Marco Polo - Festive Dublin Party Cruise
I had pre-booked the Coastal Panoramic & Irish Coffee tour at 2pm.  CMV still don't require payment in advance.  Nine people didn't turn up so they decide to leave without them.  The guide looked like my ex (who is from Northern Ireland), complete with hang dog expression, which was a little disconcerting at times.  We had a brief photo stop at Malahide Castle and one of our group put his elf hat on a statue.  A stop in a pub for Irish coffee, Guinness or soft drink.  The driver and i discussed hernia ops.  It was a good tour and thankfully the rain held off until we were heading back to the ship.  The driver reversed so we were close the the gangway.  It took a while for my dad to appear.  I heard the security guard ask if it was him, which seemed odd.  Dinner and a friend of theirs turned up too.  He was a little more friendly until the bloke monopolised the conversation by directing everything at his son and son's girlfriend yet again.  Since he's soooooooooo rich and well travelled, it was amusing to hear the places he hadn't been such as Norway or Baltic.  Again, we were out quickly thanks to our fabulous waiter!  We were both tired so went back to the cabin.

We were sailing at 11am but got up early for breakfast in the hope people would be hungover so it would be empty.  I went to see Mark to thank him for sorting my Columbus Club points then pre-booked my taxi from Prestige Cars for 8.30am.  It was still raining but had stopped by the time sailaway came.....and went!  The ferry, Stena Adventurer, was supposed to sail at 11.30pm but that didn't shift either.  We finally got our pilot about 40 minutes late and began to move shortly after that, with the Stena following.  The buffet was packed so we headed to the Captain's Club to wait for it to thin out  The Captain came on to explain traffic delayed us and warn we'd be getting 10 foot waves.  Lovely weather is great anyway but due to her sheer and camber, it's more fun on Marco Polo!  Sickie poo bags were all over the place again.

My dad decided to nap but I couldn't due to the pain in my hernias so I went on deck for some pics of hopefully lovely seas.  It was when I bought a couple of cans of Cokes in Scotts, I realised why my dad had been asked if it was really him.  Mitch had put our photos on the wrong cards!  A bit later, there was an announcement the Irish Coastguard would be doing an exercise.  I went on the deck 5 aft deck and wondered where my dad was.  It turned out he'd gone to the other door then up to the Lido deck, quickly ushered inside.  Silly bugger forgot his glasses, which helps him see slightly better with the cataracts, but he could still have had an accident.  We both went out for the sunset, but the cloud had covered the sun.  We decided not to go to the restaurant for dinner.  We couldn't stand being on that table.  Afterwards, we headed to the Captain's Club.  I noticed the glass for the Grasshopper was the same size as June but drink definitely less.  My second had a little more after I'd mentioned it.  Back to the cabin to pack.  We'd got priority labels due to my hernias.  Then bed since it would be an early start.

We were back into Avonmouth at 4.30am and had to be out of the cabins between 7am-7.30pm.  We went to breakfast for 6.30pm.  Unusually, it was dead at that time so we had no problem getting a table or waiting long for food.  Clearance was just before self-disembark was called.  We were 8am but were off by then, having said goodbye to Mark at the scanner.  Our taxi was early too so we caught the 8.30am train to Bristol Temple Meads.
So that was another cruise over and my dad's 4th since May!  He has really got into this cruising lark.  I hadn't been keen on Marco Polo after my June cruise, but she grew on me this time.  Astoria is still my favourite CMV ship (even though she's chartered) but I want to do a longer one on Marco Polo now.

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© Patricia Dempsey 15th-19th December 2018
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