Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Slow boat to – Canaries

We’re going to be a day late arriving in Madeira due to an overheated propeller shaft bearing (known as a stern tube to us canal boaters).  It’s meant us slowing to 16 knots with a consequent slight change in the itinerary.  Nevertheless we’ve been thoroughly enjoying ourselves with the other passengers …


…… not least the great times we have during dinner with Jan, Jane, Derek, (us two) and Clive.  Our table waiters, Chandra and Amit are stupendous and we have much fun with them as well.


The entertainment in the Theatre Royal during the evenings is first class – here are the the ship’s “Headliners” troop with their ‘Stage door’ performance of popular musicals.


Doug’s continuing his dancing during the afternoons and the late evenings where he teams up with …….


……. Jane, one of our charming dinner companions – the two of them making a elegant couple.  (James and Derek just sit and chat on the side lines as blokes do!)


The guest singer this week is Ben Makisi.  A world class classical singer of tremendous talent.  He’s a very witty and warm entertainer and it’s been a great privilege to have such high “value” included in the fare.

We’ve both enjoyed deck quoits and shuffle board after breakfast in the last few days and Doug  continues to do much better than James – going on to win several heats (big head!).  James has attended several talks on crime by an ex Detected Chief Inspector who could be better at public speaking – never mind………..


……….. as we approach the port of Funchal in Madeira Doug finishes off a game of shuffle board ……….


…….. while two of the hard working crew take a short break to watch the ship dock.


The cruise liner terminal is quite tight to get into so, helped by a very posh new tug,  we have to reverse into the berth.  Well - Madeira here we come!


  1. Hi to both of you. We have been away again and I couldn't comment earlier, but saw an image in an earlier Oriana post of yours where I noticed then from the prop wash that she was only running on her starboard engine. Oriana is different to Aurora in that propulsion is by direct diesel engine, not diesel electric. She has suffered severe vibration issues since she was launched, with many (failed) attempts along the way to rectify this. We noticed huge vibrations, particularly in the Oriental restaurant and around the stern when we had an engine failure on the 2012 world cruise. This was due to the re-configuration of the remaining engines to cope with the missing one together with the adjustments to the prop pitch. (Oriana is also unique in that the engines turn the props in a constant direction and it is the prop pitch adjustment that provides different thrust, including reverse)! I wonder how you are finding it? It was so severe for us that the cutlery in the dining room would literally jump off the table. We just love Madeira - did you find the Beer Engine bar on the marina quay overlooking the ship docking area - home brewed lager from large copper vats :-)

  2. I have been told that Oriana is to return to Southampton early due to the problem you mention. I that is true - sorry to hear that, ther will be a lot of disappointed people I suspect.

  3. NB Birgits office21 February 2014 at 08:15

    Happy Birthday Doug. More via mail. Can't top the birthday present you did by yourseld. Have a good day. Hope James will give his best to pamper you ;O)).
    Lave Birgit XX