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[Posted on 7 June, after I discovered that somehow this entry hadn’t been posted.]

We’re getting near the end of the cruise now – I’m writing this on the morning of the last full day aboard. It’s the second of two sea days after leaving Gibraltar before getting back to Southampton.

Yesterday was a mixed day: it was quite grey and overcast during the morning but brightened up through the afternoon. The wind was from the north and Ventura was steaming northwards, so the wind across the open decks was quite strong. However, there was quite a bit of shelter on the Terrace (a bit of swirl at the very aft edge, perhaps), and we found it very pleasant when we repaired to a spot there at about 3 o’clock. What with mugs of tea at the beginning, some sparkling mineral water, a move to a sun lounger by the Terrace pool for about an hour as it got brighter, then a move back to the Terrace Bar as it got even warmer, a beer, some wine, some more water, and a final cup of tea, we spent about four hours there out of the wind and in the sun; one of the pleasantest and most relaxing times we’ve had on the cruise. Unfortunately we had forgotten a vital precaution – because it was overcast before lunch we hadn’t bothered anointing ourselves with sun cream, and somehow we didn’t get round to it during the afternoon. As a result we looked like a pair of boiled lobsters when we went to dinner.

I haven’t mentioned the weather much in these posts. The first few days were quite pleasant, with quite a bit of sunshine though not very warm. Lisbon however was quite grey and cool – there may even have been a bit of rain that day. I don’t remember the sea day after that, but I recall Palma starting a bit overcast; however, Val reports that her excursion to Valdemossa was sunny and quite warm. The afternoon was pretty pleasant. It was sunny and warmer in Barcelona and Cannes, and quite hot at times in Florence and Rome. The sea day between Rome and Gibraltar was also good, and Gib was positively hot – temperature somewhere around 30 degrees ashore – although we did run into quite a bit of sea fog after leaving. Then yesterday morning was, as I’ve said, a bit grey but the afternoon was better. Today however is quite overcast and cool, as we pass through the Bay. All in all we haven’t been disappointed with the weather.

Back to yesterday. I ought to mention a few things we did. I went to another Tate Talk in the morning, on the Pre-Rapaelites. This was very well attended – I wouldn’t be surprised if there were almost 100 people there – and it was very interesting. Then we attended an ‘Audience with the Captain’ in the Arena theatre hosted by the cruise director.  The theatre was pretty full for that. Captain Burgess was very entertaining – he comes across as quite witty – and he regaled us with the history of his career and a few anecdotes. Anyone who’s cruised on Oceana or the previous Adonia may remember him – he was Staff Captain and then Captain on those ships during the large parts of the noughties. He only joined Ventura for the first time in May.

Then we went to and enjoyed the Curry Luncheon in East (£5 pp cover charge). This was excellent – scrummy food, well presented and not too much (although we didn’t have desserts). Val had Chicken Satay starter and another chicken main course; I had a beef kebab starter and a lamb & spinach (lamb saag) main course, and these were all delicious. Recommended, if you get the chance.

Back to today. We’ve been given our disembarkation cards (brown – 10:50am – which we were able to change to Green, 8:45) and we’ve started packing. It’s nearly over.

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