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Worldtrip a 45 year old's adventures around the world-which include everything from sitting in random McDonalds using his notebook, hanging with 22 year olds, and other immature stuff.

My Graduation Cruise-Day One

USA | Monday, 4 December 2017 | Views [73]

Yesterday, I left my house and made the approxiamately 20 minute drive to remote parking to take my graduation cruise.

What is a graduation cruise?  On my training to become a travel agent, I had to take courses on all of the major cruise lines, Princess cruises being one of these lines. Nearly 2 years ago when I started work there, I read through a few pages of material, and took their long multiple choice exam online.  Now, as you can imagine, studying about Princess Cruises ships or destinations isn't the CFP exam, or GMAT exam (both of which I took)-but the test is surprinsgly irritating and difficult. Although it is multiple choice, the choices aren't only A, B, C, or D. They could be A & B, A, B & C, A & C, all of the above, none of the above, etc. And who knows if it is the Grand Princess and Star Princess that goes to Alaska, or the Grand Princess and Coral Princess?  The good part is that you can retake the exam as often as you need to, and I did.  

After a while, I passed the exam-the reward is...a free cruise. Just paying taxes and gratuities.  Although it has been nearly 2 years since I took the exam, for most of the times the free cruises we're prohibitively restrictive, i.e. a 7 day crruise out of Tokyo, or a 21 day cruise (vacation time??), but due to the  hurricanes in the caribbean, there was a lot of capacity in the Caribbean, so I was able to go on this cruise out of Fort Lauderdale.

The ship is the Regal Princess, which I toured once.  As a Travel Agent, I toured many ships, including ones by Azamara, Crystal, Oceania and Royal Caribbean's Oasis and Harmony of the Seas megaships, as well as the Regal Princess. The Azamara, Oceania, and Crystal we're beautiful but I couldn't see myself going on them.  I'm too young and don't need all of that opulance. The Royal Caribbean megaships looked too much like shopping malls.  The Regal Princess seemed like my type of ship though. It looked luxurious, but also contemporary-upbeat pop music played in the halls, and the crowed looked like average Joes like myself. So I jumped on the chance to sail for free.

erday, I left my house and made the approxiamately 20 minute drive to remote parking to take my graduation cruise.

 

After parking the car at the Rennaisance hotel Fort Lauderdale, I took the shuttle, and managed all of the ropes and crowdes and checkin. Upon check in, I was welcomed back for sailing with Princess so many times; Actually-I have never sailed with Princess, but as a graduate of the Princess academy-I was automatically conferred Elite status, which ordiniarly would require 151 cruise days or 16 cruises to  sail.  

I boarded the ship, which in addition to the beautiful fine woods and light decorations, there was garland and a Christmas tree in the lobby. Additionally, there we're "welcome aboard" banners everywhere, and the staff was wearing welcome aboard sashes.

I dropped my stuff in the room, which had elite touches, like a welcome to the wine tasting later in the cruise, and the free mini-bar set up.  Also in the room was the 6 page required test I was required to take, such as to ask the appropriate departments how many weddings we're on the cruise, which elite benefit i the  best, what is the type of Jewelery on sale for this cruise, etc.

I went up to the  lido deck, and had lunch-I found a veggie fritata and a taco bar-I had chips and guacomole. A waiter  came along with drinks-I ordered some type of colorful sail away punch. (I ended up having 2). I went back to the room and took a nap until the muster drill, which was quick and painless. The muster drill started with a modified version of the Love Boat theme.

I watched the sail away party-which was different. There was a countdown where on the big movie screen-where the cruise director counts down from 10 until the ship sails away-and blows the horn. The horn here is different-it is actually the first 8 bars of the Love Boat theme....Love, exciting and new...come aboard, we're expecting you. Then the dancers came out and performed some upbeat "Sail Away" melody, with a fast paced dance to Stys Sail Away. Finally, before the musicians started playing-the giant movie screen showed a video featuring all of the staff on the ship performing a fast paced and very very very catchy song  called "Away Away". 

 After I sat up and watching the band play calypso hits, I went to  the back of the ship and watched the sunset, and took a nap before dinner.

At dinner type, I had a tough time finding the dining room. I was at table 572. I couldn't find it. In fact, I went to the wrong dining room.  I met a 40-50ish looking woman who was also trying to find the same dining room.  We walked around together, and tried to find the right dining room. I was hoping she was at my table-nope. she was at 593, or something like that.  After a few wrong turns, we found the right dining room.  

The Maitre'd led me to my table. We walked past other tables-people who seemed to be having fun. We walked past one-was this my table? Nope. We walked past another table-this one with I belive 5 ladies and 2 guys. Was this my table? There seemed to be an empty spot? Nope. Finally, I got to my table-four people we're sitting at the table-two married couples in their early 70's who we're long time friends-The man at the table was a vegan-who didn't like vegetables. From what he was saying, he used to play football in school-he got arthritis at one point and had to walk with a cane. His daughter told him that if he adapt a vegan diet, he will no longer have to walk with a cane. (I don't remember why). He adapted this diet and no longer had to  walk with a cain-but he doesn't like vegetables, so the maitre'd was at the table-trying to find food for him to eat for the rest of the cruise.

After dinner, I went to the introductory art get-together in the art gallery, (I don't know anything about art), but I looked around and had free champaigne. I then went to the funniest comedian in the Princess fleet (I didn't find him funny), and left early. The plan was to go to the room and take a nap and maybe go to the dance club later-but I just fell asleep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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