|31/01/2009||Funchal, Madeira||Camacha||Coffee & Cakes|
|01/02/2009||Santa Cruz, Tenerife||Gardens||Coffee & Croissants|
|04/02/2009||Dakar, Senegal||Pink Lake||Beer & Nibbles|
|05/02/2009||Praia, Cape Verde Islands||Not allowed ashore!|
|08/02/2009||Las Palmas, Gran Canaria||Casa Romantica||Cheese, Wine & Potatoes|
|09/02/2009||Arrecife, Lanzarote||Costa Teguise|
|11/02/2009||Lisbon, Portugal||River Cruise||Squash & Cakes|
Just to let you know that I've just got back from the "Cruise from Hell" according to the Daily Express and the BBC! It was my 13th cruise as a dance host and the Balmoral had over 250 cases of the Norovirus on board. We were denied landing on the Cape Verde Islands (CVI) and for two nights we had to dance without touching! I also had my iPod stolen.
The first evening was very poor, with us having to dance non-stop for 2 hours 20 minutes! Other evenings saw two shows in both lounges, with dancing before, between and after them. The Country & Western evening was half-baked, but the Tropical and British nights were fine.
I shared a cabin with Bob Reid from Liverpool who I've worked with before. We got on well with Debbie Snashall who runs the Dance Afloat employment agency and was the Dance Instructor/DJ on board. She ran a fun dance competition in which my partner Carol, wife of darts legend Cliff Lazarenko, won the Cha cha. Debbie taught both the ballroom and line dancing classes. We didn't get on very well with our colleagues John Welsby & Ron Jones. The VIP speaker was Sir Donald Sinden who was very amusing.
I was a tour escort in 5 out of 6 ports of call, all with local refreshments. Madeira only has on average 2 days of snow a year and one of those was the day before we arrived, so we couldn't drive up to the peak. In Tenerife I visited 3 lovely show gardens. The Pink Lake in Dakar, Senegal was truly pink with pink flamingoes and camels. The dune buggy ride and race along the beach was great fun, as was the police escort out and back. In the absence of the CVI we went to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria and I visited the lovely Casa Romantica. There was no tour for me in Lanzarote but two shuttle bus destinations to choose between. Having visited the capital Arrecife several times in the past, I opted to go to the resort of Costa Teguise. In Lisbon I did the river cruise again, this time in glorious sunshine.