Cruising – the End

We passed the straits of Dover at about 11.00pm last night, and steamed through the busy English Channel during the night. We went east of the Isle of Wight, and then up the Solent before docking at Mayflower Terminal in Southampton this morning. We left our cabins at about 8.00am, had breakfast, and then had to hang about until about 9.30am before it was our turn to disembark. It was the end of a fantastic week. My first cruise, hopefully the first of many.

My cruise of the Norwegian Fjords actually finished a week ago. As I explained on my first cruise post last Monday, the internet charges were so high that it would have been impossible to upload these posts while I was on board. So this week I’ve had some fun reliving it again as I’ve worked on these posts, and undertaken some interesting extra research.

Norway is a simply beautiful country, the scenery is stunning, the snow-capped mountains breath-taking, the fjords stunning, and my trip to Briksdal Glacier in particular was awesome. The air is clean and clear, and the people we came into contact with were courteous and welcoming. And everywhere we went the locals spoke good English – something I was very grateful for as I am useless at anything but English!
The Oceana is a very luxurious cruise ship, the facilities are amazing, and in the week we were on board we hardly had time to scratch the surface of what was available. It was fun; it was educational, and I learned a lot. My only regret was that the internet charges were so high (at 50p a minute) that I could not research places that we visited while I was onboard, and I have since found out so much more! (Are you listening P & O?) I think the food on board could not be bettered, the choice, the variety of menus, and the presentation was great. I saw a couple of films, the live music in the Atrium was excellent, and I’m told that the entertainment was good, although I didn’t go to that as I was typing up my notes! I was also very pleased that I wasn’t sea-sick, and in fact when the sea was a bit rougher, I quite enjoyed it – maybe I have sea-faring ancestors! It did take me a couple of days though to get my ‘land-legs’ back again – it was about Tuesday afternoon before the ground stopped moving!
I enjoyed the company of my three friends, and after living closely with them for a week, I think I know them all better. I think that four was a good number, as it meant we were not in each others pockets all the time, we could choose different things to do, and not feel we were missing out on the things we wanted to do.

For those of you who like technical details:

The Oceana was built in Italy and is a sun class cruise ship, registered in Hamilton, Bermuda – which explains why the life belts that line the decks say ‘Oceana, Hamilton’ on them, something I had wondered about. It is 77,499 tons, is 857.3 feet long and 105.8 feet wide, and 3.2 times round the promenade deck is 1 mile. It has 15 decks, of which 11 are accessible to passengers. Its maximum speed is 21 knots, and can carry a maximum of 2272 passengers and 889 crew

Finally I must say a big thank you to my three friends, (you know who you are), for their friendship, their support (especially when I was feeling the effects of my cold), their good humour, their encouragement, and too much more to mention without boring everyone else.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading about some of our experiences, and if you haven’t already done so, maybe you could think about taking a cruise yourself. (And no, I’m not in the pay of P&O!)


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