Waking up at 4:15 am is no fun, but the excitement of the cruise made it all worthwhile. Karma was on our side, as we were able to get an Uber all the way in Lithonia, Georgia, make it to the airport without much traffic, zoom thru baggage claim and TSA check, have breakfast and make it onto the plane all in record time and no snafus. The plane was built for international flights, so we were able to watch movies of our choice from our individual screens during the 5 hour ride. The plane ride was smooth and we arrived without any delays.
Once off the plane, we were on our way to the ship. The cruise line was well organized. We
moved effortlessly through baggage claim and met a cruise representative who directed us to the bus. All of the lines at the different stations were long but because of excellent organization or the time of day we arrived, they moved quickly.
The bus ride from the airport to the pier was about 45 minutes, but that too didn’t seem long because our driver gave us a running commentary on the buildings we passed and other historical facts about Seattle. She also pointed out interesting outdoor artwork while managing to keep us laughing with her dialog. Once at the pier, the organization was superb. We made it from the pier to the ship within 30 minutes, and that was with going through several different check points. Everyone was friendly and helpful.
From the moment our feet touched the walkway to board the ship, the cruise personnel was taking our picture, sanitizing our hands, giving us a glass of mimosa or wine, offering any information you needed and most of all telling you where a buffet lunch was being served until your stateroom became available.
We were greeted at the entrance to the dining area by someone squirting Purrell® into everyone’s hands. Food, food, food and more food!! That adequately describes the buffet. Okay it was also good food being served by friendly people and seeing other guest who were just as excited as we were. Throughout lunch the staff was constantly trying to get us to buy one of the different packages they had to offer, beverage, speciality dinning, Internet etc.. all with an embarkment day special price. That is the only thing that I really didn’t care for, but business is business.
About this time I was thinking, boy why didn’t someone tell me Seattle is so hot. Why didn’t I pack some cooler clothes, these jeans are hot. Walking on the deck I saw many people with bathing suits, short pants, flip flops, etc. and there I was sweating in blue jeans. Finally the staterooms were ready. They were clean and actually a nice size but the best thing of all was the balcony. We only stayed in the rooms long enough to rest for a few minutes and make a few last minute calls to family before the horn sounded for the safety drill. It was different from drills I have participated in before, as we didn’t have to take our life vests with us and our muster station was on the inside of the ship.
After the safety drill we explored the ship for a small amount of time before going to dinner. Once again we were greeted with Purrell at the door so I can only assume this is going to be a daily occurrence. It is good to know that Celebrity® is interested in cutting down on infections and illnesses on the ship.
After dinner it was back to exploring. First stop, the pool deck. We took one step out the door and promptly went back inside because the temperature had fallen severely and then I
remembered why I packed warm clothes and boy was I grateful! After walking around the ship
we returned to our room to rest up for a new adventure tomorrow.
In our room we were surprised by two gifts from our wonderful daughters. It was such a loving
thing to do and one that made us proud to have such thoughtful children.
Pack for all occasions : Take at least two outfits for the warmer or colder atmosphere that you are leaving if where you are going is the opposite. Remember, you are returning home and the temperature will probably be different from the cruise.
Arrange for ship transfers ahead of time : As we worked with our agent, L’Anda, before the cruise, she suggested that we pre-book transfers from the airport to the ship. I highly recommend booking transfers like this because it took all of the stress out of leaving the airport and getting checked in.
Spring for the balcony : If you are doing an Alaskan cruise you must have a balcony!! The views are amazing, and that is why you are going to Alaska.
Get to know your ship : Explore the ship as much as possible the first day, that way you will have a good idea of where everything is.
Understand the cruise extras before you buy : Do NOT feel pressured to buy any of the embarkment day specials. Give yourself time to think about what you really need and want before buying. In fact, because we worked with our agent, L’Anda, ahead of our trip, we knew exactly what we were going to add on before we got on board.