Friday, April 24, 2009

Normandy Beaches

We arrived late at Le Havre because of a lot of ship traffic. We finally were on our way to Normandy. We first toured the Normandy museum then set off for Omaha and Utah Beaches. We walked on Omaha beach, toured the bunkers where the German defenses were set up. We walked in craters caused by the 16” shells that hit the bunkers from the battleships offshore. We now have a better idea why the casualties were so large at Omaha, the bunkers were so well hidden that the aircraft couldn’t see then and they were looking down at the beach and firing at everything they seen. What finally got the bunkers was rangers scaling a 240 cliff and attacking the bunkers with hand grenades. 160 rangers scaled the cliff, 84 returned unharmed. I have only posted a couple of pictures, but have many more to post when we get home and have a good high speed connection. Judy and I both walked away from this adventure today very touched and now probably agree with Tom Brokow when he calls it the “Greatest Generation”.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jolly old England

Well, today we arrived in Falmouth, England and we had to use the tender to go ashore (more about that later) and then we boarded a bus to Polperro, a small fishing village along the coast of England. It was basically an all day trip and one of our best so far. Polperro is quite unique with wonderful shops and restaurants. We ate at one, and had a Cornish pastry that is something like a calzone and of course we had to have a pint as well. We really enjoyed the day and when we finally got back to Falmouth and boarded the tender to get back to the Grand Princess, the waves were a little high and we were bouncing all over (almost like a Disney ride), some water came through the top of the tender and then a couple of people became sick and tossed their cookies, fortunately it never bothered Judy or I. It was a great day, tomorrow, Le Havre, France and the Normandy beaches.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The last port of the Titanic

Well, today we arrived at COBH. The port for Cork, Ireland. Well, we don’t have to think about it because we are not going back across the North Atlantic, but this was the last port the Titanic visited before it hit that iceberg. Today we took a bus to Blarney, home of Blarney Castle ( we seen it from afar), and traveled through the countryside and found it extremely interesting and beautiful. Ireland up until the last year was the shinning star economically in the European Union and it shows with the beauty of the homes and the countryside. The country side is so lush and green with lovely rivers and streams flowing everywhere. Although it was a cool and windy day, we managed it very nicely and even had time for some Coffee and great scones (best I have ever tasted) at a cafĂ© in Blarney. We visited Blarney woolen mills and did a lot of looking but not much buying. Tomorrow the port of Falmouth where we are taking a tour to a small fishing village on the south England coast.

Spring in Dublin

We arrived in Dublin on a beautiful spring day with the tulips in full bloom and the sun shinning brightly. It was still cool, about 60, but when we were in the sun it felt great.
We took a tour that stopped at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Trinity College, and a great stop for coffee and scones. Interesting fact about Ireland, Catholics make up over 90% of the population but there is not a single Catholic Cathedral. Lots of Catholic church’s but none deemed a Cathedral. We attended another folkloric show that was terrific with Irish tunes and dancers and after a long day we were in bed early. Tomorrow, Cork, and a trip to Blarney and its woolen mills. No, we are not going to kiss the Blarney Stone.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Well, finally some land. After six days at sea we were ready for Scotland. The Grand Princess docked in Greenock, the ship building center of Scotland. We had a tour booked that took us to Glasgow to see an old cathedral and a museum. The drive there was interesting and of course lots of pictures were taken. When we arrived back on the ship there was a Scottish folk loric show scheduled and we finally found out what is beneath those kilts. We were sitting in the front row which looked right up stage and we got a peek beneath a couple of kilts, but we are sworn to secrecy about what we saw. A bribe with a cocktail or a glass of wine when we get back will probably cause us to betray the secret. Tomorrow, Dublin, Ireland, where we have another tour scheduled.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lunch with the Captain

