Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Reports about cruises on Iona
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Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Suekersh »

HI all

Something to cheer us up . Nice cruise report from Sue and Garry.

Friday, 17 December 2021
We left home at 8 am for the long drive down to Southampton. Other than roadworks on the M6 it was was very quiet on the motorway and we have never seen the service stations so empty.

Our destination was the Elizabeth House hotel on the Avenue and our room was ready when we arrived.

We had decided not to eat in the hotel restaurant in the evening to avoid the chance of being in contact with Covid. Instead we purchased a few picnic items from the service station to eat in our room. Not just any picnic but a M & S picnic. We had brought a bottle of wine with us so very civilised and relaxing.

Saturday, 18 December.

Finally, boarding day and after an excellent breakfast in the the hotel where we managed to secure a table away from other guests. Our taxi arrived promptly and because I have never learnt the art of packing lightly I had requested a large booted car. The driver squeezed in our 3 large suitcases , 2 large hold-alls and 3 cabin sized wheel on cases and we set off for the port.

We had an early boarding time of 11:30 am. and was surprised that at 11 am the luggage pods were open and there was already a queue forming for testing. A porter very kindly collected our luggage and took it to the pod for us. We missed this service in September as none of the porters were working then.

The testing queue started moving and it didn’t take long before we were in the luggage hall which had been converted into the testing hall. As the previous cruise was only a 7 night one and the ship had arrived in the dock the previous evening the testing and embarkation was very organised and swift. After testing we were directed to the terminal building to await our test results before checking in. After a short but anxious wait to get our test results the texts arrived within seconds of each other saying we were clear to board.

As we checked in the security desks opened and we were through and on ship within an hour of arriving at the port.

We went straight to the cabin to drop off hand luggage. The cabin is on deck 11 at the very aft of the ship overlooking the wake. It is the same position as our cabin in September but one deck higher. For the cruise after this one we move next door into a superior deluxe balcony as unfortunately that cabin wasn’t available for this cruise and our cabin wasn’t available for the next cruise. A bit of hassle but as we hadn’t intended on getting off in Southampton anyway we will have plenty of time to get organised.

After a quick look round we then went to the Pearl restaurant for the loyalty buffet lunch.

A few glasses of bubbles and wine and the stress of the journey and boarding melted away.
During lunch we booked various restaurants and shows on the my holiday app.
We left the restaurant and headed to the atrium which was beautifully decorated tor the festive period. It is a stunning Atrium even without the decorations but with them it is spectacular.

We noticed the Holiday app pop up desks were very busy and passengers complaining about using it. We actually find it very easy to use and although there are still a few niggles to iron out it mainly works perfectly well. Another comment we heard was the fact that the Epicurean was completely booked out for the festive period before we boarded. We booked what we wanted from home a few days before boarding including Xmas Day and New Year’s Eve. the passengers who wanted to book on board to use their On board credit missed out as it was fully booked for the festive period.

All the cases were outside the cabin and we spent the afternoon unpacking and sorting the cabin out. The sun was full on the balcony and it was surprisingly hot for December. Our cabin steward Nevis came to introduce himself and make notes of our special requests.

Garry visited the Glass House to buy a few bottles of our favourite wine and enquire about the stock levels. Our cabin now looks like a bar with every nook and crevice filled with Gin, tonics, coke and now wine. All my long dresses and midi dresses are hung on magnetic hooks from the ceiling as the wardrobes still aren’t any taller than they were in September!

Robert ‘eye candy’ Camby is the captain and he made an announcement regarding safety, and the expected time of Ionas departure from Southampton. Captain Camby was Captain when we boarded in September but he had to leave early due to his wife going into labour earlier than expected. Paternity leave over he is now back at the Helm.

We had booked dinner in the Epicurean, Iona’s fine dining restaurant. The same staff were on the desk as were on in September and they recognised us immediately and welcomed us back.
The food as usual was excellent and the service very attentive.

We hadn’t booked any entertainment for the evening as after a big meal the last thing we wanted to do was sit in the theatre. Instead we walked around the ship visiting the different venues and somehow we ended up in the liquor shop! They had various deals on mix and match different spirits 4 x1 Litre bottles for £55. We ordered and will collect it at the end of the first cruise. At least we don’t have to find room in the cabin to store it.

Sunday, 20 December,.

Even after the indulgences of yesterday I was up early and went to the gym at 7 a.m. for the first class of the cruise which was a Body Conditioning Class. Only six of us in the class and the instructor Martin guided us through the relatively hard work out. I know I will ache tomorrow.

After breakfast in the Pearl restaurant where we were served by Douglas and his assistant Godfrey who are serving the same tables as in September in our favourite part of the restaurant. It is so great to meet crew who we have known for many years.
On the way out I asked to see the menu for lunchtime and not feeling inspired by it I booked the Olive grove for lunch. I had already booked in the Olive Grove for dinner tonight so a double whammy in there to try our favourite dishes.

We wandered around and called into the Loyalty area to chat with Brooke and her team. The Ligurian/ Baltic lunch is on Tuesday. We have asked for a table for two which is unusual as we are normally seated on a table for 8 but as it was an option we decided it was better to stay safe. The wine does flow like water at these lunches.

We met some passengers in the Crows Nest who had joined the Facebook group for this cruise. It was great to catch up with Dale and Zoe again after missing them in October on Ventura because we transferred to Iona after P & O cancelled our cabin. It was Xmas 2015 on Arcadia in the Caribbean when we last saw them.

After a light lunch in the Olive Grove we did another walk around the ship. The festive decorations everywhere are fabulous. There was plenty going on for everyone with various presentations and sporting activities. We had a lazy afternoon as we entered the Bay of Biscay. Some blue sky but too chilly to make use of the balcony today. The swells in the bay were only 1 - 1 1/2 metres and we couldn’t feel any motion at all.
Captain Camby gave his usual announcement at 6 pm and we will be hitting windier weather tomorrow and parts of the deck will be closed off, but by the time we reach Madeira on Wednesday the wind will have died down and the storms well behind us.

After another excellent dinner in the Olive grove we wandered the ship looking for a table with a view in one of the many bars but it was far too busy so went to Anderson’s and ordered a cocktail. It was very quiet in there and no atmosphere so after one drink we walked to the other end of the ship an up to the Crows Nest. We found a nice table and settled down with another cocktail to listen to the pianist.

