Back to the ship
These were just some of the boats and yachts that had been damaged by the hurricane.
The evening rush-hour had yet to start which meant our journey back was much quicker. We passed a large patch of sand that was being cleared by bulldozers. The driver told us that this had been a multi story hotel so badly damaged in the hurricane that it had to be demolished. Our driver was not happy that the French half of the island had received large amounts of aid but the Dutch half had not received hardly any in her opinion.
We did catch a glimpse of Azura as we came back over the hills to the port.
Our new companions in the taxi were from the ship’s crew and as we chatted we found out that one of the ladies was from Sandhurst. Her favourite restaurant was on our home village’s High Street.
Once back in the secure area we stopped for a final drink.
Then it was time to get back onboard.
The ship was being bunkered when we arrived back, so our balcony did smell of heavy fuel oil.
Great British Sailaway
At 5.30 pm we went to the sailaway on decks 15 and 16 around the pool and sat at Breakers Bar. It was the traditional P&O Great British Sailaway. In the middle of the singing the show kept being interrupted by guest services asking for Mrs Zebedee. This did produce lots of Magic Roundabout jokes.
Everyone was enjoying the sailaway and the great atmosphere.
Back on our balcony we settled down in the warm evening air to read our books.
This was the sunset as we left
We went up to the Planet Bar for our pre-dinner drinks before heading down to the Oriental for dinner. The pianist was again so loud as to make conversation almost impossible.
Dinner was Waldorf salad, Spanish Pea soup with chorizo (but this was just small bits of ham no sausage!), then corn fed chicken with lemon and thyme stuffing and finally apple bread and butter pudding.
The Headliners and their show – Astonishing
This evening the show by the Headliners was called ‘Astonishing’.
The Playhouse Theatre was closed until 10 pm after the early evening performance had finished. We arrived at the theatre just after the doors opened. We were given a gold envelope and asked not to open until told to do so in the show.
The show was a mixture of song, dance and magic it had lots of ‘astonishing’ moments. Three of the dances were performed to original tracks and were very good. The magic tricks may have seemed glitzy but were handled by the troupe in a very slick and professional manner.
Harry Houdini’s Metamorphosis trick was performed at such a speed that it dazzled. Usually I have seen this trick performed slowly and dragged out to fill time. The Headliners did it in time to the music and it worked really well.
When the time came to open our envelopes we found four large playing cards.
We were taken through a magic trick step-by-step by Stephen Mulhernon the screen. After ripping our playing cards in half, saving one half of one card and then following the instructions, we were left with one half of a card. It was indeed the match to the half card that we been asked to save!
The show was excellent and we would definitely want to see it again.
Problem with our bill
We called at Reception to pick up a copy of our latest bill. We checked off our receipts in the cabin and we found a £19.99 purchase from Atrium table sales. This would have been from one of the tables scattered around the Atrium where there were no tills. All the sales receipts had then been handwritten and cruise cards were not scanned.
We went back down to Reception and our complaint was logged. We were told that we would get a phone call sometime later when the problem had been resolved.
From the Captain’s Log
At 02:00 Azura retarded her clocks by 60 minutes, bringing ships time to GMT -4. Stand By Below was rung at 07:00 for our arrival into Philipsburg.
The pilot boarded on the port side of the vessel at 07:14. Weather conditions were conducive to the arrival; light airs enabled Azura to manoeuvre with ease into her berthing position. At 07:54 the first heaving lines were sent ashore, followed two minutes later by the first spring lines, this marking our true arrival in port. The total distance logged for our trip between Ponta Delgada to Philipsburg stood at 2320 Nm (2670 mi).
Once all our lines were made fast and the vessel safely moored the gangways were inspected by qualified officers to ensure they were safe for use. By 08:15 the first guests were disembarking for their day ashore in St Maarten. Temperatures peaked at 33 °C with minimal cloud cover resulting in perfect conditions for a trip ashore for shopping or to the beach.
All of our guests and crew were confirmed aboard at 17:18, all shell doors were made secure for sea shortly thereafter. With this done the vessel had completed all of her pre-departure checks and the command was given to reduced the ships lines to 2+1 forward and aft, followed swiftly by the command to let go all lines. All lines were confirmed inboard at 17:25 and with that Azura was thrust off the berth before coming onto a south easterly course for our transit past St. Kitts and Barbuda en route to Antigua.
Weather: Mostly clear skies, dry conditions
Temperature: 31 °C
Wind: Southerly light airs