Newport

Tender port. And, which is more, only a half day. We are leaving at 3 because we have to go slowly on the way to Boston as we pass through some Atlantic Right Whales and we’re not allowed to hit any. So to hell with Newport, apparently. We get only a few hours and then we’re off again. And remember, you have to allow extra time for tendering to and from shore.

So up at the crack of, fight for a place on a tender, 20 minutes to get to shore. Good start. It was also raining, although by the time we actually made it to land, it had stopped and the sun had come out, so that was okay.

I pootled around the shops while mum and dad went up the hill to the Touro Synagogue. Guess what? They wouldn’t let them in. You’re only allowed in on an organised tour, which you have to pay for, and they don’t start til 12. So sod you. What is it about old synagogues in foreign climes? We had this nonsense in Cochin. None of the courtesy and kindness we got in Singapore. Seriously, it seems the older the synagogue, the less likely they are to let you in! Well, they got what they deserved. Absolutely nothing. Everyone just turned around and walked away, so they didn’t get a single cent. Fools.

I wanted to go to the other end of town for a glass-blowing lesson, but there were no cabs and there wouldn’t have been time if I had walked it. So that’s that. No glass-blowing for me. Just can’t be done in half a day. Sorry, Thames Glass. Although, as an fyi, you might want to change your website to mention international shipping, as many cruise ship passengers visit Newport from countries other than the continental United States.

So we met up again and went back to The Mooring for lunch. We ate here the last time we were here. We won’t be eating here next time we’re in Newport, that’s for sure. It has really gone downhill. Instead of the casual, good food overlooking the marina we experienced last time, they have now lowered the deck so you’re just looking at the side of two boats, max., rather than over the top, and it is now a Bag of Words Seafood Restaurant that takes itself far too seriously. You will recall that a Bag of Words menu, is one where nothing is listed with less than two adjectives. The lemonade they served was nice, but it was a Nantucket Nectar, from a jar, not homemade, so no brownie points for that. Mum and dad had fish and chips and I had a hamburger. All perfectly adequate. It came to about twelve quid a head, which although not eyewatering, was definitely overpriced for what we got. If you’re into shellfish, by all means give it a go. Otherwise, don’t bother.

We were, of course, short of time, again, thanks to P&O, again, so we paid and tried to leave. They rang a cab (Rainbow Cabs). Fifteen minutes. Really? Surely you can drive from one end of town to the other in less time than that, and that’s including time for traffic lights? We waited. And we waited. And we waited. For nearly half an hour. At which point, we left and started to walk back. We couldn’t afford to wait any longer, because if forced to walk it, mum would have to stop for a rest on the way and we had to back by 2.30pm. We needed to allow enough time to get back to the tender embarkation point.

I appreciate that this is a seaside town, but there is no sense of haste whatsoever, even if you tell people you’re in a hurry. We’re not in the South, the Caribbean or on Island Time. We’re in New England. So ignoring our need for haste, after we have specifically requested it? That’s just rude. It demonstrates a lack of consideration that we have come to expect ON the ship, but not off it. Not impressed, Rainbow Cabs, not impressed at all.

We were, in fact, within sight of the queue for tenders when we finally spotted a taxi. It was the one on the way to The Mooring to pick us up! Mum and dad got in – no idea why – and got a tour of the one-way system for ten minutes. To be fair, the tender queue did move fairly quickly, as each tender holds 150 people, but I didn’t make it back to the ship until 2.35pm (for a 2.30 bob).

And that was Newport.

Got back to my cabin and went to bed. Slept for three hours straight and only just woke in time for dinner. Must have needed it.

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