A thing I like about the cruise: My cozy cabin, on the Star Princess’s Lido Deck.
It’s an interior room with no windows, the lowest-priced cabin, and I like it just fine. No worries about the midnight sun – yes, it’s Alaska – keeping me awake. It’s a model of efficiency and clever design.
It is not big, clocking in about 160 square feet. The first clue I got to that was when I opened the door to walk inside while wearing my computer backpack, in which I carry my laptop, camera and other gear that lets me blog. It’s slightly wider than a regular knapsack, and when I went to walk through the door I was caught short with a sudden “Ulp!” I had to turn sideways to get through the door.
But large mirrors on opposite walls make the room look larger. And if you’re really fond of looking at yourself, you can actually look at yourself looking at yourself looking at yourself…
There is a queen-size bed with a nightstand and nice extendable reading lamps on each side. In fact, the whole cabin has generous lighting. I have a good-sized work desk with three deep drawers that firmly close with a little “snick” so they aren’t rolling open every time the ship rolls (which it does when you’re at sea). Completing the main room is a little bar counter with mini fridge, topped by a relatively large – in the 30-inch range — flat-screen TV, firmly bolted down (no DVD player, you have to upgrade for that), and a small table just right for room-service trays.
Off a short entry hall is a sizable open closet with hangers and a wide shelf, plus a narrow floor-to-ceiling cupboard with six shelves and a mini-safe. Plenty of storage for two.
The bathroom has a mini-shower. While it’s regular height, it’s only about 4-foot square in horizontal measure. While it would be very snug for two – heads up, honeymooners — it fits me comfortably, with good water pressure, plenty of hot water, and a shower-massage head. The toilet flushes with a whoosh, which is all you can ask. The sink does its job. There’s a hair dryer if want it.
And I think I got the perfect location on the boat, thanks to going online and Googling “best cabins on Princess cruise ships.” Of course there’s a website that ranks such things (try cruisecritic.com). I’m on Lido deck, 14 stories up (or actually only 13 stories, but they don’t call it Deck 13, not that anybody is superstitious). It’s the uppermost deck with staterooms, so nobody is tap dancing above me. I’m on the same level as pools, bars and the buffet, just a minute’s walk away on this 900-foot ship, so it’s convenient. I’m near the bow, so the big Princess Theater, also in the bow, is reached by a quick elevator ride – but seven decks down, so no noise. Anybody else have favorite locations for cabins? Let me know.
The bad thing: I think I mentioned the Internet cost is horrible onboard, and it turns out the service is slow and often disconnects in the middle of a task. So I would classify it overall as “horribly horrible.”
Coming up is Ketchikan, for which I have no plans so far. Let me know what I should go and do. I rode the old gold-rush train out of Skagway today thanks to a reader tip, and while I can’t follow all advice, it’s a big help. Click below, and thanks!