Day one: Embarking Royal Princess

My journey to begin a voyage on the Royal Princess was a rocky one (with nothing to do with Princess Cruise Line), fraught with complications any frequent traveler knows to avoid, but sometimes can’t.

Royal Princess Stateroom: A view of E720, a deluxe balcony room.

Royal Princess Stateroom: A view of E720, a deluxe balcony room.

Setting sail on a Mediterranean journey from Venice, my itinerary included embarking at Venice on Monday morning, spending the night in the city and setting sail on Tuesday. I know that it is ideal to fly in a day before a cruise just in case flight plans change, but already-scheduled travel plans prevented an early arrival. So I was scheduled to fly in at 9 a.m. on Monday morning. That is, until my airline messed up everything.

Sitting on the runway to fly to Frankfurt, the captain was instructed to wait for three late arrivals. An hour later, they finally sauntered down the aisle, and my scheduled connection was lost. The next available flights from Frankfurt to Venice were completely booked (by other cruise goers waiting until the last minute, too, as I would soon find out) and I couldn’t get to Venice until 5:45 p.m.

So, after 36 hours without sleep, I was thankful for a very quick embarkation. It was a smooth process, maybe made easier because it was 6:30 p.m. However, I had a scheduled tour excursion in Venice that night, which left at 7:15 p.m. I clearly wasn’t going to make it, and the cancellation timeframe had long since passed.

Royal Princess Stateroom Opposite: Looking back towards the entrance of a deluxe balcony room.

Royal Princess Stateroom Opposite: Looking back towards the entrance of a deluxe balcony room.

The water taxi vouchers I found in my room were unusable, too, since a mandatory safety drill was to be held at 9:45 p.m., allowing no time to actually go into the city.

With as much going wrong upon my arrival to the Royal Princess, the ship and the staff instantly made me feel like it was all going to be much better from now on. My room was a blissful welcome, not only because I finally had a bed, but because the stateroom was beautiful and well appointed.

Stateroom E720 is a Deluxe Balcony room on the port side. Set up with a king size bed configuration, there was plenty of space. A small sitting area with a couch and table turned into another sleeping area if required. A small refrigerator was stocked with a mini bar, but offered plenty of room for personal items, as well. A massive flat screen TV was ready for Princess’ on-demand entertainment.

In the bathroom, Princess’ signature Lotus Spa amenities brought a little more pampering to the stateroom. An organza bag containing a loofah sponge, two lip balms, a gel eye mask, a shower cap, soap, linen spray and body lotion could be found on the spacious shelving, while bulk bottles of shower gel and a shampoo/conditioner combination were available in the shower.

Lotus Spa Amenities:  The toiletries in the stateroom go far beyond simple soap and shampoo onboard the Royal Princess.

Lotus Spa Amenities: The toiletries in the stateroom go far beyond simple soap and shampoo onboard the Royal Princess.

Quick work was made unpacking all the clothes and hanging them up in the spacious closet area, with plenty of hangers. A small safe was available in the shelving unit, however it was not big enough to house a laptop or more than one large DSLR camera.

To my enormous relief, the bed was super comfortable and soft. The pillows weren’t the annoying variety that collapses under your head as soon as you lay down, either. Setting an alarm for the next day (no clock was available in the stateroom), I fell asleep on the Royal Princess, ready to sail away from Venice in the early dawn of the next morning.

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