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What is it with me, I seem to have an ultra-sensitivity or perhaps I am just a bit eccentric but once I get an idea in my head, Well…..the Bed.  So, the bed has one of those really soft squidgy mattress toppers, which to me makes it feel like you are sleeping in a sleeping bag rather than a bed, so that’s annoying me.  Then I began to notice the sheet didn’t feel right.  The only way I can try to think of describing it is thus; I do gently seem to wave my legs around the bed before I drop off to sleep and when running my legs over the sheet it felt to me a bit like when chalk goes over a blackboard.  So now I have convinced myself that the sheets have been ‘sprayed’ with some sort of antibacterial covid protective disinfectant coating that’s making it kind of sticky and so now I cant sleep.  Now I think I am going to wake up covering in hives and blotches (Maybe I’ve just had too much to drink)lol.   but none the less I cant sleep  and am tossing and turning.  When we had returned to the cabin earlier, again I was so excited to be back at sea, I pulled open slightly the balcony door just so I could let in the sound of the ocean and wanted to listen to it as I drifted off to sleep.  This now coupled with the thoughts in my head was also annoying me, so an hour or so later the balcony door was slammed shut.  However it did the trick and I eventually drifted off to sleep.

We awoke around 8.30 and couldn’t find the Princess Patter for the daily activities.  One wasn’t left out for us.  Just a thought we were asked by our lovely cabin attendant Renne yesterday if we required a turndown service in the evening,  I said yes, as usually if we need Towels replacing that’s the best time for us to do it.

As we left the cabin for Breakfast Renne was just outside.  Good morning Maam, did you sleep well?  I explained my dilemma to her, half expecting her to say oh yes we have to fumigate the cabins beforehand  (just to prove myself right as I wanted to convince myself it wasn’t a figment of my imagination).  However no such comment was made, her response was please let me change your bed linen.  Oh no, please don’t go to any trouble there is no need not just for a couple more nights.  But she insisted that is what she would do.  I also asked if she could give us a copy of the daily events.  Ohh so – No you look on your app.  I said this is no good for me, will Reception have a copy, perhaps?  She said they were no longer handing them out.


We had Ummed and ARRed – Main Dining Room or Buffet, which is the best option? Deciding that perhaps a fully preplated restaurant breakfast might not be what we both wanted, but at the same time deciding that if the Buffet looked like what we term a ‘bunfight’ or a melee (Too busy/too crowded) we would retreat back to the MDR option.  As it happens it was not at all busy, very easy to wander (I like to look at everything before I make my mind up).  So I did my full perusal of the offerings before settling on Smoked Salmon, a selections of cheeses, some freshly sliced tomato, accompanied by an Eggs Benedict and a slice of toast.  Everything is now served to you.  You cannot touch anything other than the plate you are handed.  Many of the items are no longer lined up all in one container, they are pre portioned ie the smoked salmon is a tiny bit placed in a tiny round dish with a slice of lemon.  To be honest the amount of salmon I would normally have taken would easily be 4 to 6 of these tiny dishes.  Dare I ask for that many, well no, so I settle on this occasion for just one.  Sadly no capers, but a nice selection of small pieces of cheeses, a few apricots, grapes and bits and pieces to go with it.  My type of breakfast, with OH doing the man thing and opting for the full English.

You cannot help yourself to the tea, coffee juice stations, you cannot pick up your own set of cutlery.  You find a table.  A waiter brings you cutlery, takes your order for beverages and its all served to you.  Even the Salt & Pepper, Sugar and milk has to be brought individually.  To finish I always like fresh fruit and a Danish with my coffee.  A nice slice of melon, watermelon and pineapple on my plate, I go in search of the pastries.  Selecting one she puts it in a dish for me.  Would you mind slipping it onto my plate.  I am sorry maam its not allowed.  So I take it off her, slip it out of the dish onto my plate but she wouldn’t take the bowl back off me?  I am a bit perplexed, I cant work this one out.  Covid rules a step too far? 


As we had headed straight up on deck yesterday afternoon, we had taken in very little of the ship, so had a bit of an amble around the shops and the decks.  These Jewellery sales people don’t miss a trick, eying up my diamond rings, she is keen to sell me something.  I have intention nor want or need to buy, but enjoy playing along with it for 10 or 15 minutes whilst she brings this out and that out, whilst I am discreetly eyeing up the price tag – obviously she thinks I can afford $10,500 dollars! Lol.  All very lovely I say but really far too modern for my taste.