Monday, 20 December 2021.

I awoke feeling sore everywhere. The gym class yesterday was to blame and the hundreds of squats he had us performing. I wasn’t going to bother going this morning but decided I better had to stretch out my aching thigh muscles. Once again around 6 of us in the class which today was a stretch class.

It was grey damp morning but gradually the clouds lifted for a short while before closing in again.

Garry had called at reception to check the launderette position out. The majority appear to be in the isolation zones of the ship but as it transpired only the laundries on decks 10 and 11 are out of service.
He also checked how many passengers are on Iona this cruise which reception reported as 3544. This was lower than expected due to cancellations and Covid infections. In September it was just over 3650.

Back at the cabin I had started feel some movement and needed a sea sickness tablet. After it had worked its magic I got a shower and we went into breakfast. By the time we returned Nevis had finished the cabin and stocked the fridge with a half bottle of champagne, a bucket of ice and a plate of lemon slices and vouchers for more champagne tonight as it is Celebration night.

A lazy morning followed with the crossword and sudoku daily challenge. Just before lunch Captain Camby announced that we were making a slight deviation to our route as it was necessary to make a call into Vigo in Northern Spain. This may affect our arrival time in Madeira on Wednesday morning.

Just got a signal sailing into Vigo so will send this now and continue later.
Last edited by david63 on 21 Dec 2021, 09:37, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changed topic title re OP

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Happydays
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Re: Sue and Garry Christmas cruise

Post by Happydays »

Oh how wonderful to read one of Sue's cruise reports until I started reading it I didn't know how much they have been missed ! Keep up the good work hopefully stay safe and enjoy yourselves 😁😘


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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by MaureenB »

I'm so pleased to see Sue's wonderful reviews again!! I shall look forward to reading them over the festive season and beyond as I see she is on a back to back.

Thank you Whynd 1 for ferrying them over to us.

Happy Christmas all

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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by cruisin_duo »

Lindsey thank you for posting Sue’s report.

So nice to read a cruise report - really enjoy Sue’s reports. We had wondered if Sue and Garry were cruising.

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Post by Jan Rosser »

Lovely to read Sue’s report - thank you Lindsey.
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Stephen
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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Stephen »

Enjoyed reading the report. :thumbup:

I might be missing something here but there seems to be a bit of a theme where alcohol is concerned 🥂🍸🥃🤪 :thumbup:

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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Suekersh »

It's so nice to read cruise reports and Sue's are always so interesting.
It's nice to read about Iona.


Merry Christmas everyone.

Lindsey


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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by LadyPCruiser »

Love reading Sue and Garry’s reports - thank you so much for posting them

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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Suekersh »

Another lovely update for all our readers:-

Hi all,
Just arrived in Madeira. A bit cloudy at moment but forecast is for 22 degrees.

Monday continued.

We left the bay of Vigo around 15:30 to continue our journey to Madeira. The sea state was very calm but we had been warned of the storm that we were sailing into.

The first of 3 formal nights of the cruise and we had booked the chefs table of dinner. After breakfast this morning we had looked at the formal dinner menu and was disappointed that there was no Lobster or Beef Wellington on offer. The fish was haddock and the meat was pork.

Captain Camby made his celebration night speech early evening thanking his crew and welcomed everyone on board. He confirmed that the call into Vigo should not affect our arrival time in Madeira but the strong head winds that we were going to experience overnight could cause an issue.

The chefs table is set up in the Beech House area and we had been allocated a table for 2 by a window. It was dark outside but having a table at a window meant we were not in a walkway and were secluded.
The service was excellent and I was so happy to see a completely different menu from the dining room.

An Amuse Bouche of crushed tomatoes with the ships signature gin was served first. We both ordered the prawn starter, then I had the lobster and Garry the opted for the Beef Wellington, followed by the Biscuit glacé and cheese and biscuits with a port.

We had booked to see the Headliners show Festival but I cancelled our seats whilst we were at dinner. We had seen the show on our last cruise and although it is a different troupe we opted to go to see the Spanish/ Welsh comedian Ignacio Lopez in the Club House. He had been on our previous Iona cruise but we had only managed to catch the end of his show. He was very entertaining and his jokes were mainly at his own expense rather than extracting the urine out of the audience.
The resident band Pulse were performing in the Dome we walked through but after seeing the spectacular decorations in there we went to the atrium area for a nightcap.

When we returned to the cabin there was a letter to say that the company protocol was that every passenger had to be tested tomorrow. Our allocated time is 09:30. This test is complimentary.

During the early hours the storm hit and I woke up to the sound of water crashing onto the balcony. The infinity pool was emptying itself onto the aft balconies. Garry rang reception to inform them. They suggested sending an office round to look but as it was 4 am we declined his suggestion. Either it had emptied itself enough to stop the problem or had been emptied by the crew but within 30 minutes the noise and waterfall ceased.

Tuesday, 21st December- final Sea day to Madeira
A very lazy day was planned after the sleepless night. I gave the gym class a miss. We went for breakfast and then to Anderson’s for our test. Very well organised with only a very short queue and the whole process was over in less than 5 minutes.

We had heard names being called out to ring reception but no idea if this was because passengers hadn’t turned up for their test or if their test was positive. We returned to the cabin to relax before the loyalty lunch. About half an hour after the test the cabin phone rang and my first instinct was because it was a positive test. Phew it wasn’t but it was an officer ringing about the swimming pool which ended up on our balcony overnight. He asked if we wanted to move cabin which we assured him we didn’t as we love the position of our cabin. He did assure us that the pool had been emptied and if rough weather was forecast then it would be emptied in future before it caused an issue.
Just before we set off for lunch a lovely bowl of fruit arrived and some huge chocolate covered strawberries.

The loyalty lunch was very busy with over 500 passengers invited to attend.
Captain Camby welcomed everyone at the door as did Brooke our senior loyalty manager.

It was held in the Coral restaurant and as requested we had been allocated a table for two. It was far enough away from the next table to feel safe but close enough to chat to them. The bubbly and wine flowed throughout the meal and the waiters did an excellent job coping with the vast numbers of passengers all sitting down at the same time.

