On holiday!!!

It’s not a boat, it’s a ship. A damn big ship!

Blogging via Satellite Internet is NOT cheap and so these entries will be sent up to server when we reach Stavanger and the wonders of free Wifi! Onboard, online time is 50p per minute and the ping speeds are simply horrendous and so I’m going to use it in an absolute emergency. Using my iPhone aboard is also a no-no. Calls cost £3 per minute, and receiving them £1.75 per minute. Texts are 50p each. Data is £6 per MB! WTF! Having said that, the wifi is available everywhere and I mean everywhere aboard. Not sure what sort of magic ‘foo’ they’ve used to make that happen but it’s impressive.

The ship I’m on is called the Oceana and it’s damn big, really damn big. I’ve never been on a cruise before and so I had no idea of what to expect. It’s fair to see that judging from the average age aboard, I’m in the lower half and that suits me just fine. There’s a surprising number of kids and teenagers aboard, I wasn’t expecting that really. At least to this point, they’ve all been occupied and well behaved though I can imagine some of the older passengers getting a tad annoyed with the extra noise they create. There’s a sway to and fro as we cross the North Sea (we are east of the Humber estuary right now as I write) which takes a little getting used to but its not making me seasick or anything. It’s just ensuring I do not drink too much as it makes you feel a little drunk already!

The food is out of this world! Basically you can get what you want when you want with NO restriction. A diet will definitely be required once I get home I suspect. As for the beer, well it’s good and cheap enough. I’m just not used to waiter service! I keep feeling that I ought to be serving the drinks not being served! I suspect the working class boy I will always be is still coming out in me, I keep feeling the need to pick up a cloth, place it over my arm and collect a load of glasses! That said, I’ve yet to embarrass myself by doing so, though it may still happen.

The staff aboard are all lovely too. A lot are from southern India and Sri Lanka so their English is 100% spot on but for some reason they don’t always use their real names! Maybe I’ve just been fortunate to live in a number of multi-cultural cities and so that seems unusual to me but what is even more unusual is that when I ask them their real names, they seem reluctant to give it out. It turns out that tips are based on the alias and so they won’t get any tips given under their real names, so I’ll need to play that game with them.

Tonight is a formal night and it’s time to suit and boot up. Got the ‘whistle’ unpacked and the shirt ironed ready, dickie box on standby! There’s a dress code after 6.30pm and so you can’t enter certain parts of the ship if you don’t adhere to the dress code. Since I like dressing up, that’s not an issue for me! It’s only fair to mention for my own future reference that I did over do the shirts while packing. 10 shirts for a 7 days cruise is indeed overkill! Note to self not to do that again.

Right its 12 noon now (the clocks aboard went an hour forward to sync up with Norwegian time as we dick at Stavanger tomorrow) and it’s time for a brew. They’ll be pictures posted at some point to Flickr and Facebook and some Twitter links too. Get ready for another long blog entry and possibly a vlog from Stavanger tomorrow. TTFN.

admin posted at 2013-8-10 Category: Uncategorized