Sue Kersh on Aurora

Reports about cruises on Aurora
User avatar

Gill W
Senior First Officer
Senior First Officer
Posts: 2005
Joined: January 2013
Location: Kent

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Gill W » 29 Jan 2018, 16:28

Loved reading about the Falkland Islands - that's a place very much on my bucket list.

In the 80's the company my husband worked for did a lot of work in the Falklands, and they had to send one of the civil engineers out there, by air. There was some sort of of delay on Ascension Islands, and he arrived in Stanley a few days late. Penguin News ran with the headline 'Engineer Late'. I think it must have been a slow news day, even in the Falklands!

I do enjoy Sue's reports, but wish she wouldn't call the buffet 'the piggery'. I was on Aurora for 7 weeks last year. I need to keep my salt intake lower than the average person, and I prefer to manage my diet myself, instead of registering with P&O for a low salt diet, as it's been a struggle in the past for them understand what I want. Therefore the buffet is ideal for some evenings, as I can have lots of lovely salad items and a taster of some items that may have a higher salt content. Yes, sometimes one has to queue, but once seated it's normally quiet and relaxing, much quieter than the MDR. Also, I just could't eat a MDR dinner every day for 7 weeks.

I've also been onboard when a new ship is announced, and the passengers reacted as the way Sue describes. It made me cringe, to be honest.
Gill

User avatar

Topic author
Dennis The Menace
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1087
Joined: January 2013
Location: Bash Street

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Dennis The Menace » 29 Jan 2018, 18:11

Hi Gill, that does sound a slow news day but a great claim to fame 😀

User avatar

Topic author
Dennis The Menace
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1087
Joined: January 2013
Location: Bash Street

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Dennis The Menace » 29 Jan 2018, 18:12

Sunday 28 January - Sailing around Cape Horn.
We were up early and I went for breakfast in the Main Dining room as it was Sunday and smoked salmon and scrambled egg. I asked for a table on my own so that it would be quick, which it was very, and I was back at the cabin by 08:20 to don all of my thermals and thick jumper, fleece, hat, coat, scarf and gloves. I had bought a thermos mug in the Falklands decorated with penguins and I took a coffee with a tot of whisky out with me.

The sun was out on deck and the wind only force 5 and about 9 degrees so we were extremely lucky to have such a calm sailing around Cape Horn. We had a great view of both sides on the aft deck as we first sailed round from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and then back into the Atlantic with the Cape on the Port side. Then, as the Captain turned the ship around, and we sailed back round with it on the Starboard side, we moved back into the warmth of our cabin to view it in comfort. The most Southerly point, we were at 56.15 degrees South and only the Antarctic is further South.

There was a commentary from the Bridge and all the interesting points were identified. The Coast guard hut where a Chilean family live in isolation for 1 year. The radio mast and the funicular track which allows supplies to be delivered. The memorial to the 10,000 sailors who had lost their lives sailing around Cape Horn which is shaped so that in the middle of the steel you can see the Albatross shape. I thoroughly enjoyed the morning and was so pleased I had made the effort to dress appropriately and make the most of this once in a lifetime experience. We were so lucky with the weather as by 11:30 a.m. the mist had come in and we wouldn’t have seen much at all.

I caught up with the Battle of the Sexes and the ladies won yesterday but are still behind the men. We gained back another 30 points today but when it came to the music round the men spat their dummies out and some walked out. They were disgraceful. The music round ended as a draw. Andy announced that tomorrow would be the final battle of the sector. As we still have six sea days left of this sector I am not sure why tomorrow is the last Battle.

The headliners performed Killer Queen in Carmens. The best show I have seen these Headliners perform. Fantastic high energy performance. During the show we realised the ship had stopped moving. The Captain had said officials would be boarding to stamp our passports.

Tomorrow will be another early one to view the fantastic glaciers cascading into the Beagle Channel.

User avatar

Topic author
Dennis The Menace
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1087
Joined: January 2013
Location: Bash Street

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Dennis The Menace » 30 Jan 2018, 18:12

Monday 29 January - Sailing in the Beagle Channel
I awoke early at 05:15 and opened the curtains to see a stunning glacier. I quickly donned jeans & fleece and rushed outside to take photos. I don’t think I have ever seen anything that matches the views I saw as the sun started to rise above the snow capped mountains. Some of the Glaciers cascaded right down into the Channel. It was cold but the sun was out and it was bright. Gradually the decks started filling up and the Captain made some announcements about what we were seeing. I only wish they had given us some written information to follow like they usually do for the Panama Canal.

I took a break from the cold to have Eggs Benedict for breakfast and the hot coffee thawed me out.

My morning was spent watching the scenery on the aft deck, then back to the cabin to thaw out before going back out again. Once again we have been so lucky with the weather.

At noon I went to the final of The Battle of the Sexes. The men were in front by 45 points but the ladies caught up and won the general knowledge round. Normally there is a second round which is music based but because the men ‘kicked off ‘ yesterday and a lot walked out as they didn’t like the music round, the entertainment team decided that there wouldn’t be a bonus round and that was the end of the quiz. The men kicked off again this time because there wasn’t a music round.
The ladies have now won 2 out of 3 of the sectors. If there is going to be another Battle it won’t be until after Arica. I asked the entertainment team what was replacing the Battle as this is the highlight of the day as far as entertainment goes. I was assured that there would be a quiz of some form every Sea Day at noon in Masquerades.

After lunch in the dining room Garry went to meet some friends to transfer some photos and as I was waiting for a phone call I spent much of the afternoon like the morning - watching the scenery.

It was our 7 th formal night and we met up with friends to share a table. Another great dinner with entertaining company. We try to get the same area in freedom dining as the head waiter Christian, Wilson the wine steward and aJesse the assistant waiter look after us so well.

After dinner they went off to the show but we didn’t fancy it so went back to the cabin to freshen up before the Ball started. After such an early start this morning it didn’t surprise me that we didn’t make it to the ball.

We have had an invite to a select Ligurian function in Barbados at the Sunbury Plantation in the afternoon. If it is anything like the function we had in Singapore it will be an excellent afternoon. Responses have to be in by 1 st February and although I was looking forward to an afternoon at the Tiki Bar at Accra beach we will certainly be accepting this invitation.

Tomorrow we are in Punta Arenas which unfortunately is another tender port . Captain Pembridge tried to persuade the authorities to let us dock but we are slightly longer than the permitted size so the answer was No.

User avatar

Suekersh
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1189
Joined: January 2013
Location: Lancashire

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Suekersh » 01 Feb 2018, 20:48

Gill W wrote:
29 Jan 2018, 16:28
Loved reading about the Falkland Islands - that's a place very much on my bucket list.

In the 80's the company my husband worked for did a lot of work in the Falklands, and they had to send one of the civil engineers out there, by air. There was some sort of of delay on Ascension Islands, and he arrived in Stanley a few days late. Penguin News ran with the headline 'Engineer Late'. I think it must have been a slow news day, even in the Falklands!

I do enjoy Sue's reports, but wish she wouldn't call the buffet 'the piggery'. I was on Aurora for 7 weeks last year. I need to keep my salt intake lower than the average person, and I prefer to manage my diet myself, instead of registering with P&O for a low salt diet, as it's been a struggle in the past for them understand what I want. Therefore the buffet is ideal for some evenings, as I can have lots of lovely salad items and a taster of some items that may have a higher salt content. Yes, sometimes one has to queue, but once seated it's normally quiet and relaxing, much quieter than the MDR. Also, I just could't eat a MDR dinner every day for 7 weeks.

I've also been onboard when a new ship is announced, and the passengers reacted as the way Sue describes. It made me cringe, to be honest.
I don’t mean to offend anyone. Our friends love the buffet too but it’s just not for me. I am not sure where the term originally came from but probably an American ship.


MaureenB
Third Officer
Third Officer
Posts: 101
Joined: January 2013

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by MaureenB » 01 Feb 2018, 22:01

I'm with you Sue. I'm not at all keen on the buffet, in fact my term for it is "The smash and grab". This came from the bank canteen in Lombard Street way back in the 70s. No offence to anyone but I much prefer to be waited on too.

User avatar

Suekersh
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1189
Joined: January 2013
Location: Lancashire

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Suekersh » 02 Feb 2018, 00:56

MaureenB wrote:
01 Feb 2018, 22:01
I'm with you Sue. I'm not at all keen on the buffet, in fact my term for it is "The smash and grab". This came from the bank canteen in Lombard Street way back in the 70s. No offence to anyone but I much prefer to be waited on too.
Someone on Facebook refers to the MDR as the snobbery.

Sue

User avatar

Topic author
Dennis The Menace
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1087
Joined: January 2013
Location: Bash Street

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Dennis The Menace » 02 Feb 2018, 10:04

Tuesday 30 January - Punta Arenas, Chile
Punta Arenas translates as Sandy Point and is the Southernmost City on the South American mainland.

Another bright sunny day but with a cool breeze. The Silver seas ship Silver Muse was already docked and we think it must have arrived yesterday as they set sail again late morning.

