Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Reports about cruises on Arcadia
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david63
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Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by david63 » 02 Sep 2018, 22:13

Preamble

This is a “bucket list” cruise, one that we have wanted to do for several years but the timing has never been quite right – so two years ago we went ahead ah booked it! We are off on Arcadia to New York and Canada.

Everything pre cruise has been fine – no issues to speak of other than a schedule change in Quebec due to the Right Whales, which hopefully we will see. However having reduced the time in Quebec by four hours will, no doubt, be a moaners charter. (Compo claim already in before anyone asks!)

Sunday 2nd September

We set off just after lunch to make our way down to Thatcham where we stay at the Regency Hotel which we have used for several trips down to Southampton as it is only 45 minutes to the docks in the morning.

I think I must be getting old as the journey down seemed a lot longer than previously (why can P&O not sail from Liverpool?) The journey down was uneventful other than the M6 being almost continuous roadworks! The other minor incident was the woman in front of us at the M6 Toll pay booth. She was not prepared so when she arrived at the barrier first she had to find her card to pay with. Then after managing, at the fourth attempt, to get her card accepted she had to put the card back in her handbag, then do up her seat belt, then try and get her car to move – only thing she forgot was to do her make-up and hair before setting off!

Anyway we are now at the hotel suitably fed and watered and reay for the off in the morning.

To be continued …

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Meg 50
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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Meg 50 » 03 Sep 2018, 07:59

looking forward to episode 2! (not to mention 3 - 15 or more...
Meg
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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by CaroleF » 03 Sep 2018, 09:54

Looking forward to hearing all about this cruise. We are doing a very similar one next year on Aurora, an itinerary I've wanted to do for ages.

Carole

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by GillD46 » 03 Sep 2018, 10:23

Oh I do love a nice long, live trip report.

Looking forward to more....and have a fabby dabby dozy time x
Gill

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Lynda and David » 03 Sep 2018, 10:40

Oh don't you just love the M6 Toll Road. We use this toll every 3-4 weeks and constantly have the same problem with people in front of us not being prepared. They know they are going to be using the toll, its advertised multiple times on the approach so why don't they put their card ready to use instead of faffing about when they get to the barrier? So annoying.

Looking forward to hearing all about your cruise x

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Manoverboard » 03 Sep 2018, 13:12

Sod the cruise …. more about the Toll Road, please :lol:


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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Ranchi » 03 Sep 2018, 13:28

We did very similar about 6 years ago. Loved it. The first thing that surprised me was how little we saw going across the Atlantic..an Irish warship, Queen Mary2 and a few dolphins off the south of Ireland and then nothing until two days from US where we obviously crossed under a great circle flight path and there was a plane about every minute. Next day nothing.
Bar Harbor was the unexpected jewel (NY & Quebec were brilliant, but expected)
Have a great time.
PS Against all logic I found it really tiring going east-west. You should get extra time in bed but my body clock refused to play ball and I woke earlier (ship’s time) each day, consequently I was nodding off earlierveach night.
Last edited by Ranchi on 03 Sep 2018, 13:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Kenmo1 » 03 Sep 2018, 14:24

We did this trip in 2010 and again in 2012 and loved every minute of it and we would happily do it again if it wasn't for the prohibitive cost of worldwide insurance for Ken. I love Quebec. Both times we have moored immediately under the Chateau Frontenac and one of my favourite memories is sitting up in the Crow's Nest about midnight and looking at the hotel all lit up and thinking what a wonderful sight it was.

Years before we had also done a coach trip up the east coast of Canada and that time we visited the Montmorency Falls in Quebec which we thoroughly enjoyed. I do hope you do get to see some whales as you sail up the river to Quebec.

Maureen

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Stephen » 03 Sep 2018, 15:09

david63 wrote:
02 Sep 2018, 22:13
Preamble

This is a “bucket list” cruise, one that we have wanted to do for several years but the timing has never been quite right – so two years ago we went ahead ah booked it! We are off on Arcadia to New York and Canada.

