Oceans Club and Twinkle Toes

Got up at 8.00am and went out on the balcony to see what the weather was like.  It seemed a little breezier this morning (but still very warm) and, while the sea was still calm, we noticed more ripples on the surface and could feel a very slight motion from the Boudicca.

We went down to the Tintagel Restaurant where there was some more free fizz on offer, because tonight was formal night once again.  I therefore enjoyed my usual cold meats, smoked salmon and fresh fruits, washed down with a couple of glasses of the free fizz to set me up for the day. 😊

We then went outside and did our usual five laps around the decks, but we didn’t see any flying fish this time; maybe they’d sought refuge in deeper waters as they noticed the sea was choppier too.

At 10 o’clock we went along to the Neptune Lounge for another of Judge David Radford’s talks; this one was called “Celebrities in my Courtroom” and covered the times when celebs, such as Pete Doherty, Tulisa and Amy Winehouse had appeared in the court he was presiding over.   It was quite interesting, but once again the former judge’s delivery was quite hard-going.

Once the talk was over, we had half an hour to go and get ourselves smartened up for the Oceans Club cocktail party at 11.15am.  The Oceans Club is the FOCL loyalty programme and there are five grades: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond Elite.  Trevor and I are currently Gold; only those passengers with Silver membership or above are invited to the cocktail party.  You are awarded one point for every one night spent on board a Fred ship, and Trevor and I will have 157 points after this cruise.  We need 250+ to go up to Platinum level, so we have a few more cruises to do yet. 😊

We made our way to the Neptune Lounge and showed our Oceans membership cards at the entrance.  Inside, we were met by the Captain and some of his senior officers, as well as Melanie, the future cruises manager.  Oh… and of course there were waitresses walking around with trays of gratis drinks and canapés, so we were offered more free drinks on Fred.  😊

After a brief speech in which Melanie outlined how many members there were in each category, a lady sitting next to us was given an award as a Diamond Elite – she had accumulated more than 700 nights on FOCL ships so she must spend more days a year at sea than on land!

After the cocktail party finished at 12 o’clock, we were all booted out of the Neptune Lounge so that rehearsals for tonight’s show could take place.  We therefore went along to the Poolside Grill for our lunch, and we just enjoyed sitting out in the sun, chatting with people and passing the time pleasantly, in that inimitable way that you can only experience on a cruise.

Just before 2.00pm we went along to the Neptune Lounge to take part in the dance class, which was covering the Queen of Hearts Rumba.  We were familiar with the rumba from our lessons at home, but this was something else altogether, way too advanced for us novices (and for most other people as well, judging by the shambles on the dance floor!).  So I think we’d jumped the gun a bit there, and after several unsuccessful attempts even to do the first part of the dance, we gave up and went out to the pool deck, where a selection of ice creams was on offer.  We therefore tried a different flavour; mine was a delicious hazelnut ice cream.

We then went back to the Neptune Lounge where cruise director Allan Tait was interviewing/chatting with comedian Lloyd Davies, who was outlining his career for us since winning the TV talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1987.  As expected, it was a very entertaining interlude and we looked forward to seeing Lloyd again later on in the cruise.

We then went back to the Lido Lounge (which is just along from our suite) and enjoyed a couple of drinks before returning to 7038 and getting showered and shampooed ready for this evening’s formal attire. I wore a knee-length navy sequinned dress along with a beaded navy wrap which I teamed with a pair of Irregular Choice shoes.

Now I am slightly obsessed with Irregular Choice shoes because they are so different and quirky. Don’t take my word for it, have a look at www.irregularchoice.com and you’ll see exactly what I mean.  I don’t buy shoes to go with my outfits, I buy my outfits to go with my shoes.  😊

Tonight, I was wearing a pair of navy blue medium-heels, covered in blue sequins to match my dress and featuring a big bow at the front.  But it wasn’t any ordinary bow, as soon as you started dancing (or even walking on a hard floor) there were fairy lights on the bow, which flashed and glittered.  There is obviously a tiny battery secreted inside the bow somewhere.

So, like my Gothic evening dresses, my Playboy Bunny shoes and my Britannia costume, my Twinkle shoes (as they are called) attracted an awful lot of attention, particularly after dinner when we went along to the Neptune Lounge.  But more about that later…

At the dinner table we noticed that everyone’s place setting included a champagne flute, and once John and Margaret, Mike and Ruth and Trevor and I were all seated, Mike announced that we were having champagne.  Apparently it had been a year since they’d lost their special, beloved dog Jaz, so we were all having a glass of champagne to raise and toast Jaz’s memory. A touching little gesture.

We then enjoyed our meal as ever, then made our way to the Neptune Lounge a little after eight o’clock.  There was no dancing tonight as it was a double bill, first of all featuring singer Lindsay Cooper, then it was time for the Boudicca Crew Show.

We always enjoy the shows put on by the crew. They feature songs and dances from their own countries, mainly the Philippines and Thailand, and they choreograph the dances and make the costumes themselves (when do they get the time?!)  So it’s always a colourful, happy, cheerful affair and nice for the hard-working crew members to get a huge cheer and appreciation from the audience.

Afterwards we went to the Lido Lounge for the quiz.  As I mentioned previously, my shoes got a lot of attention, with people asking where I’d got them and trying them on.  I could have been a salesperson on commission for Irregular Choice, as people were writing down the website URL and looking at and admiring other pairs of IC shoes I’d bought.  When I got up to dance, everyone was looking at my feet!  I may not have been a Twinkle Toes at the dance lesson earlier on, but I certainly was now! 😊

We took part in the quiz as usual, with Gary, Angela and Joe, but needless to say we didn’t win.  Then we just enjoyed a few more cocktails, listening to the music and whiled away the time until after midnight. Then Trevor and I returned to our stateroom (suite!!) to enjoy a nightcap on our balcony after another very full day.  Tomorrow we were due to reach land again, and we fell asleep lulled by the gentle motion of the Boudicca on the ocean waves.  😊

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