Posted by sean on July 4, 2015 at 2:33 pm in Honeymoon with No Comments


We were wined and dined last night. Instead of making our daily visit to the chaos of the buffet, we visited an on-board restaurant. The service was first class, and we were made to feel very special. We did have to pay a small fee and buy a couple of glasses of wine, but I certainly don’t mind that for what we received.

Today was hot. Very hot. Unlike a typical Brit, and many of my fellow cruisers, I’m not going to complain about it. It is very rare we get high temperatures back home, so I’m going to enjoy it – especially as I’m on honeymoon.

Monaco looks very impressive – the home of the rich and famous… and tax dodgers. Former Leeds United owner, Ken Bates, resides here. I prewarned Claire that if she sees me kicking an elderly, white-bearded man into the sea, she will know why.

Due to Monaco’s small size, the ship couldn’t dock portside, so instead tender boats were used to move thousands of passengers from the ship to dry land. It was a rather choppy affair, which luckily only lasted 10 minutes. Some sick bags were available to those that needed them. Luckily, nobody in our boat had the urge to bring up their breakfast, but I can see why others may have!

We survived the short tender journey, without vomiting everywhere. As soon as we got ashore, the heat hit us. We waited for our lovely, air conditioned coach, while Claire rubbed lashings and lashings of factor fifty suncream into my back.

Luckily, we didn’t have to wait long for our transport and were soon on our way through the winding roads and tunnels from Monte Carlo to Nice.

The excursion was supposed to be a tour on the bus, besides some short free time in Nice, followed by a land train. When we got off the coach, we walked for what seemed like miles, in 36C heat! I thought I was going to die. They say that only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun… change that to mad dogs, Englishmen and cruisers, dragged along by their sadistic tour guide.

I got to the beach, alive (just) but drenched in sweat – seriously, I must have lost a stone today. We were then given some time to spend on the beach. I went straight to the kiosk, where water and ice lollies were purchased in abundance.

We then faced another trek through Nice, back to the coach. I tried to remember what Bear Grylls had taught me – stay hydrated, even if it means drinking your own piss. We briskly walked through all the side streets, with no time to shop or take photos… without wanting to sound like a moaning old git, the excursion wasn’t very well organised, as we didn’t know what was going on.

I was grateful to get on that coach and really enjoyed the half hour drive back to Monaco – mainly because it allowed me to sit on my bum, rest my feet and enjoy the air conditioning.

Finally, we got to what I had been waiting for all day – the land train! It was excellent – even better than I thought. The train took us all around Monte Carlo, including the famous Formula One track. Many a photo was taken.

It was then time to ride the now dreaded tender boats, back to the ship. We were on the last tender – if we missed this, we would be stuck in Monaco and forced to kip on Ken Bates’ floor. The return tender went well, until we got to the ship, when the boat started to rock everywhere – even the staff looked worried. They eventually got us reattached to our ship, Ventura, unscathed.

This left us time to have a much needed shower, evening meal (which involved battling for a table), before settling down in the theatre, to watch some live entertainment from Boogie Nights – live music from the 1970s – it was amazing and a great end to a day mixed with excitement, stress, laughs, peril and super heat.

[Photos from the day]

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