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Cruising on Star Princess, Part 3
Trip Report – Cruising on Star Princess, Part 3
We board our cruise ship, Star Princess.
The morning sun peeps through our hotel window and as I turn over in bed I know there is a reason why I am feeling excited. Of course, we are going on a cruise on Star Princess today! Hooray! We have just driven down from our villa, Tropical Dream Villa in Orlando, and today we have to be up early to get ready to go to Port Everglades, where our ship will be waiting.
Paul is already awake so he goes to have a shower while I start getting our things repacked. Shower over, he goes to collect some breakfast for us from the buffet. I am far too excited to eat, but the tea is welcome. I, too, have my shower then pack the last few bits in bags and suitcases – how on earth did we manage to accumulate SO much stuff? Thank goodness we are going on a cruise and not on the ‘plane! While I am doing all the last minute things that we women are so good at, he goes to reception to check on our taxi. We are going early – much earlier than they tell you to embark, as we know we can be on for lunch. A final check on the room and then we move everything into the reception area, where we sit and read newspapers. I have a mooch around and take some photos of the hotel pool and gardens which are very pretty. There is a group of ladies outside, with children, and one obviously has a birthday, as more people turn up clutching presents and little cakes. The sun is shining over the water which runs parallel to the garden, and I continue snapping before rejoining Paul. We keep looking out of the hotel doors and at last the taxi arrives.
I think he is a bit shocked at all our luggage – and I have to admit it is rather a lot for just 2 of us, but I always bring numerous things out for the villa and somehow we always seem to fill the empty suitcases on our return. How exactly is a mystery…. He is quite chatty, and says he came to Florida during the war when he and his family fled from the Nazis. He is now retired but drives a taxi to supplement his income as health insurance is so expensive. We arrive at the gates of Port Everglades and it is already busy. There are several ships in today, waiting to depart later this afternoon, and the security guards inspect our passports thoroughly before waving us through.
We crane our necks to see our ship, and after passing several others berthed in various parts of the port we turn a corner, and there she is! She looks stunning – pure white and towering above the terminal building. We have already been on her sister ships, Grand Princess and Caribbean Princess, and she looks just as lovely and absolutely huge. We can’t wait to board her. The taxi driver unloads our luggage and Paul gives him the fare and a tip. A porter steps forward to take our suitcases and we joke with him that we hope they will not get dropped in the water. We are a bit shocked to see a huge line of people stretching right down the outside of the building. It’s getting quite hot so we don’t relish the thought of standing in the heat for hours. We pass an official and when we tell them we are Platinum members he ushers us to the front of the queue and tells us that as soon as the doors open, and embarkation begins, we will be the first in line. It’s a bit embarrassing, but we are grateful for this ‘perk. ’
A few minutes later and the doors open and we are ushered to a check-in desk. We have already done on-line check in so it only takes a few minutes. The lady is very welcoming and pleasant and soon has our cruise cards ready. These will be one of the most important things we will carry with us, as it opens our cabin door, allows us entry onto the ship, and is the means of buying anything on board where there is no cash allowed. She bids us a happy cruise and we walk towards the escalator which will take us up to the embarkation deck, half way up the ship. There are photographers waiting at the entrance but we decline – well, maybe if I went on a diet first, but they don’t have time to wait for that!
We trundle our suitcases up the ramp and soon we are stepping on board where we are greeted by friendly crew who escort us to the lifts. We make our way to the buffet restaurant as it is far too early to go to our cabin. We find a good seat by the window, stow our hand luggage and sit back and relax – we are finally here at the start of a wonderful week’s cruise. We get ourselves a cup of tea from the buffet and watch as passengers arrive. It is fascinating to see all the people, some obviously very new to cruising and looking a bit star-struck, others who are obviously seasoned cruisers who look quite at home.
We are pleased when the buffet opens and make our way to the fantastic array of food. There is a huge joint of roast meat being carved, plus plenty of vegetable, and numerous other main courses, including fish. There are salads galore, cold meats, fruit, and delicious desserts. We hardly know where to begin, but roast meat and vegetables seems a good starting point! The food is delicious and very welcome as neither of us felt like breakfast. As we are finishing our meal an announcement is made that our cabins are ready. We collect our belongings and make our way to our cabin. We are delighted to find that our suitcases are already outside the door, and haul them into the bright sunny room. We have an outside cabin, no balcony this time, but a big picture window which is great.
Now our holiday really has started!
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