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Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by Gondo Girl

Home > Reviews > Member Reviews > Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by Gondo Girl
Caribbean Princess
Caribbean Princess
Member Name: Gondo Girl
Cruise Date: May 2013
Embarkation: Southampton
Destination: British Isles & Western Europe
Cabin Category: BB
Cabin Number: C226
Booking Method: Cruise Line
See More About: Caribbean Princess Cruise Reviews | British Isles & Western Europe Cruise Reviews | Princess Cruise Deals
Member Rating   5+ out of 5+
Dining 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Cabins 5.0
Entertainment 4.0
Spa & Fitness 5.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 4.0
Embarkation 5.0
Service 4.0
Value-for-Money 5.0
Rates 5+
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Ship Facts: Caribbean Princess Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Caribbean Princess Deck Plans
British Isles and Southern England

We recently returned from our cruise around the British Isles on the
Caribbean Princess and then several more days in the English
countryside and London.

The cruise itself was fantastic! There were sooo many ports -- part of
our plan was to see the major sites and decide which we wanted to
return to on a separate land trip. For the first time we took the
Princess air as we were allowed to select our airline and flight times and even
seats. The deal was excellent. The AA site was showing $1250-1500 for
our dates and Princess sold it to us for $780!! Also, we were allowed
to lower our stateroom cost twice when I saw it online for less!
Princess itself also saved us $$ by not opening the casino for 5 or 6
of the days . . . hmmm, we didn't know that until a week before the
cruise. That meant no Bingo, either. But, there was TRIVIA! And, we
linked up with a young couple from Bristol, England. We won or tied at
least 6 times, Yea!

The weather was VERY changeable, and for us cold; however, it really
only rained twice (once as we sailed and again the morning part of our
Dublin outing). In one day, it could be sunny, overcast, misty, then
windy, and always chilly. It was strange seeing John in long pants, not
shorts, for almost 3 weeks! He went through withdrawal the first few
days. I had boots (Uggs), my down jacket, a wool scarf and gloves, and
dancers' leggings for when I wore my tennis shoes. You KNOW we live in
California for a reason.

First stop . . . GUERNSEY, England . . . Sunny but windy. We had half
a day here and found on the internet that the Victor Hugo House MIGHT
let you in if some spots in it's small tours become vacant thru
no-shows. We were there when it opened, and made it onto the 10:30
(2nd tour). I really think we were one of the VERY few cruise passengers
to see this odd home of the renowned author of "Les Miserables." Totally worth it!!
Then, we made it out to the castle just in time to see them fire the
cannon and get our eardrums blown away. No castle visit here, but back
to the ship with a short stop at a gift store to pick up some berry
jams for which Guernsey is known. The town is totally walkable. The
line for the tender was huge, but it moved and eventually everyone made
it back to ship. Guernsey is also the only part of the British Isles
that was occupied by the Germans in WWII; but, the POW camp was out of
town, and we opted for the Hugo House.

COBH (CORK), Ireland (for Blarney Castle and "The" Stone) -- Even
though people (and Rick Steves) said "why bother" to this overcrowded
touristy venue, we were in Ireland and HAD to do it. Took the first
train to Cork ASAP after getting off the ship. The station is right next to
the dock. Then planned the 10 min. walk to the bus station to catch the #224 to
Blarney. Fortunately, we ran into our young TRIVIA partners from last
night. We followed them at a walk/run to make the 10 minute trek to
the bus. Unfortunately, the bus left in 9 min. We missed it by one
minute. With the next bus an hour away, we decided to take a taxi to
and from Blarney with our new friends. £20 total EACH way for the half
hour ride, but we got to set our return time to Cork to give us time
back in the little village of Cobh. Blarney Castle is surrounded by
beautiful green grounds and the castle is just a shell, but we loved it.
We climbed to the top, ready for the lines . . . . and found maybe only 10 people
ahead of us. "Kissed the Stone" and got the "gift of gab" as you can
see by the length of this email already. The castle and gardens were
so worth it. We're glad the others did not discourage us from this
site. Also, we noted that the ship's tours kept saying "maybe there
will be time "to kiss . . ." By doing it on our own, we were there
before any large tours, lines, and a slobbery stone. The Woolen Mills
directly outside of the castle are just a set of gift shops where we
saw stuff we would see many more times. Once back at the station we
ran for the hourly train and jumped on 30 seconds before it left. Cobh
was the last port of call for most emigrants when they left for the US.
After reaching Cobh, we found a small and noisy pub (Murphy's) and
had our first (of many) ales . . . Smithwick is my choice. John had the
first of his two Guinnesses here. Guinness is NOT his favorite. The town was very
quaint and all the people and a band came dockside to send us off.

