Posted by sean on September 22, 2019 at 10:00 pm in Holiday with No Comments


As warned by our Horizon newsletter, we experienced a disturbed night, as the ship swade from side to side in the swell.

We were never in any doubt of our safety, but it was certainly eerie to hear the walls and ceiling of the cabin creek at every turn of the ship, along with the coat hooks clanging in the wardrobe.

I did think to myself, that should things get worse, we would be heading for the open deck, fighting for a place on a lifeboat, while the ship’s entertainment team play Nearer My God To Thee on the violin.

In all seriousness, I wasn’t concerned, despite not having a clue how I would even start to put on a life jacket – I have enough difficulty getting dressed into a t-shirt!

Breakfast was in the cabin this morning. Giving the ongoing weather, we were in no way prepared to add to any stress and nerves, by visiting the buffet.

Like it or not, we had to leave our cabin, to allow Laurence to clean up and present our cabin in his usual fantastic manner.

I love cruising and could happily do it every year, forsaking any other type of holiday. However, there is one small issue which puts a slight dampener on things – the fact that we are strongly encouraged and expected, to vacate our cabin twice a day, to provide the ship’s stewards with access.

This is not the fault of the stewards. They do a thankless task, which is very hard work and low paid.

It doesn’t take away from the fact that should we wish to spend an entire morning in the cabin; or retire early to our quarters for the evening and enjoy a meal courtesy of room service, we would be disturbed by a well-meaning steward, presumably under strict instruction, asking if everything is ok and are there any reasons as to why we were forsaking a cabin clean.

All of that said, it is a credit to the entire P&O crew, that I am hard-fought to find anything of fault in the service provided, besides a minor niggle involving at what time our cabin is cleaned and bed made up.

Return to the lower decks, starting by paying a visit to the reception. Claire had bought a gift from a tabletop sale a few days earlier, thinking that a rather generous discount would be applied. Upon checking a list, detailing our onboard spending, we discovered that the full price had been applied to our account, with no discount. The ever-helpful receptionist assured me that our account would be amended.

Feeling happy with ourselves, for taking on and beating the mighty P&O, we visited their onboard shops to spend the money we had been awarded, plus a bit more.

The highlight of our purchases was a large bottle of Bailey’s Salted Caramel liqueur. With Christmas almost two months away, it seems only fair to treat ourselves! I, for one, can’t wait to enjoy a glass with ice, while watching I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!

While Claire stands in one of the many elevator lobbies, a well-dressed, familiar looking man appears from a corridor. He briefly looks at me, as if I should be approaching him to ask questions and hold a conversation. When it becomes clear that I haven’t realised who this gentleman is, he proceeds up the stairs, only to be stopped and accosted by another cruiser.

I then realise who the man was. Captain Martin Allen. Of course, Claire missed the entire thing, as she had her back to the once mystery figure. I tell her, “I think I’ve just seen the Captain”. She doesn’t appear interested.

Returned to find our cabin beautifully made up. Despite my earlier gripes about making way for the cleaning to be done, it is always wonderful to return to our temporary home,

An onboard announcement informs us that we should be prepared to expect further choppy weather during the remainder of the day and overnight. Great.

Sunbathing of any kind is well out of the question this afternoon. Therefore, we spend an afternoon in our cabin, watching West Ham hilariously beating Manchester United.

Decide to pay another visit to the Beach House restaurant, followed by the Metropolis bar, located high in the upper reaches of the ship. Make a telephone reservation, to ensure that we get a table.

Captain Allen makes his daily evening announcement, shortly before 6 o’clock. Tells us some welcome news, that despite entering the famously rough Bay of Biscay, the wind and swell will not be quite as strong as first thought.

He tells us a heart warming story. I will try to recall it as best I can…

A tourist approaches a Norwegian fisherman. The fisherman has a modest selection of some of the finest fish that the tourist has ever seen.

“You have some wonderful fish there”, the impressed tourist tells the fisherman, “Why don’t you catch more?”.

“I catch all the fish that I need”, the fisherman replies. “Plus, in only catching a limited amount, I am able to spend a siesta with my wife, spend time with my children, before going out and meeting my friends in the evening”.

The surprised tourist tells the fisherman, “I have a business degree. I can advise you how you can catch more fish and make more money ”

The fisherman thanks the tourist for his kind offer of help, but assures him that he is happy as he is now.

The tourist persists “You could buy a bigger boat. That will allow you to catch more fish. Then, in a couple of years, buy another boat. You will then have a great business.”

He continues, “Your business will grow and allow you to expand overseas. You will then be able to sell your business to a company in America for millions.”

“You’ll then be able to retire, move back home. You’ll have time to spend with your wife, see your children and socialise with friends. You’ll even be able to get yourself a small boat and go fishing.”

With Jackanory over, we began to get ready to go out for our penultimate night on Ventura. As we had planned, we visited the Beach House.

Our visit to the restaurant was so enjoyable the last time we went, that we had high expectations of our return visit.

Last time, I ordered a very filling of Nachos. As I had filled up on this starter, I was only able to make a feeble attempt at my main course.

For this evening’s visit, I decided to ask for Nachos again, but this time, as a main course.

This caused confusion with the waiter from the start, especially when he asked what I would like to eat as a real starter.

My suggestion of bread went down like a lead balloon. I could tell that the warm and welcoming service Claire and I had both received on our first visit, was not going to be repeated tonight.

The surly waiter suggested I have garlic bread, which I gratefully accepted. Our meals were enjoyable and we could have no complaints over the food.

Once we had eaten, we realised that fatigue had once again beaten us and we would have to visit the Metropolis bar on the final night of the cruise. It’ll be a nice way to finish the holiday.

With Ventura rocking in the swell of the sea, we returned to our cabin once more, for a penultimate night’s sleep.

Lay in bed with Claire and talked about what a wonderful cruise we had experienced together; but how, unlike on previous holidays together, we are looking forward to getting back to Bath.

This time, we are returning to a property which we own – a house which, over almost two years, we have made a home.

More importantly than that, we are beyond excited about going home, as we are aware that we will have a special little man waiting for us. A man with big ears and a funny nose. A furry face and long whiskers. Four legs and a fluffy tail. I am, of course, talking about our boy – Roman.

Our adorable little house rabbit has been the hot topic of conversation while we have been away. Whenever we arrive at a new port and can get internet access, the first thing I do is get online to check the webcam we have pointing at his run, as well as read the messages and photos, which our parents have kindly sent us through WhatsApp on a daily basis.

Even when talking on the phone to my parents, I am told how Roman has been doing. My Dad tells me that the first time he attempted to feed our bunny, Roman growled and lunged at him. Considering he is one of the most docile rabbits I have ever owned, I found this hilarious. Luckily by Day 2, Roman was enjoying my Dad tickling his ears and stroking his head. This is after my Dad fed him a few carrot treats. Roman is so easily turned!

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