Sunday, November 28, 2010

Emerald Princess Cruise, December 2010, Embarkation


Port Everglades with seven cruise ships ready to sail.
A busy day at Port Everglades.

After a longer than usual wait for a van at the Park 'n' Cruise lot, waiting first in hot sun then in a light rain, we got to the ship at 12:20 and were in our cabin by 1:00 P.M. The bags took a while to arrive but we got them at 3:30, just before the muster drill. We sailed out of Port Everglades at 5:10. Dark, stormy-looking sky and a bouncy sea, but no rain.

Before we departed I took the photo, above, showing (at least parts of) seven cruise ships ready to set sail. As we expected, we saw Nieuw Amsterdam, Ruby Princess, MSC Poesia, Carnival Freedom and Celebrity Solstice in port today. And there's a tiny piece of the balcony of Emerald Princess at the extreme right of the photo. That makes six. The seventh ship is probably one of the day trippers that runs from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas and back for gambling and duty-free shopping.

17th Street Causeway Drawbridge, Fort Lauderdale
17th Street Causeway Drawbridge, seen from our balcony cabin, starboard side of Dolphin Deck 9.

This is our second cruise on the Emerald Princess, the other was in December 2008. The ship still looks new and has been well cared for. It was christened on May 13, 2007 by -- in keeping with Princess Cruises' status as a TV icon -- Florence Henderson and Susan Olsen of "The Brady Bunch" along with Erin Moran and Marion Ross of "Happy Days." Our cabin this trip is on the starboard side exactly opposite the one we had on the Emerald last time on the port side.

Taking care of our cabin, and us, is our steward (or in this case more properly, stewardess), Sherill. She's from the Philippines and appears very together, friendly and efficient. And she speaks perfect English which makes so many things eaasier.

We had dinner in the Michaelangelo Dining Room. The first impression of the dining room staff is that they are friendly and well-trained.

The cabin is comfortable and after unpacking we turned in early. A bit tired from our 700-mile drive from Pensacola to Fort Lauderdale.

Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam heading out of Port Everglades
Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam heading out of Port Everglades

Nieuw Amsterdam on her way
The Nieuw Amsterdam on her way south.

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