Everything pre cruise has been fine – no issues to speak of other than a schedule change in Quebec due to the Right Whales, which hopefully we will see. However having reduced the time in Quebec by four hours will, no doubt, be a moaners charter. (Compo claim already in before anyone asks!)

Sunday 2nd September

We set off just after lunch to make our way down to Thatcham where we stay at the Regency Hotel which we have used for several trips down to Southampton as it is only 45 minutes to the docks in the morning.

I think I must be getting old as the journey down seemed a lot longer than previously (why can P&O not sail from Liverpool?) The journey down was uneventful other than the M6 being almost continuous roadworks! The other minor incident was the woman in front of us at the M6 Toll pay booth. She was not prepared so when she arrived at the barrier first she had to find her card to pay with. Then after managing, at the fourth attempt, to get her card accepted she had to put the card back in her handbag, then do up her seat belt, then try and get her car to move – only thing she forgot was to do her make-up and hair before setting off!

Anyway we are now at the hotel suitably fed and watered and reay for the off in the morning.

To be continued …

They'd never get the funnels back David :D :thumbup:

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Meg 50 » 03 Sep 2018, 18:30

Manoverboard wrote:
03 Sep 2018, 13:12
Sod the cruise …. more about the Toll Road, please :lol:
why don't they use a system like Dartford - you pay in advance - payment is taken by ANPR - zip thro' non stop
Meg
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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by oldbluefox » 03 Sep 2018, 19:07

Meg 50 wrote:
03 Sep 2018, 18:30
Manoverboard wrote:
03 Sep 2018, 13:12
Sod the cruise …. more about the Toll Road, please :lol:
why don't they use a system like Dartford - you pay in advance - payment is taken by ANPR - zip thro' non stop
We're talking north of Watford Gap.

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Meg 50 » 03 Sep 2018, 19:39

oldbluefox wrote:
03 Sep 2018, 19:07
Meg 50 wrote:
03 Sep 2018, 18:30
Manoverboard wrote:
03 Sep 2018, 13:12
Sod the cruise …. more about the Toll Road, please :lol:
why don't they use a system like Dartford - you pay in advance - payment is taken by ANPR - zip thro' non stop
We're talking north of Watford Gap.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Meg
x

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by oldbluefox » 03 Sep 2018, 20:01

Have you seen how much they charge for a horse and cart and a flock of sheep? :lol:

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by david63 » 04 Sep 2018, 08:51

Monday 3rd September

Set off from the hotel for the hour’s drive down to Ocean Terminal – journey was uneventful. Arrived at the terminal about 11:30 and it was “heaving” – had to go into a holding queue for CPS. Eventually had luggage and car taken away and went into the terminal where there was a queue to go up the escalator! Once up into the departure lounge the priority queue was snaking half way around the terminal, and that was at 11:30 – I am guessing that all the Caribbean tier were being directed there. There was always going to be a lot of upper tiers on this cruise due to its itinerary.

Everywhere you looked in the terminal there were posters about Iona – anyone would have thought that something was happening today!

Once through check-in and security we were straight on-board. We took a gamble 9which paid off) and went to the Future Cruises desk and lo and behold nobody was waiting so we jumped in and pre-registered for Iona’s maiden. Next it was off for lunch which did resemble the proverbial “bun fight” – they seemed very slow at restocking the buffet. Anyway within an hour of arriving at the terminal we had checked in, boarded, pre-registered and were sat having lunch – not too bad under the circumstances.

Cabins ready just after one and when we arrived at our cabin all our luggage was there waiting for us which meant that we were unpacked with everything away by 14:30.

Muster Drill was as usual – nothing new there.

Our first, and so far only, disappointment was with the changes to the Intermezzo Bar – this has always been out favourite pre dinner “watering hole” but since the refit this has been ruined – I wish that whoever had designed the chairs had actually tried sitting in them – they are the most uncomfortable seats I have ever encountered, and I was not the only one complaining about them.

Next was dinner – second sitting table for eight – all seem to get on. Early night after the tiring day ready for the first of six sea days crossing to New York.

