a Princess Patter to see what time the muster session was and where I needed to go. I also went to check out the menu for the dining room tonight I was on fixed time dining on this cruise and had opted for the second sitting which was at 7:15.

The menu was an exact replica of the first night menu onboard the Coral Princess the previous week, and was no more inspiring today than it was back then, but even more confusing was the time of the muster. If I was on fixed time dining at 7:15, how on earth would I be able to get to the muster at 7:30?

I headed to the dining information desk to find out and was informed that tonight both restaurants would be operating open dining so I could turn up at any time I liked.

I carried on exploring the ship until it was time to head to my muster station and then made my way there. The guy in charge was from Wales and he was actually very funny and kept us very well entertained until it was time to start. Once the session was over, we heard the captain announcing there would be a further muster session held at 8:30 and read out a list of staterooms whose passengers had not attended the scheduled session and would need to attend the later one as the law demanded everyone attend.

I had decided to skip the evening entertainment in the theatre as it was a comedy juggler and after seeing the comedy ventriloquist the previous week had decided my definition of comedy differed from theirs! I have seen a comedy juggler on other cruise lines who was actually really good, but having checked it wasnt him (Pete Matthews) decided to skip it. (From conversations I heard the following day, I made the right decision!)

I headed to the dining room to get something to eat, but clearly everyone else had made the same decision to go straight after the muster and I was advised I would be waiting at least an hour for a table, so decided to head to the buffet instead.

I opted for the pasta and meatballs option which was very nice, and washed it down with another greyhound cocktail then decided there was no harm in having another ice cream for desert so went to Sprinkles for my third of the day!

I had been planning to stay up for the sail away, but I was getting tired by now (relaxing around the pool is somehow exhausting!) and given my whale tour had an early start, I decided to call it a day and headed to bed for an early night with my book.
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Unread 25 Oct 19, 10:13 PM  
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Greyhounds sound good to me! Do hope you get to see the whales 😄
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Unread 26 Oct 19, 09:23 AM  
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Just laughing at the cocktail menu and the dirty banana hope you tried one?!
You definitely making the most of that free ice cream, looks delicious 😋
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Unread 26 Oct 19, 05:52 PM  
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There is no such thing as too much ice cream, particularly when making comparisons!
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Unread 29 Oct 19, 11:13 AM  
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Good day but sounds like the changeover could have been done a little more efficiently!
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