Day 10 Sunday 28th October nearing the Caribbean
Sunrise was late in this morning at 6:50 am ship’s time. By 7 am the sky was spectacular on our side of the ship. The sea was the calmest that we had had all cruise so far. Our neighbours were out on the balcony as on other sunrises chanting their prayers. I realised that their voices were the reason that I was once again awake early.
Early breakfast and walk
The day promised to be hot and we went for an early breakfast to try and have our walk finished before the heat of the day. The Oriental was only just opening as we exited the lift and we were placed on one of the tables close to the doors. We were with two other couples. The conversations were about cars and particular hybrids and electric ones – quite a change from cruises!
Out on the Promenade deck we were surprised by the number of smokers and of course where they were smoking. They were on both sides of the ship and even under the ‘No smoking signs’.
I approached a ship’s officer and his response was that no one should be smoking there!
After 3 miles we went back to our cabin (not cleaned again). The sun was now on our balcony. Our earlier attempts to find a sunbed in the shade had convinced us to try something different. We looked in the Horizon for somewhere on the ship that would probably be empty. The Manhattan nightclub had nothing scheduled till 12:15 pm so we took our books and went there.
Lunch was in the Peninsular and I chose the ploughmen’s plus and an off menu salad. The ploughmans was half the day’s sharing platter.
Afternoon on our balcony
Our balcony was now in shade and we sat and read and I looked out again across the Atlantic for any signs of sea life.
I wasn’t the only passenger looking out over the sea.
Captain declared a medical emergency
Later the Captain made a ship-wide announcement that a passenger was seriously ill. He told everyone that he planned to speed up to 23 knots and to arrive at St Maarten by midnight. He told is that when we arrived the ship would not be cleared for passengers to leave.
The next announcement at 5.45 pm from the Captain was that the decision had been made for a helicopter to meet the ship and to take the passenger to Saint Maarten. This was hoped to be at 7.45 pm.
When I went forward on Deck 16 to watch the sunset the upper decks were all being cleared. The party lights that were strung over the pools were already down. When I walked back from the bow I was asked to leave the decks immediately.
As I walked back I stopped to watch Azura’s sea-screen. So much of it was broken that it resembled a large game of Tetris.
The Captain had cancelled the Peninsular Club cocktail party and promised to scheduled it later in the cruise. We started to get dressed for dinner as it was a black tie evening. We listened to a further flurry of announcements. The formal dress code had been relaxed for the evening. Many passengers had been evacuated from their cabins immediately below the pools. The evening was now a ‘wear whatever you were wearing’ evening. Plus the shows were all delayed by at least 15 minutes.
Passengers were reminded again that flash photography was prohibited and were asked to leave their balconies. At 7.45 pm we were told that the helicopter was delayed. It now was not planned to rendezvous with Azura until at least 8.30 pm.
Busy Planet Bar and a late dinner
We went up to a very busy and noisy Planet Bar. The music was once again cranked up at 11. Our favourite waitress found us a table that we could share.
Once down in the Oriental our table companions were not there. We suggested that we delay ordering our meal until they came. The head waiter told us at 9 pm that our companions would be joining us later. They were only now getting changed for dinner after getting access to their room. While we waited we watched the blinking lights of the helicopter as it left Azura.
We started our meal nearly an hour later than the previous evenings once our companions had arrived. I had asparagus and poached egg, sorbet, Gressingham duck and finally P&O’s version of a Baked Alaska.
During our main course our waiters kindly brought us a portion of lobster to try. We decided to continue to avoid it on our next cruises.
The shows had all started by the time we had finished our meal. Instead of a show we all went upstairs to the Planet Bar for a post-dinner drink.
The clocks went back another hour overnight.
From the Captain’s Log
At Sea (Noon Posn: 20° 43.8’N, 059° 16.1’W)
At 02:00 Azura retarded her clocks by 60 minutes, bringing ships time to GMT -3. Azura continued on her course at a steady 18 knots. By noon the distance steamed since the Azores was 2,017 Nm. The short low swell from the north resulted in a gentle roll throughout the day. By 13:30 Azura had entered the Wider Caribbean Region, heralding the end of the Transatlantic portion of the voyage.
Weather: Mostly cloudy with some isolated sunny spells
Wind: South Westerly, Force 4