We actually began our vacation by flying into Vancouver BC 4 days before embarking. We spend our time on Vancouver Island and heading to Vancouver on the the 24th and being shuttled to the pier by our Hotel. We arrived at the pier about 10:30 am and handed our luggage to the porters and walked into the terminal. There was NO direction by anyone in the very large area....after asking 3 different staff what to do, we were told (in a general manner) to fill out medical form, nothing else, like then go to....nothing. Finished form and again had to ask where to go. Another line to turn in form, OK. Now what...after asking was told to go "that way" again a general area. Saw a smaller room that had some chairs occupied and 6 to 8 booths with a small line. This was the line to give Princess our documents and credit card. We where then told to go to security where we waiting in a VERY LONG line for almost 1 hour. We say people being issued by the side through security and thought maybe they were platinium or Elite members, but then noticed, that Platinum and Elite members were in the same line as us (Ruby). (I thought Platinum & Elite got priority boarding??). Turned out these "special" people where crew and passengers who were on the leg of the cruise before us and were continuing on. Got security and off to the ship.
We actually made it on the ship right @ noon. Dropped off our hand carry on and off the Horizon to eat a quick lunch. Not very many in Horizon yet so had a quiet lunch. There was a lady hawking the Crab Shack to specific people, she never asked us or even acknowledged us. After lunch we took quick walk around ship. This was the smallest ship we had ever traveled on since 84 so was kind of quiet. We ran back to our room to do a quick load of laundry which was right down hall from our room. This ship was a lot of "firsts" for us. 1st time have room on Plaza deck (thought it might be noisy, but was not). 1st Ocean View (unobstructed), 1st less than 7 day cruise. 1st non-stop cruise. We always select traditional dining (first seating) because my husband usually loves the shows on board. We requested 6-8 people for dinner. Arrived at a large table and only had 1 other couple. During dinner, a single diner joined us. Dinner was typical. We had a very bubbly head waitress from Ukraine. She talked and entertained us the entire dinner. After dinner headed to the 7:30 show which really surprised me. It was wonderful. We went to every show for the rest of the cruise. Last night had a tribute show with the son of Jackie Wilson. He was OK, but that's all I can say. I almost walked out during his first song because he was terribly off key which is something I will not stand (had 2 children as music majors so I can tell when off key or not).
One thing that both my husband & I both noticed....very often when walking around ship, we would not see a sole....no mater what time of day. It was so quiet. I almost felt like we were only people on the ship. Meals were OK. Wish Princess would bring back the special meals but I think they are reserving these for the specialty restaurants. This was a small ship and had 1 dining room for anytime dining, 1 for traditional and 2 specialty (New Orleans, and Sabatini). We always enjoy sitting in the International Café but no so much this time. It was smack dab next to the casino without any wall dividing they. So noise was constant in International café. Poor planning.
What I did not understand was the Churchill lounge. It was in a Prime location along the windows. People in Churchill had best spot on the ship! Great if you were a smoker! There was a medical emergency on our last sea day and they informed us that we had to change course a bit to get into San Francisco waters to air lift the patient to shore. We were instructed no to go out on deck and stay inside (no one to be on balcony) and NO PHOTOS were allowed. They precisely explained when all of this would occur. Again just before airlift began they reminded us what to do and not do. After the event they came back and gave us an update that all went well and we were returning to our course without any delay to our schedule.
They last day at sea they sent us our disembarking time and luggage tags but we did need and reschedule our time because we needed 1st off due to scheduled meeting next day. We had purchased transfers to airport but they failed to give the transfers to us. Went to desk and they said we'd have to wait til 4 to go by excursion desk to get them to reprint our transfers. Did this and they made us feel like we must of "lost" our transfers. Kept insisting they were sent to our cabin with luggage tags. Disembarking went well and smoothly. We got to airport in time to get rental car and make our meetings. I enjoyed the cruise being so relaxing (no excursions) but enough offered in entertainment to keep us busy or not busy as we wanted to be.