Today I set sail on my second cruise of 2016. just 16 days after I returned home from my epic cruise to South America. While my last cruise was all about exploring new places on my own, this cruise is about returning to familiar places with familiar people. I am also on a smaller ship, Fred. Olsen’s Boudicca, which I have sailed on three times before.
In one of my first posts, Cruises in 2015, I described how my first cruise in 2015 – also on Boudicca – was cut short following a fire in her engine room. That cruise was headed for Cabo Verde – the Cape Verde Islands – but we ever made it that far. So on this cruise we are island hopping our way to two of the Cabo Verde islands via two of the Azores islands, and island hopping back via three Canary Islands and also Madeira. I’m travelling with my friend Barbara who was also on the fire-curtailed cruise, and my friend Bob who was on two cruises I have previously done to the Azores. This cruise will last 21 nights – a more usual length for me, and less than half the length of my South American cruise.
When I first booked this cruise as a replacement for the fire-curtailed cruise, the itinerary took us to three Cabo Verde islands, one of which would have been new to me. You may remember from my previous post L1602 – Island = I don’t land my frustration on how the itinerary of the South American cruise was changed to miss out the islands I most wanted to visit. Unfortunately the same thing has struck here – long before we sailed I received a letter informing me that the Cabo Verde island I had not visited before – Fogo – was being dropped in favour of a Canary Island I have visited several times before – La Palma. So as I said before, all the ports of call on this cruise are now familiar to me, which means I will be doing fewer and probably shorter posts about this cruise on my blog.
Despite Boudicca having the second smallest passenger capacity of Fred. Olsen’s ships, today’s check-in was the slowest and most tiring I have ever encountered. There were simply far too few check-in desks in use, which meant the queue snaked back on itself three times along the length of the check-in hall, and the hall was very hot and airless. By the time that Barbara and I reached our cabins we were both exhausted, and I found it quite an effort to complete my unpacking. Once again though I have struck lucky with my cabin:
Once the lifeboat drill was completed, we went up on deck to get some fresh air. We sat in the shelter of the stern to watch us sail away down Southampton Water as the sun set: