Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 28 Apr 2016, 15:04

13 April 2016 - 4th Sea Day to St Maarten

Sunrise was at 06:27 and the sea was calm. A perfect sea day. The clocks went back another hour at 2am this morning so we are now 3 hours behind the UK.

After the gym session I was on the Aft deck for just after 8am and it was already quite busy. By 9am there wasn't a sunbed to be had but lots were not occupied other than with blue towels.
Just after the beds were put out the funnel spewed out a load of soot and although the deck had been washed early morning it needed doing again. The sun shone all morning with the odd cloud to give a welcome break from the hot sun. Most of the pools on the ships run front to back but for whatever reason the aft deck pool on Oriana runs starboard to port. This causes an unusual motion in the pool with the rolling motion of the ship. Swimming one way it seems to take forever to reach the other end then turn round and you are back at the other side in a blink of the eye.

After lunch I gave my bed up as once again I felt I had cooked enough and I wanted to go to the Charleston class followed by Battle of the sexes.

The Ladies beat the men again and are now 50 points in the lead.

It is amazing how many passengers do not do their research about the cruise itinerary. They are whinging about changing the hour every night and whinging about the amount of sea days. I have got fed up of explaining the time difference to people who just won't accept that that as the Caribbean is 4 hours behind GMT then it must be 5 hours behind British Summer time, and the couple that thought that we wouldn't be changing the time at all and that the ship would keep at UK time left me speechless.

On the way to dinner I was asked by the shop assistants if I would take part in their clothes show which will be held on Sunday. They cajoled me into it by the promise of the spa doing my hair and makeup. I have to go tomorrow to choose outfits to wear. It is the sea day after St Maarten so it's going to be extremely hot on deck.

After a later dinner we decided on a relaxing night and gave the dancing a miss.

The entertainment on offer was swing music with Chris Walker and the Oriana Trio in the Pacific Lounge and Will Martin the Young pianist in the Theatre Royal.

Cocktail of the Day Singapore Sling.

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 28 Apr 2016, 15:05

15 April 2016 - 5th Sea Day to St Maarten

The hour went back another hour during the early hours of this morning. Sun rise was 5:55 am and we woke at 6:20 to sunny clear skies.

The early exercise class was very busy but quietened down for the 2nd class of Abs Bums and tums.

I was on deck for just after 8am but the sun had disappeared behind a bank of cloud. Very disappointing as I knew I didn't have much time spare for sunbathing as we had the Ligurian luncheon at noon and before that I needed to visit the shops to choose outfits for the fashion show. The shop assistants Informed me that the fashion show is tomorrow not Sunday as I thought.

The rain started at about 10am and it was more than a shower. I am not sure what time the sun appeared again as I was either sorting out clothes for the fusion show, in the boozy lunch or Royal Lunch as our waiter calls it.

The Ligurian lunch was very entertaining. Hosted by the the purser Michael Labbon who had invited a group of passengers to his table. We will miss him when he retires in June. The wine flowed well during the excellent meal and once again we were the last table to leave the restaurant.

I did manage to get to the Battle of the Sexes which probably amazed me more than the rest of the team as normally I sleep the afternoon away after these boozy lunches. I must have been slacking. The Ladies won again but unfortunately I can't remember by how many. Up date tomorrow.

We ate dinner later and had ordered a very light meal. My eyes were struggling to stay open and felt like matchsticks were required. We had a look in Harlequins for the dancing but it was the Oriana Trio again. We listened for a while but they hadn't got any better so we left.

The Pacific lounge was full as it was the Headliners Abba show and in the theatre was a classical musician.

We decided on another earlyish night.

Cocktail of the day Hurricane. (I hope they are not predicting one)

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 28 Apr 2016, 15:06

15 April 2016 - Final sea Day to St Maarten

Another glorious sunny day at sea before we reach St Maarten tomorrow. The clocks went back yet another hour so we are now on Caribbean time and 5 hours behind the UK. Sun rise was 5:22am and by the time I got on deck just after 8am the temperature was easily into
the late 20s .

The gym was a challenge today and I certainly sweated out the alcohol from yesterday. I only managed a couple of hours in the sun before I needed to get ready for the fashion show. I am still not sure why the shop have organised this as when I went yesterday to choose outfits there was very little to choose from and hardly any normal sizes. I am wearing my own trousers and modelling 2 different tops with accessories. I had found three tops but I gave one up to a lady who was also struggling to find anything. When I agreed to do this I was told it was a formal night and the Spa girls would be doing hair and makeup. This changed to a non formal night and only hair is being done. We had to do our own makeup.

It was a very busy morning on ship with the Oriana Village Fete. It was sweltering hot and those who got wet during the games were probably grateful. Lots of officers around as the Captain had reminded them that their appraisals were due.

The lunchtime BBQ followed the Village fete then the Fashion show. Pedo in the spa had blow dried my hair into a mass of curls. It looked fabulous and he is very talented. There were 6 of us plus Naomi the shop assistant modelling. Mikey the Ents manager escorted us one at a time onto the stage, we did our twirl and walked off, then mad dash back to the changing room to change into the next outfit. It was about 30 degrees on deck but we were only out there for about 4 minutes at a time but poor Mikey was in the sun the the full 30 minutes. It was good fun and after a couple of glasses of fizz the disorganisation did not seem to be important.

I managed to get to the last half hour of the Charleston Class followed by the Battle of the sexes. Unfortunately it was the men's turn to win and they are now in front by 20 points.

It was a glorious warm Caribbean night. We had a bottle of Rose wine on the deck before dinner then instead of going to see the entertainment went back out on the aft deck for a drink. There were so many stars out and so warm. It was lovely to just relax after such a busy day.

The entertainment on offer was a Classical Pianist Simon Callaghan in the Pacific Lounge and Glen Macnamara singing swing from the Big Band era.

Tomorrow we reach St Maarten, the first of our Caribbean ports and I have a snorkel trip booked.

Cocktail of the day Brodie's Bombay Cooler

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 28 Apr 2016, 15:06

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Re: Sue Kersh, 52 nights in heaven/onboard Oriana
I hope that Sue wasn't too busy having fun in St. Maarten to send her daily report for 16 April but here's the latest missive received.

17 April 2016 - Sea Day to Jamaica

My day started as usual with a 7am gym class. Apparently I missed some excitement yesterday. The Gym opens at 7am but is kept unlocked so by 7am there are quite a lot of pax already in there waiting for the instructors. A passenger with a cabin under the gym has complained continuously about the noise from the gym from early morning to late at night. The passenger brought an Officer up and he berated everyone in the gym at 6:55 for getting there too early and that they must all wait outside until the gym instructor opened up the doors. What difference 5 minutes is going to make remains to be seen. The gym on other ships doesn't open until 8am.

