Thursday, November 08, 2007

T minus 58 days to World Cruise on MV Oriana

I can’t believe it… it’s only 8 weeks, come Sunday, until I am stood on the decks of that beautiful big white ship, MV Oriana. Eight weeks! It seems like just a month or so ago that I went down to Southampton on a warm sunny day for my interview…. but that was way back in March!
MV Oriana dockside in the Cape Verde Islands 2003

I awoke one night this week in a terrible panic… I had dreamt I was stood in the Atrium on board and my friend, Julie, (whom I had travelled with previously on the ship) was stood there saying “Well this is it… you’re on your own now Matey…have a fab trip.” I suddenly realised that I was stood there without any luggage and no preparation done for the classes I was to teach! Utter panic ravaged my mind! When I awoke, it was some seconds before I realised I wasn’t on the ship, followed by great relief. I saw this as a sub-conscious kick up the butt – time had pressed on and I now needed to think about my preparations and fit them in with my other on-going jobs and projects. I needed to work out a plan of action!

What shall I be doing on the ship, apart from being totally in awe that I am there? As a Guest Art Presenter, I shall be holding two art sessions on board every sea day for the passengers that wish to come along. This is the first time that I shall be teaching on board, on my previous four cruises with Julie, I was her assistant. So I am naturally a little apprehensive about my change in role… but something I am also greatly looking forward to as well.

As for the journey…. We shall leave Southampton early in January for the start of Oriana’s World Cruise. It will be a five week trip with the following ports of call….Rome*, Athens*, Cairo, through the Suez Canal*, Sharm El Sheikh* (Egypt), Salalah & Muscat (Oman), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Mumbai* & Cochin (India), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Phuket (Thailand), Penang* (Malaysia), Singapore*, Kemaman (Malaysia), Vung Tau (Vietnam) and finally Hong Kong* – from where I shall disembark and fly home. I am really excited about the chance to see these fantastic places, seven of which I have been to before on previous cruises (marked *) - so it will be really good to get back there and explore them a little bit more.

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