Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

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Making the Most of St. Johns, Newfoundland

Making the Most of St. Johns, Newfoundland


The Magic docks at berths 10 & 11 in St. John’s Harbour, in the heart of downtown, alongside Harbour Drive. The city greets and bids farewell to ships with pomp and ceremony; you may want to rise early to be on hand. Tourist info is available from St. John’s Ambassadors who are at the pier and around downtown, as well as at the tourism office at 348 Water St. ATMs are plentiful at the banks on Water St. Canadian customs requirements should be modest, though Customs agents will be present on the pier. As always, have your Key to the World Card and photo ID with you, but passports can stay in your stateroom. The Magic makes her only 2017 visit on September 24. All ashore time is 9:30 am and all aboard is 6:00 pm.


Downtown St. John’s is built on a hillside, but can be managed easily on foot. The energetic can even walk all the way to Signal Hill (1.37 mi./2.2 km. each way, 470 ft./143 m. altitude). Most shopping and dining is found one block inland on Water St., and a 5-block walk up Cathedral St. takes you past major landmarks to The Rooms, the provincial museum. The St. John’s Trolley Line, a hop-on/hop-off service, may be in operation. It serves nearby sights, from Signal Hill to the Railway Coastal Museum and everything in between. A day pass is $5, $20 for a family, paid to the driver in exact cash (get some Canadian dollars first). Taxis are metered, with a $3.25 “drop” and $0.25 per 1/6 km. (0.1 mi.) thereafter. If you can’t find one at the pier, there’s a stand on Adelaide St., near Water St. Most car rental agencies are out by the airport, but Hertz also has a location at 131 Duckworth St., about 5 blocks from the pier. While there are out of town sights worth seeing, few are within less than an hour’s drive. Driving in Canada is little different than driving south of the US/Canadian border, just keep your kilometers straight.


St. John’s is a small city, with a relatively low crime rate, but that doesn’t mean visitors should be inattentive, especially on crowded, downtown streets. Temperatures can be chilly in May and late September, when Transatlantic repo cruises visit. It pays to wear cozy layers, including something wind-resistant. Sturdy walking shoes are a plus if you’ll be hiking the rocky hills and coast. Though they aren't a factor in fall, icebergs are sometimes an issue in late spring (a berg closed the harbor entrance in mid-June 2014). Your ship will steer clear, even if that means skipping the port. Scout in advance at http://www.icebergfinder.com. The legal drinking age in Newfoundland is 19.

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