|Date:||Port:||Flag:||Tour escort:||Comment:||08/11/2009||Portsmouth, UK||First time from here!|
|10/11/2009||Bilbao, Spain||Guggenheim Museum||Wet|
|11/11/2009||La Coruna, Spain||Scenic tour||Windy|
|12/11/2009||Oporto, Portugal||On your own||Impressive city|
|14/11/2009||Gibraltar||Rock tour||Lighthouse, cave & apes!|
|15/11/2009||Lisbon, Portugal||Lovely Obidos||Charming walled town|
|18/11/2009||Portsmouth, England||£80 car park charge!|
I've just got back from a lovely cruise to the Iberian peninsula on Boudicca. I sailed from the Portsmouth continental ferry port for the first time. I was a tour escort in a record five out of five ports! In Bilbao we spent a wet morning inside the Guggenheim museum. Lovely building, shame about the contents: huge sheets of steel plate etc. In La Coruna I did the city tour for the first time. On my first visit to Oporto I was tour escort on the "On your own" transfer. The city has an impressive site overlooking the river with magnificent bridges. The rock tour on Gibraltar included the lighthouse at Europa point, St. Michael's show cave and the apes' den. In Lisbon I was escort to the lovely walled town of Obidos an hour north of the city. I enjoyed walking around the impressive ramparts before the rain set in.
The supposed high light of the on-board entertainment was the appearance of Lulu. She did two 15 minutes sets on successive nights but wore the same clothes and sang the same songs both nights! Her voice was faltering on the second night and she failed to appear for the second show that night at all. She had to peer down to read the lyrics of all the songs bar "Shout!". I'm afraid she is still just a "one hit wonder" in my book! Her backing band were the awful Leo Green experience. They slouched on to the stage at the start in plain clothes. Leo was even wearing trainers! He loved the sound of his own voice and rabbited on far too much. I didn't like his father, the trumpeter Benny Green, and I'm afraid I didn't think much of him either. His entry on the Wikipedia web encyclopedia "is written like an advertisement ... blatant advertising that would require a fundamental rewrite to become encyclopedic. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced" Just like himself! Fred. Olsen will be getting a lot of letters of complaint about Lulu & Leo! In complete contrast were the excellent Dominic Halpin and his Honey Bs. They were smartly dressed, didn't talk too much and played a range of rock, pop, jazz and swing.
There was an outbreak of the Norwalk Norovirus on board but the only effect on us was the need for waiters to serve at the buffets.
Passenger Margaret Jones showered me with gifts as usual!
The lovely Jane Rainger and Dennis "Tarzan" Stapleton led the dance classes, with Dennis teaching Salsa as well. The cruise director wrote: "Dance Hosts – Harold Walker, Martin Lee, Dennis Stapleton & Jane Rainger: They have all done good and they have made an effort to dance with “everybody”. Jane has been leading the dance classes well. They have been a positive group and good to work with."
For the record ...