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1st April, 2013


The coast of Funchal

Our three day journey south was not in the best of weather, but we had left the cold winds of Southampton behind and the ones we experienced were at least considerably warmer.

We have many passengers on board who are regulars on our cruises, but well over half are newcomers, some of whom have never cruised before. I felt a little sorry for them as they tried to make their way around on their first morning at sea. They very quickly acquired the sailors gait and the majority even managed the welcome cocktail party.


The high cliffs and mountains of Madeira were a welcome sight as Monday dawned with the swells of the north Atlantic behind us. We docked at the end of the pier with a German cruise vessel in front of us, which had a huge pair of lips painted onto the bow.

A few of our passengers had not realised that it was April Fool’s Day and apparently there were a few irate phone calls to the pursers desk in response to the notice in the daily programme:

‘Because of the current automatic climate, passengers will in future have their account
automatically deducted by £2 per day for a hard
copy of the ‘Today’ programme.’

The 'lip ship'!
Most of course realised it was only joke when they also saw that the dress code for the day was ‘birthday suit’ and that tours of the ‘refurbished funnel’ were now available through the Excursion Manager, Anne Kersaway.

The weather during the day was lovely. The temperature was around 19 degrees and the sun was strong enough to give those who sat out for too long a rosy glow.

The German vessel left in the late afternoon, sounding three long blasts as they passed and the bridge crew gave us a friendly wave.

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