|The view from our port side restricted view balcony cabin on B deck|
This time last week we hadn't even considered the idea of doing a cruise this year, let alone a world destination, but I happened to stumble across this advertised as a very last minute deal on the iglu cruise website and completed our booking on New Year's Eve. It would have been plain stupid to let it go, costing less than £50 pp per night to be on here, and it became unavailable on the iglu website as soon as we had finalized our booking. It was the thought of all those forecast winter storms coming in again that clinched it, and hopefully, after we get through Biscay during the next couple of days we will be in much warmer climes once again.
Our last world cruise, a full circumnavigation on that occasion, was completed in April 2012 on Oriana, a mid-sized ship of around 69,000 tonnes, carrying a maximum of 2000 passengers. We then cruised the Mediterranean on Ventura in October the same year, a much larger ship of 115,000 tonnes and 3000 passengers, launched in 2007. Adonia, will be something completely different at 30,277 tonnes, 592 feet, [180m], long, and around 750 passengers. (Titanic was 882 feet, 42,000 metric tonnes, and 2,500 passengers). Built at the yard of Chantiers de l'Atlantique at St. Nazaire, France, in 2001 at a cost of £150 million, Adonia is the smallest ship in the P&O Cruises fleet, but is exquisitely fitted out in a traditional style, reminiscent of a large English country residence. Being of such a relatively small size, she can access ports others can't reach, giving us the opportunity to make some off the beaten track excursions - the highlight of this one for us being the Lost City Of Petra in Jordan, from the port of Aqabar, after completing our 2nd transit of the Suez Canal. The Valley of the Kings and Pyramids can also be done from Port Said for anyone brave enough! Our excursion is already booked, with an inclusive hotel lunch half way through the day.
We drove down to the Reading area on Sunday to stay with Margaret's sister and husband, who then very kindly drove us here today. The best part of this for us is that we have friends from home, who we introduced to P&O Cruises in 2012. They are doing this voyage and booked it weeks ago, but don't yet know we are also aboard! We have talked about it with them for weeks now during their own planning, then our chance came just days ago, based on price. Eventually, we intend to spend a couple of days in Dubai, meeting Margaret's cousin again, who lives in Abu Dhabi. We have already done this three times before on our way through the Middle East, and this will be our fourth meeting since November 2010. Before that Margaret last saw her cousin 25 years ago, and I had never met him.
For those with a maritime interest, Adonia's call sign is Zulu Charlie Delta Victor 2, her IMO number is 9210220, and mmsi number is 310530000. There are many websites on the net where you can track her voyages with this information.
Our cabin for the duration of this trip is a restricted view balcony, as can be seen above. Not too intrusive, and at that price who cares? We usually have insides! It was all that was left at this late stage, and we had no choice in the matter. Have a look at Adonia's opulent interior by taking a tour of the ship by video below. It is around 8 minutes long, and in a strange way, very relaxing.