I Don’t Like Cricket, I Love It

So… we woke up this morning right back where we started from, in Bridgetown, Barbados.  We didn’t have to disembark the Ventura for the airport until 3.30pm, so we more or less still had a full day of our holiday to enjoy.

Some people would be nervous of going on a long-haul flight (or indeed any flight) on Friday the 13th, but this was the third time we’d done it.  New York to Montréal on 13th June 1997, and Buenos Aires to Ushuaia on 13th January 2006.

As we hadn’t managed to do the tour of Kensington Oval when we arrived here, we decided to make that our first stop after breakfast.  We had to be out of our cabin by 8.00am anyway, so we left our bags in the Arena theatre for safekeeping, then took a walk to the famous cricket ground which opened for tours at 9.00am.  So we were their first visitors of the day 🙂

We were introduced to Ruth, who was our guide for the 45 minute tour of Kensington Oval.  We went into the ground where the cricket pitch was a lush green.  The ground was very impressive, and it’s a pity there wasn’t a game on, because we just felt like sitting in the shade listening to the sound of leather on willow.  We were taken all around the ground and into the press box.  We were shown where the players sit and where the VIP visitors go in the Sir Garfield Sobers stand.  It was all very interesting.  We explained to Ruth that we had a good cricket team in Durham and that one of our players, Paul Collingwood, used to be the England captain until recently.

After our tour of the Oval we walked back into Bridgetown and went for a cold Banks’s beer at one of the little ramshackle bars.  While we were sitting there, the heavens opened.  We waited until the rain eased off and decided to go somewhere else on our way back to the ship.  On the way, however, there was another massive downpour and we were forced to seek refuge in another bar, whether we wanted to or not 🙂

The bar was full of Brits and Americans, off the cruise ships, who’d also come in for shelter from the rain.  One thing about the Caribbean though – even when it rains, it’s still warm, unlike Britain where it’s just cold and grey when it rains, even in the summer.

Once the sun came out again we continued on our way back to the Ventura.  We went back on board and along to the lido restaurant for some lunch.  Then we collected our bags and got our books and went and sat on some loungers by the indoor pool, as there were still intermittent showers.

At 3.30pm we were called to disembark the Ventura for the shuttle bus to the airport.  Once we arrived, we went through security and into the executive lounge.  We only had time for a couple of drinks, however, before our flight back to Blighty was called.

So that was it, basically.  Just the usual boring overnight flight, when all you want to do is get home once the holiday is over.   When we did eventually land in Birmingham International Airport we got a bit of a shock, the temperature was -6°C!  Only about 36° colder than what we’d had this last fortnight.

Would I go on the Ventura again?  Probably not.  There was nothing at all wrong with the ship, the food, the entertainment or the service.  No, it was none of that.  Maybe it was because there were just too many people, yet we didn’t make any friends or have a favourite hang-out this time.  What is it they say about being lonely in a crowd?  No, give me the smaller ships any time.

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