Monday, April 11, 2011

The beginning of the end – the end of the beginning?

With apologies to Winston Churchill (who, of course had a strong South African history)

A sad finale to our absolutely wonderful 2011 Pacific Princess World Cruise. We will remember with fondness the feeling of family on board. 

Eric was a gem as a cabin steward – would that either of us was anywhere near as meticulous as he (or as consistently cheerful) -  he even went out of his way to help me schlepp the luggage down to the gangplank today with not even one comment (unlike me)

Elmer and Manuel were our waiters in the dining room. How amusing it must have been for me to persist in my vague efforts at Atkins – the obligate carnivore at work - while at the same time asking for the delicious ice cream of the day (Banana last night) – “one scoop”

Our companions in the Dining Room –
Bill and Kathy

Michael J and Karen

And Irene and Mary (who doubled as Bridge opponents during the mornings). 

They put up with our impatience at formal dining and our absences (when we ate at the buffet or bistro) with forbearance. They will have their third companion couple for the next leg to Rome.
As a farewell the Captain threw a cocktail party and the chefs did the usual parade through the dining room – we drank champagne, had fun and enjoyed the vibe.

Tom – the youngest passenger – said goodbye to Merle as he (on his leash) took off for the wild North – to Victoria Falls by train. 

Then, the last minute packing – 12 separate containers of STUFF ranging from the large red cases for the hold to plastic bags with this and that for the family and needy of South Africa. We added to our donations of clothes to be given away by donations from others on the ship so all will benefit.
Sailed into the beautiful Table Bay at 6am today. What a sight. 
 The World Cup Soccer Stadium gleamed in the sunrise.

As we stood on our balcony and enjoyed the vista (and Merle took beautiful pictures), Merles cousin Reina did the same from her balcony in Mouille Point. Two points of view.

Robben Island can be seen behind our ship as we sail in.
Then disembarkation at 9am – many helpers made it happen with the minimum of cursing (on my part) – Eric (as I said), porters at the wharf, Frankie one of the Cruise Staff carried a bag or two; then Mark (Merle’s brother) and Jackie (his wife) were there to meet us, scoop up the paraphernalia and whisk us off to the Villa Rosa (our B&B for the next few days)

Today was a magnificent Cape Town Day – hot and happy – as I traipsed around doing what we came here to do – see the family and spend quality time.
It was fun to see our recent travel companions zip by on the red buses – Hop on Hop Off. Strange maybe but there we were standing on the sidewalk by Bordeaux in Sea Point screaming “Sonia, Sonia!!” as she zipped by on the upper deck – stood up and waved
Adieu all.


  1. Oh how I'll miss your blog of adventures! Say hello to the family for us!

  2. A spectacular conclusion!!! Bravo noonie and papa, bravo! Now, hurry home! We miss you terribly!