Astoria - Springtime Break & River Seine Experience

After a pain trying to get my drinks bill (which Damir brought in the end) and another menu collected which was dropped off at the cabin, I headed up one deck to see the entertainment.  In the lounge was Legends Show followed by a cabaret where the singers sung and people got up to dance.  That lasted about 20 minutes.  Both were really good.  Then it was time for bed.

A partial sea day as we made our way steadily towards Rouen.  We had been told the pilot would be picked up around 2pm so a lie-in.  When I got up, it was too late for breakfast so I had a wander then chatted to comedian Gerry Graham, who would be doing his first show that night then popped to the photo shop en route to the cabin so I could leave my coat there.  With formal night pictures, you got a free keyring and small frame for the mini version.  At 11am, there was a solo meet in the nightclub hosted by Mark, the Guest Services Host who also booked future cruises but hardly anyone turned up.  Apart from me, there was Carol, an American lady from Hawaii who was staying on for the following two cruises, her friend she met during a cruise and a lady who briefly popped in from the lecture.  Part of the problem is, although some are single in a cabin, they were actually sailing with family like the lady next door whose son and daughter-in-law were opposite me.  Carol and I already knew she would be getting off a ship the day I boarded but we discovered in 2019, we'd once again be on the same one.  It lasted half an hour then Carol and I agreed to meet in the Olissipo Restaurant for lunch at 12.30pm, where we sat with a nice couple.  The weather was up and down but bloody windy.
This was the moment we'd been waiting for.  I had been told by David Trevor-Jones while on Astoria last year, how wonderful sailing along the Seine is and it lived up to all his hype once we had passed Honfleur.  It was still ridiculously windy but dry as we neared the Pont de Normandie bridge, deciding to rain afterwards.  It didn't stop me and many others being forward for it though, taking shelter on the stern or inside after we had passed underneath.  The Seine constantly winds so you never know what cute little village is around the corner.  The mix of house designs is beautiful, as is the scenery.  So many came out along the shore in some places to see us.  Photographing pretty French countryside is hungry work so I grabbed some afternoon tea and came in for a while a bit later.

The last beautiful building I photographed was Château d'Yville, privately owned and near the Jumièges Abbey (thanks to Rouen Tourisme for the answer).  I was chatting to an old bloke who knew Peter Knego was aboard and asked if I was the lady from Southampton who took photos.  Apparently someone told him I was aboard.  The light was fading so I went in.  Dinner was at 8.15pm this night but I was a bit peckish after all the fresh air so I grabbed a bite.  It's generally the same as the restaurant.  We were turning and docking as we were ordering then eating.  I said to Damir our waiter I had the tuna steak in the buffet so would have the spag bol and our conversation went like this:

Damir - "How would you like your tuna cooked?"

"Me - I don't want the tuna. Just the spaghetti."

Damir - "You want tuna steak?"

Me - "Tell you what. I'll have both but put the tuna in the spaghetti bolognese."

Well be brought them separately, the tuna on a bed of Ratatouille, which contains bell peppers and I'm allergic to them.  He brought another so I mixed it in myself.  Very nice it was too.  It certainly added some flavour to the Italian dish.  Gerry Graham did the first of two shows and, despite not having heard from him, thought he was brilliant.  We were allowed off and, since there were no maps of Rouen including the shuttle drop off in relation to our berth like main cruise lines, I went to the terminal building.  While off the ship, I took the opportunity to snap her lit up.  Peter Knego and Mike had the same idea.  After getting some on deck to, it was time for bed.


© Patricia Dempsey 9th-14th March 2018
Not to be reproduced without permission