The Suite Life - Star Mar 6
We just got home from the Star yesterday - had a wonderful trip.
Started out from home much earlier then we needed to but since we hadn't gone down the mountain before to get to Sky Harbor (Phoenix) - as normal, if you have plenty of time you hit every green light, so we got there with tons of time. And it was a good thing as when we tried to check in our bag we (and the agent) discovered that our flight had been cancelled. Ooops! So she put us on a much later flight and added us to standby for an earlier flight with our bag. No problem - we were among the few that made standby.
We stayed at the Sheraton Gateway near LAX - four star except for the bathrooms. They very nicely let us check in early and gave us access to the Club Room - only discovered it closed down on the weekends but did have some free internet access and fruit.
Saturday morning DH decided that we should go to the dock early so called John of Save-on shuttle and he rearranged things and picked us up about an hour early. By the time we got to the Port it was sort of raining. People standing outside the terminal building - huddling. They finally took pity and opened the doors but check-in didn't start for sometime and boarding slightly after noon. Long wait but not their fault as we were there long before official boarding time. We had priority boarding which didn't actually come into effect until they started checking everyone in - then you went to designated lines. After check in there was a separate sitting area for Priority. They also had sandwiches and juice set up.
After waiting awhile Jojit Bayan came over to escort us to our room. Because our computer had had a problem we stopped by the desk to have our credit card scanned, only took a minute or two. Then Jojit showed us to our suite - The Van Gogh. It was beautiful! - DH took pictures which I'll post later. After showing us around he escorted us to Cagney's for lunch. Cagney's for lunch and breakfast was a great perk!
Later we met Henry, our Butler. He was really wonderful. Never seemed to mind when we couldn't get something to work. Also a big smile. And then there was Authoreen, our stewardess! Beautiful singing voice and a smile that fills her face. On other cruises we never really knew our steward - room was always kept well but mostly done while we were gone. Because we used our suite so much we talked with Authoreen daily. When we would head out for a port she would remind us to put on lots of sun screen.
If you are lucky enough to get Henry and Authoreen, feel blessed - and give them a hug from us!
Simone also introducted herself and made sure that we knew we could call on her anytime - she does as great a job as everyone has mentioned.
Our suite had a dining area, living room, lovely bedroom with desk (and laptop computer - but not free internet time), sitting bench. A big walk-in closet with lots of drawer space and also a built-in pants press. There was a scale, hair dryer, jetted tub, two balconies. Also had a clock in the bedroom but you couldn't see it in the dark. Our bedroom drape had to be pulled at night so it didn't interfer with the Bridge.
There was a fantastic coffee maker which did all different sorts of coffees - which we never ended up using as DH can't drink coffee of any sort.
The bed was a Bliss Bed (I have to find one of those!!!) - needless to say, it was fantastic. Also Henry found both of us the perfect pillow from the pillow menu. There was a built-in TV in the bedroom, above the tub and a TV in the living room.
All the carpets had been replaced (and spills still happened in the hallways).
A lot of the crew had only gotten back on the 6th - so they didn't know where things had been moved any more then we did. Took 3 crew members before we found the library (which is in a temp. home by the Internet Cafe on Deck 9 - just shelves against the wall. Eventually I think it is suppose to end up on Deck 7.
La Cucina and the Art Gallery moved to Deck 6, mid ship. Duty Free Gift Shops on Deck 7 Forward The Spinnaker Lounge moved to Deck 7, aft, also the Photo Gallery. The Blue Lagoon is on Deck 8, mid ship, port side of Endless Summer.
The old Spinnaker location is being turned into staterooms.
At our meet and Greet put together by SeaShark (great job) the crew gave more information and answered questions but we were to far away to hear so I'm sure that someone else will update on that. Also got to meet Amoose and her DH - lovely couple.
We ate at the Blue Lagoon once and it was nice as it wasn't a buffet - DH is not a buffet fan and since I have to get both of our food at them I'm not either so didn't eat at the Market Cafe. DH did visit the soft ice cream maker on a daily basis (it is located at the far end of the Market Cafe).
Ate at both MDRs - Aqua is smaller and less people go there. Versailles is beautiful. I enjoyed all most everything - only problem I noticed was that most of the food, by the time it arrived, wasn't hot. And a few items were different then I expected, i.e. Stroganoff, etc. When I didn't like the way the stroganoff was prepared our waiter noticed and immediately replaced it for me - the roast turkey was excellent & hot. Aqua seemed to get the food to you hotter - probably because it is smaller. Quite a challenge serving so many people at once.
We didn't go to the shows so can't comment.
We did priority walkoff as we only had one bag and an early flight out of LAX - it took a little longer then expected as the Coast Guard was doing an inspection - but we were off and through customs (a breeze) by 8:30am. Gave John of Save-on a call as we left customs and he was there within 10 minutes - one other group was ready from Princess and he picked them up. LAX at Southwest was a zoo but organized - lots of long lines but at least they moved.
Enjoyed all the ports - We tendered at Cabo - walked around the dock and town area - beautiful weather. Docked at Mazatlan and PV - At Mazatlan we walked to the Cathedral - truly beautiful - quite a few people. At PV we took a shared van ($3/pp) into the old town - again walked around the town and went to the Cathedral (lovely and few people there) - then walked along the Malecon enjoying all the views, sculptures, sand sculptures and people. Went back to the ship - decided we would enjoy living in PV (DH loves moving) and went to see Giovanna at Century 21. She and Fabien took us and showed us some beautiful condos - they were wonderful - and DH is now certain he wants to move to PV so house probably on the market. As you can gather, PV our favorite port.
Enjoyed our 3 sea days - wandered the Star - laid out on the balcony (on warmer non windy days) - Got to see a whale from our balcony while sailing into Cabo.
Can't say enough about the crew of the Star. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. A beautiful ship - a beautiful crew - a beautiful vacation.
- time to go unpack. Hard getting back to reality.