Cannes, France

Our Plan

Prior to boarding the ship we had booked a shore excursion through the ship to visit Provence and do some wine tasting.  However…HAL surprised us thru “door mail” that “due to lack of interest, this excursions has been cancelled, and your shipboard account credited with the refund”. Bummer!

The Reality

Tendering InCannes is a tender port, as I guess the port authority has never felt the need for a cruise terminal and pier, and they would probably have to acquire some very high priced waterfront property to accomplish the need…so… Cannes is a “Tender port”.

Since receiving our cancellation notice, and it looked like it was going to be a great day weather-wise, we decided to bide our time, wait until all the excursions had gone ashore and avoid the rush.  HAL has developed a very efficient method of organizing “tender parties” – Tender Tickets!  Anyone or any party of people wishing to go ashore must assemble at a designated location on the ship and request tender tickets, which is a hard plastic “reusable” card with a number Ships Tender Coxswain emblazoned on it.  Once you, or your party receive your tickets, you sit cooling your heels until your number is called.  When Barbara and I arrived to fetch our tickets, they were calling # 4, and we were assigned # 9 – a wait of about 30 minutes, as several of the ships tenders were in operation.  I know the deck department coxswains and line handlers must love this evolution as it gives them and chance to hone their small boat handling skills.

Once we got ashore and left the tender docking area, it was just a short walk to where the taxi’s and buses were, and to our delight a tourist train, like the ones you see in all the amusement parks.  A very efficient way to move people around.  Since it was leaving shortly, and the price didn’t seem too outrageous (5 euros – I think) we decided – why not?   As it turned out it was the bargain de jour.

The train was equipped with headsets and speakers so as we rode along a recorded voice would point out various landmarks in this fairytale land that hosts the annual “Cannes Film Festival”.  Definitely not for those with limited travel funds, however it did give us, from the comfort of our ride, a great overview of the city attractions, and confirmed our feelings that walking this route would have been exhausting.

Once we “de-trained”  we headed for the back streets, looking for the daily markets – all centers of population in Europe and the Mediterranean have some sort of daily market, and they are not too hard to find.  To our (Barbara’s) disappointment the central market was closed that day for some media function so we had to be content with the street markets, which was just fine with me.

As the morning “walk” progressed we began looking for a place to eat, and lo and behold, we found a pedestrian street (alley) with several cafes that advertised their daily fare on chalk boards near the entrance  to the kitchen/dining room/toilets area.  We settled on one and were told that they don’t open until 12 Noon!.  So we continued our wandering until 12 Noon! 

The café we settled on had a choice of two dishes for their daily special – fish and veal liver.  I settled on the fish and Barbara, of course, chose the liver.  My plate consisted of this huge mound of cooked spinach, topped by a slab of fish, which upon inspection had a bit of slime between the flesh and the skin, some very tasty potatoes, and a mound of creamed sweet potatoes  – or something. Barbara had the same veggies, with her cut of veal liver.   I enjoyed the bread and wine!

Seated at the table next to us (inches apart) were two French business women, who knew exactly what to order and I was the entertainment for their meal, as they watched me pick through what ever I could salvage from my plate.  I can’t remember what we paid for our lunch, but I am sure it was substantial.

After some souvenir shopping we decided to head back to the pier and catch the next tender “home”.  As we approached the Noordam, the harbor police/patrol arrived and were escorting a very large private sailing vessel away from our ship.  Apparently the skippers ego got the best of him and our bridge crew called in the police to have him removed from the area.

More of our experience in pictures:!291

As you look through the pictures, # 12 will give you some idea of the outrageousness of Cannes.  The opulence of the mega yachts that crammed the harbor and anchorage area, makes on wonder why we spend our hard earned money going to theaters to watch movies.

Next: I will write about our second visit to Barcelona.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s