DUBLIN, Ireland -- Rain then clear. Took the city shuttle bus from
the ship into town (€5-8) and walked over to Trinity College. It was POURING
rain! Had learned that the students led hour tours here every half hour. We got
there early, booked the first one, and saw the beautiful campus with a very clever
and funny girl guide. It stopped raining, so we caught a historical
tour that we knew met right outside the gate of the college and paid on
the spot. It was led by a professor who gave us a two hour walk and
lecture on the history of Ireland and the buildings of Dublin, ending
in the student quarter (and now chic) Temple Bar area. Walked to St.
Patricks cathedral, but didn't go in. Returned to Temple Bar where we
found a pub (certainly not too hard to do), called the Auld Dubliner,
and had a chicken sandwich, fries(chips), and a couple of pints. Then
we wandered back to Trinity College to line up to see the Book of Kells
-- the oldest illustrated manuscript in Europe? The line looked long,
but less than in the morning, and it moved quickly. Maybe 15 minutes -- and the
price was already included in the student tour.

BELFAST, Ireland -- Sunny, cold, a little breezy. Got a late start as
we had bought timed tickets online to the new Titanic Museum (11:00
AM). We found that a taxi was the only certain way to get to the museum
although it WAS very near the ship. Visited the interactive museum for
about 2 hours (They did an excellent job on it.) From there we asked
several people to be sure, and took a public bus to the center of
Belfast (10 min. and just a very few Euros!). We were on a mission to
find John's friend's hotel and pub. To clarify that, his friend ran a
marathon here 2 weeks prior, and had a few recommendations for us.
We quickly located the Crown Bar pub across from the Europa Hotel.
"Bellied up to the bar" (mostly standing bars in the British Isles) and
the tables and booths were all occupied. Here John did have a
Guinness, for sure. He said it tasted better in Ireland than at home.
A local next to us began the conversation which lasted half and hour. The Irish
(and the Scots) are filled with stories. After he left, a rather drunk, old man
moved in, and we made a fairly quick exit. Going next door to Robinson's, we
grabbed another chicken sandwich (each pub has their own twist on
these) to sustain us on our return. We must say at this point, ALL
the people, no matter the setting -- on the street, in a store, in a
cab, everywhere -- were happy to see us and very, very helpful. Such a
delight! Having checked before we left the dock, we knew where the
ships shuttle waited so we found it (paid) and returned to the ship.
We had wanted to do the Giants Causeway, but it was 2+ hours there and
2+ hours back, and we weren't sure if the Titanic exhibit would honor
our timed tickets so late. Our young friends did the Causeway by
public bus, so it is do-able. In retrospect, we're happy we hung
around in town and got a flavor of the city.