Another glorious day but very hot and humid. The occasional cloud blocking the sun was very welcome as was the sea breeze.

In the afternoon it was the Crew Tug of War competition. There were 6 teams from different departments but the likely winners were the huge muscle bound engineers team. The Captain and purser tried to help the other teams by sabotage but the Engineers were determined to keep their 100% record. A fun afternoon in the sun and the Crabbes ginger beer a perfect drink for a hot afternoon in the sun.

Something went wrong in the galley during dinner and it took forever. We missed the show Fogwell Flax but not too worried as we have seen him before. We went to the formal night ball and it was great to have a real dance band playing strict tempo music.

Tomorrow we are in Jamaica and the clock goes back another hour.

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 28 Apr 2016, 15:07

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Re: Sue Kersh, 52 nights in heaven/onboard Oriana
18 April 2016 - Jamaica - Ocho Rios

A hot and humid day in Ocho Rios. The original itinerary had us tendering here but instead the Captain managed to secure us a prime berth unlike the Carnival ship which was docked by the Cement factory.

It was very cloudy at 7am but by the time we were docked the sun had come out. It was in and out all day but the rain although forecast stayed away.

We walked through the port area to the Island Village close by and the shopping area called Margaretville . This a boardwalk shopping area and beach bars. We found a bar with free WiFi and caught up with emails and family messages whilst sampling the local Red Stripe beer. We made our way through the shopping area, I bought a brightly coloured beach dress then made our way to the beach where the sun beds are free of charge as long as you purchase a drink. The sea was clear and a swimming area roped off. There was a friendly Ray swimming with me who had unfortunately lost it's tail.

The Sailaway at 5:30 pm was very aptly to Reggae music and was well supported by passengers. The beauty of Oriana is the tiered aft of the ship where passengers on each deck higher than deck 8 have a wrap around deck overlooking the wake and the sailaway parties. The cocktail for the sailaway was Caribbean Cruise.

After dinner we skipped the headliners show Reel to Reel to have a drink outside under the stars. It was almost a full moon

We danced in Harlequins to our favourite band the Paul James trio. The dance instructors were hosting in their own fashion and although slightly improved as the cruise moves on, they are still not the life and soul of Harlequins. P & O should really check out their abilities as hosts as well as their dancing and teaching abilities especially for a long cruise. Luckily there is enough other entertainment on the ship that we don't spend all of our evenings in there. The dancing finished at 11 pm to make way for the Disco.

The Oriana Orchestra were playing The Music of Glen Miller in the Pacific Lounge , the Oriana Trio were in the Crows Nest and Shades Duo in Lords Tavern.

Cocktail of the Day Strawberry Daiquiri.

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 28 Apr 2016, 15:07

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Re: Sue Kersh, 52 nights in heaven/onboard Oriana
19 April 2016 - Sea Day to Progreso - Mexico

There were many passengers queuing outside the gym for the mornings fitness classes. I am sure there was much more noise as everyone was chatting to the passengers queuing for the Alfresco cafe to open.

It was Olga's classes today and though she puts us through our paces it was not as torturous as David's classes.

A very hot sea day with a lovely sea breeze to make it bearable. The pool water had been changed overnight and it was extremely refreshing first thing. I only managed to last on deck until 12:30 as it was so hot and humid. Even the breeze was a hot one.

The Handbag Blow Out event was on but after sharpening my elbows in readiness there wasn't anything which jumped out saying buy me buy me, much to Garry's relief.

I stayed in the air conditioned ship and coloured my hair before going to the Battle of the Sexes quiz. We won today by 5 points but the men are still leading by 15 points. Whilst the Battle of the Sexes was on Fogwell Flax was performing in the Pacific Lounge doing musical impressions.

The evening entertainment was the Beatles 2nd show in the Theatre or a mind reader in the Pacific lounge.

The Beatles were fantastic especially as some of their cases and equipment did not arrive on the flight. They have now found out that it is in London.

Cocktail of the day Bahama Mama.

Tomorrow we are in the Mexican Port of Progreso which is on the Yucatan Peninsular.

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 28 Apr 2016, 15:08

20 April 2016 - Progreso, Mexico

The port is some 6 kilometres from the town along a concrete pier which was built specifically for the cruise ship market. Shuttle buses run every 30 minutes although I suspect they had put extra ones on. A Carnival ship was also in port docked alongside us.

Sam, the tour advisor had informed everyone in her port talk that the main reason for calling here was to visit the archaeological sites. As we had visited Mexican ruins previously we decided on a beach and shopping day. The journey on the air conditioned shuttle was fine but it went downhill after that. A saleswoman boarded the shuttle at the drop off point and prevented anyone getting off until she had done her 10 minute spiel about trips for sale. Once off we were accosted by stall holders all trying to sell the same touristy rubbish. Not just a few but lined up all the way to the beach. Then came the bar staff wanting to sell you a drink or a sunbed , followed by the massage girls selling their wares. We fought our way onto the beach, refused to pay 30 US dollars for one sun bed and sat on towels along with another couple. The beach is huge and must be at least a mile long, soft sand which shelves gently into the sea. Such a shame it isn't looked after and was full of rubbish. I went in the sea which was not clear or very pleasant but at least it was cooling.

Most of the bars were just shacks which were grotty and rundown. We found a half decent looking restaurant /bar and bought a couple of local beers. I used their facilities to change as there were none on the beach. These were basic but at least there was soap, a trickle of water and hand towels. I had hand gel with me. The beer was good as was the free wifi so we stayed for another and I had a Margarita cocktail. It was huge and as it was the Speciality of the house it was excellent. The waiter brought us a lunch menu but even though this was the best we had seen, we would not have been happy to eat there.

There was a large police presence and we didn't see any trouble although the girls selling massages were very verbal with each other trying to get business.

We fought our way back through the traders to the bus pickup point and queued along with other pax from both ships who obviously felt the same way about Progreso. By this time it was hot and sticky and although the bus station was in the shade there was no air conditioning. We got there as a coach full of pax arrived, but were dismayed when it drove off again without picking anyone up. A few minutes later a smaller old bus arrived with only open windows for air con. We were lucky to get on it as only one couple behind us in the queue made the cut and it would have been a 30 minute wait for the next one.

If we are unfortunate enough to visit here again we would stay by the Port. There isn't much there but there is a market selling better quality tat than the tat in town and a large duty free shop. This was much better with good quality local goods as well as silver jewellery for sale. Garry bought me a tanzanite necklet and matching ear rings to go with the bracelet he bought me at Christmas. At least that made up for the disappointment of the town.

We were back on ship for 13:30 and I spent the afternoon in the sun on the aft deck sleeping off the beer and the Margarita.

