Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Play it again Sam!

It was Casablanca today – we berthed at about 7 o’ clock this morning but before that ……..


…….. last evening, after the third cabin make up every day, this is the sort of treat we “come home” to after our wonderful cabin steward Bosco has finished with our room.


After dinner last night, and after Doug had doubled his money in the casino again (!) – no gold star though, we joined a couple of our table friends, Margaret and Carl (from sunny Wales), for a great evening in Carmen’s bar.  We won the two cocktails by naming what they were made from (still no more gold stars!).


This morning we were ferried, free of charge, into the centre of Casablanca – the temperature was 22 deg. C and rising and we were the only souls in shorts as it’s the cold season at the moment for the locals!


This is the central “National” square in the city.


We took the tram down to the lovely sandy beach (on the “Ocean Atlantique”) where we had lunch …….


……. and then we returned to the city where we experienced a bit of  the ‘tourist trail’ …………


…….. and then the wonderful and evocative smells and sights of the ‘ not so tourist trail’.


When you get off the beaten track, and rub shoulders with the real side of life,  it’s so different and so much more interesting ……….


…….. and things can get quite “real”!


Back to the twentieth century and these are the new trams which are only about  a year old.


Back to the main square, and before we caught the bus back to the ship, we finished our day with some major purchases – a pair of Ray Bans for £4 and a Gucci watch for £3!  The whole wonderful day cost us the magnificent sum of 20 Euros including lunch! and James is going to swank around with his Gucci watch at dinner tonight.


Our wonderful “Aurora” can squeeze into the tightest of spaces by using its 3 bow thrusters and 1 stern thruster, each 2.5 metres in diameter and each with a 1.5 megawatt motor.  The ship next to us is quite a large oil tanker.


Arriving back on board at about 3 pm, and after being suitably inspected for suspicious objects and numerous forms of dirt and disease, we were able to enjoy the afternoon sunshine by one of the pools.  This is Doug’s sneaky pic of a lazy James!


And the last pic is of our group of reprobates who we enjoy dinner with:- James, Gill, Zoe, Janice, Paul, Carl, Margaret and Doug.

Some technical facts about “Aurora” :- she has 4 engines with an attached electrical generator, each weighing 250 tonnes, and each producing 14 megawatts of electricity.  She has electric drive motors of 20 megawatts for each of the 2 prop shafts.  Each motor weighs 180 tonnes and gives her a top speed of 24 knots.  That’s it for now but more to come next time Shaun (a friend who has asked us for some technical stuff!).

What a WOW this all is!


  1. For Shaun.... Aurora and Oriana are 'sister' ships built as the last true, traditional ocean liners for P&O Cruises before they became part of the Carnival group. The habitations are very similar, but the engineering is entirely different. Aurora uses diesel engines to generate electrical power to energize the electric drive motors. Oriana has 4 diesel drive engines, 2 large - 'father' and 2 supplementary - 'sons', each pair driving one prop-shaft. There is a power in / out take-off on each prop shaft, and on the bulkhead behind the drive engines are 4 electricity generators, which supply the power needs of the ship, as well as providing a supplementary electricity input to the shaft power take-offs when absolute maximum thrust is required for maximum top speed, (unfortunately not often these days due to fuel costs). When not in use the power take-offs can feed electricity back into the system, thus reducing the fuel required by the generators. All of this equipment can be configured in varying forms to provide the power needs of the ship, and even with one main 'father' engine out of action, for maintenance, can keep up a very reasonable pace at sea. You may be offered the opportunity to take a paid for insight tour of the ship including the bridge and engine rooms. They had re-started this when we were on our October 2012 Med cruise, having previously been discontinued for years. It wasn't being offered on our 2012 world cruise just before that January - April. Roll on January 2015 - Cunard world cruise - the only real way to see so many countries so cheaply.

  2. I sold the Aurora some parts for one of the tenders back in Oz, they caught some rope around one of the props and destroyed part of the gearbox, drive plate and mounts. Nice little earner as they say! Enjoy your trip.

  3. You are going to LOVE tomorrow! ;-)

  4. Keeping it real guys - the pink speedos are darhling. Enjoy the rest of the tour, it's nice to see the sun isn't it. Best wishes Jacquie,

  5. Sounds fab! Enjoy that sunshine x