Sunday 9th January 2011 – St Lucia
Another day, another Caribbean Island, and today its St Lucia. You cant really beat breakfast on the balcony and its dam good way to start the day. As always seems usual for St Lucia its overcast and showers, but its dry and sunny for the duration of breakfast. As its Sunday a champagne breakfast seems in order, so a bottle of Moet is opened. Just being a Sunday seemed as good a reason as any! As the morning progressed the rain showers got more frequent, but its only liquid sunshine. We had planned a day at Spinnaker Beach, but I have sat on that beach in the drizzle once before and its not my idea of fun. Instead we decided to just stay onboard. It gave me chance to catch up with a few things on my lap top and have a little wander around the ship.
Mr C and I had lunch in GlassHouse today. Highly recommended! I chose a lovely wine (Bendy River I think) which went down very nicely. There was plenty of choice on the menu for food and prices range from £4.95 to £7.95. I had a selection of three dishes for £4.95 cover charge, which consisted of the biggest tempura prawns I have ever seen, cooked in a light crispy batter, plus salmon fishcakes and bruschetta. Excellent and more than filling. Mr C had surf n turf served on a slate and did look pretty impressive. He said it was excellent!
We really didn’t go very far today and just had a little wander around the duty free area and got back on the ship. The karaoke bar ashore was blasting out the tunes as usual, but it does get to be a bit of a din from the balcony after a while, so we ventured upto the sea screen on deck 15 & 16. It was really popular and some of them sat watching it get a bit twitchy if you dare to just pause as you move along the deck. We ended up finding some loungers well out of the way of the screen round the corner and sat and sampled the cocktails – as you do!
Captains Welcome Aboard this evening in Manhattan. Ive always attended the Atrium ones on Ventura so it was a bit different, but Captain Paul Brown still introduced all the senior team so it was nice to see who was onboard. Its so hot in the Oriental restaurant that even us ladies are too warm so Mr C has to take his DJ off, it makes dining really uncomfortable. A walk around the ship is called for. There is Dancing in Malabar, a comedian in Manhattan, dancing in the Atrium and a show in the theatre. We stroll all the way to the front and then all the way to the back again and end up in Planet Bar for the Elements films on the screens. But its oh so quiet in here?! Why is it like this every night. There’s quiet and there’s too quiet. So we go in search of Clifford in Brodies. Yay, that’s better. Nice and lively and the karaoke isn’t half bad either. We didn’t sing, but we joined in with a lot and we were kept well entertained until getting on for 3.00am. Now I know 3.00am isn’t the best time in the world for a GoCruisewithJane tour but someone wanted to see the pointy end of the ship and was convinced you couldn’t actually get there on this ship as Prom deck is blocked off at the front. It really isn’t that difficult and there are even signs to assist, but mission was accomplished. Watch the heavy door though it tends to bang too!
Monday 10th January 2011 – Grenada
Ooh maybe that late, late night wasn’t such a good idea after all! Its great at the time but not when you wake up. I’m not going to even attempt to tell you how dam hot it was out on the suite balcony with the sun blasting down on us and bouncing on the white hull. The bridge above wasn’t even giving us any shade. There really is no point at all in telling you that it was already 30 degs at 8.00am because I know you will have no sympathy for us. But it was hot! Really, really hot! So hot in fact that I managed to pour the butter from the foil wrapper onto my bread roll!
