Saturday 18 May we were up at some awful time in the morning to pick up David and Jeannie and head to Manchester Airport.
This would be a first. Several firsts... David and Jeannie had never done a cruise before (although David did nine years cruising with the Royal Navy). We had never gone away on holiday together before. In fact Fran and I, at least, had never gone on holiday with anyone but family before. But hey - we spend so much of our time together anyway what could go wrong...? Creeping Bentgrass do Europe...
We call David "The Clicky Monster". Ever since he got his camera he has never had it out of his hands hardly. I struggle to stop him taking photos of the audience at gigs. Unsuccessfully most of the time... So whilst I came home from the week with what I thought of as a respectable 365 photos on my camera - one for each day of the year, you will note! David came home with over fourteen hundred... So there are quite a few more of his than mine. The above two are his, the mountains belonging to the Pyrenees as we flew (thankfully) over them.
It was "Smile and hold your glass up!"
"But you've just taken one of me..."
"You've had a sip since then..."
The plane chucked us out at Palma, Majorca and a short coach ride later we were at the port and going through the embarkation building to board the Thomson Dream. Which is not the little yacht seen here, but the one I was standing on to take the photo!
So here are the protagonists of the week. I'll show the ship in a bit more detail as we go through the story of the week. We were a bit gobsmacked at the ship moored at the next berth to ours on the opposite side of the pier we were on.
The Norwegian Epic looked fairly epic. Looked downright floating skyscraper on it's side really. We agreed we wouldn't want to be on something so big as
- it wouldn't feel like a ship
- we'd get lost...
- it just doesn't look right!
Our opinions only of course - I'm sure the people aboard her had a good time walking up all those stairs and pretending they weren't on a ship.
Anyway Jeannie took one look and spluttered "Just look at the size of that!!!". Unfortunately at the time really, because we were negotiating some sun seekers on sun loungers on the Promenade Deck and at least one looked up indignantly...
Ok, we've found our cabins, had a walk round the Promenade Deck on Deck 8 - David insists this was the "waist" not a deck. Actually he insisted on calling the pointy end the "bow" too and loads of other stuff. Honestly I don't think he's all that familiar with boats...
But he was well prepared to get familiar with the cocktails! Cheers everyone!
To come: a day at sea, Corsica, two ports in Italy, Puccini's house and lake, Pisa, Villefranche, an unfortunately unsteady frenchman and a dish of olives, a force eleven sea (the frenchman was on land and couldn't use that as an excuse!), Barcelona, and Fran's attempts to swallow a tree (well a bit of one...) Successfully too I might add - though it was touch and go as it lodged in her throat... anyway mustn't give the game away, you'll just have to come back and read more! Bye for now.