Today is Day 13 of the crossing, and I’m sitting at a table outside a cafe called La Taberna del Centro in Cartagena. I had a Mercian salad (tomato, egg, and olives in oil), grilled salmon, and a glass of white wine for lunch. We’re enjoying the free wifi and the weather is beautiful.
We finally made it!
The six sea days stretched a bit long, but the crew welfare office planned activities for almost every day. I worked my art side job in the mornings, went to the gym with the guys in the band, and (mostly) had fun playing for new guest entertainers. A couple were pretty talented, but a couple were just awkward onstage. The big crew celebration was a pirate party halfway through the sea days. The guys who work on the mooring deck let us have the party there (Deck 5 forward) since that space wasn’t used while we were at sea. It’s nice to have a bit of fresh air while everybody’s celebrating. Serenade has this themed party every year, so Captain Karin keeps a ton of decorations in her cabin. It was almost as elaborate as the Halloween party the cast hosted last year.
Our first port was Tenerife, and almost the entire band got off the ship together and made a day of it. I took some pictures, but I’m going to have to find a place with better wifi, because it’s taking forever to upload them.
The next day we were at sea again, and it was my friend Simon’s birthday. We celebrated a little bit that night with a birthday cake from room service, but the big hurrah happened in Cadiz the day after that (May 1).
Cadiz was by far the most beautiful city we’ve visited. The ship didn’t leave until midnight, and the band didn’t have to play the show that night, so we had the entire day to explore. I took a few pictures, but my camera battery died early on so I couldn’t take as many as I would have liked. Don’t worry; I’m collecting postcards! Simon looked up places near the ship for dinner, and we found an amazing restaurant called Balandro. It didn’t open until 8, and by 8:20 they were completely packed. Darren, Randy, Simon Coupe, Simon Holland (birthday boy), and I each had a delicious meal. I can’t remember which starters everybody had, but I know that my starter was little fish bites in dough and amazing sauce. Not fried, but maybe baked? I’m not sure. To be honest, as soon as I tasted my main course, I forgot everything. Holy cow, heaven came to me in the form of duck breast foie with apple compote. I’m going to start a list of memorable meals, and that duck will be at the top. Wonderful.
Yesterday I went to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar! We took a cable car up and down to save on time, and there was actually a lot to look at up there. They have a whole nature reserve for the monkeys. The monkeys have no fear of humans. They’ll jump right up next to you, and if you’re not careful they’ll steal wallets, cameras, food, and anything else they want. We got lost while trying to get back to the ship, but we found a taxi and got back with 14 minutes to spare.
Today I’m in Cartagena, and while I love blogging for everybody at home, right now I simply want to explore this city more. Love to everyone at home!