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Published: July 18th 2019
In the digital age we sometimes expect too much, so despite being told we’d cross time zones in the night and would need to put clocks forward, we didn’t. We presumed that our phones would automatically adjust and sync with our watches. We presumed wrongly. The only signal I have is ‘Cellular at Sea’ and no data, so no updates. I’ve switched off all signals now after the text I received on rate advice.
All this means is that we got up later than planned. We had breakfast outside by the pool, with views of a distant oil rig and offshore windmills. We were 15 minutes late on the talk about our first port of call, Andalsnes, but it appeared that we didn’t miss much. It looked good; the talk was informative if a little dull but gave me an idea of the camera gear I’ll be lugging around!
Afterwards was a talk on glaciers, frozen seas and ice, which was interesting but it was so warm it was hard not to doze off. Next we went to the gym in a hopeless attempt to offset all the calories consumed with the abundant food. The food has been good
and portions small and well presented. But it’s constantly served and too inviting. Unlike the food, alcohol and soft drinks aren’t complimentary and not cheap either, so at least that curbs one excess a little.
There’s not as many people on deck as I would have expected, but lots of loungers with clear perspex blocking the sea breeze, so it’s quite warm despite being the North Sea. I’ve already found my favourite spot, at the top of the ship, near the gym. It’s sunny, but far away from the bars, so hardly any other people and at times only us. We sat there reading and inevitably dozed off.
We woke in time for the 3pm lecture on the Northern Lights which is doubtful we will see, as once we’re within the Arctic Circle, it’s going to be constant daylight. The talk was interesting, but again in the overly warm room and I was surrounded by sounds of gentle snores. I struggled to keep awake myself. The afternoon was spent at the lido bar reading and chilling with a beer. I wasn’t enticed into playing bingo or bowls on the landing. Glyn was desperate to join the Knit Knot
where passengers can sit together to do their knitting, but was gutted when he realised he’d forgotten his needles. There’s a flower shop on board. Yes really. Because that’s what I need to buy. But it’s only open from 1pm-2pm and 7pm-8pm.
Strolling around the decks romantically (holding hands) we came upon a group of people with lots of camera gear. I asked what they were looking at as all I could see was a vast expanse of calm sea and fluffy clouds. They were looking for all types of marine life and had already spotted minky whales, harbour porpoises and some birds. There should be a lot more tomorrow and they invited us to join them and we will. We have made friends!! We carried on strolling, finding new areas and a pigeon by the figurehead. Yes a real pigeon in the middle of the sea. According to my new mate, we’re somewhere level with Edinburgh, so we’re not going very fast at all considering we’d left Dover around 22 hours previously.
We passed other passengers on the early dinner sitting, donning their poshest of gear, with dickie bows galore in an array of colours despite it
being Black Tie Evening - clot-heads. A huge queue snaked it’s way around the decks for a meet and greet with the captain. But don’t go getting any ideas about shaking his hand, for hygiene’s sake! I think you get your photo with him, can you imagine that? I’d be the envy of all my friends.
There’s a form or torture onboard where they make you wear uncomfortable clothes before you are allowed to eat your dinner. I don’t know why they do this to us when we paid good money for this holiday - the menu was good but no better than yesterday when we could dress humanely. Shockingly though, some passengers appeared to be enjoying it and the couple next to us who barely spoke to each other last night, were actually beaming. But I suspect that had something to do with the Cava they’d been quaffing before arriving. The food was good but I was so glad to get back to our cabin so we could breathe and fart to our hearts’ content.
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