Trip Start Sep 12, 2007
20Trip End Sep 29, 2007
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Land ho! We docked almost an hour early in our first Canadian port and were greeted by bright sunshine, clear skies and the cry of sea gulls. Ah...to be back in North America!
Breakfast, we decided the night before, would be room service eaten on the balcony. What a treat!
Interesting Newfoundland facts courtesy of Celebrity's Port Explorer pamphlet: the province has 580,000 people, 120,000 moose, 1 million caribou, 100+ million seabirds and the world's largest humpback whale population. Naturally, the whales had already migrated south by the time we arrived so our hopes of going out to see them was dashed.
As we exited the ship, some beautiful black Newfoundland dogs and their handlers enthusiastically greeted us as well as a trio of uniformed fife and drum players.
First stop was at the top of Signal Hill.
St. John's is the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador and is North America's oldest European-settled city, and England's first overseas colony. On July 8-9, 1892, a fire destroyed 1,700 buildings downtown leaving 1,900 families homeless but only resulted in 2 deaths. Newfoundland was an independent country until 1949 when it became a Canadian province. Now you'll have some ammo for your next trivia contest on Canadian history!
Next stop was at Cape Spear which is the easternmost point of North America. It also boasts the oldest lighthouse in Newfoundland.
Last stop for the day was Petty harbor which is still an active fishing community which catches crab, lobster, halibut, cod and turbot.
Because the whales had already migrated south for the winter, our boat tour was cancelled and we elected to return to the harbor area. Town Ambassadors were stationed everywhere and were extremely helpful in guiding us to whatever we were searching for, provided maps, etc. We got directions from a nice gentleman to an internet/coffee shop called Café Mocha and the owner bent over backwards to make us feel welcome. He let us borrow his laptop to check email and other important stuff. Naturally the mouse and cursor made a beeline for the Arizona Diamondbacks homepage so we quickly verified that our team is still in 1st place by now 2½ games. The owner also unlocked building doors to allow me to access the bank's ATM downstairs!
Back onboard the ship, an announcement was made about an hour after our scheduled departure that due to high winds at the harbor entrance and 'adverse weather' conditions, the ship would not depart until 6am the following morning. That evening the dining room had quite a number of empty chairs so I assume a good many passengers chose to eat and/or party in town. John's dinner choices were Caesar Salad, Entrecote Café Dé Paris (center cut of beef) with Twice-Baked Potato. I had the Crisp Garden Greens Salad with Celebrity Dressing, Entrecote Café Dé Paris and Potato. We both chose the Chocolate Chiffon Pie and John convinced the waiter it was so good that he brought a 2nd slice!