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George Cruises With Princess

Nope. Not getting my Alaska story yet. He he. Feel that tension building. Ain’t I a stinker?

George went along with us on our cruise to Alaska and had a lot of fun on the ship, the Ruby Princess. For those of you who have never cruised, here are George’s highlights of his trip on the ship.

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In answer to your question, yes, I am this crazy!

Alaska Bound

My buddy, Bernie, and I drove over to Seattle the day before our cruise was set to begin. I had reserved a decent hotel for the night near the airport where hotels are much cheaper than near the docks. I had also reserved an inexpensive but secure place to park the car for 7 days and a shuttle to the docks. The ride over was uneventful though we did get to see windmills and the freeway was closed at one point thus causing us to detour. So glad we went over a day early. A good policy to live by for cruising.


After a good night’s sleep and a tasty free breakfast at the hotel, we parked the car and hopped on the shuttle. It was an interesting ride as a long metal piece on the roof had been torn off and was hanging down where it banged the window. I felt bad for the folks sitting next to that window. That was a bit scary and noisy.

At the Princess Cruise lines terminal, we were ushered straight in. The lines weren’t bad at all and security was fairly easy. We quickly got our Sign and Sail Cards and boarded the Ruby Princess. We had made a point of wearing our custom cruise T-shirts I had made by Vistaprint. It was a fun way to start our voyage and made for a great embarkation picture!

Alaska Tshirts frontAlaska tshirts back

As we pulled away from the dock, it was really cool to see the terminal workers come out to wave us off. I didn’t see any kind of sail away party going on but the waving really helped to set the mood. We did get chocolate covered strawberries sent to our cabin by my travel agent which also kicked our moods up. Yum!

Princess dock terminalPresent from travel agentI chose Princess for this cruise so I could see why it was the favorite cruise line of my parents and because it is supposed to have the best itineraries since they were among the first to cruise Alaska. It definitely is different from Carnival ships. Carnival is more of a party atmosphere from the minute you board. Princess certainly had some parties but they aren’t as constant or in your face.

Both cruise lines have good shows though I think those on Carnival are better. Princess did have a couple of shows that were pretty awesome.

The beds on Princess were hard as cement slabs. We were able to sleep but we felt it. I heard afterward that we could have asked our steward for a mattress topper. Will try that next time. The rest of the room was fine. We booked an interior room to keep costs down but chose one on Lido deck so we could run outside real quick to see Alaska and get pictures. That worked very well for me. The room had a refrigerator which we did use.

The food was definitely the best on Princess. I loved both the Main Dining Room (MDR) and the Lido deck cafeterias. I got lots of cheese cake, salad, and shrimp! We tried a different cafeteria near the end of the cruise which served lots of Mexican food that was also delicious. We did anytime dining again rather than reserved to keep our options open. They still sat us at tables with other people unlike on Carnival. It was kind of nice though to meet other people and chat during dinner. The ice cream on Princess is served to you unlike on Carnival where they have machines available 24/7 to serve yourself.

Excellent Princess food

We went to clubs every night to play trivia games (which we lost badly) and to listen to the excellent music. I watched a couple movies (Sound of Music was one) on the big screen out on deck by the pool. It was cold so everyone snuggled under multiple towels properly draped and drank hot chocolate. We had “The Love Boat” playing constantly on the TV in our room. Swimming and the hot tubs were out for us due to how cold it was. Ruby Princess doesn’t have any pools or hot tubs indoors like Carnival Triumph does. I used the treadmills in the fitness center to work off some of the ice cream and cheese cake and walked their track on top.

Stern adult pool and hot tubPrincess Fitness CenterSound of Music on Lido

They had a big party near the end to celebrate 50 Years of Princess. It was in the center atrium which was so filled with people that folks were standing around or dancing by the rails at every level and on the stairs. The live music was wonderful and I did a bit of dancing up above myself. At the end they dropped balloons on the main floor which everyone popped.

50 Years of Princess partyBalloon popping

We had some minor rough seas here and there. I know there was one night when our beds kept going up and down. LOL We didn’t get seasick so it was fine.

