Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Grand P&O Med Voyage Pt 3

Guest blogger Danielle Fear, aka Cruise Miss, continues her grand Mediterranean voyage with P&O Cruises with a whirl through three ports of call...

At present we are sailing through the Mediterranean en route to our last port of call. There were a few white horses out there last night, nothing too drastic but enough gentle movement to remind you that you are on a ship in the middle of the sea. Wonderful!

Since my last update, we have enjoyed a few days at sea and calls to Civitavecchia, Italy, Ajaccio, Corsica and, yesterday, Gibraltar.

We took the day pretty easy in Civitavecchia, deciding not to make the trip into Rome this time. There’s not a lot in Civitavecchia itself, to be honest, but I love Italy so, for me, just being in an Italian port again is good enough. Ajaccio on the other hand (below, left) was a wonderful treat. It was my first time on the island and what a picturesque one it is. The small beach was a nice surprise, along with the wonderful Sunday market selling all sorts of food delights, including Nougat, cheese, fresh-baked goods, olives and much more. I indulged in a Pain au Chocolat from a lovely elderly lady. It was truly delicious and, as I had skipped breakfast on the ship, it was a welcome indulgence.
Gibraltar, as always, did not disappoint. I found a shop here a few years ago right at the top of Main Street called Pashmina and fell in love with it. They sell all kinds of Indian ornaments, pictures and so on. The gentleman that owns the store is polite and friendly and will always give you some kind of background information on anything you purchase. This time, I bought a wall mask (I collect these from as many ports as possible) and a large canvas painting of an elephant, which turned out to be quite a trial to get back to the ship in the baking heat. I also managed to smash a bottle of Rum I had bought just as I got outside the port entrance. Typical or what?

That’s a brief update on our port adventures but I know you want to know more about the ship. I paid a visit to The Glass House (below, right) yesterday and was pleasantly surprised. The difference from when it was Ramblas seems to be quite subtle but the overall feel of the space now is much lighter and it feels slightly bigger. This may be down to the new colour scheme and numerous wine bottles sitting neatly in racks across the walls. A few people had asked me to photograph the menu but it turned out to be about 100 pages long (OK, that’s a slight exaggeration), so I’ll just tell you it contained a LOT of wine!

As I mentioned, we are en route to our last port of call. It was scheduled to be La Coruna but due to a forecast for bad weather, our captain decided it would not be safe enough for us to try and dock. So, instead, we will be calling into Vigo where, although strong winds are still expected, it will be safer for us to dock.
We only have two days of the cruise left and I can honestly say that, once again, P&O have not disappointed me and the crew are a pleasure to sail with. A few days ago, I bumped into a waiter who was on my first cruise and it was nice catching up with him and finding out how he has progressed with his career over the last several years.

Ventura, as always, has been my home from home. She is in great condition, clearly getting lots of TLC from her crew and her refurbishment has added some lovely little touches to what was already a gem of a ship. There have been several weddings on board, too, and they couldn’t have picked a better way to start married life!

Until next time, cruise lovers…