When we returned to our cabin there was a letter from reception giving us priority immigration inspection in New Orleans. This means that we can go to immigration at any time that suits rather than being sat in a lounge waiting to be called. We have booked an early morning trip to see the Highlights of New Orleans and to enable us to get through immigration quicker anyway but this is another way that P & O are recognising and rewarding their loyal passengers.

We ate dinner under the stars again at the Beach House. Another wonderful meal with attentive service. We had a fantastic view of a stunning sunset.

Tomorrow is a sea day then we have 2 full days in New Orleans which coincides with the annual Jazz festival.

Cocktail of the day Margarita.

21.3412° N, 89.6728° W

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 28 Apr 2016, 15:08

21 April 2016 - Sea Day to New Orleans

There was no early morning exercise classes so I was on deck before 7am. The sun was hot already and this was the best part of the day before the decks got busy and the temperature uncomfortably hot.

There was a lot planned around the ship. As it is the Queens Birthday a lunch time BBQ and Birthday Party was held at the Riviera pool, lots of flag waving and Patriotic songs. The Queen is also Godmother to Oriana. Pimms appeared to be the drink of the day.

Battle of the Sexes clashed with the choir who were singing for the Queens birthday party. Our numbers were depleted but so were the men's. Fran our captain was absent and I stood in as Captain. We won easily today and are now back in front by 20 points.

It was the Formal Night and Black and White Ball in Harlequins and the Headliners performed Night of a Thousand Stars in the theatre.

After dinner we decided to skip all the entertainment, got changed out of our formal wear and sat on deck as we made our way through the Delta and up the Mississippi. We had passed numerous oil rigs all lit up and they stood out for miles as the night sky darkened. There wasn't much to see once in the river but we could hear the sounds of the river and the wildlife. It was still very hot.

Tomorrow we will be in New Orleans and it is the Jazz festival.

Cocktail of the Day. Martini Royale

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 28 Apr 2016, 15:09

22 April 2016 - New Orleans.

We docked very early morning right outside the Riverwalk mall and immigration started immediately the ship was cleared. Passengers who were not on a trip could disembark from as early as 6:30am and around 50 pax did so. Not sure what they were going to do at that time as New Orleans is not an early riser with little sign of life before 10am. Once immigrated no one can get back on the ship until everyone has been immigrated.

Our trip departed at 08:30 and at 8am we were immigrated and on the coach for 8:15am. We had a very comical driver called Joey. He is in the wrong business as he got more laughs than many professional comedians. Our tour guide was German and kept forgetting she was guiding a group of Brits and reverted to her native tongue. She laughed and apologised. A very interesting tour where we witnessed the rich areas completely rebuilt since Katrina and also the poor areas where the devastation of 11 years ago is still apparent. We drove past the Jazz festival site which was being held at the Horse racing stadium. NOLA is very proud of their huge cemeteries. The one we visited is a mile long and at least 500 metres wide. Tombs are all built above ground and some are huge but all are large. One was built like a castle with a chapel inside as well. Whole families are entombed together but because of the heat the corpses are soon reduced to bones. I felt we spent too long there and not enough at the beautiful city park. This is an Oasis in the middle of this busy city. We stopped for a comfort break of around 15 minutes but an hour there would have been too short a time. Huge water features, trees and many birds.

We stopped by the huge inland Waterway called Lake Pontchartrain for a photo shoot. The bridge which crosses it is 24 miles in length. The tour guide did not know the overall size of the lake. An excellent trip which dropped us back at the Riverside shopping mall for some more retail therapy and free wifi which was very slow until we managed to get on the GAP stores wifi.

By the time we returned to the ship I only managed an hour in the sun and a swim before it was time to get ready for our early evening trip to a Jazz bar with dinner.

There were 3 coach loads of passengers booked on the Dinner and jazz trip at the Palm Court Cafe. Approx 130 passengers. We were crammed into this little restaurant and as we were the last coach to arrive the prime tables had gone. We had a side view of the band and the Jazz was fantastic. Probably the best we have ever heard. Chris Walker was on the trip and he was invited to join the band for part of a set. The band played 3 sets during the night of 45 minutes per set. The only slight criticism would be that when the band were having a break there was no music at all. I think if they had played CDs of Jazz during the break it would have created a better atmosphere and they probably would have sold some as well.
Sam the port presenter had stressed that the evening was about the Jazz and not the food so we were pleasantly surprised. It's all about managing expectations. If we had been promised gourmet food we would have been disappointed. We started with a bowl of gumbo which is a Creole soup full of prawns, chicken meat, peppers and chilli. It was really very tasty. Next followed a plate of salad with a balsamic dressing, the main course was a choice of Beef Burgundy or Shrimp Creole. I chose the shrimp which were actually very large prawns in a spicy Cajun sauce. The most delicious Pecan Pie followed. We knew they had overbooked the venue when they apologised because we had to wait for coffee as they had run out of cups.

The venue was quite dilapidated and during the evening one of the ladies loos overflowed but nothing could spoil the fabulous evening of real New Orleans Jazz and authentic Creole food.

The evening was over far too soon and although we had the option of staying in town the restaurant was in quite a seedy area and as no one else was staying we boarded the coach back to the ship. We drove back through the French quarter which was buzzing.

Lots of pax chose not to go out at night and P & O had brought on a local jazz band called Loose Change Band.

We have another day in New Orleans tomorrow to look forward to..

Cocktail of the day Berried Treasure

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 28 Apr 2016, 15:10

23 April 2016 - 2nd day in New Orleans

After a late night last night I was still awake early and went to the early gym sessions. I had missed two days as the first there was no class and yesterday we had an early trip and immigration.

We left the ship at 9am and headed for the street car. Another very hot day so walking long distances was out of the question. We each bought a jazzy pass for 3 dollars which gave us unlimited use of both street cars and buses. We went to the last stop on the Blue line which was the French Market. Hundreds of stalls selling much the same merchandise with an odd stall selling interesting authentic products. I bought a mask for the Mardi Gras Party being held in the Pacific Lounge later in the evening.

After wandering through the streets of the French Quarter we got back on the tram to Canal street where we changed lines to the Green line and went out of the city to the City Park area we saw yesterday. It was much busier today as the Jazz festival is in full flow and all of the trams were standing room only.

We headed back the same way we came and stopped at McDs for a comfort break but we're very cheeky as we decided not to queue to buy anything. We found a supermarket but once again the queue was off putting and as we were only buying a few bottles of Coke it was not worth wasting our precious time so we hopped back on the tram to the River front. We certainly got value for money from our jazzy pass and it saved rooting around for change as the drivers don't give any. Garry could have travelled for 45 cents per journey as he is over 65 but my fare would have been 1.25 cents a journey. Certainly a great way to see NOLA and when we visit again even more routes will be available as they are digging up the streets and laying new tracks.

