Well, this is the boring part. We woke up at 7.30am as we had to be out of our cabin an hour later. We went up to the packed Lido buffet for breakfast, then returned to cabin 4119, packed up all the rest of our stuff (including the bottle of Prosecco, which Trevor put in his rucksack) and had a last look round before leaving.
Then we made our way to the Queen’s Room to await the call for our coach. It didn’t take too long – the call to disembark was at 8.45am so we left the Queen Victoria and went along to the luggage collection point to pick up our two suitcases, which we loaded on to the bus.
After about half an hour, the bus was full so off we went. We had a long eight or nine hour journey ahead of us, back to the North East.
I spent the time reading my Kindle, listening to my iPod or just looking out of the window. The bus made its first stop to drop off some passengers and offer the rest of us a comfort stop of 15 minutes; we gratefully got off to stretch our legs and use the toilet facilities.
Around 11.00am, we decided we’d crack open the bottle of Prosecco. Trevor carefully removed the bottle from the rucksack, keeping it largely hidden as we weren’t actually allowed to have glass bottles on the coach. As the bottle had been shaken up a little by the vehicle’s motion, Trevor had to be careful when removing the wire muzzle not to allow the cork to fly out.
He made sure to keep his hand firmly on the cork to ease its exit from the bottle. Just as he thought he had it under control, it emerged with a loud bang in the quiet bus, which made the passengers near us jump and look around in alarm. The people in front of us hurriedly reached up to get their bags from the luggage shelf, and frantically examined the contents, while Trevor’s face was an absolute picture and I was nearly peeing myself with trying not to laugh. Any second now I was waiting for the driver to stop the bus and investigate what the bang was. Maybe the couple in front of us had also bought some champagne/prosecco, and thought it had gone off! Either way, we couldn’t stop giggling and the bloke sitting opposite us looked on in disdain. 🙂
The vintage Prosecco was really nice, poured into a couple of plastic cups we’d procured from the buffet, and it helped to prolong our holiday just a little bit.
At the next motorway services, we got rid of the “evidence” and went in to have a cup of tea and a sandwich, as we had half an hour’s break this time.
The coach crawled along in the endless traffic, which was made worse by a series of roadworks holding everything up. There was nothing to do but grin and bear it.
Eventually we reached Scotch Corner, and Trevor phoned our daughter Melanie to ask her to come and pick us up at Washington Services, A1(M) northbound, at about 5.20pm. When we got there, Melanie’s partner Neil and our grandson Ben were there, and they gave us a lift home. We arrived back in the house 20 minutes later.
Another unique and memorable cruise had come to an end. Here’s to the next time! 🙂