Thursday, 30 April 2015

Day 4 - Arrive at Gibraltar - 15 April 2015

Very exciting to wake up, and see we have arrived at Gibraltar.  I have never been here before and have no expectations.  Arriving and leaving ports is great, you see the Pilot boat arriving (a tiny boat with a pilot on it).  The pilot climbs on board the ship through a little hatch on the side.  He then helps to guide the ship into or out of the port.  I took this picture through the balcony window

Although I'm excited, I'm also nervous about going onshore.  Mainly because I'm worried about getting off the ship via the steep gang plank.  So Andy goes down to deck 4 to check it out.  He tells me good news .... it's not at all steep.  Hurray for that!  So now I feel good.

It was a real treat getting off the ship easily.  We set off towards town.   There  is no shuttle bus to take us as it's not a huge distance.  However we've been told it might rain and what is not a huge distance to some is to me. I still have worries about my chair breaking down and I'm calculating the distance of being pushed back to the ship as we go further and further away from it.

It's also pretty cold and windy which is a shame.  I'm not wearing a coat and neither is Andy.  We are both hoping the sun is going to come out. 

We follow other holiday makers and end up in a square surrounded by cafes and shops.   In the centre is a lot of tables and chairs for alfresco meals.  I'm trying to imagine it all in hot sunshine.  Instead it looks a bit grey and dismal.  I took a couple of pictures but they aren't that great

We went inside a few shops but didn't really see anything too exciting to buy.

We found a cafe to warm up in and get some wifi

Now it was time for shopping.  We looked around and bought a few things.  I took this photo while inside a perfume shop.  Mainly because a Westie was going by

We hung around for a bit and then decided to go back to the ship for lunch as the ship was going to be leaving soon.  The sun still hadn't come out.  Andy took this photo of Britannia behind the trees

We were only at Gibraltar for half a day.  While leaving, Andy took these photos while we had our lunch up on the Horizon deck

Pilot boat

I quite like Gibraltar.  I think it would be greatly improved with heat and sunshine though. And also if I was walking we would have gone further and done more things.  I'd have liked to have seen some monkeys up on the rock and explored the caves within it.

Back up on deck 16 for sunbathing and people watching.

Now what did I have for dinner?

Poached Highland Salmon
Beef Stroganoff
Strawberry Romanoff Mille-Feuille


Tommorow we going to be at Allicante.  Thanks for reading ....

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Day 3 - At sea - 14 April 2015

Woke up  to a beautiful morning.  We saw the sun beginning to rise.  Wow what a sight to see while eating a delicious breakfast

It's things like that that make cruisng so special.  I don't get to see things like that from my flat back at home.

Later on we decided to go to the Market Cafe on deck 5.  You have to pay extra for coffee and food in this cafe but it's not hugely expensive.  We fancy a proper coffee and you don't get that in the buffet area.  The food looks good here too.  Tasty looking deli food and cakes.

We decide we will definitely come back and treat ourselves. We never do as we end up eating so much delicious food thatis free we are never hungry enough to buy more.  

We go to the Market Cafe a lot for our coffee.  It's a nice place to chill out while doing the ship's crossword everyday.  Also play Connect 4 a lot and Andy wins pretty much most of the time!  I like it here because the tables are right by the windows so we can see the sea.

What is 4 Across? 
I don't  know

For lunch we go back to the Horizon deck and I have chicken curry followed by mango dessert.  Can't believe I'm eating a whole meal for lunch.  Already I'm finding it really easy to eat much more than usual.

Afterwards we go outside on deck 16 to sit in the sun and look  around

I've got better pictures of the upper deck that will appear in the following days.  It's a bit windy but at least the sun is out and the skies are blue.

Then more sunbathing back on our balcony as it's windy up on the top deck.  

Tonight is a black tie night.  So we have to dress up  There are 4 black tie nights on this cruise.  I'm not a huge fan of dressing up.  For one thing there is a lot of ice cold air conditioning in the ship and instead of wearing skimpy smart evening wear I just want to wear a thick jumper.  Mind you, after eating dinner the calories have warmed me up and I'm okay.  I swear they keep the ship cold to make you hungry so you eat more.

Here is a picture of my dessert Pear Tartan, the picture doesn't do it justice.  It was delicious.

After dinner we went for a walkabout around the ship.  Here is the centre piece of Britannia's Atrium, the Starburst chandelier/scrulpture lit with coloured led.  It is supposed to be the 'wow' factor of the Atrium. The Atrium's of ships are the central hub and are usually stunning.    It's okay but I preferred Oceana's palm trees, far more glamorous to my mind.  Andy agrees  Sorry P&O.  

Now check out P&O Oceana's Atrium ....

I want to go back on Oceana one day, it was so beautiful.  

Tomorrow we arriving in Gibraltar.  It is exciting waking up in another country.  Thanks for reading ,,,,

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Day 2 - At Sea 12 April 2015

After a good night's sleep we go up to the Horizon deck for a buffet breakfast. We prefer this to the formal dining room.  We both love papaya so have loads of it with melon and pineapple and you can get lots of it here.  Andy has a fry up and I have poached egg on toast.  Then we share a piece of toast and marmalade.  I'm pretty much fixated on food as I have spent months trying to starve myself.  The food on the ship is sooo good!