There wasn’t the mad rush for tenders that there had been in the Falklands and we caught the second tender across to the port buildings. There was free wi fi there and because we were early it was a very fast connection and we managed to catch up with emails and messages.

We picked a map up from the tourist office and set off to explore the local town. The first place we reached was the plaza with trees lining the pathways which led to a huge bronze statue of Ferdinand Magellan, the first European to set foot on these shores. On the other side of the plaza was a small craft market with locally made goods for sale. Lots of wool garments, more penguin souvenirs, and lots of jewellery made with the local lapis Lazuli stone. The town was well laid out and easy to walk around with lots of pelican crossings, it seemed quite prosperous and we were pleasantly surprised with how clean and tidy it was. It had a ‘looked after’ feel to it.

We wandered around enjoying the warm sunshine and I had to take layers off as the sun rose higher and it became hotter. We made a few purchases from the local shops, then called into a drugstore where after waiting for about 5 minutes to be served, a local man told us we we had to take a ticket to be served. My hair has become dry and brittle in the sun and it needs an extreme hair mask or conditioner. They were very helpful and with my small amount of Spanish and their small amount of English I think I have got the right product and hopefully it will do the job.

We found a bar called Lunaticos which had many different local beers on sale. Not sure which we ended up with but it was very tasty and free WiFi here as well.

The local municipal market was close to the ship, once again this was mainly craft stalls with one or two local farmers selling vegetables and a couple of fresh fish stalls. There were cafes and restaurants on the top floor but after looking at the menu we decided against eating here.

The closer we got back to the sea the colder and windier it got and the layers I had discarded earlier were swiftly put back on. The tender had a tricky job docking and it was a bouncy ride back to the ship.

The sun stayed with us all day and was hot but the cold breeze meant it wasn’t comfortable for me to sit outside although many people were making the most of it.

The evening entertainment was a comedian Lloyd Davies who we had seen before. A quick check of my notes where I had noted that I had enjoyed his show. We went to see him and he was extremely funny. He writes his own material and much of it was up to date and relevant. He also plays the piano and sings. A great all round performer and certainly the best entertainment on the ship since the Runaround Kids who were on in the first week.

We finished the night in Carmens where Caravan were playing and the Dance teachers were hosting the Dance Date.

Tomorrow we have a sea day where we will pass some stunning scenery as we cruise the Chilean Fjords to the Amalia Glacier.

Wednesday 31 January - Sea Day and Amalia Glacier
The Captain warned last night that when we reached the Pacific Ocean we would feel the motion of this huge ocean for about 5 1/2 hours from 04:30 to 10 a.m. He was spot on as I awoke at 04:30 and the ship was moving around considerably. I took a tablet and made the decision to stay in bed instead of going to the exercise class.

I went to breakfast and had my usual poached eggs. They arrived hard and rubbery so I asked for them to changed. It took nearly 20 minutes for the new eggs to arrive which were just as bad if not worse. The waiter was very apologetic but of course it wasn’t his fault. Apparently they are a new batch of eggs which just won’t poach. It won’t do me any harm to go without breakfast for once so I told the waiter I was okay and I didn’t want anything else. I will have to try something else for breakfast until they run out of the eggs that won’t poach.

The day was very bleak and overcast and I wasn’t interested in any of the daytime entertainment so my butler decided it would be a good opportunity to colour my hair which took up the rest of the morning.

The Battle of the Sexes had been replaced by yet another game show. It could be due to passengers complaining about the number of game shows which have been the evening entertainment so have changed it to lunchtime which is fine, but why replace the very popular Battle of the Sexes. Every P & O ship has always had a Battle every sea day for as long as we have been cruising.

Although I am looking forward to seeing the Glaciers I will be much happier when we get back into the hot weather and whatever entertainment they put on will not matter as the sun is the only entertainment I need.

At 4 p.m. we arrived at the Amalia Glacier. The weather was not great with sleet and low cloud and although it was reasonably big I felt extremely underwhelmed. The ones we saw on Monday were far more picturesque but that could have been because the sun was shining.

The Captain slowly turned the ship around so that all sides had a view before sailing out of the Fjord to continue our journey through what would have been stunning scenery if only the sun had done its job properly.

After dinner, where we joked with the restaurant manager and waiters about the eggs that won’t poach. Apparently there is no explanation and despite many attempts the eggs just won’t poach.

The entertainment didn’t appeal again with yet another operatic singer performing songs from the musicals. No matter how talented they are we can only tolerate so many operatic performances.

We went back to the cabin and opened one of the bottles of Rose wines we had purchased in Uruguay and watched the scenery of the Chilean fjords as we sailed towards the next glacier the PIO Xl where we should arrive very early tomorrow morning.


Ray B
Senior Second Officer
Senior Second Officer
Posts: 420
Joined: January 2013

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Ray B » 02 Feb 2018, 10:42

Wonderful, very good reports, paints the picture very well.


MaureenB
Third Officer
Third Officer
Posts: 101
Joined: January 2013

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by MaureenB » 02 Feb 2018, 11:59

Thank you so much for your reports Sue. They are so informative I am almost there with you!

Aurora is such a lovely ship. Lucky you!

I am looking forward to the next instalment.

Best wishes

User avatar

Topic author
Dennis The Menace
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1087
Joined: January 2013
Location: Bash Street

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Dennis The Menace » 02 Feb 2018, 15:14

Well you've not had long to wait Maureen, I've just had this from Sue 😀:

Thursday 1 February - Sailing past PIO Xl Glacier
We arrived at the Glacier around 8 a.m. and at first sight it didn’t look anything special as the mountains surrounding it where not snow covered so all we could see was the face of it. The nearer we got the more spectacular it became. We could see the blue colours which are caused by trapped air in the ice. If the sun had been shining I am sure the colours would have looked brighter but at least it wasn’t raining. The temperature was 14 degrees but it felt colder. No coffee with a tot of whisky today as this is my 4 th alcohol free day of this cruise so coffee alone had to suffice. This is the largest Glacier in South America and is the same size as the city of Santiago and moves 2 metres a day. I noticed the water close to the Glacier was a different colour, this is because it is surrounded by fresh water which then mixes into the sea water. There were smaller pieces of ice which had broken off the Glacier floating in the sea.

I saw a solitary dolphin who must not have been in the mood to perform as he disappeared into the murky water. I moved between the front and aft views and then went to visit our friends who have a balcony on the port side to view the Glacier from there. The Captain continually turned the ship so that everyone had a view.

The rest of the day up until 4 p.m. we sailed slowly through the Chilean Fjords. Lots of stunning scenery but the sun didn’t make an appearance and there were a lot of moody photos taken.

At 4 p.m. I cheered as we entered the Pacific Ocean and started sailing towards the sun and hot weather. It got slightly choppy as the rolling motion of the Pacific moved us around but hopefully it won’t last too long.

Mac Frampton, an American pianist, was in the theatre but we decided against it as the ship was still rolling around and the theatre is not the best place to be. I just wanted to be vertical so after another delicious dinner in the dining room we returned to the cabin.

We have 2 sea days now before we reach San Antonio which is the gateway port for Valparaiso and Santiago.

User avatar

GillD46
Senior First Officer
Senior First Officer
Posts: 2695
Joined: January 2013
Location: Gower Peninsula, South Wales

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by GillD46 » 02 Feb 2018, 15:55

I am also enjoying all your reports, Sue - thank you. And thank you to Dennis as well.
Last edited by GillD46 on 02 Feb 2018, 15:56, edited 1 time in total.
Gill

User avatar

Gill W
Senior First Officer
Senior First Officer
Posts: 2005
Joined: January 2013
Location: Kent

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Gill W » 04 Feb 2018, 16:13

Suekersh wrote:
01 Feb 2018, 20:48
Gill W wrote:
29 Jan 2018, 16:28
Loved reading about the Falkland Islands - that's a place very much on my bucket list.

In the 80's the company my husband worked for did a lot of work in the Falklands, and they had to send one of the civil engineers out there, by air. There was some sort of of delay on Ascension Islands, and he arrived in Stanley a few days late. Penguin News ran with the headline 'Engineer Late'. I think it must have been a slow news day, even in the Falklands!

I do enjoy Sue's reports, but wish she wouldn't call the buffet 'the piggery'. I was on Aurora for 7 weeks last year. I need to keep my salt intake lower than the average person, and I prefer to manage my diet myself, instead of registering with P&O for a low salt diet, as it's been a struggle in the past for them understand what I want. Therefore the buffet is ideal for some evenings, as I can have lots of lovely salad items and a taster of some items that may have a higher salt content. Yes, sometimes one has to queue, but once seated it's normally quiet and relaxing, much quieter than the MDR. Also, I just could't eat a MDR dinner every day for 7 weeks.

