Thursday, September 19, 2013

St. John New Brunswick

Reversing Falls

this is the pier, the white tent is a marketplace

We are docked early and we have to leave early so we wish we could say we woke early but sadly we didn’t.  We didn’t get to bed until late and we didn’t sleep well after all that food, and wine and time change.  Yes the clocks went forward an hour last night to East Coast time. 

I am still full from dinner so I opt out of getting breakfast.  We head ashore around 10 am and walk thru a little market of crafts and local items right at the pier.  We dock right in town, and it is easy to walk almost anywhere if you are physically able.

There were selling numerous tours right at the pier including the hop on hop off buses.  There are a few taxis here too and we jumped in one and headed to the Reversing Falls look out, which was rather close and we had the tai wait and then take us back to the city center too.  The cost of the entire ride was $15.
There is a mall in the downtown where you can find pretty much anything you might need, including a Starbucks and Tim Hortons and both have wifi.  We walked around the mall a bit and then crossed the street to the Marketplace which was lovely but boy was it crowded.  I should note that there were three ships in port today so the downtown was busy.

St. John is not a huge city but a very quaint city that is spread out.  There is some interesting history here and the people are lovely.  We stopped and had a meal ashore which was okay and then crossed the street for a cupcake and that too was okay.  You win some you loose some I guess.

The City Market


this restaurant - Steemers is right across from the pier and was recommended, although we didn't try it, it was busy

We are both tired and in need of a nap and we leave port early today at 2:45 so we get back on around 1:30. 

I will say the lines to get on and get off the ship whole trip have been crazy.  Some of the blame can be on so many new cruisers who just don’t know or understand things, like which gangway to get off at or to get tender tickets first, or have cruise card out etc.  But a lot has to do with Princess too.  Not enough tenders operating, especially in some ports like Rhode Island where we had a long tender ride.  And not enough gangways open.  So far every port we have had a gangway open at they have only had one gangway open not the normal two to accommodate the crowds.  This is probably the worst cruise with regards to getting on or off the ship. 

Back to today.  There are lines again and we snake our way up the gangway.  It is one of those big gangways like they have for planes that scizzor back and forth and there must be over a 100 people on it.  I am afraid to look at what the maximum number is.  In all it took about 20 minutes to get back on the ship.

The sun is shining all day today and it is hot hot hot.  The pools are busy, people are sun tanning and I drop my things in the cabin and grab a book and head up to the aft deck on deck 17 for some sun and relaxation.  Until this loud obnoxious man comes and stands at the railing and basically screams to the person beside him and one of his comments was “what a useless place this is”.  I have to feel sorry for him, someone with such a shallow view misses a lot of great things in life.

We stay out for sail away and then head back to the cabin for a nap, a much needed nap.  We sleep just over an hour and decide to dress for formal night and take some pictures.

A quick glass of wine in vines on deck 5 and we watch some of the people and chat with the bar staff there.  Vines is busy every night.  Along with the Casino these are two places making money.

Tonight is the Captain Circle Party and there were two parties and we had an invite for the second party.  We meet up with Barb and Gordon again and we sit with them near the back.  Adam the HGM notices us and sends a waiter over to get us drinks.  None of us one the bottle of champagne – sad face.  But we had a nice time.  Princess shows the video of the christening of the Royal Princess, sure it is nice to see, but we are all here because we have sailed numerous times on Princess.  You don’t have to sell it to us we are hooked.  It was a very nice party and I really like that the party is just for Platinum and Elite passengers now.  It keeps the crowds down and a more manageable group.

We dine tonight back with our regular servers in the Palm Dining room.  It is formal night tonight so that means two things escargot and lobster.  I get the escargot and then the vegetarian spring rolls and the yoghurt soup and then the ravioli as an entrĂ©e.  We loved it all and we left full.  One nice thing was one of the head waiters started to sing and the whole dining room got right into it.  Douw came over and grabbed our pepper mill and started to lip sink to the song and made us all laugh.  A few people even got up and danced.

As much as I normally dislike traditional dining and the formality of a set time each night I have enjoyed the camaraderie with the neighboring tables. 
The production show tonight is Born to Be Wild, the one with the pink Cadillac.  A show we like and we are sitting up front enjoying it and cheering them all on.  Great job you guys.

Bedtime, another big day tomorrow awaits – Halifax.

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