Once Again, Charlottetown is a Delightful Port

Day 4, 2023 East Coast Voyage

Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, Charlotteville, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Today we began retracing my steps from my July cruise through the Canadian Maritime Provinces. Our sail down the St. Lawrence River was mostly completed during Monday night, so yesterday while at sea there wasn’t much scenery or even land to see. We are too early in the season for the fall foliage. But after hearing of the Zaandam’s previous cruise with many rainy days, we’ve been blessed so far by the weather gods.

Ports 9 and 10 are in Florida

Capt. Ane Smit changed our original plan to sail around the southwest of Prince Edward Island and then under the Confederation Bridge to Charlottetown. Fog forecast near the bridge was the culprit. That route would have taken us through a protection zone for the North Atlantic right whales, requiring a speed limit of 10 knots to prevent collisions with the slower-moving creatures. Instead, we sailed around the northeast side of PEI, but still arrived on time this morning.

Joining us in port was Holland America’s Zuiderdam, my home for the first seven months of this year. Sadly, I was unable to connect with many friends who are crew and officers on the ship. When I wandered over to its berth just behind the Zaandam, the crew were in the midst of a safety drill. Some friends on the Zaandam planned ahead better and got to go aboard to visit Henk, Christel, Ian, Shiv and others. I’ll have to wait until December to see them.

I followed my walking route from July, including a walk along the waterfront and lunch at Peake’s Quay, this time a lobster roll, followed of course by an ice cream cone from the ubiquitous (in Canada) Cows. There were no sailing classes on the bay today, but I stopped to sketch the waterfront walk.

Those who want more Charlottetown information can reference my July port blog. This time there were no complimentary lobster rolls awaiting us on the pier, and despite the forecast the sun never quite burned through the overcast sky, but it was an altogether pleasant day in a wonderful port town.

Back on the ship, I’ve settled into my inside cabin and have learned I don’t mind the lack of a window if I leave one small light on for my return. The cabin has an amazing amount of storage compared to the Zuiderdam and other Vista class ships. In addition to three drawers at the desk, there is a two-shelf cabinet at the end of the love seat. I imagine more expensive staterooms have a refrigerator in the cabinet. I’d rather have the storage space.

The bathroom is bright and modern after a recent renovation. Some of my closet shelves are empty, but that is because I’m just one person and I haven’t unpacked one of my large suitcases. Another hasn’t even arrived yet.

I jokingly say I brought everything I own. That isn’t true. I have a small storage unit back on land. But I did need to pack for eight months away – four cruises including a South America circumnavigation and a world cruise. So I shipped one bag to Fort Lauderdale, where I will meet it at the end of this relatively short cruise. That bag includes some of my cold weather clothes, lots of extra watercolor supplies (mainly sketchbooks), and other items to make life on board more comfortable. I’ll have a wall map and a desk-top globe to chart my journey. Flocked coat hangers. My light hospital blanket (the ship’s duvet is too heavy for warm weather). Some plastic bins and a shoe hanger for toiletries, which will go on the bathroom door.

As I will be changing cabins in just over a week, I packed just one suitcase with what I need for this cruise and left another with more clothes for later. I’ll unpack it when I move to a different cabin for the 73-day South America cruise. The end result is that I don’t feel I have really moved into this cabin, but I am learning what “extras” I can easily do without and which I prefer to have regardless of the length of the cruise.