GREENOCK, Scotland (for GLASGOW) -- Very sunny, almost warm. Glasgow
was an hour away by train, so we decided early that would not be for us. Big city,
etc. So for this port I tried and tried to get an internet group
together on Cruise Critic to copy 2 of the ship's tours for half the
cost. Found a driver/guide who agreed to do it for an acceptable price
but we really needed 3 couples (had 2). As the day approached, he
finally said he'd adjust his price for the 4 of us -- GREAT! Then the other
couple would not contact me back. Had to tell the guide "no" as it was
just too much for just John and I. We left the ship early, proposed
itinerary in hand, hoping to land a driver. Finally, after a wait, we
got a guy to give us 5 hours for the price of 4. Still it was more
than we wanted to pay, but off we went. We drove through the beautiful
Scottish Highlands to Loch Lomand and the town of Luss (tiny, tiny,
tiny . . . and not just for tourists), then we went up to Inverary
Castle, which was really just the personal castle (BBQ on the patio and
all) of local royalty and open to the public. And guess what? . . . a
US TV crew was filming for "Grand Estates" and the Duke was "in
residence." So we met (well, kind of met) the Duke of Argyll -- like
the socks -- trying to work the cash register in the gift shop . . . you know, to try to
augment the family fortune. The town of Inverary was also very small
and typically 17th Century style. On the way back, the driver dropped
us at his favorite in-town spot so we could do some more pub research.
Then we made the 15 minute walk back to the ship.

ORKNEY ISLANDS, Scotland -- Sunny and cool. The terrain here reminded
us of the Falkland Islands -- windswept and barren, not many trees, but tons of
sheep. Here we had booked online with a private company, Orkney
Aspects. It was a small group (14) all day tour and cost half of what
the ship offered. First we visited the Cathedral in town and burial
spot of Arctic explorer John Rae. The church is now city owned and
open to folks who feel they want to come in to get out of the weather
or simply read the newspaper -- a very pragmatic approach. Then we set
out for the islands neolithic sites: Skar Brae, a 5000 year old
settlement; Mae's Howe, a tomb in a mound; Stones of Stenness and Rings
of Brodger, much like Stonehenge. The tour was fantastic! Lunch was
at a local farmhouse B & B overlooking fly fishermen in search of
trout. Back to the ship right on time -- very professional. It was
amazing to visit such ancient ruins and that we had full access to the
sites.

INVERGORDON, Scotland (for INVERNESS and LOCH NESS) -- Again cool but
sunny! For access to Loch Ness we needed to get to Inverness. We could have taken
a ship's tour, the ships car/driver, a bus, or a taxi. Worried that
the last bus back would be too crowded, we prearranged on the internet
a 9:00 AM taxi for 8 people I found on Cruise Critic. It cost us £15
each for the 45 minute ride and dropped us right in front of the
station where I had purchased on the internet a Jacobite Tour of Loch
Ness by boat and Urkhart Castle. The castle was very cool . . . we
climbed in, out, and on the remaining structure and walls. The boat
ride was so-so (couldn't understand the narration) and sadly Nessie was
napping, so you won't see our names in the record book for having
sighted her. Once done with the tour, we had 2 hours or so in the town
of Inverness to continue our pub research. Went to the first where a
"hen party" was in full swing (I believe, that's a bachelorette party .
. . in costume). One of the hens keeled over, passing out straight on
the floor in front of us. We couldn't get to her or around her. An
American woman (doctor/nurse) attended to her until she came to. It
didn't appear to be alcohol related . . . but still 999 (there) was
never called and the pub owners seemed unruffled, kind of stepping
right over her. After we finished our wings with jalapeno BBQ sauce
(an 8 on the hot scale and a 2 on taste), we left for the spot next
door. Much quieter and no "hens" or "roosters?" in sight. Finally, we
dropped by Hootenanny's (yes, like in Arkansas) where others from our
group were going. It was very crowded; we didn't see them, but the
"hens" had moved over here. We left before there were anymore
incidents. At 4:00 we all met back at the taxi and were dropped at the
ship. In all, it was a lovely country drive.

