Well, boarding with so many people was really kinda hectic… and seeing I had made all the booking arrangements for everyone, I really felt very responsible for trying to make sure things went smoothly – which of course, they didn’t. Mostly because the information that I gained from Ann and Suzie, the Princess travel consultants bore little to no resemblance to the actual procedures we encountered when we finally went through embarkation processes and the whole dealing with the Purser’s Desk to have people rooms re-keyed back to their proper cabins (remember we had mixed everyone up to maximise the past passenger discounts).
At the end of it all, and once on board, I found myself taking a few minutes to write a strongly worded email to Ann and Suzie about it… because I knew if I didn’t get it off my chest, I was going to end up exploding at the staff on the ship – and it is hardly their fault that I was given bad advice!
I am writing to let you know that our boarding process today has been a complete cluster! Your fill in, Suzie, advised us that we should stick together through the boarding process and stated that we would be able to all use the priority boarding lane given we had a few platinum passengers in our largish group. At the terminal we were told this was not possible (in spite of the priority boarding queue being almost empty) and that, (and I quote here,) ‘the Princess travel agents don’t know anything’!
Oh well, offloaded that crap, let’s move on. I gave everyone their black and gold VIP lanyards, complete with their steampunk cogs and things that I attached (they seemed to be a hit, it’s nice to look like a group), and I had Mr K go ahead of us and put signs on all our cabin doors so we (and our cabin stewards) would be able to find each other easily. We all dropped what we could into our cabins and went up on decks for sail away drinks. That first Mai Tai went a long way to soothing away the hassles of boarding.. as we excitedly sailed out under the Gateway Bridge, amidst lots of smiles and yahooing and (ZOMG, so many!) selfies all round!