Rule Britannia!

The first thing we did when we woke up this morning was look out of our portholes to see what the weather was like.  Smaller wavelets indicated to us that the wind had dropped, and the sun was peeping out now and then through the fluffy white clouds.  So it looked as though it was another fine day.   🙂

I got showered and dressed and did my hair, dressing a little smarter than my normal cruise ‘day wear’ as, at 11.15am, they were holding the Fred Olsen Oceans Club cocktail party in the Neptune Lounge for Silver and Gold members.

Like many cruise lines, Fred Olsen has its own loyalty club for regular customers, and the membership grade (Blue, Silver or Gold) is dependent upon the number of nights you’ve spent cruising on a Fred Olsen ship.  Blue is for 1-30 nights, Silver for 31-100 nights and Gold for those who have done more than 100 nights.  Trevor and I are currently Silver and after this cruise we’ll have 66 nights total.

We went along to the Neptune Lounge for the free ‘champers’, wine or cocktails and canapés.  The fact that we’re cruising all-inclusive this time means that all the booze is free, so the freebies at the cocktail party sort of lose the thrill compared to cruises where they are the only free drinks and we try to have as many as possible.   😉

Nevertheless, old habits die hard so we enjoyed three glasses of the free ‘champers’ each as well as one or two tasty nibbles.  Captain Tom Hansen came on and did a little speech about how nice it was that so many people who cruised with Fred Olsen came back time and time again; he made everyone laugh when he said we nearly ended up holding the cocktail party in St. Petersburg because the Black Watch didn’t want to leave!   🙂

They then made presentations to two of the passengers who had the most nights’ cruising with FOCL; one lady who had over 400 nights and a bloke who had spent an astonishing 1000+ nights on board Fred Olsen ships.  That’s like staying on the ship for over three years solid.  Blimey – that would take some doing.

The announcement also came that, because one of the tender boats was out of operation (a fact that had come to light during an earlier inspection) there had been a necessary change to the cruise itinerary; we would not now be visiting Karlskrona in Sweden but would be arriving early afternoon in Copenhagen instead, where we would stay in port overnight before leaving on Saturday evening.  That was a bit of a disappointment as we hadn’t been to Karlskrona before and were looking forward to going; although we like Copenhagen we had already visited twice before.  But, as we’ve discovered often, things like this cannot be helped in cruising; sometimes changes are unavoidable.

The cocktail party finished in time for lunch, and as the weather was really warm and the wind had dropped to merely a gentle breeze, we went up to the Marquee pool bar, and enjoyed a sandwich and cold drink up there and sat around for a while in the sun.  However, the combination of late nights, hot weather and the cocktail party had a soporific effect so we decided to go back to our cabin for a nap.

Once back in the cabin though we just crashed out, and it was actually 4.30pm when we woke up!  We sluggishly sorted ourselves out and got showered and changed ready for tonight’s theme, which was red, white and blue attire or British Night.

Trevor wore black trousers, a white shirt and looked very smart in a Union Jack waistcoat and bow tie, and I wore white trousers, a Union Jack t-shirt and carried a massive British flag, which I wore draped around my shoulders.  We saw lots of other people had made the effort and there were quite a few Union Jack clothes and red-white-blue combinations.  Trevor had quite a lot of compliments about his attire, rightly so.   🙂

After our dinner we hot-footed in along to the Neptune Lounge to make sure we got our usual front row centre seats for tonight’s show, which was called “Britannia Rocks”.  Beforehand, however, the entertainment team got everyone roused into a good old British singalong, with lots of patriotism and flag-waving.  Everyone spontaneously stood up at the end to sing Land of Hope and Glory.

The show was absolutely brilliant.  It showcased British pop and rock music through the decades (60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s) before going into a bit of the old Pomp and Circumstance.  The audience were joining in and waving their flags, singing Rule Britannia and other patriotic songs, and it really was quite stirring in a way.  Fantastic stuff.

We all left the Neptune Lounge on a high, then went along to do the quiz as usual – no prize again.  Then we finished the evening off in the Lido Lounge where “Serendipity” and Pat Shannon (who we’d nicknamed Shat Pannon) were performing.  It was a late finish once again, after 1.00am (we weren’t tired because of our mega-nap earlier!).  However, we had to put our clocks back one hour, so we’d have a bit of a lie-in in the morning anyway.   🙂

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