Todays mission was to get to Grande Anse Beach and that was easily achieved via the water taxi at $8 return each. I say it was an easy mission, but in this heat it was hard work – honest. Over at the beach we headed over to the left of the pontoon and settled into our sun loungers right on the waters edge. We had just got settled and the heavens opened and the newly applied suncream was running off us like milk (why am I not feeling the sympathy?) it didn’t pass over as quickly as I would have liked, but of course it was soon gone. Just got dried and sorted and along came another blast. This is getting tiresome now! Buts its ok it was the last shower of the day. Rum Punch time then, need to celebrate the passing of liquid sunshine. She was a bit heavy handed with the rum and it about blew our heads off. This heat is not funny. How hot can it get and its nowhere near midday yet. The sea is amazing, flat calm and not in the slightest bit cold, but its enough to just cool you off when required – which is pretty frequently. Cuba Libra next bit hell fire some coke in the glass would have been good. I had to take extreme measures and pour some of it into the sand and top back up with coke. We like the ‘bucket of beer’ specials that she keeps serving along the beach. The ‘bucket’ looks remarkably like a carrier bag with two bits of the Briskal Glacier in it. Like most beaches in the Caribbean there are a lot of pedlars on the beach offering hair braids and selling their wares, but what I like about Grenada is that they don’t hassle you. A polite ‘no thanks’ and they just move along. I really like the singing men. They are great. They walk around the beach with a guitar and make up spontaneous songs about you. They make us giggle and are quite happy with a couple of $’s. Great entertainment. Did I mention how hot it was today? It was so hot I had to cover myself head to toe in towels to stop me frying. How we stuck it as long as we did I really do not know, but at 3,30 we decided to call it a day and get the water taxi back to the ship. The breeze on the water taxi was excellent. Great views of the coastline and the ship as we sailed back across to the harbour. I was almost too hot to have a look around the shops in the terminal but some how I found the strength. No time to venture into town though and we were soon back onboard and I was stood in a nice cold shower.
First party sailaway of the cruise up on deck. Neil Oliver and his team have to be the best at sea. They are jumping around doing their very well rehearsed routines and soon have the decks full of passengers bouncing around and waving their arms and clapping in tune to the music. Just another reason why I love my P&O Cruises! Of course, if you don’t like that sort of thing there is plenty of other deck space and pool areas to enjoy your sailaway from.
Pre dinner drinks in GlassHouse tonight. Every where I go I seem to get a bit of a drinks issue. Last night we ordered Melontini’s and got Lemontini. I asked the wine waitress for her recommendation for a nice sauvignon blanc and she looked at me blank! Bring back my Cunard Sommelier! On deck its hit and miss as to whether they will serve you a Moscow Mule. Seasons P&O crew serve it without issue, after all its only vodka, ginger beer, with a dash of lime. But get a waiter pre Azura and it becomes an unsolvable issue to them. They write down the order chirpy enough, but by the time it gets to the bartender its rejected because its not on the micros. Ten minutes later waiter comes back empty handed and explains we cant have one, but we can have a ginger beer, vodka and lime, or we can have the equivalent non alcoholic cocktail with a vodka in!? Yes, anything, whatever, yes please! The cocktail menu does seem rather limited on here, yet apparently a lot of the old style cocktails do remain on the micros so if you have a preference just ask for it. So, back to GlassHouse and tonights drink experience. I had my usual southern comfort and diet coke. I tend to sip at the southern comfort neat and add the coke after. Ive drank it for many years do I know what it tastes like. Whatever I was served tonight was not Southern Comfort. It was to thick and sweet, a little bit orangey. So Mr C advised the waiter and his nose was stuck in it, then it was taken behind the bar, where no doubt a couple more noses went in it, and it was bought back to me stating it was southern comfort. Im not sure what happened to the customer being right and all that, but clearly I was wrong. I grabbed Nesters attention and took it round the back with his nose in it, but at least he came back with a clean glass and a bottle of southern comfort. Unfortunately he didn’t leave the bottle for me, and just poured me a measure.
Dinner back in the Oriental and we have decided the waiter boys are on a yellow card tonight. Service is not the best and the section waiter has not been near. Well, he has been near, he goes to the table next to us every night, but hasn’t so much made eye contact with us. Service didn’t improve this evening so its red card time and a quiet word with restaurant manager should have it sorted by tonight. Its very unusual for the service to be spot on, but if we don’t say anything its not going to improve.
We had our usual walk through of the ship to see whats on where. We should really take more notice of the Horizon daily paper but we prefer to have a look around and see whats what before committing. We ended up outside at Breakers listening to the soft sounds of steel drums from the tropical band. We are beat again. The hot sun has zapped us and we all need our beds, so it was a relatively early night for us.