EDINBURGH, Scotland -- Cool and sunny (Does this sound repetitive? The
Irish and the Scottish are loving it.) Outside the ship there was a city shuttle
waiting. Hooray! No stair climbing to the train or expensive taxi
ride . . . but we were prepared in case the shuttle really didn't
exist. I say this because the Princess Excursion Desk people were most
uninformative. We know that's because THEY want to do all the selling;
but honestly, here, no passengers could ascertain whether there would
be a shuttle or not. Usually, SOMEONE knows what to expect. Many
mixed messages from the ship's "experts." Other than the
transportation in (we tendered here), we had planned for Edinburgh. I
had bought castle tickets and tour tickets online. Once at the shuttle
drop-off point, which was a 20 minute WALK to the sites. Edinburgh is
breathtakingly beautiful. All of the buildings, shops, and streets
look like they're straight out of an 18th Century novel. We made our
way to Real Mary Close (That's a small street where a plague-oriented
underground tour starts.) I had heard of this tour the day before from
one of our taxi riders who did this cruise last year! As we were
early, we went to a Starbucks closeby. I learned online that the first
tour starts at 10 AM, so we were there! Unfortunately,
we did not luck out this time; all tours were sold out until 1:00, so
we booked it and set out uphill for the castle. Our castle visit was
time stamped, but they let us in early! This castle is totally intact
(rebuilt, of course). We met one of the castle guides for the next
tour (they go half-hourly). He gave us a 45? minute overview; then we
headed back to see the high points of St. Mary's Chapel, the Crown
Jewels, the prison cells, Great Hall, and the cannon. The view from
the castle walls is phenomenal! After leaving the castle we walked DOWN
the Royal Mile back to the Real Mary's Close. On the way we saw MORRISON's Kilt
Shop. Closed, but we knew they had our pattern, whereas the other shops were
"out" of the Morrison clan plaid. (Finally, I got a Morrison wool scarf :) Because
we had about 45 min., we stepped in to a pub "The Filling Station." The
L.A. people will get this as there is a bar/restaurant with the same
name near our house in Culver City. However, city law says no alcohol
before 12:30. We ordered food and waited for the pint. By the time we
got everything (a small flatbread pizza), we had 8 min. to eat and make
it next door for the tour! The Real Mary's Close tour was of the (now)
underground homes occupied during the plague by the less fortunate. It
was all done by costumed guides and was very small and interactive.
We're happy that our taxi mate turned us on to this, AND that we could fit it
in to our other prearranged activities. As soon as that tour ended, we
went to our Mercat tour "Secrets of the Royal Mile." This was an hour
and a half walking tour of the area. The guide was super, and she had
many unusual and funny stories of Edinburg and it's history. We had
paid for this on the internet, and it began promptly at 2:15 just as
mentioned in Rick Steve's book. It ended at 3:45 and we needed to be
back at the shuttle for the 4:30 (last bus). Whew! We made the 20
min. walk to find the line for the bus. They had brought in a larger
bus, and everyone got back in plenty of time.

LE HAVRE, France-- Sunny, windy, sometimes cool. This was the stop to
go to Paris or Normandy. We didn't care to spend so much time (and
even more money than the tour we had selected) to get to Paris to spend
just 3 hours. We had been there before. Anyway, we knew from the
beginning that we wanted to see the D-Day beaches. I booked the ship's
tour and tried for a few weeks to book a private, small group tour of
the landing sites, but everything was filled. We were there on June
4, and the yearly commemoration is on June 6, too close to the big
celebrations! So we held on to our ship's tour although it was $197
each! It was a full day tour, and it was excellent! We went to 3 of
the 5 beaches and to the American Cemetery. All of it was mind
boggling and very moving. Every stop brought to mind all the movies of
that significant day in history. We could envision the invasion
moment-by-moment. It was very meaningful to see the WWII veterans
there in uniform recollecting and being interviewed by various TV
crews. Lunch was at a farmhouse in the nearby countryside of Caen. It
was an amazing course of chicken in mustard sauce and an array of wines
. . . and the bread, the bread. Yummmm! After the 2 hour drive back,
we concluded our 10 hours in Normandy . . . worth every minute. Our
cruise ends in the morning.

