Alis Grave Nil

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Last Leg of our Cruise

Before I continue, I just wanted to mention something I saw on Sky News while we were in our cabin one morning.  Good old P&O, only two channels on the TV - Sky News and Sky Sports. What a great marketing ploy to keep your passengers out of their cabins and up on deck spending on the ship. Anyway, the presenters were discussing Brad Pitt's new World War II film, which I think is called Fury.  Apparently Brad employed the services of a 90-year-old war veteran to advise him throughout the film.  I bet the old boy thoroughly enjoyed doing that.  The elderly gentleman didn't have a clue who Brad Pitt was when he was first contacted and said something like, "If you're not Alex Guinness then I don't know who you are".  Brad took it all in good humour (he's a lovely lad is Brad - kind face).
FEMALE SKY NEWS REPORTER: "He didn't know who Brad Pitt was?  Where has he been? 
Who are these people?
I'll tell you who they are.  They are the kind of people who eat in Marco Pierre White's restaurant in London and rave about it to their media bubble friends. The same nitwit female reporter will order the consomm√© and then say, "this is to die for.  I must ask Marco for the recipe". 
"It's a Knorr stock cube with boiling water, love, and you've just paid £100 for yours".
Toulon Harbour
There wasn't a great deal to Toulon and we were originally going to catch a train to Cannes but decided against it because the journey was an hour and a half and the trains were not that regular so we didn't want to be stranded as the Ventura set sail for Barcelona. We wandered round the streets of Toulon, through the market streets filled with the scent of wonderful fresh fruit and vegetables and herbs.  I could just have stood there and breathed it all in for hours.  It smelled as if all the fresh produce had been picked that morning, which it probably had. We stopped for a coffee and to my great delight, the French waiter was quite snotty...but not enough.  We should have stopped off at Nice the other day for some super-snottyness. The best snotty waiters are there.

We walked a bit further on and found an indoor shopping centre with a huge supermarket as well as other shops.  I turned round and saw Roberto dashing up the escalator and wondered what the fluff he was up to.  When I got to the top of the escalator, I realised what it was.  No, it wasn't a shop that sold special NASA baseball hats.  It was his old favourite shop, C&A.  Great joy! He used to love C&A in the UK because it was one of the only shops that didn't mess around with the sizes and their shirts always fitted him perfectly.  We found him three nice shirts and when I got to the checkout, the very nice French checkout lady told me there was 50% off two of the shirts - even greater joy!  We didn't do much more in Toulon as we were still quite tired from all the gadding about the day before so we just had a cold drink at the harbour and then went off to join the queue for the tender boat and went back to the ship.  

The next day was a welcome sea day and we just chilled out, sat in the sun, walked round the deck and just generally faffed around, as you do.

Sunday and we are in Barcelona.  It was incredibly busy with thousands of tourists.  There were also three other huge cruise liners docked up beside the Ventura.  We walked the length of the Ramblas and then came to a big shopping centre, which was closed.  It's not that we only went to shopping centres on our holiday, but I always find it interesting to see what the shops are like in other countries.  We found out that the big stores don't open at all on Sundays in Barcelona so I was a bit annoyed with P&O for that one because the Sunday docking was probably cheaper for them.  I loved the Spanish people though.  They are so patient and even if they didn't speak much English, they tried their best (I don't speak any Spanish) and the thing I liked most was when you were crossing a road at a crossing, they weren't revving up their engines like Formula 1 drivers, ready to run over your toes (like they do in France). 

Christopher Columbus statue (left), Barcelona
Our last stop on the cruise was Palma in Mallorca. I loved it!  I had only ever been to Mallorca  once when I was about 23 years old on a girly holiday and all we did was sunbathe and swim and go out at night, as you do when you are young.  I would love to go back to Mallorca for a proper holiday, hire a car and go exploring.  The weather was fantastic for October.  At midday it was about 28 degrees. Even more exciting for Roberto....we found another C&A shop - WHOOOPPPEEEEE!! It was funny because it had autumn and winter woollies in when it was so hot outside.  Maybe they were for the British tourists.  Anyway, we both bought a winter jumper each - no, not matching.  Roberto now wants to plan a driving tour of Europe, based on where the C&A shops are located.

The Cathedral in Mallorca
The harbour in Mallorca
Well, that was just about it mes amis.  We had one more sea day and then on arrival at Malaga, we were transported to the airport at 6am and homeward bound, arriving in a dull grey Manchester at around 12.30 and then getting stuck for two hours on the M62 because of an accident.  Never mind, we had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise. We can't wait for the next one.  Better start saving.


  1. Thanks for letting me explore with you. Glad you're home safely.

    jean x

    1. Thanks Jean. I think I have the cruising bug now.


  2. I am very pleased the cruise went so well - even more pleased that you weren't mugged in Barcelona. They must have missed you off their list. As for C&A, I am very surprised that Roberto didn't buy a nice beige cardigan with leather elbow patches as I understood that he is South Cave's style guru. Perhaps you can treat him to said fashion item this Christmas.

    1. I was more worried about being robbed in Rome. C&A in Europe is actually quite modern. There were no beige cardigans with leather elbow patches. If I bought R one of them for Chrimbo, he would say "what the fluff is that?"

    2. Oh, you'd better get him some David Beckham "Instinct" aftershave then.

  3. Lovely piccies- you did zoom about. You have caught the silliness of name dropping and expensive restaurants to a 'T'. One of the worst (and most over priced) meals we ever had was in a celebrity-chef restaurant. We complained and the poor manager dispiritedly told us he wasn't allowed any say in the menus and agreed with us completely. Poor boy. We have avoided those places like the plague ever since and stick to our local which always does us proud :o)

    1. Hi CT. You can't beat real food can you?