Day 4 – 15th September – Gibraltar

So today we got up early, had a posh buffet breakfast in the nice restaurant, then had a quick game of shuffleboard before going out onto the helipad to watch us sail through the Gibraltar strait and into the port of Gibraltar.

'pon the Helipad!
‘pon the Helipad!

 

I see Gibraltarr
I see Gibraltarr

 

The views were stunning and we could see Africa pretty clearly! Soon we were docked and we popped into their posh restaurant for a buffet lunch before disembarking to go round Gibraltar!

We walked down the main street ( Called Main Street!) Then jumped in a cab to go for a tour of the rock…

The Caves were Really Pretty!
The Caves were Really Pretty!

The views were magnificent and the weather was lovely. We went down into the caves which were beautiful, before going to the top of the rock to see the views and meet the monkeys. They are very funny and sometimes scary and it surprised me just how close they will get to you!

On the way down we stopped at the Moorish castle which was really pretty as well as having good views.

Two Monkeys!
Two Monkeys!
Another Two Monkeys!
Another Two Monkeys!

 

After the castle we went back to one of the squares where we had some delicious ice cream and a drink but most importantly….. WIFI!!!!

It was quite nice to get back in the loop and see what was going on in the world! After the cafe we popped into WH Smiths and I bought some fruit gums, at English prices, in Great British Pounds (All foreign countries should be like this! Hehe)

Beaut Views... (Hello, Little Ship)
Beaut Views… (Hello, Little Ship)

After that we got a shuttle back to the boat where there was a 45 min queue to get back on!!! Captain Tony apologized….seems there were a few issues!

..... and The Moorish Castle!
….. and The Moorish Castle!

Entertainment that night was Mark Walker who was a “Comedy Impressionist”… we decided that it was fair to say that everything that the comedian last night wasn’t, this guy was…. mainly “Funny”!!

We were up quite late, knowing we had a day at sea to recover!!!!…….

Day 3 – 14th September

So today we’d planned to get up at 10. At ten past ten, the phone rings…. Although according to my tablet next to the bed its 9.10. I answer the phone to mother with then phrase “Which bit of 10 didn’t you understand?!”… She told me it was 10 past. OOPS!!

We got up and had a relaxed breakfast….then we played a game on the deck called shuffleboard…. Bit like curling without the brooms. It was fun but lets just say I wont be taking it up professionally!! (Dad and I lost considerably to Mum and Adam!!) We sat outside for a bit, walked down the promenade and soon it was time for lunch! All these activities are just to fill the gaps between meals right?!

At 2.30 mum and I went up to the bar at the top of the boat for the “Guest Choir”. We’d been promised a Gareth Malone style choir so we’re quite excited – we were even promised a performance from the bridge on the Royal Promenade!

What we were met with was nothing more than a shoddy karaoke with printed sheets. A few of us had expected a bit more organization. We were all just sat round mumbling words! Mum and I led the enthusiasm with a few others joining in and we had a laugh. (Huge Shout out to Rowenna, Janice and Nan!!!)

We told Dad and Adam we had to audition from 65 an were whittled down to 30 before making the final 12. They bought the story,but we felt bad so said simply “Not really, it was sh*t!!!!”… Ah we had a laugh!

We then sat out on deck and took in some sun!

Here's the Sky, not too sunny in this, but it was, I promise!
Here’s the Sky, not too sunny in this, but it was, I promise!

 

 

Mum and I went for the early show by “Fourever” – an Il Divo tribute act…. They were very good…. They did a whole range of songs in English and Italian, mostly from the comfort of “Westlife Stools”!

Soon dinner time came round and we went and had a lovely (as always) dinner to be followed by the Late night entertainment of a comedian….

Let’s just say, the late night bit was correct!!! Comedian was pushing it!

After the ‘comedian’ we went for a walk down the Royal Promenade and had a cup of tea before bed where I found 5 of the 10 Israelis we’d been told were onboard! We’ve decided to do something together for Rosh Hashannah together!

Off to bed we go before tomorrow’s first port call – Gibraltar!

Click here for Day 4!!!

Day 2 – 13th September

Well….. dinner last night was lovely (Watermelon & Raspberry soup, horseradish crusted salmon, and raspberry sorbet!) We walked round the ship and had a look in the night club;

One old man stood with a drink(like he’d wet himself), two people stood by the bar…. And two people in a corner. BANGIN NIGHT.
We ended up in the all night cafe on the promenade with our dinner table friends…

This morning we woke up to a lovely breakfast (we went posh). I had delicious buttermilk pancakes. After breakfast I decided to go up to the cabin so jumped in the lift. In with me were two rather large people, their rather large son (in wheelchair) and who I’m assuming is grandma.