SALISBURY, England (for STONEHENGE and the Cathedral) -- Sunny, warm and
cool, windy. Once we disembarked with luggage in tow, we checked out
routes to the train station. We knew the train to Salisbury was
£8.70 and a half hour ride. No walking path to the station so we got a
cab. Ports are like that in big cities, very hard to get out of unless
in a vehicle. Once on the empty train, the just-off-duty engineer came
and sat with us just to "have a chat." He was on his way home to
Bristol. When the ticket conductor came thru the car, she says, "Hey,
who's drivin' the train?" (Their daily inside joke :) Once in
Salisbury we asked the idle ticket seller in the booth how to get to
our inn. She PRINTED out a map. We said these people were really nice
. . . but oops, this map was the car route and not the direct walk
path. Didn't discover this error until 15 min. down the road. A few
more helpful people got us rerouted. Our hotel The Crown and Rose was
an old stagecoach inn built 400 years ago. The route to and from
always crossed the grounds of the magnificent cathedral. After dumping
our stuff, we headed to the closest stop for the Stonehenge Bus Tour
(purchased online). This bus gave an audio narration and also would
deliver us to Old Sarum, the ruins of the original site of the city of
Salisbury. Once at Stonehenge our bus ticket also included the audio
for the visit. Many people, again, told us not to bother with
Stonehenge. They we're wrong. We were mesmerized by the tall circle
of stones. The park had been set up so that viewers looked up at it. This took other
tourists out of your camera shot. Also, there were benches and grass
to picnic here if one had planned ahead. Even though you cannot
approach the stones any longer (except on special "Inside the Circle"
tours offered only 1-2 times a week), we were thoroughly satisfied with
our Stonehenge visit; besides, we had "touched" the Stenness stones in
Orkney. After a lunch at a B & B near the Old Sarum bus stop (spicy
chicken sandwich this time), we headed back to the Salisbury Cathedral.
I especially wanted to visit this cathedral town because I thought
(perhaps, mistakenly) that this was the construction on which Ken
Follett's "Pillars of the Earth" was based. Our first impression was
how used the church grounds were . . . students studying, kids playing
sports, people picnicking. Once inside we see that we are just minutes
from the evensong performance. We did NOT sit in the choir, because
we would not be able to leave once the performance had started, and our
plans were to see the supposedly "better" one at Wells the next day.
ERRRT! We were wrong; this was a children's choir presentation, and
they were absolutely beautiful!! After about 15 min. John was freaking
out with so much church-ish ritual, so we left to look for The Magna
Carta located somewhere on the grounds. We found the room, but it was
closed until 9:30 AM. Hmmm . . . that would possibly derail our
quick-exit-to-Wells plan. We'll see. Left for the Inn. It was a lovely place with an English garden
situated on a small river with swans and their cygnets swimming up and
down. However lovely the hotel was, it meant a walk thru the village
and back and forth across the cathedral grounds to eat or shop, etc.
Had dinner outside in a pub garden (The New Town Inn), where we were
entertained by some locals having a "team meeting" (we think) before
dinner. That night we checked about trains to Wells via Bath to find
that the old internet special I was counting on was no more. A ticket for an
hour train ride would be £32!! "No way, Jose . . ." We checked the
bus schedule and "Voila!" . . . an hour and a half ride, for £15. IF WE HURRY,
there will be time to see the MC and make it to bus station for the only non-stop bus.

