Departure from Rio

Got up in the morning and had breakfast at the hotel which thankfully was included in our price. Then we had to gather things together to put our bags outside the hotel door so they could be collected to be taken to the cruise ship. This did involve visiting the concierge desk to borrow a stapler. Princess now makes you print out your luggage tags, and since we don’t like to put them on before flying, you need a stapler to assemble them, and we forgot one this time. (Although we were far from the only ones, I know I heard at least one other request later that morning at the front desk to borrow a stapler.)

Since we had some time to kill, but not really enough to try going over to Sugarloaf, we ended up going out and spending a little while on the beach. After the beach time, we stopped at one of the little kiosks along the beach, had a couple of cokes and a caipirinha. After all, figure we’re not likely to be able to get those once we leave the country. Then it was just sit around and wait until our transfer to the ship.

The port was kinda a madhouse, with a fairly large crowd already at the port waiting to check in. Since we’re Platinum with Princess, that did let us skip the waiting and get right into the check in line. Checked in, went through the exit immigration procedures, and headed onto the ship. Think it probably took us maybe 15-20 minutes tops. Ran into some people that had been on our same bus to the port but didn’t have status with Princess, and they did say it took a lot longer for them to get through.

Stopped by the room to drop things off. Always nice when you enter the room and can’t smell smoke, that’s always been one of my bigger fears. Thankfully, in less than a month Princess goes non-smoking in rooms and balconies. I still think they should have started that early on the Star since it had just gone through dry docking before it crossed the Atlantic.

Found some lunch, then waited around for sail-away. Sat through the muster drill, which took probably about 3 times as long because they were doing it in both English and Spanish. Apparently, for whatever reason, there’s a very large number of Spanish speakers on this particular cruise. We ended up sailing just a little late because there was apparently some confusion between the shore and the ship, and it took a bit to straighten out. There were actually 4 other ships in port today. Aida Cara I think might be overnighting in Rio, because we saw them coming in sometime just before noon while we were still back at the hotel. Pullmantur Empress, a Royal Carribbean ship (I think it might have been Vision of the Seas), and Ibero Cruises Grand Celebration (which was clearly a former Carnival ship) were the others in port.

After leaving the port, sailed right by the naval base in Rio. Among other things, docked there were a submarine and an aircraft carrier. Our route out of port took us right next to Sugarloaf Mountain, and then we turned and went down along Cococabana and Ipanema beaches. By the time we were passing Ipanema it was really starting to get a little dark out.

Not much else for the day. Dinner did include one of our favorite deserts on Princess, the flourless chocolate cake. Also they had the passion-fruit souffle.