SouthamptonFebruary 7 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C
5th Feb. Now about 200 miles off the coast of Bordeaux heading towards the English Channel and due to arrive in Southampton in the early hours of Monday morning. The weather today has been surprisingly pleasant, quite warm and sunny but the forecast overnight and tomorrow is not so good, stronger winds and a rougher sea. However, almost home and, at present and everything crossed, unscathed. Our dancing friends, David and Linda, remain in isolation because David had tested positive but Linda is now also positive. However, the latest arrangements are that they will leave the ship on Monday, after all the other passengers have left the ship, and then taken home to Herts by taxi, organised and paid for by P&O. Their daughter was due to pick them up. A couple of other dancing pairs have now disappeared, presumably now also in isolation along with a lot of other people and crew. When we were in St Maarten, an entertainer joined the ship called ‘The Mentalist’, a mind reader, and he was going to appear that evening and give a performance. His act was cancelled and we heard no more about him. David and Linda, in isolation, spoke to a man from their balcony who is next door but one to them. Turns out he was the ‘Mentalist’. He had boarded the ship, tested positive and immediately placed in quarantine. He said he hopes to be out on Sunday and be able to give a performance then!
We had another dancing demonstration from the dancing instructors yesterday evening and they were fantastic. To thank them for all their hard work teaching us lot on the ship, we presented them with a signed card, quite a sizeable donation and a book in which we had all written personal comments. They were visibly surprised and a bit shaken. They have, without doubt, been the best instructors we have ever had on a cruise and we have had some good ones (and a few not so good). We have all said that without the dancing on board, what would we have done? The entertainment, generally, has been poor.
6th February. Strong wind (we were told Force 8) and a rough sea to welcome us to the English Channel. Should calm down as we approach Southampton.
0640 hrs 6th Feb. Well, what a carry on! Suddenly, as Erica was drying her hair, all the electricity on the ship failed and we were plunged into darkness. What had Erica done? The captain came on the loudspeaker to say that the ship’s propulsion system has failed and only emergency lighting was operational. The ship is wallowing and drifting in quite stormy seas. The captain asked all cabin stewards to attend their areas to reassure the passengers. Don’t panic, we all said as we wandered the corridors which had basic emergency lighting. Poor Gladys, our cabin steward, looked far more worried than we did and we had to spend our time reassuring her! Fifteen minutes later, the lights came on but the captain announced that only one of the systems had restarted and they were trying to restart the second. He said the navigational system was functioning and we were OK. Was that reassuring? I don’t think so. The ship is eerily quiet as there is currently no air conditioning. What about our dinner, Erica and I said? We have our priorities. All shows have been cancelled and none of the kitchens are working. Are we going to drift on to a beach in Normandy and surprise the French? And all this because Erica was drying her hair!! At 7.10 pm the captain announced that the second propulsion system was now working and he was turning the ship, presumably away from the dangerous cliffs that border this coastline. I imagine we can expect the ship to roll a bit as we turn round. All back to order by 7.30pm and we were able to have our evening meal.
7th Feb. Arrived back in Southampton in the early hours and now waiting to leave the ship. We are due off at 9 am. Then home to do our PCR test. For me I am not hopeful that it will be negative. On Saturday I had done a test as we usually and regularly do and it was negative. However, on Sunday, yesterday, I felt as though I had a slight cold coming and also a slight headache. It will be interesting to receive the PCR result. Erica seems fine. There is so much Covid on the ship that it would be surprising to have escaped it.
Indeed we did not escape it. The PCR tests proved positive for both of us so we are now in isolation at home. Very disappointed to have caught it but pleased it happened at the end of the holiday and not during it.Read more