I've also been onboard when a new ship is announced, and the passengers reacted as the way Sue describes. It made me cringe, to be honest.
I don’t mean to offend anyone. Our friends love the buffet too but it’s just not for me. I am not sure where the term originally came from but probably an American ship.
No offence taken :)

I like equally the buffet and the MDR - just happy to have the choice for the mood I'm on on that particular evening
Gill

User avatar

Topic author
Dennis The Menace
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1087
Joined: January 2013
Location: Bash Street

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Dennis The Menace » 05 Feb 2018, 15:48

GillD46 wrote:
02 Feb 2018, 15:55
I am also enjoying all your reports, Sue - thank you. And thank you to Dennis as well.
You're welcome Gill :D

User avatar

Topic author
Dennis The Menace
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1087
Joined: January 2013
Location: Bash Street

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Dennis The Menace » 05 Feb 2018, 15:48

Friday 2nd February- Sea Day to San Antonio, Chile
It was an extremely foggy morning which surprised me as I hadn’t heard the Ship's horn being blown during the night.

I made it to the exercise class but felt very guilty when someone commented that they hadn’t seen me for ages, it’s not that long since surely!

After a breakfast of omelette (as the eggs were still not poaching) I went on deck where the sun was trying hard to burn away the clouds. The sea had calmed down and the young albatross were displaying their flying prowess on the aft of the ship. These birds are remarkable. They never land except to nest and fly all day and night but only rarely do they use their enormous wings as they use the thermals to glide around and sweep up and down.

Hullabaloo, a form of quiz, was in Masquerades in place of the Battle of the Sexes. As the sun wasn’t warm enough to sit outside for long I went along to the quiz. It was okay but nowhere near as entertaining as the Battle of the Sexes.

It was our 8 th Formal night and the majority of passengers donned their glad rags which made the ones that hadn’t bothered stick out like a sore thumb. Two non conformists arrived at the theatre late where the comedian , Lloyd Davies, offered to buy them a watch. They had guts though as they actually got up and changed seats which fed more lines to Lloyd. It was another great show, but he had used most of his best gags on his first show. He had promised that he would write a ditty about our cruise on Aurora but unfortunately it turned out to be a regurgitated generic one which, other than changing the name, could have been about any ship. Still great entertainment but he leaves the ship in San Antonio and new entertainers will board.

We finished the night at the Ladies Night Ball in Carmens dancing to Caravan. I tried out a new cocktail for this cruise called Chile Spice made with Bacardi oak, pineapple juice, orange juice and ginger ale. I enjoyed it and hope they keep it on the cocktail menu after we leave Chile.

Final sea day tomorrow before we reach San Antonio. Fingers and everything else crossed, hoping for a sunny warm day.

Saturday 3 February- Final Sea Day to San Antonio
I made it to the exercise class again. Twice in a row but I am dreading the weigh in tomorrow.

The finger crossing hadn’t worked and the day dawned foggy with little visibility. After breakfast we decided to sort out some of the cold weather clothes and get them packed up out of the way to make some room in the wardrobe. By the time we had finished the sun was out and doing a grand job of burning away the fog. I went outside and decided it was worth getting into swim wear. I had about an hour before the fog came in again but it didn’t last long as the sun is getting stronger all the time as we head back North towards the equator.

Garry was watching football so I braved the aft deck again. He is coming down with a cold and is coughing and spluttering so I intend to spend as little time as possible in his vicinity. I had a hot toddy just in case for medicinal purposes.

It felt so good to feel the warm sun again that I didn’t go to the noon quiz. I spent the rest of the afternoon soaking up the rays until at around 4 p.m. when the fog descended once again.

Garry had gradually got worse all day and we decided not to go to dinner and instead ordered room service. As around half the ship have been suffering with the virus I am not surprised that it has eventually caught up with him. I had more whisky to try to keep the bugs at bay.

Tomorrow we reach land in San Antonio.

Sunday 4 February - San Antonio, Chile
Garry was not any better and decided not to go to the Vineyard. It was quite a long coach journey and he was better off resting.

San Antonio Port is a commercial port with little or nothing going for it. Lots of cranes and containers stacked up blocking any view of the city that there might have been. We were supposed to dock in Valparaiso but this was changed many months ago as the locals boycotted the port and caused problems for cruise ships. As walking in the port area was not allowed I had to get on a shuttle bus to take me about 350 yards to the terminal building and through there to the tour buses. There was good free wi fi in the building which I will make use of tomorrow.

Felipe our tour guide explained how the day would work and we set off for the 30 minute drive through the countryside , where we passed many acres of vines to the town of Casablanca and the vineyard called Casa del Bosque. The gardens were filled with roses surrounding the casa and were stunning. Everywhere I looked there were either flowers, wine, or the vines with grapes growing, although not ready to be picked. The wine tour took about 20 minutes, then we got down to the real purpose of the visit which was tasting the product. We tried 3 different wines - one white and 2 reds, with ample amounts of each one. All were reserva wines and were excellent.

After the tasting I spotted another bar area and headed there to see what was on offer. They had a lovely looking Rose wine made with the Syrah grape. He offered me a tasting and I ended up buying 2 bottles and a bottle of the white I had sampled earlier. Felipe had a difficult job getting us all back into the coach as we were all loathe to leave this wonderful Casa.

Next we had a drive through Valparaiso where Felipe pointed out the highlights. There were some stunning buildings and parks but it mainly gave the impression of poverty. Similar to Rio, the locals lived high up above the city although probably slightly better accommodation than at Rio, but some of the houses looked very precarious perching on ledges of the hills. The town centre was all commercial property many of which were very run down, full of street art and looked unloved. We drove on to Vina del Mar which is a more upmarket area with a nice beach front. We had 45 minutes here to wander around the local park or beach front. There were plenty of bars and cafes to get a drink or snack.

As I walked back to the meeting point with another lady who was on her own, we passed a couple off the ship eating some fruit which had been sliced. I asked them where they had bought it from but they had brought it off the ship. I was stunned as we had all had to sign a form to say we had not taken any fruit or food produce into Chile, as it was illegal and anyone trying to do so would face heavy fines. We were asked again at the terminal and bags were scanned. Obviously not very well. This couple had got away with it but they thought that because it was sliced and not whole the rule didn’t apply!

As it was a Sunday the roads were quiet and we made good time back to San Antonio where we are staying overnight.

Garry was still feeling rough and hadn’t had much rest with various drills going on around the ship and equipment being tested. He had an early night and I went to see the local show Lafquen Conjunto Folklorico in the theatre. They were very entertaining. One male dancer left little to the imagination as all he wore was a posing pouch with a few feathers over it. Every time he jumped in the dance, up came the feathers to give the ladies a treat. I think he knew exactly what he was doing. I was glad I hadn’t sat near the front as some passengers were called up on stage.

Tomorrow we have another day in San Antonio

User avatar

johnds
Third Officer
Third Officer
Posts: 156
Joined: January 2013
Location: Chorley

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by johnds » 06 Feb 2018, 07:41

I keep reading about Sue buying wine to take on board. I thought P&O's recent edict said that you could not do this and take it to your cabin, you had to collect at the end of the cruise. Seems I'm wring so what is the current situation
John


Whynd1
Senior Second Officer
Senior Second Officer
Posts: 704
Joined: February 2013
Location: Gower, Swansea

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Whynd1 » 06 Feb 2018, 07:49

Me too. Perhaps Sue will let us know if wine made it safely back to the cabin.


Lindsey

User avatar

david63
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5164
Joined: January 2012
Location: Lancashire

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by david63 » 06 Feb 2018, 08:26

johnds wrote:
06 Feb 2018, 07:41
I keep reading about Sue buying wine to take on board. I thought P&O's recent edict said that you could not do this and take it to your cabin, you had to collect at the end of the cruise. Seems I'm wring so what is the current situation
Isn't that rule not starting until cruises starting after February?

User avatar

Kenmo1
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1471
Joined: January 2013

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Kenmo1 » 06 Feb 2018, 11:30

david63 wrote:
06 Feb 2018, 08:26
Isn't that rule not starting until cruises starting after February?


I thought the rule regarding a limit to 1 litre per person for taking drinks on board at embarkation started on 1st February 2018. After that date, I thought any bought on shore would be confiscated and handed back when you disembark. I remember thinking it would affect our cruise on the 11th so we are only taking 1 bottle of wine this time. Last time on a cruise we started buying the House White which lasted us a couple evenings and only cost £16.50 or £16.95. a bottle. It was quite a pleasant drink but we are not connoisseurs so we will stick with that this time.

For some reason, I think since the PO edict came out, I read that the date had been extended to February 15th but I cannot remember where I read that (or possibly imagined it).

Maureen

User avatar

barney
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1671
Joined: March 2013
Location: Instow Devon

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by barney » 06 Feb 2018, 11:53

Whynd1 wrote:
06 Feb 2018, 07:49
Me too. Perhaps Sue will let us know if wine made it safely back to the cabin.


Lindsey
I immediately thought the same Lindsey.

I also thought I read somewhere that the date had been put back to give the ships time to implement the system.

