First ever cruise: Sailaway party

There are different aspects to cruising and as a first timer, I found all of them very exciting from embarkment and disembarkment, to the use of technology –  Medallion Class on the Cruise ship, and much more.

The Medallion Class

The cruise line made effective use of smart phone and their Medallion Class.  Passengers can watch the video on their mobile phone or on television in their stateroom.  Information on the location of your muster station can also be found at the back of your stateroom door together with your nearest exit.

 During this drill, passengers are instructed on how to respond in case of an emergency such as a ship evacuation or a fire.

 The crew were available to provide instructions on how to wear the life jackets correctly, the location of emergency exits, muster stations, and other important emergency procedures.

As I have never been on a cruise ship and fearful of sailing, I did not hesitate to watch the video clip in my cabin.  Also, I  checked out my life jacket and tried it on so as to be sure that I understood how to put it on. Once completed, I headed to my allocated muster station where a crew member checked me in using my Medallion device. That was it, I was cleared for sailing!!

Tip: It is worth attending the introduction session on the ship on embarkment day about how to get the best use out of the Medallion Class. 

Muster Drill

Similar to the emergency procedures on an aircraft, all passengers boarding a cruise ship must participate in their emergency drill. Muster drill is a mandatory safety briefing for all cruise passengers onboard Princess cruises.  The drill usually takes place on the first day of the cruise and before the ship departs the port.

Passengers are required to attend the drill, and those who fail to attend may face penalties such as fines. It is important to take this drill seriously as it can save lives in case of an emergency.

Television in stateroom
My muster station -outside the casino!

Tip:  Whilst you can watch the emergency drill video on your mobile phone, my tip is to watch the video clip on the television in your stateroom. Watching the video clip unlocks your TV for ordinary and normal TV viewing.

Sailaway party

The sailaway was one event that I was particularly keen to see.

The sailaway party on a cruise ship signals the official start of the cruise. I waited for the announcement and was disappointed to learn that it would be held in the Piazza and not at the top deck 19 where it would normally be held. The change of venue was not surprising as the weather turned out to be the typical British weather – grey, wet and cold in August!

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Great atmosphere is the Piazza where the sailaway party was held.

The party was great fun – crew members were in costume and danced to music playing in the Piazza. The Crew Director led the party and encouraged passengers to join in. I must say that I did not join in as I was not yet sure what to expect as a first timer!  I was happy just to watch the event. It was lively and most entertaining, some might say a little cheesy. Nevertheless, the event got me very excited and in the mood for a fantastic holiday.

I wanted to see the ship pull away from the port so I headed to the top deck 19. Passengers were already gathering so  was not alone.  Sure enough I could see the arial view of Southampton port. And while I was still trying to take it all in, I was startled by the the loudest sound that I ‘d ever heard. It was the ship’s horn blasting to the sound of ‘love boat” theme song from the 1970’s American TV show! As the ship started to move, I could feel the gently sway of the waves and took in the views. 

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There are plenty of onboard activities to keep passengers entertained during the sailaway, including a variety of dining options and live entertainment. The atmosphere on the deck is filled with excitement and anticipation for the adventures that await on the cruise.

My first cocktail - Hawaiian!
Great atmosphere is the Piazza where the sailaway party was held.

Tip: The sailaway is an important part of the overall experience  that sets the tone for a great cruise. In my opinion, it is worth attending it. for the fun of it!  

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