To be continued …

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by GillD46 » 04 Sep 2018, 14:41

I love a northern TA crossing. The sea is wonderfully unpredictable as is the weather. Enjoy your sea days.
Gill

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Gill W » 04 Sep 2018, 14:46

Sounds like a good start David
Kenmo1 wrote:
03 Sep 2018, 14:24
We did this trip in 2010 and again in 2012 and loved every minute of it and we would happily do it again if it wasn't for the prohibitive cost of worldwide insurance for Ken. I love Quebec. Both times we have moored immediately under the Chateau Frontenac and one of my favourite memories is sitting up in the Crow's Nest about midnight and looking at the hotel all lit up and thinking what a wonderful sight it was.

Years before we had also done a coach trip up the east coast of Canada and that time we visited the Montmorency Falls in Quebec which we thoroughly enjoyed. I do hope you do get to see some whales as you sail up the river to Quebec.

Maureen
We are doing the 24 night USA and Canada cruise on Aurora in a couple of weeks, and I'm really looking forward to it. We have booked an excursion to Montmorency Falls and on the other Quebec day, we will do our own thing in the City. When I think of Quebec, the first thing that comes to mind is the Chateau, so I hope we get the prime mooring spot.

Like David, we've been told about the Right wales, so hoping for sightings of them.
Gill


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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Quizzical Bob » 04 Sep 2018, 14:58

Have a great trip David! I saw Arcadia in the docks when I drove through Woolston yesterday and I saw that you left early before all the other rust buckets ;)

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by sunseeker16 » 04 Sep 2018, 16:12

Have a wonderful trip.
I look forward to reading all about it
Wishing you smooth seas and lots of whales

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by david63 » 05 Sep 2018, 13:28

Tuesday 4th September

This is the first of our six days crossing the Atlantic heading, hopefully, to New York. The started off with a temperature of 16C with cloudy skies and fairly strong winds making the ship “rock and roll” a bit – and nothing changed all day.

We went along to the first part of the New York port talk this morning which was given by a young lad from South Africa who was quite a good speaker and had a pleasant personality, unlike many port presenters that we have encountered in the past! The other speakers that we have on board are Rob Bonnet the sports commentator who, not unsurprisingly, is talking about his life in sport and John Mercer talking about WWl. All the other activities are the same old same.

For the first time on a cruise we decided, for all the reasons that have been discussed, to remove the Auto Service Charge (and yes we will be tipping at least, probably more, than that in cash). Every time I have been near reception there has been a queue snaking half way round the ship which I was not prepared to join. Anyway I went late afternoon and there was nobody there, asked for the form to which there was no surprise, filled it in and handed it back in. The guy who I gave it to was entering these forms and he had a pile of about 200 – I am sure there would be a lot more.

Tonight was not the first formal as in the custom, that is being held tomorrow night, - not sure of the reason but there is some maintenance going on around the ship which may have some bearing. The show tonight was the Runaround Kids who were four lads playing, and singing, the music of the 50s & 60s. A good choice bearing in mind that the average age of the passengers is in the 70+ bracket. They were OK but not sure that I will be rushing back to see their second show.

To be continued …

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by barney » 05 Sep 2018, 15:35

Cheers David :thumbup:

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by david63 » 06 Sep 2018, 10:12

Wednesday 5th September

Day two of six of crossing the pond.

The day started off pretty much the same as yesterday, cloud, windy and not particularly warm, but as the day progressed the wind dropped, a bit, the sun came out and the temperature rose – we were even able to sit out on deck.

Went to the second half of the port talk on New York – quite a bit of useful information, but US Immigration sounds like a fiasco (nothing new there!). We have all got our ESTAs but guess what, you have to take a paper copy of it with you! Immigration is expected last about five hours and during that time you are not allowed back on the ship. I can’t see why we should not make it so unwelcoming for US visitors – perhaps they would get their own act together.

Also went to listen to the WWl guy, only because he was talking about the Accrington Pals and being local. Not sure if I will be going to any more.

Tonight was the first, of seven, Black Tie nights and I must say that on the whole the standard was well adhered to (although some outfits do stretch the limits). It was also good to see that the dress code was being enforced in the Intermezzo Bar. Marco’s gala dinner – didn’t think that it was as good as in the past, but there was Beef Wellington and Stilton with port.

