Haynes World - ships, ferries, a laugh on the ocean wave, and other interesting things...

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Costa Victoria Part 5

Friday 22nd April 2011
Today we visit Palma de Mallorca, which should bring back a lot of memories. We berthed at 8 a.m. and it was raining; we had a leisurely breakfast, with open seating in the dining room. This was where we met an Italian lady, who enjoyed practising her English on us, sometimes with regrettable results. Three of us then went on a Cabin Cavalcade, which reminded me of one of my American friends – he introduced me to this delightful way of seeing different cabins on a ship, by visiting each shipmate’s cabin in turn.

On deck later we saw a couple of ferries through the rain,

T-Rex Uno
Abel Matutes

and then the sun came out and it was cruise ship weather – hooray. We disembarked, walked along the overhead walkway, looked down at a ferry astern of us,

Sorolla

and arrived at the terminal building. A local bus soon took us a couple of miles around the bay towards the city centre, where we could stop for coffee and enjoy the sun and watch the world go past. On land or sea, this is always a fascinating occupation – one must always ‘stop and smell the roses’, in whatever form this takes.

We continued towards Palma city around the bay, walking along the harbour-side of the dual carriageway road. On the other side of the road were various shops, and to my amazement I could see one called ‘Fish Spa’, and it was something I’d only read about, but never seen. In the bottom half of the pavement-side window was a full-width tank of water, with eight human legs dangling into it from bodies seated just above. In the water tank, though, were also some fishes and these were apparently gently nibbling at the feet of the humans, to remove dead skin. This process is called a Fish Pedicure, and is allegedly very popular in some countries. I think the jury is out on whether this is safe or not…


Phew, on with the walk, past the beautiful Palma Cathedral,


and then to a little quayside advertising harbour tours.


What fun – we can sail on yet another ‘MARCO POLO’!


According to the advertising board, several ships can often be seen, besides our COSTA VICTORIA: they offer the sight of COSTA VENTURA



and also AMERICO VESPUCCIO – how interesting. I feel a letter to Mr David Dingle might be called for here, as he loses one of his P&O fleet.

The tour was lovely in the sunshine, with good views of our own ship as we wended our way around the harbour.


Super-Fast Galicia
Costa Victoria's bow
Man in a boat doing something to the bow hull

Sorolla

There were some huge and palatial-looking yachts, and our boatman delighted in pointing out one owned by Michael Schumacher, one by Mohammed Fayed, and another owned by Gucci. He also delighted in taking orders for ice-creams, and then shouting the details down through a small trap-door to his colleague on the deck below; they soon appeared in a cardboard box, carried by the barman.


We went back to the ship by bus, mentally drafting that letter to Mr David Dingle, in time for tea and leisure on deck, watching the afternoon’s quiz game of guessing the countries, as National Anthems were played. Staff dressed up on the pool side stage depicting in turn the ten different countries – highly ‘cheesy’, possibly not PC, but hilarious to watch and enjoy. The UK came 4th in popularity although, guess what, Italy came first. We sailed at 5 p.m., heading for tomorrow’s port call at Cagliari.

Tonight is Gala Dinner, so posh frock time, ready for the Captain’s Cocktail Party and then First Sitting dinner in the Fantasia Restaurant. We enjoyed meeting our table companions for the first time, and it was an entertaining and memorable evening for so many reasons.

Ships seen: Sorolla, Murillo, Super-Fast Galicia, Abel Matutes, T-Rex Uno, Marco Polo (harbour tour) and yachts

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