We had a late lunch at a cafe/bar on the river front and were pleasantly surprised when a Jazz band set up to play. I tried shrimp and grits for the first and last time. The huge prawns and different pieces of meat in a sauce were delicious but the grits were gross. I still don't actually know what grits are. It looked like Mash potato but tasted like Devils food. The Corona beer washed it down.

Exhausted we made our way back to the ship stopping off for the free wifi outside the Gap outlet shop.

After a quick shower and change of clothes I set up at the Riviera pool for more Jazz as Chris Walker entertained us as we sailed away from NOLA and down the Mississippi .

We got caught out for dinner last night. Our plan was to go down after the early rush, to get a bleeper to eat around 7:30 so that we could sit on the aft deck with a pre dinner drink and watch our progress down the Mississippi, but when we arrived at 6:30 the restaurant was very quiet and we were seated immediately. We skipped coffee in the restaurant and had it sat outside with a liquor. It was a stunning sunset and hundreds of stars.

There was more Jazz in the theatre with Georgina Jackson but we opted for the Mardis Gras Party night in the Pacific Lounge. A very busy night in there which was surprising after the busy two days.

A fantastic 2 full days in New Orleans and would have liked another one but thankful for a restful sea day tomorrow.

The clocks go forward an hour overnight putting us 5 hours behind the UK.

Cocktail of the day Singapore Sling.

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 28 Apr 2016, 15:10

24 April 2016 - Sea Day to Key West

The hour went forward at 2am so when the alarm went off at 06:30 it felt like 05:30 and I could easily have rolled over and ignored it but I made an effort and got to the gym for 7am.

It took a while for the sun to reach the aft deck but by 10:30am it was hot with a gentle to moderate breeze. I spent a few hours in the sun reading then swimming to cool off. My butler organised lunch and I had a very relaxing day after the exhausting 2 days in New Orleans. I had intended going to the Charleston dance class at 2pm but with losing an hour the afternoon sped by. I did mange to tear myself away from the sun in time for the Battle of the Sexes where the men caught up again and it is now all even. We have run of sea days so it will be a few days before another one is held.

We had pre dinner drinks in the late evening sun before eating in the main dining room. We skipped the trumpeter in the theatre and the headliners performing Queen again in the Pacific Lounge. There is a new Oriana trio on board and we headed to Harlequins to test them out. They were much better than the last trio on board and after a few nights off dancing we enjoyed the evening.

Cocktail of the day Blue Lagoon

Tomorrow we are docking in Key West.

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 28 Apr 2016, 15:11

25 April 2016 - Key West

I was still in the gym as we docked into the Naval Base at Key West. The Disney Magic was docked behind us and the Regatta was in the town dock but left just after noon. We thought that Key West would be heaving but it was okay.

I breakfasted in the main dining room as it was Eggs Benedict as the special of the day. I finally caught up with David and Esther who I hadn't seen since the first sea day.

The trolley Train took us into Mallory Square and it was a flat walk along Duval street to the attractions of this town. Key West used to be called Cayo Hueso or Island of Bones. Apparently when the Spanish Conquistadors first landed they found human bones scattered along the water front. The island is closer to Havana than Miami, it is only 4 miles long and 2 miles wide and is the Southernmost city in the United States.

Our trolley driver told us that the thing to do in Key West is eat, drink and fish. There were many bars and restaurants to choose from. We visited the oldest house in Key West which was furnished and had a lovely shady garden area. Last time we were here we say the min traction so like Hemings house and President Trumans Winter retreat the Little White House.

We shopped for unusual souvenirs but the heat was exhausting and liquid refreshment was required.

We found a bar and settled down with drinks and WiFi for a rest. The beer went down well and we caught up with e mails. We continued back the way we came but on the other side of the street and more shopping including the elusive lime cordial and another dress for me.

Eventually the heat got to us and we joined the queue for the Trolley train back to the ship and a refreshing swim.

The dance Sailaway Party to upbeat music in the hot afternoon sun was well attended and the passengers on the American Disney ship must have thought that the British were lunatics prancing around in the heat with music that deafened the sound of the film on their big screen.

The evening was so lovely that once again we skipped the entertainment to sit outside with a bottle of wine followed by coffee and liquors.

Daniel Boys from any dream will do fame was in the theatre and I would liked to see him so hopefully we will make his second show.

There was a Soul and Motown Disco in the Pacific lounge late in the evening but after a tiring day and Fort Lauderdale tomorrow I gave it a miss in favour of my bed.

Cocktail of the day Strawberry Daiquiri.

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 28 Apr 2016, 15:12

Port Everglades for Fort Lauderdale.

Once again we were docking during the early morning gym session. A huge and very built up port with nothing much to look at in the port area. 15 cruise ships can be docked here at any one time but luckily today there were only two, Oriana and the Holland America ship Maasdam.

A 30 minute shuttle bus ride took us to the Galleria Mall and cost £5 each way for saver fare passengers and free for us as Select fare pax not bad value for a 30 minute coach journey.

We were not interested in the mall so asked directions to the water taxi station and were directed to a local hotel where the ticket office was situated just outside the entrance foyer and we walked through the hotel to the embarkation point. The cost was 26 US for me and 21 US for Garry as he is over 65. This lasts a full day and you can hop on and off as you wish. There was a guide on board explaining what we were seeing and the cost of many of the multi million pound houses and boats. He knew who lived there and how much they paid for their house and boat. One house on a huge waterfront plot had only a couple of walls standing the rest had been demolished. Apparently as long as the whole house isn't demolished it can be classed as a remodel instead of a new build saving mega bucks in tax. Fort Lauderdale didn't even exist 100 years ago but is known as the Gold Coast and the Venice of the USA because of the huge waterways.

We changed to a different route and headed for the Hollywood beach area. On the way we passed the Oriana and realised we didn't need to go all the way back to the Mall to catch the shuttle but could get off the water taxi 5 minutes walk from the Oriana.
We got off at the Hollywood beach area and spent some time on the long wide sandy beach. The Atlantic Ocean was quite calm and many people were swimming. The coast guards were out in their huts but there were no flags flying. Red means no swimming and according to the guide purple meant T & T which stands for teeth and tentacles. The shark migration was 3 weeks ago but the jelly fish had been causing some problems.

It was certainly a great way to see Fort Lauderdale and although the sun was hot the breeze on the waterways kept the temperature comfortable. The boat to Hollywood beach had a bar selling cold drinks but the one we caught to return had no facilities at all. The water taxis seemed plentiful and there was always one waiting to change routes.

There was free wi Fi in the port area when we returned to the ship so managed to catch up with e mails etc. The reports from people who just went to the mall were not great and this part of America is certainly not a cheap place to shop especially as the dollar is so low.

There was plenty of entrainment on offer with Georgina Jackson in the theatre, a classical guitarist in the Pacific, a game show in the Lords Tavern and dancing in Harlequins.

