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Cruise Review: P&O Cruises Azura Caribbean – Part 7

Monday 25th February 2013 – at sea

I was awake at just before 7.30am and nobody had ordered any breakfast. Dam!  Breakfast on the balcony it is then. There are worst ways to start the day! Im tiring of XVII because the menu has not changed at all, and although nice, the choice is extremely limited. Be nice if they varied it as they do in Cafe Bordeaux etc. After a wash and freshen up I lay on the sun lounger just watching the wake and generally waking up. I think I might go in search of the sun up on top deck for an hour or two, or then maybe I wont. I like the peace and tranquillity of my own personal space.

Its Caribbean lunch today but I have decided not to go. I’m not a lover of the event. The novelty wore off some years ago. The invite only arrived yesterday. No choice to not attend as in previous times. Just the wording of the invite wound me up – much valued passenger indeed. I don’t think the loyalty manager has even acknowledged we are onboard yet.

P&O AzuraWe decided to venture right up to deck 19 to just sit quietly for an hour away from the maddening crowd. It was very windy up there and two thirds of the beds were occupied by books, towels and bags, one third by real live people. I came down from there like a coiled spring. So rude and ignorant of people to lay claim to seats and then wander off and do their own thing. It was early so they were either in breakfast or still in bed!  Next we tried the ‘Goldfish bowl’. Not a chance in hell of a seat up there. To be fair most of the seats did have people on them and it was lovely and calm with no whirling wind. Decks 15 & 16 around the pools are far to busy for my liking and were windy. So, last resort was the ‘Seal Colony’ just behind The Retreat. Plenty y of loungers all lined up with not an inch of deck space to spare. It was blowing an absolute gale but I only wanted to sit for an hour so I took up residence against the back wall. I battened down my towels with my towel clips and lay there. I actually found the battering from the wind quite therapeutic. Trouble was I didn’t know how much damage the strong wind and sun combination was doing, so we went in after an hour.

The suite had been made up and bed made etc so its always nice to step back into my own private oasis on here. After a bit of work at the laptop we decided on a nice chilled out lunch in Glass House. Fish and chips for me, and surf and turf for Mr C. One glass of wine and I was ready for a lie down. Back on the balcony the sun was blasting through, so I rearranged the sun loungers, grabbed a pillow from the bed and went out like a light. It’s crazy how tiring this cruising lark is! I struggled to wake myself up and knew I had to get out of the sun, so I pottered to the bed and lay there for 30 mins before going back to my sun lounger for another snooze! I told you it was mad didn’t I? Then I needed to muster the energy for a shower so I climbed under the duvet and just rested my little mince pies.

Blue Bar AzuraDecided to go out mega early this evening for pre dinner drinks as it was the last formal night. I was in Blue Bar for 10 to 7 and it was rammed. It has been a nightmare trying to get a seat in Blue Bar this cruise. Usually if you go at about 7.30 you can get a table easily enough but we have struggled every time this cruise. I had the delusion that they were possibly all on freedom dining, and that bleepers would all go off at the same time and the place would clear. But it didn’t happen. We were sat right up the back and it was warm. The room just continued to fill and fill, it was mad. A word has been had in someone’s ear and now one can enjoy lovely Mayflower Martinis shaken at the table. They just kept on coming and we somehow managed to be fashionably late for dinner. I don’t know what it is this time, but I am not enjoying my dining experience in the main dining room. The waiter situation doesn’t help, the wine waitress is always in a rush, and the food just isn’t right for me – nothing wrong with it but I think alternative dining is the way forward for me. On the shorter cruises I have ditched the traditional dining and opted more for the alternative restaurants and I think it’s the way forward.

After dinner we managed a waddle to Glass House to sit and chill on a sofa. You can always rely on Glass House to be peaceful, quite and cool. After a bit of frock watching as the theatre emptied we called it a night. It is fab having the suite to go back to and just chill in, but I think I may have mentioned that before!


Tuesday 26th February 2013 – St Vincent

Early start this morning as we are going to Mustique! For those of you that have ever been to St Vincent you will know that it doesn’t have a lot to offer, so we finally took the plunge and booked to go to Mustique as soon as it went on sale. That was purely a fluke, I must have just looked at shore excursions at the right time. Early breakfast up in XVII on the terrace and down on the quay side for 8.30am. A lovely new big boat was waiting to take 25 of us across to Mustique. 25 is the maximum amount of visitors that is allowed per day. I chose to sit inside, well under cover, after the last drowning we got on the boat across to Jost Van Dyke. I wanted to arrive at Mustique looking chic and fresh not like a drown rat in sea water. The tour guide, Laura, advised that it would get rough and not to sit inside. But I don’t get sea sick so why not sit inside. Well, can I just say that if ever you are given that bit of advise you do as the nice tour guide lady suggests. The sea was allegedly calm today, and normally the hour and half crossing is a lot rougher. Well many times we were lower in the sea than the waves above us. What a ride! It was warm, the drone of the engines and the tossing about on the waves had me laying down on a bench. Closing eyes and forgetting about it wasn’t an option. I had Bequiato concentrate really hard not to be ill. Then a deck hand offered me his hand and escorted me to the other side of the ship to take in some fresh air. That in itself amused some as I have apparently never been so keen to take a hunky decks hands hand! I talked myself out of being sick as I took in somne fresh air and watched the flying fish alongside us. We stopped by Bequia en route to hear all about that, something about strange hoses and light that shines through them monly twice a year. I really was past caring. Later we saw a boat stuck on the reef that had been there over 12 months, all because he took the wrong course between some rocks.. We slowly glided along the coast of Mustique, after a very rough crossing from Bequi to Mustique, and the lines were tied up. I was laid down, trying to get back to the land of the living, so hadn’t set eyes on Mustique until the lines went on. Oh wow!Mustique