After lunch we returned to the cabin to find the sun was out and there was blue sky.
I slept off lunch and still wasn’t hungry when it was time to get ready for dinner.

We decided to skip dinner totally and had a lazy cabin evening. We were supposed to go and see a comedian in the theatre but I cancelled the booking.

Looking forward to Madeira tomorrow with temps forecast at 22 degrees.

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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by david63 »

Suekersh wrote: 22 Dec 2021, 11:59 We had heard names being called out to ring reception but no idea if this was because passengers hadn’t turned up for their test or if their test was positive.
I would have thought the former - if it was about positive tests I would hope that they would be a bit more discreet.

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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by towny44 »

It would be interesting to know whether passengers testing positive are quarantining on board or being offloaded to a shoreside hotel.
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Stephen
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Post by Stephen »

towny44 wrote: 22 Dec 2021, 13:23 It would be interesting to know whether passengers testing positive are quarantining on board or being offloaded to a shoreside hotel.

That was my first thought when reading the post.

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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Suekersh »

It's very dark and wet here this morning so it's nice to have another update through.

Wednesday, 22 December 2021 - Madeira

I was awake very early and walked around the ship. I only saw one other passenger suffering from insomnia and the rest were the night shift crew cleaning and sanitising everywhere.

Garry made his first trip to the laundry on board. It took some working out as some of the laundries including deck 11 laundry are in the isolation area. Deck 12 was open. I left him to his favourite chore and went to enjoy a solitary breakfast in the main dining room.

We docked early whilst it was still dark and but could see Madeira lit up for the festivities. We got a phone signal as we docked and caught up with e mails and messages. It was sad to read the group messages on Facebook from the passengers that tested positive yesterday and will be taken off in Tenerife. I feel so sorry for the families with young children spending Christmas in a quarantine hotel instead of on the ship.

We caught the shuttle into Madeira and walked through the Christmas market area. There were security guards on checking vaccination status and also antigen tests. As we were off the cruise they knew we were doubly vaccinated and had been tested yesterday so we just needed to show our cruise card to be allowed in. All of the locals had masks on and the majority of Brits but there are always the minority who think it doesn’t apply to them.
From there we walked to the town centre and the supermarket. We didn’t need much a few tonics to replenish the supplies and a bottle of port.
Our next stop was a small coffee shop with lots of outdoor tables where we sat in the sun with a coffee and the local custard tart called Pastel de Nata. Delicious.
We walked back to the Christmas market to sample the local Xmas drink Ginja de chocolate. A tiny chocolate cup filled with liqueur. I tried the cherry brandy one and Garry a chocolate liqueur. The market was no where near as busy as in previous years and I suspect the locals were keeping clear of the port area because of the cruise ship passengers.

Before catching the shuttle back to the ship we walked to the front and called into the Beerhouse to sit in the sun with a cold beer. No sooner had we sat down when the heavens opened and we swiftly changed tables. The shower was heavy but didn’t last long and the sun was even hotter when the clouds cleared.

After lunch in the very quiet main dining room we sat on the balcony in the sun over looking the port area. It was an early back on board time of 3:30 p.m. but we didn’t actually leave until around 4:30 p.m.

Captain Camby announced that due to Covid spreading rapidly around the world protocols and restrictions were being enhanced on the ship. The spa and gym would be closed until further notice and there would less seating in the theatre as social distancing was being brought back in there. We were surprised that it was ever stopped and welcome the changes in there.
He confirmed that there were cases of Covid on the ship but that they amounted to less than 0.5% of passengers aboard.

We ate in the Olive Grove and whilst in there the Cruise Director John Bartram announced that the aerial show in the sky Dome was cancelled for the next two nights but would hopefully be rescheduled. He also announced that not everybody with a booking for the 8:30 show in the theatre would actually get a seat due to the new restrictions. We hadn’t booked anything as had planned to go to the Sky Dome to watch the aerial show called Rise.

Our evening plans scuppered we walked through to the Club House where Pulse were performing but the music was far too loud for my delicate ears so turned around and headed for the crows Nest.

I highly recommend the Coffee and Salted Caramel Martini cocktail.

Tomorrow we are in Tenerife.

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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by david63 »

Whynd1 wrote: 23 Dec 2021, 09:37 He confirmed that there were cases of Covid on the ship but that they amounted to less than 0.5% of passengers aboard.
Even so that amounts to about 17 passengers plus their companions.


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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Whynd1 »

For the moment.
At least it confirms that you will be asked to quarantine in a hotel at the port. How sad for those who were looking forward to a lovely Christmas on board.

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Stephen
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Post by Stephen »

Garry doing laundry. :shock:

That sort of behaviour can start giving us males a bad name :D

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Whynd1 wrote: 23 Dec 2021, 10:06 At least it confirms that you will be asked to quarantine in a hotel at the port.
That, for me, is probably the most worrying part of cruising at the moment and although we all probably think/hope it will not be us it quite easily could be.

One interesting question that I have not seen the answer to - if you are tested positive are you retested before being offloaded in case it is a false positive?

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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Stephen »

david63 wrote: 23 Dec 2021, 10:31
Whynd1 wrote: 23 Dec 2021, 10:06 At least it confirms that you will be asked to quarantine in a hotel at the port.
That, for me, is probably the most worrying part of cruising at the moment and although we all probably think/hope it will not be us it quite easily could be.

One interesting question that I have not seen the answer to - if you are tested positive are you retested before being offloaded in case it is a false positive?
than Norway
That's my concern as well. Although I can think of worse places to be quarantined than Norway.

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Stephen wrote: 23 Dec 2021, 11:01 That's my concern as well. Although I can think of worse places to be quarantined than Norway.
... and far cheaper of course ;)
Keep smiling, it's good for your well being

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Post by Meg 50 »

what's the isolation area for? eg deck 11 near the laundry
Last edited by Meg 50 on 23 Dec 2021, 15:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Meg 50 wrote: 23 Dec 2021, 15:47 what's the isolation area for? eg deck 11 near the laundry
Anyone who tests positive for Covid before they are offloaded

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Post by towny44 »

david63 wrote: 23 Dec 2021, 15:53
Meg 50 wrote: 23 Dec 2021, 15:47 what's the isolation area for? eg deck 11 near the laundry
Anyone who tests positive for Covid before they are offloaded
Except for crew who can stay in quarantine until they test negative.
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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

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Good morning all:
Here's another instalment from Sue and Garry

Thursday, 23 December 2021 - Tenerife

It seemed strange being up early and no gym class to go to.
We weren’t due to dock until 09:30 and it was still pitch black outside.
I showered and not long after my phone started pinging telling me that we were nearing land and I had a signal. It was still only just after 7:30 am. It took a long while for Iona to back into the new dock in Tenerife. Not the prettiest of docks and a ferry was parked directly behind us and as soon as it set off another one replaced it.

