The third, fourth and fifth sea days as we run down the west coast of Africa. As I write this, at about 6.30am ship’s time in the Kings Court on Sunday 21st, we have just passed Liberia. We’re a little behind time because of the Dacca diversion but we shall still dock at Walvis Bay at 6.30 (4.30 am UK time in three days).
The days are beginning to develop a rhythm. I’m usually up at six and I go down to the Kings Court for some tea and coffee and to download emails. The Internet on board is much improved from our other cruise ship experiences, but it’s still slow when lots of people are using it. So I download my emails, early in the morning, and then go offline to answer or delete them. I’ll then go back on line later tonight or tomorrow morning to send them. That way I’m staying well within the 270 complimentary minutes Cunard have given us (worth about $100). We shall receive 270 more in Cape Town, and I hope, about 400 more in Perth.
After e-mailing I walk the deck. At the moment I’m keeping to my goal of briskly walking at least a couple of miles a day, passing the 30-mile point yesterday for miles covered since we boarded. I’ll do a few more circuits each evening evening before going to the gym briefly. And I’ll swim every day. None of this is likely to compensate long term for the food I’m eating. But up to now, ten days into the holiday, I have not put on any additional weight.
The day is usually spent around one of the pools with me in shade and Jan, inevitably, in full sun. We lunch informally, usually at the Boardwalk Cafe where they serve simple barbecue fare before returning to our rooms at around five. We spend some time on the balcony with a gin and tonic before changing for dinner. On Friday night, the 19th, and in recognition that we were about to cross the equator, it was the Neptune Ball.
We’ve had four cocktail party invitations in the first ten days, two exclusively for full World Voyage guests, both of which we attended (we didn’t attend the larger gatherings preferring our pre dinner Margaritas in the beautiful Commodore Club). Last night’s party was particularly pleasant and we enjoyed speaking to the Officers who attend en masse with their Captain. A young Registrar in Acute Medicine and Accident and Emergency, and who is spending an eight-week holiday as the second ship’s Doctor, was particularly impressive.
Dinner continues to work well with the six of us getting on well. We may try to expand the size of the table after CapeTown to accommodate some other World Voyagers who are keen to join.
Later when returning to the cabin for coffee and brandy on the balcony (Cunard have been entirely relaxed about our having brought quite a lot of alcohol on board at Southampton and Funchal) gifts of commemorative baseball caps (QM2 World Cruise 2018) and leather shopping bags, were waiting for us as well as on offer of complimentary personal stationery with our names and our QM2 address included. The 300 of us dong the full voyage continue to be spoiled. It’s all very nice.