Silver Travel Advisor Alan Fairfax writes his daily Blog from the deck of the P&O Cruises Aurora on his 17 day Mediterranean cruise. He gives a day by day account of life on board this classic ocean-going vessel.
I forgot to mention that last night was a themed evening. The 60’s and 70’s Night Fever Party in Carmen’s. The trio who played and sang managed to get most passengers on the dance floor including yours truly. During their break this was covered by the onboard DJ, Adam. It was good to see some of the entertainment staff dressed in the Sgt. Peppers uniform and others in the dress of the Flower Power era. A great evening.
Today is another day at sea. The sea is calm and the sun is shining from a clear blue sky. Breakfast was another healthy affair of Fruit Juice and Fruit Compote. OK I did have 2 rashers and a fried egg to follow. May need the gym tomorrow.
Up on deck and the world looks wonderful. Warm breeze and only a slight swell as Aurora glides through the water at nearly 19 knots. At 9am we are cruising up the coast of North Africa and our nearest port is Tangier 20 nautical miles south of us and it’s 27c. Many of the passengers are now up on the decks around the pools making the most of that large yellow ball that has not visited the UK very much over the previous months.
Lunch time was a visit to Medina Restaurant. Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas followed by a Pear Flan with Ice Cream. Yes I promise to visit the gym tomorrow.
The afternoon was back to deck 13 situated at the top and front of the ship. Surrounded by glass on 3 sides the views across the deep blue sea are wonderful. We are now heading into the wind so this plus our own speed makes for a breezy afternoon. The sun is still strong so it’s out with the sun lotion to void looking like a lobster this evening. I have given tea a miss today as I don’t want to over do the food. Ok, the truth is I can’t be bothered to get off my sun lounger.
Late afternoon and tonight’s dress code is “Smart Jacket” so it is off to my second home, the ironing room to press the trousers and iron the shirt.
Dinner as usual offers a large selection of dishes and our waiters are always there with a smile on their faces. Tonight I am trying the steak and when it arrives I have no complaints. Many of the diners have red faces through spending the day in the sun. After dinner it is on to the theatre for another excellent performance by the Headliners Theatre Company. Tonight it is a tribute to ‘Motown’ entitled “Stop! In The name of Love”.
Then it is time for bed and the clocks go back an hour. Tiring work being on a ship and doing nothing but eating and drinking!!! Tomorrow we are in La Goulette, Tunisia.
It is soon after 8am that the port of La Goulette comes into sight through the early morning mist. A little while later the pilot launch comes along side and we take him on board to guide us into port and to our berth. Again like Malaga we come into the dock area and turn 180 degrees in almost our own length before coming onto the dockside where the lines are thrown to the quay and secured to the bollards.
A band of Tunisian musicians dressed in national costume are playing to welcome us. The rails of the ship are lined with passengers waving and enjoying the welcome. 3 large camels with their drivers are also on the quayside. The drivers are waving but the camels look uninterested. The sun is already burning through the mist and the temperature is rising.
Eventually we are securely moored, cleared by customs and immigration allowing passengers to go ashore and get on the various coaches that are ready t take them on various tours. Some are heading for Carthage others to Sidi Bou Said whilst some are just going shopping in Tunis. We had decided to give the tours a miss and do our own thing.
Now that most people had gone it was time for a leisurely breakfast. This was followed by a visit to the local shopping mall which is new and built with sand blocks. The shops sell the usual gifts as well as perfumes and scents that are made locally. There are several cafes where you can relax and look at the ship and the sea. Walking from the mall and out into the road you are met by a large number of taxi drivers who want to take you on a tour and do not appear to understand the words ’No Thank You’. This started to become wearing after a very short space of time so we decided to return to the mall and then the ship for some sunbathing. No problems getting a lounger as most people were on the tours.
Curry was on the lunch time menu so I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did as it was excellent. It was then more sunbathing. Ah yes, the gym. I forgot all about it but I promise to visit there tomorrow.
All passengers back on board at 4.30pm ready for a 5pm departure. With the sun sinking in the west you become aware that the engines have started. With the ships mooring lines released and a long blast from the ships whistle we begin to move away from the quayside and into the channel that will take us into the main shipping lane and our course to Heraklion the next port of call.
The entertainment tonight in the Curzon Theatre is a comedian called Lee Wilson. People who have seem before say he is very good. The clocks go forward an hour tonight so after a late drink it is really 1.30am so time for bed.