This dock meant that no shuttle was required which was a bonus. Mein Schiff 3 was docked opposite in the old dock.

After breakfast in the main dining room which was very quiet again we set off. Okay no need for a shuttle but we must have walked 3,000 steps just to get through the port building, then through where the shops were situated. There was an elevator here to take you to the street level, or steps or a steep walkway which wound round and round. It was fine for us but many passengers struggled with the steep incline. Once at the top it was a short flat walk to the outdoor market area and various bars and cafés. We walked further into town to the large señora de Africa mercado where we stopped for a beer sat in the sun. There didn’t seem as many stalls as we remembered and we didn’t venture downstairs to the fishy tapas area. That had been our plan but with the threat of Covid we decided to stay in the open air. We had another stop on the way back to the ship for a Tinto Verano then picked up a few cabin supplies from the local Spar.

We made it back on board just before the lunch service finished and took a look at the dinner menu. We have been on the ship for 6 days and still haven’t had dinner in the dining room yet or set foot in the buffet. There is so much choice on this ship.

We spent the afternoon on the balcony in the sun with a bottle of Rosé wine.
The ship doesn’t leave until 10 p.m. tonight but we decided against going into town to eat. Feeling very lazy after an afternoon of sun and alcohol we decided to stay put on the balcony and Garry picked up some of the excellent Fish & Chips from the quays. Even with the night sky it was still warm enough to sit out.

The city of Santa Cruz very kindly put on an Excellent light show which we could watch in comfort from our aft balcony.

Captain Camby made an early departure announcement to ensure he didn’t disturb anyone at 10 p.m. when Iona is due to depart from Tenerife. During his announcement he confirmed that Head office had been in touch with Santa and had been assured that he would be calling at Iona tomorrow evening. The Mince pies were ready and the farm on the ship had grown the carrots for the reindeer.

Tomorrow we are in Gran Canaria for Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas everyone.


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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by LadyPCruiser »

Best fish and chips we have ever had!! Must have had them 3 times in September when we were on Iona - thank you sue and Garry for great reports and happy Christmas to you all x

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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Suekersh »

Merry Christmas severyone.
Todays instalment.



Merry Christmas Everyone

Friday, 24 December 2021 -Gran Canaria
Xmas Eve in the sunshine exactly what we cruise at Christmas for.
We docked early and as soon as the sun started to rise I knew our fabulous Captain had ‘parked’ the right way round again and we would have full sun on our balcony once again.

It is an easier port to walk through than yesterday and just outside the restricted area is a shopping mall, which included a supermarket and various bars and restaurants.

We walked on through town and to the beach area. The surf was up so only the brave were in the sea but the beach was packed with locals as well as cruise ship passengers. The bars that were open with outside seating were doing a roaring trade but many who were preparing for the lunch trade were not serving drinks. This meant it was ‘pot luck’ as to which table you sat at as to whether you got served.

We walked further round the bay and stopped for a beer and caught up with messages from home. Sat in the hot sunshine with a beer Covid seemed a million miles away but reading about friends Christmas gatherings cancelled because of it was very concerning.
Everyone appears to adhere to mask wearing here. We had heard that Spain had made it mandatory again to wear masks outside as well as indoors but not sure if that includes the Canary Islands.

We followed the bay round and ended up back in town. Our plan for lunch was a great tapas bar we had found on our last visit here. Unfortunately it was closed and didn’t look like it had been open for quite a while. We came across a little sunny side street with just four tables outside. It was a tiny bar with no tables inside. The waitress brought out the menu on her phone and we ordered 4 dishes and drinks. Everything was delicious and typically Canarian.

On the way back to the ship we called at the supermarket for cabin supplies then spent the rest of the afternoon on the balcony in the sun.

Father Christmas arrived on the ship just before we left the cabin for dinner. Presents of Salcombe gin and T pigs. Thank you P & O.

For the first time this cruise we went into the Main dining room for dinner. We were sat a table by the window in our favourite section with Douglas and Godfrey serving us. We could see the twinkling lights of Gran Canaria as we slowly sailed away from the island.

It was a special five course Christmas Eve menu and everything was delicious. I opted for Goose and Garry the Steak, the Jam shed Shiraz went well with both our choices.

Captain Camby announced that tomorrow although a sea day he would be keeping the ship as close to land as possible between Lanzarotte and Fuertaventura so that we could get a signal to contact relatives back home. Very thoughtful of him.

We had missed Tesni Jones first show as we hadn’t felt safe in the theatre with no Social distancing but decided as this was now back in place we would go to see her second show. We had heard mixed reviews but she certainly has a very big voice. We felt the ballads she sang were better than the loud shouty numbers. The theatre was quiet with lots of empty seats.

Lots going on around the ship with Christmas themed music and quiz’s.

Tomorrow we are at sea and forecast is hot and sunny.

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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Stephen »

🎄 Merry Christmas Sue 🎄

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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Suekersh »

Another festive instalment for us all.


Saturday, 25 December 2021
It was still pitch black outside when we woke up. The ship was swaying with the swell but that died down as got inbetween the two islands of Lanzarotte and Fuertaventura.

We went into breakfast where all of the crew were wearing Santa hats and we were handed a glass of Buck’s Fizz after the temperature check. There was Christmas music playing in the background, a lovely start to the day. Our lovely waiter surprised me with another glass of the fizz. A perfect start to Christmas Day.

We walked the deck along with many other passengers who were wearing their Christmas hats or Jumpers. The sun was out and it would be too hot in an hours time for the hats.

As we had a signal we got in touch with family again to wish them Happy Christmas.

The shops on board were open but we didn’t bother going to look. Other than a few Christmas themed quizzes and various sales talks there wasn’t much going on. The Christmas movie was The Grinch. There was more going on for families including visiting Santa and presents. Thankfully the sun was out and entertainment wasn’t needed.

