Wednesday afternoon, after docking in Funchal, we took a walk into town – eager to stretch our legs properly after 4 sea days.
From the town side we had our first full view of “Oriana”, berthed next to the rather colourful German liner “Aida”.
The centre of Funchal is very pretty and spotlessly clean. We didn’t get to see the masses of lights in the trees at night as we went back to the ship for dinner………
……… but instead, as we walked back, “Oriana” was looking very swish with her lights on.
After a fun filled late dinner we just managed to get in to see the evening “Abba” show given by the ship’s performers (it was standing room only!).
Having stayed in port overnight, on Thursday we took the cable car up above Funchal to the small village of Monte at the top of the mountain ……….
……. where we had a short wander around before taking the famous wooden sledge ride back down the very steep streets.
Some of the obstacles on the way down were a bit hairy!
Achieving a ‘selfy’ while rattling down the hillside wasn’t easy and this one has turned out to be more luck than judgement!
The purchase of some beautiful Bird of Paradise flowers from the market in Funchal, as an advanced gift, has pleased the birthday boy.
We enjoyed our first ‘sail away’ party on the rear decks as we left Madeira and headed for Gran Canaria Thursday afternoon.
Doug’s birthday started in the early hours of Friday morning with new cruise friends Jane and Derek “stealing” balloons from the Harlequins Ballroom, where we all enjoyed our post-dinner entertainment, for us to decorate our cabin.
There’s nothing like drawing attention to yourself at 1 o’ clock in the morning!
After a birthday success at Shuffleboard for Doug this morning(more gold stars!) we treated ourselves to Champagne in the cabin as the ship docks in Gran Canaria.
STOP PRESS: The problem we’ve been experiencing with the ship’s overheated stern tube bearing has proved more serious than expected. After our planned visit to Tenerife on Saturday we will be cutting the cruise short and returning direct to Southampton – arriving three days earlier than planned in order that the fault can be repaired before the ship’s next cruise. With abject apologies from P & O we are being invited to stay aboard for those three days to take advantage of the ship’s planned hospitality and entertainment and with the addition of various choices of compensation, one of which will be a free cruise on Oriana in the future. Not something we’d expected to happen but we’re still having a great time and will continue to do so !