X819 - Oriana to the Eastern Med

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barnsfield
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Re: X819 - Oriana to the Eastern Med

Post by barnsfield » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:38 pm

prefdavid wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:05 am
sunseeker wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:55 pm
Am enjoying following your trip David (and slightly embarrassed at not doing an account of ours - oh dear)
Hope Seville was wonderful - we’ve never got there; we just love Cadiz too much. One day!
Don't worry about it Hilary, just enjoy.

I've been reading Sue Kershaw's reports as I'm pretty sure she's on the same cruise as you.
Hilary, Sue is on Arcadia. x
Sandra 8-)


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prefdavid
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Re: X819 - Oriana to the Eastern Med

Post by prefdavid » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:54 am

Tuesday 9th October

Although I had a good night’s sleep it was about 7am when I woke and rather than wake Tina, sneaked into the sitting area in the cabin to catch up on things on the computer for a while and then realised that I really needed a drink so got the kettle on to make us a cup of tea to start us off for the day. Once again we gave breakfast a miss but were both ready in time to head down to the line dancing which heralded the start of a very active day for us.

When joining this we noticed our friend Suzanne was missing but part way through she came in and we discovered that her cabin had been flooded out and she was looking for her husband as it had been ok when he’d left the cabin earlier in the morning. Believe they’ve been sorted with an alternative cabin now but haven’t seen them since to confirm this yet.

After we’d taken part in that class we stayed for the ballroom lesson as the dance instructors were teaching a sequence waltz we didn’t know, called the Sweetheart Waltz. Apparently it’s been around for 40 years but we’d never heard of it and so that’s now another dance to add to our repertoire. Very simple and even newcomers to dancing should be able to pick this up.

Then it was time to get a light lunch and once again we headed up to Al Frescos for this and then it was back to the cabin for a brief break before a very busy afternoon of activities.

First we went again to the dancercise class, which was hard work and then followed this by staying on for the salsa. It’s quite good fun this but it does seem to be moving very slowly and just hope that they’ll crack on and add a bit more to this, as I find it rather boring just doing the same basic movements again and again.

Then we again attended the ballroom lesson for another sequence dance, this time the Oriana Waltz, which was somewhat more complicated than the morning dance and by the end of the lesson there was only a handful of couples really managing to complete this. I had intended to go to the cricket but it wasn’t mentioned in the Horizon paper, although I later discovered it had been taking place despite this omission.

Then whilst Tina went back to the cabin for a rest I made it up to the table tennis competition where I managed to add another gold sticker after winning the final.

We’d arranged to meet Pete & Sue for a pre dinner drink in their cabin, so didn’t get too long a rest before it was time to get ready for another black tie night and then went off to meet them.

After a very refreshing G&T we headed into the Pacific Lounge, where CJ and Inspiration were performing a show about the British Female Icons of the sixties. A really good show, as CJ has a lovely voice and a very warm and engaging manner and some great songs, although obviously I’m far too young to remember songs from that long ago! :lol:

Time to head to dinner after the show and we got a table for six and were joined by a couple from Cheshire and once again had a very nice meal with excellent company and it was getting on for 10pm before we left as we carried on talking for quite a while.

We then went into Harlequins for a short time to watch (not join in) the dancing and stopped to talk to Hughie Taylor for a little while (which is when I found out the cricket had still been held). We weren’t in there for too long before we made our way to the Theatre for the final performance by Ida and once again, a very professional show by these four ladies with great voices.

By the time this ended, we only had energy left to get our bedtime hot drinks from the Conservatory and then retire for the night.

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sunseeker
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Re: X819 - Oriana to the Eastern Med

Post by sunseeker » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:40 am

You’ll need a new cruise to rest from all the activity on this one!
It all sounds great
Hilary

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Batwoman
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Re: X819 - Oriana to the Eastern Med

Post by Batwoman » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:43 am

For all those non cruisers I've met who state, oh I'd be bored on a ship.....I shall refer them to you in future David! :)
Lizzie x

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prefdavid
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Re: X819 - Oriana to the Eastern Med

Post by prefdavid » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:27 pm

Wednesday 10th October

Another early start for me I’m afraid, as I have a bit of work that needs sorting and I think it must have been weighing on my mind, so got up and worked on the responses that need to be sent. Whilst up I picked up on a few other bits as well as writing the blog from yesterday and by 8.30am it was time to get the kettle on for the morning cuppa.

