Aaaaaah that’s more like it. Waking up to a smooth sea and bright sun beaming through the cabin window was much more akin to what we ordered. Sam was feeling chipper and not at all nauseous (he was rubbing his ear beads every so often just to be sure) and Trevor seemed to finally have woken up.
Today was a sea day and the first chance we had to actually all relax together and work on our tans. Once we had finished breakfast we wandered out to find some sunbeds to make camp for the day. Yeah, easier said than done. Once again we spent ages wandering round and round and round and round, initially trying to find four beds together, deciding to settle on two and eventually begging for a small piece of floor where we could lay our towels. There were signs up everywhere telling us not to reserve beds or our stuff would be removed after 30 minutes but every bed was taken. Finally we found one bed on the top deck partially in the shade and leapt on it. Glen wandered off and after a short while came back with another bed which he set up next to the one five of us were sharing. We sorted ourselves out as best we could and commenced the serious business of tanning.
I am like a lizard and once I’m comfy in the sun with a drink and a book you’re not moving me for hours. Everyone else came and went throughout the day and as people around me left I swapped beds with two better placed for maximum sun absorption.
Sam and I had our yearly argument with him trying to convince me that he doesn’t need to wear factor 30+ on his very fair skin and that he could use my factor 8 (for 3% Nigerian throwbacks) and be fine. Reluctantly he relented and spread a very thin layer of factor 30 over parts of himself and laid down with his headphones in for all of 20 minutes before getting bored and wandering off again.
Sam trying to convince me he’s not fair of skin
As a group we had decided to book a table in one of the speciality restaurants for that night (this is another package that we had to buy in order to save 10 Euros pp on each meal) and we had chosen Chops Grille as most people were in the mood for steak. This turned out to be a brilliant idea as the food and service were second to none. Our waitress with an unpronounceable name was so attentive, funny and friendly that she made our dining experience fabulous. She remembered all our drinks and as soon as a glass was only 1/4 full she produced another one. If we were running low on side orders she brought more. The food was also outstanding. Most of us had steak and everyone said it was cooked to perfection, exactly the way they had ordered. I had rack of lamb and again could not sing its praises high enough. A lovely night of food, drink and hilarity sent us off to bed very happy and VERY full.
But, that is not the end of the Kendrick day 3 story. Oh no. By the time we got back to our room Sam had started to complain that the backs of his legs were sore and sheepishly admitted that he had ‘forgotten’ to put lotion on them. Stripping off his trousers he was mortified to see the backs of his legs burnt so pink they were reminiscent of the steak he had just consumed. “But I only laid out for 20 minutes” he kept repeating much to my frustration. Lots of cold flannels and fanning of bed sheets later he found some After Sun that he had brought with him that his mate Jordan had left behind in the room when they had been to Rome a few weeks earlier. So I rubbed a generous amount into the poor boy’s legs and a little bit on his back and chest and sent him to bed with paracetamol and a flea in his overcrowded ear about arguing with me every year about the same damn thing.
“But I only laid out for 20 minutes”
Then next morning…. well you’ll just have to wait for that, but believe me its a good one.
Waking up and looking out over a beautiful blue sea, nothing on the horizon except serene blue sky; rhythmic bobbing up and down with a warm gentle breeze softly brushing our faces… was absolutely nothing like what we actually woke up to!
Grey, drizzly, choppy waters with a wind that was more than a little chilly whipping our hair nearly off our heads was what greeted us on Day 2. We had reached the Bay of Biscay, a notoriously tempestuous area of the ocean that takes about a day to pass through. Not having brought any warm clothing or even a jacket meant we were going to be staying inside today. I was lucky enough to have a massage booked so I had that to look forward. However, everyone else spent the day staggering from one place to the next trying not to fall flat on their faces, or find themselves propelled into shops where their bank balances would be severely depleted. Although a little unsteady on my feet I didn’t feel unwell at all but poor Sam was green and almost continually throwing up. Trevor, who had been working like a maniac for about 6 months was so tired he just kept falling asleep and when he was awake complained of feeling nauseous.
We went to the Windjammer for breakfast, hoping that it would settle the boys’ tummies but spent about 20 minutes wandering round and round looking for a free table. This would be only one of many times we compared this cruise to our Caribbean one with this one fairing less than well. 99% of the passengers were British and in typical Brit fashion pushed and shoved everyone out of the way to make sure “we’re alright Jack”. I have no idea where this thing about the Brits queuing up nicely came from but I certainly didn’t see any orderly queues where the food was concerned. Once we were seated the food was delicious and plentiful and I was more than happy with my full belly. However the poor boys just felt worse and worse.