The sun reached our balcony by 11 am and that is where we stayed. We decided to skip lunch in anticipation for our Xmas dinner tonight in the Epicurean.

Captain Camby made his usual 6 p.m. announcement wishing everyone Merry Christmas and thanking the wonderful crew for all their hard work. I totally agree with him. The crew on this ship are the friendliest I have ever come across.

The meal in the Epicurean was excellent as usual and the service superb. They were very busy but had enough staff there to cope.

We were welcomed with a small glass of pina colada as an amuse bouche.
The wine was included in the price of meal. There were 2 choices the inclusive wine or for an extra £7.95 the premium selection. We opted to upgrade which entitled us to a glass of Tattinger rather than Prosecco and different premium wines with the meal.
A glass of Chablis was served with the starter course, then soup.
The Main course was accompanied by a red wine from the USA called Cannonball, a Cabernet Sauvignon.
As we had up graded we were also entitled to either a port or a sweet desert wine. We both opted for the port which was served with the desert and cheese and biscuits.

We were so ‘Stuffed’ that we asked if the petit fours could be wrapped up to takeaway. We weren’t the only ones asking for this.

We had booked to see the late show in the theatre ‘Deck the Halls’ but as much as we wanted to see the show we would both have been far too uncomfortable in the theatre after such a large meal.

When we returned to the cabin the Horizon showed that the Deck the Halls theatre show was on again tomorrow at 2 pm.

Tomorrow we will be docking in Fuerteventura.

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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Suekersh »

Todays update from Sue and Garry. Would quite like some of the sunshine as it's dark and wet here.

Sunday 26 December - Boxing Day in Fuerteventura.

A sign of the times as we started the morning doing a lateral flow test in the cabin. As we had expected we were both negative but good to have it confirmed.

It was a cloudier morning but still very warm. I went into breakfast whilst Garry used the laundry for underwear and polo shirts, and sent his dress shirt he wore last night to the ships laundry.

We hadn’t anything planned here after deciding to cancel our trip booked to the other side of the island because of the risk of coach travel and Covid.

The Tui ship Marella explorer was in the dock opposite I am not sure how big that ship is but Iona was certainly much larger and more stylish.

We could see a beach not far away and a shopping centre a bit further up a hill. We hadn’t expected much to be open on a Sunday and Boxing Day. We walked around the bay then returned to the ship for an early lunch. The Headlines show that we had missed last night ‘Deck the Halls’ was being performed as a matinee and had been brought forward an hour to 1p.m.

It was a great show and the Headliners are a better troupe than the ones we saw in September. The show itself was typically Christmas songs but what made it really come to life was the lighting and stage backdrops which changed for every song. It was very impressive and exactly right for a Boxing Day afternoon. The theatre wasn’t too busy and plenty of room for Social distancing.

We spent the rest of the afternoon on the balcony overlooking Fuerteventura. It was an early departure time of 4:30 p.m.

Captain Camby did his usual early evening transmission with the forecast for tomorrow in Lanzarote which was mainly hot and sunny but there could be an early morning shower. He also mentioned that as the following day is a sea day to Cadiz he would extend Ionas stay in Lanzarote by an hour.

We had booked in the Olive Grove for dinner which as usual was delicious. Each dish is cooked to order and my Tuna steak was cooked to perfection pink and juicy. It is always consistently busy in there but never feels like they are cramming people in. Plenty of space between tables for social distancing.

After dinner we went to the Club House to see Ignacio Lopez second show. I do find him funny especially his one liners which for me to find a comedian funny is very rare.
The illusionists where in the theatre but didn’t appeal in the slightest.

We had a coffee and port sat on the balcony. One tip for anyone coming on this ship who enjoy spending time at night on the balcony is to take some form of magnetic light. There are no lights on the balconies.

Tomorrow is our final port in the canaries- Lanzarote.

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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Suekersh »

Morning everyone. Further update from Sue and Garry.

Monday 27 December- Lanzarote
It was raining early morning but by the time we were showered and dressed it had stopped but was still overcast. It was however very warm. We watched the Fred Olsen Borealis cruise past into the opposite dock.

We had a lazy morning after breakfast catching up with emails and some paperwork. A letter had been delivered to the cabin regarding a compulsory lateral flow test for everyone over the age of 12, P & O are covering the expense of this which is a bonus as it also covers us for entry into Lisbon on 30 January.
Our test was 2:30 in the afternoon but after speaking to reception we changed it to earlier in the morning.

We caught the shuttle bus to outside the town centre and walked through by the marina to the shopping area. We stopped for a drink in the town area where I made the mistake of ordering a vino Tinto instead of a Tinto Verano. I was served with a glass of cold red wine. It actually wasn’t as bad as I had expected but I won’t make that mistake again. Unusually it was served with a bowl of popcorn.

We continued wandering but taking care not to go into crowded areas. We ended up back by the marina and feeling peckish. Lots of tables were taken with cruise passengers enjoying the view and the sun but we found one that was just being vacated, nicely secluded off the walk way.

I ordered mussels in a tomato and garlic sauce and Garry battered fish fillets. This time I ordered correctly a Tinto Verano. The kitchen had only just opened up and everything was freshly cooked. It was delicious.

There were some market stalls set up where the shuttle bus picked up. A few selling fake handbags and leather wallets but nothing of any real interest.. A few of the store holders were quite persistent but they weren’t doing much business. I do like to help the local economy but although I tried hard and looked at all of the stalls but nothing shouted out ‘buy me’

We caught the shuttle back to the ship and had a lazy afternoon on the balcony where I completed the Portuguese PLF form for our visit there. Once I had done mine doing Garry’s was a doddle.

We ate in the main dining room and once again another excellent meal with our favourite waiters Douglas and Godfrey looking after us.
I have noticed that because there are no longer any wine waiters in the restaurants that no where near the same amount of wine is purchased in the dining room by passengers. The waiters never ask if you would like to order wine but have a wine list if you do. There are no wine lists on the table. Garry ordered a bottle of Sauvignon blanc which arrived swiftly and placed into a wine chiller for us to serve ourselves.

