Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Valparaiso


We are docked very early the ship is abuzz cause today is turnaround day many people are getting off but over 1100 are staying on for the next voyage.  But it seems that a lot of people just know how to read the information that is sent to their cabin.  I personally was asked about 100 questions from passengers about what to do on turn around day, I know that the Purser’s desk was inundated with questions too.  So my advice is that you read thru your information sent to your cabin, read the Patter cause it is full of information.

industrial port - you need to take the bus to get to the gate

The night prior we were delivered our new cruise cards, along with in transit cards – we left the ship at any time and used our old cards to check out (then put them away as you don’t need them anymore) you need your new card because when you board you will need your new card and they will take a new picture. 

As soon as you get off the ship you are ushered into large highway buses that transport you out of the pier area to the main gate.  The ride was rather short maybe 10 minutes and that was mainly because of traffic not distance. 

cruise terminal in Valpariso
Remember do not bring any fresh fruits or vegetables at all, there were dogs all around that are used to sniff your bags and then the bags are scanned and they will go thru them if you have something that looks suspicious.  Oh you also need your tourist paper again for each of you but if you are in transit you need to just show it and keep it as we have one more stop in Chile (you will get the paper from the Purser’s desk prior to arriving in Chile).

We arranged to meet our tour guide Thomas Poussard at 10 am right outside the pier.  There were a lot of guides right outside the door all holding signs with names but we didn’t see Thomas until around 10:05 but he did have to park outside the pier area.

Thomas takes us to the market (note this is not a place to have your camera out, the area is very crowded and petty thiefs are all around).  This market is huge!  Lots of fresh vegetables and fruits.


okay this tower looks a little off
for me my mother is represented in hummingbirds and I came across this art and knew Mom was with me



We then take the car up the hill to tour more on foot.  We walk all over the upper city, their architecture is amazing and love all the art of the buildings.  We take a funicular down to the new city and walk thru the area and squares.  Lots of history here.  It is quieter than normal because it is a Saturday but many locals are out getting their groceries or are meeting up with friends/family for meals. 




We travel down towards the port and then back up to the main square and we take another funicular up the hill.  There are lots of little stalls set up selling all kinds of stuff, we pick up some local jewelry here.


furnicular station
video



very narrow building

our ship is very close to the city




Thomas takes us to a lovely restaurant for lunch where we try the Pisco Sour drink – wow potent but darn good.  The meal was one of our better meals we have had ashore and the most flavour for sure.




We head back to the car to travel to Vina del Mar which when we get there is a totally different city than Valparaiso.  And I mean totally different.  This looks like we are in France on the Riveria, large high-rise apartments, quaint shopping, big chain stores like Mcdonalds, and Starbucks are there.  A large casino and hotel.  It is very clean too and I can see lots of people liking it because of how “nice” it is but it really lacks in character.  The beaches are beautiful though.





We are slowing down – we are very hot, the sun is beating down and we didn’t drink enough water.  And I later realize I am getting a cold.





We are back at the ship around 4:15 and we bring on 9 bottles of local wines.  Thomas took us to a wine store and having his vehicle made transporting it back to the ship so much easier.

In the end we had an amazing time with Thomas.  His knowledge of the city, the country, the history was amazing.  He made us feel very comfortable and welcomed.  We liked that he was able to accommodate just the two of us and that we got out on foot to really explore the city.  His tours can be found at :  http://chileprivatetours.com/


Lots of new faces on board including many of our friends.  We right away see Barb and Craig and at sailaway we see Paula and Minn. 

We are tired and head to Horizon Court for dinner and an early night.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Vickie and Bernie!

    I only read this post now... This is so nice of you to write about me like this! It actually brought me clients who know you, I believe. Will meet them in less than a month...

    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that on TripAdvisor, I am the number 1 activity in Viña del Mar now! Things are going well!

    I hope you are keeping up with your trips,

    Cheers!
    Thomas

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    1. hi Thomas what a treat to see a message from you. So glad my blog has brought you some clients, also check out my facebook fan page too https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cruising-Princess-Cruiseline-with-Vickie/240526055979098

      we are currently sailing for a month on the emerald in the Caribbean. Have a great day and so glad to hear your business is doing so very well

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