The entertainment tonight was an Adele tribute act and I must say that she was brilliant – although the theatre was not overly full (must be the age range who do not know Adele!). Once the show is over the ship starts to resemble the Marie Celeste – all off their Horlicks no doubt!

To be continued …

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Stephen » 06 Sep 2018, 10:30

david63 wrote:
06 Sep 2018, 10:12
Wednesday 5th September

Day two of six of crossing the pond.

The day started off pretty much the same as yesterday, cloud, windy and not particularly warm, but as the day progressed the wind dropped, a bit, the sun came out and the temperature rose – we were even able to sit out on deck.

Went to the second half of the port talk on New York – quite a bit of useful information, but US Immigration sounds like a fiasco (nothing new there!). We have all got our ESTAs but guess what, you have to take a paper copy of it with you! Immigration is expected last about five hours and during that time you are not allowed back on the ship. I can’t see why we should not make it so unwelcoming for US visitors – perhaps they would get their own act together.

Also went to listen to the WWl guy, only because he was talking about the Accrington Pals and being local. Not sure if I will be going to any more.

Tonight was the first, of seven, Black Tie nights and I must say that on the whole the standard was well adhered to (although some outfits do stretch the limits). It was also good to see that the dress code was being enforced in the Intermezzo Bar. Marco’s gala dinner – didn’t think that it was as good as in the past, but there was Beef Wellington and Stilton with port.

The entertainment tonight was an Adele tribute act and I must say that she was brilliant – although the theatre was not overly full (must be the age range who do not know Adele!). Once the show is over the ship starts to resemble the Marie Celeste – all off their Horlicks no doubt!

To be continued …

Always been the same David. They're right miserable little hitlers as well. I sometimes wonder how they ever have a holiday industry.
Last edited by Stephen on 06 Sep 2018, 10:34, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Manoverboard » 06 Sep 2018, 12:38

If one doesn't have a paper ESTA ( not required at the US Port sited within Toronto airport cos their putters work ok ).

Should we assume they throw said persons overboard to save them wasting every bodies time at Immigration in the Cruise Terminal in NY … damn good idea :clap:

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by david63 » 09 Sep 2018, 16:07

Thursday 6th September

Third sea day ….

Still not a lot going on around the ship – well not that really interests us (sad souls that we are!) I am not sure what I would like to see but it seems to me that P&O entertainment is stuck in a rut.

The weather is not improving, in fact it is getting worse, as we have rain today!

What has changed on Arcadia? The most important change is with the biscuits – another new type, at least these don’t break whenever you touch them. One interesting point is if you are on Freedom dining those who want tables for two go one side and those who want larger tables or shared tables go the other way, which seems quite a sensible idea.

Photos are getting even more silly with their pricing - £10 for a normal one, £16 if with the Captain. Last year’s refit has not really made much of a noticeable difference as it was mainly cosmetic. We have the “new” lunch menus in the Meridian – not really that much different than before other than the layout.

To be continued …

Friday 7th September

Fourth day of trundling across the Atlantic (and my mother’s 98th birthday)

Weather was again overcast but the temperature was starting to rise a bit.

This did not start off as a good day. For the last couple of days I had been getting out of breath when just moving around the ship and was finding it almost impossible to walk up the stairs. After breakfast I felt so bad that I relented and went to the Medical Centre. After much prodding and poking, a bit of bloodletting and a chest x-ray I was told that I had pulmonary oedema (a.k.a fluid on the lungs) – treatment being water tablets and rest – oh and no alcohol! I had to go back to the Medical Centre in the afternoon where I was told that things had improved and I was free to resume a “normal” cruise life, but to take things easy for a few days, and come back in the morning.

This was all good news as we had booked to go to Ocean Grill tonight where the food (lobster in particular) was as good as we remember. Skipped the show tonight as it was the Headliner’s Destination Dance which we must have seen at least 10 times.

To be continued …

Saturday 8th September


Penultimate sea day.

Weather still a bit on the grotty side with more rain but it did start to brighten up somewhat as the day progressed.

