As always on cruise ships, my first day on the Majestic Princess was an eventful one.
My dear wonderful friend MD drove me to the cruise terminal in Port of San Pedro, and so we naturally got Starbucks en route. That was my only breakfast because this is not my first cruise, and so I know I’m gonna feast once I get on board.
We were able to find the terminal no problem, they are all very well marked in San Pedro with giant numbers and arrows.
A lot of the check in process is completed in Princess’s medallion app. Partially for Covid-19 reasons and partially because that is the way the world is moving- more digitized. So I already had my boarding time scheduled for noon. I got there an hour early, and the boarding times seem to be completely arbitrary because they let everyone walk into customs as soon as we arrived. What did matter was the color of lane you’re assigned based on readiness. I had meticulously filled out all my heath and personal info ahead of time, including getting a PCR Covid test three days prior, so I got put in the green lane. Seemingly because of that, my boarding process was quick and easy because of that.
Some guest in the customs line screamed the F word REALLY loudly while they were being escorted somewhere, so my experience may not have been universal :/
Thankfully, since this cruise is only USA and Mexico bound, I didn’t have to have my passport- just needed my birth certificate and driver’s license. It was a little tricky pulling all of those things out of my overstuffed backpack, plus my vaccine card and proof of a negative Covid test which were also required to go on the cruise. But I managed to have all the documents correct, and was given my coveted ‘princess medallion’.
It’s crazy what this little electronic pendant can do, and it’s made this cruise different from any other that I’ve been on so far!
Namely, the face recognition checks and muster drill.
If you haven’t cruised, the muster drill is a sort of simulation that everyone has to participate in at the beginning of the cruise. You pretend the boat is sinking and go to your designated lifeboat area so you don’t accidentally jack-and-rose when everything goes to sh…enanigans.
However, instead of it being a chaotic swarming of the deck, they’ve made it all virtual.
You still have to go to your muster station and tap your medallion on the sensor to show that you found where you’re supposed to go in an emergency, but instead of having everyone stand on the deck at once, you just watch a safety video on the app or in your stateroom. It was so much easier and easygoing than a normal muster drill, and I’m so impressed with Princess’s new method!
After that, I made my way to my interior stateroom. Lucky for me and pretty much everyone else it seems, my room was ready for me immediately and I got to put my stuff away.
My room is pretty much just a bathroom and queen bed, no bells and whistles here! (That’s because I got this cruise for an absolute bargain). But as long as the bed is comfy and the water is warm, I’m happy as a clam. I don’t plan on being in here much anyways, there’s too much to do on the rest of the ship!
Next, I made a beeline for Alfredo’s Pizza. I’d read that this was one of the rare sit-down lunch places, and knew that this one one of the few chances I’d have to give it a try without crazy crowds. I still waited about 20 minutes in line for a table, but it was worth it for a fine dining experience. I got Chef Insalata Mista all’ Alfredo (Alfredo’s mixed salad) for an appetizer, then the Tarantina pizza with mussels and bay shrimp, and Nonna’s apple vanilla tart for dessert. Perfect after a day of only-frappucino food!
By then, it was 2pm and time to get into some activities.
I did a little exploring to try and get acquainted with the Majestic Princess, and walked along the Sea Walk for the first time! Sea Walk is a special feature of princess ships, where a clear floor allows you to walk over the water from the Lido deck. Dizzying and super fun! Then I picked out my spot for the sail away party.
When 4pm hit, our cruise director got on the intercom and said there had been some technical difficulties with the sound. I swear my heart skipped a beat for a second, probably an inadvertent flashback to our engine failure aboard the Carnival Splendor that kept us docked in LA for 2 days.
Thankfully, the difficulties didn’t interfere with the “love boat horn”, another Princess Cruise Line specialty. People rave about it and I swear, I was just about in tears from relief and excitement when it played!
Then the cruise director welcomed us aboard and the sail away party began! The whole shebang was lead by the ship’s singers and dancers, who performed on the watercolor stage on the lido deck. I’ve never been on a cruise where the singers and dancers performed at the sail away party and that makes it a super-hurrah for the beginning of the cruise.
After the performance, we sailed out of the Port of San Pedro and I decided to explore a little more. I ended up in the Effy diamond champagne welcome party, and although I had no intention of buying any diamonds, I did enjoy two glasses of complementary champagne and got a free charm.
Then it was time for some dinner. I had a reservation at the Concerto dining room for tonight, and all of the staff seemed so surprised that I was by myself. I don’t get it because I love spending time on my own, but I suppose that could be seen differently by others.
I’ve decided to call it my ‘widows cruise’ and am almost tempted to tell nosy people who ask why I’m alone that I’ve just been widowed. We’ll see…..
Anyways, this 23 year old widow had a great dinner! I started with a Wahoo mojito ceviche since it was labelled ‘locally sourced’ on the menu, and also ordered the chilled rum-infused pina colada soup. I am convinced that this is just a roundabout way of allowing us guests to have a free pina colada each night, and I’m not complaining! For my main, I had the seared mahi mahi with mango salsa since it was also locally sourced. It was okay but a little rubbery and could’ve used more seasoning in my opinion. Then I got the princess chocolate loveboat dream for dessert which was a little bit of heaven on a plate. Chocolate mouse + brownie, how could you possibly go wrong?
Then I practically ran out to catch the comedy show in the Princess theater. The comedian, Rollin Mill, was a pretty funny guy. He’s from South Carolina and so I could relate to a lot of his stories and perspectives about general southern life in the USA. However, he kept commenting on lack of applause when a joke wasn’t received well by the audience, and I always find that kind of annoying. Oh boy am I turning into my mom, haha.
Next was what they call the nightly “cocktail experience” featuring a drink from places featured on the cruise. It was cool to watch a spicy watermelon drink being made, but I wanted to save my drink money for sea days, so didn’t try this one.
Finally, it was off yet another Princess cruise line Specialty- the Watercolor Fountain! The Watercolor Fountain is on the Lido deck where the stage is during the day. They play music and coordinate the fountain to the beat, with lights that turn the water into neon streaks against the night sky.
It’s really such a phenomenal and unique music show for a cruise ship, and I want to go every night now! Tonight had Adele and James Bond songs, and I’m excited to see what they come up with next. It was really cold out on the deck at night, so I hope the weather warms up later this week!
My night aboard after that that was much more tame. I got my princess patter and got busy organizing my stuff and outlining my itinerary for the sea day tomorrow.
So that’s really all! Lots of good food and tons of good shows so far on the ship. Stay tuned to hear all about my first sea day aboard the Majestic Princess tomorrow.