We were en route to Rotterdam, in the wonderful Netherlands. We’d gone west to Swanage before turning into the shipping lane along the French coast. It was a smooth ride, though we were both so knackered after if we’d had a force 12 and rolled upside down we wouldn’t have noticed. At noon Captain Oprey said we were near Brighton! We’d not long woken up when he came on. The Golden Lion was packed so we hit the shops – yay!!! They’d moved the general one, which was a bugger. Golden Lion for lunch, now our appetite had been worked up. We both had their superb fish and chips then Rob asked if he could have just a plate of chips. Then we went to Connexions, to try and get Rob’s iPad connected and the manager was Christian, who had been on Aurora when I was last year. He’s an excellent manager, helping me a lot then and Rob today. A stroll on the Prom Deck and it did try to rain but was generally okay. I wonder how many people even noticed Lifeboat 16 was missing, and had been since February? I did see they’d covered Southampton with obvious paint with Hamilton stencilled over it while a life ring looked like someone tried to scratch Hamilton off.
Couple of drinks in the Golden Lion watching the world go by. Decided not to go to the Captain’s party but when we came out of the cabin for dinner, he and another officer walked past us and said hello. Dinner was great, apart from a woman with a chip on her shoulder. She and her hubby buggered off after the main course. Their absence was no great loss because she was an unfriendly cow who asked why I’ve done 35 cruises when I hate it but I’d never said I hated it. She didn’t join in the conversation except to make snide comments to everyone yet her hubby was more friendly and chatty. So good riddance and I hope she doesn’t spoil our table again. Back to the cabin and no idea where the time has gone because it’s been such a fabulous day.
Early start for Rotterdam! Up at 6am and on the observation deck. We turned and had a fireboat escort as we backed into the terminal.
After breakfast we headed onshore for photos and I was disappointed to discover so many great areas you could take them of the ship from were now either closed off or part of a building site.
Then while I went to visit my friend Ben in a hospice, Rob made his way to the Rotterdam and found the new bridge which cuts 30 minutes off the time to get there. Our all aboard had been brought forward to 7pm and we were off, steered by the deputy Captain, about 7.45pm. We had another fireboat escort as we blasted our way along towards the Hook of Holland, Rotterdam even saluting us, and lasted about half an hour.
Then to dinner, dash up five decks to the Prom to catch the pilot boat. It was pretty windy. A couple of hours later we wandered around the decks and saw two actors from the RADA theatre group with the Planetarium telescope on deck 13 then what looked like a an orange blob/burger but turned out to be a moon rise.
Skipped the Zeebrugge arrival. Both knackered! There was a crew drill in the morning. After a vile lunch from Kings Court and a better one from the Golden Lion, we went on the dock for photos. Despite the sun, it was a force 6 so when it became gusty, small stones would fly everywhere. Security were stopping people going near the bow, but didn’t have anyone posted there so a few managed to sneak pictures. We couldn’t get down the end thanks to a Cobelfret and so much work going on. Why the bloody hell don’t they separate cruise ships from others????
Back inside to wait for sailaway after a Coke in the Golden Lion.