Greenock, Scotland

Once again we woke up to a cloudy sky, but at least it was dry. 🙂 We hadn’t booked an excursion today, preferring instead to explore Greenock on our own. People who arrive in Greenock tend to see it as the gateway to Glasgow and go straight there, but as we’ve already been to Glasgow we thought we’d have a look around closer to ‘home’.

We disembarked the Adonia and wandered into the town. It didn’t look very big, and the problem was, being Sunday, most of the shops didn’t open until 11.00am, if at all. Nevertheless it was pleasant just to wander the town and look in the shop windows. There was a big shopping mall but the shops were just the same as the ones you’d find at home, so we didn’t buy anything.

We spotted a pub called the “Hole in the Wa’ “ which was advertising Sky Sports, and this pleased Trevor as we wanted to be able to watch the Monte Carlo F1 Grand Prix, which was on today. We therefore decided to go back to the ship, have some lunch and come back to the pub later on.

After lunch, which we tentatively ate sitting outside (somewhere sheltered from the still-biting wind) we gathered together our stuff and went back into town, by which time the pub was open. No such luck regarding the Grand Prix, however; we’d fogotten that Glasgow football team Celtic were playing in the Scottish Cup and so every television for miles around would be tuned into that match instead.

So we went back on the ship and I decided to have a rum and Coke and read my Kindle, but Trevor found out that they were showing the Grand Prix up in the Crow’s Nest, so he disappeared up there for a couple of hours. 🙂

Once we had got back on board, the Captain Cook’s voice came over the tannoy advising that, once again, our passage over the Irish Sea to Douglas, Isle of Man, was going to be a rough one, with gales and high seas expected.

We didn’t go back ashore again; as someone had already told us, there wasn’t much to see in Greenock; maybe we should have booked on one of the excursions.

So we just spent the afternoon pottering around until it was time to go to dinner. We thought there might have been a sailaway party as they usually have them when leaving any port, but they’ve been few and far between on this cruise, and once again the pool deck was deserted when we got there.

We didn’t go to the Pacific Restaurant tonight as they were having an Indian Banquet in the Conservatory and, as we love Indian food and eat it often at home, we decided to go there, where it was delicious. In the entrance of the restaurant there was a fantastic sculpture, made entirely of icing, of the Taj Mahal. We learnt it had taken the chef over two months to make it.

After dinner we went, along with Charlie and Linda again, into the Curzon lounge for the show, where once again they were featuring Mark Lawrence, the pianist.  He was excellent, a really talented musician.  I think I enjoyed his classical pieces more than the modern stuff; he did a few Elton John and Billy Joel, but the classical was best.

As we came out of the lounge, we spotted a hugely (literally) familiar figure that we recognised from a couple of previous cruises; the Welsh bass-baritone singer Anthony Stuart Lloyd.  He is a giant of a man at 6′ 7” and immensely broad shoulders so you can’t exactly miss him.  We’d seen him on the Queen Mary 2 in 2010 and on Balmoral for the Titanic Memorial Cruise last year, and he really is very good; he is described as having the “Rolls Royce” of voices.  We stopped for a chat with him and were delighted to learn that he’d be performing later on in the cruise.

Then we finished off the evening by taking part in the Syndicate Quiz where we hoped to maintain our number one spot.  The same couple from last night joined us but to no avail; no bottle of wine for us tonight.

Back in our cabin we could already feel that the wind was getting up; the Adonia was pitching and rolling quite a lot and we settled ourselves down to a rough night – all part of being at sea.

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