I woke up this morning feeling quite a lot better and after having breakfast in the cabin went for my check-up at the Medical Centre where everything was found to be back to normal – except my getting out of breath – but nowhere near as much as yesterday.

Again not a lot going on that appealed but as I still needed to take life easy that was not a major issue. Had a couple of walks around the ship the see how I was progressing and found that I could go a moderate distance without too much of a problem.

Tonight was the second of our Black Tie nights and again it was well adhered to by the majority, and the dress code was being enforced in the appropriate venues. The show tonight was Helen Ward Jackson (who did the Adele tribute show a few nights back) – not as impressed with this show.

To be continued …

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by oldbluefox » 09 Sep 2018, 16:55

Pity about the weather David but hopefully it will soon pick up. Hope you are soon feeling better ready for your port days.

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Kenmo1 » 09 Sep 2018, 16:56

david63 wrote:
09 Sep 2018, 16:07
After much prodding and poking, a bit of bloodletting and a chest x-ray I was told that I had pulmonary oedema (a.k.a fluid on the lungs) – treatment being water tablets and rest
Crikey, David -- I wasn't expecting to read that. You and your wife aren't having much luck with your holidays just lately. Glad to hear you are feeling better. Take care. Maureen.

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by GillD46 » 09 Sep 2018, 21:30

Oh dear David, what a worry. Perhaps see your GP when you get home, a checkup might be worthwhile.

In the meantime, take it easy and try and enjoy what you can.
Gill

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by david63 » 10 Sep 2018, 04:11

Sunday 9th September

Last sea day before sighting land (hopefully if the Captain has set his sat nav up correctly!)

The day started off much better than of late with little wind and a reasonable temperature, but unfortunately it did not last long with the wind increasing as the day progressed, and the temperature falling.

I am able to get around the ship somewhat better today, can now walk down stairs and up one deck at a time – also had a walk around the Promenade Deck this morning, trying to avoid getting trampled by those who thing that they have some divine right to race around the deck without taking prisoners. Having a minor limiting condition does give you a different perspective on many things – never used the lift so much in my life.

Again there was not really much of interest to us going on around the ship today other than the Captain’s launch of Iona – not sure what he was launching as we did not attend, basically as it was another occasion for the “freeloaders”.

Most of the day has been taken up with preparations for our arrival in New York tomorrow – let’s just hope it is not too big a fiasco – although the weather forecast is not good – heavy rain and thunderstorms. Had the Captain come on over the public address system at 18:00 telling us about tomorrow and also saying that it had been a good crossing – better than some he had done!

To be continued …

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by david63 » 10 Sep 2018, 04:13

GillD46 wrote:
09 Sep 2018, 21:30
Oh dear David, what a worry. Perhaps see your GP when you get home, a checkup might be worthwhile.
Don't think I will have much choice about that Gill - Mrs63 will make sure I do!!

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Manoverboard » 10 Sep 2018, 10:22

Sums up sea days for me …. and why we always avoided them :thumbdown:

ps … Get well soon :wave:

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Stephen » 10 Sep 2018, 11:43

Manoverboard wrote:
10 Sep 2018, 10:22
Sums up sea days for me …. and why we always avoided them :thumbdown:

ps … Get well soon :wave:


Ditto.


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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Whynd1 » 10 Sep 2018, 11:44

Ditto from me as well.

Lindsey

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Gill W » 10 Sep 2018, 15:15

Sorry to hear you haven't been well, David.

Will be interested to hear how the arrival at New York is handled, as we'll be arriving there in a couple of weeks.
Gill

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by gilly88 » 10 Sep 2018, 15:52

david63 wrote:
10 Sep 2018, 04:11
Sunday 9th September

Last sea day before sighting land (hopefully if the Captain has set his sat nav up correctly!)

The day started off much better than of late with little wind and a reasonable temperature, but unfortunately it did not last long with the wind increasing as the day progressed, and the temperature falling.

I am able to get around the ship somewhat better today, can now walk down stairs and up one deck at a time – also had a walk around the Promenade Deck this morning, trying to avoid getting trampled by those who thing that they have some divine right to race around the deck without taking prisoners. Having a minor limiting condition does give you a different perspective on many things – never used the lift so much in my life.

