We left Kirkwall, on the Orkneys, on Wednesday evening……….
…….. to the delightful strains of the local pipe band. Every cabin facing the quay had their own balcony view (and as James enjoys ‘the pipes’ he stayed to listen before joining the sail away party on the rear deck ……
……. where plans were afoot to surprise entertainment officer Tom (as this was his last cruise duty on “Arcadia”) by giving him a dunking in the pool. Of course Doug couldn’t be left out of the fun!!
Leaving the Orkneys is a thrilling and beautiful sight …….
… and (for the sea-loving of us) so too is the way the pilot is retrieved from the ship after safely guiding us out of port …….
……. a very speedy and slick operation as the pilot boat speeds alongside, just momentarily touching against the side of the ship, for the pilot to transfer …….
…… then away it goes back to harbour at full speed while “Arcadia” sounds a long ‘farewell’ on her hooter.
Dinner on Wednesday evening was a very enjoyable affair with shipmates Des and Rupert in the Marco Pierre White restaurant where we had a superb meal. As can be seen, desert comes in the form of a self assembly kit with several pieces which eventually all come together in the stomach!
Afterwards a few more of us meet up in the nightclub for a bit of a bop – Tony (no he’s not legless!), David, Des, James, Rupert and Doug.
After the nightclub, in the early hours of the morning, as we return to our cabin the view from our balcony is dominated by oil rigs as far as you can see.
Thursday is a ‘sea day’ and as usual starts off with deck quoits and shuffle board where, action boy here, is well on his way to amassing a record number of gold stars (to be later traded for a gift – some say P&O are going to give him the ship!)
Thursday evening started off well for James but just after starters he developed a nosebleed and, being on anticoagulants, had to retire to the cabin for the rest of the evening to sort things out (!)while everyone else enjoyed the traditional parade of the chefs, where the passengers have an opportunity to show their thanks …….
……. then after dinner it’s down to the Palladium theatre for the end of cruise show – including a performance of the Full Monty by the boys of the Headliners theatre company.
Today (and James is fully recovered), we sail through an incredibly calm North Sea …….
…… still looking at oil rigs (!) and heading towards Southampton for tomorrow morning’s arrival.
We’ve had an amazing time on the cruise. We’ve seen some incredible sights and met some terrific people (as always) – we’ll be keeping in touch with many of them hopefully. The “Arcadia” (that can produce enough electricity to power 50,000 homes!) has fast become our favourite P&O ship and we’re looking forward to our next cruise on her – whenever that might be!