After dinner we returned to the cabin as Garry wanted to watch the football match. The entertainment in the theatre was Neil Lockwood former lead singer from ELO. Somehow we had missed booking it and the 8:30 show was booked out. I could have gone to queue as there are always no shows but decided I couldn’t be bothered. He is on again tomorrow but as we are booked in Sindhu I doubt we will get chance to see him.

The hour goes on overnight in readiness for our arrival in Cadiz on Wednesday. So far this cruise we haven’t had any time changes as both Madeira and the Canaries are in the same time zone as the UK, but we change tonight for Cadiz, then change back overnight on Wednesday for Lisbon, only to change again overnight Thursday for our arrival into Vigo on Friday and then change again before our arrival into Southampton on Monday.

Tuesday, 28 December 2021 - Sea day to Cadiz

Despite the hour change we were awake early. The lateral flow testing started at 7 am and we joined the short queue at 07:10. We were surprised that there was a queue at all at that time if the morning. We were through and all done within 10 minutes.
We had breakfast in the very quiet main dining room and when we returned to the cabin Nevis our cabin steward had just finished cleaning our cabin. Great timing.

The weather is dull and noticeably much colder than yesterday.

We decided to walk around the deck but I managed about half a lap because the wind was so strong. That’s my excuse anyway. Unfortunately my nearest entrance back into the ship was by the quays where a chocolate muffin jumped off the counter and landed on the empty plate I was holding another one followed obviously not wanting to be left on the tray.

We met Christine and Brian in Vistas for a coffee and catch up. We were trying to workout when we last met and it was around 2016 when they came to look at our aft cabin on Arcadia. As they are also on board for the next cruise we will meet up again before we get off.

During the time we were with them there were two announcements over the tanoid asking passengers to contact reception. We can only assume it was to do with the antigen tests. Every time we heard the tanoid go off it was an anxious few seconds even though we are both fit and well and no reason to suspect we would have tested positive.

After a light lunch in the main dining room we returned to the cabin as the sun when it found its way through the clouds was full on the balcony.
Around 3 p.m. we realised the ship had turned virtually full circle and not long afterwards an emergency call went out throughout the ship. Captain Camby announced that a life jacket had been spotted in the sea with a possible sighting of a person. The ship had turned round to investigate. Lots of passengers on the decks with binoculars and the object was spotted vey quickly.

Captain gave an update shortly after Iona recommenced to sailing to Cadiz.
He reported that a deceased person was found but that the body had been in the water and dead for a long time.he thanked all the passengers who had helped to find the object and his crew for a professional and safe rescue attempt.

We ate in Sindhu for the first and last time on this cruise. It is difficult to explain why, but it left us both completely underwhelmed. Having enjoyed Sindhu on the other ships in the fleet tonights meal just didn’t compare.
It wasn’t inedible and we got exactly what we ordered so didn’t complain. The starter I ordered was the crabmeat with a sauce. The waitress told me it was served cold and asked if I wanted to change my order. The only other dish I would have ordered was chicken with a sauce which was also served cold so I kept to my original order.

It was okay - just - but nothing special. Garry felt the same about his cold chicken starter.

I ordered the lobster for my main which was good but certainly not outstanding and the side dishes of vegetables, rice and dhal were not to the same standard as the rest of Sindhu venues we have eaten in.

Garry ordered the beef steak which again was okay but not compared to the beef steak served in Sindhu on the rest of the fleet.
I do wonder if the menu has changed because Atul Kocher is no longer involved.

We both opted for the bread & butter pudding which again was okay but nothing special. Damned with faint praise comes to mind.

Everything is now charged separately and as we booked before we got on the cruise we had an extra 20%discount. Without the discount the meal would have cost more than the Epicurean restaurant where the food is outstanding.

Sindhu is a huge impressive venue and although showed as,sold out on the app not even 10% of the tables were being utilised.
Why they have changed the menu for this ship I do not know but it is the same in the Glass house. We haven’t tried there yet where on the other ships we used it often. The menu just doesn’t appeal.

We had a look in the Club House where comedian Joe Bor was performing. His name summed up the 10 minutes we spent in there but in his defence he was put off his stride by a youngster aged 10. Not sure why he hadn’t expected young children to be in his show on Child friendly ship over the Xmas period. We decamped to Anderson’s for a Gin flight.

Not as many passengers called out today to contact reception after the testing had been completed.

Tomorrow we are in Cadiz.

Hope all are well at home.

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allatc
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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by allatc »

Whynd1 wrote: 23 Dec 2021, 10:06 For the moment.
At least it confirms that you will be asked to quarantine in a hotel at the port. How sad for those who were looking forward to a lovely Christmas on board.

Lindsey
and whilst that is the current practice by the cruise lines I will not be cruising.
Looks like that's 2 more cruises to push forward into 2023


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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Whynd1 »

Me neither. Pushed 2 back to 2023 and have a July Around Britain to decide on before balance is due in March.

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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Manoverboard »

I believe that we would do a round Britain Cruise but deffo not overseas ... and especially not the Caribbean.
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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Suekersh »

Morning all from a wet Swansea.
Another nice update for us .

Wednesday 29 December 2021 - Cadiz
We woke to beautiful clear skies and a view of the historic city of Cadiz. It was very cool outside as the sun hadn’t got round yet onto the balcony.
We saw quite a few coaches taking Iona passengers to see Seville. It will be a long day for them.

We got off after breakfast and I was pleased I had taken a jacket. Because the buildings are so tall and the streets narrow the sun struggled to get through.
The shops all had their Post Christmas sales on and the city was busy.
We found a café in a sunny square and as it had been at least 90 minutes since breakfast we ordered Churros and coffee. It was really hot in the sun and I started taking layers off but as soon as we left the sunny square I had to put them back on again.

We headed for Carrefour which again was busy with people shopping for New Year parties. We bought some cabin supplies then found a table outside at my favourite fish restaurant.

It wasn’t in the sun but we didn’t want sit inside. Normally you have to wait for an outside seat here but there were a few tables to choose from. I practised my Spanish (not very well) but I got there in the end. Unusually our waiter only knew very basic English and had a laugh with him trying his English and me Spanish and somehow getting through using Spanglish.

After lunch we headed back to Iona as we knew that the sun would be full on our aft balcony. It was scorching hot up there. The difference in temperature from the city in the shade to the balcony in the sun must have been at least 12 degrees and probably more.

