Cruise BL033 on the Balmoral from Dover to Dakar, Senegal February 2009

Date: Port: Flag: Tour escort: Comment:
27/01/2009 Dover, England
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
14/02/2009 Dover, UK


Martin, Bob, Debbie, John & Ron



The Pink Lake, Dakar, Senegal

The Pink Lake, Dakar, Senegal



Sunrise in Gran Canaria

Sunrise in Gran Canaria



Bridge over the Tagus, Lisbon, Portugal

Bridge over the Tagus, Lisbon, Portugal



Folk Dancers on Madeira

Folk Dancers on Madeira



Gardens on Tenerife

Gardens on Tenerife



Me with the natives in Senegal

Me with the natives in Senegal



Pat & Margaret

Pat & Margaret



Bob & Martin

Bob & Martin



Here's my report on the cruise:

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.