So, after returning the Samurai Kid’s knife to the car, we headed up the gang plank (if they still call it that these days) onto the ship.  We were greeted by a very friendly couple of Philippine assistants who checked our tickets. We then were greeted at the door by another couple of stewards, from the Philippines, and then we were given our keys by…you guessed it…yes 90% of the crew were from the Philippines.  I have no idea if this is the norm, or if Hull just has a large Philippine population, but there were a lot of them on this particular ship.

We made our way to our cabin and dropped our bags.  We had upgraded to Premier cabins which means that we had a window (or port hole…bit it wasn’t round…or made of brass. It was square…and double gazed).  We had bunks and there was a notice about “seeking assistance” in dropping the bed.  Like on the night train from Amsterdam to Prague, we ignored that and just dropped the bed anyway.

After settling in we went to see how mum and dad were doing.  Mum was trying to take a photo of dad to send to Nikki (my sister) but failing.  Dad was very happy with the cabin, especially the bathroom. We Fenner men are happy with a powerful shower and a powerful toilet.  These cabins had both.  if you stayed sat on the toilet when you flushed the chain you would be stuck on that toilet for the rest of your life with the vacuum it caused.

Cabins approved, we headed up to explore the rest of the ship.  We started with the shop.  With it being April, Karen is well into her Christmas shopping and so bought a few bits and bobs. The booze bit of the shop was closed.  We wondered if perhaps it only opened when we hit international waters.  We had a coffee and the ship set sail at 6:00 pm.  We stood out the back as we slowly…sooo slowly moved away from the shore.  Then it got windy so we moved back inside.  I popped down to the cabin to drop off Karen’s purchases.  I looked out the window/port hole to see a lamp post pass by.  We had been sailing for 20 minutes and still hadn’t left the port.  Then we stopped. We went for a walk on deck and noticed we appeared to be waiting to move out into the Humber.  We also noticed that we were in a channel and the boat was now about 6 inches from the dock.  40 minutes on and we were now actually closer to land than when we set off.  At that point we heard the announcement that the booze shop was open.  Not really international waters then.

We eventually set sail for real and as we ate dinner we looked out the window at the lovely sites of Grimsby and Bridlington, flares glimmering in the night sky like giant candles.  Afterwards we had a couple of drinks in the piano bar where the pianist did a request spot.
“Any requests?””Bon Jovi, Living on a prayer””Elton John, Your Song it is…it’s a little bit funny..”
We headed back to our cabins and settled down.  I was on the top bunk and discovered that the ladders was designed in such a way to cause maximum pain.  If this was a premier cabin I assume thy must have rope ladders in the lower classes.  I did at one point contemplate what would more painful, climbing down the ladder or just throwing myself down from the top bunk.

The next morning we called in to see mum and dad.
“How did you sleep?”
“Top to tail”
“Pardon!”

It would appear that dad (on the top bunk) got cramp in his leg, tried to get down, couldn’t get down the razor blade ladder, so mum had to put his slippers on him mid descent.  By the time he was down and his cramp cleared up, he decided it really wasn’t worth the hassle getting back up, so he slept top to tail on the lower bunk with mum!  Love eh?

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