I did cover some of the cruise whilst on the ship but Internet access is slow and extremely expensive so I was limited to what I could write.
This is the story. The day before we sailed I received a txt message to say that embarkation had been delayed from 10 am to 1 pm. No explanation. OK, I was travelling by coach from Nottingham so I 'phoned the coach company to ask if the coach would also be delayed. They claimed to know nothing about the delay and said I was to join the coach at 8.30 am as scheduled.
Our clue to the delay came from our coach driver who dropped the nugget "you are about to join a ship that is being deep cleaned because of Norovirus". Help! Your read of this and it's not something that you would wish at any time, let alone Christmas.
He said he was going to sansy doodle along the route and make an unscheduled stop at a service station because it was better to spend time there than at the docks. He wasn't kidding. When we finally had clearance to enter the departure terminal it was absolutely chaotic. Information was minimal, announcements indecipherable, no refreshments unless we paid exorbitant prices at a coffee concession and not enough seats. In these modern times the "jobs worths'" become even more surley and determined to make every ones life a misery!
3+ hours later we eventually battled our way onto the ship which was an oasis of tranquillity. Everything was calm and well ordered. No hint of the mania going on in the terminal. Quite surreal!
Amazingly enough we did sail on schedule and after the safety muster the Captain explained that they had had and outbreak of Norovirus but the ship had, indeed, been deep cleaned and if we followed recommended procedures regarding frequent hand washing etc. things should be fine.
We then sailed into a force 9 gale with 8 mtr high waves resulting in the ship rocking and rolling for 3 days! We were later informed by the Captain that these were the worse sea conditions he had encountered in 20 years of sailing, but the upside was that it helped to contain another outbreak of the virus because instead of spreading it around we were mostly confined to our cabins throwing up! Cheers.
I thought things were pretty serious when the Captain announced that the "Captain's welcome aboard champagne reception" was to be cancelled because "I'm sure you would prefer that the Officers were on the Bridge keeping you all safe". What!!
Apart from that it was a great trip. I met some lovely people, eat far too well, enjoyed the shows and entertainment, and finally felt the warmth of the sun again. But, by gum, it was good to be home again.
Oh! and before I went I had this premonition that I was going to leave something behind. I did. My camera!
King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after years of war with the Hittites. His last great possession was the Star of the Euphrates, the most valuable diamond in the ancient world. Desperate, he went to Croesus, the pawnbroker, to ask for a loan. Croesus said, "I'll give you 100,000 dinars for it". "But I paid a million dinars for it," the King protested. "Don't you know who I am? I am the king!" Croesus replied, "When you wish to pawn a Star, makes no difference who you are."
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
LOOKING TO HEAVEN - Here is one of the 'apples of my eye'. Rosa, looking to Heaven, as if she has just heard her Nanna Maria calling to her to tell her how much she loves her ...
7 hours ago