My opinion is that it will be quite relaxed on longer cruises but fully implemented on 2/3 nighters

We will buy a bottle of Cava at Cadiz for balcony consumption, and if it is taken away .. whatever. They can return it to us on the last night and we'll drink it at home and think of Cadiz ;)


Quizzical Bob
Senior First Officer
Senior First Officer
Posts: 3344
Joined: January 2013

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Quizzical Bob » 08 Feb 2018, 17:20

Hi Sue,

We have just returned from sailing on the Emerald Princess from Santiago to Rio in the opposite direction with shore stays at both ends. We were actually in the Falklandds the day before Aurora and I'm so pleased that you managed to get ashore. I had originally booked the Sparrow Cove tour but when I found out that it involved a tender both ways before then tendering again across to Stanley I cancelled and booked a trip with a local company to Bertha's Beach to see the Gentoos. I shall try to post some reports later once I have caught up on our sleep.

PS. Whilst you're in Chile you really ought to try the Pisco Sours. They are similar to the Caipirinhas but made with sparkling wine. One is not going to be enough.

Have Fun!

Robert

User avatar

Topic author
Dennis The Menace
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1087
Joined: January 2013
Location: Bash Street

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Dennis The Menace » 08 Feb 2018, 17:27

Monday 5 February 2 nd day in San Antonio
I did a double session in the gym with fab abs followed by Body Conditioning, then spoilt it by going for breakfast as Monday is Eggs Benedict day. Many of the crew had been out in San Antonio last night as there had been a carnival going on but all looked wide awake and enthusiastic.

Garry was still feeling rough and I persuaded him to go to see the ships doctor. Luckily he listened for once as the doc has diagnosed him with Chronic Bronchitis and he is now on amoxicillin which luckily he can have a drink with once he is feeling up to it. It cost £70 but well worth it as the medical centre also stamped his unused tour ticket from yesterday which means we will get a refund for the trip which was about £60.

I got off to get the free WiFi and met Denise and Brian ashore and went with them to explore San Antonio which is the hub of the fishing area around the Chilean coast line. It is situated in the foothills of the Andes Mountains . It has been devastated twice by earthquakes first in 1985 and again in 2010. There was a 15 minute walk to the shopping centre which took ages because there was a local market set up along the walk way. We found the fish market and the colony of sea lions soaking up the sun on the rocks whilst some of the younger sea lions were in the water play fighting but it looked vicious to me. There were lots of birds around but the only ones I could identify were the gulls and the pelicans.

The shopping centre held little attraction but we met Edith there and she joined us for the wander around the town which was only a short distance away.

We found a bar but were disappointed that it was a coffee bar even though it looked like a real bar, but next door was a place that looked like a cafe but was a real bar. I got to use my very limited Spanish as they had no English at all. I tried the local drink called Pisco Sour but Edith who had tried one yesterday told me hers had been bigger and better so tomorrow I need to try another one. I enjoyed it but needed a beer afterwards as it had not quenched my thirst.

We went back to the supermarket and stocked up on some Chilean Wine and nibbles for the cabin and I bought some souvenirs from the little market stalls on the way back to the ship. Most of the locals were very friendly but we were on our guard the whole time as we had heard passengers had problems yesterday with pickpockets and thieves.

After a late light lunch I nipped back to the terminal to use the wi fi and left Garry resting. Lots of the crew were there making the most of their limited time off and contacting their friends and families.

The entertainment was Manuel Martinez. Surprise surprise my ‘stalker’ has found me again. I just knew we wouldn’t get away with this cruise without him making an appearance. I am sure that with the well travelled passengers on this cruise that at least 90% of passengers have seen him on numerous occasions as he just flits from one ship to another.

Tomorrow we have another Chilean Port, Coquimbo and we have private trip booked with friends.

Tuesday 6 February - Coquimbo, Chile
Garry was still not feeling great and in a lot of pain through continuous coughing. We had a private trip booked with friends which David had arranged. Garry decided to have another cabin day to give the antibiotics chance to kick in.

We all met in reception and were off the ship in good time but there was no sign of our tour guide. After various phone calls where she made promises to be there in 15 minutes then 5 minutes, nearly an hour later we were told she wasn’t coming as she didn’t have a van. Luckily the tourist board were doing similar trips and agreed that the 12 of us could do a trip for a similar price.

Our guide Francisco and driver Ricardo gave us a tour around Coquimbo and La Serena. Coquimbo has little to offer the tourist and is really just the gateway port to visiting La Serena.

We started at the Fort in Coquimbo overlooking the Pacific ocean. The tourist board have revamped the fort and tried to make it visitor friendly with pirates signs etc but had really just made it look like a toy town fort. It had some great views and we saw the Pelicans and many gulls.

Our next stop in Coquimbo was a lot more interesting.
The Cruz del Tercer Milenio or (Third Millennium Cross) is an 83metre tall concrete cross. We could see it as the ship berthed and it dominated the skyline of Coquimbo. there were lots of religious bronze statues and huge bronze doors leading into the church. These had been donated by Pope John Paul ll in 2001 when the monument which is the tallest in a South America was completed. The monument itself is not as stunning to look at as the one in Rio because of the bare concrete. The plan was cover it in copper but it would be too expensive. To enter the first level it is free of charge but to go up to the arms of the cross costs 1500 pesos which is less than £2. Fast elevators took us to the second section where the views were amazing. We could see the ship and had a 360 degree view of the city and La Serena in the distance.

The second elevator took us to the arms of the cross where there were bronze busts of the cardinals and windows which gave us stunning 360 degree views. Francisco explained what we were seeing, his English was limited but far better than our Spanish. He could explain what we were seeing but if anyone asked questions he struggled to understand.

Our ticket to the top also included a visit to the museum which was located through the church. Lots of papal memorabilia here and the exhibits must have been worth millions. There is so much poverty in Coquimbo and not being religious I find it hard to justify this vast wealth in glass cages when in the real world only 100 yards away children are living in hovels and dressed in rags.

That was all there was of interest in Coquimbo and our next stop was the charming colonial city La Serena. On our original tour one of the highlights was the Japanese garden which didn’t feature at all on the tourist board tour. We took a vote and persuaded Francisco that we really didn’t need to see any more churches and instead we wanted to go the Japanese gardens. He reluctantly agreed but was worried that his employer would not be happy. We told him that his job was to make us happy.

First we stopped at the La Recova market which was the largest craft market in La Serena. 95% of it was just souvenir rubbish with the odd gem stall in between. There was a local group dressed up playing for the visitors but we didn’t waste much time here. Francisco must have got chatting as he was the only one late back at the meeting point. He then decided he was hungry and once we were back on the bus he queued for an empanada and didn’t even ask if anyone else wanted one although I would definitely have refused as the stalls looked like hygiene had never been heard of. He tried to interest us in a visit to the Stone church opposite but got no takers as we were desperate to move on to the Japanese gardens. These were amazing and the highlight of the tour. The gardens made me feel like I was back in Japan and the sun came out as well. The waterways through the garden had small turtles, carp, and lots of birds. We saw the ducklings following their parents. We could have spent 3 hours here but managed to see it all in the allotted 40 minutes.

Our final stop was the beach and La Serena lighthouse which was another tourist attraction which looked like it was from toy town. These buildings have been erected or revamped for the tourism market. The beach was huge and went on for miles and like in Rio the surf was up and crashing onto the beach.

The journey back to the ship was tedious as the traffic was horrendous and it was stop and go through the many traffic lights.

I was pleased that we had managed to get a trip out as there was no way we could have seen what we had on our own. Alfa tours did let us down badly but the tourist board of Coquimbo did their best to fill the gap and we enjoyed the day.

It was the half way cruise Captains party which was held at the Riviera and Crystal pool. There were lots of waiters around with both drinks and Canapes. The Horizon had advertised Portraits with Captain David Pembridge after his speech but I didn’t see or hear Captain Pembridge but saw many of the senior officers. As we went to the early party maybe the Captain was still busy on the bridge.

Good entertainment tonight in the form of the 4 tunes. We have seen them before and thought they were excellent. Garry had done enough and needed to get back to the cabin so as they will be on for a 2 nd show we returned to the cabin after dinner and opened a bottle of the Rose wine I had bought in Casablanca.

Tomorrow we have a Sea day before we reach our final Chilean port of Arica.

User avatar

Topic author
Dennis The Menace
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1087
Joined: January 2013
Location: Bash Street

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Dennis The Menace » 08 Feb 2018, 17:28

johnds wrote:
06 Feb 2018, 07:41
I keep reading about Sue buying wine to take on board. I thought P&O's recent edict said that you could not do this and take it to your cabin, you had to collect at the end of the cruise. Seems I'm wring so what is the current situation
I'll drop Sue an email John so hopefully she'll come on here and clarify :D

User avatar

Topic author
Dennis The Menace
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1087
Joined: January 2013
Location: Bash Street

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Dennis The Menace » 08 Feb 2018, 17:31

Quizzical Bob wrote:
08 Feb 2018, 17:20
Hi Sue,

We have just returned from sailing on the Emerald Princess from Santiago to Rio in the opposite direction with shore stays at both ends. We were actually in the Falklandds the day before Aurora and I'm so pleased that you managed to get ashore. I had originally booked the Sparrow Cove tour but when I found out that it involved a tender both ways before then tendering again across to Stanley I cancelled and booked a trip with a local company to Bertha's Beach to see the Gentoos. I shall try to post some reports later once I have caught up on our sleep.

