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  • M&A

Day 2 - 12.11.22: We’re all at sea!

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

It was pitch black outside when we woke from our slumbers at 5am this morning but we could tell it was going to be a lovely day for the sky was clear of clouds and the weather forecast had indicated sun, sun and more sun. We surveyed the horizon and saw the sea on one side and land in the distance on the other side and wondered where we were. We weren’t getting into Rotterdam until the next morning so we were a bit confused. A tannoy announcement from ‘the Bridge’ indicated we were still in the UK and would soon be sailing past the White Cliffs of Dover! We’ve heard of the ‘slow boat to China’ but the ‘slow boat to Rotterdam’…….!

Having perused todays itinerary the previous evening we had a busy day ahead of us so we showered in our bijou shower cubicle, donned our dresses, careful not to knock each other out when opening the wardrobe doors and ventured up one flight of stairs to the Lido buffet restaurant for breakfast. We’d obviously chosen the right time to go as it was virtually empty. Unlike us three, it seemed like everyone else was enjoying a lie-in! As with any buffet we were spoilt for choice but we ate well then headed off to the shopping arcade to see what exciting things were on offer. It was closed! Oh well, we’ve saved ourselves a bit of money……for now, that is!

We made our way to our first activity of the day which was the ‘Morning Team Trivia Quiz’. In the Golden Lion Pub. At 10am! The three intelligent women that we are we thought we’d give it a go and as the shops were closed we arrived early, walked around the pub a few times trying out the seats until we found some we liked and took our places ready for the quiz to begin. Gosh it was packed. We eyed up the competition, yep, think we’re in with a chance here and with just twenty questions, should be easy-peasy! To be fair to us though they weren’t the easiest of questions and we got just thirteen right. Of course we would have got fourteen right if Maice, who had the casting vote on the answers had put sausage down as we told her to instead of hotdogs for one of the questions!!! (apparently this is what they’re called in Canada but as we pointed out, we weren’t in Canada!😆). We didn’t win but not to worry, we’ll come back tomorrow for another go! The quiz lasted for all but thirty minutes which gave us time to pop into The Chart Room Bar where we enjoyed a very well presented cappuccino. Take note Mr Fiori from The Horse with the Red Umbrella…….we’re expecting this ‘service’ on our return!

At 11am, as we headed off to the Royal Court Theatre for our next activity we passed by the Zumba class which was totally packed and where we stopped to have a bit of a boogie. We had contemplated doing this but then decided for a more intellectual activity so plumped for a talk given by Jon Malits on Iconic photos of the 20th century. It was really interesting for the selection of photos he exhibited and discussed were photos that themselves became icons around the world. Fascinating.

One activity we fancied was the Queen Victoria Sing-a-long in the Yacht Club but when we realised that none of us could hold a tune we opted for the ‘Show me the Monet: Secrets of the Billion Dollar Art World’. This was a fascinating talk about the price of works of art and why you should invest in certain artists. It’s a very lucrative art world out there and its incredible to understand how circumstance can either devalue of value a piece of art over the years.

We didn’t do lunch as we were ‘saving ourselves’ for Afternoon Tea at 3pm so with more time to spare and as it was such a glorious day, albeit a tad on the cold side we decided to get our steps in and walk around deck 3, the deck set aside for walkers and joggers. We sported our jumpers and set off, bumping into other like-minded people as we made our way around the ships deck. Apparently three times around the deck is a mile so we walked around six times, three times in one direction and three times in the other directions. To make things more ‘exciting’ we decided to time ourselves and our first timed lap took us 6mins 47seconds to complete. We knew we could do better than that so set ourselves a marker to beat of 5mins. We practically fast-walk sprinted around the deck and completed our final lap in 5mins and 5 seconds. Hey, high five to us……now for Afternoon Tea!

The information leaflet said there was no need to book for afternoon tea, however we were confronted with a massive queue that seemed to extend half way through the ship. Luckily there was a back-up plan and we were redirected to the Britannia restaurant where we enjoyed a selection of sandwiches, cakes, scones and tea. It was just what we needed after our exertions on deck and the fact we hadn’t eaten lunch. Onwards now to our next activity, ‘Top of the Pop Arts from Warhol to Banksy’…….more intellectual stuff! You never know, it may even help us in our next quiz! The lecture, given by the woman who did the earlier art lecture was excellent. She was so enthusiastic and you could tell she absolutely loved her job. She mainly talked about the new up and coming artists and in particular Mr Brainwash who is apparently a protege of Banksy. Some even think he is Banksy! Investment art, that’s what it’s all about and of course loving the artwork that you purchase. We were invited up to the on-board Art Gallery to view some of Mr Brainwash’ current artwork but unfortunately we couldn’t afford any of the art work on display! Never mind, our activity day concluded with a complimentary cocktail, a fluorescent green colour aptly named Mr Brainwash!

It’s Gala Night tonight, with a black and white theme, men in their DJ’s, us ladies in our cocktail/long dresses so we hurried back to the cabin, cracked open the Champagne and set about beautifying ourselves. Looking gorgeous we went ‘cruising’ in our finery and ended up in The Chart Room Bar for pre-dinner cocktails. A ‘Mary Rose’ for Maice, with a meringue and flower petals floating on the top. A ‘Gin Martini’ for me, complete with olives…..shaken but not stirred and a Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin with cranberry and ginger for Jane. Served alongside our cocktails was a plate of hors d'oeuvres…..four of them. Now why do they do that, you know, plate up four when there are three of us? We people-watched as they passed by, admiring the men who looked very dapper in their Dinner Jacket suits and the ladies in all sorts of weird and wonderful evening dresses, then followed the hordes to the dining room. Dinner was a rather fine affair. The food was absolutely delicious, washed down with a rather palatable bottle of white wine. Wonderful. To top off this excellent day we headed to the Royal Court Theatre to watch the show, Top Hat. It was excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Who knew if Maice and Jane enjoyed it as both of them fell asleep throughout. What disgraceful behaviour. Honestly, you can’t take them anywhere! What was obvious was that we weren’t going out dancing to the Yacht Club tonight…….it’s straight to bed for those two! Let’s hope a good nights sleep will refresh them for the morning and they’ll be awake for all of tomorrows activities………!

Nighty night and sleep tight…..J A & M xxx

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