Eventually we end up at the Theatre and there is a talk taking place I think it was about the Bismark.  OH kind of interested,  this is right up his street, we go in.  Me quickly getting bored, I said I’m going to nip off to the Reception to see if I can get a Princess Patter (The daily event guide).  There was a queue, a big queue, half of me thinking shall I bother, should I wait or not, when I realise stood amidst the line was a lady with a large quantity of the said document in her hand, handing these out.  This is what the queue was for.   So I’m not the only one – obviously something a lot of us wont do without and wont read on a tiny phone.

OH turns up, he had left the Theatre and found me, we walk back through the atrium.  I am gobsmacked when I look at some of the people in their woollies, their fleeces, half of them looking so bloomin damn glum.  I can almost read their faces,  they look like they are just sitting there, thinking what are we doing here, what is there to do?  Probably first timers who don’t even have any concept of whats going on, don’t even know there is such a thing as an events and entertainment guide.  I don’t know, but a lot of them didn’t look happy.


Despite the overcast skies, we head upto pool deck.  I am happy to brave it out on a sun lounger, make the most of this, why sit inside.  I am just in trousers and a cap sleeved top, its actually reasonably warm, with OH soon deciding it was time to put on a pair of shorts.  I was happy laying there writing up my blog – still make notes in a good old fashioned writing book, don’t want to be cooped up inside at a laptop.  I like writing down little thoughts as they pop into my head, as often my head is full of all sorts of observations and thoughts and I do a lot of observing and people watching.


We didn’t want anything too heavy so after the usual walk around, opted for some of the carvery meat, me a piece of roast beef and turkey accompanied by a Caesar salad, and OH more or less the same.  The waiter brought over our cutlery and we ordered a nice Sauvignon Blanc.  All was good (except the piece of beef was a bit chewy) but perhaps just a bit of bad luck with the cut.


Wondering if we would get our Loungers back around the pool, we changed into our swim and bathing gear (we don’t ‘save’ our chairs)  I hate deck chair hogs and try to avoid being one myself.  Surprisingly two were available right infront of the two we vacated earlier. 

I took the plunge, nothing for it but to get straight in the pool, think about it too much and probably end up half in and half out shivering.  I was the only one in the pool, observing around me the bizarreness of people on the surrounding deck.  Some like me/us laying out in their swimwear, some huddled up in the red check blankets they handed out, some wrapped up with their towels and others in full fleeces, jackets, coats with hoodies, scarves and looked like they were about to embark on a trip to Antarctica.  Each of the ends of the spectrum probably thinking of each other – are they mad!

Despite the cloud, it was infact pretty hot and warm and in the breaks of the overcast skies, you could feel the heat and I knew we were getting a tan.  The movie screen was playing a film on the life of Judy Garland -  a Renee Zellweger Biopic.  Later the party band played.  We were in and out of the pool all afternoon. The Jacuzzi was nice and hot, there was a couple already in it, so thought it polite in these covid times to ask if they minded us joining them.  Which they didn’t.  Isnt it strange we can all jump in a Jacuzzi or a pool together sharing the same water, no masks, no social distancing!  Isnt this great I say to the other couple.  Got to do it haven’t you!  They were as like minded as us, make the most of every minute as I commented on the others on the upper balcony still wrapped up in the coats, with no intention of enjoying themselves, and she too had made the very same observation as me regarding the glum faces in the atrium earlier that morning.

It felt like a normal cruise ship sea day.  Yes! it is possible to feel like you are cruising in these times we are in.  Ice cream on deck from swirls, plenty of cocktails and beers.  We retire around 4pm to rest with the balcony door open, so we can hear the sea and I note that Renne has changed all the bed linen.  It does I have to say feel softer and much better.


It was nice taking a leisurely time to get ready for dinner, dressing up, full face of make up, all the nice jewellery out, hair curled, sparkly high heels on.  In our finery we are off to Dinner.  There are no formal dress up nights but we still like to make an effort – for us its one of the things cruising is all about.  As it happens it was Captains Dinner with an excellent choice of mains – Decision’s, decisions – Duck a L Orange, herb Encrusted Lamb, Medallion of Beef.

