Sue and Garry's Aurora Cruise January 24

Reports about cruises on Aurora
User avatar

Topic author
Suekersh
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1562
Joined: January 2013
Location: Lancashire

Re: Sue and Garry's Aurora Cruise January 24

Post by Suekersh »

Afternoon everyone.
Here is the latest cruise update from Sue and Garry.

Sunday, 25 February 2024- Tortola- BVI
Another beautiful sunny day.

I still hadn’t decided what to do here. The options were to wait for an independent tender and go to Cane Garden bay which would probably be very busy as there are three ships in port or to book a ships tour

I checked the tours and the one to Virgin Gorda was still available. Garry prefers I go on a ship tour rather than independently and he went down to tours to book it for me whilst I enjoyed the early morning sunshine. I stayed in the sun on the afternoon deck until it was time for the trip.

Our arrival time was forecast for 10:30 am but at 09:15 we were very nearly there. Aurora slowed right down and the beautiful islands could be seen very clearly. It was a stunning sail in.

The tender tickets for the independents to disembark started earlier than advertised and the early tendering ran well.

My trip was meeting in the theatre at noon and there were around 80 of us going to the Virgin Gorda. It was about a 40 minutes fast cruise to the area where we caught the open sided bus to the car park for the path leading down to the baths.
It was quite a long way and very narrow in places with lots of trip hazards.

I wasn’t very impressed with the tour guides as we had been told there would be a leader and a follower. The leader went off at a very fast pace and we never saw the follower. I shouted for the tour guide to slow down as a lot of the passengers were struggling to keep up but we were left to fend for ourselves. Luckily a couple had been here before and kept us on the right path. We saw lizards and lots of different plants and trees. The boulders were all shapes and sizes and the views down to the sea were amazing.

By the time we arrived at sea level everyone was hot and dusty and I just couldn’t wait to get into the crystal clear blue sea but not until I gave the tour guide a piece of my mind. We found her in the shade under an umbrella.

I had taken my snorkel and mask but there weren’t many fish around. The sea was lovely and refreshing.

The next part of the trip was to walk/ crawl through the labyrinth of caves, climb over boulders and navigate through narrow gaps. There were ropes in places to help navigate the ravines and narrow step ladders leading down to the Sandy ground and sea water. It wasn’t easy but lots of willing hands from other passengers to help. Once through the caves it opened out onto a lovely Sandy beach with bars and some retail therapy. The sea here was very rough and I didn’t stay in long preferring the beach and the sun to dry me off.

The walk back to the bus was much shorter and easier than on the way down to the first beach. The return buses were waiting as was the ferry to take us back to Aurora. There was a complimentary rum punch. When we were almost at the dock the heavens opened and it rained very heavy for a few minutes. We were wet anyway so another drenching didn’t make much difference.

It was a fabulous tour but probably not one I will repeat. It was challenging in places and one wrong footing could have ended badly. I do not think there was enough supervision for the number of passengers on the trip.

I didn’t get back to the cabin until 17:05 with dinner at 18:00. I managed to shower and wash my hair and get ready for dinner in record time.

Aurora wasn’t sailing until after 20:30 and after dinner we sat outside with a drink under the full moon.

Next port is St Kitts.

User avatar

Topic author
Suekersh
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1562
Joined: January 2013
Location: Lancashire

Re: Sue and Garry's Aurora Cruise January 24

Post by Suekersh »

Monday, 26 February 2024 - St Kitts.
P & O s largest and newest ship Arvia followed us into port and docked next to and dwarfed Aurora. It really is a monster and doesn’t have any kerb appeal although the inside off the ship will be stunning.

We are going on the St Kitts railway trip and will then stay in the port area to do some shopping.

We disembarked the ship and joined the 100 plus passengers. As usual it was badly organised. Everyone has a numbered ticket how much easier to load like they do the tenders 1 - 20 etc instead of the scrum that ensued.
We were asked to line up 2 x 2 but of course no one seemed to understand that as everyone wanted to be first on.

We were boarded onto mini buses and our driver Shaun was excellent as he gave us a guided tour of St Kitts.
We saw some monkeys playing and apparently S Kitts human population is 42,000 and monkey population over 30,000.
He told us the history of the Island and how St Kitts got its name.

Christopher Columbus named it St. Christopher when he discovered it but it was soon changed to the shortened version St Kitts.

We have been here many times and have seen most of the Island but have never been on the St Kitts train.

It was all going great and Shaun was in touch with the train which was on time until we arrived at the station. Then there was a 10 minute delay, which became 20 minutes and then 30 minutes.
We had been stood in the sun waiting for the train to arrive but after 30 minutes with no shade we retreated to the airconditioned bus.
Lots of conflabs between shore ex and the drivers but little information reaching the passengers.

