Azores Easter Cruise March 26th - April 11th 2015 - Index page

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Azores Easter Cruise by Cruise and Maritime Voyages

Off for a working cruise on this lovely
Cruise and Maritime Voyages ship.

The MV Azores, photoed at Leixoes (looking huge).

Built in 1948 on the principle of the Tardis, this ship seems much bigger inside than it does, outside. It had just been exquisitely refitted shortly before this voyage. Ken had been hired as a lecturer by CMV at a week's notice but, thanks to e-mail, that was plenty of time to organise all the paperwork necessary.

It is an easy trip along the M4 from London to Avonmouth & the directions for getting from it to the docks are straightforward: turn off onto the M5 at Alconbury, off at J18 &, after the road crosses the M5, take a left exit to a roundabout.
Take the second exit onto Portway, a dual carriage-way, turn right at the traffic lights & follow the port road (Victoria Road) round the police box, then follow the instructions given to the Cruise Terminal.
Check the bags in, turn round & park where told.

The trip took us from Avonmouth to:-

A Coruņa
Horta, Faial
Praia, Terceira
Ponta Delgada, Saõ Miguel
Funchal, Madiera
Lisbon, Portugal

& back to Avonmouth
(map from the brochure)

Inland from Avonmouth on a really nice day

Thursday 26th March 2015 - Boarding

I introduced myself to the Cruise Director, Tony & he said, hang around near the front & he would get us in, which he did when Frank Williams the Dad’s Army vicar appeared & after the gold members had checked in at about 4. The cabin is very nice, if a little cramped with no desk but has a whole bath & bidet. However, the bunks cannot be shoved together to make a double bed.

Avonmouth Docks

Evening light. We sailed at 20:45

We had tea in the Lotus Grill (self-service restaurant) & unpacked later but before the lifeboat drill. The ship's interior is very attractive, with a lot of little lounges. We are on the top deck behind the lifeboats. I advertised my talks like mad. What we did not know was that this is a Christian Special Interest cruise for Easter but my talks fit in well. The Cruise Director & I hit it off immediately & I thought this would go well. We had dinner in the Olissipo Restaurant (what does that mean?) with the Craft Instructor Sandra & her husband Joe, 2nd sitting & went to the efficient show. I met Dana the first Eurovision Song Contest winner after & we (Avis & I) went to bed.

Friday 27th March 2015 - Day at Sea Elgar talk

Up at 08:15 after an average night. The ship creaks a bit & rolls a bit. Breakfast is dished out in the Lotus Grill (that is, you don't help yourself, presumably for hygene reasons) & they give you too much. I changed into my white slops for the talk & gave an Alpine pre-show with a Haydn string quartet before. The sound was not good, though. The Auditorium (cinema) filled up for my talk, which seemed to go very well & after, David, a Television engineer, helped me sort out the sound system. As a reward, I let him pick a talk later & he chose Shostakovich. I tried to walk round the deck after changing but it was blowy & wet so I joined Avis in the café with someone who had come to the talk but knew nothing about music. Minimal lunch, read & typed this up. It was a formal evening, with the Captain’s cocktail party & the usual introduction of the senior officers. He clowned a bit by not introducing the chef & then, said that the chef always gets more applause than he, which indeed, he did. We had a second sitting dinner, a vast & unexpected lamb shank, so we skipped the show (it was only Abba stuff) & went to bed.

Port 1 - A Coruņa

Port 2 - Leixoes

Port 3 - Horta, Faial

Port 4 - Praia, Terceira

Port 5 - Ponta Delgada, Saõ Miguel

Port 6 - Funchal, Madiera

Port 7 - Lisbon, Portugal

Next Page - A Coruņa

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Contact: Ken Baldry at 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 or e-mail him
URL: Last revised 12/4/2015 ©2015 Ken Baldry. All rights reserved.