When we got back to Seattle, debarkation went very smoothly also. We found our suitcases easily, cleared customs, and went right out to our pre-arranged shuttle back to our car. Since we got back early in the morning and both had colds, we drove straight back to Idaho. I was supposed to stay with my oldest son near Seattle but didn’t want to give his several kids my cold and had more business to take care of with my house in Idaho.

That’s the overview of our Alaska trip. I would definitely sail on Princess again and would love to go back to Alaska. I do advise taking your jacket, gloves, a warm hat, and LONG UNDERWEAR. It was really cold everywhere we went and onboard. I had to wear two pairs of pants and a sweatshirt on our excursions to even resemble being warm.

My next posts will get more into the details of the places we visited. Stay tuned!

Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd.

*Princess affiliate

Idaho Tales

I had a week to see my son, his wife, and my granddaughter in their new house in Idaho. The house they bought is a large two-story Victorian. It came with a nice front porch which my son rebuilt, a large rear patio, a two car garage, a carport, a fenced area for possible boat storage later, two old brick cold storage sheds, and a small mother-in-law house in back. The little mother-in-law house needs a lot of repair but his wife’s mother and I are already calling dibs on a possible bunk bed to share. I called the top. LOL. In the big house, they remodeled with beautiful reddish wood laminate flooring and a new on demand tankless water heater. Very nice.

Son's house

My granddaughter wanted to go geocaching so we spent one day running around finding several geocaches. We missed the big one near the Wal-Mart but I went back later to find it and scored a Pinky ball from it. There are a lot of geocaches hidden around the Silver Valley. I used my phone for the first time instead of using my car GPS. It worked very well. I still think the GPS gets you closer but phones work when you have some experience in what to look for.

The girls had a night out at the 1313 Club in Wallace for dinner. It was very good as always. I used a coupon from to make it very inexpensive and used their phone app for the first time to show the coupon. They had no problem with that. Definitely better than carrying around paper coupons as long as you can connect to the Internet. Previously, we had tried to go there but got there after they closed so the family and I ate at The Brooks which has not improved with age. I doubt we will eat there again.

I met with my real estate agent who is trying to sell my house in the area. I LOVE RVing full time and have no intention of ever living in a sticks and bricks house again. The agent found some possible buyers and an interested renter. The house would need a lot of work though. Several years of Idaho winters with no one living there have led to rust on many things and much of the house was never completed when it was rebuilt since I just wanted to live in it and didn’t care about all the little things. It was useable and I figured the next owner would have more choices to make it the way they wanted it. It all had to be completed now though for a renter to move in or for buyers to see it’s true value. Today’s generation seem to be too lazy for do-it-yourself work. That’s a real shame. I also found the electric/gas company had pulled out their meters so getting services restored would not be easy and the county passed a water bond some time ago which was piling up costs for me but they never contacted me despite me making a point of giving them my mailing address when I left to hit the road full time. Geez! More about the house later.

As always, the week went by too fast. My friend, Bernie, came to pick me up at the end of the week and we took turns driving her car over to Seattle, Washington to hop on our cruise ship.

August Vacation Start

I know it has been awhile since I blogged. Life has a way of getting really busy for awhile. I’ll do my best to get all caught up soon. I have lots of great pictures for you too.

For a year now I have been planning on taking a whole month of vacation in August to see my kids and do a cruise with a friend. As usual, I got a sub ready to come in and work my gate for me out of my trailer. Unfortunately, the gate was coming to an end soon so suddenly my company told me to take my trailer with me. Eek! That meant canceling hotel reservations already booked in New Braunfels, TX nearby and finding storage for my trailer since it doesn’t have wings and doesn’t fit in a seat to fly up north with me. I lost the cost of one hotel night so I won’t be booking through the new company ( I was trying out again. Orbitz is so much better so I’ll stick with them. Many of the RV storage places were full so finding one of those took some time. I found one which would provide inside storage with an electrical hookup which was tempting but expensive. I lucked out when the campground I went to for the first night also had storage available at a reasonable price.