There was slight confusion over which button was pressed. I wanted 10, they wanted 11. The bloke said “press 11 luv” to the woman. She replied with “I ave, the light’s on an he wants 10” (pointing at me….) I then said “ah, the lights are on, but nobody’s at home….” To which she smiled and said “Oh well you clearly know my son then” (Pointing to boy in chair)!!!!!

Thankfully as she said that, the lift doors opened I jumped out saying “Ah that’s not very nice! Byee!!” Regardless of the fact we were only at the 7th floor.

Most of the day was spent in the jacuzzi, the freezing swimming pools and lazing round the pool doing very little. As I seldom have days of nothing, it was actually rather nice!!

The evening soon came round and it was time for our first formal dinner! We scrubbed up and made our way down to the royal promenade for a photo and the captain’s speech followed by dinner (beautiful melon, potato curry and a raspberry jelly-mousse)

 

#Liftfie (Is that a thing? It is now!)
#Liftfie (Is that a thing? It is now!)

 

Here we are all scrubbed up on the Promenade
Here we are all scrubbed up on the Promenade

After dinner we we to the late performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Tell Me On A Sunday’. I can’t say it was my favourite musical, but the acting and singing was very good! Its a hard play to perform as its just one actress!

After the musical we met our dinner table mates up in the hot tub and bubbled away until about 1 am!

 

Day three…. Coming soon!!

Day 1- 12th September

So, the day has finally arrived…. Cruise day. Its been long awaited and much anticipated, but as I find myself sat on my ones, in near silence, at the front of the ship, its clear that cruise time has very much arrived!!

We woke up this morning at some ungodly hour – before 8! *shudders* Put our cases in the car and set out early to Southampton to avoid the Boat show traffic…. and oh how we avoided the boat show traffic!!! In a Phillips family first, we were that early, we had to stop in a service station to kill time!!!

Boarding the ship was rather uneventful, but let’s get one thing clear – it ain’t small! I was expecting it to be larger…. Wider perhaps. Essentially however its a 14 storey floating 5* hotel!

We had a wander round…toured the Spa, Health club and Gym (I can say I’ve been to the gym today!) and then went for lunch!

Anyone who’s ever eaten lunch with me on camp knows how much I enjoy the prospect of a “multi-carb lunch”… The more different types of carb, the better…. I partook in pasta and bread, but could have added potatoes rice, different bread and I’m sure a few more…. I think this might continue!!

After lunch we carried on wandering and exploring… And checking if our cases had arrived. At 3.30ish we were called to do the evacuation drill – rather bland to be honest! (And the life jackets don’t have a cord to inflate them!! Bores!)

After the drill we went out on the deck to watch us sail away…. Soon we were out of Southampton and sailing!

Sailing, We are sailing..... (Byee Southampton!)
Sailing, We are sailing….. (Byee Southampton!)

 

 

At 5pm we went down to the conference room to do candle lighting…. We were joined by two stereotypical looking (and talking) “North West London Jews”… We’re yet to find our mutuals but they’re from Bushey – so I’m sure we will!! (Update: We didn’t)

Also joining us (late) were two young girls…. One wearing a long dress which went to her knee, and covered her elbows… she looked quite frum…. her friend however barely looked Jewish…..

They sat at the back and didn’t say much. As mum went to light the candles with the women from Bushey, they invited the two girls up with them…. When the blessings were said, the two girls looked rather confused (and horrified!) … They refused kiddish wine and weren’t interested in the BEAUTIFUL challah….

Turns out they were there by mistake, wandered in not knowing what was going on, and then scuttled out embarrassed soon after!!!

Lovely Challot and Sweet, Sweet Manischewitz!
Lovely Challot and Sweet, Sweet Manischewitz!

We’ve now unpacked and settled in, and I find myself in the quiet, sat out on the helipad at the front of the ship, in near silence. Just the water lapping the sides of the ship. The sunset is wonderful and it’s even not too chilly! Seems our adventure has really begun….

Sunset from the Helipad
Sunset from the Helipad

Now, it’s time for our first dinner (casual dress…thankfully!!)

 

Click here for Day 2!