Well the time has come. In a few minutes I will shut off this computer - put on my shoes and coat and grab my suitcase and day pack, lock the apartment door and start the 20 minute walk down to Canada Place to board the Grand Princess and the start of a 10 day round trip cruise.
I am quite familiar with that ship as I spent 49 days on her two years ago doing a South American cruise and again last year on a coastal repo cruise.
Hope to be able to post to this blog along the way - will depend on how good and fast my internet will be - I get 250 minutes so should be able to post text - photos will have to wait my return.
Sunday, April 19, 2015
On Tuesday I board the Grand Princess at Canada Place and embark on a ten day round trip cruise with stops in Victoria, San Francisco overnight, Santa Barbara, Catalina Island and Long Beach before returning back to Vancouver.
This cruise is somewhat unique in that it is a Pacific Coastal southbound when most ships are doing northbound at this time of year in preparation for the Alaska cruise season.
After this cruise the ship will stay in Port and due a wet dry dock - mostly upgrades etc that don't require the ship to be taken out of the water.
As for what I might do in the various port - here is a rough outline.
Victoria - we have an early arrival and a 2 PM departure - depending on the weather intend to walk into town via Beacon Hill Park and then have lunch at Barb's fish and chips on the waterfront before returning to the ship.
San Francisco - as this is an overnight stop once I have cleared customs intend to head for Golden Gate Park and explore it and then return to the ship and freshen up and then take the Golden State ferry across to Sausalito and meet up with my friends Adele and Cliff who I met on a cruise about 10 years ago and have become good friends - we will have dinner at a restaurant I first visited a number of years ago and then take the last ferry back to the ship.
The following morning I will spent a little time exploring the Fishermen's Wharf area - we have an early sailing time 11 AM so I won't be far from the ship.
Santa Barbara is a tender port - haven't booked any excursions as it looks like it is fairly easy to see the sights by walking or grabbing a hop on hop off shuttle. It will be my first time visiting Santa Barbara by cruise ship - have stopped there on car trips but never really did a lot of exploring the area.
Catalina Island - is another tender port - was there once before where we had a light rain - this time have booked a ship's excursion to visit more of the inland areas of the Island.
Long Beach - we will be docking at Carnival's dock in Long Beach instead of the usual Princess dock in San Pedro. This is apparently what is done when it is a day visit only and not an embarkation/debarkation stop.
I have booked a ship's excursion to see some of LA - Hollywood and Rodeo Drive - a fairly longest drive but as I have spent time in Long Beach on a few others cruises I decided to go a little further afield.
Then it back to the ship and a straight non-stop return to Vancouver.
As I have a fair number of internet minutes I will try and post some reports as the cruise progresses.