I left the gate on August 19th. It was super hot and support showed up late so I got out just in time to hit rush hour traffic through San Antonio in the heat. To keep my truck from over-heating in the stop and go traffic while towing my heavy home, I had to leave the AC off and roll down the windows. Not a good start to what was supposed to be a long relaxing vacation. I arrived hot and hungry just before the sun went down at Rio Guadalupe Resort right on the Guadalupe River near Canyon Lake. The office was closed so I found a site and registered the next morning. Once I was settled in, I ran up to the Longhorn Steakhouse in New Braunfels. Found it not quite as good as T.G.I. Fridays but pretty darn close! The salad was the best I have ever eaten while both the flat iron steak and mashed potatoes were pretty good. I will definitely be eating there again.

The next morning, I checked out the campground. They have a very nice pool that is the perfect temperature and they offer river tubing right there from the campground which is why I chose it. The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful. Their camp store is well stocked. The campground has lots of trees which is great for shade, not so good for satellite dishes in some areas. All the sites are FHU pull-thrus. There is a very good burger shack just up the road operating out of a small red trailer which I hit up for lunch and there’s a laundromat and car wash nearby. The park also has a locked and fenced storage facility behind it. I give this park 5 stars and can’t wait to get back there again next summer! I had shopping to do so I spent the rest of the day in town.

The next day, I went to my favorite water park, Schlitterbahn! Woo hoo! I got there early and had no trouble finding parking close by. I picked up the yearly pass I bought online. I highly recommend the pass because it pays even if you only use it twice. It gets you discounts in their gift shops and comes with great coupons for food, gifts, bring a friend tickets, and entry into other Schlitterbahn locations around Texas. I always buy after August 15th because then you get two years for just a little more than the price of one year. Keep your expired pass too because they offer a bigger discount for renewals which I didn’t know before I shredded mine. Oops! I got my favorite lunch, a smoked turkey leg. Believe me, one turkey leg will fill you up. I also opted for the all day refill with souvenir cup. Well worth the $10. I had a blast at Schlitterbahn as usual though it wasn’t easy due to the huge crowd that day. The ride lines were so long at the old park that many of us hopped the tram to the new park where you can easily get on several rides fast. I LOVE the endless white water river over there and the wave river. I spent most of my time on them. Toward the end of the day, I went back over to the old park to get on a couple of the less crowded rides. I forgot that the water is lower in the tubes over there and one tube has what I call a salmon ladder. It is a series of step-downs or bumps. I didn’t get my butt up high in the tube in time and hit every bump. I think I broke my butt because it really hurt and I was a little sick afterwards. I sat in one of the hot pools for a bit before going home.

Old Schlitterbahn parkSchliierbahn speed slidesWave river Schlitterbahn

I only had a few days in the area before I had to fly north. I put my trailer in storage and covered it well with a tarp since the roof leaks. I had added a tracker to it just in case someone tried to steal it. After all, my trailer is my home. I had to empty out the refrigerator so I made the girls in the campground office very happy by giving much of the food to them.

That night, I drove to the Red Roof Inn near the airport to catch an early flight the next morning. I have stayed there before. They are cheap but the rooms are decent and they have good WI-FI. They have a shuttle to the airport if needed. I didn’t use it this time but instead drove my truck over to Budget Parking the next morning to store it for the rest of the month. They have inexpensive covered parking in a secure fence and also have an airport shuttle.

At the airport, I didn’t get chosen for the preferred easy line this time so I had to go through all the regular airport security. They had me walking around in stocking feet but it wasn’t too bad. I had time to eat before my flight and it took off on time which is always nice. I bought a blanket at the airport which I ended up sitting on to help my poor broken butt. The plane was awful cold so when we stopped in Phoenix, I bought the cheapest sweat shirt I could find. For the rest of my vacation, I had people high-fiving me over my Arizona Sun Devils sweat shirt and mistaking it for another school with similar colors. LOL

I was off to Idaho to see my son for a week and hookup with my friend, Bernie (Bernice), for a cruise.