Round Britain Cruise - August 14th - 23rd 2013

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Round Britain Cruise by Fred Olsen

Off for a cruise on this lovely
Fred Olsen ship.

The MV Braemar

photoed in Loch Broom, off Ullapool, in the North-West Scottish Highlands. This was billed as a "Celtic Experience" cruise, taking us to the island of Ireland we had never visited before, the (to us) familar Ullapool, the Orkneys and Invergordon in North-East Scotland.


Ship picture

There are hourly didimo bullet
trains from St. Pancras to
Dover Priory, which use the
HS1 high speed tracks.

The trip took us from Dover to
these ports:-

...which is not
where it is shown on
this Fred's map

& back to Dover

Wednesday 14th August - Boarding

The taxi was late at 0941 but was fast, so we were at St. Pancras in plenty of time for the 1010 little bullet train to Dover, where we joined a Chinese couple in a taxi, as a bit too early for the shuttle bus. Too early to check in as well, which started at 12, so we had tea & sandwich, Avis having a cake as well but we were boarded onto the ship at 1300, having used our new Gold membership to jump the check-in queue & first on. Sonny, our Xmas Waiter from Xmas was prowling round the departure lounge, selling drinks & we said hello. Our luggage was already in the cabin as well.

Leaving Dover on a really nice day

I left Avis to unpack hers & went to the Cruise Office but no-one there. It turned out Ricky Germy is the Director, not Allan Tait, as I had been told. We had tea & were greeted by one of the fans of my talks. Another couple wanted to swap our 2nd sitting for their first. Good & we arranged it with the Maitre d' after lifeboat drill but it cost £36 to do, as we were on ultra-cheap tickets, both. The little lady, Maureen, in front of us in the queue turned out to be on our table with her husband in a wheelchair, John, who must have had a stroke, seems quite with it but has compound difficulties. Osso buco for dinner, which was very slow, which the waiter Victor apologised for. So, we missed the first part of the MIT Band's show. Avis slipped off to grab seats in the Neptune Lounge while I chatted to the Band. Terry & Dave have gone & Maria introduced the new members but I did not catch their names. (They were Mike, lead guitar & Ben, bass guitar). I told Steve I had watched his technique last Xmas because I used it in the last movement of my new symphony. The show was ok but much the same as one seen before It is by Explosive Productions. We met Ricky after. Avis went to bed but I chatted to a father & daughter, then a couple from Wigan in the Palms Café.

Thursday 15th August - Day at Sea

Usual breakfast, then a double port talk, quite thorough, by the Shore Manager but not Dublin, which was on the cabin telly & only covered the tours, not the town itself. There was a lecture on Irish history in the ancient times (celtic immigration etc) by Charles the Ross Herald. Otherwise during the day, I had a go at my web site but found it was an old copy except for the cruise stuff & the css was not working. I could not work out why, so I just made the script up for my 1st World War talk. Avis went to the gym before lunch while I walked round the deck a bit.

It was a formal evening & I had two ladies on my arms as we went to the Captain's cocktail party, as I had picked up the second best dressed lady, another Maureen, by teasing her about her dress (which was quite spectacular). Dinner duck for me, sole for Avis. We skipped the show & read in the Observatory Lounge. When Avis went to bed, I went for tea, chatting to Maria & Steve (of the MIT Band), who come off on October 4th & go home to Newquay, a long drive from Dover. I chatted to another couple & related the Thomas Yee story apropos of our going to Venice later this Autumn.

Avis, Captain Degerland & Ken at the Captain's Cocktail Party

Port 1 - Dublin

Port 2 - Belfast

Port 3 - Ullapool

Port 4 - Kirkwall

Port 5 - Invergordon

Next Page - Dublin

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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 31/8/2013 ©2013 Ken Baldry. All rights reserved.