PS. Whilst you're in Chile you really ought to try the Pisco Sours. They are similar to the Caipirinhas but made with sparkling wine. One is not going to be enough.

Have Fun!

Robert
Hi Robert, Good to see you. Sue should get a chance to check in here again at some point, I'll mention your comments and upcoming report :D
Last edited by Dennis The Menace on 08 Feb 2018, 17:33, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar

Meg 50
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1801
Joined: January 2013
Location: sarf London

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Meg 50 » 09 Feb 2018, 09:01

Dennis The Menace wrote:
08 Feb 2018, 17:27
Monday 5 February 2 nd day in San Antonio
.....
Garry was still feeling rough and I persuaded him to go to see the ships doctor. Luckily he listened for once as the doc has diagnosed him with Chronic Bronchitis and he is now on amoxicillin which luckily he can have a drink with once he is feeling up to it. It cost £70 but well worth it as the medical centre also stamped his unused tour ticket from yesterday which means we will get a refund for the trip which was about £60.
Not bad for a tenner! hope he's feeling better soon, and doesn't need another bottle.
Dennis The Menace wrote:
08 Feb 2018, 17:27

....
The entertainment was Manuel Martinez. Surprise surprise my ‘stalker’ has found me again. I just knew we wouldn’t get away with this cruise without him making an appearance. I am sure that with the well travelled passengers on this cruise that at least 90% of passengers have seen him on numerous occasions as he just flits from one ship to another.
stalker? Please remind us abut this
Meg
x

User avatar

Topic author
Dennis The Menace
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1087
Joined: January 2013
Location: Bash Street

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Dennis The Menace » 09 Feb 2018, 13:55

Dennis The Menace wrote:
08 Feb 2018, 17:27

....
The entertainment was Manuel Martinez. Surprise surprise my ‘stalker’ has found me again. I just knew we wouldn’t get away with this cruise without him making an appearance. I am sure that with the well travelled passengers on this cruise that at least 90% of passengers have seen him on numerous occasions as he just flits from one ship to another.

Hi Meg, good to see you. This is just referring to Manuel Martinez appearing on just about every cruise Sue goes on :!:
Last edited by Dennis The Menace on 09 Feb 2018, 13:55, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar

GillD46
Senior First Officer
Senior First Officer
Posts: 2695
Joined: January 2013
Location: Gower Peninsula, South Wales

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by GillD46 » 09 Feb 2018, 17:20

He certainly gets around. We have seen him many times.
Gill

User avatar

Meg 50
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1801
Joined: January 2013
Location: sarf London

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Meg 50 » 09 Feb 2018, 18:39

Dennis The Menace wrote:
09 Feb 2018, 13:55
Dennis The Menace wrote:
08 Feb 2018, 17:27

....
The entertainment was Manuel Martinez. Surprise surprise my ‘stalker’ has found me again. I just knew we wouldn’t get away with this cruise without him making an appearance. I am sure that with the well travelled passengers on this cruise that at least 90% of passengers have seen him on numerous occasions as he just flits from one ship to another.

Hi Meg, good to see you. This is just referring to Manuel Martinez appearing on just about every cruise Sue goes on :!:
thank you
Meg
x


CaroleF
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1143
Joined: January 2013
Location: Hampshire

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by CaroleF » 10 Feb 2018, 20:45

I'm on the same cruise as Sue. My husband went to the Casablanca Winery trip in San Antonio and was able to bring back wine he bought while on the trip. When I asked about this on board I was told that it only applies to cruises that start from February 1st and not those that were already in progress. As our cruise doesn't have sectors, well not as far as passengers leaving and joining go anyway, there's no passengers joining the ship after February 1st. The ships seems to have divided the trips into sectors as far as accounts are concerned, got our second one this morning and also got the next list of dress codes for the rest of the cruise.
John left the ship this morning to go on the 3 night Machu Picchu trip. He rejoins the ship in Manta on Tuesday. A few days ago after there was a meeting of the people going - 46 John was told - I got a letter saying how pleased the Tour guide was to meet me and attached were more details of the trip. Well nothing was attached and I'm not going on the trip. I said that John should go and make sure the Tours office had got it right, I didn't want him to get his airline ticket this morning in my name. The invitation to the meeting was sent to him and the actual tour ticket was in his name. So he went and saw them and yes it was fine. Well no it wasn't apparently. I got a text half way through this morning to say that there had been a hold up as the airline ticket was in my name!! Honestly!! As Callao was surrounded by fog this morning the flight was delayed anyway. I did later get another text to say that they'd arrived in Cusco.
We seem to have been lucky as far as the virus or whatever it is as neither John nor I have had it - touching wood as I type. We're really enjoying the trip. Have had a couple of excellent meals in The Glasshouse and ate in the Beach House last night, I enjoyed the Lava Rock steak but I find a lot of the menu is too spicy for me or has cheese involved which I don't eat. On our second visit to the Glasshouse I had the Very Berry pudding trio which was absolutely scrumptious! I wouldn't mind going one evening for just a starter and that dessert. We enjoyed the puddings with that particular option on it much more than the other. John had I think the Asian Fusion puddings which he didn't rate very highly. Agree with Sue about Manuel Martinez, we've seen him more than once. Didn't go to see him this time.
When we left Arica, day before yesterday, there was an amazing dance display by locals on the dockside just before we left. It went on quite a long time and it was really hot, lots of feathered head dresses and lots of music, really good.

Carole

User avatar

GillD46
Senior First Officer
Senior First Officer
Posts: 2695
Joined: January 2013
Location: Gower Peninsula, South Wales

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by GillD46 » 10 Feb 2018, 21:35

Nice to hear from you Carole, and pleased you are having such a good time.
Gill


Whynd1
Senior Second Officer
Senior Second Officer
Posts: 704
Joined: February 2013
Location: Gower, Swansea

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Whynd1 » 11 Feb 2018, 08:19

I was wondering how you were both getting on. Pleased you are enjoying the cruise.

Lindsey

User avatar

Suekersh
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1189
Joined: January 2013
Location: Lancashire

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Suekersh » 12 Feb 2018, 16:28

Hi all,
As Carole has posted bringing the wine or whatever on board is fine for this cruise. At sea today and enjoying the peace and quiet of the aft deck. We will be in Manta Ecuador tomorriw which is our final South American port.

User avatar

Topic author
Dennis The Menace
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1087
Joined: January 2013
Location: Bash Street

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Dennis The Menace » 12 Feb 2018, 18:28

It’s another long one as I haven’t been able to get internet in the Ports of call.

Wednesday 7 February- Sea Day to Arica
I had another good session in the exercise class and when I returned to the cabin room service had delivered my breakfast. I am having a few days off Main dining room breakfast to try to slow down the increase I keep seeing on the scales and the tightness of my clothes. Another top went back in the case last night as although I could get it on the Pilsbury dough man look was not good.

By 10 a.m. I was on the aft deck and although some cloud, the sun was hot and it wasn’t long before the clouds had been dealt with. The temperature was mid 20s so perfect for a lazy sea day. I spotted a pod of whales blowing in the distance but did very little all morning other than read and catch up with Facebook. My butler delivered a chicken salad to my sun bed followed by a fruit salad. Unfortunately he spoilt my diet day by turning up mid afternoon with an almond magnum. He is feeling slightly better but has now torn a muscle with his incessant coughing.

John Bartram announced that there was a problem with the sound and lights in the Curzon theatre and it is out of use for shows until it is sorted. This means that my stalker Manuel Martinez is the main entertainment on offer tonight in the Carmens show lounge. Pingxin Xu was supposed to perform in the theatre but his 140 string powerful instrument had not arrived, and even if it had the Curzon theatre was out of use.

Later in the afternoon John Bartram announced that the theatre had stood two rehearsals and that the Headliners would perform ‘We will meet again ‘ in the theatre.
This must be the oldest show of their repertoire and is set at the end of World War 2.

We decided to have a drink in the Pennant Bar after dinner. The sun was still out and it was a lovely evening even though we felt out of place in our formal wear , as this is one of the bars on the ships where casual wear is acceptable on formal night.

Unfortunately the soot came down and only when we were leaving did Garry notice that it had dropped onto his white dinner jacket. The magic bar of Vanish soap appears to have worked and dry cleaning will hopefully bring the rest out.

Tomorrow we are in Arica.

Thursday 8 February - Arica, Chile
Arica is the most Northern port in Chile being situated only 12 miles from the Peruvian border. It is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, the Andes Mountains and the Atacama Desert.

We docked in a Commercial Port and could see the desert close by. It was extremely hot as we are now at latitude 18 degrees South. Garry was still unwell and went to see the doctor again. The doctor confirmed that the antibiotics were working and gave him strong painkillers for the pulled muscle in his side.

He decided that he would get off for a short time and have a look around the town. We considered a local trip at 20 US Dollars but decided against it as the minimum time was 3 hours and he wouldn’t have been comfortable in the transport that looked like bone shakers.

The town is overlooked by El Moro which is a huge rock and is a national monument. The only way to the top is by walking, which Garry was not up to, but the panoramic views are apparently stunning of the port and coast as well as the desert and surrounding hills. There was a small craft market close by in the plaza and the Cathedral overlooked the tree lined plaza. Most of the town was pedestrianised. It had a typical Spanish feel to it and the locals were friendly.

We wandered around stopping regularly to chat to other passengers before finding a watering hole for a local beer. The waiter directed us to the nearest supermarket where we bought a few cabin supplies. By this time Garry needed to get back to the ship to rest. We passed a money exchange place and changed our unused pesos into dollars.

Lots of passengers were making there way back to the shuttle bus as it was extremely hot. I did consider going back out again to explore further but in the end stayed on the aft deck in the sun - it wasn’t long before the heat drove me back inside the air conditioned cabin.

We got ready for dinner, but it was obvious that Garry really wasn’t well enough to spend 90 minutes at the dinner table. We stayed in and I ordered room service for him and I went to the dreaded buffet. At least now I have no expectations of the food being any more than edibIe so I wasn’t disappointed. The soup was gloopy and only lukewarm so was left. The chicken fajita was the same so I decided not to risk eating that. I chose a Salad which I took back to the cabin with a desert for Garry which didn’t get eaten either. Hopefully tomorrow he will be well enough to go to the Main Dining Room. I really should be losing weight, but with the amount of Whiskey I am drinking to keep the bugs away it is unlikely.

The evening entertainment was the 4 tunes in the theatre and something called Dance Explosion in Carmens with the entertainment team. It was the 4 tunes last show before they depart but no doubt I will see them again in the future.

We have a relaxing sea day tomorrow.

Friday 9 February - Sea Day to Lima, Peru
The clocks went back an hour last night and we are now 4 hours behind UK time. Garry had a better nights sleep but he is still coughing like a 50 a day Capstan full strength smoker and he has never smoked.

I went to the 7 a.m exercise class which was full to bursting and my room service breakfast was waiting for me when I returned to the cabin.

The sun was on the aft deck with a pleasant early morning sea breeze and that’s where I stayed all morning only interrupted by the mandatory muster drill where this time we didn’t need to take our life jackets. It was a short drill and, once the stragglers who think that 10 a.m. means 10 minutes past 10 arrived, the Captain gave his emergency drill instructions.

At the end of the drill he announced that there had been an itinerary change and that our call to Martinique ( Here I was wishing and praying and hoping for a split second that our call there had been changed back to the original port of call St Maarten). No such luck, as the Captain gleefully announced that he had managed to secure an extra nights berth in Martinique and we will now be there for two days. There was no cheer as you can imagine, why oh why couldn’t it have been Barbados or actually any of our other ports of call rather than the French port. I am trying to be positive about it and will now try to see the other side of the island on the 2 nd day there. I have planned a beach day for the first day. I am also hoping that, as P & O are calling there regularly now, that the locals will be much friendlier than they were the last time we visited here.

I went back to the aft deck and only left when the peace and quiet was shattered because they were holding the 'build a ship on a ship' competition there. By then I had had enough sun anyway.

Garry felt well enough to have dinner in the Main Dining room which was excellent. We had a walk around the deck as the temperature is just right once the sun has gone down, then decided to go back to the cabin. We didn’t miss much entertainment wise as the Headliners were repeating the show Fantasy, which they did both on the New Year cruise and again earlier this cruise. It is a good show but I didn’t want to see it 3 times in 6 weeks. Pingxin Xu was in Carmens, so his 140 string instrument had obviously turned up and Ed Sobey the lecturer was doing Science tricks in Masquerade.

The TV in the cabin isn’t great but it beats the entertainment on offer.

Tomorrow we are in Lima and I have a full day trip booked. The clocks go back another hour tonight. I love these 25 hour days.

Sunday 11 February - 1st Sea day to Manta
I was awake very early again as Garry made a coffee at what he thought was 6 a.m. but was actually only 5 a.m.

Today was the start of the third and last sector of the cruise albeit a longer sector than the previous two.

I went to the early morning exercise Class where the main topic of conversation was once again the inept Entertainment Department. The majority of the passengers who attend this early class also attend all the other classes in the gym. For the first time this cruise, a dancersize class had been organised in Carmens but it was scheduled for the same time as the stretch class in the gym. Oops someone has dropped a clanger.

There is still no sign of the Battle of the sexes returning and another inane gameshow had taken the 12 noon spot in Masquerades. Thank goodness I have the sun to keep me entertained. I did consider going to listen to the lecture on the Panama Canal but couldn’t drag myself away from the globe in the sky. My butler brought me a poached salmon salad for lunch and a fruit salad both from the Grab & Go.

Lots of Dolphins put on various displays during the day and there were a few sightings of whales.

It was the 10 th of 16 formal nights on this cruise. Unfortunately Garry wasn’t feeling well enough to go to dinner, but as he wanted leaving in peace I joined our friends for dinner before going back to the cabin.

The entertainment in the Curzon theatre was Kenny Martin playing a variety of musical instruments which didn’t appeal, or a Black Tie Ball in Carmens.

Another Relaxing Sea day tomorrow.


Whynd1
Senior Second Officer
Senior Second Officer
Posts: 704
Joined: February 2013
Location: Gower, Swansea

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Whynd1 » 12 Feb 2018, 21:19

Love reading your reports Sue and thanks to DTM for tendering operations.

One question what happened to Saturday 10th for Lima ?


Lindsey

User avatar

Suekersh
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1189
Joined: January 2013
Location: Lancashire

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Suekersh » 12 Feb 2018, 22:49

Well spotted Lindsey, my fault not a tendering error will sort this now.

User avatar

Suekersh
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1189
Joined: January 2013
Location: Lancashire

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Suekersh » 12 Feb 2018, 22:49

Saturday 10 February - Lima, Peru
The clocks had gone back another hour and we are now 5 hours behind UK time.

I had an early trip to Pachacamac Ruins and Horses so I ordered room service. Anyone up as early as me would have been shocked to see at 5 a.m. as I was on the aft deck in swim wear liberally spraying myself with Jungle Strength Deet to ward off the Mossies we had been warned were out to suck our blood.

Market stall s were being set up on the port side and it was a warm morning but still dark. The port was once again a Commercial port and a shuttle was required to get to the port gate but we had been warned against going out on our own. There was also a shuttle service into Lima which was estimated to take an hour each way.

Garry was staying on board to recuperate which wasn’t too much hardship as it was a Saturday with football on the TV. He had decided to cancel the trip so as not to pass on any infection but he needn’t have bothered as so many of the passengers on my coach were coughing & spluttering that he may as well have joined them.

I was on the first of 4 coaches doing the same trip and I had a lovely solo seat on the coach with bags of leg room in front and bag room to the side. I was so happy not to have to sit next to one of the coughers and I spent much of the day avoiding them,

It was only about 20 minutes to our first stop in Lima which was the Inca museum. I am not that ‘into’ museums and our guide Milli certainly gave us information overload. I just couldn’t take it all in and I began to wander off to look at the displays on my own. It was a well set out modern museum and Milli certainly knew her subject well and was very enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge about the way the Incas lived, what they ate, how the medics of the day performed successful brain surgery, and of course how they were buried and the type of garments they were buried wrapped in. Apparently in death you took everything you needed in life to do your job into your after life to continue it there. No retirement for the Incas then! Some of the tapestry’s were remarkable especially as the many hours of work on them were only done to be buried with the deceased.

Our next stop was the Pachacamac Ruins. These were completely unexpected and were huge. I had thought it was a walking tour of the ruins but in fact it was a coach tour with photograph stops with a lengthy explanation of what we were seeing from the enthusiastic Milli.
It was fascinating to see the archeological digs and the huge pyramids they had found. There are still many acres of the sandy areas to dig and lots more artefacts and bodies to be found but funding is the problem and they are now only digging for projects. It was very sandy and hot even though there was little direct sunlight.

The final stop was the Mamacona Ranch where we saw a fabulous Peruvian horse show with traditional dancers. We were seated and offered the local drink of Pisco Sour and some snacks. The horses and dancers took their turn to entertain us but the youngest foal only 2 weeks old stole the show and our hearts. Afterwards we were invited to a buffet lunch at the owners ranch where wine or soft drinks were served. The food was excellent and I joined a table that were up for a laugh. The wine waiter was a bit of a hunk and when I said he was ‘ muy guapo’ he looked after our table very well. We had some time after the meal to look around the fabulous gardens and to see and pet the horses if they would let us.

The return journey was slower than the outward one because of traffic the beach areas were crowded as it was a Saturday and that was the reason for the congestion.

We were back at the ship earlier than the estimated time and I went back to the cabin and persuaded Garry to come and look at the port side market. They were doing good business and we bought a couple of silver chains and some souvenirs.

