Friday 12th May – Turning into the Cruise from Hell.

Oh dear!!! Just before we retired for bed last night, Captain Woger made an announcement over the public address system that the boat is in a bit of bother with it’s azipods. Hmm, you ask, what is an azipod. Azipods are these new fangled thingies that dangle off the bottom of the boat at the blunt end and have the propellers imbedded in them that can turn 360 degrees. Pretty cool bits of engineering. And for those of you who are engineering geeks, they also pull the boat along rather than push it as the old propeller systems are known to do. You have two of these azipods, one as a spare we think!!

So, what has happened to our azipods. Something to do with the electrical motors in them has come unstuck which has resulted in us being underpowered and now rather than cruising at warp speed, we now have turtles swimming past us. Result being that our next port of call which is Southampton will see us arriving four hours late but they will extend our time there by four hours. Doesn’t sound too bad you say, but we still have our immigration issue so all occupants on the 12th floor have now been slotted into 2.00pm and will be lucky to get off the boat by 3.00pm which gives us nine hours to get up to Winchester and back. Once again you say, what is the problem. Maybe we will get there by 5.00pm on a Friday night – and that is where your have the problem. So we have already missed out on going to the Mary Rose and maybe the Winchester Cathedral might not be opened that late.
But things get even worse. Due to our slow speed we are now missing the port of Zeebrugge where we were going to do a tour to Ghent of a Belgium chocolate factory. Actually, maybe that is not a bad idea as our calorie count could do with a bit of reduction. They will refund our excursion expense which is only the correct thing to do.
Our next port of call is Rotterdam which we are going to limp into. They are being very vague with details but we think this is where they will do the repair work to the azipods. We have heard from other people that these azipods, though great inventions, have resulted in quite a few breakdowns and cruise interruptions. This boat, the Getaway was built in 2014 so she is a new and you would think, all bugs ironed out by now. Sue and Steve mentioned to us that it is an extremely smooth boat so each boat they build gets better.
This cruise finishes in Copenhagen on Tuesday morning and then in the afternoon it heads out for a nine day Baltic cruise which we are also on. Our good friends Patti and Pete from Calgary will also be joining us for this cruise. These boats are like planes, the only way they make money is to have them out there floating on the high seas or as with planes 30,000 foot up with bums on seats.
They have also given each passenger “as a gesture of goodwill” a $100 onboard credit for the change in itinerary. We can tell you now, there will be a lot of strings attached to that!!!!!
We are not too worried about all of this as it really does not affect us too much but many guests are getting really antsy. So of the ports of call so far – a quick recap for you:
Pont Delgado – couldn’t get into as seas too rough
Brest – absolute screw up with getting passengers on and off with having to queue for two hours. Chewed into everyone’s time in Brest which was only 7.5 hours anyway.
Southampton – four hours late getting in plus lost time due to immigration. Leave at midnight which means if you do the Stonehenge tour, you better have good night vision.
Zeebrugge – didn’t happen
Rotterdam – let’s see what fate befalls us.
So out of the five ports of call we might just get one (Rotterdam) where we get in at the right time, stay the correct amount of time and get to do any tours if we booked any.

There is not a lot in Rotterdam and we were just going to wander about but having said that, you are only about half an hour by train to Amsterdam. But who knows, our azipods might prove to be difficult to repair resulting in a longer time in Rotterdam. In that case we will go up and visit Ali, Ads, Ollie, Milla and Bronte in Hilversum for the day. We will also get to check out our new bikes as we are told they are ready to pick up. Our wonderful Mr Bike man Mark sent us an email saying they are good to go!!!! For those of you not in the know, Milla and Ollie and Bronte (pooch) are the cool teenagers that we are looking after in Holland for a week whilst their mum and dad attend a wedding in New York. Ali is the sister of our good friend Nick back in Australia. He and Fraser go back forty five years!!!! Mr Bike man Mark is their next door neighbour who has helped us buy our bikes for our cycling trips in Europe. We do not know what we would have done without him!!!!
Anyway, watch for the next saga. One good thing about Southampton is there is an Apple Store there with fantastic free wifi, so we will finally get to post our blogs.
Found the Apple Store and maximized the free internet. Here is a photo of the white cliffs on the Isle of Wight.



Also a few photos of coming into Southhampton.





Will blog in a few days regarding the total cockup courtesy of UK Immigration for the Southhampton portion.

As we say adieu, we learn via email that there are further changes to our itinerary which we will fill you in on, providing we have not slit our wrists by then!!!

5 thoughts on “Friday 12th May – Turning into the Cruise from Hell.

  1. Lewis and I just read all 10 blogs at once – they arrived all together. You are great bloggers- stories keep you coming back for more although your cruising experience is soooo different from ours. It seemed to,start off so good and that made us happy, but we are now was that it seems to be going downhill…. your experiences would frustrate me to the point of probably wanting to disembark and fly to some of my destinations. I know you can’t control weather, but there are things the cruise line can control but they don’t seem to be doing that very well. I would be demanding more than a $100 credit! I sure hope the trip,turns around… we look forward to hearing more when you have wifi again. You both look great and happy though so,that makes us smile. T and L


  2. Rough luck for you 2. You’ve probably experienced more issues on your first cruise than those that have cruised numerous times! Hopefully it gets better. Although once your legs are on terra firma you will probably still have the cruise with you when you lie down from all the rock in’ and Rollin’ you’ve been doing! Enjoy!


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