Sean's Stories

Posted by sean on September 10, 2018 at 11:35 am in Holiday with No Comments


🙁

Posted by sean on September 9, 2018 at 8:17 pm in Holiday with No Comments


… or not

As I was selfish enough to become seriously unwell and spend three weeks in hospital, we thought it was sensible to cancel this year’s cruise.

That cruise set sail yesterday. The great ship Azura has left Southampton without us…

Posted by sean on July 11, 2017 at 2:58 pm in Holiday with No Comments


So, there have been no blogs for the past two weeks. Pretty normal, given the fact I can be very lazy with posting.

This time, however, I have an excuse for my lack of activity. I have been on a Mediterranean cruise.

Despite being away, on the luxury P&O cruise ship, Britannia, I kept a daily blog, which I have now uploaded.

Posted by sean on July 8, 2017 at 2:28 pm in Holiday with No Comments


Was awoken in the middle of the night by some inconsiderate passengers shouting in the corridor outside our cabin. Regretted not sticking my head out of the cabin door, to see where the louts were staying, so I could return the favour in the morning – either by yelling by their room, or better still, switching the card on their door from “I’M RESTING” to “PLEASE MAKE UP MY CABIN” – I am sure any tired, hungover passengers would love to be awoken by a steward at some stupidly early time.

Claire and I slept in ourselves, so it was too late to go to the restaurant. Tried the buffet instead, but that was like a school jumble sale – a real free for all. Returned back to our cabin to order room service – something we should have probably done all along.

Have been abandoned by Claire for the final time this cruise. She has gone to see another Strictly themed event. I won’t miss all this ballroom dance stuff. Annoyingly, Claire informs me that the series returns to BBC1 next month. Sigh.

Today’s lunch was taken at the buffet. We should have learnt from last time – another reason to avoid the place. Managed to get half a tea cake and two slices of sponge cake, which was soaked in some kind of tasteless fluid. Whenever we go cruising again, we’ll steer clear of the buffet!

Stopped off at the shop on our return to the cabin and spent a lot of money. Was asked by the man on the counter if we were using up our on-board credit. Unfortunately, that privilege was used up a long time ago!

Back in our cabin, it was time to face the daunting task of packing the suitcase. Claire being organised had already done hers. Mine was going to be a challenge, especially as two weeks’ worth of dirty laundry was scattered near my side of the bed. Claire kindly used her powers, which can only be described as magical, to neatly pack all my belongings.

A potential disaster has just been avoided. Claire’s Mum has just informed us that we will require our disembarkation paperwork, when leaving ship tomorrow. To her horror, Claire realised that she had packed it, right at the bottom of her own suitcase. Cue a very stressed wife leaping from her seat in the Headliners Theatre, sprinting up eight flights of stairs and running back to our cabin, to rescue our credentials from her luggage, before it was taken away. Luckily, Claire got there in time, recovered the paperwork and even made it back to the theatre in time for the show, which was very good and a nice way to the cruise from the entertainment team.

I wasn’t too impressed with the main course of my evening meal – cheese and onion soufflé. In the past, soufflés I have eaten are crispy on top and fluffy inside. This was just soggy throughout. I don’t wish to complain, as generally the food from the restaurant has been excellent, with a fabulous service from all the staff. Generally, if I have disliked a dish, it has been down to personal taste. Well done to all the catering staff.

Went to the photo gallery, after our meal. We had ordered a DVD of the cruise, which was only available for collection from the final day. The queue to pick up our disc was half the length of the ship, with some very disgruntled and rude customers. However, frustrated you are with waiting, there is no need for rudeness.

Once we finally collected our DVD, we decided to have one last drink, to commemorate the final night. I chose a double vodka and lemonade… well, a small splash of lemonade. Claire has two, that’s TWO, strong cocktails. This is after she said she wasn’t going to drink, as it was too late.

Now in bed. All are cases are packed, have been removed and are now no doubt in some storeroom, deep in the bowels of the ship. As we are going to wake up in England, the clocks have gone back an hour – therefore, while it has actually just gone midnight, all the clocks and phones in our cabin say we are a few minutes past 11pm. Problem is we are up at 7, for a busy day and drive home. I’d better get to sleep, for the last time aboard Britannia.

Posted by sean on July 7, 2017 at 2:24 pm in Holiday with No Comments


The penultimate full day aboard Britannia. Despite being close to southern Portugal, the weather has taken a turn for the worse, and is getting back to the English climate (although there is apparently a heatwave in Bath). Can’t enjoy the balcony today. It’s cold and far too windy. The sea is choppy, but sparingly it is not rough yet.

Daytime interests aboard are of no interest to me. Watched The Secret Life of Pets in our cabin with Claire. My wife has now left me on my own, to attend another Strictly Come Dancing session. I think I have been very good attending a Strictly themed cruise. Maybe next cruise can be based on something I like? I wonder if P&O do David Attenborough, Grand Theft Auto or Leeds United themed cruises?

With Claire out, I have taken the opportunity to watch a film she would hate – Die Hard 2. I am snuggled up on the bed, drinking coffee and eating Walkers cheese and onion crisps – something I have been craving throughout the cruise, and that Claire kindly found me when in Gibraltar.

A fellow passenger took up the captain’s duties – I believe by making a donation to charity – to make the daily lunchtime announcement. This includes a weather report. Apparently, things aren’t going to improve tomorrow. It looks like it’ll be more films and comfort food tomorrow- just like being back home.

Claire is now back in the cabin. We are eating at the buffet tonight, as the restaurant meal is not attractive at all. We will then join the queue outside the theatre for another Strictly event, this time a dance competition involving passengers. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t enter.

Apparently, former Premier League referee Mike Riley is on the ship. Claire spotted him in the bar, while collecting an autograph from a Strictly star. He was dressed in a Celtic shirt and apparently is a passenger and not here to entertain.

The sad news this afternoon broke that the young Sunderland fan, Bradley Lowery, has today lost his long, brave battle with cancer. Bradley has touched the hearts of thousands over the last seven months. Rest in peace.

Have returned from the buffet. Can now say 100% that I have been converted to restaurant dining. The food from the buffet was adequate at best. It certainly doesn’t come close to the restaurant, although to be fair, how could it? The restaurant is cooked to order, whereas the buffet is pre-prepared. It’s basically school dinners.

Went straight from the buffet to the theatre for the dance competition. Five sets of passengers each performed for three judges, including the ship’s captain and Craig Revel Horwood from the Strictly TV series. The first few acts were relatively amateurish, although still a million times better than anything I could manage. These efforts resulted in Craig, who is infamously mean to contestants, being very critical. The fourth act was the best of the night and proof that looks can be deceiving – a man who looked like Peter Kay and his dance partner, aged 79. Turns out they were very good, and even forced Craig into giving positive feedback. Rightly so, they were deserved winners.

Returned to the cabin, knowing that there were just two more nights aboard the ship.

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