Susan K Smith


Susan K Smith

A retired Special Ed teacher taking as many trips as possible. Leaving for a cruise to Alaska in June and then to Asia March, 2013. Ready to post more during that cruise.

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Kensington June 7th 2008

Disembarking the ship is quite a science for the Princess crew. If you follow their instructions, it is quite painless. People are going in several different directions when they arrive in Southampton and Princess is very good about getting you where you want to go. Luggage is all packed the night before and set outside the stateroom door for pick up. A tag on it identifies what your plans are when you exit the ship. Those of us going to London on private transportation had a gold tag. Jerry & Kathy, Bob & Deanie and I had booked transportation with West Quay Transportation. I found them online and booking them was quite easy and it all worked just fine. I would recommend the company if ever you need to go from Southampton to other places. Google ... read more
Southampton Street
Rest Stop
Welcome Break Eats

Europe » France » Upper Normandy » Le Havre June 6th 2008

What a day to land in Le Havre!! For those who went to go to Normandy, it is D-Day--the 64th anniversary. It is also Kathy Teske's Birthday--I won't tell you which anniversary it is for her and we went to Paris. The French Government was up to their favorite tricks--obstructing things and being hard to get along with. They would not clear us for immigration so we sat in a holding pattern in the Explorer's Lounge for more than an hour and a half. This really put a damper--in more ways than one on our excusion for the day. It is more than a 2 hour drive to Paris from Le Harve so that cut into the amount of time we could spend exploring Paris. It was also a little cloudy and overcast. Linda and Steve ... read more
Limestone Riverbank
Paris-This Way!!
River Seine

Europe June 5th 2008

Life on the ship is pretty much luxury. And that is what we experienced. The Grand Princess is truly grand. It seems to lack for nothing. I guess that if I'm going to talk about life on the ship, I need to start in the morning. I mostly just know what I did but others did join me. My normal routine is to get up early and go to the gym. I go to the gym for spinning at 5:30 a.m. before I get ready for school. Keeping that same kind of schedule seemed like a good thing to do but on the ship, the gym did not open until 7 a.m. so that those with staterooms below could sleep in just a little. So getting up at 5 was not necessary--thank goodness!! So I got ... read more
Sunrise from the ship
Just the girls!!
All but Tom

Europe » Spain » Galicia » Vigo June 4th 2008

What a pleasant little city. Once again, we figured we could do this one on our own. Once again that's what we did. This time we were not disappointed. Being able to depart the ship on our own allowed us to have a little more leisurely or more active morning. This day we did not arrive in port until later. This gave Linda G and I a chance to do our morning stretch with James at 7:00 a.m. and then do a Spinning class at 8. I love spin but it was Linda's first time. She said she enjoyed it and really worked up a sweat. Then we could have breakfast before getting ready to go ashore. Tom, Linda G, Pam, Deanie & I met on the dock and walked across the bridge to start climbing ... read more
The Vigo Group
Finally a Visor
Wonderful streets

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon June 3rd 2008

A new country but we're up to the same tricks. We didn't book a shore excursion so we decided to try it on our own again. After our ordeal in Casablanca, you would have thought we had learned our lesson. NOT!! This time we were somewhat more fortunate. Linda G negotiated us a limo with an English speaking driver. His name was Colada--like in Pina Colada and he had good command of the English language and knew his way around the city. I forget how much he charged us, but unlike our tour in Gilbraltar, we had to buy our admissions to all of the attractions he suggested. This added to the overall cost of the tour. Oh, well, we got to see quite a bit. One of the frustrating things about Colada is that he ... read more
25th of April Bridge
A Tribute
Narrow Lisbon Street

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Cádiz June 2nd 2008

Our visit to Cadiz was a pleasant surprise. It turned out to be a most charming & captivating port of call. We did not book a tour. We could have gone to Seville and the Andalusian area. But instead we bought tickets for a hop-on/hop-off bus and had a great tour of the city. We got on close to the ship and rode to the other side of the city where got off to stroll down the street. We found a great little restaurant for beer and tapas. These were better than what we had in Barcelona. After a fine repast, we walked along the shore a while more. Some got back on the bus while Deanie, Pam, Linda G and I walked along the beach and saw some charming sights. We ended up walking all ... read more
The Bus
Seashore Drive
Rubber tree

Africa » Morocco » Grand Casablanca » Casablanca June 1st 2008

Casablanca--sounds so romantic. "You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh..." We will remember this!! Not because of a kiss or a sigh, but because of the filth and deceit. We all agreed that this was our least favorite port for a number of reasons. Several of us took the shuttle from the ship into the center of town. We were hoping that we could negotiate a tour similar to the one we had gotten in Gilbraltar. A taxi that could carry 7 of us for a good price. We were wrong!!! Immediately when stepping off the shuttle, we were surrounded by men trying to gain our attention, not listening to what we wanted and trying to steal us away from others who were bargaining. We told them ... read more
Casablanca KFC
Olive souk
Flowers galore

Europe » Gibraltar » Gibraltar May 31st 2008

The Big Rock!!! A mighty point of land that has been fought over for more than 13 centuries. Everyone wants to control the passage between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. That makes it truly multi-cultural--Moroccan, Spanish, English, French, Portugese and many more have influenced this small country. Once again, we did not book a tour from Princess and decided we could find our way around. We debarked the ship and started walking toward town when a young man, Michael, suggested that he be our tour guide for a price. He had a van that could hold all of us so we struck a deal and climbed in. It turned out to be a very good decision. His family has been in the tour business for many years and he knew just how to get us to ... read more
Gilbratar Explorers
Barbary Apes
A Wise Old One

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona May 29th 2008

Barcelona, in the Catalonia region of Spain, is said not to be Spanish at all. It has a history all of its own. The Catalan language is similar to Spanish, but also has much in common with southern French dialects. It was the host of the 1992 Olympics. Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Salvador Dali, Pablo Casals and Antoni Gaudi have called Catalonia "home" and their influence is everywhere. The heart of the old city is called the Gothic Quarter, since most buildings here date from the 13th to 15th centuries. We did not book a tour here and decided to do the city on our own. We disembarked the ship, caught a shuttle to the city center and headed to Las Ramblas, the wide shopping district promenade. There were sights to see everywhere and it was ... read more
A street performer
A Human Statue
Street Performer

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Cannes May 28th 2008

Linda G planned ahead and booked us a tour of Cannes, Nice, Monaco and Monte Carlo with Dream Tours and it was a really great choice. After tendering to the dock in Cannes, 9 of us piled into the Mercedes Limo for our tour of Villefranche. The tour was booked for 8 of us, but Pam hitched a ride into Nice so that she could find a special restaurant that she had visited the last time she was there. She had been dreaming about it and was lucky enough to find it again and was not disappointed. Fred, our driver and tour guide, drove us past the palace of the Cannes Film Festival. It had just been held and they were busy taking down the barriers. We then drove directly to Nice and made a stop ... read more
Grand Princess
Nice market

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