A bitter winter wind has stripped the autumn leaves from trees. The last of my roses was nipped by an overnight freeze.
Halloween and Thanksgiving have come and gone. Christmas is yet to be, although stores have been promoting Christmas sales and merchandise since early October.
The lull between holidays in Indiana is a good time to head to some warmer place, particularly aboard a cruise ship. So I’m packing for a week on the Regal Princess. We will be cruising round trip from Ft. Lauderdale in Florida to Princess Cays, St. Thomas and Antigua in the Caribbean with three days at sea.
I always enjoy the ports of call but my favorite is days at sea when there is no land in sight, just the rolling ocean that seems to stretch into the sky. No matter the time of day or night, I love to sit on my private balcony and watch the sea.
I already know that I have a balcony cabin. I’ve looked it up on the Princess website which notes that a whopping 1,438 cabins (81 percent) of Regal Princess cabins have balconies.
In addition to that all-important balcony with two lounge chairs and a table, my cabin has a queen-sized bed, desk, chair, large flat screen TV (which I will never turn on) and a small fridge which I will use every day. Pepsi is my caffeine of choice so I like to have a cold cola and plenty of ice water in my cabin.
I’ve picked the “Anytime” dining option. Some folks like a set reservation for each night’s dinner to prevent any possible waiting in line for a table. I prefer the flexibility of Anytime in case I want to stay ashore a little longer, finish a shipboard activity or write a blog while it’s still fresh in my mind.
Launched in 2014, the Regal Princess can carry 4,222 passengers and 1,378 crew members. The ship has two swimming pools, rock climbing wall, jogging track, basketball court, fitness center, tennis court, spa, wedding chapel, library, self-laundry, casino, hot tub, shops, movie theatre, art gallery, photo gallery, theatre, WiFi and an eye-catching piazza.
For dining, the Regal Princess has three dining rooms – Symphony, Concerto and Allegro, plus the Horizon Court and Horizon Bistro near the top deck which offer food from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. In addition is the International Café near the Piazza which features sandwiches, snacks and desserts 24 hours a day.
Alfredo’s Pizzeria near the Piazza serves a set Italian menu in a smaller sit-down restaurant. Pizza, gelato, soft serve ice cream and a grill add still more choices. For an extra price, cruisers can dine at Sabatini’s, Ocean Terrace Seafood Bar and Crown Grill. The Regal Princess has 11 bars.
I’m looking forward to seeing Princess Cays, a private resort situated on more than 40 acres on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. Exclusive to Princess Cruise passengers since 1992, Princess Cays offers more than 1.5 miles of white-sand beaches, water sports and shopping.
I visited St. Thomas and Antigua years ago with my sister and am curious to see how they have changed and how they have dealt with the hurricanes that battered the Caribbean since my last stop.
Hope you’ll follow along to see what we discover on this fun journey.
Photos courtesy of Princess Cruise Line