31st December, 2021
You won’t believe, but after an enjoyable few days at sea, we spotted the land. And it was the correct land. We were able to find the Canaries (Thank you Google maps).
Our sister ship, Spirit of Discovery, and two other ships were in the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife with us. Weather was just perfect. Flat calm and no wind. Back home in Croatia, we call it bonaca. Our arrival went smoothly as we swung abeam of breakwater and backed down with final position just ahead of Spirit of Discovery.
As guests went on tours, we prepared the Lido deck for The Party. The theme: Casino Royale. We decided to focus on one location and the Lido was only logical, as the weather forecast was great for the evening, and decks 13 and 14 also overlook it.
Celebrations started after the Gala dinner at 22:00 with our Victory Piano Quartet playing popular pieces including, of course, the theme from James Bond. Next on stage were our singers from the production cast, followed by the Britannia Band. I had one rule for the playlist. Keep the beat up. No slowhands. It worked like a charm. Everybody was up and dancing, or swinging to the rhythm of the song.
Next thing you know, midnight’s arrived. We had our oldest guests ring the ship’s bell to say farewell to 2021, and our cadet Matthew as the youngest person on board, to ring the bell as a welcome to 2022. I gave a very short speech, did the countdown, raised a glass and wished everybody a Happy New Year. We sounded the ship’s whistle, as did all other ships in the harbour, and the fireworks started.
Captain Franko Papić
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