Canaries Cruise Part 2: We’re off!

The flight was leaving Dublin very early on a Saturday morning, so we opted to stay the night before with our best man, Val, in Donabate. We took the dogs to their usual kennels on the Friday afternoon, and after some last minute faffing, left Lisburn at 4.30, euros in hand ready for the toll bridge, and reached our destination at 6. Had an Indian takeaway – a rather odd chicken dansak with pineapple in – and settled down to watch the famous Late Late Toy Show on RTE. I grew increasingly despairing at the gender specificity of the toys, even lego.

Val ran us to the shiny new airport building at 5.30 a.m, and the security procedures were very much improved since last I was here. (Hint, take the queue beside the VIP fast queue – if there’s non-one in the latter then they’ll call you forward). We had a rather unsatisfactory breakfast in the Hot Stone. My porridge with honey and pumpkin seeds was delightful, but Rog’s fry was really disappointing – hard fried egg, cold potato bread, and a very odd paying system which required each of us to pay separately.

The gate given on the boarding pass was 313, but when we got there, we found that the gate had been changed to 108, a good 15 mins walk away. Bought a bottle of water at a coffee place – not a good idea, while everyone is taking so long to choose a skinny-mocha-frappa-chino, and then waiting for it to be made.

canaries 007

Good flight – left on time, no bumps or lumps, and had the tapas box and bottle of wine combo for £7.50, which was delicious. The sea below seemed very flecked with white – perhaps this should have forewarned me about what was ahead! The fields of Gran Canaria seemed to be covered in a grey film as we approached – couldn’t work out of they were solar panels, but as we landed I could see they were a mesh covering. Pretty seamless disembarking, luggage collection, and coach transfer – our experience of Thompson is that they are very good at this logistical part.  Las Palmas seemed a fairly industrial port – we weren’t tempted to go ashore, but familiarised ourselves with the Majesty, and had our safety briefing.  The 2 beds couldn’t be put together without making it awkward to get out of bed, so we left them as 2 singles.  Other than that, the cabin on deck 3 was a decent size, with plenty of drawers and wardrobe space.  The soft topped luggage was able to fit under the bed.

Showered (at last!) and had dinner in the Seven Seas, where our waiter Tarek and wine waiter Laron made sure we had everything we could need.  Rog’s tomato and mozzarella salad was definitely not the cheese it claimed to be, so it was swiftly replaced with a mushroom vol-au-vent.  I had the consommé followed by fried cod fillet, and both were excellent.  I wore the short pink floral shirt dress with a long black jacket and fancy black sandals.  Another couple joined us during the meal, but the conversation was a little stilted – Tarek asked us very discreetly later if we would prefer a table for 2, he’d see what he could do.  Signed up for a wine tasting tomorrow, and have booked a spa treatment for our day at sea.  Early night – there’s an 8 am yoga class I want to get to!

Tip of the day:  Take soft cases rather than hard suitcases, they’re easier to store in the confined space of a cabin.

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