Again there was not really much of interest to us going on around the ship today other than the Captain’s launch of Iona – not sure what he was launching as we did not attend, basically as it was another occasion for the “freeloaders”.

Most of the day has been taken up with preparations for our arrival in New York tomorrow – let’s just hope it is not too big a fiasco – although the weather forecast is not good – heavy rain and thunderstorms. Had the Captain come on over the public address system at 18:00 telling us about tomorrow and also saying that it had been a good crossing – better than some he had done!

To be continued …
it is called a promenade deck, not a running track...designed for people to prom and show off their wealth! :lol: :lol: :lol: such fun!!
regards gilly.

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by sunseeker16 » 10 Sep 2018, 20:30

Hope you’re soon 100% again

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Happydays » 10 Sep 2018, 23:10

As others have said, hope you're feeling better soon. I hope you both enjoy your holiday and get some nice weather 😎

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by david63 » 11 Sep 2018, 15:18

Monday 10th September

New York, New York – Day 1

We awoke to a very wet and misty day, and whilst the rain alternated between heavy/medium/light all day the low cloud did not move.

First call this morning was to the doctor who was more than pleased with my progress and does not want to see me again (can’t blame her for that!) and to follow up with my GP when I get back home.

The sail into New York was somewhat disappointing due to the weather (but we were escorted in by armed US Coastguard vessels), but hopefully the sail out will be better! Having been to many ports in my time I have to say that the lack of safety with the stevedores is somewhat alarming – all wearing trainers, tee-shirts and no hard hats – even the Caribbean are better than that.

Anyway once docked the fun starts – US Immigration. I don’t know why but P&O always make life difficult for everyone in these situations. We were all given coloured groups for disembarkation and those groups would only be called in public areas – the trouble was that no approximate times were given and as it was expected to take four/five hours there were people sitting around most of the day! We were fortunate to get off fairly early in the process, so off we all trot with the documents we were told we had to have, cruise card – fine, passport – agree with that and paper copy of the ESTA – no idea why as nobody was interested in them!

Once off the ship and through the immigration process nobody was allowed back on the ship until all passengers had been through immigration – why as it makes no difference? (I am sure US Immigration just go out of their way to make life difficult for visitors. Normally being off the ship in New York would not be a particular problem but when it is pouring down with rain and you have to walk around for an indeterminable time it is not the most pleasant of experiences. We had a good walk round eventually finding Times Square and Broadway, ending up having a drink in a bar just off Broadway (that’s something crossed of the bucket list that was not even on). We then made our way back to the ship (after all there is only so much rain that you can cope with) and arrived back around 16:00 where passengers were being allowed through security and into the waiting area.

Now here is where all the US security falls down. To get back into the terminal you, as expected, have to show your cruise card but I, inadvertently, showed her my credit card and I was allowed in!!!!

We then sat in the waiting area but could still see passengers disembarking and going through immigration. This fortunately did not last long and we started to board about 16:30 – why cannot people listen and do as they are told? Part way through the waiting process some passengers jumped up as the door was opened and this resulted in a queue forming. The woman in charge asked them to sit down but no chance of that happened all that did happen was that the queue got longer!

Once back on board we did not have much time as we were going out on an excursion at night so we ordered some room service food to keep us going. Once fed and watered we set off again to disembark knowing that the rain had not abated, but that we would be on a bus for most of the time.

The excursion that we were on was New York and Empire State Building by night and if the weather and visibility had been better it would have been an excellent excursion, but you have to have whatever weather you are given and make the most of it. There really were two highlights of the excursion – the first being the trip up, and view from, the Empire State Building. The trip up the ESB was very “Disneyfied” and the view due to the weather was, at best, minimal. However, on a positive note, with the weather the way that it was did mean that there were virtually no queues to get to the top (well 86th floor actually). What nobody had had the foresight to mention was that the observation deck is actually outside – and you’ve guessed it, it was raining. Anyway another bucket list item crossed off.

The real highlight was Times Square which at night is spectacular – even in the rain.

