Oct 22, 2018 - Our first day at sea finds us steaming toward Falmouth, Jamaica. My morning begins at 6am with a visit to La Patisserie (Deck 5 midship), at least I think that is where I am. I don't see a sign anywhere, but they are making coffee. And, even though I bring my own coffee and French Press with me when I travel, I am in need of hot water and a cup.
I suspect this area of the ship is the closest thing to the International Cafe on larger Princess ships. However, I did not see any pastries or breakfast items here, just coffee drinks. While this is a nice, relatively quiet area, it is not well suited to my morning blogging duties. The tables are small and it is a bit of a hassle to get the hot water for my coffee. Tomorrow, I will try Horizon Court.
By the time my blog is posted and I am caught up on emails, Rickee is up and getting ready for one of her favorite Princess Cruises' activities: visiting The Sanctuary!
The Sanctuary is an adults-only area located on Deck 15 aft. Luxurious, comfortable loungers are found in both sun and shade. There are three semi-private cabanas with sofa, loungers, television and other amenities. Sanctuary guests enjoy complimentary cucumber or orange-flavored ice water, which are delicious and refreshing. Crew members are very attentive and refill glasses regularly.
If additional shade is needed, a crew member will attach a large umbrella to the back of the lounger. We spent the entire morning just enjoying the peaceful, serene atmosphere of The Sanctuary.
At 11am, crew members come around to take lunch orders. I ordered a cheeseburger and Gazpacho and Rickee ordered shrimp skewers and Gazpacho. Our food was delivered right to our lounger at around noon just as promised.
The Sanctuary is as close to a 5-star luxury experience as you will find on a large cruise ship. However, there is a cost for this luxury. Loungers are $20 for a half-day or $40 for a full day. Cabanas are $140 (half-day) and $220 (full day). In our opinion, The Sanctuary is one of the best features on a Princess ship.
This afternoon, I attended two lectures in the Princess Theater. Destination expert, Dr. Dean, gave the crowd valuable information on the upcoming ports of Falmouth, Jamaica, and Cartegena, Colombia.
Immediately following Dr. Dean's presentation, Patrick McCormack gave an interesting lecture on "The Bermuda Triangle: Love it, or Leave it".
With two lectures under my belt, I meet Rickee in the Wheelhouse Bar for Afternoon Trivia conducted by Lucy, a member of the Cruise Staff. We got 17 out of 20 questions right, but that was not enough to win the prize. I mistook the Australian flag for New Zealand, even though Rickee insisted it was the Australia flag, and we missed the question on what temperature is the same in Celsius and Fahrenheit.
This evening, along with most other guests on the ship, we headed to the Atrium for the Captain's Champagne Reception. On our way, we were greeted by Stanley, the Princess Cruises' bear mascot.
The Atrium was packed with guests waiting to get their photo taken with Maitre'd, Silvio Zampieri.
After hundreds of champagne glasses were filled with the bubbly, we decided to go to the early showing of The Secret Silk in the Princess Theater.
The Secret Silk was produced by Stephen Schwartz, the producer and composer of the Broadway play, WICKED. Rickee and I agreed that this was the most elaborate production show we have ever seen on a cruise ship, and we have seen more than our share. Four vocalists and ten dancers brought the stage alive with action, song, dance, and romance. There were even puppets!
Music from The Secret Silk included songs from Josh Groban, R. Kelly, Sara McLachlan, Lee Ann Womack, The Police, Heart, Lionel Richie, DeBarge, Cyndi Lauper, Celine Dion, Bastille and Christina Aguilera. The show had a much more contemporary theme than you typically find on cruise ships.
The multiple costumes and props used throughout the show were nothing short of amazing. If The Secret Silk is playing on your next Princess cruise, this is one show you definitely do not want to miss.
Tomorrow, Island Princess will be docked in Falmouth, Jamaica.