Port Louis, Mauritius

Once in the shuttle bus it would take us about 40 minutes to reach the Voyager. En route we were able to get our first impressions of Mauritius, which looked like a typical tropical island, set in the Indian Ocean in the southern hemisphere. We passed through colourful towns and quaint villages, as well as lush greenery with mountains in the background. In the distance we could see the sparkling sea and we looked out eagerly for the first glimpse of our ship.

Finally we arrived. Since leaving home it had been a case of taxi, train, taxi, bus, aeroplane, bus and finally – ship. 🙂

M/V Voyager is only a small ship, around 15,396 tons, and carries approximately 540 passengers. She is one of the ships in the Voyages of Discovery line, which we haven’t tried before. It was the itinerary that attracted us to this particular cruise, as all the ports of call are new to us.

The ship looked tiny next to the massive MSC Opera that was docked in the harbour opposite us. However, she was clean and white and all the public rooms were nicely decorated and furnished and looked very comfortable.

We are in cabin 4130, which is a twin-bedded outside cabin on Deck 4. It’s very clean and the beds are comfortable with crisp white sheets and plump pillows. The bathroom, however, is very small and there is hardly any room in the shower. Also, there was only one small wardrobe in the cabin so hanging a fortnight’s worth of clothes, for two people, was quite a squeeze.

We dumped our bags in the cabin and, as our cases hadn’t arrived yet, we decided to go up to the pool deck in the tropical sunshine and enjoy a freezing cold beer. We ordered a pint of Boddington’s each and sat under the welcome shade of a parasol over our table, looking around us with interest. The pool was circular and not very deep (1.4m) – more of a plunge pool than anything, and we enviously watched people going in for a swim in the gorgeous cool water.

After another drink we went back to cabin 4130 where we found that our suitcases had arrived. After emptying them out we had an hour’s sleep, as we were really shattered after our early start, long journey and the time difference.
Unlike most cruise ships we have been on, there is no set dining tables or times on the Voyager, so we didn’t have to worry about getting ready for dinner at 6.15pm – we could just go when we liked.

So after getting washed and changed, we had a wander around, looking at the different bars and restaurants and walking about on deck finding our way around the ship. We then decided to go for dinner at 6.30pm, but we just went into the self-service buffet rather than the more formal restaurant. I enjoyed some mixed salad and cold meats to start, followed by roast pork and vegetables and finished off with bread and butter pudding and custard, all washed down with a glass of rosé wine. On leaving the table, I regretted the portion of bread and butter pudding! 😦

As we were still half-asleep, we went back to the cabin for a post-prandial nap until about 9.00pm, then we decided we’d go and see what the main show lounge, the Darwin Lounge, was like. There was no entertainment scheduled for tonight as the ship was due to remain in port and a lot of passengers were ashore, but we sat and relaxed and enjoyed a drink whilst listening to the cocktail pianist play a selection of tasteful tunes.

Just then, we spotted a couple that we’d met on our last cruise, to Norway on the Boudicca. We’d discovered at the time we were going to be on the same cruise so we were looking out for them. They are John and Jean Fletcher from the Manchester area. We went over and sat with them and enjoyed their company for an hour or so, before making our way back to our cabin at 11.30pm or thereabouts, for our first night aboard Voyager.

Tomorrow we would have the whole day to explore Port Louis and its surroundings further.

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