Posted by: travelrat | December 19, 2012

“Black Watch”; First Day at Sea.

North Sea: 23rd November 2012.

First full day at sea, and we spent it looking around and getting to know the ship. I think this is the first one I’ve ever been on where you didn’t have to pass through the casino to get to the dining room.

Another point I noticed … the hand sanitisers at the entrance to the dining room, with crew on hand to make sure we used them. It seemed a bit over the top and paranoid at the time … but, when we read about the norovirus outbreak on the Oriana, on a similar cruise the following week, it suddenly seemed sensible.

The weather wasn’t too good, but nothing like as bad as the forecast led us to believe; in fact, we spent quite a comfortable night. Nevertheless, there was hardly an overwhelming demand for the swimming pool (there isn’t a covered one) or the sunloungers.

We had lunch in the quiet Garden Café – paté and some salad – and in the evening, went to the Captain’s Cocktail Party, where we met, among others, Captain Ingar Neerland and the Executive Chef, Gideon Fourie.


It’s my usual practice to include photos of these important people, and here, I’ll jump a few days, to show a picture of Captain Neerland actually captaining his ship, as it negotiated the Kiel Canal, rather that all dressed up in his ‘meet the passengers’ finery.


Excellent service at a well-presented formal dinner. I’m getting a better and better impression of this ship all the time. And, here are more important people, our table waiters, Denzel and Mo.

Denzel & Mo

We rounded off the evening with a show in the Neptune Lounge, given by the Black Watch Company of singers and dancers. They presented an act called ‘21st Century Swing’, which isn’t really my thing, but enjoyable nevertheless.


  1. I’m off on a river cruise in the spring, so I’m looking forward to my first cruising experience, to see what all the fuss is about. Up to now I thought of it as something my parents would do but as the years move on I find it’s something for me to do too!

  2. You’ll probably find a river cruise completely different to a sea-going one; certainly more ‘port intensive’. The regular cruise-lines, however, do seem to be doing a lot to attract younger people … there seems to be more to do on the bigger ships. On a small ship like this, though, there didn’t seem to be much to do that was really my thing, apart from the port lectures and quizzes.

    I’m not complaining, though … I got a lot of reading and writing done while we were at sea!

    Where are you cruising?

  3. Hi Keith,
    The staff always look great in their uniforms, great photos, I love the one of your wife and the crew, very nice.
    What a shame it was a bit rough, but still, always nice to get away and just relax for awhile.

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