Sapphire Princess Day 33

Written by Safarigal
April 6, 2024

Los Angeles

April 5th, 2024

Well, it was raining as we arrived in San Pedro. And it was jolly cold. I can’t wait to get down south again.

There was the Emerald Princess not too far away.

We said goodbye to our cabin, and as if it was sad to see us go, the toilet promptly ceased to function. I know that people are often complaining that their toilets no longer flushed, but for the most part we had been spared this inconvenience until now. Instead of flushing it was making gurgling sounds.

Time to alert our cabin steward to the emergency, gather up our belongings, and leave the area.

Those of us transferring to the Emerald were asked to wait in the casino, and disembark at 10:10. We showed up at 9:30 expecting to find a seat and wait around until 10:10. However, we were told we could go ashore now, so off we set to join the disembarking throngs.

Things did not move quickly, and it took us almost an hour to get from the ship to the luggage area. Finally we arrived to pick up our bags and take them to the drop off place outside the terminal, for them to be taken to the Emerald. However, our bags were nowhere to be found. Finally I was able to track someone down who informed me that they had been taken to the Emerald.

Well, that was very nice of them, except we had not attached our cabin number labels to the bags. Brian was feeling doubtful that we would see them again, but the Apple tags showed that they were dockside near to the Emerald so that gave me hope.

Unlike in Brooklyn, there was a separate immigration line for US citizens, so we joined that, and within moments we were through immigration and out into the cold, damp, southern California morning.

It was a very easy walk from where we had docked, Pier 92, to the Emerald on Pier 93.

Check in had just started, and was moving fast. We were concerned that as we had been unable to complete the pre check in requirements, there may be an issue checking in now. However, as the computer system seemed to think this was all one cruise and we were already on the Emerald, there was nothing to be done except pick up our new medallions.

Brian’s brother works in Torrance, which is fairly close to San Pedro, so we had agreed to meet up for lunch. It took him ages to actually get to the port – I suppose with 2 big ships in the port there is bound to be a lot of traffic.

Finally he arrived, and we went to a wonderful Long Beach restaurant called 555. It was great catching up with all the news, and just spending time with him. Unfortunately our sister in law could not join us. She has replenished my supply of Peppermint Aeros, Cadbury dairy milk chocolate, and most importantly Cadbury Flakes. I was an extremely happy camper! Not wanting to appear greedy at lunch, I was very well controlled and waited until we were on the ship before the chocolate consumption began. I am soooo lucky to have 2 sisters in law who understand my need for chocolate.

We were told we had to be back at the ship by 1:30 as sail away was at 3:00 so lunch was a bit rushed, but I certainly enjoyed our brief time together.

By the time we got back to the port check in was finished but there was a long line to go through security. It was unclear why it was taking so long, but one reason was that if you had any open containers of fluid, you had to pour the fluid out. The reason was not in case you were trying to smuggle gin or vodka on board, but because if the container leaked it would damage the X ray machinery. That’s the first time I have heard of that.

Despite the delay due to the emptying of water bottles all around us, we finally were able to board the ship.

We boarded at deck 7, which is the Promenade deck. This is so much nicer than boarding in the bowels of the ship on deck 4 as we had done on the Sapphire.

My first impressions of the Emerald are that she is similar to the Sapphire, but that there was something about her that made her not quite as nice as the Sapphire. Our cabin was easy to locate, it is in the same position near the front of the ship as our previous one, but it is 2 decks higher.

I had hoped it would be a bit bigger, with room for 2 chairs, but it is the same size, and has less storage space.

However, it has a large balcony, and I look forward to making good use of it in the near future.

Two of our bags were waiting for us outside our cabin door, the other 2 appeared to still be on the dock. Without any labels identifying the fact that they needed to be on Emerald Princess, and what our cabin number was, we were a bit concerned that they may miss the boat.

As the time drew closer to sail away and we were still missing 2 bags, I went to guest services to try to see if they were on the ship as the Apple tag was still showing them on the dock. I was reassured that they were still loading luggage, and not to worry. I showed them photos of the missing bags and wrote a long description of them so that they will know where to send them when the bags finally arrive on board.

We unpacked the 2 bags we had, and headed up to deck 16 to watch our sail away. It was very cold and extremely windy. We needed tugs to help us on our way, and prevent us from being blown into the ships around us. The tugs and the pilot did a good job, and we were able to clear the breakwater with no apparent mishaps.

As we sailed by the Sapphire Princess we both blew our whistles, but it was a very tame affair, not like when Cunard ships pass each other.

We also sailed by the USS Iowa.

I was hoping to get a good view of Queen Mary in Long Beach, but we could only see her from a distance. Still that was better than nothing.

We had been told that once we had disembarked from the Sapphire that our Medallion apps would work perfectly. Not so. Now instead of being on the Emerald, the app says that we are on Sapphire and thus we couldn’t make a dinner reservation, and the schedule for the evening was most likely that of the Sapphire, as it certainly wasn’t our schedule.

One thing that did work on the Sapphire was the part of the app that you can use to see where your “shipmates” are. Thus if I was in Club Fusion, say, and Brian was looking for me before going to the gym, he could see where I was, and also there was a messaging function. This means of contact has done away with us frequently leaving each other notes in the cabin to explain what our next move is. I really enjoyed it.

However, seeing as we are now both on the Sapphire as far as the app is concerned, we cannot be shipmates on the Emerald. They really do have to fix the app. It looks great when it works, but after 5 weeks of malfunction we are beginning to get a bit frustrated.

We went to Crooners for pre-dinner drinks. The bar is also on Deck 7 in the atrium, but is much larger which is great, as it was always a challenge to find a table there on Sapphire. And they had an IPA which pleased Brian as there were no IPA’s available on Sapphire.

Before dinner we checked to see if our bags had arrived. They hadn’t. Then we went to the Da Vinci restaurant to see if we could get a table as we had failed to be able to make a reservation due to the “computer glitch”.

After waiting for a while we were finally able to get a table, but our waiter almost seemed resentful that we were there. This was the first time I had ever felt that we were putting a waiter out by sitting at a table.

There were numerous issues with our meal, but the end result was that we missed the evening show.

Brian decided to make up for my disappointment at missing the show by suggesting we go to Crooners and I did a taste comparison between the Sapphire and Emerald milky way martinis. Alas the Emerald ones simply didn’t compare to the Cunard ones of old. However, with my new supply of Cadbury Flakes I can now bring one with me to place in my drink the next time I order a milky way martini. That’s a start. Crooners is great, but simply can’t compare to the Commodore Club on Queen Victoria, listening to Carlo on the piano, surrounded by friends. That was perfection.

We returned to our cabin at 10:30 and our 2 bags were still missing. The good news was that our app showed that they were on the ship. We did eventually track them down, but I decided that the unpacking could wait. I was just glad that we and our luggage had made an uneventful transition to the Emerald Princess. Eclipse here we come!

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