Wednesday, October 12th - We were the first ship ever use the brand new dock in Jeju (Cheju) City. Jeju Island, formerly Cheju Island, is an island off the southern coast of South Korea, in the Korea Strait.
There was a big problem. Neither captain, nor anyone at Holland America realized that it was a long, long walk from the dock to get outside the port area where the buses and cabs were waiting. May people were complaining and many said they would stay on the ship rather than walk so far in the heat. Actually, when they build the terminal building and shops, passengers will be able to walk through the terminal and the bus stops and cabs will be available on the other side and it will be very convenient. But for now, all that is fenced off and everyone is forced to walk the entire perimeter of the area.
At 8:15 an announcement was made that shuttle busses were ordered that would pick up passengers on the dock right next to the ship. They apologized; they didn’t realize the situation, but promised that shuttle busses would start arriving in 45 minutes, at 9:00. The first shuttles actually started transporting passengers even earlier!
The shuttle dropped us off at a shop which had a bus stop in front. We then took a city bus to see the “Dragon’s Head” rock formation and a nice park. We walked to a few souvenir shops before taking a cab to the main shopping district. However all the shops in the shopping district were expensive with high-end merchandise so we didn’t stay long; we took a cab back to the ship.
It was a fun day – a very nice clean port with friendly people but was is almost impossible to find anyone who spoke English and that made it very difficult to find out way around on our own. But if we had it to do over again I think I would do it the same way; I would just have a better idea in mind of what I wanted to see and pictures of the attractions so the locals could point us in the right direction or to the correct bus line.
Jeju - Jeju Island, also known as the "Island of the Gods," is a popular vacation spot for Koreans and many Japanese. It remains one of the top honeymoon destinations for Korean newlyweds. The island's mixture of volcanic rock, frequent rains, and temperate climate, make it very similar to the Hawaiian Islands.