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Well, here we are on mid-Christmas Day afternoon. We slept fairly late this morning, then breakfasted, enjoyed some coffee, unwrapped a selection of presents to ourselves, went to a talk (on the possible inspiration for Ian Fleming’s ‘Q’ – quite interesting), made an expensive ship-to-shore phone call to wish family members a Merry Christmas, and pounded the deck before enjoying lunch in the restaurant. Since then we’ve checked out an interesting-sounding triple-OBC offer with Future Cruises (it doesn’t apply to the cruises we’re interested in) and are now sat in the Crows Nest waiting for our wine. Oh, it’s just arrived – cheers!

So it’s been a very pleasant day at sea. The sea itself is being kind, and although there is a bit of movement (especially up here in the Crows Nest), it’ not unpleasant. I suppose if I had one complaint – no, complaint is too strong a word, ‘observation’ might be better – it would be that it hasn’t seemed very festive. Still, that might be our fault – we missed Santa and we didn’t go to either last night’s midnight mass or the service this morning.

It has to be said that there are a number of other passengers trying to introduce the right spirit, for example by wearing ill-advised Christmas sweaters, some of them with flashing lights, and there have been lots of ‘Merry Christmas’ greetings from all and sundry. Maybe we’re just not people who Christmas en-masse – perhaps Christmas in the bosom of our family is what we should be doing. Certainly we felt a bit of a pang when we rang the family and heard all their voices, including several kids playing with new toys. But never mind – we must now concentrate on preparing for Christmas Dinner, surely the centre-piece of this cruise. I’ll blog about that tomorrow.

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