Saturday, November 14, 2015

November 8, 2015 – Dubrovnik, Croatia

Arrival is not until 12 noon so we get to sleep in – NOPE – for the past few hours all I have heard is bang bang bang.  Our neighbours balcony divider door has opened and is banging closed, open, close, bang, open, close, bang.  What the heck!  Even with ear plugs this is all I hear.  Around 8 I give up and tell Dendi our Stewart about it.  But the two cabins have do not disturb so he can’t do anything.

Finally he gets in and locks it in place.  Oddly the dividers on the Island don’t appear to have a way to lock them in place when they are open. 

Bernie and I head up for breakfast in the Horizon court around 9 am.  The dining room closes at 9 am otherwise we probably would of gone there.

We discuss our dining issue.  The table we were assigned last sailing that we really only dined at twice is great but it has now been given to another couple.  Not sure what happened to our reservation but I am learning to just go with the flow.  Last night we were assigned a new table close by with a great waiter Allan and they have promised us we can have it all cruise at 8 pm if we wish.  So this morning we discuss what we want.  Neither of us wants a set reservation cause it is just too busy with all the ports and we want to have a more relaxing holiday.  So we will be dining in the Horizon Court more often.  I am okay with this – and on the nights we want to dine in the dining room we will just head down and request a table.

Back to today.  After breakfast we wander by the shops, many tables are set up around the atrium with sales.  Bernie checks to see if they have more t-shirts he liked in his size – sadly no.

Bernie decides to try his hand at the trivia and I am back in the cabin sitting on the balcony reading.  It is very hot, in fact it is too hot to sit out there for very long.  After about a half hour I have to come back in.

I decide to head in and relax on the bed and read, with intermediate reading in between closing my eyes.

We are pulling in around 11:30 and I am impressed cause they have roped off an area for people to line up to get off the ship.  Makes it easier for those that want to line up but I am the opposite.  

sign on port building visible from ship

but once out of the port area this sign is a better price

I head up to the top deck to take some pictures of the area for my blog.  People are rushing to get off. 

We head ashore around 1 pm and we have decided to not take the Princess Shuttle which was $15 US each from ship to the old town.  There are many options here including a taxi for $13E if you pick it up within the port, or $10E if you pic it up right outside the port gate.  This is the total cost for the taxi from port to walled town.

we wait for the bus

For us we are taking the local bus and it is very economical and fast.  We buy our tickets first at the small kiosk right by the bus stop (which is about 20 ft from the exit of the port on the right).  The cost of the bus for adults was 20 Kuna (while we are here it is $1.25 US for 10 Kuna) so the bus ticket was about $2.50 each (cheaper for seniors but can’t comment).  We buy four tickets, two return tickets each from the kiosk.  So our total cost for transport today was $10 US.

We wait a few minutes for the bus – take 1, 1a, 1b, or 1c – they all go to the wall of the old town. 

You can also walk but it is a distance – I am guessing about a half hour walk, maybe a 45 minutes.  But remember once you arrive in the walled city you have a lot more walking especially if you climb the wall.

We arrive and right across from where the bus drops you off is a small grocery store. There is a washroom right nearby too that can be used for free.  We buy some water there and then head towards the wall and the first gate (Pile Gate) is very busy and there is a long line. 

Rick Steve’s recommends walking down the main street of the old town (Placa) to the Placa Gate.  We buy our tickets to the wall (which were 100kn each – around $12 US each) note they only take Kuna, debit or credit card.  Starting at this point is a great option cause you are already higher and you do your climbing right off the bat and the views are amazing. 

Once you have gone halfway and you are at the Pile Gate (which is closest to the buses etc) most of the tour groups start here and it is crazy busy.  We continue on weaving thru the tours.

We are very glad we did the wall.  Cost was quite reasonable and you really get some great views, history and pictures.

the wall gate right near where the entrance to
the wall is very crowded with tours

I will add that if you have any issues climbing stairs, or walking long distance, or walking in heat – don’t do this tour!  So many people were winded, exhausted, and certainly were not physically able to do. There are only three exits and it goes counter clockwise so you have to be prepared. 

We go all the way around and descend where we started right near the old harbour.  We meander around many of the side streets.  More steps, but so pretty.

We haven’t eaten since breakfast at 9 and it is now 2:30 pm and we are both in need of some food.  We head to a restaurant that Rick Steve’s recommended called Dalmatino.  The inside is full but there is a lovely table just outside among these amazing buildings. 

A bottle of wine is enjoyed as we watch the people strolling by. 

Cheese plate, Mediterranean salad, and a veal skewer with risotto – we share each item. Total cost was just under $40 US, we pay with the credit card and let the bank do the conversion.

More strolling, most of the crowds have dispersed and headed back to the ships (there are two ships in port, us and a RCL ship).  We have just over 10 Kuna’s left, just enough for a single scoop of ice cream.  It was meant to be. 

Walking along Placa a group of Korean Tourists is posing for pics and Bernie jumps into the shot and says “Canadians welcome you”.  The ladies are laughing and insist I pose with them too.  They love the Canadian Flag and want it in the picture too.  How fun!

Around 4:30 we exit the wall and head to the bus stop (exact same one that they dropped us off at) and catch it going back.  They once again drop us off right outside the gate, and note the bus depot is right there too.

There are a few vendors set up right at the ship for those last minute souvenirs.  But we pass and return to the ship.

Back in the cabin we are relaxing and trying to decide what we are going to do tonight.  Of course we are not hungry but we might head out to enjoy some evening events.  Also want to stop by Crooners to see Mable.

I should add that Dan Appleby is still Cruise Director.  Odd cause Ryan was suppose to move into the Cruise Director Position and Chris into Deputy Cruise Director position.  But the Patter shows Dan today and the wake show is featuring Dan too.  Something must of happened to Ryan.  Stay tuned.

Since we had a late lunch we decide to head out for a drink around 6 pm in the Elite Lounge.  I really enjoy the Elite Lounge in Explorers it is really well done.  We catch up with Gina and enjoy a drink.

For dinner we head up to the Horizon Court for a small bite to eat around 7:30 and then down to the Explorer’s Lounge for the Love Boat Trivia.  We did respectfully we got 19 out of 30.  What was really sad was a couple was cheating by bringing their Princess Thru the Decades Brochure with them and referring to it.  They didn’t win anyways but really it is just a bottle of champagne.

We stick around to see the Yes No Game Show and this time Sharon, Bernie and myself got called up.  We all sucked, but I am proud to say our friends Barbara and her friends (who we sailed to South America the first time with) did very well and actually beat Dan!  Way to go.

Entertainment today:  Zumba, Knitters and Natters get together, Line Dance Class, Ping Pong tournament, Accordion Class, Destination Expert talk by Lyndon Jolley (who I swear puts us to sleep every time we hear him), Move in cabin Far From the Maddening Crowd, Book Club, Singles and Solos Get Together, Afternoon Tea, Trivia, Ballroom Dance Class – pre recorded, Luca Cervo is playing in Bayou Café Bar, Movie at Muts is Terminator Genisys, 50th Anniversary Love Boat Trivia, Disco Fever with Cosmic Band, Comedian Doug Funk, Big Band Ballroom Dancing with the Island Princess Orchestra in Wheelhouse, Evening in cabin movie is The Kingsman:  Secret Service, Yes/No Game Show, Who Sang What Series – Classic Rock Edition and so much more.

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