Leaving Vancouver on May 9th, 2014
“Easy peasy lemon squeezie!”
These were the words our cruise director, Marchand, uttered reassuringly to us regarding the process of getting off the boat. It would be seamless if we came when we were supposed to and if we followed the instructions he had, in a confused and repetitive manner, tried to impress upon us.
We became a little agitated.
Still, this was on Princess channel 39 in our stateroom. I listened to the announcement twice while preparing myself for the evening ahead, though I failed to actually watch it.
We were given a time to arrive at U.S. customs on the boat. Do not show up early and do not arrive late. We were instructed to bring our passport, onboard account card and a letter with a card that displayed a letter which would validated our time.
Do not bring your luggage!
We rose at 5:00 AM wanting to witness passage beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Our reward was a spectacular sunrise along with it.
Passing under the Golden Gate Bridge at 5:40 AM and beautiful sunrise!
The bay of San Francisco yawned sleepily awake bathed in a rich gold as the sun crested the horizon.
Alcatraz stood conspicuously out-of-place on “The Rock.”
A U.S. Customs tugboat moved toward us to assist in berthing the vessel. Harbour seals barked an enthusiastic and loud greeting as they woke stretched out along Fisherman’s Wharf.
The breeze off the water kissed our skin as we gazed into a cloudless sky that shifted from a deep gold to vibrant blue.
Originally we’d thought to have breakfast after passing through the onboard customs procedure. We had an hour still and a yearning for coffee so off to the Horizon Court buffet we went to satisfy our requirement of said caffeine and appease our hunger.
At 7:45 we sauntered back down to the Vista Lounge where we would begin our disembarkation. Our time arrival time that had been dictated was 7:55.
There was a line-up so we proceeded to move to the end of the line. We had now moved to the other end of the ship and it was looping around the on the otherside before we reached the line’s end.
Girls just gotta have fun! My gal pals!
“Easy peasy lemon squeezie?” I don’t think so.
Half the passengers that we saw had their luggage with them and for the next hour we moved at a snail’s pace as the whole of the ship had seemingly arrived collectively for disembarkation.
The happy bunch who we’d sailed with, whom we had smiled and cajoled with over the past few days now sneered and growled.
Teeth were bared at those who tried to line jump ever so casually. The feral side of the human equation was now on display.
“Conga line anyone? Let’s do the limbo!”
Gazes of contempt and disdain greeted the suggestion. One of my companions made mention that if our illustrious cruise director, Marchand were to make an appearance, she’d take him out
I laughed gleefully at the pleasure of this scenario.
WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO ME!
Indeed, our auspicious cruise director did not make an appearance. Staff barked orders at the mob now. With swift authority they whipped the crowd into submission.
I was thoroughly impressed!
We attempted a conga line when in fact we began to move but the weary lot just bustled forward like zombies that were so utterly tired of bustling forward.
As we approached the Vista Lounge a staff member tiredly explained that U.S. Customs had arrived half hour late and changed a thing of two.
This was a ‘one off.’
My friends and I were grateful we’d had our breakfast when we did. It’s doubtful we’d have had the time otherwise.
Now cleared to get off the boat we made our way back to our stateroom to retrieve our luggage.
Disembarkation could well have become a few other disses. Dismemberment being right up there.
We had, at the beginning of our three-day adventure, been shown how to jump off the ship should the need arise. I found this exercise informative and delightfully amusing. After being shown how to put on the life jackets we then had to do a reenactment to ensure we were all paying attention.
I tried blowing the whistle that was attached. It didn’t work all that well as the instructor quipped about the germs on them. All of those that had given over to their inquisitive nature like me now spat the thing from their lips.
We were shown how to plug our nose then cross our other arm over our chest to embrace the forearm. Don’t jump! Just step off the side of the ship. Hmm.
I envisioned the lot of us doing this. Saw us landing on each other. Saw my wig take flight and being swept up and away by a wicked sea breeze. Later it was adopted by a swordfish or some other permanent resident of the ocean.
Our last eveing of dining out and a wine tasting. We needed to practice for the real thing!
Between embarkation and disembarkation, however, a fabulous time was had by all. The energy and mood were festive and high.
The Motown and British Invasion shows were fun and the comedian Steve White made us giggle.
The food was fabulous. Our host servers Ciria and Luis were gracious, informative and always accommodating.
Our gracious hosts!
The piano bar was a blast. Dave Williams, our piano man, was fun and engaging. Mind you we ramped it up a bit.. Safe to say the energy from our group was truly infectious on Saturday night.
It wasn’t just the microphone that smelled like a beer as Dave wailed into it along with the rest of us. The place smelled of wine, Margueritas, Pinas Colades and Marie’s special ‘Tea.’
She patiently in an intoxicated and authoritative voice instructed the server what concoctions would be required to produce this magic.
Sandy, who had joined our ranks, had become a fan of this beverage.
Laurie seemed to have a Marguerita tha grew proportionately as the cruise progressed.
Martinis were definitely shaken and not stirred as the servers performed their rendition of an exotic latin dance whilst mixing said drink.
Hips undulated in delight as the martini shaker promised a delightful treat to the taste buds of those anticipating the result.
In our rabble roused state we challenged all of those around us to sing and have fun right along with us. And they did.
Arlene stealing the scene and an attempt at a ‘selfie’ with a normal camera!
Disembarkation was successful. No walking the plank, no jumping ship, no fish fighting over my wig.
And as we danced up a street in San Francisco toward our little bus that would sweep us away to the Napa Valley for a day of indulging in some fine wines, we bid the Star Princess adieu.
All dissing aside a grand time was had by all!