Forget About the Price Tag

We have started to take our Malarone prophylaxis tablets as, once we arrive in West Africa, we will be in a malaria zone. Today, however, would see another leisurely sea day before we reach terra firma tomorrow morning.

The weather was sunny and warm, just what we’d been waiting for (we are, after all, now in the Tropics) so we spent a lot of time up on deck by the pool and just wandering around and talking with our fellow passengers.

At around ten past eleven we joined the inevitable queue outside the Neptune Lounge for the 11.15am Oceans Club cocktail party. The Oceans Club is Fred Olsen Cruise Lines loyalty club and we are currently Silver members. We need to spend another 21 nights on board a Fred Olsen ship before we become Gold members (but we already have a 16 night cruise booked on the Boudicca in November of this year). 🙂

We enjoyed a few canapés and a couple of free glasses of fizz (although it’s all free when you’re travelling all-inclusive) then it was just nice time to think about lunch.

Up on the Marquee deck we decided to have a light meal in the sunshine by the pool. As it was lunchtime, most of the seats were taken but we were able to find a couple of free seats at a table; there were another two seats there, one which contained someone’s bag and another a towel and paperback book. We waited for our unknown table companions to come back, but there was no sign of them. Meanwhile, people were arriving at the bar and looking around for somewhere to sit.

Our meal and drinks arrived, which we enjoyed very much, and we finished off with a tub of dairy ice cream each. There was still no sign of the people who had ‘reserved’ the seats.

Presently Mick and Jackie, who share our table in the restaurant, came along looking for a seat, and when we told them no-one had seen the owners of the bag and towel for over an hour, Jackie moved them off the seats and put them to one side, then they sat down and ordered their meal instead. A little later an elderly couple appeared, looked all over for their stuff, then complained to one of the staff that ‘someone’ had moved their bags. The waiter did tactfully point out that chairs and sunbeds were not to be reserved and if no-one was sitting in the chair for over 20 minutes, items would be removed. The elderly couple collected their stuff and went off with their tails between their legs. It’s just so selfish and inconsiderate for people to behave like that; good for you Jackie for sitting in those chairs! 🙂

We sat and enjoyed a pleasant chat but then we had to seek refuge from the sun, as I could feel my arm burning and we weren’t wearing any sunscreen. So we went back to our cabin and sat out on our balcony, where I did a little kumihimo for a while before having a half-hour power nap.

We spent the rest of the afternoon pottering around the ship, passing pleasantries with the other passengers and enjoying some more (free!) drinks. Before we knew it, it was time to get ready for dinner in the Thistle restaurant once again.

Tonight was smart-casual dress code once again. We joined Leslie and Gillian, Mick and Jackie and Kevin and Val on table 123 and, as ever, enjoyed a delicious meal washed down with house rosé wine and finished with liqueurs. The drinks and the laughs and the conversation flowed.

After dinner we hoofed it along to the Neptune Lounge to be sure of getting a good seat. We were lucky and managed to get one at the front, albeit at the side of the ‘stage’ (which is also the dance floor).

Tonight’s entertainment was comedian Ron Dale. We’d seen him on this ship three years ago when we did our Amazon cruise. He is a Scotsman who comes onto the stage in full Scottish dress, playing the bagpipes. Last time we’d thought he was a better musician than comedian, but he’d updated his act since then and he was actually very funny; he had everyone in stitches. We really enjoyed his show.

Afterwards we made our way to the Coral Club for the quiz, and joined another couple who had a good table near the front in order to be able to see the entertainment after the quiz, which was one of the female singers from the show company (Maria) along with Dong Gutierrez, one of the Filipino sound technicians. Apparently Dong had served as crew on board some of the Fred Olsen ships and always participated in the Crew Cabaret, but he was so good that they took him on as one of the entertainment team.

Once again we didn’t win the quiz (we’re slacking this time!) so we looked forward to the entertainment. The singing duo were very good and we were enjoying ourselves. Trevor then decided to go to the loo as the band and Maria struck up with Jessie J’s Price Tag. The chorus goes something like this:

It’s not about the money, money, money
We don’t need your money, money, money
Just wanna make the world dance
Forget about the price tag.

It ain’t about the ker-ching, ker-ching
Forget about the (yeah) bling-bling
Just wanna make the world dance
Forget about the price tag.

Meanwhile, it was just Maria singing and Dong had disappeared, but when the rapping part of the song came, he appeared at the door of the Coral Club, wearing a baseball cap and flashing lights on his sunglasses as he rapped and strutted his way down the aisle towards the stage.

But as he approached the stage he bumped into Trevor’s empty chair which had been jutting into the aisle a little bit. He lost his balance and knocked the chair over, and then (one had still holding his microphone) he attempted to right the chair with one hand. Epic fail – the chair spun on one leg and crashed into our table, which then toppled in slow motion, complete with the drinks glasses, into the floor. The scene was complete and utter chaos, but what fascinated me was the fact that he didn’t miss a beat and carried on rapping and dancing. 🙂

Trevor had, meanwhile, been returning from the loo and had followed Dong down to the stage and had seen the whole thing. The other couple however had got soaked with beer when one of the glasses went flying, and they went off to get changed (or in a huff, whichever way you wanted to look at it).

We completely saw the funny side and were in hysterics; we couldn’t stop laughing. The singers were really apologetic and the barman brought us some fresh drinks; we were also offered drinks from both Maria and Dong. But as our drinks are free it didn’t matter – it hadn’t cost us anything. In any case, as I told them, it was worth it for the comedy value. 🙂 Talk about organised chaos.

We’ll be laughing for a long time about this, ha ha. Whenever I hear Price Tag I will remember the Coral Club and Dong the entertainments guy. 🙂

We stayed for the disco and I did a bit of dancing, but as it was nearly 00:40am by then we had to go back to our cabin, as we are due to drop anchor in Porto Novo, Cape Verde tomorrow morning.

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