All At Sea

Didn’t really sleep very well last night because of my cold.  So I was tired this morning and didn’t want to go up to breakfast, despite the fact that tonight will be the last formal night and the free fizz would be on offer.  🙂

Instead, I just took a leisurely shower and blow-dried my hair, and enjoyed a cup of coffee in our cabin while getting ready.  While I was there, a gentle knock on the door heralded the arrival of my freshly washed and ironed linen trousers, which I was pleased to see were back to their pristine white shade.  🙂

At 10 o’clock Trevor went to listen to a presentation about the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbour, while I relaxed and did some of this blog, crocheted and read my Kindle.  I am reading Don’t Tell A Soul by M. William Phelps, a true story about the murder of Cherry Walker in 2010.

Afterwards we attended another talk, hosted by Elliot Taylor in which he interviewed members of the Braemar Show Company and allowed members of the audience to ask questions.

We decided to go up to the Observatory and enjoy a couple of pre-luncheon drinks up there while enjoying the panoramic views over the bow of the Braemar.  All we could see was sea, but you never knew, we might spot dolphins or whales, so it was always worth keeping our eyes peeled.  🙂

Then we went along to the Palms Café where I enjoyed a good lunch as I was quite hungry, having missed breakfast.

We just spent the afternoon in our usual relaxed and pleasant way before we had to start getting ready early for the  Farewell Cocktail Party at 5.45pm.  It didn’t seem five minutes since the welcome cocktail party and here we were at the last one of this voyage.  😦

I dressed in a long black evening gown with a mesh embroidered wrap in eau-de-nil and a necklace of perfectly matching hand-made glass beads.  Then off we went to the Neptune Lounge to join the inevitable queue.

Once inside, we greeted the Captain and the senior officers before enjoying a few glasses of the free fizz and some tasty canapés.  Then Captain Jozo Glavic gave another of his very amusing speeches before advocating everyone to “be happy”.

Then it was time, once again, for dinner.  When we reached table #101 our waiter advised us that we had a couple of guests joining us tonight; one of them was the chief engineer Steffan Ravneng whose company we’d enjoyed at the first formal evening, and the other was Melanie from the Future Cruises desk, with whom we’d booked our cruise the other day.  It was good company as ever, but once again it was difficult to converse across the huge table.

As tonight’s showtime, which was the Braemar Crew Show, was not on until 9.00pm we decided to go along to the Morning Light pub for a couple of drinks; we wouldn’t be able to get into the Neptune Lounge yet anyway, as the second sitting passengers were still having their cocktail party.

So we sat at the bar and talked and laughed and watched the queue to get into the Neptune Lounge getting longer… and longer… and longer.  It stretched all the way back through the Morning Light and into the corridor beyond.  We knew we’d have no chance in getting a good seat tonight, so we gave up the idea of seeing the Crew Show and instead went to the Coral Club.

Presently we were joined by Jackie and Kathy for the quiz; we got 14/15 but three teams scored full points and had to go to the tie-breaker.

The late show in the Coral Club, “Rocking Out”, consisted of the guys from the Revolverlites band as well as comedian Lloyd Davies on the keyboards and the Morning Light guitarist Luke Palmer on the lead guitar.  The big surprise was Luke – he is such a bland and dreary singer in the pub but tonight he was great!  You’d have thought it was a different bloke.  🙂

Around midnight the disco started, and we stayed for one more nightcap before turning in for the night.

 

Friday, 17 March 2017

ST. PATRICK’S DAY

Got up about 8.30am, feeling sad that this was to be our last day.   Went up to the Thistle Restaurant for our breakfast, then decided to venture outside on deck.

On the lee side of the ship the weather was pleasantly warm and spring-like, and the presence of birds showed us we were near land; we must have been in the English Channel by now.  The Braemar was only moving very slowly, about 9-10 knots.  Scanning the horizon we could see the hazy outline of what we later found out was Guernsey.

We wandered around on the deck for a bit and went right to the bows of the Braemar, one of only two ships we’ve ever been able to do this on.  It was then quiz time, so along we went to the Coral Club for the morning’s quiz, but it was interrupted in a flurry of excitement when someone sitting near the window shouted “Whales!” so everyone rushed over for a look.  Sure enough I spotted the tell-tale spouts, three in total, so there must have been a pod out there.  Trevor was lucky enough to see a black tail emerge as one of them dived down.

Then we went to the Neptune Lounge to watch the ship’s version of “Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook” featuring (inevitably) comedian Lloyd Davies as well as our very own Captain Jozo Glavic, and hosted by the executive chef Siggi Weich.

As expected, it was absolutely hilarious, the captain and the comedian parrying jokes and innuendo off each other.  The recipe was for Caramelised Chilli Garlic Tiger Prawns and we were each given a copy to try to make at home.  In the meantime, we were invited up to taste it, and it was delicious.

As today is St. Patrick’s Day a hearty Irish Stew featured for lunch, and I enjoyed some with green beans, cauliflower and new potatoes, washed down with a (free!) glass of rosé wine.

After lunch it was time to go back, drag out one of the cases from under the bed, and start doing some of our packing.  We put in the items of clothing we knew we wouldn’t need again this holiday.

We decided we’d go up to the Observatory again this afternoon for a couple of drinks and also to see if we could see any more whales.  We didn’t see any more, just quite a few more birds as the Braemar glided her way up the English Channel.  As this is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, we spotted several cargo ships as well as one or two fishing vessels.

At 3.00pm we went to the Neptune Lounge to watch a passenger talent show.  Duncan (one of the entertainments hosts) had asked me earlier if I was going to participate, following my karaoke performances, but unfortunately my cold meant I was unable to sing at all.  😦

The show features some dancers and a lady who recited an amusing poem, but the majority of participants were singers, most of whom we’d seen in the karaokes earlier, but they were all of a very good standard.  The show finished with the Braemar Passenger Choir, people who had been going along to the “Singing for Fun” sessions with the singers in the show company.  It was excellent and left everyone feeling really uplifted.

Then it was time to go back and do more packing (boo-hoo) before getting ready for our final dinner on board.  Our cases don’t have to be out until 1.00am but it’s nicer to get the job over with than to have to do it when we’re tired (and have had a few drinkies!)

After dinner we went along to the Neptune to claim our seats for the show, which was entitled “Hollywood Revisited” and featured the Braemar Show Company’s usual singing and high-energy dancing.  Afterwards Elliot brought everyone back on stage, including the orchestra and the sound and light technicians, so the audience could show their appreciation for the absolutely superb entertainment we’d enjoyed this cruise.  🙂

Tonight’s quiz was Irish themed; once again we got 14/15 but didn’t win!!  So it looked as if our triumphs were limited to two this cruise, compared to four the last cruise.  Oh well, it’s all good fun and we learn something new every time!

The evening finished with a St. Patrick’s Day special with singer Ben Carpenter, the male lead singer in the show company.  I thought it was going to be boring Irish dirges but it was really good; Ben has an excellent voice and he alternated the slow ballads with more upbeat songs.  A lot of people stood up for him at the end.

We decided we wouldn’t stay too late tonight as we knew we’d have to be up early in the morning.  So I enjoyed one more of the excellent sangrias before we headed back to cabin # 3074 to finish our packing.

Once the cases were put outside the door we settled down for our final night on board.  Tomorrow we’d be back in Blighty.  😦

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