We also like the horizon buffet because we can sit right by the windows which have fab views of the sea

The sea makes some beautiful patterns

Afterwards we go to deck 6 to look around the ship's shops.  Most were very expensive but they were nice to look at.  The Pandora shop was very tempting plus they had Joules the clothes shop, expensive perfume, watches and handbags and sunglasses.  There was also a general shop that had toiletries and gifts etc. 

Here are some glitzy items in one of the shops.  The prices were ridic!

The ship is huge and full of many restaurants, bars, lounges, decks etc.  There are lots of things to do at all times.  But if you don't want to do any of it, you can look out to sea and dream, read, eat and sleep ..... which is pretty much something I'm good at.

This afternoon we were lucky to have the sun shining on our balcony.  So Andy had a glass of wine and we sat there looking for dolphins.  Nope we didn't see any.

Sun worship
Andy dropped off to sleep.  I tried to sneakily take a picture of him so I turned my camera around without looking into it.  He spotted me and this is what I got ha ha

This evening at dinner we met our other dinner table mates, Sheila and her friend Maureen who were also very nice.  Lucky we all got on as we would see them every night and it was great to find out what they'd all been up to.  Pictures of them will show up later on in the blog.

Also, I meant to say, we had two lovely waiters, Sanjoe and Gaston. They were so friendly and helpful.  Pictures of them will show up later on.

Andy's dessert was Chocolate Mousse cake with a Praline Centre and Hazelnut Florentine

Another day at sea tomorrow before we arrive at Gibralter. I'm a bit nervous about getting off the ship.  I worry the gangplank is going to be too steep like it was on the Oceana.  I worry my chair might break down.  I worry how far away the shops are going to be from the ship.  I worry there won't be a shuttle bus for wheelchairs,  I worry quite a lot and I know it's pointless as it doesn't change anything. I don't know why some of my paragraphs keep centering themselves!

Thanks for reading ....

Monday, 27 April 2015

Brittannia Cruise 2015 - Day 1

I've just been on a wonderful cruise with Andy on the new P&O ship Brittannia.  This is Day 1 of the exciting day.

The excitement has been building for weeks.  And the nerves.  I've been worrying about everything going wrong and we not being able to go.  Doesn't help that a week before going, the motor on my electric chair went kaput!  I had visions of no chair for the trip or worse me breaking down in the middle of the road somewhere abroad.  Then nearer to leaving, Andy caught a terrible cold.  So I'm worrying he's going to be really ill at sea.  Then two days before leaving, Andy's back seized up and he's in agony and can hardly walk.  A visit to the chiropractor helps but he's still looking in pain and walking very slowly.

Somehow despite all fears Saturday 11 April arrives and we are all set to go.  Drew, our lovely taxi driver arrives at 9.15 prompt.  This is it, we are actually on our  way!

The journey takes approx 2 1/2 hours.  I love it when you get near to the docks and suddenly you see the ship.  It looks magnificent, wow! It's huge.  This is me entering Ocean Terminal and you can see some of Brittania on the left .... what looks like a building is actually the ship.

Pictures Andy took while we were in the Terminal through the window.  The ship is so big you can't see all of it

We were unbelievably quick in the Terminal.  Straight through to check-in.  Then before we knew it we were in the queue to board.  After our hand luggage was searched and we were frisked we passed this sign

And then we were onboard.  We had our picture taken together and were told our cabin wasn't ready yet but we could go up to the Horizon deck for lunch.  First we sat in the Atrium, taking it all in

This was my first photo and not great.  More pictures of the Atrium will be in later posts taken by Andy as he is my official ship blog photographer :).

During lunch .... I had a roll and cheese and Andy had a huge plate of something I can't remember. Over the tannoy we were told we could go to our cabins which were now ready.

And wow what a wonderful cabin.  Because it was a disabled accessible cabin it was really large, like a suite.  B709 was to be our home for 2 weeks.  I was so impressed!  A great bathroom for easy access.  This bathroom was pretty much the same as the one we had on P&O Oceana, I don't have a picture but you can see a picture on Tom's Cruise blog here disabled bathroom.

We chose twin beds as they have no king sized ones and we don't want to be squished on a double.  But there again being in a single is a bit uncomfortable as you are too near the edges.  And I have a wall against mine.  Andy pulls it away for me so I can stretch my arms out a bit. 

And then our balcony!  We feel so lucky to have one.  Here is Andy checking it out

Our luggage hasn't been delivered yet.  We can see from the balcony that there is tons of it being loaded onto the ship.  With over 3,000 passengers it's going to take time.  By 4:45 pm we have all of it.  But then it's time to dash to our muster stations to learn what to do if the ship sinks.  I don't learn  much as apparently I have a different life jacket from everyone else and it wasn't in my cabin so I watch Andy put his on.

After that we are on 1st sitting for the dining so we head on downstairs.  There is a bit of a fight for the lifts with everyone wanting to get there at the same time.  

We go to the Oriental dining room and meet two of our table friends Louis and her daughter Jen. They seem really nice people so that's good.  The other two people who should be joining us don't show up.  We have a delicious meal.  I have prawn coctail for starters, salmon, potatoes and vegetables for main and sultana brioche and butter pudding.  Delicious.   Here is a picture of my dessert.  Sorry it's out of focus, it tastes better than it looks!

That's it for now.  I should be back tommorow with Day 2 of our holiday .....