To be continued …

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Kenmo1
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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Kenmo1 » 11 Sep 2018, 15:36

david63 wrote:
11 Sep 2018, 15:18
First call this morning was to the doctor who was more than pleased with my progress and does not want to see me again (can’t blame her for that!) and to follow up with my GP when I get back home.
David
So pleased to read this. Just wish the weather was better for you. We preferred going to the top of the Rockefeller building as we preferred the view from there - hope you get a chance to do that one.

Maureen

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barney
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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by barney » 11 Sep 2018, 15:38

Rotten luck with the weather David, but just make the best of it.

US immigration is a law unto itself.
I don't think I've ever been made to feel less welcome than getting in to the USA.
Once in, great, but getting there?

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Gill W
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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Gill W » 11 Sep 2018, 15:39

I was wondering earlier how you were getting on. I checked the webcam yesterday, and saw that it was wet, but saw you had docked in Manhatten. I'm off on Aurora on Sunday, and had just assumed we would dock in Brooklyn. I checked online, and we're also in Manhatten, so well pleased with that.

We have a 12.30pm excursion booked to the 9/11 Memorial, so I expect we'll be one of the first off. Must be frustrating for the people waiting all afternoon to be called
Gill

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by GillD46 » 11 Sep 2018, 17:16

We also went to the Top of the Rock and that way actually got to look at the Empire State Building. Plus you could see loads from inside if you didn’t want to venture out. I am in two minds about NYC. Amazing but so hideously busy and blisteringly hot when we went.

Hope the rest of your visit is better.
Gill

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Stephen
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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Stephen » 12 Sep 2018, 07:27

barney wrote:
11 Sep 2018, 15:38
Rotten luck with the weather David, but just make the best of it.

US immigration is a law unto itself.
I don't think I've ever been made to feel less welcome than getting in to the USA.
Once in, great, but getting there?
Agree barney. Haven't been to The USA for years, but we use to go fairly regularly as a family member was living there due to their job. Immigration was always a nightmare. I used to think if the immigration bod attempted half a smile they'd crack they're face. Miserable s*ds.

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Kenmo1 » 12 Sep 2018, 08:33

Stephen wrote:
12 Sep 2018, 07:27
I used to think if the immigration bod attempted half a smile they'd crack they're face. Miserable s*ds.
It makes you wonder what these people are like when they are not at work. We actually found a lot of New Yorkers absolutely wonderful and helpful. They went out of their way to help us if we needed directions etc. Even a large group of police who were policing a show in Times Square were prepared to pose for us for a photo. Also the lovely policeman on a horse in Times Square was the same.

Perhaps the most important condition for being an immigration officer is being a misery guts.

Maureen

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Manoverboard » 12 Sep 2018, 10:01

Some years ago the Immigration Officials in California went on a course to learn to be ' nice ' instead of miserable, they were run by Disney Corp … maybe the idea needs to fan out. :lol:

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Stephen » 12 Sep 2018, 15:22

Manoverboard wrote:
12 Sep 2018, 10:01
Some years ago the Immigration Officials in California went on a course to learn to be ' nice ' instead of miserable, they were run by Disney Corp … maybe the idea needs to fan out. :lol:
Do they all wear Micky Mouse outfits now :)
Last edited by Stephen on 12 Sep 2018, 15:23, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by GillD46 » 12 Sep 2018, 16:13

The worst we have encountered, by far, was in Miami. Truly awful each time except once. NYC was pretty bad though.
Gill

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Manoverboard » 12 Sep 2018, 17:03

Our worst was when we went on a river boat tour within the ' Thousand Island ' area on the Canadian side to Boldt Island which is situated mid channel and is an American ( USA ) Island. We two and two other couples were the only non North Americans on board so they made us wait while the 300> Canadian / US passengers went through their immigration control post. They said their computer wasn't working properly .... yeah, right :thumbdown:


.
Last edited by Manoverboard on 12 Sep 2018, 17:04, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by david63 » 14 Sep 2018, 21:19

Tuesday 11th September

New York – Day 2

The day started off pretty much as the previous day weather-wise but with less rain. In fact we managed to avoid getting wet today.