The pools below us gradually filled up as passengers realised that the aft deck was the place to be in the sun overlooking the city.
We were due to sailaway at 16:30 and once everyone was back on board we left the berth around 17:00 for the fast sailing to Lisbon.

After another excellent dinner in the main dining room we went to the theatre to see the newest show ‘Digital’ it had been designed specially for Iona because of all the modern technology and graphics available only on this ship. It was very up to date with clever lighting and technology. We will certainly see it again if it is on next cruise. I doubt it will ever be shown on the rest of the fleet at least until until Arvia sets sail.

Overnight the clocks go back to UK time for our visit to Lisbon. Our Negative Covid test results and certificate arrived overnight which means we can disembark in Lisbon.


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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by LadyPCruiser »

Hi Manoverboard - just curious as to why you wouldn’t do a Caribbean cruise

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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Suekersh »

Another update this morning. It's been so nice to read these.

Thursday 30 December 2021 - Lisbon

In his daily report Captain Campy had said that today would be the first time that Iona had met her elder sister Aida Nova and it would happen at around 7 a.m. as we passed Aida Nova . We are always up early anyway and I went to one of the upper decks to take some photos. I had expected the decks to be busy with passengers wanting to witness this event but there were very few of us. We had expected Aida Nova to leave but we docked directly in front of it.

We had been warned that the temperature was only around 10 degrees but would warm up later in the day. We had been in two minds about whether to get off here. It is a lovely historic city but it seems that every cruise we do calls at Lisbon. On the summer cruises we usually just get the train to Estoril or Cascais.

I had completed the PLF form a few days previously so after breakfast decided to make a move and go out.

The first thing that we noticed were the long queues in the centre. The locals were queuing up to be tested for Covid. They were all wearing masks but it was disconcerting being in close proximity to so many potential Covid cases. We didn’t know if they were queuing for mandatory testing as a precaution or if they were queuing because they felt unwell. We didn’t stay around long enough to find out.

We had been told that we needed to take off our recent negative test result, Covid pass from the NHS as proof of vaccinations, and the Portuguese locator form. Absolutely nothing was asked for anywhere.

We bought a couple of bottles of the Croft Rosé port which probably won’t make it home with us and some of the local Custard Tarts which will get eaten this afternoon.

By lunch time the sun was heating up nicely and we were very overdressed. We returned to the ship in time for lunch in the MDR.
Then changed into swimwear and spent the afternoon on the balcony. The rosé port goes excellent with tonic for a long summer drink, the custard tarts were delicious as always.

We kept the sun all afternoon and only lost it as the Captain turned the ship round sailed away. We passed the Christ the Redeemer statue and under the impressive April 25th bridge.

We ate again in the Olive Grove which was extremely busy, and the staff were running around as there were some large parties in. It always seems to get busier nearing the end of the cruise.

Nathan James was performing Rock Ballads This was most definitely the best entertainer we have seen on this ship. He had the audience which ranged from the very young to elderly enthralled throughout the performance. Bon Jovi, Tina Turner and Queen along with others. He had a well deserved standing ovation.

Tomorrow we arrive at our final port of call on this cruise, Vigo on New Years Eve. Unfortunately it is an early departure time of 17:30 Spanish Time so unless the Captain is just pulling into the bay we will not see any New Years Eve fireworks tonight. Such a shame as we have 2 sea days before we are due in Southampton.

Happy New Year to everyone when it comes.

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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Manoverboard »

LadyPCruiser wrote: 30 Dec 2021, 20:53 Hi Manoverboard - just curious as to why you wouldn’t do a Caribbean cruise
Glad to but our concerns relate only to Mobietta and I ... but possibly others too

We've had both jabs plus the booster but that does not guarantee that we will not be impacted.

Hospitalisation could potentially mean a flight to the USA, we are not presently insured for this.

We have existing conditions that could complicate matters somewhat

The Americans are warning people away from Cruise Ships due to the risk as they see it

That's it basically
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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by kaymar »

Manoverboard wrote: 31 Dec 2021, 09:38
LadyPCruiser wrote: 30 Dec 2021, 20:53 Hi Manoverboard - just curious as to why you wouldn’t do a Caribbean cruise
Glad to but our concerns relate only to Mobietta and I ... but possibly others too

We've had both jabs plus the booster but that does not guarantee that we will not be impacted.

Hospitalisation could potentially mean a flight to the USA, we are not presently insured for this.

We have existing conditions that could complicate matters somewhat

The Americans are warning people away from Cruise Ships due to the risk as they see it

That's it basically
Couldn't agree more, Moby - the only sensible decision in my view. And USA insurance would now cost almost as much as the cruise, even if you were prepared to risk ending up there. Happy New Year, but stay at home!

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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Manoverboard »

kaymar wrote: 31 Dec 2021, 09:54 Couldn't agree more, Moby - the only sensible decision in my view. And USA insurance would now cost almost as much as the cruise, even if you were prepared to risk ending up there. Happy New Year, but stay at home!
Happy New Year to you too Kaymar, Mobietta has just made a deep ( into the New Year ) trifle :wave:
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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Suekersh »

Morning All
Another nice cruise report for us all to read.

Friday, 31 December 2021 - Vigo

The final day of 2021 and the final port day of this cruise. Vigo is situated in Northern Spain and at this time of year is often cool. However the weather once again was being kind to us and we opened the curtains to clear skies and sunshine.

I did some paperwork in readiness for the next cruise as it is the last day I will have an internet signal until we reach Southampton.
We disembarked and climbed the steep street to the town centre.
The last time we were here it was so noisy as major renovations were going on in the city. These still aren’t finished but thankfully they were taking a break over the festive period so it was more peaceful.

We stopped for a coffee before continuing to the market area and finally to my favourite street where the fish restaurants and oyster shuckers are. Last time we arrived too late to get a table in our fav restaurant but today we had our choice of tables.

The oysters were so fresh and juicy and the large prawns cooked fresh. Both were delicious. The bar owner came with the coffee liquor bottle and wished us Happy New Year. Vigo is such a friendly city.

Back on ship the sun had moved round and although still on the aft deck below it wasn’t on the balcony. It was still hot enough to sit out.

