Over the last two weeks, I have been away with my new wife, Claire, on our honeymoon.
We enjoyed a truly magical cruise of the Mediterranean.
While I didn’t update my blog while we were away, I did write everyday on either my Kindle or the iPad. I have uploaded all of these notes onto this site.
As my daily blogs were written on handheld devices, there are probably lots of spelling and grammar errors, as well as misuse of words. I haven’t proof read anything I’ve done, so forgive any mistakes!
I also took a huge amount of photos – I’ll try to stick a few of these too, although you can view them all on my Flickr album here.
- Day 1 – Southampton (28/06/15)
- Day 2 – At Sea (29/06/15)
- Day 3 – Vigo (30/06/15)
- Day 4 – Lisbon (01/07/15)
- Day 5 – Gibraltar (02/07/15)
- Day 6 – At Sea (03/07/15)
- Day 7 – Nice and Monaco (04/07/15)
- Day 8 – Pisa (05/07/15)
- Day 9 – Rome (06/07/15)
- Day 10 – Ajaccio (07/07/15)
- Day 11 – At Sea (08/07/15)
- Day 12 – Cadiz (09/07/15)
- Day 13 – At Sea (10/07/15)
- Day 14 – At Sea (11/07/15)
So here we are. Our last day on the ship. This time tomorrow, we will be back home in England. It has been an amazing two weeks and everything I could have wanted from a honeymoon.
Yesterday evening, we dressed up in our finest outfits, for our last night on the ship. Claire introduced me to the slot machines in the casino. It’s probably a good thing she waited until the end of our honeymoon to do this, as we would have spent far too much time and money in there across two weeks. The machines were too addictive – they allowed you to just play one penny! Despite this, our tenner didn’t last that long.
After the slots, we headed to the theatre, where the excellent on-board entertainment song and dance group, Headliners, performed their fourth and final show of the cruise – Reel To Reel. A mix of song and dance from British films. They certainly saved their best act to last, with the James Bond performance raising the roof and earning a standing ovation.
The ship’s clocks went back last night, as we changed from European to British Summer Time. This gave us an extra hour in bed – how very autumnal! We have been doing more packing today and spent the remainder of our casino credit in those frightfully addictive slots.
This will be the last time I blog from the ship. When I get home, I’ll download all of my daily ramblings and stick them in some readable format on my website – although, if you’re reading this, you know that already. Come think of it, have you seriously read all fourteen days?
As I’ve already said, I’ve had a fabulous fortnight, with my lovely new wife. Claire has truly converted me to cruising. The luxury is incomparable with any other holiday you could take. I loved waking up every morning in a new country. I must admit, I was a little apprehensive about traveling – I haven’t been abroad since I was a teenager, when I went to Italy with my parents. I live in the small, safe city of Bath. I wasn’t used to going out of my comfort zone, so going to a load of foreign countries, as a grown and responsible adult, got me a little worried. The experience has made me forget about any fears I once had. The world isn’t a big, scary place. If you haven’t cruised before, I couldn’t recommend it higher enough. The service from every single one of the P&O staff has been amazing. Despite no doubt working long hours and being away from their loved ones for months, they were always friendly and nothing was too much trouble. Thank you, P&O for making our honeymoon so special. I can’t wait for our next cruise – I already have my eye on The Canary Islands, next summer!
We went to one of the bars last night, to see Kai McKenzie – a tribute to Michael Buble. As with all the entertainment we have seen on this cruise, Kai was very good, and I am sure Mr Buble himself would approve.
I awoke this morning very rough conditions at sea. The live map, we view on our cabin’s television, suggests we were close to southern Portugal, but given the cold, windy weather and grey water, we may as well have been back in Southampton.
We left our cabin early, to beat the crowds and get breakfast. After eating, we left, feeling a little sick (due to the ship’s movement), before exploring the ship. When I first went aboard, almost two weeks ago, I hardly knew my way around. Now I know the ship’s decks like the back of my hand.
Every one of our fellow cruisers seemed to be out. After all, it was far too blustery to sunbathe. A few days ago, we had ordered some duty free spirits. We collected these, before returning to our cabin.
Since then, we have packed the majority of our bags and suitcases (with a tear in our eye), and spent the afternoon playing Monopoly. Yes! Sodding Monopoly. No lying our balcony in this weather – we’ve even turned off the air conditioning, from the coldest setting, and put the heating on! It’s sods laws, though, that as I write this blog, the sun is coming out – just before we get ready to go out for the evening!
Mr Weatherman, I know we are heading north, but please give us some nice, hot sun tomorrow. We would absolutely love one last day on our amazing balcony, before we return to England and normality, on Sunday. Thanks.
