|Date:||Port:||Flag:||Tour escort:||Comment:||04/10/2011||Southampton, UK|
|06/10/2011||Vigo, Spain||Sunny City|
|10/10/2011||Valletta, Malta||Maritime & Military Vittoriosa||Auberges and Maritime Museum|
|12/10/2011||Piraeus, Greece||Gods of Ancient Greece||Taxi back to ship with gastric 'flu!|
|14/10/2011||Varna, Bulgaria||(Sights of Varna & Balchik)||In isolation cabin!|
|15/10/2011||Constanza, Roumania||(Bucharest)||In isolation cabin!|
|16/10/2011||Odessa, Ukraine||In isolation cabin!|
|18/10/2011||Sevastopol, Ukraine||Wet morning, sunny afternoon|
|19/10/2011||Yalta, Ukraine||Cold morning, sunny afternoon|
|21/10/2011||Istanbul, Turkey||Panoramic||Old and new city|
|23/10/2011||Heraklion, Crete||Panoramic||Delightful Aghios Nikolaos!|
|26/10/2011||Mahon, Menorca||Glorious afternoon in town!|
|28/10/2011||Gibraltar||Europa Point & Tapas||Glorious morning!|
|29/10/2011||Lisbon, Portugal||Sintra Town & Palace||Glorious afternoon!|
|01/11/2011||Southampton, England||Glorious morning!|
This was my first cruise as a Senior Dance Host in a team of four. The first port of call was the lovely city of Vigo which I explored further than I had on my previous visit. The next stop was the marvellous city of Valletta on Malta. I hadn't realised that the original city founded by the Hospitaller Knights of St. John was actually Vittoriosa across the other side of the Grand Harbour. My tour included the auberges or hostels of the various western nationalities represented in the order. Afternoon tea in the Maritime Museum was certainly different.
The third destination was Piraeus, the port for Athens. My tour involved queuing for two hours to climb the Acropolis and standing in the hot sun precipitated gastric 'flu. I was taxied back to the ship and put in an isolation cabin for four days. When my temperature finally dropped I was allowed out again. The good news is that I lost over eight pounds in weight! In consequence I missed the first heat of the Strictly Come Dancing contest on board. I danced the jive with Joy through to second place and the cha cha with Eve to fifth place in the final.
On Monday the 17th we were unable to berth at Yalta and a new programme had to be produced at short notice so the Cruise Director asked me to give my lecture "The Story of the Mediterranean". In the next two ports, Sevastopol and Yalta, the morning's were poor but the afternoon's were fine. In Istanbul I escorted the panoramic tour in the morning and went into the marvellous old city on the shuttle bus in the afternoon. I also went on the panoramic tour from Heraklion on Crete. This took us to the delightful fishing village of Aghios Nikolaos.
No tour in Mahon on Menorca enabled me to photograph all the city sights for a future port talk. I escorted a tour to the Europa Point at the extreme southern end of Gibraltar. We also visited the Spanish border at the extreme northern end of Gib. The tour ended with two schooners of sherry and unlimited tapas at a marina side restaurant! In Lisbon I went on the Sintra Town & Palace tour again. Here he had a pastry with freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee. On the last sea day I was able to give my "Story of the English Channel" lecture.
09:00 - 09:40 Line dance class in the Ballroom. 12:30 - 13:00 Lunch in the Lido. 13:00 - 14:00 Siesta 14:15 - 15:15 Ballroom / Latin American dance class in the Ballroom.
06:30 - 07:15 Pre-dinner dancing in the Britannia Lounge. 07:15 - 08:45 Dinner in the main dining room. 08:45 - 09:30 Pre-show dancing in the Ballroom. 09:45 - 10:30 Showtime. 10:30 - 11:15 Post-show dancing in the Ballroom.