A lot more limited in our activities today as we were invited to the Baltic/Ligurian lunch being held at Noon and it would have been rude not to accept this. Unfortunately Tina got something in her eye as we were having our cuppa and it caused a bit of irritation and soreness so we didn’t make it to the line dancing but with the help of some eye drops I have, the irritation went away after a little while and we were able to comfortably make it to the lunch.

We were on a table for five hosted by the Technical Stores Manager, George who was a most entertaining host. An ex royal Navy man and despite being from Yorkshire he was good fun and the conversation never stopped throughout the meal. Neither would the wine if the wine waiter had his way but I managed to stop him topping up my glass before drinking so much I’d have slept for the rest of the day. The other couple on our table were from Huddersfield and were charming company.

A short rest was necessary as we got back to the cabin before I headed up to enjoy the cricket followed by the table tennis but no sticker today losing a very close semi final by 2 points.

It was another very pleasant day as we sailed on towards Sicily but there was quite a wind blowing if you ventured up onto Deck 13 although not too noticeable whilst playing cricket but apparently the quoits players found it extremely challenging.

Time for another rest break and then as neither of us wanted a full dinner we ventured up to the Conservatory for a light dinner from the Mediterranean buffet.

We finished here with time to spare and meandered our way towards the Theatre which meant a browse in the shops and Tina spotted a Pandora charm that fits nicely into the theme of her bracelet and as they had a 10% off sale on, a quick purchase was soon completed.
The show was the comedian Adrian Walsh and he was even funnier than his first performance and it’s a gentle observational humour and very cleverly pitched at the audience he knows will be receptive to this.

As we’d not been dancing on this cruise and didn’t fancy seeing the singer David Kidd do his own cabaret act, we went into Harlequins and enjoyed a few dances, including one of the waltzes learnt the day before. The music was from Inspiration and they are a good band to dance to, very good tempo for all the dances and enjoyable to listen to when you’re not dancing too.

We stayed until gone 11pm but as we’re on a tour tomorrow going to Taormina on a “Godfather” tour, we decided to call it a day and retire for the night.

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Batwoman
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Re: X819 - Oriana to the Eastern Med

Post by Batwoman » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:48 am

It's good to have a quiet(er) day now and again! Hope you enjoy your Godfather tour.
Lizzie x

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prefdavid
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Re: X819 - Oriana to the Eastern Med

Post by prefdavid » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:45 am

Thursday 11th October

Up relatively early as we’re out on a tour with the Thrapston 4 today and room service breakfast ordered, though a quick phone call needed as Tina thought she’d forgotten to put a time on the card (she had but not a problem) and soon delivered at the time required.

Breakfast eaten and we got ready to head off to meet the Thrapston 4 in Reception at 9am and we didn’t have too long to wait before the announcement came that we were ready to go. We were directed to the shuttle bus but not long after we set off we passed our driver holding a sign for us and it took a while before we managed to make the guide on the shuttle understand we wanted to get off now, not where the shuttle was planning to stop! Anyway eventually we managed to get off (despite the harrumphing of some grumpy bloke sat behind us) and walked back a few hundred yards to where Gianfranco was waiting.

Soon we were all sitting comfortably in his Mercedes mini bus and set off for Savoca. It was quite entertaining being sat at the front of the bus and watching the moped and motorbike riders dodging through the traffic. No advanced riding techniques here, just spot a gap and go for it regardless and that seemed to be the case with most of the drivers too. Not as bad as Rome but still a few near misses spotted.

It was about an hour before we arrived in Savoca and we had some great views of Mount Etna as we drove along. Gianfranco gave us information about Sicily, the area of Catania as we went along and was quite happy to answer any questions we had. Savoca is the town where a number of the scenes from The Godfather were filmed, especially the wedding of Michael Corleone.

When we arrived we were in the little square outside Bar Vitelli and this offers great views as we’re very high up near the top of the hill that the town is built on. Bar Vitelli seemed popular with all the tables outside being occupied and inside are many photographs and souvenirs of the film.
We then walked up to the Church where the wedding scene was filmed and then carried on walking round here with Gianfranco pointing out various things about the history of the town and all of this combined with spectacular views made for a very enjoyable time here.

