Saturday, October 27, 2012

10 days of royal treatment on the Emerald Princess

Let’s face it, cruising is all about being spoiled from the minute you get up in the morning, until the nightly chocolate (left on your pillow) melts in your mouth, as you are rocked to sleep by the ocean’s waves. Anyone who has the nerve to complain about ANYTHING, is simply too spoiled to begin with. Seriously. The ship is opulent, the staff, are outstandingly courteous, the entertainment first class and then let’s not forget the food.

If you are averse to being spoiled, or if you are antisocial, or if you are not in favour of eating at least three (four course) meals and at least two snacks and a few alcoholic beverages a day, this may not be for you. If you are not satisfied with organized excursions, or are not organized enough to organize your own land tours, or you are not happy just hanging out on the ship, just say no to cruising.

But if none of the above applies to you, a cruise is one heck of a way to “Escape Completely”, which is Princess Cruise’s new tag line. A brilliant piece of marketing I must say.

Before I share with you our ports of call, I thought I would post a few photos of the ship, for those of you who are new to cruising, or have not experienced one of Princess’s large ships.

The Piazza located mid ship, connects floors 5, 6 and 7 with beautiful winding staircases. From each floor you can view the entertainment below. Coffee shops and bars surround the staircases on each floor where you can relax, listen to music, sip on a cocktail, espresso or beer. Nightly, there are a variety of performances for your listening enjoyment.

If you prefer formal dining, lunch and dinner can be enjoyed in three dining rooms. Each day there are new menus featuring four course meals.

Ceiling detail in the Piazza.
Mid ship, there is a beautiful cafe featuring beautiful salads, sandwiches, quiches, and desserts.

We were entertained by a wonderful string quartet each evening in the Piazza before dinner.

Of course there is also a Casino for those who are so inclined. Just to encourage us all, we were forced to walk through the casino on our way to dinner!

We were treated to a cooking demonstration by the head chef. Felt like we were on a cooking show!

This was our third cruise. We decided when we finished our last cruise (to Alaska), that it would be our last. Now that we have finished this cruise of Maritime Canada and New England, we have again said it would be our last. But frankly it is a love/hate relationship we have with cruising. Being spoiled can be hard work. Saying no to the amazing food and beverages and desserts on board takes a lot of willpower and determination. Finding your way to the gym to try to keep all of that under control is even harder! Yet, the chance to be pampered and entertained by a ship full of men and woman at your beck and call 24 hours a day, is kind of priceless.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

On the road (well really water) again ...

This creative photo courtesy of Devora!
We arrived back in North America (Hawaii to be exact) on May 6th 2012. Which means we have been BACK from the big adventure for just over five months. We have done a lot since then. A different kind of adventure, but an adventure none the less. Because I have been lax in documenting most of it here, it is kind of like it never happened. I hardly took my camera out these past months. I thought about it many times. Mostly I thought about the shots I had missed and how that meant there would not be a blog post about whatever it was I should have photographed.

I gave myself a holiday from blogging. Now I am kind of sorry, and kind of sad, but there is no use crying over spilled milk as they say. And just like spilled milk, there is no way to put it back or relive the moments that are gone.

We flew out of New York for Israel on October 29th last year. Today, October 16th almost a full year later, we are boarding a Princess Cruise ship headed for Quebec City with stops in Newport Rhode Island, Boston MA, Bar Harbor Maine, St John New Brunswick, Halifax and Sydney Nova Scotia, and Charlottetown Prince Edward Island.

We are still unplugged, homeless and really really happy. My camera is charged and my blog vacation is over.

Stay tuned for the next chapter!