Aurora Cruise – Bergen to Southampton

Because of my back I went back to bed then stayed on the ship while Juanita went on her Hardangerfjord tour. There was a crew drill at 10am and I went to the Cyb@Study about 11am. It was like the Mary Celeste on this ship with abandoned laundry trolleys in the corridors!

The signal was crap so I came off after uploading the previous instalment. Lunch in the Sidewalk Cafe then I don’t remember what I did but it must have been exciting! Juanita got back just after 4pm. There was a Great British Sailaway Party at the Terrace Pool so I went to see what was going on.

I managed to speak to Natalie Milverton, the cruise director, as she was handing over Union Jacks. Steve Read had asked me to say hello last November but I didn’t get the chance so I told her about that and how he’s now sadly died. I then went forward because that’s the best place to get us going under the bridge.

Bergen stowaways


Marge


Gemini


Mike found me up there after Marge had given up trying to find Cedric. Juanita came along after we’d cast off. The decks became crowded as people realised they were in the wrong place.


Mike then went to find the others from the wedding party. After we’d turned, I began to get a little emotional thinking how so much has happened since Bergen Night on Lizzie in 2008. Lizzie was gone, rotting in the heat and dust of Dubai and totally unloved. Steve was gone and, more importantly, my mum was. I’d thought I’d be upset when I saw Juanita again, since it was during her overnight stay to see my mum last July we booked this trip but had been fine until the emotions began in Geiranger and continued in Bergen. Also, the last time I’d been on this gorgeous ship was just 2 days after my mum died. I definitely enjoyed THIS trip! So the connections between Aurora in November with my mum and Steve gave me a heavy heart too. Life can be really shit at times. Captain had said we’d be hitting bad weather in the North Sea, up to a force 9 – wooo! Ending as we began!


Dinner was rough, propellers coming out of the water often apparently. We were given the menus in a nicer presentation folder than my last one in 2008. It didn’t contain all of them, however, including that night. Afterwards we went to the Atrium for a group shot of our noisy table and then Invisibles film quiz in Champions, hosted by Gavin. Where we sat we had a lovely view of his bum whenever he adjusted the microphone sound. Nice!

We had our disembarkation info. We had yellow cards which were the last at 10.10am. Yet the leaflet said NO announcements will be made so who’s to stop people just walking off? Also the tips envelopes were in the cabin.

A day at sea before home. Juanita did her laundry then I went to the Cyb@Study to finish my minutes. The thing doesn’t calculate properly. I worked out I had 64 left after it said I had 90 yet when I logged on it said 40 so I had to buy another package of 30. Crafty! I said goodbye to Christian, who had been a great help during our bad signal days or when the thing just didn’t work at all.

Christian in the Cyb@study

We went to get lunch then to the photo shop to look at last night’s portrait. Emporium to check on those Oriana postcards which say Aurora and I bought a few more.


Loads of wrong postcards

The bloke at Reception printed off some more Britain Today. Meanwhile the wind speed went to a Force 10 – woo!

We had some window washing and the webcam drowned in the rain. Afternoon stuff starting with Scattegories. We got 5 points, which was our second best total after 6 the first time we played. We had 2 for Anthony Ainley after I explained he was the Master in the original Dr Who. I overheard some twat say, “How sad is that?” and that bloke wasn’t even playing! Picture quiz with Gavin afterwards. Our friendly rival Phil (got his name now) thought we’d jumped ship since he said he hadn’t seen us since Reykjavik. We both got 16 points and were beaten by a tie at 17. After our final dinner we went to collect the DVD. Now even the Horizon said it would be ready after 8pm yet someone had been telling people it was 2pm or 6pm. I was asked when I got mine and said I’d ordered on the first day and asked if would be after 8pm and told yes. It always is on cruises and many people would have several from their trips so couldn’t possibly be THAT thick – or could they???? Finished the packing and went to Gavin’s final quiz in Masquerades. We didn’t win but got one more point than Phil – yay! I stayed to have a farewell drink with Mike while Juanita went to finish her packing then she came back to say there was a ship outside. Due to distance (wish we’d known we were passing) and wind, photos of Ryndam en route to Dover were crap!

Ryndam


Back for the drinks and my Coke with ice and no lemon had arrived as diet Coke with lemon and no ice. The place was dead anyway and me, Mike and the crew were the only people in it! Back to the cabin to put the luggage out. Some had put them out in the morning and even the day before! Clocks back an hour so extra sleep – woo!

I woke up at 5am so I could be out for our arrival. It was cold but sunny!



HOME!!!!!





We docked by 6.30am and, instead of getting off at 10.10am, were now 40 mins earlier. The problem was, once you got down to the atrium around the allocated time since there were no announcements, you were told you could just go regardless. Why couldn’t they have said that before???? The final bill wasn’t like the interim one (which you now have to ask for instead of automatically being given it). Juanita couldn’t make head nor tail of it. She said it didn’t even have a final total or how much she’d spent, only mine carried over to her card, and when she asked for one like the interim was told they couldn’t do it. Well they had them like that on Arcadia in June 2010! A shame to leave but it had been fun!

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