A day ashore
23.09.2014 - 23.09.2014
I am woken up around 7.30 by the bed shuddering, the ship is docking. I don't see what people saw in vibrating beds, it really did nothing for me. Maybe the vibrating needs to be constant and not in bursts, I don't know.
The ship is docked and the gangways are open so I can go ashore at any time. So I fluff around, have a coffee then head down. There are markets set up along the road even though I keep getting asked if I want a cab into town I just want to go for a walk. I buy a dress, colourful for $18, I see others same style different patterns for $15 a little further along. Typical. I finish one side and cross over to do the other, I get part way and run into Sylvia who says she is going to a handcrafts market she saw in a building just up the road. She wants to get back in time to go snorkelling no worries. It is a slightly up hill walk in the sun but it doesn't take us long to get there. I have water but stop to get a cold coke zero. Then I spot a shop selling postcards so I have to get one. Then back to the markets, one stall is selling jewellery made out of seeds and shells. Quite nice, especially the shells but I am restrained. Move on and find a stall selling cotton shirts with painted designs. I buy one with turtles on the back, well at least I think they are turtles. I asked the woman selling them and she started to giggle. Then I buy another colourful dress same style as the last one but $3 cheaper from another stall. Sylvia also bought a couple things and we head back. Time for a snack and a nap before dinner.
Another nice meal met two more people, and we had a nice conversation. It's been a long day so hopefully I will have an early night. But first some more of the comparisons. Meals are probably where the big differences are on the three cruises I have experienced. Arcadia and Sun Princess organise passengers into 2 sittings for dinner in the main dining room. Their dining rooms are quite spacious with mainly round or oval tables. They have an a la carte menu split in 2 sections, a standard menu that doesn't change on one side and a changing menu on the other side. All meals came with vegetables. The food is always well presented and served with appropriate garnishes. On the Pacific Jewel they have the same menu format but you have to order vegetables separately as a side dish. I heard people complain but I always found the food to be fantastic. They also have buffets that even though you move around them to add to your plate it felt more like a Sizzler salad and pasta bar than a cafeteria except here on the Pacific Jewel it feels like a cafeteria and there isn't as great a choice as there was on the others. The Arcadia had longer service hours in the buffet, in fact I think they only closed for about half an hour twice a day. There was also a grill out near the pool with some basic favourites on the Sun Princess and the Arcadia. The Pacific Jewel has one but fewer choices. Room Service costs on Sun Princess and Pacific Jewel but most things were part of the fare on Arcadia. The Sun Princess had a Pizzeria that was included in the fare and was open for lunch and dinner. They all have specialty restaurants that cost extra.