Princess cruiselines is the home of the TV show “The Love Boat”. The show was filmed on a Princess ship and really made cruising popular.
We docked in the early morning in Cherbourg, France. Some passengers got up early and went on a tour to Normandy to see the American soldier cemetery and Omaha Beach. We decided to just walk around the city of Cherbourg.
Cherbourg is the last port from which the Titanic sailed. We are actually following the Titanic’s same route – Southampton, Cherbourg, then across the Atlantic.
It was also a port that a lot of poor refugees used to find a new life in North America. We went through the old luggage hall at the port….
The town of Cherbourg, about 35,000, is nicer than we thought. It is a pretty seafront town with cafes and shops lining the harbor.
We had 2 goals: 1) find wifi and 2) buy some wine. Success on both counts….
We found wifi at a locals’ bar. We sat outside and got caught up with our internet needs. Being Sunday, I think locals flee to their favorite bars after the Sunday lunch and to escape from families. Most of the shops here are closed on Sunday afternoons, like in all small French towns.
At the bar, we started talking with the couple next to us. They are Irish. They had come over on a huge ferry to go wine shopping! Apparently that is something quite common, based on the size of the ferry. We asked the where we could buy 2 bottles. This Irish couple told us about a wine “cave” that was open, especially for the Irish wine tourists. They had just bought their limit – 90 liters each!!! We found the cave, bought our 2 bottles (which is supposedly the limit to bring on the cruise), and hiked back to the ship. Success!
The ship looks really big sitting in the harbor.
We enjoyed the Sailing Away party on the top deck with good singing and fun dancing. Of course, I did some line dances!
DINNER: I had shrimp cocktail as an appetizer and Indian vegetable biryani for my main course. George had duck gyoza as his appetizer and a plate of chorizo with scallops for his main.
After dinner, we went to the ship’s theater and listened to a vocalist, someone famous in England. It was pretty good. We learned that normally, when the ship is full, you have to get in the queue about 2 hours ahead of time in order to get seats at the popular theatre events. At 60% capacity, there is no waiting anywhere. Nice.
Day 3 – At Sea
Happy Halloween! The cruise staff decorated the ship with a lot of Halloween stuff, including a lot of carved pumpkins. I went to a pumpkin-carving demonstration. I learned that most of the people that do this are Phillipinos. Apparently it is a family tradition to pass down the skill of vegetable and fruit carving.
It was a busy day. I did 2 classes – zumba and line dancing. I also attended a session in the spa with a free facial, and of course an “encouragement” to buy products and get treatments in the spa. A lot of the women in the class rushed to sign up for facials and massages after the program. George attended a lecture on astronomy. This will be the first of daily “enrichment programs” that he will attend daily about the universe.
We had our ritual Sunday Bloody Mary… (not as good as the ones George makes)
We crossed the Bay of Biscayne which was very choppy.
DINNER: We ate in a different private dining room. There are 3 free ones from which to choose, plus a 24/7 buffet. I had a salad with grilled vegetables that was excellent and some seared scallops with cauliflower puree and asparagus. George went all out – French onion soup, pasta primavera with seafood, and birrumundi (a type of fish).
We skipped dessert in order to get to the theater to watch 2 British performers doing a Beatles tribute. They were really good.
From there, we went to a Halloween party with a lot of dancing and prizes for costumes. It is amazing the amount of costume stuff that people brought on board! In keeping with the “Love Boat” theme, one guy got down on his hands and knees and proposed to his girlfriend on the dance floor. Aaaaahhhh!
We are getting into a bit of a routine….breakfast around 8:00 and first activity at 9:00 – zumba for me and a class for George. The zumba instructor is very good and the workout is quite intense.
For lunch there was a Mexican food bar accompanied by a beautiful hand-carved artwork made from fruits and vegetables.
We went to the fine art gallery’s auction. We have all kinds of coupons, etc for their fine art shown in the art auction, but it is still too expensive for what we want. After all, we don’t have a lot of wall space in our tiny house!
They do a nice job with decor, including fresh flowers everywhere.
Tonight was formal night and passengers were encouraged to dress up. Most did. The captain sponsored a gala champagne event. These dancers danced with full glasses of champagne.
DINNER: Crabcake appetizer for me; pate’ for George. Shrimp, Indian-style entree’ for me; red snapper for George
Again we dashed after dinner, skipping dessert, to go to the theatre to watch “Rock Opera” which was excellent.
Tomorrow morning we will be docking in Lisbon and I hope to get internet and post this blog then.