Well, today we had lunch with the Captain and his staff. We are two of the forty most traveled passengers on the cruise, so this gets us Lunch with the Captain and some of his officers. As always the lunch as always outstanding, and the presentation and the wine were good as well. The sea has been quite calm and we played lots of cribbage, with Judy getting the upper hand. We played trivia without winning but didn’t embarrass ourselves. The entertainment has been outstanding with a boogie piano player being the best of the bunch so far. Several more days at sea, then Glasgow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Well, yesterday we went into Bermuda. We did not book a tour there, but decided to get on the ferry and take the trip over to Hamilton. The trip over there was nice and took about thirty minutes. We walked around Hamilton which is a quake small town. We bought one thing, A postcard and mailed it at the post office there. The weather was still decent be we know that will only get cooler from here on in, after all we are going into the north Atlantic and is only the middle of April. We won Trivia in the afternoon getting the all right. Thank goodness someone on our put together team knew who the mayor of Ronald McDonalds town was. We watched a very very funny magician last night, maybe one of the best we have ever seen. Now we have six days at sea, which means lots of food, trivia and cribbage.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter All

The ship is decorated wonderfully for Easter, especially the atrium on deck 5. Well, today we did win at trivia this morning getting 20/22, not bad for a couple of old people.One of the questions we missed, what was Jimmy Stewart's character in Its a wonderful life. Speaking of old People, love the sign at the swimming pool, it says “ No diapers in the pool regardless of age”, I guess Princess knows their clientele. Something I don’t want to talk about but will give Judy her due. She is walloping me in cribbage. We do enjoy playing onboard. Again wishing everyone a Happy Easter, and we are looking forward to Bermuda tomorrow.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Well, yesterday went uneventful, the rental car got us to Ft Lauderdale, we boarded the Grand Princess about noon and of course went straight to the Buffet. We met our new tablemates last night and looks like a great bunch. After a night of good sleep, after eating a couple of times we headed for the hot tub and then to get some sun. We are surprised how empty the ship is. We know from past experience that the spring transatlantics’ are tough to fill, and this one is no exception, The Grand Princess holds 2600 and we have heard that we have about 1600 on board. It makes it nice because as you can see, plenty of empty sun chairs. Of course we were in the hot tub on deck 16 and found plenty of empty ones, could it be because we are in the middle of the BERMUDA TRIANGLE. We did poorly at Trivia today, but who cares, we are cruising. Who the heck cares what a “billabong” is anyway. Hopefully tomorrow will be as nice as today and we will be able to enjoy the hot tub and deck chairs again.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

We are ready to go

Well, just about ready, the bags are just about packed, we keep throwing things on the floor to pack, hopefully there will be enough room for everything. I must say that Judy is being very frugal with clothes this trip. She has it all worked out, she makes a list of everyday of the cruise, then puts down what she is going to wear that day and while we are cruising she sticks to her list. Me, I just throw a bunch of stuff in the suitcase and decide what I am going to wear when the day comes. Its a tough cruise to pack for, because we will start out warm and end up in the North Atlantic with the weather much cooler. We expect the Normandy beaches to be cool with wind that will make it feel even cooler. We have picked up the rental car and will leave about seven in the morning. We will post everyday with pictures around the ship on the days we are at sea.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Bags are sitting here

Well, the bags are sitting here ready to be packed for our transatlantic cruise to London. We rented a car and are driving to Ft Lauderdale on Friday Morning and looking forward to our first cruise to England. With Stops in Bermuda, La Havre (Normandy Beaches), Cork and Dublin in Ireland (gonna try a pub of course), and Glasgow in Scotland and winding up at Southampton on April 25th. We will have lots of days at sea (7) so I will post some pictures of the Grand Princess and keep everyone up to date about our activities and afternoon naps. If you will notice on the right side of this blog, their is a link to Judy and Jim's Senior Travel, that page lists all of our recent travel blogs and what we are planning for the rest of the year (Hopefully). This is the site we will adding to on a daily bases after we sail.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Getting Ready for The Transatlantic

We are excited about our latest cruise. It will leave out of Ft Lauderdale on April 10th and cross to London (Southampton) fifteen days later. We will have stops in Bermuda, France, Ireland, Scotland and a couple of ports in England. This will be our first visits to Ireland and Scotland, and we are really looking foward to it. We will have several days at sea, but Judy and I both like those days. We will try to post daily talking about some of the activities on the ship. We are renting a car to drive to Ft Lauderdale because our flight back from London will take us into Orlando where a good friend has agreed (for a price to be determined) will pick us up there.