|06/10/2009||Funchal, Madeira||Porto Moniz||Black Scabbard fish lunch|
|07/10/2009||Santa Cruz de la Palma||Caldera de Taburiente||Scenic|
|08/10/2009||San Sebastian de la Gomera||Visited Parador|
|09/10/2009||Santa Cruz de la Tenerife||Tram to La Laguna|
|10/10/2009||Las Palmas de la Gran Canaria||Walked to old town|
|13/10/2009||Lisbon, Portugal||River cruise (again!)||Art Gallery in afternoon|
|16/10/2009||Southampton, UK||Home by 9:30 am!|
This was the farewell cruise of the Black Prince which has been sold to Venezuela. She has a lovely double height ballroom and tiered seating around the deep outside pool.
The ship's floating water sports deck was deployed in two harbours: San Sebatian de la Gomera and Arrecife, Lanzarote. The first time I went for speedboat and pedalo rides. On the second I went for a very wet ride on a giant inflated banana! The new owners want to use this with their yuppie customers in the Caribbean.
Fred. Olsen senior from La Gomera was on Easter Island and Fred. Olsen junior from Tenerife was in Switzerland so they didn't come to say goodbye to her as anticipated! Their representative on board was Nigel Lingard the Marketing director from the Ipswich head office. He said that Black Prince has been losing money for some years and that Braemar's fly-cruise winter season in the Caribbean is a loss-leader!
We had one tug firing it's water cannon as we left Funchal and two tugs as we left Lisbon. However the other departures were all low-key with no fireworks. We have all been given a limited edition porcelain plate to commemorate the voyage.
There was an Officers Dance Date which I've never seen before!
This was the first time that I'd taken an Apple iPod Touch computer with me. At the first fishing village in Madeira (Riviera Brava) I got a free Wi-Fi signal and I was able to view my emails. In Santa Cruz de la Palma I found a strong signal outside the Sputnik bar, so I went back there for a beer during the first evening show. I was able to pop into town in the evening on 4 of the islands, when we were due to sail away at midnight. Whereas we pronounce Wi-fi as 'Why-Fie' they say 'Wiffy'!
I was a tour escort in 3 out of 7 ports. On Madeira I was on the all day tour to Port Moniz which included a Black Scabbard fish lunch and unlimited wine. On my first ever visit to La Palma I was a tour escort to the Caldera de Taburiente. The walk through the pine woods to the central viewpoint was stunning. In Lisbon I escorted the enjoyable river cruise yet again.
To summarise -