We are settling in January now and Christmas seems like a lifetime ago ,and New Year too, although it was only last week. I had a lovely Christmas with family and enjoyed bringing in the New Year on P&O Aurora in Hamburg. The P&O short New Year cruise is something I have been doing for the last 5 years and is a great way to see the New Year in. I travelled to Southampton on 28th December with my husband, sister and brother-in-law and 2 friends and spent the night at the Grand Harbour Hotel so we didnt have to make the journey down in the morning. On the morning of the cruise we went to the terminal around 12.00 and were onboard by 12.45. The check in was smooth wth no real queues to talk of and only had to wait in the lounge for around 15 minutes before we were called to board. Out cabins were ready by 1.30 so we managed to get unpacked and head for some lunch and a drink before the muster drill.
As usual the ship was decorated beautifully with lovely Christmas Trees in the atrium and in all the entertainment venues. Sunday was a day at sea and there was plenty of entertainment around the ship all day with dance classes, quizes and musical entertainment. There was also 2 different films showing at noon and 3pm in the Footlights theatre
New Years Eve we arrived in Hamburg and took the shuttle into the city and then went to the “Minatur Wunderland” model railway and villiage, which is the worlds largest model railway. The entrance fee was 15 euro’s per person but was well worth it and took 2-3 hours to get around it.I will tell you more about it in my next blog
The New Years Eve Gala Dinner was brilliant although in previous years they have piped in the haggis and this was something that I missed this year, instead they had the chefs do a parade of the dining room. After dinner there was lots going on around the ship and then we all went up on deck with our own bottles of Champagne to see the New Year in with the Fireworks. These started around 11.30 and went on until at least 12.30 with Fireworks all around and you didnt know where to look. We eventually got to bed at 4am after a visit to the buffet for Curry at 3.15 in the morning!.
On New Years Day the ship was very quiet even though it was a day at Sea as we had rough seas and Im not sure if it was New Years Eve hangovers people were suffering from or just the rough seas. At one point we were in the pub doing a quiz when all the bottles behind the bar slid off the bar and one of the Christmas tree’s toppled over!
2nd January we were docked in Zeebrugge and took the shuttle bus into Blankenberge and took a walk to the Pier for our obligatory “Beer on the Pier” which has become a ritual over the years. As this was our last night we spent the evening in the pub after dinner watching the resident band Waves, who were excellent, and played a lot of different music from different era’s and genre’s.
This all seems like it was ages ago but a great time was had by all and I cant wait to be on Ventura for New Year 2019!