It ended up with approx 90 minutes delay. Water arrived after about an hour but didn’t reach all the buses. It wasn’t even cold but at least it was something.
When the train arrived the previous passengers were obviously disgruntled as they were expecting to be in port.

We were on the last carriage and had a great view behind us and to the sides. I had read such great things about this trip but it didn’t meet any of my expectation’s. The scenery was very much the same, some great sea views but mainly it was just the same old. I thought it was boring. We had expected so much more.

We had been told by passengers that the cocktails would flow right through the trip but certainly not in carriage 5 they didn’t. We had two services plus a piece of coconut sugar cane. After not having eaten since 7 am it didn’t really fill the gap. And then the train broke down again at the same place as it had on the previous trip.

The dancers were on board and very energetic but not particularly entertaining, just jumping around in local costume.

I was very relieved when we finally arrived at our start point and quickly found our bus. Unfortunately some passengers just decided to get on any bus which then caused a delay to get them off so that the passengers that should be on the bus could get a seat.

We arrived back at the port and needed a beer. The port was very busy as Arvia was in dock. We were certainly jinxed as when we found a bar and ordered they didn’t have any cold beer as they had run out.
It just wasn’t our day. We did eventually manage to get a cold beer but as there was no room at the bar we found a bench and drank it there.

After buying some rum to take home we headed back to the ship.

We had dinner in the Glass House with friends which was excellent and made up for the rubbish day.

We went out on deck and met a couple who had been on the same trip. They thought it was fabulous other than the delays. I asked her what the drinks service was like in their carriage and she said it was non stop. At least 8 drinks services. She said it was a real party atmosphere. It wouldn’t have improved the trip any for me but I may have seen it with rose coloured glasses if the service in our carriage had been better.

The highlight of the train trip was when it was announced over the loud speaker that there were two pigs ‘ getting some action’. Fornicating pigs were the highlight of the train trip!

Antigua next and our final Caribbean port. It’s all down hill from there.

27, February 2024- Antigua
Our final Caribbean Island and a perfect start to the day with calm seas and blue sky.
Aurora was the first ship to dock then gradually more arrived. It was going to be a busy day in port.

My final Snorkelling trip was an early morning start to meet on the dockside before being led to the Catamaran.
Non alcoholic drinks were served as we sailed past Fort James and Runaway beach.

The reef was someway out and it was quite choppy when we arrived. The Catamaran was different to the last time I did this trip. Instead of the sloping stair ladder at the front leading into the water it was a vertical ladder at the aft with narrow wooden steps. To get in with fins on it was easier to sit on the side and jump into the sea.
There was plenty of fish around but the waves were causing difficulties for some. It was choppy and the guide called a halt as the current got stronger. We made our way back to the cat and climbing the vertical ladder holding fins was another challenge. Luckily one of the crew came to our assistance and started grabbing fins as we were climbing up.

Next stop was a beach and for those who wanted to get off but not use the ladder again a small dinghy was used. It had been too rough at the reef to use it.

Rum punch flowed too well on the way back and a big thanks to Dave for being a true gentleman and seeing me back to my cabin.

I didn’t make dinner and slept off the effects of the rum Punch.

We are now on our way back across the Atlantic.

User avatar

Ray B
Senior First Officer
Senior First Officer
Posts: 2295
Joined: January 2013

Re: Sue and Garry's Aurora Cruise January 24

Post by Ray B »

Unlucky for Sue to get the last carriage with no drinks service,she does enjoy a little tipple.
Surprised that the passengers on the trip all needed to be the first on the bus and then getting on any bus for the return.I thought the driver/guide normally do a head count for any stragglers .
Most unusual behaviour from Aurora's passengers which in the past I've found orderly.
Don't worry, be happy


CaroleF
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1859
Joined: January 2013
Location: Hampshire

Re: Sue and Garry's Aurora Cruise January 24

Post by CaroleF »

I'm so sorry Sue didn't have a great experience on the St. Kitts Sugar Train. I've been on it twice. John and I enjoyed the first one so much that a few years later when we returned on a cruise to St. Kitts we went again. Both trips were magical. The thing I most remember from the first trip was being up top where there are open sides and looking at the sea on one side and inland on the other with the train travelling at about 4mph. The drinks service seemed unending. I remember a delicious banana daquiri. Then a group of three women were going from coach to coach singing to the passengers. They told us they were from a local church. They proceeded to entertain us by singing, 'Itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini' It seemed so incongruous but delightful. At the train terminus we got back on our air conditioned coach to return to the ship - some trips start with the train journey first and then return to the ship by coach from the other end of the railway, like we did - others do the coach trip first and board at the other end of the railway which isn't far from the port. When we got back on the coach there was a free video on our seats all about the Sugar Train, its history and the train trip. All in all it was a brilliant trip. What a shame that it wasn't still like that when Sue went.

