Isles of the Mediterranean Cruise - Index Page

Isles of the Mediterranean Cruise - April 3rd-20th 2018

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Isles of the Mediterranean Cruise by Fred Olsen

Off for a cruise on this lovely Fred Olsen ship.

The MV Balmoral, photoed at Ibiza

There are two trains per hour from Waterloo to Southampton Central, where you can take a taxi to the ship.
Parking in very expensive in Southampton

The trip took us from Southampton to

Note, not El Ferrol, as shown on the map

& back to Southampton

Leaving Southampton on a grey day. The view towards the New Forest

Tuesday 3rd April 2018 - Boarding

We got up at 7, so we were away before 09:30 and actually caught the 10:05 train with minutes to spare. Nasty sarnies in the terminal £7. Not so, the ship. We were on by 13:30 and our bags were ready but we had tea first before unpacking. It was a dull day but at least, did not rain. Of the several people we talked to, all seemed anti-brexit & some, pro-Labour but did not 'test' the others. I got into conversation with a couple of old blokes by telling them what the Rosetta Stone languages were but I might not have been right about the cuneiform. Avis starving so we had our starters in the Palms and went to dinner later. We are on a table for 8, as requested for once but only 4 more turned up. They seem all right but Keith looked grim when I described Boris as a scoundrel. Well, he is. Crashed out after. Although we do not do much, travel day is tiring anyway. The clocks went on tonight as the 1st port is in Spain.

Wednesday 4th April 2018 - Day at Sea

Rolling a bit this morning at first but we got up at 07:55. Avis' rash is worse but she would not go to the doctor at home. It was raining, so carried on with the Caesars. Nick the Cruise Director introduced the entertainers. There is an American woman speaker, Rina & we had a lively chat about Lola Montez, where I filled the gaps in her knowledge. Then, a useful port lecture of Ferrol. Later, there was a more useful one on Ibiza but mst the museums will be closed & it's a long way from the ship to the Old City. Dressing up night. At the Captain's cocktail party, he explained with desperate-looking slides, that the storm coming in from the West needed to be out-run, so he was skipping Ferrol and going in to Almeiria, where we have been before. The missing bods came to dinner - Ian & Janice, who is a live wire, unlike the other two wives. He is ex-Navy. The singer was surprisingly good, a coloratura soprano who hit the notes in the middle, including Frülingsstimmen & Queen of the Night.

Thursday 5th April 2018 - Still at sea

Up at 08:01. They have arranged 3 tours from Almeiria, which is pretty good. We booked Alpujarras and I gave the Shore Office, which has Sally from Braemar days in it, my pictures off my web pages for a Port Lecture show. He did Barcelona in the morning & Rina, the American, did "Over paid, over sexed & over here" after lunch but we missed the next geography talk, as two back to back is a bit much. Avis insisted on tea & got me a cream one but I must not do this too often. Then, I went for a walk on the deck. The air is much warmer but Fast! I was well wrapped up in a fleece & puffer jacket, though. I did some of it with Ian. Otherwise, I worked on my talks, which need it, as the Roman Occupation of Britain is too short, so I will integrate it with the Roman Empire talks. Then, I started on a Claudius + talk from after his invasion of Britain.

Friday 6th April 2018 - Still at sea

Jack Wilson, the Port Lecturer, did use my slides & give me a credit. Then, there was the Oceans Party but no slides. Something went wrong. We sat with an old widow we had noted for terrible over-done eye makeup. She was Diamond member. We are 'only' Platinum so far. The weather seemed worse in the morning. However, it was better later & I did a few turns round the deck & ended up with over 9k. Heather Luke, the video girl said she would sign up as a FB friend. Viktor Bijelovic did a piano recital with one of the Goyescas, the Appasionata Sonata & Carnival of Pest, no compromise. Some of it was too fast. We went to the 21stC Swing show, which I did not think much of at Xmas but was a bit better tonight, although the best songs are pre-war, let along 21stC.

Port 1 - Almeria

Port 2 - Ibiza

Port 3 - Barcelona

Port 4 - Ajaccio

Port 5 - Olbia

Port 6 - Palermo

Port 7 - Palma

Port 8 - Cadiz

Port 9 - Lisbon

Next Page - Almeria

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Contact: Ken Baldry at 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 or e-mail him
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