Greyness (looking deceptively calm though)
At 12.30 I popped off to the spa for my Swedish massage with a tiny girl from the Philippines named Elsa. She called me Joooooooolie and kneaded and stroked all my cares away until I was powerless to resist the Elemis lotions and potions she told me I must buy just before I left. £90 lighter (that was just the creams) I went back to our cabin to find Trevor asleep and Sam with his green face in the toilet bowl. I whisked him off down to the spa where I had seen a notice saying that they did acupuncture for sea sickness. At this point my boy would have rubbed a frog over his face if it meant he would stop vomiting so we went and saw the lovely Dr who laid Sam down and poked him with needles for an hour. After this she stuck some tiny beads in his ears and rubbed them for a few minutes before leaving him to sleep for half an hour or so. A short while later he woke up and like magic was cured. Yes, I am serious. He was actually cured. No more sickness just a slightly unsettled feeling in his tummy which the Dr said would go in a coupe of hours. He was given instructions to press the beads in his ears if he felt sick and we left, with me nearly £300 down!! So no more sea sickness for Sam and the chefs were put on alert that the teenage boy had his appetite back!!!
Not much happened for the rest of that day as we spent our time sleeping or wandering around the boat orientating ourselves. I had to take to my bed to try to recover from spending nearly £400 without getting off the boat or going into a shop; having said that, it was worth every penny to see Sam feeling better.
First boat pic of me and Diane
Diane and I took our first selfie and once we had eaten our dinner went to bed early. Tomorrow we would be arriving in Gibraltar so sleep was needed to prepare for some walking and sightseeing fun.
The date is 12th August 2018 and the day is Sunday. The time is 6am!!!!!!! 6am does not exist in my world as it is the time when I am usually sleeping my deepest but as we are off on our cruise today I don’t mind being acquainted with it just this once. We had finished packing the night before and once we had thrown the final toiletries into our cases we left the house for 2 weeks of sun, fun and relaxation.
First thing’s first… Sleep. All the way to Southampton. I have to admit I am the most boring car passenger as I am like a baby, 2 miles down the road and Zzzzzz. I woke up just as we arrived at the hotel where we were to meet The fabulous Perrymans (I think that should be their moniker from now on). Once we had excitedly said our hellos we went off in convoy to the dock.
Just a few minutes later we saw our fabulous boat and before we knew it our cases were collected from us by a lovely chap in the car park and we were ushered into the terminal and on to the vessel that was going to transport us off to sunnier climes.
Once on board we had to wait a couple of hours before our stateroom was ready so we went to a bar and ordered our first round of holiday drinks.
£57 with a couple of cokes and a beer!!!!
Now, I just need to pause proceedings here to give you a little explanation of how drinks work on cruises with Royal Caribbean. There is no cash onboard so you have to register a credit or debit card once you arrive. You are issued with a boarding pass which is linked to this card. Any time you buy anything your card is swiped and your credit card charged. You have the option whether to buy a drinks package or not. If you choose to do so there are three options, 1. Full alcohol package. 2. Enhanced soft drinks package (includes hot chocolate and coffee) 3. Basic soft drinks package. All very simple so far, yes? However, the drinks packages are RIDICULOUSLY expensive. The full alcohol package is, and you’ll need to read this at least twice, £68 per person, PER DAY. Yes per day. Also they have a rule that if one adult in your room has the alcohol package then ALL the adults have to have it too. This is obviously to stop one person buying the package and then getting drinks for the rest of their party. Makes sense I guess but wow that’s a lot of money. So we decided that we would not partake of the packages but would just pay as we go. HAHAHAHA! Yeah nice idea… The first round of drinks that I bought consisted of 2 cocktails, 1 beer and 2 cokes. Grand total £57. Well once I’d picked myself up off the floor and stopped hyperventilating we had a long discussion about how we were going to afford to drink on this holiday. Glen and I did some rudimentary maths but the end result was that we were going to have to bite the bullet and get the package. I’ll leave you to work out how much that cost us but it was a tidy sum and we hadn’t even left Southampton!
Once that was out of the way we could start to relax. Our cabin was ready and we unpacked quickly eager to get back to the holiday celebrations. We set sail at 4pm and Diane and I decided to have a mooch round the shops that are along the Promenade. I bought my holiday perfume (Coco Chanel) and we stopped for one or two, or three drinks along the way. Dinner that night was in the Sapphire restaurant which is the equivalent of Mozart on the Adventure of the Seas that we were on in the Caribbean. If I’m honest the food wasn’t that great, pretty mediocre but, hey it’s the first day. It’s all looking up from here right? Right??
You’ll have to wait for the Day Two to find out.
Well hello again all those who have followed my blog in the past. I admit I am not the most regular of bloggers but I like to think that when I do put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) it is worth reading. So welcome back, I hope you enjoy the next series of posts which will be appearing over a week or so.
As some of you know I have recently been on another cruise, this time to the sunny Mediterranean. We went with Royal Caribbean again and this time instead of meeting new friends we took the old ones with us. Glen and Diane, the fabulous couple we met on our first cruise in 2013 (see Caribbean Chronicles) have become our best chums with whom we spend many days on lodge breaks around the UK, jumping in and out of hot tubs. We also went to Turkey together in 2016 and travel to each others houses at least a few times a year. We also had our youngest son Sam with us and Glen and Di brought their daughter Zoe and son Darryl and his husband Austin.
So, I have set the scene, introduced the characters all that remains is to crack on with Day One.
Navigator of the Seas