Mustique is more than worth the effort and expense to get there. Absolutely stunning! Its tiny, and everything goes at its own pace, but worth every ounce of effort to get there. Laura had arranged for two of the only three taxis to take us on a tour of Mustique. Cost is $10 each and is in open sided vehicles. Fabulous – we saw where Wills and Kate stayed. Where Kate first stayed, where Tommy Hilfiger lived, and all sorts of other rich and famous. The Cotton House Luxury boutique hotel looks like my kind of place! We went across to the other beach on the other side of the island, well two of them in fact, and although the sea was a little rough they were just perfect. After the tour round we went straight to Basils Bar for a cocktail just because it has to be done. 20 EC $ for a cocktail, but we may only be here once. Lisa's MustiqueThere were only two choices of places to eat. Basils Bar or Lisa’s up the hill which was recommended by Laura. 7 of the 25 of us decided to go up there so Lisa sent cars for us – only on Mustique! OMG, you have to go there, if only for the views! But her hospitality was amazing. She told us what we were having for lunch which was different lol,  and she made rum punch to knock your head off. Way to strong for me, so I drank coke! Yes you read that right!!  Lunch was a curried chicken dish, some yummy savoury rice, a bit of salad and plantain. Cost including 3 drinks was about $25 each.  We had an hour left so we wandered down the hill and straight into the sea. It was oh so hot that we just needed to cool off. So there I was, Mustique, in the sea next to the world famous Basils Bar. Amazing! A fabulous, fabulous day! MustiqueThe boat back to Azura in St Vincent left at 3.15pm and I wasn’t looking forward to the crossing, so I sat out the back, as advised in the fresh air. I was fine this time so must have just needed the fresh air, but oh the sea was rough and many got drenched by the waves. One poor lady did request the bucket, and I felt for her. Its not a nice feeling. Azura in St Vincent was a welcome sight. Lara our guide for the day, had been fab so it was hugs and kisses all round and bye bye from us. Would love to go back to Mustique one day, maybe for a holiday – if we could ever afford one of the hotels!

Back onboard Mr C went for a wander around, no doubt to indulge in some crafty Scooby snacks. I had a Jacuzzi and a shower, put on something nice and comfortable and went and sat on my sun lounger in my own personal space. Mr C returned, having slipped in a crafty beer or two with Brian at the bar. For reasons best known to himself Mr C decided to make himself a cuppa, take off his swimming trunks and start prancing around on the balcony in the all together. He was looking very amused with himself and I had just commented that he would soon have the smile wiped off his face if Deepak came with the canapés. Yes, you guessed it – just as I said it “knock, knock” and Deepak burst through the door (as he does) I leapt off the lounger in an effort to distract Deepak and take the canapés off him. Meanwhile back on the balcony, idiot boy had spilt hot tea down him and was squealing like a girl in an effort to release his drying shorts that I had tied to the back of the chair to dry in an effort to hide his modestly! I dont think I will ever forget the concerned look on Deepaks face as he almost pushed me to one side and went dashing onto the balcony to see what poor Mr C was squealing about. Phew, Mr C had his shorts on. It could have been worse he might have had to slip into my bright pink swimsuit! Mr C blurted out some ridiculous cover story and Deepak decided to be discreet and act like nothing had happened. By which time I was sat on the edge of the sun lounger just waiting to burst. I could hold it no longer and I screeched with laughter. “Sir, Madam, what ever is wrong this evening” I was helpless. I needed oxygen. Poor Deepak he must think we are mental. Again he tried to rectify the situation by offering me a stuffed date. Oh dear. I laugh thinking about it. Oh to be a Butler hey?!

GoCruisewithJaneTonight was the night of the GoCruisewithJane Cocktail Party. Invited guests only, so it was an exclusive little gathering. I knew Deepak would be back soon enough to organise his glasses and drinks and nibbles etc, so I made sure I was ready in plently of time, couldnt afford for any more unfortunate mishaps this evening. Deepak was in control, he knew what he was doing better than I did, so I left him to arrange his coasters, and glasses, his ice buckets and bottles etc. Guests soon started to arrive and I didn’t need to worry about a thing. Deepak was busy encouraging guests to have an hibiscus flower in there champagne, then he was round with the nibbles. He was a star and made sure nobody’s glass was empty. Little sausages in the loaf were a hit, but they always are. GoCruisewithJaneIts safe to say that am jolly good time was had by all. Well I enjoyed it and hope to do it again sometime. I hadn’t been watching the time though and we were way too late to go for dinner. Should have started the party earlier maybe?! Some made it to dinner intime, but anyone that knows me, knows that I like to chat. I think the party could have continued all night, but some had work to do which was a shame.

We were just in time to catch the last 10 minutess of the Indian Buffet. Chicken Tikka was rather nice. Looked like it had been busy in there. All we could manage so late at night was a stroll around and a browse of the shops. Back at the suite it was as if the party never happened. Everything in its place, and back to normal. And so some nice chilling time on the balcony. Im not going to be able to do this in a couple of nights time, so I best make the most of it.

GoCruise With Jane

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