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here we go again Britannia B621 23 sept-07 oct

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i am off again lol it starts today as the baggage handling company has rung to say they will pick up my bag on the 18th, so better start packing.

for those that didnt read my other ramblings this cruise may be a little sedate as 18 months ago the day after returning from the last cruise i had a heart attack shortly after getting up that morning,anyway a quick trip to sheffield northern fixed it with a stent and 3 months of physio followed. during which they stopped the cause of the blockage the anti inflamatories i had been taking for years and then discovered i had arthiritis in my spine that the anti inflamatories had been hiding and that i had a slipped disc which was pressing on the sciatic nerve. anyway a spinal injection in feb seems to have eased that to the stage that i thinkk its time for some r&r.

were off to madeira,la palma,tenerife,gran canaria,lanzerote,cadiz and lisbon, so should be able to stock up on port.

realised recently that the cruise is a food heroes cruise, teach me to pay attention when booking. so ive booked 2 of the cookery club classes the eric lanlard inspired masterclass and the thai street food. as i dont think i will be doing much walking as the back does play up a bit although the medics have given me extra stuff to take if i need it.

with luck the weather will be kind and there will be plenty of lying by the pool drinking rum.

i am cheating by getting a local ironing service to do my shirts for me so all i have to do is fold and pack.

i will update as we go lol.

bring on the rum.

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Hope you have a very enjoyable and relaxing cruise Mitch, hope you don't mind me hijacking your thread. We are considering using the baggage handling company for our next cruise so would welcome any comments or advice, especially regarding how they operate luggage on the return journey, and how quickly it is returned.

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i have found them excellant, on return you collect your bags as normal and take them out of the terminal and they have a van literally outside, actual position varies depending where they can get in but its v close. you hand your bag over and he tells you the day he will deliver. i think 4 days after is the latest so far for me i am near chesterfield i suppose it depends where you are in the country and which way round hes going. i have used them 4 times now as i cant manage the driving that far and the train is easy from here but a big bag on the train would be a nightmare and i dont fancy the coach as the nearest pickup is one of the motorway service stations and the faff of  getting there and back with taxis etc. i use a large barrel bag and nothing broken either touch wood. i think theyre great.

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hi all,

firstly apologies for not posting on the cruise but yet again the internet on the cruise failed for 3 days and we had to wait initially until we got to madiera to take on parts and a tech then a day for him to sort it after which i lost the will lol. esp as we got the same guff from the girl in the library as we had on arcadia when we lost it for 7 days. so not a good start lol.

the bay of biscay was a little lumpy en route to madeira the first 2 days/night but i didnt think too bad but to hear some you would have thought we were in a hurricane or something.

the first afternoon at sea i had signed up for one of the cookery club courses and that gave me a new respect for the chefs on board as trying to pipe macarons and mix cup cakes when the ship is rocking aint easy lol. the class was excellant even though half of those originally signed up for it didnt make it. it was a bit rocky lol. and we got to eat what we made.

the following day i did the cookery class thai street food and we did a thai beef salad chicken satai skewers and thai fish cakes, less rocky but again excellant and great fun.

the 2 classes were £45 each and well worth it i thought and an excellant way of passing 2-3 hours and the chefs taking the class were brilliant and coped with all levels of culinary expertise, i have none lol.

due to my problems with knees,back and a slipped disc i wasnt able to do any day trips but enjoyed the weather on deck and in the smoking areas, fortunately after the bay the weather the rest of the cruise was good with lots of sunshine and almost zero rain,even got a little sunburned on my back which is unusual for me as i am so careful as i burn easily.

i did toy with the idea of doing the cookery class with marco pierre white but at £100 i decided it a step too far likewise the dinner with him cooking for 20 of you and sitting with you at £150.

he did a q&a and book signing which somehow i missed completely in the programme, senility setting in i think.

but the benefit of sitting in the smoking areas and getting up at silly oclock, twice mr pierre white joined us in the leppers corner and was an absolute delight chatting and introducing himself to all of us degenerates.

as usual my main gripe other than the internet is the other passengers, my god they can moan for england, one woman wouldnt shut up about how she thought it was too windy, other than the first 24hrs during the day it rarely got above a slight breeze. although even then they need to sort out some of the doors out onto the outside decks as opening some of them were downright dangerous at times and makes me wonder if they do any tests on the designs before they build them.

dont know if it was because marco pierre white was on the cruise for the last 4 days but the food throughout the cruise was excellant.

even though i was severley limited by medical issues the cruise was excellant, internet apart.

however the next one is going to be cancelled as i need to get these physical issues sorted or the next one will be in a wheelchair or scooter and i would like to avoid that if i can.

the bag is being delivered back on sunday by the baggage handling company as that was the earliest one of their vans was up this way, and they did offer to courier it up earlier if i wanted but as its only dirty washing now i wasnt fussed. as ever the bag was waiting in the cabin when i got there so they were as good as ever.

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ah the tv, yes there were a bunch of hacked off welshmen as they lost sat tv the day of one of their rugby  world cup matches, most went off to sulk but half a dozen sat around someones phone watching on a little screen as we were in port and they could get mobile coverage. it looked quite comical.

unfortunateley i am self employed and still need to work occasionally on the cruise so its a must have although i can claim it back but its a pain when its not there.

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Hope you get you medical problems resolved and can return to cruising soon.

We did the Canaries Cruise on Britannia in April - 3rd cruise in 3 years all with different companies!

We enjoyed the cruise Funchal was the highlight for us. Many people don't seem to like the number of sea days from Southampton on this cruise but I felt it gave a leisurely few days followed by a number of ports and a leisurely trip back.

We enjoyed Britannia - all 3 cruise lines have been different but enjoyable.

Back on Britannia in Mid July - be interesting to see what the refit has done.

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