With having been out on an excursion until around midnight last night we did not plan anything in the morning and had an excursion in the afternoon.

Most of the morning was taken up with a crew drill for the benefit of our dear friends the US Coastguard – no idea why but they wanted to play at being in charge.

After a quick lunch – everything was running late due to USCG we set off on our Discover Brooklyn excursion which, as you may have gleaned was taking us around some of the districts that make up Brooklyn and to experience life there. The first experience was some stupid local bus driver who had not taken a corner correctly as there was a truck parked on the corner and somehow the bus driver had taken the corner at the wrong angle The upshot of this was that the truck could not move as the bus was preventing him reversing, the bus driver would not move his bus until his supervisor arrived (which could be anything up to three hours) and everyone else was unable to move! Common sense eventually prevailed and the traffic moved.

First stop was at Brooklyn Bridge which was quite interesting as we had seen it from the same spot last night but today we saw it in daylight. We were then driven round various districts of Brooklyn finally ending up at Coney Island which did somewhat resemble Blackpool. The only downside of this excursion was the traffic, especially in Manhattan when we were leaving and returning to the ship. The “normal” horrendous traffic was compounded by the fact that some of the roads were closed due to the fact that it was 9/11 remembrance day.

The Headliners were doing Money Makes the World go Round, but we were too tired after the excursion to go and sleep in the theatre!

Wednesday 12th September

New York – Day 3

The day started with the same old same, misty and cloudy – and did not improve very much all day, although the mist did lift later in the afternoon.

Our first disappointment today was that we had not been able to get on Iona’s Maiden – well we did get a place but nowhere near the cabin grade that we would want! Never mind there will be another maiden in 2022.

Today we were on a full day excursion called New York insight and Top of the Rock. This started off in the usual chaotic Manhattan traffic (without the traffic problems the excursions could be two hours shorter!) driving to Central Park past the spot where John Lennon was shot. We then took a short walk into the Park and into Strawberry Fields and the Imagine monument. This was then followed by a drive past the Central Park apartment blocks where some of the [very] rich and famous live – this is an area of New York that I could live in!

Next stop was Grand Central Terminus (as it is now called) which has had a $500 million refurbishment spearheaded by Jaqueline Kennedy. Another bucket list item was ticked off here by having a proper New York hot dog for lunch!!! The Terminal certainly lived up to its reputation of being very busy and although it is one of those places that you have seen in films it did not really make a major impression on me.

After lunch it was off to the 9/11 memorial via Trump Tower which as you can imagine is surrounded with security. The drive to the 9/11 site was once again through the Manhattan traffic (cannot understand why anyone would want to have to drive through this traffic every day). To me the most impressive part was the latest addition which was the new shopping mall which has been designed to look like the wings of a dove. The whole site is obviously surrounded with security but it is quite poignant – especially the “Survivor Tree”.

Next we were off to the Rockefeller Building for a trip to the “Top of the Rock”. Fortunately the mist had lifted and we were able to see quite a lot of the New York skyline – it reminded me of Lego buildings. Then it was back to the ship.

We can honestly say that we had a good overall view of New York but it was exhausting. We would have liked to have had another day to have been able to do our own thing and re-visit some of the places that we had passed at our own pace.

The show tonight was Mike Doyle (didn’t know he was still doing the rounds) – but as we were far too tired he was missed.

Canada here we come…..

Thursday 13th September

Sea day.

A very quiet and relaxing day today after the last three days chasing around New York. The main thing that we did was to book a cruise later in 2020 on Iona.

Tonight was another Black Tie night and it was very well supported – if anything better than the previous two.

To be continued …

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by Stephen » 15 Sep 2018, 12:40

A shame you missed Mike Doyle David. We have only seen him once and thought he was very funny. And has an excellent singing voice.....well he is Welsh.

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Re: Smurfie's Great American Adventure

Post by oldbluefox » 15 Sep 2018, 14:16

Stephen wrote:
15 Sep 2018, 12:40
A shame you missed Mike Doyle David. We have only seen him once and thought he was very funny. And has an excellent singing voice.....well he is Welsh.
Nobody's perfect!! ;)

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