This morning, after a fairly bouncy passage north, we woke to the news from the captain that the seas were too high to safely use the tender for going ashore, so therefore we would not be going to Monte Carlo as promised. A few minutes later there was another message that we would instead be going to St Tropez where the winds and sea were lighter and the bay was more sheltered. We were disappointed at first, but as we hadn’t been to St Tropez before, and as we had no choice anyway, it seemed like the best solution, so off we sailed to St Tropez. The journey didn’t take too long and as soon as we were anchored the tenders were readied. Now I know I’ve criticised P&O quite a lot in this blog, but this is one thing they excel at, organization. New port information sheets were printed and issued to every cabin. A “going ashore” presentation was swiftly organised. Tender tickets were issued and the whole thing simply worked like clockwork. We were passengers 638 and 639, but it only took about 20 mins from getting the ticket to boarding a rocky tender. A tender, by the way for those who don’t know is just a small boat used to ferry passengers from the main ship at anchor to the jetty or pier. Usually with a cruise ship, it’s the lifeboats that are used as tenders.
We wandered round the front area of ST and quickly found that it was just one big traffic jam. Occasionally some hooray Henry would race past in daddy’s Porsche, but it was mainly motor scooters and motorbikes that were deemed the best way of cutting through traffic. We walked through a market, but as the time was 1.00pm, most of the stallholders were shutting up shop for the day. It seems that the market opens around 6.00am and shuts between 1.00 and 2.00pm.
After the walk around the market, we headed for the old harbour to see the fancy yachts. They’re called yachts, but most of them are bigger than some cruise ships. It doesn’t look as if many of them sail out to see very often. Their owners get someone else to sail them in to port, then they themselves jet or helicopter in to spend a few days on them. There seemed to be a lot of parties going on in them. We, on the other hand, went looking for a bar to get a beer. We found one, an Irish bar, run by an Italian in France! Whatever, the beer was good. As usual, we didn’t want to be late back, so we headed back to get the tender out to the ship. After that, we had lunch then Scamp went sunbathing and I went for a short snooze. After an hour, I joined her on the sun deck to roast myself for a while before we went to the cabin to finish packing. Had dinner then watched a Headliners show before a drink, a hot chocolate and bed. Need to be up and out before 9.00am tomorrow, ready to return to cold Scotland. Oh well, All good thing must come to an end! It was great fun, and we’d do it again with the same itinerary, but not with P&O, despite their organisation. There are just too many flaws in their company.