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.
7am and wide awake with the cabin creaking indicating that the sea was not as calm as yesterday. Quick shower, shorts and tee shirt on and off to deck 13 only to find it has been closed. Into the Crows Nest and looking out to sea showed that things had changed over night.
Time for breakfast. Whilst enjoying my usual Pineapple Juice and Fruit Comport the Captain came onto the public address system to inform us that the wind had increased and we were heading through a depression and some of the decks would be closed for safety reasons. Also that there would be some ‘movement’ of the ship but is should ease by late afternoon.
Next stop the Library to find a book I hadn’t read and a copy of the daily crossword. Back to the cabin to collect the binoculars and off to the Crows Nest to while away the morning. The sea appeared to be getting rougher and the waves were getting bigger with white tops. The North African coast that we were following was barely visible through the mist and seas. Although the sky was heavily overcast there was some blue patches in the distance but at least we were heading towards them. Various other ships could be seen ploughing through the rough seas with their bows disappearing at times as the spray came up the side of them and at others their bows lifting high out of the water.
2pm is the Entertainment Officer Interview in the Curzon Theatre. A chance to learn about the entertainment team and their backgrounds. Turned out to be quite interesting. Our Cruise Director has had an interesting career with several cruise lines whilst other members of the team have worked on other ships and at holiday camps.
By mid afternoon the ship is bouncing nicely and on checking the weather on the television I see that the wind is blowing Force 9 and the Seas State is shown as Very Rough.
Time for tea as we gave lunch a miss. Once again my good intentions come to nothing when I see the Russian Fish Pie. Deciding to give it a try I have to go back for second’s as it is so good.
Tonight we are going to give the main restaurant a miss and eat in the Orangery. Each evening they offer a themed buffet and to night is Thai so our table have decided to give it a try.
In my next blog I will let you know what it was like as now it’s off to the ironing room to get the clothes into decent order.
Ah yes, last night, the Thai meal in the buffet. We all arrived and entered the buffet where we saw people we had met during the cruise and some our friends knew from where they live. None of them were impressed with the ‘Thai’ food and therefore recommended that we dined at our usual table in the main dining room. Not wishing to risk it we decided to do things as usual. As we were too early for our sitting we all went to Andersons for a pre dinner drink. As described in a previous blog this is a lovely bar furnished to a very high standard. It is one of my favourite on board bars and from the amount of trade they do it is also the favourite of many others. Several Gin and Tonics later it was dinner as usual. Following dinner it was a trip to the Curzon Theatre to see another excellent performance by Chris Watkins and his violin. Chris is a great violinist playing anything from the Classics to Musicals. Bed followed for a good nights sleep.
The clocks went back last night along with the rest of Europe so it was an extra hours sleep. Must remember not to book a cabin below the gym in future and in particular under the running machines. The pounding of the runners on them comes through to not only our cabin but several of the others from about 8am most mornings. The ship had stopped ‘bouncing’ and on looking at the web cam it looked like an excellent day outside.
Shower, breakfast and up to the sun deck with the towels and suntan lotion to take in the rays. As it was a following wind there was hardly any breeze on deck which made it delightful as we sailed west towards the Straits of Gibraltar. Later in the morning the Captain announced that we were now approaching the Straits and that we should get a good view of the rock that would be about 4 nautical miles off the starboard side. As we passed by we had a good view as well as a good view of the coast of Morocco on the opposite side.
We are now cruising past the Portuguese Algarve and have of course left behind us the Mediterranean and are in the Atlantic heading for our next and last foreign port of call which is Lisbon tomorrow morning when we will meet up with one of Aurora’s sister ships, Arcadia. We are also meeting friends there and so far the weather forecast is sunny and a high of 63c.
Tonight is another formal night but with a difference in that it is termed a Black and White night. My offering will be a black and white bow tie. One year I saw a man whose dinner jacket was white one side and black the other.
Well that’s it for now as it is time for a shower and change.