Friday, 6 July 2018
AEGEAN ODYSSEY 17th June 2018 Part 3
At last we could board the ship up the gangway, hooray, and get to our respective cabins. On the coach we had each been handed a ship's plan and our cabin cards so I was soon in my twin-bedded inside cabin 4019. My suitcase was outside the door and I was able to head up on deck for lunch. On the stairs I had to pass Reception and the staff on duty all gave me a smile.
There was no opportunity to take a picture of AEGEAN ODYSSEY at present, and I could only enjoy the memory of being in Portoferraio, on the island of Elba, on 22nd June 2015 when I was on a ferry coming into port and AEGEAN ODYSSEY was also manoeuvring into port. It was dusk and the light was fading fast but she looked such an interesting little ship. Little did I know back then that I would be on board that same little ship in June 2018.
It is such a relief to be on board at last, although I've really enjoyed all the happenings over the last forty-eight hours. The sun is now out and my travelling companion and I decided not to go down to the Marco Polo Restaurant for lunch but to head for the Terrace Cafe and Grill up on Promenade Deck. It was full of cheerful passengers and equally welcoming Catering Staff, and also a good selection of hot and cold food. It had been a long time since breakfast and this was all very welcome.
I found I was thinking about this morning's visit to the underground caves cut into the limestone, often under the vines, and how cold they felt. I remembered also that the 2016 harvest was said to be excellent, which was soon to be on the market. The village of Saint Emilion was amazing to visit with its monolithic church and medieval heart, as well as the vineyards. Bordeaux had been a fascinating city to visit and start to discover, and it is certainly somewhere I would be happy to visit again.
Lunch was enjoyed and then I retired to my cabin for a rest until Boat Drill at 5.30, with its compulsory attendance. My station was in the Ambassador Lounge on Promenade Deck and I noticed that all the instructions and information were given very clearly. A little later we heard from other passengers that a few nights ago at sea there had indeed been an emergency, when there was an engine room fire and everyone had to go to their Boat Drill Muster stations and wait there for what turned out to be a couple of hours. Frequent announcements had been made to reassure everyone, but it had been worrying for a time, understandably. Everyone had been most relieved when they were told that the fire had eventually been extinguished and staff had been stood down from Emergency Drill well after midnight.
After Boat Drill I returned my life jacket to my cabin and headed back up the stairs again to the Ambassador Lounge for a Welcome on Board talk for new passengers. We are to have a day at sea tomorrow (Tuesday) and then visit Falmouth on Wednesday and Dartmouth on Thursday. On Friday we are to visit Honfleur. The talk was accompanied by slide pictures, and these also included a few phrases about the destinations; it was immediately obvious that the spellings of some words had not been checked or edited - what a shame.
The next event was a drink in the lovely Charleston Lounge from attentive Bar staff with the sun shining down outside;
this was followed by dinner down in the Marco Polo Restaurant on Marco Polo Deck. The dead-lights were down over the portholes, with lightweight curtains covering all, but the lighting and silverware offset this gracefully. There was open seating for dining between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. and a happy atmosphere throughout by the sound of it. The food choice was very good, as was the service, with included wine and drinks.
Back on deck there was still some light at 10 p.m. and we watched the gangway removed by 10.25 p.m. as orders were given to sail. We left the quayside with the Pilot on board and were soon heading out to the sea for our journey to the UK initially through part of the Bay of Biscay and then towards the Western Approaches of the English Channel.
I went to bed.
Ships seen: Aegean Odyssey, Russian Tall Ship whose name I couldn't see or write, Belem the French Tall Ship barque
To be continued...