Day Five of our Mediterranean Cruise with Crystal Cruise Lines brings us to St.Tropez. Like Monte Carlo, this is another playground for the rich and famous! St.Tropez is another beautiful little beach community on the French Riviera. It is not that big, at least the tourist areas. However, in the summer months this place is packed with mostly European vacationers. They say it is difficult to move in the crowds or find a street café with an empty seat. So, we were happy to arrive in late September!
St.Tropez was made famous when a young Brigitte Bardot showed up to film the movie, And God Created Women in 1956. St.Tropez has also been the host of famous painters, including Signac and Matisse.
We didn’t have a long stay in St.Tropez, just an afternoon to stroll along the boat docks and do a little window shopping. There are some fabulous boutiques with beautiful clothes with a price tag to match I am sure. We did sit and relax in the warm sun at a street café to enjoy an afternoon mocha chino.
We were fortunate to be in Monte Carlo during the yacht show. This day, we are in the midst of sailing yachts. AT 1PM, the horn sounded for the afternoon race of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. This is a weeklong regatta with a few hundred ships participating. It was very cool to see all the crews in their matching uniforms heading out to the Bay of St.Tropez for the big race. The prize to the winner is the Rolex Cup of course!
We are on our first Crystal Cruise and are currently cruising with Crystal Cruises on the Serenity. Our itinerary is Monte Carlo to Barcelona. I will blog throughout our journey but this first blog is about our flying experience to get to Nice (the closest airport to Monte Carlo).
September 26th, alarm set for 3am. Showered, finished packing by 4am. Taxi arrives 5 minutes early 4:10am. Pleasant drive to the airport. Simple check-in with West Jet. Time for tea from Tim Horton's. No line up at security. Upstairs at the gate, crew arrives for this 5:45 am departure for Toronto. Then it begins. First announcement - the flight will be one hour delayed. Not good news as we are now going to miss our connection in Toronto to Montreal. We had a one hour connection there. No problem. I jump up to the counter, first in line. All we need is to be rebooked on the next Toronto to Montreal flight. This cuts our time a little short in Montreal before we need to catch our Air Transat flight from Montreal to Nice, but no problem. We can make it happen.
While the West Jet customer agent is helping us, she looks at me and says "one minute, I am expecting a call to come in". Then it comes .... The second announcement. The Saskatoon to Toronto flight will now be leaving at 12:00 noon. 6 hours late. Now we will miss all our flights to Nice.
Thank you TRAVEL PROTECTION. We call RBC our Travel Insurance provider. They open a claim for us. They inform us to make arrangments to get to Nice, and that the flights need to be booked in Economy class. Off to the Air Canada counter we go. We are not first in line there. Others are also trying to rebook to Toronto on the 10:55 flight. We panic a bit thinking we are not going to be able to buy a ticket. Our turn comes and we are right, that flight is now sold out. We tell Calvin, the wonderful Air Canada agent " Calvin, anything, just book us on anything that will get us to Nice tomorrow so we can catch our cruise". He punches away on the computer for about 5 minutes (seemed way longer then that). He covers his face with his hands then drops them to the computer to slowly turn the screen around. He did it, he pulled an itinerary together!! Saskatoon to Winnipeg, Winnipeg to Toronto, Toronto to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Nice. Price .... $4754 per person!!!!! All economy seats just like RBC instructed. The Saskatoon to Winnipeg flight is leaving shortly and closes in 7 minutes. Brian runs to the West Jet counter and retrieves our bags. We pay for the tickets and shout out "Hallelujah for Travel Protection".
Okay people out there who decline Travel Protection, one more story from us. I often hear people say "I am not cancelling". Okay, but what about the Interruption insurance. If I did not have Travel protection would I have forked over another $10000 to go on this trip? I don't know and I am really glad that I did not have to decide.
Ixtapa Travel Staff