Monday, 17 February 2020

Celebrating with a cruise

When my original plans for celebrating my seventieth birthday fell through, P&O's choice to not base MV Oceana in the Arabian Gulf for the present proved to be very serendipitous. Her original cruises were cancelled, and a number of Southampton-based ones were put in their place. As a result, we were able to book a suite on a fourteen-night cruise to Barcelona and back for a very reasonable price.

I will be writing a longer blog entry about where we went and what we saw, but in particular I will be covering the visits we made to the Museu MarĂ­tim in Barcelona and the Museu Militar in Lisbon.

During the cruise I was able to read a lot during the sea days, and I also managed to do quite a lot of work on my next book, THE PORTABLE COLONIAL WARGAME. The latter is developing into quite a large book, and I suspect that it will end up being about the same size as THE PORTABLE NAPOLEONIC WARGAME.

Our cruise was an eventful one ... and not just because I celebrated my birthday! By the time we left the Mediterranean on the homeward part of our journey, we knew that Storm Dennis was on its way across the Atlantic. We began to feel its effects soon after we left Lisbon, and despite trying to outrun the storm front, Oceana ended up being unable to. As a result, we had a difficult time in the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel, and did not arrive in Southampton until midday yesterday ... over six hours late. We finally arrived home at about 6.30pm feeling thoroughly exhausted, and by the time we had unloaded the car and unpacked our bags, all we were fit for was a quick meal and some sleep.

My original birthday plan was to stay overnight in the Premier Inn Hotel Waterloo, which incorporates the building of the old General Lying-In Hospital, the place where I was born. Unfortunately, when I enquired, I was told that the hotel does not use the old building as accommodation, and as I did not particularly want to stay in a modern hotel room in the adjacent fourteen-storey tower block next to the old building, my plan was abandoned. That said, the cruise more than made up for my disappointment.


  1. Hi Bob,
    Glad to hear that you both have returned safely from your Cruise. Very interested to hear about your progress on your Colonial Book of Rules- I assume you will have plenty of photos from your recent journey- look forward to seeing them. Have a great time there in London. Regards. KEV.

    1. Kev Robertson,

      I hope to put my cruise report online later this week. We certainly had a great time, but the impact of Storm Dennis made things ‘interesting’ for the last few days.

      The work on the book has gone better than I hoped, and I’ve added a few things that were included in my original outline. This will delay publication, but not too much.

      All the best,