Saturday, April 07, 2007

Four days on a ship- with time off for good behaviour

Mini-cruising isn't quite the delight it sounds. The food and drinks onboard are rather expensive (£14 for burger & chips, £8 for a breakfast buffet, £3 for a half litre of Lager). The entertainment is so-so and time crawls round the clocks. I managed to finish two books though!

Here was our schedule.
4:30pm- latest recommended arrival at South Shields Ferry terminal.
6:00pm Boarding starts- Searches, X Rays etc.
7:30pm- Departure- 1 hour late due to "extensive embarkation procedures"
They play "Anchors aweigh" through the ship's PA.
Sleep in the cabin on narrow bed- pitching, yawing and creaking. Ship on Norwegian time (+1 hour)
3pm Arrival Stavanger- Departure 4pm
6pm Arrival Haugesund- Departure 6:30pm
11pm Arrival Bergen.
Everybody off the boat- through passport control and customs, then back into the lounge and re-boarding before midnight. Cabin delightfully stationary.
Up at 8am, breakfast planned for McDonalds onshore, but found to be closed until 11am. Breakfast at 7/11 instead. (Coffee & DoNuts).
Return to ship 3:30ish. Board at about 4:15pm. Letters on bunks- only 3 engines, arrival everywhere will be late.
5pm Departure. Anchors Aweigh.
9:30pm Arrival Haugesund. Departure 22:00 (Anchors Aweigh, loud & long bi-lingual safety announcement in all cabins. noisy drunken neighbours in cabin next door, Cabin pitching, yawing and creaing again).
00:30am Arrival Stavanger. Depart 01:30am- mostly managed to sleep through the safety announcement. I didn't notice if they played anchors aweigh that time.
Back to UK time (not that I bothered to change my watch, little englander that I am- or it might be that I don't know how to, it being radio controlled and all).
8pm Arrival at South Shields. Back on time, as they managed to make up the delay after originally forecasting 10pm.

The ship has three decks of public space but no lounges as such, just bars, a club room, restaurants, cafes & shops. It also seemed to have rather a surplus of expensive up-market restaurants- they probably would have taken more revenue (and satisfied more customers) with a large McDonalds.


Princess Jibi said...

Just wanted to say you have some very beautiful pictures up...

Delicolor said...

Thank you, Princess Jibi. Not that there are any on this posting...