Wish it had been longer
Bridget Hope | October 18, 2017 | P&O Cruises | Aurora
Back in March 2013, me, my husband, 13 year old son and my mother in law joined Aurora in Hong Kong for a 2 week section of her world cruise. We had never been on Aurora before and I was a bit apprehensive that she would be getting a little tatty and tired and I had heard lots about random buckets strewn about in corridors. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The whole ship was beautifully presented and well maintained everywhere. The crew were all very polite and effiecient and friendly. We had a change of Captain half way through and the new one, Neil Turnbull, if I remember correctly was a hoot, a really down to earth man. The ship was a lovely welcoming home to come back to and I just wish we had sailed on her before.
Joining a world cruise part way along may well have felt like joining someone else’s party but happily it wasn’t like that. We were included by passengers and crew alike which is as it should be. The food was to a high standard as usual.
The countries we visited were all new to us. Vietnam was full of happy people who couldn’t do enough for you, incredible food as well, we can’t wait to go back and see more. It was my son’s 13th birthday in Vietnam and one of my best memories was of me and my husband creeping along the corridors in the dead of night, fastening balloons and banners to our son’s cabin door (he shared with gran ) and trying to make no noise. Not easy after a few cocktails. His birthday was well celebrated and the waiters sang to him much to his delight and pride.
Thailand too was lovely. We went to see the incredible royal palace in Bangkok which was breathtaking and so hot hot hot. You took your shoes off to enter and fried your feet on the floor. We all looked like crazy frogs.
I missed Singapore because I was poorly but the staff looked after me beautifully while the others went ashore.
The sail through the pirate zone was interesting. We embarked a special expert and also additional security staff to keep us safe. We had pirate drills and sailed with low lighting at night through the scary waters and the captain managed to make it an adventure while obviously having our safety foremost in his mind. Very well handled I thought. It certainly made for an exotic and out of the ordinary experience.
We were sad to disembark in Mumbai. We watched the ship sail and felt bereft. Could have stayed on all the way back to Southampton. Contrary to belief, not all the passengers were older or retired. A few children were on board for the whole thing and many people were having time out of their busy lives for the months of the cruise. What an excellent idea if you can afford to.
Mumbai just blew us away. we had booked a hotel for a few nights and ‘did’ the city to our best standards. We took taxis (not really made for Western bottoms, quite narrow) and ate at local cafes. We had a guide from the hotel to help. The traffic, oh man was it incredible. What a place.
Upgrade on the plane home to business class just finished off the most amazing and brilliant two week holiday ever. I just wish it had been longer. Don’t be scared of Aurora, she was beautiful.
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