Welcome to day two of our cruise. My apologies that the first day ran on so long but the scene needed setting. Day two is a sea day. We originally only had two days at sea but it was changed due to several islands sadly being devastated by a massive hurricane a few months prior.
I woke up, still on British time, around half 3 and couldn’t get back to sleep. Usual for me when travelling back in time for a holiday. Opposed to putting your watch forward when travelling east. I went outside keen to see the stars, I imagined a huge blanket of them in the cloudless sky away from land and light pollution. None of it. The ship gives off an abundance of light from its 16 odd decks and the lights that pour out at water level. There were no more or no less stars than I was used to. Also, the ship makes a weird screeching sound at night as if some sort of Mermaid/Siren were guiding us through the dark night time seas. So much for the impressively quiet engines.
The Sister arrived early to ask if she could sit on our balcony having been sick for most of the night. The sea was particularly choppy and all the times people had said to me ‘you won’t feel the boat moving’ came flooding back. Turns out, lots of people were ill due to particularly high winds creating unseasonably high swells. Having sampled the fresh air we keep on the balcony we made our way to the buffet for breakfast. A source of more confusion as the ‘Horizon’ daily information sheet told us to expect a continental breakfast between 6.30am and 7am with full English after. It seemed to be a full continental when we arrived at 8 but got stuck in with all the sausages and bacon I felt necessary, that is after being apprehended by the Purell Police. One does not simply enter the feeding trough without copious amounts of hand gel being applied first. The dosage is just unreasonable and takes a good few minutes of furious hand rubbing to soak in. I guess viruses spread pretty quickly without it though.
Full of food and coffee we ventured around the ship to see what delights it held for us. All this amazing entertainment that would keep us busy for the next two weeks.
We did at least find the spa and straight away booked in for a couples massage as per our tradition on holiday, signing up for a raffle to win vouchers whilst we were there. We also found the outdoor cinema screen, which is so ludicrously damaged and pixelated that it would be unwatchable for me.
We found the shops and finally bumped into the first members of our extended family we had seen so far. The Bride and Groom none the less, along with my other cousins and their little boy. He has grown since the last time we saw him and become a proper little person now. He’s actually way too adorable and funny to be a member of our family though.
Back to the spa for the raffle and there were not many people there, the rules clearly state that you have to attend the raffle in order to win so we start feeling lucky. I won the £100 voucher, The Wife won a £50 voucher and The Sister won nowt. Things are starting to look up.
Having been around a large chunk of the ship by now, we all felt we knew where we were going. We did not know where we were going and it led to an arguement about whether the carpets were green or blue in the area by the lift. It was settled as green by the map we were given on Day 1 that stated each set of stairs had a different coloured carpet so you knew if you were at the front, middle or aft of the ship. Clever. Also bumped into the rest of the clan. The general mood was miserable so roughly normal for our lot really.
We went to reception for the first time as The Sister wanted to make an enquiry. Convinced she had read in the brochure that free water, tea and coffee were available 24hrs a day, she wanted to know where this was as she expected there to be lots of stations around the ship providing it. The woman on the desk got the wrong idea and asked for written proof as she thought we had some sort of special deal. Despite a great deal of talking to other people she could not help us. It turns out there are machines in the buffet area and that’s it but it took a long time to get to that statement.
Back to the spa. The sea, was once again getting choppy and the adult only swimming pool was quite violently throwing its water out all over the deck and straight into the spa waiting area. See photo below. It even had it’s own waves and tide. Our hot stone massage was very good and so we booked in for two more. It was recommended to us as we both have knots in our backs and we saw no reason to argue.
We returned to the buffet and then went back to the room where the wife slept and I did some more puzzles, my answer to boredom relief whenever the internet is unavailable. Soon realised we needed to get ready for dinner. It turns out that Sunday night is the Captains gala. It’s the first black tie night of the cruise and your first opportunity to meet the captain and have another ‘purchase at the end’ photo taken. We had no idea about this three weeks ago when we booked into the Sindhu Indian restaurant. Needless to say, the place was pretty empty except for Frank Butcher and fat Pete Waterman lookalikes and a small group containing a woman who was so sun exposed that she looked like brown leather. The food was exceptional and very gourmet due to the two Michelin stars owned by the guy who created the menu. I had a beef and flatbread starter, a fillet steak with Bombay potato for main and a fruit parfait for desert. The desert came with a chilli glas. It was spicy to say the least and literally brought tears to my eyes.
We did not see the captain, funnily enough. We did however run into the poor woman that appeared to have been dragged through a hedge. She was now in her evening wear and still had a barnet that looked like a fixer upper for a young bird getting on the nesting ladder. That was apparently her actual hairstyle, on purpose. This warranted a closer look and it was clear she had two companions, both of a similar age and somewhat younger than the hair lady. It was not clear if they were a couple and Hair Lady was mother to one of them, or even if both of them were her children. Regardless, they were now known collectively as The Hair People.
The Sister, still a bit queasy, went straight to bed so me and the wife went for a drink in one of the bars, we thought it was Manhattan but it really wasn’t. Most of our clan were in there and all the youths had gone to bed with varying degrees of sea sickness. The sea was still choppy and we retired to our room to enjoy the swaying of the ship. That’s not a euphemism.
I’m not sure if it was the food, the cider or the massage but I genuinely do not recall getting into bed.
I assure that the following posts have more pictures and even videos.
Read day 3 here