Britannia, the ‘Shoe Lady’

Felt really depressed that we were down to our final day on the fabulous Boudicca.  How the last fortnight had flown!  ☹

Today we had a nice leisurely day at sea, with a packed itinerary.  We had a good breakfast in the Secret Garden, then attended a talk at 9.45am by Roger Cook; this one was called “Making a Killing” and was really quite distressing – it was all about the illegal trade in exploiting wildlife, from the ivory trade, poaching tigers and the dreadful ‘canned hunting’ where lions are drugged and shot at the rate of around 8,000 a year.  On one occasion, I had to turn my chair round to avoid seeing footage of a lioness being killed in front of her cubs.  Dreadful, dreadful stuff.

Afterwards we went to the Iceni room to have a cup of coffee, before venturing out on deck.  We’d noticed that the ocean was a lot choppier today and, when we went outside, a brisk wind was blowing, so much so that the bow area was roped off to passengers.

We then went back to our stateroom (suite!!) and reluctantly dragged the cases out from under the bed, to make a start with our packing, putting away anything we wouldn’t be wearing or needing again this cruise.  Then we went to the Four Seasons restaurant in good time for lunch, as today they were holding the Grand Seafood Buffet.

The buffet was scrumptious.  There was fresh lobster, crab, prawns, mussels and cockles, all laid out on beds of crushed ice.  As a centrepiece was a gleaming ice sculpture in the shape of a swordfish.  I piled my plate high and we enjoyed a deliciously-messy lunch, pulling the shells off with our fingers, for which the waiter provided some bowls of water in which fresh lemon slices floated.  We washed it all down with a chilled glass of cava. 😊

At two o’clock I went down to the Atlantis Spa for an eyebrow wax and a luxury manicure.  The lady took her time and did a really nice job; the manicure included a hand and arm massage as well as a deep moisturising mask in a pair of heated mitts.  I really enjoyed it, and my hands and nails looked much better afterwards.

I then went straight from the spa to the Neptune Lounge to meet Trevor there, as they were holding the Passenger Talent Show.  There wasn’t much of a range of talent, however, as they were all singers, of varying abilities, some of whom we’d seen in the karaoke the other night.

The talent show was followed by the Boudicca Choir concert, and this was actually very good – I can see why joining a choir is a popular pastime these days.  They sang a selection of popular songs, some in harmony, and in their big finale they sang the very appropriate The Fleet’s In Port Again. This last one was sung to a backdrop of film footage of all four Fred ships, the Balmoral, Boudicca, Black Watch and Braemar, all in port together in Cadiz last year.  The footage looked fantastic and even quite moving with all four ships leaving port together, one after the other.

This was especially interesting to us, because we are already booked on the Balmoral for April 2020, when all four “Freds” will be together in Funchal, Madeira. It certainly looked as if we would be in for a treat, and I’ll be able to get some amazing photos of these lovely classic ships.

After the excellent choir concert we returned to our stateroom (suite!!) to get showered and changed and ready for the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail Party at half-past five.  It wasn’t a formal evening tonight, but I still made the effort to dress up nicely, wearing a floaty black off the shoulder dress with silver polka dots, and my Playboy Bunny shoes.  When we went into the Neptune Lounge to meet the Captain and his officers, Trevor thanked Captain Sartela for such an excellent cruise, and we greeted and acknowledged each of the officers, as well as the dance hosts.  One of the dance hosts, Vanessa, looked at my outfit and my shoes, and told me that everyone had been referring to me as “Britannia, the Shoe Lady”.  Ha ha, I like that (hence the title of today’s blog).  😊

We enjoyed the cocktail party, partaking of several glasses of the (free!) fizz and enjoying a few canapés.  Then Captain Juha Sartela came onto the stage and did another of his amusing speeches in his usual deadpan manner.

It then took us nicely to dinnertime, where it was quite sad going into the Tintagel Restaurant for the “last supper”.  We had another delicious meal and, once we’d all finished, Trevor announced that the after-dinner liqueurs where on us, so everyone had their tipple of choice and we all clinked glasses, as well as swapping email and address details.  Then we made our way to the Neptune Lounge for the Farewell Variety Performance, which featured all the entertainers we’d seen this cruise; singer Shaun Perry, magician Rick Green, comedian Lloyd Davies and, of course, the fabulous Boudicca Show Company and orchestra.

Then we went along to the Lido Lounge to take part in our final quiz, along with Joe, Gary and Angela.  Once again, we didn’t win, but we still enjoyed great company along with Fred’s all-inclusive drinks package. 😉 We returned to suite 7038 around 12.30am, but didn’t sit out on the balcony because we still had our packing to finish, and in any case it was still too windy.  So we packed everything up apart form toothbrushes and clothes we’d be travelling home in, put our luggage outside our stateroom, then settled down for our last night on the Boudicca, where we slept very well.

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