Final disembarkation

Well! I did it! 26 day cruise. Arrived in Hong Kong. Can’t tell you how happy I am to get off the ship! But it is a real mixture of emotions. The ship becomes your home for the time you are on it. You exist in this little bubble of life travelling between countries, climates and time zones on its own little adventure with little worry of anything else happening in the world.

It has by no means been a bad experience but it has definitely been very interesting from my own standing. Certainly the last two nights Onboard the ship were horrible as we were in particularly bad weather. A shame really to have ended it in that way. Wind howling, rain intermittent and large swell meant I didn’t sleep particularly well at all. In fact on both of the last nights I was woken by the weather at around 3am where I then got up and dressed and left our cabin to wander around the ship in order to feel some kind of sense of normality. It probably did the opposite though. There was no one around but all the lights were on. The huge vessel moving quite significantly from side to side. My only guess is that this older generation Onboard are so well weathered by life at sea (pardon the pun) that they have the amazing ability to just sleep right through it. This is certainly the case for mum anyway. So this weird ghost ship like existence of the ship at 3am fascinated me.

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The Philippines

After the best part of 6 days at sea, I was mightily happy to set foot on solid ground.

The cook that we had, Loli, in Borneo is from Manila in the Philippines; so I was happy to visit this place that is her home. Especially since I had no idea I would be here 2 months ago.

Our welcome into the harbour area could be heard a mile away. A marching band on the seafront playing a variety of modern tunes and wearing brightly coloured clothing. As our ship navigated its way through the incredibly still waters of the Manila bay; a sea-fog slowly started to rise, giving way to an eery and yet beautiful first view of the city of Manila. Fishing boats had been surrounding us since sometime the day before we arrived. This morning they were so close to the ship! Some shouting for money, or offering to sell things to us! How on earth that would have worked I don’t know. The captain of our ship frequently sounded the ships horn through this whole period of time. I couldn’t believe how many small boats there were.

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Cruising again

I left Auckland – New Zealand on February the 11th on a voyage across 10 seas, 6 time zones, stopping at 8 ports of call over 26 days and sailing approximately 7376 nautical miles ending up in Hong Kong.

The ship: P & O’s – Aurora.

The average age of life Onboard the ship: probably 60.

The amount of passengers Onboard: 1800 (approx)

Launched in the year 2000 this world cruise is Auroras 15th year of cruising itself. At the end of this year it goes into dry dock for a whole new refurb. In fact the whole P&O fleet will be having a whole new look.

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