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August 19th – First Stop Guernsey St. Peter’s Port

Or is it?

I have read up pretty extensively on this trip, and have seen by reading reviews of previous guests on this itinerary that there are quite a few times that this port has to be missed due to weather or sea conditions.  We are booked on an early morning excursion, so we are up at the crack of dawn, showered, dressed, and sitting at breakfast.  Everyone still seems quite tired and crabby this morning, and I’m starting to rethink the whole early morning excursion thing I have going.  For me, it seemed to make the most sense to get up early – since my kids are generally up early anyway – go on the tours, and then come back for a nice lunch and nap before dinner.  No matter now, however, as we are here and up at dawn.  No one said there would be happy, sunshiney faces.

So as we are sitting there at breakfast, an announcement is made by the captain of our fine vessel that we will indeed be skipping St. Peter’s Port.  The weather is rainy, windy, and cold; and the seas are choppy and unsettled.  His first priority, of course, is for the people on the ship and their safety, and with the advice of the local pilot, he has decided to just sail on to Ireland.

Awwwwwwwww.  Not only do we skip our first port, which is disappointing, but we are all up, crabby, and tired and could have stayed in bed!  Well, damn 🙁

We now take our time eating breakfast, and I enjoy an extra cup of tea.  Eilis is chomping at the bit to get to the kids’ club, so that’s at least good news for her that she’ll be able to go and spend the majority of her day there.  We decide after breakfast to go ahead and and take her and Granuaile up to the kids’ club, and then scope out the revised plan of the day so we know what’s going on.  Each day in your stateroom – as on all cruise lines – you’ll get a little newsletter to let you know what activities are planned onboard, what the dinner attire is, and some port information.  As our original plan of the day calls for us to be at port and not at sea, the ship puts together a whole new schedule, adding a lot of activities to keep everyone occupied.

There are quite a few things I’d LIKE to do, but I end up going to a Photoshop class.  It’s interesting, and it’s free, and as a result, I sign up for the whole series of classes on our next day at sea.  I wanted to go with Jim to ballroom dancing class at 3:15, or I would have signed up for the 3 o’clock Excel for Beginners class – something I really needed.  As it turned out, we were busy with other things at 3:15 and never made it to class.

Some of the onboard activities for the day included a Putting challenge, line dance classes, paint your own ceramics, a digital photo seminar, origami class, and Bingo.  The casino opens up, and Jim and I enter a slot tournament.  That’s where we were at 3:15, because Jim qualified for the slot tournament finals!  He didn’t win, but he did get a nice collection of prizes, including a waterproof tote bag, a t-shirt, and one of those necklaces that holds your passport and credit cards while inside your shirt so you don’t get pickpocketed in port.  Eilis has a GREAT time at kids’ club – Granuaile only stays when her dad is there.  But over all, it’s a great first day at sea.

Dinner tonight is formal dress, and I love dress up nights.  Seriously.  I think this is what cruising is all about.  Dressing for dinner just harkens back to the day when it was a big deal to be traveling the seas, and going to the dining room was reserved for only the upper class.  Now, with cruises for every budget, they seem to be getting away from the formal nights and I’m sorry about that.  There are obviously some nights when you are rushing in from an excursion and may not have time to dress, but I think it’s just a nice thing to do to get dressed for dinner. 

My girls all look stunning when they are dressed.  Eilis is absolutely beautiful in a dress from Limited Too that has a blue and black pattern on it, with a sequin detail around the top.  Brighid is wearing her sophomore cotillion dress, which is just gorgeous.  And Granuaile is just adorable in her little twirly dress.  I’m excited to have pictures taken with everyone.

Dinner tonight is our first in the new dining room.  There is good and bad about being here.  This dining room is reserved for the most part for anytime diners.  You don’t have to have a set time to come here, you just arrive, like you would at a regular restaurant, and you are seated at the first table that will accomodate your party.  You can share a table if you’d like, or you can be seated alone.  The good thing about being here is that we are no longer under the air conditioning as we were at the other restaurant.  The bad thing is you miss out on the special formal night celebrations – like where the waiters sing, and there’s a baked Alaska parade.  Never the less, our waiters are wonderful, they treat the girls like queens, and the meals are always very good.

The shows tonight are a music and dance show called Cinematastic, featuring the Princess Singers and Dancers.  We opt to go see the Comedy juggler, Mark Nizer.  The show is okay.  I think part of the problem is that we are in rough seas, so we are lurching a bit from side to side.  Combine that with the fact that the show is in the smaller of the two theatres, so there isn’t enough room for some of the juggling tricks to really be pulled off without some fancy footwork.  At one point, Nizer actually has to leave the stage and stand on the floor down front to have enough room to do one of his tricks.  It’s a shame.  He is fairly funny, though, so the show is not without merit.  Eilis would have enjoyed it, but she is off enjoying the kids’ club.

We are back up in the room right after the show and getting everyone ready for bed.  Our beds are turned down, and there is a chocolate treat for everyone, along with tomorrow’s Princess Patter.  You have to love the little extras you get on a cruise 🙂  The kids love the chocolate bedtime treat, and they are soon settled and sleeping. 

Not the first day we planned for, but a great day regardless.