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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Back to sea on a cruise ship...... Or maybe not - First day of our Canaries Cruise on the Marco Polo

So today is Tuesday 22nd December.  Peter and I have travelled from our home in Richmond, Yorkshire all the way down to Bristol to board the Marco Polo and set off on a cruise to the Canaries.

We had a good clear trip and made good time.  The only problem we encountered was the wind, which buffeted the van around good n proper on the way down.  O oh I thought,  looks like I'll be taking me travel sickness tablets and spending a day or so in the cabin, until I find me sea legs.

We arrived early and offloaded our bags before Peter parked up.  Then, it was time to make our way through the embarkation process.  As soon as we arrived Peter was recognised.  First Olga, the Customer Services Manager, and then by Susan, the Shorex Mgr.  As a result, we were whisked passed the queues and more or less straight on board.  It was brilliant. So many of the crew recognised Peter (and sometimes me), it was quite heartwarming.

We've got one of the cabins in the bottom deck again, which has it's good points and it's bad points.   The good point is that it is lovely and spacious with loads of room for our stuff.  It's nice and clean, but with the standard "twin beds that cannot be moved together".   The bad point is that it's in the bowels, and the deck where they close all the port holes at the first sign of trouble.  And guess what?  Yep!  The port holes were covered, and the deadlights are battened down.  Humph!

Nureyev looks different - he's been sprayed gold.  He used to be a
dull grey green colour

I unpacked, Peter slept.  Then we decided we were hungry, so went for a quick lunch in the Bistro.  The chef and a couple more of the waiting staff recognised Peter, so more greetings, smiles and  handshakes before food.  My position on the table looked out at the miserable weather on the back deck.  I thought Nureyev looked a little different and then I realised why? He's been refurbished!

A wander around the ship after lunch proved that many other areas of the ship have been given a bit of a brush up. Peter hadn't really noticed, but then he doesn't.  The Captains Club and the Columbus Lounge have been refurbished they look the same, but different with new chair covers and carpets.  There are new covers on the soft chairs in the Bistro, and new carpet along the connecting halls.  It's all really quite nice.  I did try to get a couple of photo's for those that are interested, but there were too many people about.  I'll try again later perhaps.
Peter "demonstrating" the shop area of the Marco Polo
We tried to go  out on deck, but hurriedly ran back inside.  It was blowing a gale out there, and hurling drizzly rain at us.  Completely miserable.  If that's a taster of what it's like here in port, I'm dreading what it'll be like out at sea.  Peter and I discussed me going to bed as soon as we left Bristol, dosed up with travel sickness pills.

Fire drill was due at 3pm, the ship was due to set sail at 4pm and Peter had a meeting with Cruise Director planned at the same time.  3pm came and went, passengers were still boarding at 3.30pm, and it became obvious that things weren't going to plan.  At 3.45ish - the captain's voice came over the tannoy system and we knew there was trouble coming.  (It's always the same, whenever there's bad news, they stick the captain on, cos people will accept it from him).  My comment about the weather out of port was spot on it seems. Aapparently it is flamin' 'orrible out there.  So bad in fact that CMV had decided to delay the ships sail time until 2.30 am tomorrow morning in an effort to avoid an Atlantic storm.  And because we are leaving late, it will change our itinerary, ports are being moved around and it looks like we will end up with an extra sea day. But hey, if we miss the bad weather I am very happy with that.  (If you look back at our blogs for this cruise two years ago, you'll understand why).

So we've done our fire drill and been to see the Cruise Director, (a new guy called Ross, he seems cool), Peter's sorted out his classes and we've drunk several cups of tea.  Now we're downstairs in our roomy cabin, just chillin'.  We'll change for dinner in bit, and maybe go and see the evenings show later.  All very relaxed.

Tomorrow is a sea day and Peter will be running two art classes, one in the morning, one in the afternoon.  Depending on whether the captain has indeed avoided the storm, I will either be helping him or in bed feeling ill lying prone in bed moaning about bad weather and ships. Eventually I will find my sea legs, but it always takes at least a day.  (Why I can't keep them between one cruise and the next baffles me).

So, our little Canaries adventure begins.........   Or it will do in a few hours time.

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