I had booked us into afternoon tea as we weren’t eating until later tonight. This was held in the Aqua restaurant and it was very civilised with a cake stand filled with goodies both savoury and sweet delivered to each couple. It was very quiet with only about 30 passengers partaking

After the afternoon tea I went to the Skydome to see the aerial show Rise which had been cancelled earlier in the cruise. It was heaving with no social distancing going on. I decided to stand and just watched for about 20 minutes. Very colourful costumes . I hope it is on the next cruise along with the other aerial show Triboo.

The Captains announcement warned of storms and bad weather ahead tomorrow and possibly on Sunday as well.

We got ready into our formal wear for NYE and went to the theatre to see the early show at 6:45 a vocal group called The Other Guys.

I don’t usually notice or care what others are wearing but to come into the theatre on New Years Eve formal night in shorts and vest top was just gross. This is a much more casual ship where anything goes and nothing is challenged.

The Other guys got the evening started and although their dance moves were very ‘staged’ and typical Boy Band their voices were amazing and their song choices perfect for the occasion.

We left as soon as they had finished as our reservation for the Epicurean was at 7:45 p.m and sometimes getting a lift is impossible especially as the theatre empties. This was no different so we walked to the middle and got the lifts up there and then walked to the front of the ship again.

We had a table for two and were sat next to but socially distanced from another table for two. We got chatting and realised that they were also called Gary & Sue. It was a great night and once again we had upgraded the included wine package.

The food as usual was exceptional but a bit of a mix up with ours. The steak was to serve 2 people. We asked if it could be cut in half before cooking so that Garry could have his cremated and I could have mine still ‘mooing and juicy’ she said yes no problem but when a different waitress came to take the order she said it wasn’t possible but came back a bit later to say the chef had agreed.

The most amazing desert was served. Wild Strawberry Baked Alaska with hot chocolate sauce. I took a photo of every course but forgot to take one of the best desert ever.

There were 3 main choices of where to see in the New Year.

The sky dome where there was a Diva entertaining until 11:45 when there was the laser and light show and count down to the New Year. We went to look at the Dome but the indoor pool hadn’t been emptied, it stank of chlorine and water was splashing everywhere. The sun loungers hadn’t been moved and it didn’t feel a bit like a party venue.

The Limelight club was theNew Years Eve Karaoke party.

The Club House where Pulse were hosting the New Years Years party but it was heaving and definitely no social distancing, the atrium was not being used at all for the celebrations which was a shame because it was the perfect venue.

We decided to see New Year in with a bottle of champagne in Anderson’s. There was no announcement for the New Year but with quite a few other passengers having the same idea the bar staff stayed open for an extra hour and we all did our own New Year.

We walked back via the Club House to see if there were any seats but it was still as full as at 11 p.m. The UK New Year was an hour later.

We returned to the cabin to see the UK New Year in.

Saturday, 1 January 2022

The captains predictions were correct. The ship was swaying, banging and clattering.

There were the New Year sales on in the shops but they didn’t appear to be very busy when we went down. We had OBC left which is unusual and I spent some in the perfume shop. We can’t carry it forward until the next cruise is it’s a case of use it or lose it.

The weather got worse as the day progressed and after a very light lunch I took a tablet and went bed. The tablets usually start working after about 20 minutes. They didn’t and that is where I spent the rest of the evening. Garry went up to the buffet to eat but ended up with just cheese and biscuits. It won’t do either of us any harm to miss a meal.

The Captains announcement was for Strong winds which may delay our arrival time in Southampton on Monday.

The weather continued to worsen overnight and we kept being awoken by the crashing waves and the motion as well as the ships banging and creaking.

Final sea day tomorrow before Southampton.

Sunday 2 January 2022

We were awake early despite the rough night. We still were not through the Bay of Biscay and I needed another tablet before I could face getting out of bed. It’s a long while since I have been this bad.

I didn’t want breakfast so just had a couple of slices of toast in the buffet.

We discussed our cabin move tomorrow with Nevis. We should have the new cabin key by 9 a.m.

As we hadn’t gone out for dinner last night we still had more On board credit to use. We had tried to book the Epicurean for the final night but it was booked up. Another trip to the shops and some more perfume.

We part packed up the cabin readiness for the move next door tomorrow morning. Because of Covid they don’t help out anymore. It would be worse if we were moving to a different part of the ship as at least we can carry the hung up clothes through on the hangers.

We ate in the dining room but I still wasn’t feeling up to much food. I think it was the swell of the sea rather than the roughness of it.

We went in to see the early show of Nathan James in the Club House another fantastic show this time singing the songs from the Commitments movie sound tracks, but we both thought the theatre was a better venue for him.

We left about 10 minutes before the end to get to the front of the ships and the Headliners show ‘Skys the Limit. Once again the Graphics for this show were just amazing. There was a slight technical hitch partway through but it soon got sorted out. Another brilliant show but it will only be suitable to be shown on the new ships.

It is going to be very strange when on Aurora to see the old style theatre shows without these fantastic graphics and lighting.

The Cruise continues tomorrow when we set off for the Mediterranean and hopefully more sunshine.


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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by MaureenB »

Thank you Sue for sharing this cruise with us. As always you bring it all alive, and for me it makes me long to be on board again after such a long time.
I am looking forward to your next instalment of your back to back and wish you a very Happy New Year and calm seas.

Maureen


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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by LadyPCruiser »

When are you back on Aurora Sue and Garry?

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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by Suekersh »

Hi all, sorry I have t been on to answer your questions.
I don’t know the reason why the Christmas cruise was tested before Madeira and Lisbon other than we were told it was new company protocols which obv didn’t last long as no compulsory testing has been done on the present cruise.

The isolation cabins are used for new crew arriving on board before commencing work, passengers who are unwell or tested positive along with any close contacts. Those with confirmed Covid after a PCR test appear to be off loaded at the next Spanish port. This is not a P & O decision but a port health decision. I suspect money is the reason and a good income for the quarantine hotels. Portugal do not appear to want anyone off loaded there.

LadyP we are next on Aurora on 20 February to the Caribbean.

I hope I have covered your questions.


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Re: Iona Christmas Cruise (Sue & Garry)

Post by LadyPCruiser »

Hi sue and Garry - we are on the Caribbean cruise - look forward to finally meeting you !!

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