Today is our first Port of Call, docking in the Port of Tyne.
Keith left early for a tour, while the boys and I had breakfast and planned to walk around the area. This port is away from the city. Disney was offering a shuttle to the seaside town of Tynemouth. From there you can catch the Metro into Newcastle proper. We walked through the main street to see the beach area and Tynemouth Priory and Castle. It was not yet open for the day.
We decided to take a taxi into Newcastle proper to shop and see the bridges and castle. We shared a taxi with a Chris and Sue Willis, aka Fine Whines, a jazz duo who performs on the ship. We caught their show later that evening. They are so lovely and talented!
We asked to be dropped off at Grey’s Monument, which is huge! We walked around to the shops to find souvenirs, but it was mostly your typical American mall shops. We used our map to walk down to the bridge area. Gateshead Millennium Bridge is a rotating pedestrian bridge. Newcastle also has High Level Bridge, the world’s oldest train/traffic bridge. There was a street fair taking place along the Tyne, but it was mostly food. After looking at the bridges, we walked back up to the castle. We just took pictures from outside and visited the gift shop. On our way back to the ship, our taxi drove by the small remaining remnant of Hadrian’s Wall in Newcastle.
Keith took the DCL excursion, Leisurely Durham Dales and Blanchland. The tour was fun and fact-filled even though we only got off the bus once. The city itself is a mixture of old and new and is dominated by the much-loved football stadium. The drive to the country took us past a small section of Hadrian’s wall, and we enjoyed the picturesque countryside. Once in Blanchland, we disembarked for a leisurely stroll through the town. The stone-roofed houses, the cemetery, and church were treasures of the past and the crisp sunny day made for excellent photos. The pub and tea shop were available for refreshments before the drive back to port. In all, an enjoyable time.
Back on the ship, I saw a small crowd gathering outside, so I walked down to Deck 4 to watch the sail away. The parking lot next to the port was filling with families waving goodbye to the ship. Donald, Goofy, Max were on deck waving, replaced by Mickey and Minnie for the actual sail away. It was fun to see the excitement about the ship being in their town. This is the second time Disney Cruise Line has stopped in this port.
We made an early evening of it finishing the day with a difficult round of team trivia and dinner.