Sunny and Calm in the Irish Sea

Couldn’t get out of my pit this morning which wasn’t really a surprise, after a late night and lots of booze.  😦  At least the weather was a lot calmer and the skies brighter.

Today was our last day on the Boudicca (boo-hoo) so we just had to make the most of the rest of our fantastic cruise, as well as find some time today to do our packing.

I must have slept restfully last night, as my immaculate updo of the previous evening was still looking perfect, without a hair out of place.  At least I didn’t have to spend ages, as usual, trying to make my hair look half-decent.  🙂

It was after 10 o’clock when I emerged from our cabin and went along to the Iceni Room to have a cup of coffee and look around the shops to see if I could find some last-minute bargains.  Then we went along to the Neptune Lounge where one of the ship’s chefs was doing a vegetable carving demonstration, and inviting passengers up to have a go.

It was really quite clever and imaginative; he made a fantastic cockerel, Bugs Bunny, a whale, a desert island and lots of lovely sculpted flowers and intricate carvings using melons, cucumber, carrot, aubergine, radishes etc.  Some of them would make a lovely table centrepiece for a buffet.

Then we went back to our cabin and got one of the suitcases packed with things we wouldn’t be using again until we got home.  Afterwards it was time for lunch, which we ate in the Secret Garden café before venturing out on deck.   It was actually quite sunny, but cold (it is November after all!) so we didn’t stay out long.  We could see land ahoy and the captain’s noon announcement told us we were 21 nautical miles north-east of Belfast.  The Boudicca was only going along very slowly; after all, she could have been back in Liverpool today, but they were giving the passengers and extra night on board.  🙂

At 3.00pm we went along to see the “Boudicca Choir” in concert.  This was a group of passengers who’d formed a choir, under the musical direction of the singer, Lynn Sweet, and who’d been practising each afternoon in the Lido Lounge.  Today the rest of the passengers could see what they’d achieved.  Some of the choir members had never sung in public before, so they actually did quite well.

Afterwards we went to the Lido Lounge as usual to take part in the afternoon quiz.  We got 14/20 – not enough to win, but we enjoyed a drink or two while we were there.  😉

Then we went along to the Heligan Lounge to trade in the tokens we’d won for prizes.  The 10 points got me a pedometer (7 points) and a lanyard (3 points) which would be useful to contain my shipboard card on future FOCL cruises.  🙂

Back in cabin 5050, we got ready for dinner, our last one on table #32 in the Four Seasons restaurant.  It didn’t take me long because I didn’t have my hair to do, and anyway tonight the dress code was smart-casual.  We enjoyed the usual delicious 4-course meal along with wine and a glass of amaretto at the end.  Then everyone told each other how much we’d enjoyed their company over the last couple of weeks, and off we went to the Neptune Lounge for the final show.

Tonight it was the Crew Show.  On every cruise we’ve been on (35 now!), there is at least one show that allows the crew members to shine in the spotlight and forget about their day job for a few minutes.  We had lovely Philippina dancing girls, some Indonesian guys doing a traditional tribal dance, and other singers, acrobats etc. all wearing their national costume.  Some of these people are so talented you wonder why they are working on a cruise ship, probably for very little wages.  They should apply for a TV talent show or something.  All in all, we enjoyed their performances very much.

We ended the evening as we had done every night of this cruise, going up to the Lido Lounge, doing the last quiz and watching the dancers and then, a special late night cabaret featuring Bethany Gore, who was the female lead singer with the Boudicca Show Company.  Then we had one final (free!) drink before going back to our cabin and finishing off our packing, before putting the suitcases outside our door for collection.

Then it was off to bed, around midnight, for our last night on the Boudicca.  😦


Monday, 24 November 2014

At around 5.00am I woke up to go to the loo, and I saw that the ship was already docked in Liverpool.  Then we got up at seven, as we had to be out of our cabin at 8.00am.  Unbelievably, my hair-do from a couple of nights ago was still intact; I decided I’d wait until I got home before unpinning it all and shampooing it.

We went and had a good breakfast; I had the full English this time as we didn’t know when or where we were going to get our next meal.  Back in 5050 we had a final check round to make sure we hadn’t left anything behind, then off we went to one of the lounges to await the call to disembark.  To be honest, we weren’t in any hurry as our train from Liverpool Lime Street wasn’t until 11.12am.

We sat around in the comfort of Boudicca’s lounges, thinking over the last 16 nights and what a fantastic cruise it had been, with so many new experiences.  Tonight some other lucky people would be in cabin 5050, all excited because their holiday is just beginning.  It’s always quite depressing when a holiday comes to an end, but we have another cruise to look forward to in January.   🙂

Just after 9.00am we picked up our bags and made our way to Deck 3 and down the gangplank for the final time.  The Liverpool morning was sunny, but crisp, and the streets and roads were packed with Monday morning commuters.  We collected our suitcases from the cruise terminal building and trundled them along the streets for the short walk to James Street underground station.  Then it was a couple of stops along the line, back to Lime Street.

We had over an hour to wait and Lime Street, like most British railway stations, was cold and draughty.  We therefore went into a café to have a large, hot coffee and while away some time.  Then I went into the station M&S and bought a little bottle of rosé cava for the train journey.

We made our way to the platform for 11.00am, where the Newcastle train was just pulling in.  Climbing aboard, we stashed our cases in the luggage rack and made ourselves comfortable in our seats for the 3-hour journey back to Durham.

We arrived back at home just after 2.00pm.

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