We had a late dinner then a quiet night outside as the weather was too good on deck to be inside. We sailed down the coast and could see the bright lights of the Miami coast line. We will have plenty of time to catch up on the entertainment as we lose the good weather but we will make the most of the warm evenings whilst we can.

Tomorrow we dock in Port Canaveral .

Cocktail of the day Miami Vice on Ice.

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by GillD46 » 28 Apr 2016, 17:51

New Orleans was the highlight of our very first cruise 20 years ago. We found it a fascinating place, though they were extremely poor at catering for vegetarians! The park is wonderful I agree. We must go back.....
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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Gill W » 28 Apr 2016, 20:28

I enjoyed reading about the New Orleans Jazz night, as we did exactly the same excursion in February, and thought it was a great night out.

I couldn't eat the gumbo, as it tasted of salt, which I keep to a minimum, but I like to the Burgundy beef, and the pecan pie was amazing.

Will look forward to reading about Port Canaveral and Charleston.
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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 07 May 2016, 15:46

More updates folks, sorry for the delay :

27 April 2016 - Port Canaveral

There were lots of trips departing early in the morning so the gym sessions were very quiet. Only three of us for the Abs bums and tums class.
We visited the Kennedy Space Centre last time we were here so opted for a visit to Cocoa Village. What a gem this is. Such a quaint little village situated on the Indian River with individual shops and a beautiful park and riverfront walk. There was a fountain which wasn't turned on and I was stood in the middle of it when I heard a gurgling sound. I got off it quickly but nothing happened until 2 minutes later when it caught another couple out and they were drenched. It must have been on a timer.
The local school were doing a display and we saw the older children dancing around the maypole to the English Country Garden.

We wandered around the small town taking photos and chatting to local people. They all wanted to know what we thought about their presidential election. We had a beer, then continued in a different direction. Around every corner there was something else unusual to look at. I found a gorgeous ladies clothes shop. Very glamorous clothes and I could have spent a fortune. Garry made a comment that he was glad he had left his credit card on the ship but the owner overheard him and said that was no problem as we could ring the ship from her phone and they would give him his credit details and she would input them on her machine. He made a quick exit I don't think I have seen him move so fast.
We ate the most enormous home made ice creams I have ever seen so that was lunch taken care of. The local pub was called the Village Idiot and there was a British pub as well but that wasn't open when we passed it, but talking to others later they said it was dreadful with no atmosphere, whereas the Village Idiot was packed. A local offered to use our camera to take a photo of us in front of the sign. It was very kind of her but she got us in but not the sign.

The shuttle back to the ship was very busy but when we got to the mall very few got off and the queue to get on was enormous. I am so pleased we made the decision to visit Cocoa Village instead of the mall. We could have done both and got off the shuttle but we have seen enough American malls for this cruise. The dollar rate is so low that buying anything you can get in the UK is not worth while.

I had time for a couple of hours in the sun before getting ready for dinner. There was a sailaway party and the aft deck bar stayed open later than usual as there were many pax around. A lovely time of day to enjoy a drink as the sun is losing the intense heat. We stayed on deck until the coastline disappeared. The Kennedy Space Station was very visible in the distance with its huge buildings.

After dinner we went to the Tropical party which was being held on the aft deck with the Pacific lounge as an alternative venue in case of inclement weather. No problems with the weather at all. A perfect night for a Tropical party, very lively with pax making the most of the warm evening. My favourite cocktail of the day Long Beach Ice tea.

Tomorrow we have a morning at sea before we reach Charleston at noon for our overnight stay.

26°C Mostly Sunny
117 Harrison St, Cocoa, FL, United States

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 07 May 2016, 15:48

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Re: Sue Kersh, 52 nights in heaven/onboard Oriana
28 April - 1st day in Charleston

A cloudy but warm start to the day. After the usual torture session in the gym I had a couple hours on the deck before we docked just before noon. It was quite a scenic sail into the narrow harbour as we passed Fort Sumter where the first shots of the civil war were fired on 12 April 1861. There was a Sail In Party with live music and American flags were distributed.

Everything in Charleston is in walking distance from the ship. There is a huge indoor French market but we wanted to save doing that until tomorrow as the forecast is for rain showers tomorrow.

We continued walking until we found where we could buy tickets for the carriage ride. The cost of this tour on ship was £42 each but we paid 25 US dollars each.

Our horse was called Don and with Al, the guides American accent I thought he said Dawn. Much laughter at my expense especially when Don feeling hurt at my comment decided to show just how male he actually was. He was a very big boy.

Al was extremely informative and very proud of Charleston and its history. The tour lasted an hour and Al kept up the info and banter all the way round. Don is a huge Belgian farm horse and didn't need any steering as he knew exactly where he was going and at 19 and ½ hands cars certainly gave him the right of way.

After the carriage tour we bade Don and Al farewell and Don performed for us again showing his male prowess. Many photographs were taken and much laughter. Don appeared to enjoy every minute of it. The horses were well looked after and never in the sun unless working. The stables at the rear kept the four horses cool, fed and watered in between the carriage rides which left hourly and lasted an hour. Don would have 3 hours off for every hour he worked.

We had a wander round the shops and called into a bar to sample the local beer before heading back to the ship to prepare for the evening.

We had decided to eat an early dinner on ship then go and have a look at the nightlife Charleston had to offer. There were lots of restaurants and bars and all were busy. We decided on one where we had seen some officers as they would know the best places. The local beer was darker than lager and delicious but after one I decided to try a cocktail. It was called Holy Spicy Senorita and was a margarita with a difference. The difference was it was made with the bars own Jalpeno infused pineapple Tequila. Boy it nearly blew my head off. Absolutely delicious but I couldn't have managed another. Lots of life in this typical American bar which specialised in BBQ food as well as cocktails with a difference. The owner has 8 different bars and restaurants in town all serving different food and with different themes.

Plenty going on back at the ship for those who didn't venture out for the night. A local group had been invited on to play and sing Sounds of Charleston. The reviews have been excellent especially the two gospel singers.

Daniel Boys was in the Theatre for his second show.

Cocktail of the day Blue Lagoon.

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 07 May 2016, 15:50

29 April - 2nd day in Charleston

The thunderstorms and showers that were forecast did not materialise and it was a beautiful sunny morning with clear blue skies.

I had to have a couple of paracetamol and a gallon of water this morning after a night out on the town. I still made the 7am gym session and felt better afterwards and ready for another busy day sightseeing and shopping in Charleston.

The French market is huge as is everything in America. Most stalls are very different but there were lots of stalls were ladies where sat weaving baskets and other items made out of the Seagrass. I bought another sundress and had to jiggle around to try it on as there was no fitting room.