Our next stop was lunch and after asking us all what we’d prefer Gianfranco took us to a little restaurant, Ritrovo Nipo, well away from the tourist areas of Taormina and we enjoyed a proper Sicilian lunch with a bottle of white wine for the ladies and a couple of beers for us gents.
Off now to Taormina town centre and we walked around here for a while, purchased a leather belt from one of the street vendors (well all three of us men did, makes a change for us to get something) and then as we were about half way of the walk along Gianfranco was there and walked along with us pointing out a few things along the way and by now it was time to head back to the ship where we arrived a little after 4pm.
A great day out and whilst we could have done something similar with P&O for a bit less cost we were all delighted with our day and would happily recommend the tour company www.sicilywithsebastian.com to anyone.

Back on Oriana and a quick trip to Reception to ask about the procedure for getting tender tickets in Dubrovnik as we have a private tour booked there and the very helpful Receptionist, Tausif, asked for all the details, called the Customer Services Manager and advised that our group of 10 would have tickets reserved for the first tender and where we needed to be to collect them on the day. This was great service indeed.
We went out to the aft decks for the sailaway but there was nothing happening other than a bit of flag waving from the shore, so we headed back to the cabin to get ready for the evening. There was a gin tasting being held in the Atrium so we visited this and were tempted to purchase a bottle or two before realising that these were being sold duty free so this would impact on our intended purchase in Gibraltar, so in the end didn’t get any. Quick visit to the jewellery store where we were given a small glass of bubbly as part of our VIP invite but even that didn’t persuade me to part with £4K for one of the ruby rings we spotted!

Went into the Lords Tavern where we joined the gang although we’d missed the start of the quiz but we weren’t able to help the team to success but were able to get a round in.

Off to dinner in the MDR as I’d spotted Liver and Onions on the menu and we had a table for the two of us with no difficulty, enjoyed our meal and were out with time to spare before heading into the Theatre for the Headliners show, Night of a Thousand Stars, which again was performed very well.

Tired from our long day we headed straight off to bed after this.

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Batwoman
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Re: X819 - Oriana to the Eastern Med

Post by Batwoman » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:12 am

Another full on day, topped off by the belt purchase! :)
Lizzie x

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prefdavid
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Re: X819 - Oriana to the Eastern Med

Post by prefdavid » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:29 pm

Friday 12th October

No rush this morning as we’d agreed to meet at 10am but I was still up at 7am and caught up with most of my work before getting the tea brewed once Tina was awake. We’d planned to go for breakfast but neither of us were that hungry and as the weather forecast was a bit gloomy I popped out to see what it was like and as I called in at the Conservatory, spotted a raisin muffin calling to me.

We got the shuttle bus into town (Corigliano Calabro) which was about 10-15 minutes from the port and headed up the hill towards the Ducal Castle. We stopped en route for coffees and hot chocolate, the chocolate was so thick it was more like a Heinz baby chocolate pudding (according to Tina) but once we’d added a good bit of hot water to it, it was drinkable and had a lovely flavour.

We then carried on until we reached the Castle and paid our €5pp entrance fee and then spent quite a while looking round here before finishing up by climbing the spiral metal staircase to the top of the tower and being able to see the panoramic views of the town and surrounds from here.

As we were leaving the heavens opened so naturally we headed into the nearest bar, where a few beers were consumed by the boys whilst the ladies were on Brandy. Stayed here until the rain had stopped and then headed back towards the bus but stopped at another little bar just round the corner from the bus stop where more beers were consumed whilst the ladies sampled the limoncello.

By the time we got back to the ship we needed something to eat so went up to Al Frescos and then headed back to the cabin where the effects of the drink must have overcome us as it was gone 6pm when we woke.

As the Headliners were performing killer queen in the Pacific Lounge we went down there to see another excellent show. Not heard anything but praise for this troupe and this was definitely the best rendition we’ve ever experienced of this show.

Neither of us fancied going into the MDR, so we popped up to the Conservatory for a light evening meal, Country & Western buffet and very nice it was too.

Rather than go for a drink we went back to the cabin for a read and then headed down to the Theatre to see Adam Heppenstall whose show was described as “Fun Magic with some Audience Participation”. No idea how he did any of his tricks and 45 minutes went by very quickly.

Straight off to the cabin to retire for the night as we’re off on a tour in Dubrovnik tomorrow.

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Batwoman
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Re: X819 - Oriana to the Eastern Med

Post by Batwoman » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:46 am

A liquid day both internally and externally then David! Hope the rain stays away for the rest of your cruise, we’ve got plenty of the stuff here, more than we need!!! :(
Lizzie x

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