It is Sunday night aboard the Royal Princess off the Spanish Mediterranean coast. We are halfway between Valencia and Cartagena. I thought I would bring you up to date on our travels since we left Houston on Friday morning.
We normally drive to IAH, park in the Parking Spot and leave the car there for the length of the voyage. MA found a less expensive option, a limo service for longer trips that will pick us up at home, drive us to the Terminal and be waiting for us upon our return.
We arrived at Terminal D, checked in with KLM, got through security no problem and found the KLM Crown Lounge. We had a 2-hour wait but it passed quickly and we boarded the big Boeing 747. Soon enough we watched Houston disappear on the horizon. By the way, we were impressed with KLM!
I can never sleep on one of these overseas flights and this was no exception. I just sat there with my eyes closed for the longest time, finally opened my I-Pad and looked over some books I had downloaded.
I started with one of my WW3 books about a fictional Warsaw Pact invasion of Europe and the NATO response. To my surprise I read most of it on the flight.
We landed in Amsterdam, deplaned, and went through the European immigration. Amsterdam is one big airport with thousands of people all over the place!
After a two hour wait we boarded another KLM flight which took us to Barcelona. I had wanted to make a trip to Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia church but we did not have time to go. The ship was scheduled to depart at 4:30pm.
Princess Cruises was waiting at the airport with bus transportation for their passengers who had pre-arranged this. By now I was really dragging and just wanted to close my eyes for a while.
We got aboard the ship and found our cabin, A315 on the 12th floor deck. We were both hungry so we grabbed some lunch and went back to close our eyes while we waited for our luggage to be delivered. We quickly unpacked and I took another short nap. That’s how it goes with me and jet lag.
Our stateroom TV has a channel with live US sports. The Astros VS Yankees, game 7 was scheduled to be broadcast at 2:00AM, ship’s time. I was determined to watch the game no matter what.
But first we met our dinner table mates, Jim & Carol who had moved to Florida from New Hampshire. I’ve heard that from many a North Eastern American before! Jim had also served in the Air Force so we had plenty to talk about. It’s nice to find people at the dinner table who are fun and easy to talk to.
MA and I got back to the cabin and both of us were done for the day. I was asleep in 3 minutes but I woke up at 1:00AM with an hour to kill before the game. So I read the rest of my novel and then the Astros and Yankees game began.
Oh my! It was back and forth and finally the Astros broke the tie and started scoring. Morton was pitching fantastic and McCullers came in and saved it for him. I was so happy for these young Astros. They really deserved to win the American League pennant this year. Now it’s on to LA.
After the game I was so ecstatic I couldn’t get back to sleep. I got dressed and went down to the International Cafe which is open 24hrs. I had some coffee and read the news from my I-pad. The Royal Princess docked in Valencia, Spain around 7:00am.
We met for breakfast with another couple, Mitch and Pat from Ohio who MA had met the ship roll call online. Passengers on a given trip can log on to roll call and get acquainted before ever leaving home. MA found a couple who are bird watchers and they are going bird watching with us with a private guide later in when we get to the Canary Islands.
After breakfast the four of us took the shuttle bus into Valencia, Spain’s third largest city. We drove through the center of the city where the older section is still standing. Valencia is so old it was actually a Roman town at one time.
In the middle of Old Town we found a large square with a stage and Spanish dancers of all ages performing traditional Spanish dances with castanets and beautiful costumes (see photos). Calling it a day, we took the shuttle bus back to the ship, had lunch, a nap, enjoyed a wonderful Russian string quarter concert, then dinner and called it a night! I