The Banks - Half a World Away travel blog


Final day At Sea (there have in fact only been 4 since we left Hawai’i) before we reach Civilisation (or, San Francisco as the world knows it) for the next 2 days.

Today, we had midday AND 1pm separately. It was very nice and relaxing not to be rushing about altering watches and clocks. Like having a lie-in.

Detect the beginnings of another nasty outbreak of “fomo” among passengers – we pass under the Golden Gate Bridge at 7.20am tomorrow (OUR time), and proceed past Alcatraz to dock in SF bay about 90 minutes later. There is an increasing sense of anxiety and concern that everyone else will somehow get a “Better view”…..

Mysterious notice that the “forward balconies on decks C and D” will be opened while we pass under the bridge to allow a “forward view”. I wonder if the passengers occupying the forward cabins with balconies on C and D are aware that their balconies are being opened for public viewing ? (By a great stroke of fortune, our cabin and balcony are on B deck, and more aft than forward, so the great travelling horde of passengers desperate not to miss out, will in fact miss out on me not being properly awake as they jostle their way in early tomorrow. Happily for all of us. )

We were sat watching a DVD half an hour before dinner tonight when a crashing on the balcony attracted our attention, immediately followed by bucketfuls of water hitting the windows. Fortunately, this turned out not to be Arcadia hitting an iceberg and foundering, but the lovely Susan, who does our room, making her way along the various balconies washing the outsides of the windows. There are access doors between the balconies which are normally kept locked (except last night when they worked loose and banged all night), so one does not expect to see anyone out there, really. And we have been very lucky as the cabin on one side of us has been empty so far. I suspect they may be joining us for “the last leg”.

However much we felt we were having one 7-week holiday, it is very clear that P&O think we are having a 4 week holiday followed by a 3 week holiday. All the nice things we started with (like a bottle of champagne for watching the lights of Hong Kong disappear in the distance, remember? We do…) well, they are all being replaced and renewed ready for “the next sector”. We hadn’t half finished our way through the posh toiletries yet, but a brand new box has arrived. And ok we ate the chocolates too – but they have also been replaced. Yum. I wonder if there will be another Captain’s Gala Party that the Captain does not come to ?

Surprisingly, information about what to see in SF is also somewhat limited at the moment, as we do not have sufficient access to that fount of all knowledge, the internet, to browse maps and guides. For the first time, we are not going on an “organised excursion” tomorrow or on Tuesday, so we are trying to be properly prepared in case we somehow “miss out” on the “best bits”.

Very cloudy today, barely any sun to sit in at all, though we did our best. Cool, too. And still windy. With showers. Quite possibly our Golden Gate Bridge photos will be like the Hong Kong Peak pics – but there’s nothing Photoshop can’t sort out when we get back….

We all have a Satisfaction questionnaire from P&O to complete (which is really odd in the middle of a holiday). We heard today that someone has handed hers in with a stiff complaint that she is not travelling on P&O again – the weather is much better on Royal Caribbean…- ?



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