We found the main supermarket on the outskirts of town which was huge and had a fantastic wine selection at really good prices. We stocked up on Rose wine for the cabin and also Schweppes tonic which as I was down to my last one was very fortunate. I can't stand the Britvic tonic they sell on the ship. Free wifi at the supermarket and the crew informed us that it stays open 24 hours.

It was beer time and we had walked far enough so headed for Queology where I had the lethal cocktail last night. We didn't fancy BBQ food so I just opted for the local beer which sustained me until I was back on ship.

I had a couple of hours on deck in the hot sun and a refreshing swim before the Sailaway Party from our last American Port. When I first visited the USA 5 years ago I wasn't at all impressed and immigration was a nightmare. I decided that I wasn't bothered if I never set foot in the USA again. Our visit to LA 2 years ago didn't change my mind but this cruise has been amazing. The officials have been nothing but pleasant and the locals really friendly. We will definitely do this cruise again in the future at this time of year.

A pod of Dolphins visited later in the afternoon and gave us a free display as they played in harbour.

We didn't leave port until 18:30 due to some work being required. The Captain apparently announced this at 11am when the majority of pax were already off the ship. It didn't make any difference to us as we had walked enough by the time we got back on board. The Sailaway party was still held at 16:30 but seemed a bit pointless.

It was a picturesque sail out and the Captain had to reverse a long way out before he could turn the ship then navigate a reef on both sides.

Entertainment was Maxine Mazumder as Dusty Springfield, a game show in the Pacific lounge and dancing in Harlequins to the Paul James Band.

Cocktail of the Day Bahama Mama

Tomorrow is a restful sea day before we reach Bermuda where we have another overnight stay.

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 07 May 2016, 15:52

Saturday 30 April - Sea day to Bermuda

The morning was cloudy and the temperature had certainly dropped since leaving Charleston. By 11am the sun was on the aft deck and I spent a relaxing day reading in the sun. The breeze kept the temperature comfortable to spend more time in the sun.

It was a formal night and another Marco menu which meant my favourite port marinated Stilton was on the cheese board.

We went to the theatre to see the Spinettes a trio of young girls singing 1940s and 50s songs. Very good and I will go to their second show.

In the Pacific lounge the entertainment manager Mikey talked to the headliners cast about life onboard and what happens backstage. I thought this very odd evening entertainment as this usually is shown during a sea day afternoon.

We went to the formal ball in Harlequins where the Paul James band was playing.

Cocktail of the day Kir Royale.

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 07 May 2016, 15:52

Sea day and Bermuda

Cloudy start to the day again and after the gym session it was too cold to sit out. I had expected higher temperatures in Bermuda in May .As we are sailing Easterly it takes the sun a while to rise enough to reach the aft decks. In the Caribbean the air is do hot it doesn't matter if the sun is behind cloud it is still hot but as we have travelled North it is only the sun that it is hot and there is a very cool breeze. By 11am we were in full sun and it was hot.

At 1 pm we first sighted Bermuda in the distance and 2 hours later we were docked and ready to go ashore. We had booked a ships tour on a boat to see the island from the water. Fabulous houses worth millions. Michael Douglas and Katherine Zeta Jones live here as Michaels mother was from Bermuda. There are very strict rules about buying property and living here unless you are born on the island or have a parent born on the island. We were given lots of information by our tour guide as we sailed through the narrow inlets. As it was a Sunday we saw many youngsters partying on their boats. It certainly appeared to be a good life here as long as you have the money to sustain it.

We had an early dinner on the ship and then went back out to wander around the dock yard to get our bearings ready for the following day. There were a number of pubs and restaurants around but it wasn't as lively as we expected. The dockyard is pretty much out on a limb and the ferry and bus services stop very early in the evening. We met friends had a drink and sorted plans for tomorrow then returned to the ship.

There was a full entertainment schedule for those passengers not wanting to go out for the night ashore.

Cocktail of the day Brodies Bombay Cooler.

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 07 May 2016, 15:54

Bermuda

We were up early and off ship to start exploring the dockyard having given up on our plans to visit Hamilton.

The monstrosity Anthem of the seas had docked behind the Oriana dwarfing it as it is 3 times the size. It is on a 5 day cruise with only 1 port in the 5 days which just had to be Bermuda whilst we were there.

We were off before it disgorged it's 5000 mostly extra extra sized American passengers. Poor Bermuda must have wondered what had hit it.

We collected a map from the information office and started exploring. The clock tower was a shopping mall and we started our tour there before walking past many renovated buildings to snorkel beach where we could see the ramparts of the city. As I was snorkeling in the afternoon the beach held little interest so we headed for the National Museum which is where we could walk around the ramparts with stunning views until we reached where the monstrosity was docked. There was a cannon facing it, and it fleetingly passed my mind that it probably wouldn't do much damage to a ship that size. The entrance fee was only 8 US for seniors and 10 US for adults and there is so much to see. There are Dolphins there which have access to the sea but rarely venture out preferring the life of luxury and safety in their huge pools. There was no set timed display but the Dolphins played and performed at will. We could have easily spent the day there. We purchased a ginger beer which included a wifi password and the quickest wifi we have had all cruise.

We reluctantly left the park as I wanted to visit the craft market before we headed back to the ship for a quick snack then set off once again for the snorkel trip.

The trip was one of the best I have done. We set off by sail but there was not enough wind so changed to motor. I was outside on the front of the catamaran with fabulous views as we sailed for about 45 minutes to the perfect spot for everyone. It was quite shallow so non swimmers could stand and see the fish and for the competent swimmers there was a deeper reef about 200 meters away. The water was very calm and totally clear but not as warm as the Caribbean Sea. It took my breath away as I got in but my body soon adjusted to it. The fish were abundant and very colourful. The sea cucumbers were huge and looked like big black rocks there were far more corals than in the Caribbean where it has mostly been destroyed by hurricanes and people. It was a perfect end to our short overnight call in Bermuda. The rum swizzle was served after the activities were concluded and it flowed well and continuously all the way back. I was pacing myself as we had a special meal booked and I wanted to enjoy it. Many pax were not as cautious and there was a lot of laughter and frivolity on the return sailing.

By the time we returned to the ship we were due to sail but as we have been at sea for so long we had to do another muster drill before we could leave port. They were waiting for us to get back as we were the last trip to return.

After muster was the Great British Sailaway party which was very well attended. It was held on the aft deck 8 but the upper decks were all full of passengers waving their flags, and singing along. The American ship passengers joined in by waving us farewell. They will have Bermuda to themselves tomorrow.

We ate dinner in Sindhu and it was a little busier than last time we visited. Still no where near the amount of pax eating in there as when it was the Ocean grill but at least more atmosphere this time. The food was excellent and the service impeccable as usual.

