A few weeks ago I wrote about The Blonde in the house and my heading for what I called “The Voyage of the Darned.” I should have gone all out and called it for what I thought it was going to be – The Voyage of the Cursed! Now let me note that I am quite aware that thousands of folks in The Villages love their cruises, and I say “bully” for you. The sea gods undoubtedly hold you all in high favor. Me, not so much! Now I am not going to be doing a lot of whining and moaning – OK, perhaps some. What I thought I would do though is to just relate the facts, and let you make your own considered judgment. I recognize that there are lots of judgments in The Villages.
Our voyage was to be from Quebec to Ft. Lauderdale. The following occurred:
We had a flight from Orlando to Toronto which left at noon. They did not give us even a bag of pretzels or a drink on the flight. We thought we would have time to grab a bite in Toronto. However, by the time we went through customs, followed directions to a bus which took us someplace else in the terminal, where we barely made the flight to Quebec. They did give us a drink and some pretzels on this flight. It was 32 degrees in Quebec. We secured some ship food around 9 PM.
The next day, we went on a tour of Quebec City. They showed us the old and new sections, although I was never sure where one began and the other ended. They then gave us thirty minutes to walk around. Inasmuch as it was 36 degrees with a wind that could sandblast a house everyone headed for the nearest store where we huddled until the bus came back. They took us back to the ship. We looked around, read, ate and went to a show. They had a good comedian; however we sat in seats where a woman on the other side of her husband from me spent the evening coughing my way.
The third day arrived and we got to stay another day in port in Quebec. We had been told that the wind was so strong that we would have to skip the next port and that later that day we would head for Sydney, NS. That is what happened. Not much else happened except that the Ship’s entertainers gave a whole half hour of music (sic) as the evening’s entertainment. I didn’t see or hear the cougher this time.
The fourth day was good old Sydney where we took a bus out to an area where you followed a path and viewed people working just as they had in the colonial days. We were told that it was located in a beautiful area of lakes and dells. It probably was but, it was 40 degrees and so foggy that you couldn’t see them.
The fifth day was where we really wanted to see – Peggy’s Cove north of Halifax. We then took another hour bus ride to get there. It was still 40 degrees, but not so foggy. However, it was a delayed start so we only had about 45 minutes there. There was a spot that I had taken a photo in the past and I wanted to take another. Unfortunately, between too many buses, people, rain and slippery conditions I couldn’t get to the site. We returned to the ship where the cougher’s efforts got me, so I went off the Med Clinic.
The sixth day was in St. John’s, Newfoundland. However, I was confined in our tiny room which was about 30% smaller than one I had been on about 15 years before with the same cruise line on the same deck. The airlines get flack for reducing seat area. The cruise lines got them beat! I spent the time luxuriating in the room.
The seventh day was to have been excursions to Bar harbor, ME. Since I was sick we could not go. However, neither could anyone else as the water was too rough for the tenders to take anyone into shore! Another day of luxuriating!
Luckily, the next port was Boston where we skipped ship. Our oldest son lives in Boston. Since we did not want to expose him or his family to my deadly germs, he got us a flight to Orlando and transportation home. Once home on a Saturday evening, we went to a good Urgent Care center where they worked on me for three hours. We came home where I still am four days later (somewhat better)!
You can now make your judgment of the cruise!
Barry Evans writes about Life in The Villages for Villages-News.com