Thursday, 12 January 2012

Webster Family Cruise

Webster family Cruise 2012!

Just about to leave Southampton
Well, about time I put "pen to paper"! Left Southampton on Thursday 5th January 2012. A bit of a rush around after Xmas- tree came down promptly, along with the decorations! Farewell to children and partners, arrangements made to visit little family out in Socal, with discounted flights!(Ian booked me to visit on my own in March, so confused about what to be excited about! Future cruise or visit to Lily!
Grandma managed to pack and be ready on time. Taxi to port of Southampton to make it easier and then once settled in our respective cabins, we were ready to set sail. Grandma landed a really spacious cabin directly above all the restaurants, which would prove to make life a lot easier for her. Ours wasn't so good, but at least it had bath.

Our seventh day at sea now, and we're all salty sea dogs. Grandma's finding her way around the ship, The Balmoral, really well. We're finding a routine of visiting the gym every morning for two hours, burning off excess calories, meeting up with Florence for lunch, then doing different things in the afternoon. I go to Pilates class every afternoon, then sometimes we meet up for a quiz, or, now it's warm and sunny, we lounge around on deck.

Arriving at Tenerife 
A brief stopover for a few hours in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where we went to a local bar, called Nuevo Porron, near to the old church of La Conception, and saw some interesting local food called Almogrote, mature cheese covered on honey and spices and promised to return one day!
Rubbish and waste off-loaded and provisions loaded and then we were off on the seven-day journey across the Atlantic to the Dutch island of St Maarten in the Caribbean. The trade winds have been kind and gentle and the crossing smooth, but it's early days. So smooth that we can hold strenuous positions in Pilates without falling over. The first night was quite uncomfortable coming out of the Channel, but it's been good since then.
Florence has been to most of the talks, whilst we've been at the gym. And she's been to all the shows. We make sure she's well ensconced and then disappear off to bed or bar. We don't do shows, especially these shows- they're far too old for us. The average age is about 73! Much older than on our previous cruise and much more infirm!
Approaching Tenerife
But the people who join us for dinner on our table are excellent. A couple from Bavaria, Herbert is lean and active, goes to gym and Pilates every day and hates wearing anything but a fleece, and another couple, Cynthia and Gordon who are sailors and great travellers, who went back-packing a couple of years ago, in Thailand! Not forgetting our other guest, Gordon, who is Scottish, and lives near Javea in Spain, and is an avid bridge player. Great company and evening meals with them are very entertaining and enjoyable, but I think we've landed lucky!
Tonight for the first time, we sat up on deck in reasonably warm evening, and watched the moon rise up from the horizon in the East. It was magnificent. Cruising at 17knots, with the moon lighting up the stern, whilst everyone was busy eating if they were second-sitting, or watching the show, if they were first sitting, and weren't like us. Just a few of us out on deck. And most of them smokers!! But what a moonlit evening. Ian reliving his transatlantic passage five years ago in much more uncomfortable conditions and on a much smaller boat!!!

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