Boardin' the boat
Bangkok Travel Blog› entry 7 of 23 › view all entries
October 17th, 2007 – by: cotterb
Our luggage had to be in the lobby by 8am so we had to get up a bit earlier than I wanted to. Fortunatly we've been waking up early everyday anyway but after staying out a little late with Sara and Christian I wanted to sleep in some. We dropped our luggage without a problem and then because it was still early we thought we would call home. Usually I just buy a phone card which is available everywhere. There was a bit of a communication problem and we ended up buying a 200 baht (their currency) prepaid cell phone charging card. Needless to say we couldn't call home. We were short on baht, intentionally so we decided to go to the mall, have some lunch, and catch up our blogs. We got to the mall about a half hour before they even opened so we had to wait around some but we eventually got in and caught up for a half hour (we were still short on baht)
We got back to the hotel and waited to get on the bus. I'm so glad that we bought the transfers from the cruise company because the trip was two and a half ours long to the cruise port. I laughed the whole time because the boat was full of older people who couldn't hear or understand the guide who was talking about the history of their king and giving us directions on how to complete our forms. After she said anything of interest or importance someone would say "ehh...."
The guide explained that the current king was trained in civil engineering and has made it his mission to clean up the water system in Thailand. He's done a great job according to her. I didn't get sick even though I brushed my teeth and drank a few drinks which had ice in them, neither of which you're supposed to do, so I think their water system is okay.
Finally we arrived at the cruise port. I knew we would wait in a line, however this was ridicules. I think we waited 2 hours in line before we got checked in and then we had another half hour to go through immigration. Fortunately our luggage beat us through the process so it had already been checked and was at our room when we arrived. As we got into line there wern't any guides or ropes so we were all mushing together. There was this evil Canadian woman who kept yelling at everyone not to pass her. And there were sevearl couples/groups from europe who I don't think have ever had to wait in line before. Two people actually walked direcly up to the counter despite the line and demanded service. The cruise staff did a good job and almost laughed at them while explaining they had to go to the back of the long line.
To save money we decided to stay in an interior room. The first thing I noticed was that this Princess Cruise ship, the Sapphire Princess, has a layout dramatically different from Carnival Cruise ships. I don't know why but I expected more similarities. It's still beautiful. Kim got an all you can drink soda cup because they charge you for sodas. Most everything else, food wise, is free.
The boat is great. This first night we went to one of several dance clubs and danced to a live band. We won both bottles of champaign they were giving out. One for being the first to the dance floor, and another for knowing the name of the ship's captain. There were only 4 couples in the bar so the competition wasn't too stiff. I gave our second bottle to a nice Asian couple that was dancing with us.
We went to bed a bit later than normal, but earlier than I had planned. I hope the boat would be a party but we have only seen a few couples our age and many of the other passengers are not from the US. I've seen and met people from the UK, Canada, Russia, France, Spain, and many other places. It's definitely a diverse group.
The food was good. We have a Dine Anytime option which let's us eat at any one of 4 restaurants anytime between 5:30pm and 10:30pm We can also make reservations in advance. The menu is only slightly different between them so we can go to anyone. While we were getting ready for dinner I accidentally opened the door for our room steward while Kim was changing and because of how the mirrors are situated he may have seen her. She has reminded me of this every time we see him now.
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