The starters were not so appealing so we both opted to take one of the pasta dishes as a starter which was good.  Lemon and chicken tagliatelle.  But from there on in, it went downhill fast.  A simple order for me of the toasted walnut encrusted goats cheese salad with tomatoes, green leaves and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  As I tossed the dressing over with my knife and fork and ate a couple of the tomatoes I suddenly realised there was no goats cheese.  I pushed it to one side until I could attract the waiters attention.  Whom I will add was working extremely hard to attend to his many tables.  Service was rushed, no time for the pleasantries and attention one would normally expect.  He apologised and immediately went off in search of a replacement.  I was thinking not a problem these things happen occasionally, I wasn’t overly bothered or fussed about it.  So the new bowl of salad arrives with a round of plain goats cheese plinked atop of the salad – this doesn’t look the same!  The I realised no tomatoes in this one and I found just one tiny fragment of a walnut and barely any dressing.  I ate it but miffed this was not right.  It cant get any worse surely not. 

The main arrived, my absolute favourite.  I love Lamb, more so I love it smothered in as much mint sauce as I can get my hands on, so I promptly emptied the little dish he had placed between us and asked for some more.  I put my knife or rather tried to put my knife through the meat.  I really had a job cutting into it.  I said to OH is yours ok, to see he had already got a mouthful and was chewing and chewing.  But being the man he is he said yes its chewy but I’ll eat it.!  Trust me when I say mine was more than chewy it was tough, really tough, I manage a couple of mouthfuls and by chance the waiter came over; is everything ok with your meal can I get you anything else, I say Sorry no, look - I don’t need to say anything I just show him how I am using all my force to even cut a piece off.  Please let me replace this I will bring you another one.

The next plate arrives. I can see they have chosen the leanest looking piece of meat, but I can also see its very very pink verging on the edge of being raw.  Don’t get me wrong I like pink meat, I don’t have a problem with a bit of oozing blood it’s the proper way to eat some cuts of meat, but there is a line and have you ever tried cutting a piece of raw meat with a normal table knife.  Well my god this is exactly how this was.  It was raw, it just totally ruined the whole meal, again I took a couple of mouthfuls ate the green beans and that was it.  Even the mash was a watery puree.  This was a disaster.

Bearing in mind now all this had taken place, my OH had finished eating and I was only just starting, time was ticking on and one thing I didnt not want to miss was the Production Show – the main Event of the Cruise their signature show BRAVO.  We had some 15–20 mins to go before the curtain was up.  So whilst I was trying to eat this second round of the main course, I asked the waiter to bring over the dessert menu explaining he needed to expedite the service so we could get out in time for the show.  He fully understood and took our orders and said it would be there in good time.

An easy choice for me of Bananas Foster another favourite; the lovely soft partly melted and melded into the syrup of the bananas against the cold ice cream.  Delicious, I cant wait. Am I in a bad dream, How the blxxdy hell can they mess this up.  Oh believe me they did!  I put my spoon in and can clearly see the bananas are cold, hard and just freshly sliced with a few nuts sprinkled on top sat in a bed of cold syrup and an Ice cream ball atop of a floating cake in the middle of the dish.  The menu without any doubt said flambéed with a hot syrup, I can tell you this dessert was stone cold and the bananas had never been within an inch of a flame or heat of any kind.  I just gave up.  I am so damn angry, we depart as its now five mins to Nine, we made a swift departure missing out on coffee and petit fours, with me berating the restaurant manager on the way out.

I have never ever in all my years of cruising had such a bad meal.


It was worth the effort to get to the show.  Just excellent and riveting, Tenors and Sopranos singing modern and classics, the Ship full Orchestra playing a medley of James Bond Theme Tunes, the dancers with such poise and elegance.  It was one of the best shows I have seen,  I am so glad we made it just in time.

For the record, this was the only time we were asked if we had made a booking and our medallions were scanned before we were allowed in.  I forgot to mention that the previous night we went to the Theatre Show which was a 45 min standalone Comedian.  He was good but not really my cup of tea. And one other thing to note they were not allowing anyone to take drinks into the Theatre at all.

The theatre itself was rather a disappointment, usually I look around in awe at the layout and the opulence and the grand entrance, the balconies.  But this setting was very very basic and looked pretty small in comparison to other cruise ship theatres.


The Piano player is so good and he has a good voice to go with it so once again we make this our destination for a nightcap or two.  Sadly again struggling to find a seat, we are on the outer peripheries of the room but although we cant see we can still listen.  Because of where we are seated we did struggle to get drinks in a timely manner but I can see it really isn’t the bar staffs fault they are so overwhelmed and working so hard.

I had a good nights sleep in our freshly made up bed.


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