We finished the night in Harlequins dancing to the Oriana Trio but I was completely exhausted after a mega energetic busy day.

Cocktail of the day Hurricane

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 07 May 2016, 15:55

1 st sea day to Ponta Delgada

We have four sea days now so I got back into my usual early morning gym routine after missing it yesterday.

The sun was on the aft deck but it was exceptionally windy. I moved beds a few times before finally settling down and although the wind didn't appear to lessen much it was still hot and quite comfortable once led down. I went in the pool which was an exhilarating experience as the waves were crashing from one end to the next. Great fun and the water was warm.

These sea days go so quickly that I missed all the afternoon activities and the Charleston dance ending will remain a mystery to me unless Donna teaches it again on future cruise, I have no idea on how we are doing in the Battle of the sexes.

Unfortunately our stalker in the form of Manuel Martinez has found us yet again. He was in the theatre so we opted for a relaxing night in the Crows nest listening to the Paul James Band and The Shades duo.

Cocktail of the day Pina Colada.

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 07 May 2016, 15:57

2nd sea day to Ponta Delgada

Another glorious sunny day at sea. The wind had dropped slightly and the temperatures higher than yesterday. The pool had also quietened down considerably although it was still like swimming in a wave machine.

By the time the gym session had finished the sun was well on the aft deck and we secured our spot for the day. Each day we think this may be the last we see of the sun for a while.

There are lots of reports of sightings of whales as this is the season for them around the Azores. I often hear the shouts but never seem to be quick enough or patient enough to spot them.

The clocks were put forward an hour at noon which made the day pass even quicker and we are now only 3 hours behind the UK.

It was a friends birthday today so we celebrated with her and other friends firstly by the pool and then at dinner where she had the cake and singing waiters. A very enjoyable dinner and the show afterwards was the Spinettes second performance. A great evening which we finished off in Harlequins. We went to the Lords Tavern where the great British Pub night and Beer festival was in full swing. Not a seat to be had anywhere.

Unlike Arcadia the entertainment on this ship never stops from 10 am in the morning until the early hours. The entertainment team led by Mikey all work really hard including Mikey who can always be seen around the ship as well as his deputy Graham. We thought the entertainment team on Arcadia at Christmas were very poor and the reports we have been getting from the world cruise show that it has not improved at all. We thought it was down to P & O cut backs but the team on Oriana have proved this not to be the case and that it is down to the entertainment manager leading his team and getting the best out of them.

Cocktail of the Day Singapore Sling

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 07 May 2016, 16:14

3rd and 4 th sea day to Ponta Delgada

Thursday 5 th May

A glorious hot sunny morning with hardly a whisper of wind. Hotter again than yesterday and the sea was very calm.

Another hour went forward at noon putting us 2 hours behind UK time.
I just spent the day in the sun with regular dips in the pool to cool off and being waited on by my butler who could only tolerate the heat for 10 minutes at a time. Once again I missed the Battle of the sexes but there will be time to catch up once the weather changes as we near home.

We met a couple who will be on the Arcadia World cruise next year and we had arranged to dine together to discuss the trip and some of the countries we will be visiting. We had a very enjoyable evening and it is good to know someone else who will be on board for the full cruise. We will keep in touch once back from this cruise to exchange research into the various ports of call and the dreaded Chinese Visa.

The headliners performed Destination Dance in the theatre and Manuel Martinez was in the Pacific Lounge.

Cocktail of the day Bahama Mama.

Friday 6 May

Brrrr the weather has changed considerably today. The sea is still fairly calm but the cloud has descended and the wind has a chill to it. Forever hopeful after the early morning gym session I set up outside in fleece and trousers as did many other passengers and waited for the sun to make an appearance.

The sun did break through the cloud and it turned into a lovely afternoon by the pool again.

We list another hour at noon so now just 1 hour behind the UK.

It was the Peninsular Cocktail Party in the Crows Nest for us where the champagne was plentiful.

Cocktail if the Day Blue Lagoon.

Tomorrow we are in Ponta Delgada in the Azores.

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Gill W » 07 May 2016, 18:44

You were lucky to have two days in Charleston - our call was due to be two, but 'due to a third party error' was curtailed to one day. It's such a lovely city - I think you need two days to do it justice.

Also a good idea to have a sail in party. We arrived mid morning, but they didn't think of a sail in party.

We didn't have Bermuda on our cruise. From your report, it sounds like a place I'd like to visit, so I'll bear that in mind if we ever do a similar itinerary. It would break up the sea days a bit, as we had 6 days to the Azores, which is a long time, even though I like sea days. A good place for the Great British Sailaway too - we had ours in Key West, which seemed too early in the cruise

We also had Manuel Martinez on the Atlantic crossing coming back
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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Quizzical Bob » 08 May 2016, 00:09

Gill W wrote:You were lucky to have two days in Charleston - our call was due to be two, but 'due to a third party error' was curtailed to one day. It's such a lovely city - I think you need two days to do it justice.

Also a good idea to have a sail in party. We arrived mid morning, but they didn't think of a sail in party.

We didn't have Bermuda on our cruise. From your report, it sounds like a place I'd like to visit, so I'll bear that in mind if we ever do a similar itinerary. It would break up the sea days a bit, as we had 6 days to the Azores, which is a long time, even though I like sea days. A good place for the Great British Sailaway too - we had ours in Key West, which seemed too early in the cruise

We also had Manuel Martinez on the Atlantic crossing coming back
You were lucky to get even one day in Charleston. Our overnight stay there last November was cancelled due to an unforeseen feeble excuse. Yet another reason why P&O have lost our custom.

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 10 May 2016, 18:28

Ponta Delgada

A fairly rough night crossing the Atlantic and the forecast is worse to come as we near the UK. I gave the gym a miss today due to the motion of the Ocean and took a tablet and stayed in bed until 8 am.

We docked for 9 am and headed straight to the supermarket as I needed to top up the tonic supply for the last of the gin.

We heard that the whale watching trip was cancelled due to rough seas and wind.

Plenty of free wifi in the shopping mall and we managed to get everything updated and contacted home before the mall became too busy and the signal slowed down.

We wandered the narrow streets and finely found the farmers market where we were hoping to find strung garlic. Plenty of strung onions and bags of garlic but stringing garlic must be a Spanish craft not a Portuguese one.

The weather improved and the sun came out but it remained very breezy. The final Sailaway party was on the aft deck in the sunshine but coats were required.

The crew show in aid of Mc Millan was on in the Pacific and another excellent show with some different performances from young cabin stewards as well as senior officers. We will find out tomorrow how much has been raised during the cruise for this worthwhile charity.

Micky Zany was in the Theatre but as we had seen him on a previous cruise decided to give this a miss as the ship was rocking and rolling and the theatre is at the very front of the ship.

