Go West

Got up around 8.00am and went to the Ocean View for our breakfast, choosing a table by the window so we could look out upon the Arabian Sea as we headed to Dubai.  It was quite disconcerting sitting where we were, because there were large, reinforced glass circular windows in the floor which, when you looked down, appeared to offer a sheer drop over the sea!  When walking along the promenade deck you can look up and see these floor windows into the restaurant; it wasn’t anything we’d ever seen on other ships.

After breakfast we decided to have a walk around the deck and look for flying fish.  It was pleasant up on deck, if a little breezy due to the ship moving along.  One thing to be thankful for – we haven’t seen a drop of rain since leaving home.  😊

At 10 o’clock we went along to the theatre where there was a slideshow presentation by Dr. Ann Burgess called “Curiosities of Nature”.  A lot of the photos featured extreme close-ups of insects and other creatures, it was absolutely fascinating to see.

Afterwards we went for a cup of coffee, then back into the theatre for another presentation by the naturalist Don Enright; this one was all about the elephants of Asia.  We always enjoy attending talks and presentations when we’re on cruises; they usually last around 45 minutes so they’re not too long, as it often seems a shame to be in a darkened theatre watching a slideshow when the weather is so fine outside.  However, we always learn something new so it’s never a bad thing.  😊

After the presentation, we decided it was “beer time” so we headed up to the Sunset Bar at the stern of the ship, perched on a couple of bar stools, and enjoyed some freezing cold beers as a prelude to lunch.  I wasn’t very hungry, so I didn’t really want anything, preferring to wait until dinner time.  I did, however, indulge in a delicious pecan ice-cream cone from the ever-present free ice-cream parlour, which was certainly popular with the kids on board.

We then spent the rest of the afternoon just relaxing on board, sitting by the pool and passing the time of day with our fellow passengers, whilst enjoying the live music by the band “Just in Time” at the pool deck.

We decided we’d go to the San Marco main restaurant for our dinner that night, and we shared our table with three other couples; one of whom was also from County Durham (Newton Aycliffe).  There was also another British couple who were first-time cruisers, and a couple from Canada.  Trevor and I, with 45 cruises under our belts, were by far and away the most experienced cruisers; in fact it did seem as if the general demographic on this ship was younger than average.  A lot of the talk around the table was centred around cruises and other holidays we’d enjoyed.

After dinner it was time to make our way to the Celebrity Theatre to see the “Rat Pack Dolls”. This was a novel show as it consisted of the famous swing music of the “Rat Pack” (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Junior) but the songs were performed by three ladies instead.  We enjoyed the show a lot.

Afterwards, we went along to the Rendez-Vous lounge again and sat with Dave and Alison, enjoying a few more cocktails until it was time to call it a night.  We had one more sea day to look forward to tomorrow.

Friday, 12th January 2018

Couldn’t believe it was nearly the end of our holiday already – how the time had flown.  We got up around eight o’clock as usual; in fact, I hadn’t had a good night’s sleep for a week now as the coughing kept waking me up and I couldn’t get comfortable.  So it was almost a relief to have to get up in the morning.

Went out onto our balcony; as ever, it was a very calm sea and the weather was pleasantly warm without being too hot.

I didn’t go to breakfast but Trevor brought me back a cup of coffee and a muffin which I enjoyed in our cabin.  Then we spent a while just pottering around, sitting on the balcony, doing some of this blog and reading my Kindle, until 10 o’clock when we went along to the theatre to listen to a talk by Captain Vittorio Cantu called “The Secret of Ship’s Navigation”. It was a very interesting and enlightening talk about modern-day seafaring navigation, all of which is done by computer (for which they have backup systems, and further systems to provide backups to the backups!).  Gone are the days of sextants and steering by the sun and stars; everything is done by GPS.  The captain was able to keep us all interested using lay person’s terms, and it was a good presentation.

As the sunny weather beckoned, we went up on deck for a walk around then took our ‘usual’ places on our bar stools at the Sunset Bar.  We didn’t really do an awful lot today apart from just enjoying being on this lovely ship at sea in the sunshine, instead of the cold and dark of northern Britain.  😊

And so the time just passed in its pleasant way and soon it was time to go to dinner.  Sometimes it can seem, on a cruise ship, that your entire time is spent eating and drinking!  We just decided to go to the self-service restaurant and I enjoyed a selection of fresh salad vegetables and cold cuts of meat, followed by a pretty good apple crumble and custard and washed down with a couple of glasses of rosé wine.  Beyond the large windows we watched the sun dip down below the horizon on the Arabian Sea in a blaze of oranges, pinks and golds.

We were finished in good time, so we made it to the seven o’clock performance in the Celebrity Theatre.  Tonight’s show was performed by the Stars of the Constellation and was called “Celebrate the World”. It was an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza from countries around the world and was a selection of fantastic costumes and brilliant music; excellent entertainment as usual.

After we came out of the theatre, we had a wander around outside on deck so I could get some fresh air, as the air-conditioning was exacerbating my cough and cold symptoms once again.  We then went to the Rendez-Vous and had a couple of drinks, but I really couldn’t be bothered any more, so I went back to our cabin about 10.00pm to read while Trevor went to see the “Liars’ Club” (based on the TV show “Call My Bluff”) in the theatre.

When Trevor returned to our cabin I spent a few minutes sitting out on the balcony in the darkness before we settled down for the evening.  We were due to reach terra firma once again tomorrow morning.

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