Monday, November 11, 2013

Day 5 - Wednesday, Nov 6, 2013 - Monte Carlo (not really), Villefranche-sur-Mer (no, not really)……Wait, we’re in St. Tropez.

At 6:30 am they moved the ship out to the bay, as planned.  We got up and heard an announcement from the Captain that due to the size of the swells, we were not going to be able to safely tender people to shore.  (Our place in port was taken by an Oceania ship).  So, he said, we will be going about 15 miles down the coast to Villefrance-sur-Mer, a very nice little town with a more protected harbor.  
In the meantime, the people who were already off the ship waiting for a tour were going to be recovered back to the ship along with the tenders.  As we sat waiting to get everyone back on board, we noticed that the waves and wind seemed to be getting a lot stronger.  Sure enough, we got another notice that plan B was going to have to be changed as the swells were in a direction that Villefrance-sur-Mer was not going to work.  So, he decided that we would sail further down the coast to St. Tropez, with the plan to arrive around noon.
We had breakfast and then worked on the blog stuff.  Eventually, the ship arrived and we disembarked around 12:30.  St. Tropez is world famous as a location for the rich and famous (and where Bridgette Bardot lives - no, we did not see her but there are stories of her hanging out at the Tourist Info booth signing autographs).  The town has a wonderful harbor with lots of big yachts (not quite as many giant boats as Monaco, but certainly in the approximate same league.  There were a couple of sites to see (cathedral, citadel [aka fort], and a couple of squares).  We walked the narrow streets and noticed that pretty much everything was closed.  It is clearly shoulder season (at least that is what we interpreted from the various hand written signs on most shops).  We hiked up the mountain to the citadel to find out that it was closed due to a power line that had fallen down inside.  We then wandered around and basically explored the entire town.  It is very small and not much to see.  One of our guide books said that you are supposed to park yourself in a cafe and watch the world go by.  Unfortunately, the world in this case was a bunch of cruise ship passengers that we had been seeing since Sunday, so it wasn’t all that interesting.

After about an hour or so, we decided to bail and head back to the ship.  During the afternoon, we continued doing some computer work, hanging out on our deck, and eventually went to the Mozart tea up in the Palm Court.  The food was nice (although Julie thought that the scones were not as flaky as she remembers from the Symphony) and the Amadeus hot chocolate could have been a bit warmer (although the rum in it was great).  After tea we headed back up to the cabin and read some email and got ready for dinner.
After dinner in the dining room, we went to the Magic Castle show.  It was a small group of about 25 people seated around the magician Will Fern.  While we waited for the rest of the audience, he did a trick for a child (she had to leave before the show started, since it was for adults only.  Anyway, the trick he did for her he called tiny plunger.  What he did was someone would say a number, he would shuffle the cards, drop the plunger and it would pick up exactly the number of cards that was said.  He did it repeatedly (as many as 25 cards) and even one of the audience members counted.  It was amazing.  He then did his show which lasted about 30 minutes.  Mostly card tricks and they were truly astounding.  He was extremely skilled and only a couple of them Bob could guess.

After that, we went to the evening show which was headliner Jacqui Scott, a West End singer. We had seen her before on a previous Crystal cruise and she is amazing!!  Her voice is strong and her stories are good.  It was wonderful entertainment.

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