The rugs in the elevators on the Regal Princess have a variety of neat sayings about travel, and I thought this one would be appropriate for boarding day for several reasons. First and foremost, we were excited to be cruising again and making memories with family. Second, one of my sisters had been going on and on about us over-packing but I knew I had plenty of room for memories (and souvenirs)! Third, United had made sure we had a little extra room in our suitcases by leaving one out in the pouring rain resulting in a hefty dry-cleaning bill and a jacket that was ruined by a red sweater bleeding on it.😡 Seriously, we probably did overpack, but the weather was iffy and I wanted to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature threw at us. In the end, I took a lot of stuff I didn’t need, still had room for souvenirs, and made wonderful memories! What’s a little extra luggage?😉
We were lucky to have a free ride (thank you wonderful sister!) all the way to Brooklyn, and I enjoyed trying to relax and enjoy the scenery while my sister dealt with the Manhattan traffic and drivers. I never would have gotten us there…I would probably still be trying to merge onto the George Washington Bridge! I started getting excited when I saw ships, but alas that was the Manhattan cruise terminal and we had to keep going.
Shortly after we got to Brooklyn we started following the signs to the cruise terminal.
The terminal was a little difficult to find and the surroundings were anything but scenic, but there was a prize at the end of the maze!
Boarding was pretty uneventful. We got checked in fairly quickly and waited about an hour to board. My first impressions of the ship were very positive, and I really grew to love the ship over the course of the week.
We had chosen a Deluxe Balcony cabin with an extended balcony, and there were things I really liked about it and other things I struggled with. It was the smallest cabin we’ve had in a very long time, so I was thankful for a port intensive itinerary and lots of great public venues. In actuality the cabin was only 9 square feet smaller than our cabin on the Celebrity Equinox, but it seemed much more cramped, and I think that had something to do with the layout. I struggled with storage space even though the open closet was very roomy (much better than Equinox). The vanity in our cabin was small and lacking in drawers, which meant I didn’t have any good place to store camera equipment, chargers, cosmetics, hair utensils, jewelry, paperwork, etc. Since I don’t like disorganized clutter that was a big issue for me. I also thought the bathroom was cramped with minimal storage and a tiny shower. I developed an intimate relationship with the shower curtain, but we had to break up and go our separate ways at the end of the week.🙄
In all seriousness, the cabin was fine for our one week cruise, but we both like a little more space and the ability to maneuver about the cabin simultaneously. We had booked the same category of cabin for our upcoming British Isles cruise on the Royal Princess and I was genuinely concerned given that it’s 12 nights and I will probably have to spend at least some time at a desk keeping up with an on-line course I teach. Luckily, two consecutive fare sales got us moved to a Mini-Suite with an extend balcony for less than our original Deluxe Balcony booking, so now I can return to obsessing over tours instead of worrying about where to keep my socks!
With our carry-ons safely stowed in our cabins, the three of us (me, Jim, & Mom) headed to Alfredo’s for lunch and to wait for the rest of our group to arrive. Yum…good stuff! I’ll take cooked to order over a buffet any day!
My sister Laura came in on a flight from Indy, and the rest came from Kansas City. All used Princess transfers and arrived at the ship with no problems, although while we were waiting it felt like forever! I was anxious to see everybody, but what I was really excited for was to see my sister-in-law Barb’s face when she got her first look at the ship. Barb and her husband John were the first ones to “sign-up” to go with us, they had never cruised before, and we had been talking/texting about this day for a L-O-N-G time. In the end, she was a little excited…I just don’t know if it was us or the ship!😉 Please excuse the bad picture. I was trying to get my shot and stay out of the way of security. I wasn’t successful at either one!
We went up to the Horizon Terrace for sailaway. That became one of my favorite public places on the ship, with expansive views and comfortable seating. It was a fabulous place to sail from New York on a perfect fall afternoon.
After we sailed under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge we all went our separate ways to settle in before dinner. We established a routine the first night, and it never really varied…gather in a bar (usually Vines or Bellini’s) for drinks and then head to the dining room around 7:00. We had chosen Traditional Dining at 6:00 when we booked, because even though that was a bit early I worried about the wait to seat 8 people in open dining. When we boarded we found that 6:00 really means 5:30 and we decided to take our chances and switch to Anytime Dining. We ended up with a pretty long wait the first night and one other night later in the trip when we were a group of 10, but other than that we never had much of a wait and it worked well for our group.
Up next…Newport, RI and a walk on the wet side!