Oh, and before I forget, we have some right chavvy neighbours. I’ll ignore the fact they played music for hours. The thing which annoyed me was today, when one of the female members of the room, threw what appeared to be a cheese roll overboard. All cruisers we strictly told that we must not throw anything into the sea. What if a dolphin ate the roll, the careless woman to chuck from her cabin? It’s poor cholesterol levels. Goodness only knows how these people got onto this cruise – probably won it with a packet of pork scratchings.
Last night, we returned to The Beach House restaurant. The buffet’s theme was sea food, and as neither Claire or I eat fish, we thought it would be nice to go to a sit down meal. The meal was nice, although they saved the best course until the end. I ordered a fruit salad. However, this wasn’t any normal fruit salad. This was fruit being cooked on a steaming hot rock. The waiter poured some spirit onto the dish, which erupted into a huge pool of smoke – I’m surprised the fire alarms didn’t go off!
For the first time this cruise, we had a rough night with the weather. An alert appeared on our television, warning of gales. It wasn’t a case of the ship going out of control, with people spewing into sinks, but you could certainly feel the movement as you walked around, and it was very windy on our balcony. Luckily, this all happened during the night, and when I’m in bed, I tend to not notice the ship’s movement, so was able to sleep peacefully.
We awoke with the ship arriving into the Spanish town of Cadiz. After ordering a breakfast room service (both of us couldn’t face the buffet!), we got dressed and headed ashore. Instead of walking from the ship to the town centre, we were forced to jump onto a shutter bus, despite it only being a one minute journey. It appeared that the reason for us being unable to walk ourselves, was because another ship as also in the port, and had taken the primary “parking space”. It was that bloody Royal Caribbean lot again.
We much preferred Cadiz to our last port, Ajaccio. A bigger town with no markets to make me feel unwell or dogs roaming around. Like everywhere we have visited, Cadiz had lots of beautiful buildings and statues, providing some excellent photo opportunities. There are a wide range of shops, including one selling a sports equipment. Throughout our honeymoon, I have been hoping to buy a football shirt for a local team. I was in luck – Cadiz shirts, for just 9 Euros! I have no idea if they’re official, or even from this season. Quite frankly, I don’t care. I also bought a Span scarf. The lady behind the counter spoke as good English as I did Spanish – luckily, her male assistant was able to help me.
There were also stops for an ice lollie, as I was very hot and thirsty. I think this annoyed Claire, as we had not long since left the ship, and already I was asking for drinks and ice cream. I’m such a child. I was also able to buy some local key rings, feeling very proud as I dealt with two Spanish situations all by myself, without the need for the shop assistant having to speak English to me. Granted, the only words I used were “Si” and the Spanish word for “thank you”, which I believe to be “grassy arse” – don’t ask me how to spell it.
We both see felt a degree of sadness when returning to the ship – although we have a few more days remaining on our honeymoon, this was the last trip ashore. We made ourselves feel better by visiting the duty free. I paid just over 10 Euros for a huge bottle of Smirnoff vodka. At first I thought I was committing day light robbery, although thinking about it, it’s the British government ripping us off with their taxes. Those pesky Tories.
We are now back in our cabin, looking out across the harbour. The sail away party will start in a couple of hours, as we return to Southampton. Although I have a good life back in Bath, the return will be quite sombre, as I’ve had an amazing time and honeymoon with my new wife.
We enjoying a long overdue Sea Day. After visiting four ports on consecutive days, a day on-board to reciprocate is very much welcome!
Last night night, we returned to the theatre, where the ship’s very own song and dance group, Headliners, wowed us all with another fantastic show. This time, the performance was called Destination Dance – a mix of of dance and song from well known shows and films.
We treated ourselves to breakfast in bed, this morning. We avoided the usual madness and rush for food, you usually get in the morning – plus, it was all free! It’s good to be lazy sometimes.
After enjoying brekkie, we left our cabin, to allow our amazing steward to make up our room. We walked the length of the ship, stopping to get photographs and visit the shops. Being the kind and loving husband that I am, I allowed Claire to buy herself a very expensive handbag – after all, it is our honeymoon. I told her that this would be the first and last time she would spend that much on a handbag! It’s a shame P&O don’t sell any PlayStation 4s on the ship, as now I’m in my wife’s good books, it would be a great chance to purchase one.
This afternoon, we plan to lie on our lovely balcony. We have already made use of the room service (again), so enjoyed some fresh sandwiches for lunch. I was a little disappointed that the ship’s sport channel isn’t showing The Ashes, but given England’s apparent dodgy start, I don’t think I’m missing much.
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