We had just one day at sea on the Atlantic on our way to Madeira. On the way we saw lots of whales spouts as we passed by.
Our cruise to the Azores, Madeira and the Iberian Peninsular would take us to Ponta Delgada, Praia da Vitoria, Funchal, Cadiz, Malaga and finally to Gibraltar
Wednesday 25th April on the Atlantic Ocean
Arcadia was rattling along through the night as we sped along at nearly 19 knots on our way to Madeira. Looking out in the morning this overcast grey sky greeted me.
Despite loosing an hour’s sleep we still made it to the Meridian for breakfast at 9 am.
Arriving late we had to queue outside as almost everyone else had arrived at the same time. Our table this morning was very chatty and we didn’t mind being some of the last people to leave the restaurant.
Out on the Promenade Deck the wind fairly whipped around the corners as we made our way on our first lap of the deck. As we walked down the starboard side we saw our first blow from a whale. This was the first sea life that we’d seen from the ship this cruise. Down the deck at midships the deck was closed as work was taking place on the gangplank stored there. We all detoured back in the ship and then back out again.
The ship has a relaxed smoking policy with almost the whole length of one side of the ship as a smoking area. But after the lifeboats there was a large ‘No Smoking’ sign next to lockers. I pointed the sign out to a passengers as he lit up right under the sign….
We saw more whale spouts off the starboard side …
… and then the fifth and sixth spouts were two whales transiting together.
Afternoon at sea
After two miles we gave up walking and headed for lunch in the restaurant. The curry was a minced beef one and to that I added a disappointing house salad. Dessert was a delicious strawberry compote.
Having seen whale spouts in the morning prompted me to put my big lens on my camera and go up to the Sun Deck. I spent more than 1.5 hours looking for more whales. I was not the only one out on deck.
As before up deck 10 the wind was quite strong and I needed my cup of tea later to warm up.
We had booked a meal at the Ocean Grill for the first evening in Madeira. Our timing was not great as there were no more offers of free wine available.
Back in the cabin we watched the previous days’ movie from the cinema. This was ‘Kingsman: the Golden Circle’. Enough said.
We probably missed the best part of the day by watching the movie as now we had blue skies outside.
Evening at sea
This was our second Black Tie evening. We had decided to skip the Crows Nest and to try another hopefully quieter bar. The one we chose was the East Bar. This was midships on Deck 11 and which was next to the Sindhu restaurant.
This small bar overlooked the covered swimming pool. On this evening some of the promised repair work was taking place on the cover itself below us.
After 20 minutes or so the bar was filled with guests. Probably like us avoiding the loud music in some of the other venues. At 8.25 pm we joined the stream of guests leaving for the second sitting in the Meridian restaurant.
Unusually I didn’t fancy any of the options for the main course and settled for another sirloin steak. I started with gravalax and then a Cobb salad. The steak came P&O style with no mushrooms and I finished with an excellent Summer Pudding. Our waiter did bring and extra dish of vegetables in lieu of mushrooms. Apart from the lack of mushrooms the meal was excellent.
The Headliners were performing ‘Money makes the world go round’.
This show was developed specially for Arcadia and we had yet to see it. This show was not really my kind of music as it was a combination of Cabaret and Chicago but almost everyone else enjoyed it.
We were surprised that at the end of the show there were no announcements just the house lights going on.
Walking back through the ship we passed the Spinnaker Bar and the Upbeat Duo were playing. At 11.30 pm the bar was almost empty and we sat down to listen to the remainder of their set. It was well worth it as their next to last number was a rendition of ‘Stairway to heaven’.
My kind of music!!!
… Day 8 Madeira