The evening entertainment was limited as it was a late night port. There was a Peruvian Dance troupe in the Curzon lounge and a dance date in Carmens.

We now have 2 sea days before we reach Manta Ecuador.
Last edited by Suekersh on 12 Feb 2018, 22:50, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar

Topic author
Dennis The Menace
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1087
Joined: January 2013
Location: Bash Street

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Dennis The Menace » 12 Feb 2018, 23:19

Ooops, well spotted Lindsey (and you're very welcome 😀), here's the missing day :

Saturday 10 February - Lima, Peru
The clocks had gone back another hour and we are now 5 hours behind UK time.

I had an early trip to Pachacamac Ruins and Horses so I ordered room service. Anyone up as early as me would have been shocked to see me at 5 a.m. as I was on the aft deck in swim wear liberally spraying myself with Jungle Strength Deet to ward off the Mossies we had been warned were out to suck our blood.

Market stalls were being set up on the port side and it was a warm morning but still dark. The port was once again a Commercial port and a shuttle was required to get to the port gate but we had been warned against going out on our own. There was also a shuttle service into Lima which was estimated to take an hour each way.

Garry was staying on board to recuperate which wasn’t too much hardship as it was a Saturday with football on the TV. He had decided to cancel the trip so as not to pass on any infection, but he needn’t have bothered as so many of the passengers on my coach were coughing & spluttering that he may as well have joined them.

I was on the first of 4 coaches doing the same trip and I had a lovely solo seat on the coach with bags of leg room in front and bag room to the side. I was so happy not to have to sit next to one of the coughers and I spent much of the day avoiding them.

It was only about 20 minutes to our first stop in Lima which was the Inca museum. I am not that ‘into’ museums and our guide Milli certainly gave us information overload. I just couldn’t take it all in and I began to wander off to look at the displays on my own. It was a well set out modern museum and Milli certainly knew her subject well. She was very enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge about the way the Incas lived, what they ate, how the medics of the day performed successful brain surgery, and of course how they were buried, and the type of garments they were buried wrapped in. Apparently in death you took everything you needed in life to do your job into your afterlife to continue it there. No retirement for the Incas then! Some of the tapestry’s were remarkable especially as the many hours of work on them were only done to be buried with the deceased.

Our next stop was the Pachacamac Ruins. These were completely unexpected and were huge. I had thought it was a walking tour of the ruins but in fact it was a coach tour with photograph stops, with a lengthy explanation of what we were seeing from the enthusiastic Milli. It was fascinating to see the archeological digs and the huge pyramids they had found. There are still many acres of the sandy areas to dig, and lots more artefacts and bodies to be found, but funding is the problem and they are now only digging for projects. It was very sandy and hot even though there was little direct sunlight.

The final stop was the Mamacona Ranch where we saw a fabulous Peruvian horse show with traditional dancers. We were seated and offered the local drink of Pisco Sour and some snacks. The horses and dancers took their turn to entertain us but the youngest foal, only 2 weeks old, stole the show and our hearts. Afterwards we were invited to a buffet lunch at the owners ranch where wine or soft drinks were served. The food was excellent and I joined a table that were up for a laugh. The wine waiter was a bit of a hunk and when I said he was ‘ muy guapo’ he looked after our table very well. We had some time after the meal to look around the fabulous gardens and to see and pet the horses if they would let us.

The return journey was slower than the outward one because of traffic. The beach areas were crowded as it was a Saturday and that was the reason for the congestion.

We were back at the ship earlier than the estimated time and I went back to the cabin and persuaded Garry to come and look at the port side market. They were doing good business and we bought a couple of silver chains and some souvenirs.

The evening entertainment was limited as it was a late night port. There was a Peruvian Dance troupe in the Curzon lounge and a dance date in Carmens.

We now have 2 sea days before we reach Manta Ecuador.


Whynd1
Senior Second Officer
Senior Second Officer
Posts: 704
Joined: February 2013
Location: Gower, Swansea

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Whynd1 » 13 Feb 2018, 08:17

Thanks DTM

Thought you would like to know that some of us do really read these reports and I may say really enjoy them.
With the weather here it makes light relief.
I should really cheer up as am on the Oriana in a few weeks to the Canaries hopefully for a little sunshine.


anniec
Second Officer
Second Officer
Posts: 334
Joined: December 2014

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by anniec » 13 Feb 2018, 10:30

Hear hear! Every morning I hope there's been an update. They are well-written, funny, informative and hugely enjoyable.

Many thanks, Sue and DTM.

User avatar

Suekersh
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1189
Joined: January 2013
Location: Lancashire

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Suekersh » 13 Feb 2018, 11:36

Whynd1 wrote:
13 Feb 2018, 08:17
Thanks DTM

Thought you would like to know that some of us do really read these reports and I may say really enjoy them.
With the weather here it makes light relief.
I should really cheer up as am on the Oriana in a few weeks to the Canaries hopefully for a little sunshine.
Hi Lindsey,

Enjoy your Oriana cruise to Canaries. We are on the one departing 8 May to the Canaries on Oriana.

User avatar

Meg 50
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1801
Joined: January 2013
Location: sarf London

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Meg 50 » 13 Feb 2018, 13:10

anniec wrote:
13 Feb 2018, 10:30
Hear hear! Every morning I hope there's been an update. They are well-written, funny, informative and hugely enjoyable.

Many thanks, Sue and DTM.
me too! :clap: :clap: :clap:
Meg
x


rita17
Cadet
Cadet
Posts: 100
Joined: January 2013

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by rita17 » 13 Feb 2018, 15:16

Another one here really enjoying your reports Sue. In fact my geography is improving as I have got the World Atlas out to follow you around.

User avatar

Topic author
Dennis The Menace
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1087
Joined: January 2013
Location: Bash Street

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Dennis The Menace » 13 Feb 2018, 19:54

Whynd1 wrote:
13 Feb 2018, 08:17
Thanks DTM

Thought you would like to know that some of us do really read these reports and I may say really enjoy them.
With the weather here it makes light relief.
I should really cheer up as am on the Oriana in a few weeks to the Canaries hopefully for a little sunshine.
Well, you get the gold star Lindsey :D Out of the two forums and two Facebook groups that's following Sue's blogs, you were the only one to spot the missing day :thumbup:

User avatar

Topic author
Dennis The Menace
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1087
Joined: January 2013
Location: Bash Street

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Dennis The Menace » 13 Feb 2018, 19:55

anniec wrote:
13 Feb 2018, 10:30
Hear hear! Every morning I hope there's been an update. They are well-written, funny, informative and hugely enjoyable.

Many thanks, Sue and DTM.
I only do the easy bit Annie, but you're welcome :D

User avatar

Topic author
Dennis The Menace
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1087
Joined: January 2013
Location: Bash Street

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Dennis The Menace » 13 Feb 2018, 19:56

Monday 12 February- 2 nd Sea Day to Manta.

Another very lazy sea day as we creep ever closer to the equator. After my usual exercise class and a breakfast of Eggs Benedict I found my spot in the sun on the aft deck and stayed there. Lots of Dolphins showing off their talents and a shark / tuna (debatable) as well as a distant whale were seen.

At 1 p.m. the laid back aft deck became a frenzy of action as the Pancake race started. The music was so loud which was intentional to wake people up as it was 6 crew versus 6 passengers. It took them a while to persuade anyone to join in and I wasn’t leaving my sun bed to run around tossing pancakes in 30 degrees heat. Thankfully if didn’t last long and peace returned to the aft deck. The passengers won and were each given a much sought after stamp to add to their collection. Apparently stickers are no more and a stamp is now all the ‘rage’.

Garry was feeling well enough for us to eat at the Beach House. It was a lovely meal sat outside watching the sunset. I asked for my seafood to be lightly cooked but the head waiter came over and said that Health regulations wouldn’t allow them to serve it undercooked. I explained I didn’t want it overcooked and we both settled on perfectly cooked. It was, and it was a delicious mixture of lobster, squid, prawns and monkfish and a side salad. Garry had the salmon cooked on a cedar wood plank.

We had missed some of the entertainment and didn’t like the sound of The Totties so decided we would wait to see what other passengers thought, and go to their second show in a few days if the verdict was good.

Tomorrow we are in Manta Ecuador.


Whynd1
Senior Second Officer
Senior Second Officer
Posts: 704
Joined: February 2013
Location: Gower, Swansea

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Whynd1 » 13 Feb 2018, 22:00

I'm chuckling DTM


Whynd1
Senior Second Officer
Senior Second Officer
Posts: 704
Joined: February 2013
Location: Gower, Swansea

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Whynd1 » 13 Feb 2018, 22:03

Pleased that Garry is feeling better Sue.
You will hardly have time to unpack and get settled before you are off again.

Lindsey

User avatar

Topic author
Dennis The Menace
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1087
Joined: January 2013
Location: Bash Street

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Dennis The Menace » 16 Feb 2018, 18:55

Some weekend reading folks 😀:

Tuesday 13 February - Manta Ecuador
It took a while for the Captain to dock the ship as we crept into port avoiding the many fishing vessels.

