Saturday, 25 January 2014
6:45 The alarm goes off, nice and early to get a head start on the day, and perhaps skip the inevitable queues at the breakfast buffet.
6:50 I’m in the shower, bending down so I can shave my legs. The shower curtain is wrapped around my face and I can’t see what I’m doing. I wonder if the more expensive cabins have showers larger than a postage stamp?
7:50 Is that the queue for breakfast? Sigh, alright then.
8:00 We grab an open table and sit down for breakfast. Neither of us wanted to queue for food, so we’re eating whatever we managed to forage from stands where there were gaps in the line. I have a croissant, a banana and a bowl of cereal. Gareth has a slice of toast, a banana and some watery scrambled eggs. Perhaps we’ll stop for lunch somewhere in Maputo to make up for it.
8:30 We head down to reception to find out about daytrips to Maputo. Shuttles are scheduled to leave from the ship into the city centre every hour. The 9am slot is already full, so we book the 10am slot.
8:45 Finding a quiet lounge to wait in, we sit down to read a bit and watch the coastline of Mozambique pass by through a large porthole.
9:45 Is that the queue to get off the boat? It’s 300m long already! Sigh, alright then.
10:30 After 45 minutes of queuing, everyone is sitting on the floor, playing with their cell phones. Oh look, people are starting to move. Finally.
10:40 Smile for the paparazzi – this time we’re being threatened by Johnny Depp lookalike pirates!
10:45 It’s chaos on the dock. Apparently people were queuing irrespective of their booked timeslots and now everyone is trying to get onto a shuttle bus. The crew have their hands full trying to get people who booked first to get onto the busses first. One couple, angry that they were the first to get off the ship but only allowed to get onto the 12 o’clock bus, are particularly vocal. We grab the last two seats on the 11am bus.
11:10 The bus drops us off in the centre of Maputo, where we spend about two hours exploring the sights.
12:50 We’ve had enough of Maputo and are ready to go back to the boat. There’s a short queue at the bus stop, but this time we welcome the other people standing with us, because they distract the street vendors’ attention away from us. One of the couples give in to the pressure and buy a traditional wooden drum for their little boy.
13:10 Back at the boat, we pass the couple as their drum is confiscated by customs. Apparently wooden objects are not allowed out of the country.
13:20 Is that the queue for lunch? Sigh, alright then.
13:30 I’m quite pleased with myself – I managed to get a plate of calamari for lunch. Two bites later I give up. Rubber masquerading as calamari is just not worth the effort.
14:00 We head over to a lounge for some virgin cocktails. I have a fruit smoothie and Gareth tries a raspberry mojito while I tease him about drinking pink drinks.
14:45 The ship is scheduled to leave the harbour at 3pm. We go out on deck for the departure.
15:15 Windblown, hot and bored, we decide to go inside. It doesn’t look like the boat is going anywhere soon. We head up to our “secret” lounge on deck 12, where we’ll have a comfortable seat while watching the ship depart.
15:30 The speaker system bongs: departure is delayed indefinitely due to bad weather. Luckily we are sitting down, because we have visions of being stranded in Maputo for a week.
15:40 I’m feeling woozy and we head down to our room to lie down for a bit. Oh look, The Hobbit is showing and they’re about to enter the goblin lair.
16:00 The ship lurches and we realise it has departed without any further announcements.
17:00 Shower curtain woes!
18:00 We’re dressed in our evening wear, ready for dinner. We head down to the formal restaurant, passing by the photo gallery to look at the pictures taken today.
18:30 Seated at the same spot as last night, we have a delicious meal.
20:00 It’s my mother’s birthday today and all the waiters sing loudly when they bring her the cake. The whole restaurant is looking at us again. Our waiter surprises her with a napkin beautifully handcrafted into a heart and roses. He doesn’t speak a word of English, but he can tell that she is extremely pleased.
20:30 Before my mother and Magda head out for the evening show, we all gather in the coffee lounge where we drink cappuccinos and I indulge in a cup of After Eight hot chocolate. Decadent!
20:45 Gareth and I catch the end of the salsa lesson. We join the group on the dance floor and show off a few of our dance moves. When the lesson ends, we do one more dance on our own while the band plays, but the boat lurches too much for us to keep our balance and I suddenly realise that we have spectators, so we end off with a dip and decide to sit down.
21:00 Two bands are playing at the Cotton Club tonight, Duo Majest and Duo Moonshine. They are brilliant and we have a wonderful time listening to them perform cover versions of our favourite songs.
22:00 It’s been a long day and I can hardly keep my eyes open. We head back to the cabin for the night. The day turned out much better than anticipated, but tomorrow is a whole day at sea – how will we keep ourselves entertained?
For more posts in the Anniversary Cruise 2014 trip, click here.