WELLS, England -- Cool, sunny, some wind -- Made it to the Magna Carta
at 9:30. Had a chat with the curator while we waited to get in (him
too!). Four copies (of the original 25 or so) exist. The London
Museum has 2, but the BEST copy is here in Salisbury. I wish I still
taught Government because there was so much usable info here. I was
WOWED (again) by looking at this ultimate piece of the democratic
institution. . . . Then, back to the inn, taxi to the bus station,
bought the tickets with 10 minutes to spare . . . . good timing! Once
in Bath, a city EVERYONE said we SHOULD GO TO, we were happy we didn't
plan a stay here -- way too big for what we'd become used to. The bus
to Wells was a local and took about one and a half hours on roads so
narrow the bus and cars had to back up every so often to let the others
by. In Wells, the driver asks us where we are staying and drops us off
practically in front of the place. This is the Ancient Gatehouse
Inn, and not only is it ancient (1425) but it adjoins one of the city
toll gates! Our room was (oh no, again!) up a few sets of stairs and
then up a STEEP, uneven, narrow, circular staircase leading to our
turret. This room was not up to snuff, but what can I say -- I
wanted "character." I think it was last redecorated in the
Renaissance; oh no, that's too modern. To make up for the climb, a
separate wash basin next to the bed, and a few baby flies, the view
from the little window was directly of the cathedral. Wow! I scored
again. The hotel itself was once housing used for visiting friars and
religious guests, and it had a back entrance and sitting area that
merged straight onto the church green. Went to a pub for lunch . . .
the local kind (sing here) "where everybody knows your name." Had a
chicken sandwich on country wheat bread and a pint (of course). Took a
walk along the walls and around the cathedral grounds. Again, the
"park" in front of the church was totally in use. Next to the
cathedral was the Bishop's House with a moat and swans! It was here
John ran into an older lady on a stroll. She greeted him and asked if he
had any questions. In the conversation, she informs him she was Mayor
of Wells in 1988-89. He says, "Oh, should I call you MayorESS?" She
says, "No, no. Mr. Mayor will be just fine [what wit!]." . . . .
again, we meet royalty . . . well, almost royalty. We enter the
Cathedral and evensong is just about to start. This was where
we PLANNED to watch it, but having been spoiled by the children of
Salisbury, we passed when we heard the adult voices. We returned in an
hour to take the do-it-yourself Rick Steves/Eyewitness tour of the
interior. The highlights were the two clocks (one on the exterior) with
real action figures. This one wooden knight kept bopping the peasant
on the head each time around. Quite comical. Shortly after, we
strolled the town some more looking for a dinner place, decided on the
sister inn right across the street and later shared a huge salad and a
thin pizza. ABOUT FOOD: We are very light eaters so we shared stuff
2-3 times a day. Once off the ship, we found that everywhere the "side
salad" was huge and fresh. So much for what I remember about "no
lettuce to be found" in GB. And here in Wells, we finally had a
"proper English breakfast." Yummy -- soft scrambled eggs, semi-crisp
bacon, and toast with marmalade. Tomorrow we leave for London; hope
the logistics work out.

LONDON (Day 1) -- cloudy, maybe rain, colder than usual -- Walk to the
(9:40) bus back to Bath (and it's crowded), walk 100 ft. to the train
station, catch the 11:40 to Paddington (only non-stop route to London), in at
2:25 buy an Oyster Card and switch to the tube. OOPs, our first (well,
maybe 2nd or 3rd) big mistake no elevator or escalator. Did the tag
team "bag carry" up and down 3 sets of stairs and then AGAIN (. . . oh,
no) at Victoria. We made the decision right there and then: Car
transfer to the airport, no questions asked! Made the 10 minute walk
to the Grange-Rochester Hotel and were quite pleased with the location
and the room. Decided on the 5th floor room, as the 1st floor option
was across from the hotel bar. The only problem here was that the
elevator only went to the 4th (. . . oh, no again). Note for anyone
reading this: The Grange-Rochester only has air conditioning on the
5th floor. As we had made our London plans on the train there, we
started right off on our itinerary. Grabbing a guess what (chicken)
sandwich at Pret-a-Manger, we used our Oyster Card again to jump right
on the tube to Embankment where the 2 for 1 show tickets are. By the
way, the Oyster Card is like a Starbucks Card. For a £5 deposit you
load it with cash and swipe it before and after each ride, adding
additional cash if you need to once the card is empty. When you're
ready to head for home, you may go to a booth where you get your
deposit back PLUS any unused credit . . . more than fair. I decided
that we had to see "Spamalot." John hates shows, movies, concerts in
general; but I remember he laughed so hard at the Tony's when it won a
bunch of awards that he would have no choice. We got our tickets for
the next day's matinee and headed to the meeting point for the "Jack
the Ripper" tours. I saw this in the guidebook; and, it WAS a walking
tour -- our preference. But, before the tour, we HAD to get something
to eat. Our first pub stop had a such a popular happy hour that it was
4 deep at the bar. Forget that. Walked a few more blocks and found a
more upscale place (all "suits") and grabbed a table. A pint, a glass
of wine, a salad, and a chicken sand. . .no! . . .chicken SATE.
Delicious! Back to the meeting point for the "Ripper" tour. There were about 50
other people. No problem, the guide was an expert on JTR and an actor,
so we had no difficulty hearing him. We had a great evening tour!