Carole

User avatar

Topic author
Suekersh
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1562
Joined: January 2013
Location: Lancashire

Re: Sue and Garry's Aurora Cruise January 24

Post by Suekersh »

Good afternoon all. Here is the latest update from Sue and Garry.

Wednesday 28th February 2024 -
1 st sea day to Prai Vittoria

The clocks changed 1 hour overnight and we are now 3 hrs behind UK time.

It was still dark when I went outside and soon after the storm started. It was just a short one but it put plenty of water down.

The sun rose and burnt the storm clouds away. A fabulous sunny day with a nice breeze across the decks to keep it bearable.

Captain Simon Love took over as Captain in Antigua and made his first noon announcement today. It is so good to know he is back on board.

I spent the day in the sun not doing much at all.

It was an early start to the evening as it was our 10 th formal night and the
Peninsular Cocktail Party which started at 17:30.

The drink flowed well and different drinks had been added to the event, bubbles, wine, gin, whisky, Baileys were all being consumed by different passengers on our table. I stuck to the bubbles and I had to keep hold of my glass to stop it being refilled regularly.

Captain Simon got a rousing reception when he walked into the party venue and an even louder one when he announced that he would be Captain for the whole of the Grand Voyage next year. So many loyal passengers us included applauded this announcement.

The Celebration meal was excellent and afterwards we joined friends for drinks. As each day passes and we get nearer to the cold weather the balmy evening drinks parties will stop and we will have to start going to the inside entertainment again.

User avatar

Topic author
Suekersh
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1562
Joined: January 2013
Location: Lancashire

Re: Sue and Garry's Aurora Cruise January 24

Post by Suekersh »

Afternoon all.
Here is a cruise update from Sue and Garry.


Thursday, 29 February 2024- 2 nd Sea day to Praia Vittoria.

It was incredibly windy on the aft deck but plenty of sun to warm it up.
I stayed there until early afternoon reading and chatting to other passengers.

We had booked the ‘Chefs Table’ for dinner which was an extravaganza of food and wines to complement the dinner.

We started in the Uganda room where Ben & Sheldon the food and beverage managers met us and explained the plan for the evening. We were served with a glass of a very special Tattinger champagne and different canapés whilst we chatted to our fellow guests. There were 4 couples and we already knew two of the couples.

We were then escorted to the Wine room at the back of the Glass House where our hosts Captain Simon and Hotel General Manager Richard were waiting to greet us.

The food was very special as were the different wines served with each course. Lorena the chef explained each course and Dennis the wine expert introduced each wine to complement the food.

It was a fabulous evening.

Friday 1st March 2024 - 3rd sea day to Praia Vittoria

Another very windy day and although I ventured outside early morning it was stormy first thing and even as the day progressed and the sun came out it was still too windy to sit out at the aft.

I was feeling slightly under the weather after last nights fabulous meal so was happy doing nothing.


Ranchi
Senior Second Officer
Senior Second Officer
Posts: 815
Joined: September 2014

Re: Sue and Garry's Aurora Cruise January 24

Post by Ranchi »

https://photos.app.goo.gl/QUbEdgPzthRt9hNR7

Found this today. Capt. Love’s father. Enjoy your sail home.

User avatar

allatc
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1420
Joined: March 2015

Re: Sue and Garry's Aurora Cruise January 24

Post by allatc »

Has Aurora sunk ?

User avatar

Mervyn and Trish
Commodore
Commodore
Posts: 15328
Joined: February 2013

Re: Sue and Garry's Aurora Cruise January 24

Post by Mervyn and Trish »

No, Lidl was closed.

User avatar

Ray B
Senior First Officer
Senior First Officer
Posts: 2295
Joined: January 2013

Re: Sue and Garry's Aurora Cruise January 24

Post by Ray B »

allatc wrote: 14 Mar 2024, 12:25
Has Aurora sunk ?
It's half way between Bergan and Alesund @ 19.50 Thu
Don't worry, be happy

User avatar

allatc
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1420
Joined: March 2015

Re: Sue and Garry's Aurora Cruise January 24

Post by allatc »

So from the Caribbean it's gone to Scandinavia en route to Southampton ?

User avatar

Mervyn and Trish
Commodore
Commodore
Posts: 15328
Joined: February 2013

Re: Sue and Garry's Aurora Cruise January 24

Post by Mervyn and Trish »

So long as it's afloat in time for my summer cruise.
Just paid the balance .

User avatar

allatc
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1420
Joined: March 2015

Re: Sue and Garry's Aurora Cruise January 24

Post by allatc »

I think Garry's got locked in the laundry never to be seen again !


Whynd1
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1835
Joined: February 2013
Location: Gower, Swansea

Re: Sue and Garry's Aurora Cruise January 24

Post by Whynd1 »

Hi All

Just to confirm that I have not received any further e mails from Sue and Garry for the Aurora cruise.

Take care everyone.
Lindsey

Return to “Aurora Cruise Reports”