A while back, I was reading through some travel-related emails and came across a discounted three-day cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver. It was one of those wild hair kind of ideas and we decided to make it into a long weekend getaway. So, here’s the story of taking as many modes of transportation as possible in four days.
First off, we had to get to Los Angeles to start the cruise. To my pleasant surprise, Alaska Airlines has $125 fares from Seattle to LA.
I couldn’t resist a photo of Mt Rainier as we take off and head south.
As for the automobile part of the trip, a taxi from LAX to the cruise ship pier.
We were on the Grand Princess, capacity: 3,100 passengers. I never got a good photo of the entire ship from a distance but here are some interior pictures.
The cruise ship terminal is part of the Port of Los Angeles, a major west coast cargo operation. Here’s the view from our balcony.
We set sail (I suppose that is an archaic nautical term since we really didn’t have any sails) about 5:00 PM. So as to not mess with tradition we went topside for the sail away party.
With no stops between LA and Vancouver, our focus turned to what was available on board the Grand Princess. We quickly discovered that there were numerous bars and multiple dining options.
It seemed like every time we left our cabin, George, our attendant, would freshen up the place. Sweet Pea, the traveling bear, became part of the evening turn down service.
One of the onboard activities was a cooking demonstration by the ship’s maître d’hôtel, the head chef and the head pastry chef followed by a tour of one of the kitchens.
By day, the Crown Grill was turned into an English Pub.
When we booked the cruise, we didn’t know that Canada’s schools would be on break. The indoor pool seemed to be a magnet for the younger set.
Princess Cruises features Movies Under the Stars with a big screen on the top deck by one of the outside pools. Movies are shown throughout the day. This might be a cool feature if the ship were in in a tropical zone but not so much when it happens to be cruising up the west coast in March with a temperature of 55 degrees. Nevertheless, it was free and some passengers couldn’t resist.
The sun sets on our first full day at sea…
After some serious research, we determined that the best bar on the Grand Princess was the Wheelhouse, located amidship. It scored top honors for the friendliness of the bar stewards and the nautical ambiance.
The other specialty restaurant on the Grand Princess is Sabatini, an Italian eatery. We tried it the second night and liked it so much we made reservations for the last night as well. A big reason, in addition to the food, was our waiter, Vitaly, from Ukraine.
The of the ship’s TV channels monitored our progress. Here we are passing Florence, Oregon. Sam, we waved as we sailed by but you must not have seen us!
Lorette took her flute along and managed to get in a few practices. I took my gym stuff along and managed to get in one workout in the ship’s fitness center. Here’s a photo of Lorette practicing in the Princess Theater. There are no photos of me working out in the fitness center.
And now for some random shots from around the ship…
Alas, all good things must end.
And to round out the travel theme of this post, the final modes of transportation to get back home…
Last but not least, we picked up Lewey at his kennel for the drive home.