Cocktail of the day Strawberry Daiquiri.

We now have 3 sea days back to Southampton and forecast is strong wind and rough seas for tomorrow.

15°C Partly Cloudy
Avenida Infante Dom Henrique, Ponta Delgada, Ilha de São Miguel, Portugal

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 10 May 2016, 18:30

1st and 2 nd Sea Day to Southampton

Sunday 8 May

It had been an extremely rough night with anything not fastened down flying off shelves in the cabin. We woke a number of times as the motion worsened through the early hours of the morning.

I managed to get to breakfast so that the cabin steward could make up the room. It was very unsteady around the ship with everyone doing funny walks zig zagging around the passageways.

I started sorting clothes for packing and finished one suitcase before the motion got to me and I had to get horizontal.

The noon announcement did not give any relief as the forecast was for this to continue until tomorrow afternoon. Overnight it had been gale force 11 which had dropped to gale force 10.

No Battle of the Sexes today due to the football matches being shown in the Lords Tavern.

Chocoholics Buffet for afternoon tea in the conservatory which we did not attend.

We had arranged to meet a friend in the Beach House for dinner. Another great meal with excellent company. We chatted for so long that we missed the shows but they will both be on again.

The wind had dropped to force 8 and was more comfortable to walk around but still very tiring trying to stay upright. The Captains announcement was that it would lessen overnight and he referred to the motion as being like a ping pong ball in a Jacuzzi. Vey appropriate.

The After Dinner speaker was Celebrity John Lyons in the Pacific Lounge and Half of the Opera Boys in the theatre. When we have seen these previously there were 4 of them but now they have shrunk to 2 members.

Cocktail of the day Berried Treasure.

Monday 9 May

It had been another fairly rough night but not as bad as Saturday night. I woke in time for the gym but only managed the first class before the motion got to me. Although the wind has died down considerably the ship is still rolling around. We did another hours packing before lunch leaving the the remainder until tomorrow.

The hour went forward at noon and we are now on UK time. After lunch the sun was out on the Aft deck and it was very hot. This has got to be a bonus sunny day and hopefully tomorrow will be the same.
I stayed in the sun for as long as possible before getting ready for our last formal night of the cruise.

Micky Zany was in the Theatre and it was the passenger talent show in the Pacific Lounge.

We sat outside enjoying the evening sun and we saw a pod of whales in the distance. There have been lots of sightings of whales and dolphins this cruise but I was surprised to see them so far up the coast of Spain.

Cocktail of the day Martini Royale.


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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Whynd1 » 11 May 2016, 13:17

Have really enjoyed reading your reports Sue. Seems like you had a fantastic time.

Lindsey

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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Suekersh » 12 May 2016, 14:50

Hi everyone,
We arrived home yesterday afternoon after a quick disembarkation. A truly fabulous cruise with no complaints at all.

To save Dennis's arms this is my final report from the cruise. We are back on Oriana in August for 12 nights but as we have been to all the ports of call previously I will not be sending daily updates. I will however keep you informed if there is any juicy gossip of anything exciting happens.

Many thanks to Dennis for taking time to post my updates.

Final day of the Cruise.

A bright sunny morning but when I went outside after the early morning gym session it was still quite cool. The sun beds were out ready for any pax wanting to brave the temperature.

The fog descended before lunch time and the Captain enjoyed playing his horn as we were in the midst of lots of shipping.

After lunch I went to the Battle of the sexes Final. The ladies were in the lead by 40 points and won by 20 points in the end. A well fought battle.

We finished the cruise in the Pacific Lounge with the the very talented Opera Boys. There was a headliners show in the theatre and a dance night in Harlequins.

We finished the packing and put 7 pieces of baggage out for the porters. The next time we see them will be in the luggage collection hall tomorrow. We have kept 2 hand luggage cases with us and the booze bag which now has our duty free in. No way could we self disembark and carry all of our own luggage off ship. I was amazed that over 150 passengers did so.

Disembarkation Wednesday 11 May.

We were up early and in breakfast for 06:30. Disembarkation was painless and we were in a taxi and on the way to pick our up by 8:45. There were no customs officers in sight and lots of taxis waiting at the Ocean Terminal. The first 3 taxis in the rank were not large enough to carry our 10 pieces of luggage and we moved down the line until we came to a taxi van.

We hit some traffic on the outskirts of Southampton but we were still home for around 13:30.

A really great cruise and I wish we could turn round and do it all over again.

Now it is time to start the diet.

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barney
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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by barney » 12 May 2016, 15:23

Nice one Sue

Very much enjoyed reading your review & cheers to DTM as well and hope he's well.


Quizzical Bob
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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Quizzical Bob » 12 May 2016, 16:04

Welcome back Sue. I saw Oriana yesterday when I went to visit our painters in Woolston. She looked rather nice.

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Gill W
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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Gill W » 12 May 2016, 19:28

Welcome home

Thanks for your reports, they were a great read.

Also thanks to DTM
Gill

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Belle53
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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Belle53 » 12 May 2016, 20:28

Really enjoyed reading your reports, thank you for taking the time to write them, it's sounds like you had a great time on the lovely Oriana.

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JillD66
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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by JillD66 » 13 May 2016, 15:10

Thanks for the reports Sue (& Dennis!) We were supposed to be going on this one too but had to cancel in early February due to ill health.

Sounded wonderful but hopefully we'll be able to book something similar once all the investigations are done and dusted and we've saved up for the extra medical insurance required now!

Hope you enjoy your August Oriana cruise - its such a lovely friendly ship!

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Suekersh
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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Suekersh » 13 May 2016, 16:33

JillD66 wrote:Thanks for the reports Sue (& Dennis!) We were supposed to be going on this one too but had to cancel in early February due to ill health.

Sounded wonderful but hopefully we'll be able to book something similar once all the investigations are done and dusted and we've saved up for the extra medical insurance required now!

Hope you enjoy your August Oriana cruise - its such a lovely friendly ship!
Sorry you had to cancel Gill. They are doing a similar itinerary in October this year but not one in 2017 at the same time of year as this year. We did similar American ports in 2010 at Xmas time and the weather was very cold. The weather in April was perfect. We are hoping they repeat this cruise in 2018 on Oriana.

Sue

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Dennis The Menace
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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by Dennis The Menace » 14 May 2016, 09:27

Welcome home Sue, and no problems at all re the posting of your reports - always enjoy them as you know, I was just a bit slow posting them on occasion :)

Looking forward to your next one :)


AileenB
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Re: Sue Kersh - 50 nights in heaven (onboard Oriana)

Post by AileenB » 16 May 2016, 09:45

Hi Sue! It was lovely to meet you on this cruise. Well done on your reports!! We loved this trip.... especially New Orleans. First time for us on Oriana and hope very much that we can sail on her again.

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