M.V. DISCOVERY 27th April 2013
Friday 26th April 2013
I arranged to travel on the good ship DISCOVERY on 27th April 2013, sailing from Avonmouth Cruise Terminal, Bristol, on a weekend Mini Cruise. In fact it was very Mini, as we sailed from there to Liverpool, with about twenty-two hours sailing time. Fortunately we boarded early, so had time to enjoy the facilities on board. The ship was built in 1971 in Germany, at 20,216 tons, with four main diesel engines, and named Island Venture. She became Island Princess in 1999, then Hyundai Pungtak in 2001, then Platinum in December 2002. She is capable of carrying 800 passengers but Cruise & Maritime Voyages say they usually carry 698 maximum. She is owned now by All Leisure Holidays (Voyages of Discovery). She was occasionally used as 'The Love Boat' in the television series.
I took the train to Bristol because I wanted to visit the Clifton Suspension Bridge, over the River Avon Gorge. I stayed in Clifton Village, and my little hotel room in the Rodney Hotel was named after one of Admiral Lord Rodney's fleet: HMS RESOLUTION. I liked that maritime start to my weekend; then it was time to visit the Bridge in the bright Spring sunshine.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
First view into the Avon Gorge
Old and new jetties, on the city side of the bridge
By George, that's an attractive sight
Clifton Suspension Bridge
From Clifton Camp
Saturday 27th April 2013
I took a local bus back into the city centre, to meet some of my fellow travellers at the Temple Meads station, and in the distance could see two locomotives under steam, preparing to pull an old set of corridor railway carriages. They were cream and brown, which reminded me of pictures of the Cornish Riviera Express.
2 steam locomotives at Temple Meads Station
Then we set off by train for Avonmouth Cruise Terminal, which is located in the huge dock area, and where we would meet up with others in the group.
Avonmouth Cruise Terminal S
The only picture I could get
The Chart, without Avonmouth
My (original) single cabin 7225
There are eight passenger decks; on Sun Deck forward is the Yacht Club forward, then
Sun Deck Lido Bar
Sun Deck Pool and Buffet area under the magrodome roof
Riviera Deck Carousel Lounge
Riviera Deck Discovery Theatre
Palm Court leading to the Explorer Bar
1971 styling in the Discovery Lounge
Lovely to look at
Riviera Deck, looking forward to the Discovery Lounge with Card Room above
Bali Deck, mid-ships Reception area with its little Grand Descent staircase
Wonderful glass artwork
Coral Deck, Seven Continents Restaurant
Aft deck and the lock we have to go through. We knew we would arrive in Liverpool at the new Pierhead Terminal, rather than going into the lock there, but we seem to have exchanged it for a lock at Avonmouth. There was a strong wind blowing and it took the tugs and ship over an hour to get us into the lock and through it; the sun was shining down on us and it was lovely to be out on the teak decks.
Metal heap to rival the one at Newhaven
Not sure how to describe this, but it looked useful
Sunday 28th April 2013
'It's towable', said a marine engineer friend
I was keen to see and travel on DISCOVERY but was rather disappointed, especially with the food. This was a taster cruise, and I expected the food to be of a standard which would make first-time cruisers want to come back on board for a longer trip. The evening show was ABBA music with singing and dancing, which is always enjoyable. The plumbing on the ship was unreliable according to many people, and I don't choose to go into details here! At one point I was glad I was a female, when the toilet flushing system shot quite a lot of clean water out in the small gap between toilet seat and lid, which went over the bathroom floor and my feet. At least the toilet seat and lid were down! It wasn't life-threatening, but it was a surprise at the time.
I enjoyed the trip, and the ship, and I was very glad to have sailed on her, but I think I have discovered enough about her for the moment.
Discovery Life Ring