Posted by sean on September 21, 2019 at 10:00 pm in Holiday with No Comments


Claire was awake early this morning. She wanted to watch us arrive at Lisbon and sail underneath the famous 25th April Suspension Bridge, as well as pass by the Sanctuary of Christ the King monument.

Another interesting fact for bridge fans – the 25th April featured in the 1969 James Bond film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

At 70 meters tall and almost one and half meters in length, the bridge, which serves motor vehicles and trains, is an impressive piece of engineering. A loud eerie echo emanates around the ship as we sail underneath.

Visit the buffet for breakfast. It was rather quite, which is always welcome – probably because we were rather late in leaving the cabin, as a result of us watching our arrival.

The majority of the passengers had left the ship. We decided to remain on board. We visited Lisbon on our honeymoon in 2015. It was the only port where it rained. True to form, it was raining today – the first time we had seen rain since being home in England

Accompanied Claire to the games arcade, where she returned to her favourite game – the claw machine. Two such machines were available to rob, I mean “entertain”, gamers.

The first machine guaranteed a prize every time. Except the prize was a few sweets. As I said to my wife, as long as you’re having fun, it doesn’t matter if the prizes are of poor value.

The other claw machine is of the more traditional variety, that you would expect to find at the seaside – a large tank full of cuddly toys. Claire had played the machine earlier into our cruise, with nothing to show for her time and money.

After she had spent a similar amount of time controlling the claw again, I thought today was only going to be lucky for Micky Arison, the billionaire CEO of Carnival, the company who own P&O; although Claire’s luck was about to change…

As the mechanical claw was lowered once again, into the mountain of apparently unwinnable prizes, it reappeared collecting a large red, soft toy, which was then dropped down a chute, allowing Claire to retrieve her much deserved prize of a cross between a parrot and a raccoon.

Neither of us are experienced gamblers, but we know that these arcade machines only pay out once in a blue moon. We therefore took our prize and ran, safe in the knowledge that there will be no more winners before the return to Southampton on Tuesday.

Considering the weather, plus the fact that there were no attractions besides a busy A road and numerous cruise terminals, close to where our ship breathed; it was mutually decided that we would stay on the ship for the final destination of the cruise.

Claire lay on the balcony, trying to beckon the sun from behind the clouds where it had been hiding since our arrival. It appeared to be a pointless task, which would yield no result.

I kept myself relaxed by staying within in cabin and watching the ship’s information television channel, as well as checking the webcam situated at the front of the ship. Guess what? It was raining there too!

I discovered that I could watch the lunchtime football match between Leeds United and Derby County. I was aware that my Sky Go application would outside of the UK, but using a geeky tool called a VPN, I managed to trick Sky that I was watching from London.

The inevitable disadvantage of being able to watch the Leeds game, was that any relaxation I was experiencing, immediately evaporated upon the match starting.

Leeds thrashed Derby, but only had one goal to show for their efforts. An own goal at that. Did I mention that they also missed a penalty? As a supporter of the most unlucky football club on the planet, I was as unsurprised as I was angry, when Derby equalised with just two minutes left.

The weather remained poor all afternoon. Unsurprisingly, there were no callouts over the tannoy, ahead of leaving Lisbon, for missing cruisers. Presumably everyone couldn’t wait to get back onboard and out of the horrible weather.

It is for P&O cruises to hold a Great British Sailaway, after leaving the final port and returning home. This normally involves a large congregation on the top deck, British music being blasted out the speakers, Union Jack flags… all very Brexit.

Due to the now heavy rain and increasing winds, the sailaway was cancelled; instead being replaced by a “sailalong” sometime before our arrival back in England…

Had our evening meal in the buffet again. Since leaving Lisbon, the swell of the sea had increased, making for another rocky meal. As with our previous meal during such weather, the dining area surrounding the poolside was very sparce, which is unusual for peak time on a Saturday evening. I can only assume our fellow cruisers are missing their sea legs!

Despite now being, what you could call “seasoned cruisers”, we did find the ship’s movement unusual and thought the best way to spend what was left of our evening in the comfort of our cabin.

We were both pleased to discover that the excellent Laurence had made up our cabin for the night – something that couldn’t have been more welcome!

The daily newsletter, Horizon, warned of strong winds at sea for the next 24 hours. A spell of weather which had clearly already started.

I attempted to update my blog, while Claire enjoyed a rerun of Dr Who on the only BBC channel available to us.

Settled down for the night, expecting it to be a rough one…

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