Cannes, Le Havre and Southampton

Southampton Travel Blog

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Cannes
As I am writing these lines the Dawn Princess is crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Obviously I cannot give you our precise location, as this is highly classified information and I am unsure how many pirates have access to my blog. What isn’t classified information though, is that we have hit a patch of ill weather. This has caused some turbulence, as it is known in aviation parlance and the persistent feeling of being in an elevator, that cannot make up its mind whether it wants to go up or down, is an irksome experience. My mal de mer has improved, as I no longer suffer from nausea or the occasional projectile vomiting, but some activities at sea certainly do present a problem.

(Incidentally, I was informed by one passenger, after my episode of emesis, that Lord Nelson suffered from terrible sea sickness every time he went to sea.
The French Riviera
I am not quite sure how this was ment to help me? Perhaps this passenger had the Dawn Princess confused with the HMS Triumph? In any case, if I see him again, I’ll be sure to tell him that Corsica has finally been captured...)

In any case, this evening I decided to visit the gym. I certainly thought it was my good fortune to find the gym almost completely empty. I had the pick of any treadmill, but soon I had the treadmill picking on me. I found myself speeding up, slowing down and even doing slalom runs in order to remain on the high speed black band. Is this the reason sea farers walk with a broad gait? I’m sure I provided the video surveillance team with some entertaining footage…

The medical centre (and the medical team’s cabins) are located on the 4th floor near the centre of the ship for the very precise reason that this area experiences the least motion when the seas are rough.
Cannes
I am very grateful for this and it is from the comfort of the medical centre that I update you with my latest, ground breaking travel news:
So what have I been up to these last few days? I have decided to combine the last 3 ports into one blog. Partly because there is not much to write about and partly because it’s hard to hit the keys of a moving keyboard (ok, I exaggerate).

The port of Cannes was my next stop after Italy. Cannes is famous for its film festival, as well as its beaches, which draw tourists and celebrities from all over France. Alfie and myself decided to head out toward the beach area in order to give the general public the opportunity to spot/photograph us. With the advent of 500mm zoom lenses, the paparazzi were obviously well hidden and we felt it surprisingly easy to get walk around without being accosted.
Cannes
After a cappuccino, I sent a text message to some of the other crew to let them know we were at the Brasserie. We were surprised they took so long to find us, but then I realized the full name of the restaurant was Brasserie Roma and that Brasserie in French basically means restaurant: So when our friends asked people where the Brasserie was, they were literally pointed in the directions of tens of restaurants!

We ventured down to the beach, as Alfie wanted to indulge in his pastime of ornithology. The beach in Cannes is nothing short of spectacular. It is easy to see why people flock here: Warm sunshine, calm, cool sea and golden beaches. Tourists, families, the young and the old have all made this beach their home. We enjoyed a laid back day of swimming, beverages and sunshine.
Marcus with Angelina
The only tense moment was when Marcus (during our beach stroll) thought he had discovered one of the crew members tanning topless and started running toward her screaming “Oh my G#D, #$%# is topless”. I tried to make like an ostrich and the woman (who was not #$%#) quickly put her clothes on and scurried away.

Again, time seemed ephemeral on that day and we soon found ourselves reluctantly boarding the tender boat back to the ship.

Our next port of call was Barcelona and Gibraltar, but as I was on call, I had to hold the fort (or the ship) down.
In Le Havre (France) I did find terra firma again, but alas, the north of France is not quite as enticing as the South. There are some historical places of interest, such as Normandie, but as we only had a few hours, I had to take a rain check on those tours.
Le Havre


A group of us ventured into the town: After my slightly disconcerting misunderstanding about the Brasserie, I thought I would redeem myself by ordering lunch for a group of us at a small local restaurant. It was only after a while that I realized what I was saying to the waitress: “What do you have to thirsty?” instead of “What do you have to drink?”. At this point I decided to retract my statement that I can speak French and reverted to the trusty phrase “Est-ce que vous parlez Anglais?” (Do you speak English?) for the rest of the afternoon. If it was not for Joey, who knew the French word for egg, I would not have been able to order my sandwich without egg. Thanks Joey :)

Southampton was a turnaround port. This means that it is the end/beginning of a particular leg of the voyage, as many passengers ended or commenced their journeys there.
Le Havre - JC and Holly
Turnaround port in ship language basically means “hard work”. Preparations need to be made days in advance to ensure that all processes flow smoothly on the actual day. Shore side inspections are often carried out and these usually involve ship drills, which are simulated emergency events involving the entire crew of the ship.

This was a arduous day and I received a special visitor: There are some friends in one’s life, that no matter how little you see them or how seldom you speak to each other, you simply always remain friends. Chris is one such friend and we have known each other since the age of 7. He was a bit shy back then, but with a bit of coaxing he started speaking to me a few years later (which was not a bad thing, as I enjoy doing all the talking).

Chris is working in London and took the train down to Southampton in the morning to come aboard for the day.
Southampton
Although Chris maintains his life is based on the Navy-cook-turned-hero Casy Ryback AKA Steven Segal (from the movie Under Siege) and that this visit presented an opportunity to prevent a maritime calamity, in real life Chris is a financial guru with an overactive imagination. He also fancied the idea of being a ship’s Captain and in retrospect, I am glad that I hid my spare uniform and prevented him from running amok.

After Chris settled down (i.e. elaborate tales on how he won his purple heart, training in special tactics and his Delta Squadron narrative about Nam) we proceeded to the Horizon Court Buffet where Chris demonstrated his “other” culinary skills. Chris enjoyed the tour of the ship, which was completed only with the help of a chocolate milkshake and an ice coffee.
Southampton
(Heidi will be sending him straight to gym after reading this!)

Soon Chris was rolling the gangway and I turned back quickly, as I did not want to see him sob.

We are now heading in a westerly direction across the Atlantic and I hope to bring you more news, as soon as we discover the New World!
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Cannes
Cannes
The French Riviera
The French Riviera
Cannes
Cannes
Cannes
Cannes
Marcus with Angelina
Marcus with Angelina
Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre - JC and Holly
Le Havre - JC and Holly
Southampton
Southampton
Southampton
Southampton
DP in the background
DP in the background
Le Brasserie
Le Brasserie
Cannes
Cannes
Cannes
Cannes
Cannes
Cannes
Andy, Alfie, JC, Ross
Andy, Alfie, JC, Ross
Marcus & JC
Marcus & JC
Cannes
Cannes
Cannes
Cannes
Cannes
Cannes
Cannes
Cannes
Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre
LE Havre
LE Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre
Southampton
Southampton
Southampton
Southampton
Southampton
Southampton
Chris taking command
Chris taking command
Southampton
photo by: monkeymia79