Heading South – Day 2 – 2nd Oct

Today’s Daily Programme can be found here….

We seem to have got a wriggle on since leaving Southampton and according to the Navigation information on the stateroom TV we are just south of the Bay of Bengal. A quick look out beyond the balcony shows that not to be true as we’ve a chilly overcast start to the day. Google Maps tells the truth and places us just turning around the tip of France off the coast by Brest. Everything is a little messed up this morning, my watch is also lying to me as it’s merrily switched to French time, not knowing the ship’s clocks haven’t gone forward yet. So I’m now in trouble for waking Jane at 8 am to get ready for breakfast when it’s not yet 7 am.

We had a bit of excitement last night when the ships Tannoy announced a helicopter action and closed off all outside decks while the incident took place. I hope the poor soul that has had their cruise curtailed is OK.

After a shower I was at a bit of a loss, it was still to early for breakfast and Jane didn’t seem in any rush to shake a leg, so I had the good idea of making a coffee. The PG suite comes with a coffee pod machine, and although I’m not too familiar with this brand, it couldn’t be too hard to rustle up a couple of cups of coffee. How wrong was I. I’d selected the espresso size, and placed my espresso cup underneath only to watch the machine merrily overflow the cup and deposit coffee all over the counter top. I’d managed to clean that up hunted around for the milk. The milk is in little sachets that are impossible to open without squirting it everywhere. Another clean-up job later I was relaxing with a particularly horrible cup of coffee which definitely wasn’t worth all the hassle of making it.

Jane didn’t make breakfast, so it was just me heading up to the PG restaurant where I met up with the two ladies at our table. They were just finishing up when I arrived but we had a little chat while I ordered up some Bircher muesli and a smoked salmon and scrambled egg bagel. I also requested a salmon and cream cheese bagel for Jane as a take-away. When I had finished my breakfast and ready to pick up Jane’s and head back to the stateroom, Rudolfo, our waiter insisted on taking Jane’s breakfast back to the room. Awesome service, even though I could have managed it by myself.

I went to the Winter Garden for the 10:00 quiz, to find a huge gathering of people, it turned out to be a new cruiser induction, and looked very informative. Given the number of queries I’m overhearing at the Concierge desk, I’m sure some of the old hands would benefit with a refresher. This meeting overran so the quiz was relocated to the Golden Lion pub, but being the lazy person I am I just ended back in the Grills Lounge having a cappuccino before heading down for the only insights lecture at 11:00.

Jean Fullerton is today’s only Insights speaker, she’s a historian and is going to talk on Britain’s WWII Civil Defence. The lecture was very well attended for the first sea day of our cruise, probably because the weather was a bit lousy, and Jean was the first to acknowledge this, but I’m sure the attendees were not disappointed as the lecture was excellent.

After the lecture I was in a bit of a rush as I had a Zoom meeting scheduled for 13:00 so we were in for lunch nice and early at 12:00, and what an excellent lunch it was – salt and pepper squid to start followed by a Tuna poke bowl both of which were very, very good.

I can confirm that the premium internet package is absolutely fine for a 90 minute Zoom meeting from stateroom 4098, obviously your experience may differ in other staterooms. Once I’d finished with my meeting we fancied a nice cup of tea, but no cake, so we just went to the Grills Lounge while waiting for the afternoon quiz in the Winter Garden. We actually made it to our first quiz of the cruise, it turned out to be a “progressive trivia quiz”, yep I’d never heard of it either. It turns out that it’s a quiz for sea days where the quizzers hand in their answers at the end and at the end of the cruise there’s a mass of exciting prizes for the winner. It also means you need to pair up with the same people every day…. let’s see how it turns out. Anyway we got 16/20 with the winners getting 17 so not too shabby!

Virgin and Bloody Mary

After that excitement it was off to the Commodore Club for a Bloody/Virgin Mary and some nibbles while watching the sea go by and listening to some excellent guitar with Andrew Scott

This was our first formal night, the Black and White Ball, everyone looked very elegant in their finery. It seemed like there was 100% compliance with the dress code which is always good to see. Dinner was excellent yet again, all meals so far have been beyond just being good, I’ve really enjoyed them all. Tonight I started with the chicken terrine and followed with Chateaubriand. Jane had the Lobster which she loved. It’s an early night for us, we’re losing an hour overnight as the clocks go forward, so us oldies need the extra shut-eye.

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