LONDON (Day 2) -- sunny, windy, cool -- First on our agenda was Abbey
Road. We hadn't done this before, and I wanted my picture along with
everyone else who had headed to this cross street. NOTE: I did NOT
take off my shoes like many of the others. Then we headed to
Nottingham Rd. for the Portobello Market. Let's see, can you fit about
a million people in a half mile street? You certainly can. I bought
my little porcelain box (made in China? -- the silver ones were WAY
overpriced), and we headed off. There and gone in 45 min.! Made it
onto the right platform and then heard "delayed." After many nervous
minutes, the train came, and we made "Spamalot" with time to grab
another (guess what) sandwich at a take out cafe. Oh, we had our first Diet
Coke over ice in 2 and-a-half weeks. Beautiful! We both loved the show, and we
were sooo close -- 8th row. After the show, we needed a walk and headed to Big Ben,
Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. Stopped for a pint and a snack -- big mistake.
Really weird nachos. Then we headed back to the hotel area (on foot)and found a pub
nearby for a pint. Then took another little walk to find a place for dinner before going
back to the hotel. We came out again for "dinner." (It stays light 'til 10 here in June.)
Being in London, we had to have a meat pie. We decided on, no surprise, a chicken pot pie.
It was not too good -- salty, salty, salty. Back at the hotel had a glass of wine and hit the sack.

LONDON (Day 3) -- cloudy, even cooler, perhaps rain -- Today we headed
to the Globe Theater. Caught the 10:30 guided tour. Very, very
interesting. Again, I wish I were still teaching; there was so much
here to take back to my English classes. The size of the Globe would
certainly surprise most Angelenos who are used to venues that hold
ten's of thousands of people. And, the theater itself was so
colorful! From there we tubed it over to the Churchill War Rooms which
had been recommended by a fellow educator. To see how the Prime
Minister holed up in this underground labyrinth was most informative.
Again, I wish I were still teac . . . (you heard the rest) And,
actually, no I don't wish that. We are HAPPILY retired. We spent an
afternoon hour in Churchill's Red Lion pub conveniently located around
the corner from 10 Downing St. There we had a couple of pints and a
c--k--n sandwich. It was fun but crowded. From there we found we
couldn't actually walk on Downing St. as we had when we were here
before. Then we took our last tube ride, cashed in our Oyster Card,
and headed out. Noticing that Buckingham Palace was just minutes away,
we took a quick jaunt over to wave to the Queen . . . and she waved
back :) We took a different route back to our hotel and discovered a
different pub where we sampled their goods and decided on fish and
chips there for dinner. Returning later, we ordered and were served
the hugest piece of fish we've ever had on one plate. It was
delicious! (You've gotta eat this fried stuff once every 5 years, or
so.) Tomorrow it would be car transfer to Heathrow and home. And, we
owe a BIG "thank you" to the city of London for painting "look left" or
"look right" directly on the crosswalk pavement. We did make it home in
one piece . . . although we had a few close calls.

Our entire trip was absolutely wonderful! Please excuse so many
references to "pints" . . . many of these were shared :| And besides,
didn't someone say ". . . and don't drink the water." :) Also, thanks to DeLorean Girl
on Cruise Critic for giving us many of our planning details AND for her great enthusiasm
in general. Although we spent many, many hours researching on the internet, we're ready
to go back already! This time for the "land (but no car) version." We had a
PERFECT


Publication Date: 06/16/13
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