Most recent John Allan Travel Blog
Fri 17 Jan ’14 – day 34    Having set the wakeup call for 06:30 hours, when the phone rang it was time for a shower and packing away the final few items before heading up to the Conservatory for breakfast.  Everyone seems to be tucking in to the proverbial ‘Full English’ even if it is just to get their last bit of monies worth from the cruise. The ship was already alongside at the Ocean Terminal, moored up and the turn round procedure has started.  Bags are be...

Wed 15 Jan ’14 – day 32    I was late to bed having listened to the band in The Crow’s Nest until the early hours, so it was Officer of the Watch’s announcement at 08:55 hours that woke me.  Once I had sorted myself it was up to the Crow’s Nest (again) where I sat for some time putting photos in the album; I have now finished the cruise on Azura and am working my way through 2011. Down to the Theatre Royal for a talk by Tony Yule on supersonic flight after Co...

Tue 14 Jan ’14 – day 31  The journey up the River Tagus was much better than our arrival on New Year’s Eve when the low mist prevented us even seeing the shore.  It was a little cool, but the visibility wasn’t bad and I managed to get some photos of the landmarks as we proceeded upstream towards our berth. However before we were moored alongside in Lisbon it was time for my final seaweed sweat and full body massage.  An hour and a half later I felt much improve...

Mon 13 Jan ’14 – day 30   I must have been tired because I was woken by the Officer of the Watch’s broadcast at 08:55 hours and then again at 10:00 hours when Gemma the Business Manger gave her daily update about what was happening on-board.  The next time I looked at my watch it was gone 11:00 hours and so I needed to get up and get ready for the Peninsular Club lunch being held in the Oriental Restaurant for the Baltic and Ligurian members, the most regular cruiser...

Wed 8 Jan ’14 – day 25   La Palma It was a very calm overnight passage down to Santa Cruz on the island of La Palma which was the first of what will be five consecutive port days as Oriana made her way around the Canary Islands. We were scheduled to make a later (10:00 hours) than normal (08:00 hours) arrival, but would not leave until midnight as the distance between the islands is relatively short.  In the event the ship was alongside, moored up and had clearan...

Tue 7 Jan ’14 – day 24  The sea had moderated even further overnight and so I was able to get a decent night’s sleep. As Oriana docked in Funchal, the capital of Madeira, the weather was poor with low cloud and rain showers and that is how it remained all day. There were a couple of other cruise ships in the harbour, MSC (Italian) and ARIA (German) and we were berthed out on the breakwater, but even in the harbour the wind was making the ship move around and roll...

Sat 4 Jan ‘14 – day 21   It was a bumpy night and one of the cupboard doors in my cabin would not stay shut and so it was swinging backward and forward and then making a loud thump as it hit the frame before opening once more when the ship lurched again.  So a disturbed night’s sleep and I wondered what the people in the next cabin thought about all the noise. Having dozed on and off for a few hours it was the broadcast at 08:55 hours by the Officer of the Watch t...

Fri 3 Jan ‘14 – day 20  I had decided not to spend the early part of January in what was likely to be a very cold and wet UK, so was staying on-board and doing what was known as back-to-back cruises.  This one was heading for the Canary Isles where I hope that we will see some sun. The weather was clear, if a little cool in the strong breeze from the west and the ship had moored at the Ocean Terminal in the Eastern Docks in Southampton at about 06:00 hours to commenc...

Wed 1 Jan ‘14 – day 18   As the fireworks finished the ship cast off and unlike our arrival the weather was now clear and so all the landmarks were clearly visible as we set off down the River Tagus heading for the open sea.  With the pilot disembarked a northerly course was set as the ship followed the coast of Portugal and Spain on the way back to her home port. Having partied until the early hours it was time for bed as the sea state had increased quite dramatica...

Tue 31 Dec ‘13 – day 17  Having been delayed in sailing from Gibraltar due to problems loading fuel oil, Oriana made a fast overnight passage so that it could pick up the Pilot at the allotted time when we arrived at the mouth of the River Tagus which leads to Lisbon. There was a low damp mist and this was obscuring the view as we proceeded up river towards our berth.  The Belem Tower and the Monument to Henry the Navigator were barely visible on the north bank and a...