And we are on a cruise…!
We meaning Lizzy and I.
Lizzy organised pretty much everything, and everlasting thanks to her for that.. and so we boarded ( and no it’s not straightforward at all ) at Southampton on Saturday… and now we are somewhere off Spain ( in the Atlantic ). It’s hard to say where because Wi-fi doesn’t really work ( despite you paying ‘shiploads’ for it ) but we are currently in calm seas and it’s getting warmer. In fact it’s now sunny.
The ship is I think only at half capacity, because of COVID, but the extra measures in place are probably a bit over unnecessary, given that everyone was obliged to be tested in Southampton 10 minutes prior to boarding, as well as having to have both vaccine shots. If In the event that you did test positive then you wouldn’t have been allowed on board … and they’d have had to go and find your luggage.. because they wanted that from you PRIOR to you being tested, which was a little strange. I don’t think they turned many people back though , if any.
So we are on board and are wearing masks a fair bit.. but hey it’s ok. The original destination was ultimately Rome, but then today at 3pm, after 3 weeks of daily phone calls by Lizzy to P&O to arrange ‘ accessible’ tours of the Italian destinations, we were told that Italy was now no longer accepting British tourists from ships. So.. suddenly we actually aren’t going anywhere near Italy after all, and there have been 2 different Spanish ports added instead. The Spanish are more than happy to have the double vaccinated and tested Brits all getting off cruise ships and wandering around freely around their coastal cities ( and spending their cash obviously ). You wonder about the impact on the original Italian port ‘ merchants’ who would have been relying on the business of restocking, refuelling, dewatering, rewatering and generally catering for thousands of people getting off boats from Britain.. disastrous I’d have thought. But in every situation where there’s a loser, there’s someone/ somewhere else that’s a winner, and in this case it’s the El Spanish.
Having written that bit and then stopped, and got off at Cadiz, which is all the way at the bottom of Spain, it’s now the next day and we are by the pool at the top of the boat. It’s very hot, but of course there’s a breeze because the ship is flying along at 19 knots. The Mediterranean is very blue, after the rough and grey Atlantic.
Apparently at home it’s cold and wet, so obviously that’s a bonus.
We’ve discovered that we paid more than twice as much as everyone else did.
Cadiz was interesting, and has been there a long time of course. They discovered a complete Roman amphitheatre recently, which was a find, but it goes back a long way before that. Most of it seemed to have been burned down by the English 500 years ago, which isn’t great to be told by the ( obvs overpriced ) Spanish tour guide. I sort of got the impression that they still held it against the English… and who can blame them? I don’t think that me saying that I was Welsh would have altered his opinion of me coming off an English ship.
I think it’s fair to say that the assembled guests are collectively the most unfit looking crowd I’ve ever seen ; friendly for sure, but very much not into any kind of physical exercise. That’s ‘ more excusable/ understandable’ in your 70/80’s but I’m not sure what the 20 something year old’s have in store for them in terms of a healthy longevity. It’s their choice though, of course.
The onboard food isn’t conducive to slimmers… the healthy options do exist but are in the minority, so most people seem to be eating fried chicken and burgers and chips, so I can see why most people gain weight on cruises. The thing is I can’t see many people here having the drive to lose the stone they put on in this fortnight… so it’s not really a clever holiday for them to go on, really.
Lizzy was just asked by a lady in the pool if it was true her husband ( that’s me ) had been shot, cos that’s what she heard anyway…
I do regularly get asked if I’m in the army, to this day, so I suppose people are happy to jump to that conclusion.
Lizzy wants to go with the line though that we aren’t married and she’s a paid for escort girl…. So that’s the line we are going with. She used to be a stripper ( apparently ) but she’s decided she’s too old to do that now, and instead is a high class escort.
So not only am I paying double for the cruise but I’m adding another £1000 a day for Lizzy to hang out with me, and ‘ provide extras ‘.
Obviously it’s a totally feasible story – because she does look ( and is ) ever so classy, and has the body for the job description.
Oh what japes we have in store…
Big thank you to Gina for assisting me to Southampton!