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(Update Feb. 2016 – I’ve added some images from around Azura at the bottom of the post.)

Today, the first full day of the cruise, was a sea day. It was also a formal night, the Captain’s Gala Party.

We woke up quite late, after 8 o’clock. We found the weather not as bad as feared, but not good: grey skies, some showers, a brisk wind and moderate seas, which were forecast to increase during the day. By the time we’d showered and dressed it was well after 9 before we breakfasted and around 10 before we’d finished. We filled in the rest of the morning, first with a few careful laps of the Prom, which on Azura means starting near the bow on one side, walking round to the same spot on the other side, and then reversing your course – there’s no easy route to the clam-shell to allow a complete circuit. (It is possible but involves going inside, up some stairs, along a cabin passage and then over a high sill at a forbidding-looking door at the end.) The laps were careful because the prom deck was quite wet, from rain and spray, and I in particular was slipping and sliding considerably on the wet bits. We gave up before we’d done the mile we intended to do. Then we had a coffee in the Glasshouse (we do occasionally drink something other than wine there), and while we doing so we booked a Glasshouse Tasting Menu meal for later in the cruise. Then we finished filling in the morning by sitting in the Planet Bar looking at the swell from a great height and drinking sparkling mineral water.

Lunch in the buffet followed, which in turn was followed by another visit to the Glasshouse. This time it was for wine – a Chilean Merlot for Val and Cabernet Sauvignon for me. After that a rest was called for, and the next thing we know it was time to start getting ready for the Captain’s Gala Party at 6 o’clock. This was a fun affair, and Captain Camby was an entertaining speaker. We went into dinner at about 7 o’clock and again were immediately seated on a shared table. Food, wine and conversation flowed very well, and we enjoyed our meal. Val says her ‘Twice Baked Goats Cheese Souffle’ was “interesting but good” (but how can you bake a souffle twice, I wonder?). My Crusted Lamb was excellent; very tasty.

We’d finished by 9 o’clock and went to the Planet Bar for a nightcap – Cointreau for Val, Laphroaig for me. Then we went to the cabin.

This cruise is a bit different from others we’ve done – after this first day at sea we now have three ports of call in succession – Vigo, Lisbon and Gibraltar. So tomorrow we’re at Vigo, and we’re doing an excursion – La Toja island by Trolley Train. We don’t really know what to expect from this, but we’ve been to Vigo so often now hat we feel we’ve exhausted the delights of the town itself and of the obvious excursion – Santiago de Compostela – so we’re trying different things.

One Response to “First full day, and first formal dinner”

  1. Linda says:

    Reading your latest blog with interest as our last cruise on Azura was such a disappointment it will almost certainly be … Our last cruise on Azura.
    We haven’t stopped cruising but have switched to Celebrity. Just returned from a med cruise on Eclipse. Biggest noticeable difference was the atmosphere created by very happy staff. We found them in short supply on Azura. I hope things have improved ….
    The glass house tasting was poorly attended when we were on board and the menu the same as previous sailings. The wine was not the best and would not have been our choice … Please report your findings.
    We always used the Retreat area but found they had doubled the price … Just wondering if they have made changes there too.
    Hope the weather settles … We have just had the most fantastic spell of wall to wall blue skies … In Lisbon we took the local train to Cascais along the coast. A lovely little town with great restaurants.
    Happy sailing …

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