The main subject of conversation at breakfast was the dreadful act from last night ‘The Totties’. Thank goodness we gave it a miss. There has been so many dreadful Cabaret acts on this cruise but apparently these top the list by a long way. They managed to clear a good percentage of the audience with many leaving within the first few minutes. Where do P & O dig these ‘never even has beens’ up. Stephani Parker the Diva in Carmens the Show Lounge got the thumbs up but she was too loud and in the wrong venue, she should have been in the theatre according to popular opinion.

Shrove Tuesday and not a pancake insight at breakfast. Glancing at the Horizon showed that there was a Pancake Parlour from noon until 2 p.m. - great planning when 3/4 of the ship would be on shore . Surely this should have been organised for 3 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. to coincide with afternoon tea.

This is the Tuna Capital of the world with many canning factories located here. It is called Ecuador as it is located less than 0.5 of a degree south of the equator. To be honest the port area is a bit of a dump and the town itself not much better.

The port had laid on a shuttle bus to a Mall close by which was also opposite the huge beach, on to the local craft market then completed the loop back at the ship.

Our main intention was to get some fast wi-fi to sort Garry’s ipad problem out but despite the wi-fi at the mall working fine for me, it still would not accept Garry’s password. The local shop selling Apple products put him onto a faster signal but still no luck.

We wandered over to the beach area and took our life in our hands crossing the very busy road. It was a public holiday and the beach was packed with locals. We were looking for a particular restaurant which had been recommended on Trip Advisor when we heard Denise shout out Sue! from a local bar which turned out to be the one we were looking for. She had chosen it because the seats looked comfortable.

We ordered a beer for me and coke for Garry who was still not feeling 100% . It had excellent wi-fi and Garry managed to sort his ipad out. I checked out the lunch menu. My intention was to have a tuna steak in the tuna capital of the world. No such luck it wasn’t even mentioned on the menu, other than in croquettes as a starter. Plenty of other fish but no tuna. I settled on a seafood kebab which was delicious. Not as huge as last nights one in the Beach House but fresh and cooked to perfection. I didn’t rate the fried plantain that came with it but the fish kebab on its own was plenty for lunch. Garry ordered the tuna croquettes and I sampled one of those but I was pleased with what I had ordered.

Fed & watered (well beered) we took our life in our hands again and crossed the busy road back to the shuttle bus to go to the craft market. Our men were so busy talking that they hadn’t realised we had got separated crossing the road. Luckily a friendly policeman stopped the traffic to allow us to catch up with them.

The Panama Hat originated in Ecuador in Montecristi and they are still made there today. They got the name Panama because the workmen building the Panama Canal all wore them. The craft market was full of them and our guide had told us how to spot the good ones from the rubbish. I bought one, as did Brian. There were lots of brightly coloured jewellery about and souvenir stalls. It had a nice feel to it with lots of upmarket stalls. We bought some local coffee beans and other souvenirs, but Garry had had enough as it was extremely hot and humid so we made our way back to the shuttle bus and the ship.

We met Denise and Brian for dinner and had our usual table with the best waiters, Christian and Jesse, along with the best wine waiter, Wilson. Enrich, one the food & Beverage officers, came by our table to chat and I told him that the best bit of this ship was the food and ambience at dinner.

The evening entertainment was Kenny Martyn's second show playing his clarinet, a dance date in Carmens but Garry still isn’t well enough for the dance floor, we couldn’t even go to the cinema as they had put a classical concert in there with a piano playing duo.

Tomorrow is a Sea Day before we start transiting the Panama Canal on Thursday.

Wednesday 14 February - Sea Day to Panama Canal.
Valentines Day started very cloudy and breezy but still very warm. We had Room Service Breakfast who also supplied a large Ice bucket for our bottle of Pink Champagne. Garry was feeling much better after a good nights sleep as his cough, although not gone completely, is much improved.

Butler duties can now recommence, starting this morning with the washing. I did a bit of ironing then went onto the aft deck to see if the sun was going to burn off the clouds.
I had a lazy sea day reading.

The Manager Cruise special voucher had arrived which allowed the purchase of duty free alcohol for in cabin drinking. I checked our stocks which were quite healthy and decided not to bother queuing for a bottle of gin, which I will get cheaper in the Caribbean. I am sure I can eek out the 1/2 bottle left until then.

The gym ladies had been to reception to complain about the Dancercise class clashing with the stretch class but I noticed this had still not been moved from its 9:15 slot. Their complaints obviously fell on deaf ears.

The port talk today was on Martinique which, as we have two days to fill here, I should have gone to listen to. I will catch up with it later on the in cabin TV. I prefer to be in the fresh air rather than in the theatre with everyone coughing and spluttering around me. There are no signs that the ships illness is abating as it is passed on to other passengers. I have been very lucky not to succumb so far and I think the vast amount of whisky I have drunk has helped that. In yesterday’s Horizon there was a message reminding everyone to use handkerchiefs or hands to cover their mouths when coughing. It really shouldn’t be necessary to give everyone this advice but the amount of people you see not covering their mouth is frightening.

The afternoon entertainment in Carmens was the Totties. I guess that having contracted them for 2 shows they had to use them some where. I had intended to go to see if they were as bad as people had made out but didn’t. Denise did, and fed back that you couldn’t get into Carmens as everyone stood by the door ready for a quick getaway. After 5 minutes the back had cleared again. To be fair I did speak to a lady at the gym who had enjoyed it, but then spoke to many more who hadn’t.

It was our 11th formal night of the cruise and unusually for a Valentines night on the ship it wasn’t Red & White night, but as most regular cruises had presumed it would be, that was the predominant colour worn. Perhaps we don’t need an entertainment team at all and the passengers could make their own cruise up.

The evening entertainment was Stephani Parker who was in the Curzon performing Whitney Houston numbers. In parts she was excellent but far too American for a predominately British ship. She virtually started preaching and tried to get everyone up standing by coming down from the stage and shaking hands then pulling them up off the seat. She really should have been told by the entertainment team that the Brits are different and, whilst in Las Vegas it goes down a storm, her act tonight went down like a lead balloon. Such a shame because when she toned it down she had a great voice.

Valentines Black Tie Ball was held in Carmens and although we had planned to go for a while Garry just wasn’t up to it.

Tomorrow we transit the Panama Canal.

Thursday 15 February - Panama Canal Transit.
It was an early start as the pilot boarded at 6 a.m. but I did do the early morning exercise class. This is the only gym of the fleet where you do not have a view outside. By the time I returned to the cabin the transit had commenced and we had sailed under the Bridge Of the Americas. Last year on Arcadia we transited East to West , and this year it is West to East. It is 11 years since we first transited the Panama Canal and then it was also West to East.

There was a commentary from the Bridge throughout the transit and the twitchers were out in force on the aft deck. It was a beautiful sunny day with a sea breeze to keep the temperatures bearable. We could see a huge container ship transiting the new part of the Panama Canal which opened in 2015. The original canal opened in August 1914.
The 1 st set of locks were the Miraflores which has two chambers and is near the port of Balboa, where Aurora was raised 54 ft to allow us to sail into the Miraflores man-made lake, followed by the single chamber lock called Pedro Miguel where Aurora was lifted 31 ft, the height of the Gatun Lake. We passed under the Centennial Bridge then onwards through the Galliard Cut to the massive Gatun Lake just in time for lunch.

There was a BBQ on deck which meant that there was no Grab & Go salads. I didn’t want the BBQ - as past experience of the BBQ has been long queues for luke warm food - or the dreaded buffet, so I opted for room service. There is a charge for this, but so worth it as I couldn’t be bothered to get dressed to go down to the dining room for lunch. We opened a bottle of Rose wine and enjoyed the views before going back onto the aft deck for the final part of the transit.

The final stage was the three chamber Gatun lock which lowered Aurora 85 ft to the level of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. The pilot departed Aurora around 5 p.m. when the Captain announced that we were through the Canal with just the usual few bumps and scrapes. I only felt one of them. The cost of the transit for Aurora was $399,000 .

During dinner the sea got very rough just as the Captain had warned it would. Aurora was moving about a lot, juddering and lurching.

The entertainment in the theatre was the resident group Caravan who are excellent and I would have liked to go and listen to them, but the theatre is right at the front of the ship where the ship was moving the most so we gave it a miss.

Tomorrow we are in Cartagena, Columbia which is a new port for us.

User avatar

GillD46
Senior First Officer
Senior First Officer
Posts: 2695
Joined: January 2013
Location: Gower Peninsula, South Wales

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by GillD46 » 16 Feb 2018, 21:02

I hope Garry continues to improve.
Gill


Ranchi
Senior Second Officer
Senior Second Officer
Posts: 489
Joined: September 2014

Re: Sue Kersh on Aurora

Post by Ranchi » 17 Feb 2018, 15:13

West -east / east - west. Gets me confused. Not really but I always found it funny when I was at school that ascyou circumnavigate in a westerly direction, you go easterly through the canal.

Return to “Aurora Cruise Reports”