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Boudicca - Cape Town to Seychelles Oct. 2019

Boudicca - Cape Town to Seychelles Oct. 2019

Postby Gillzajoker » 30 May 2019 10:11

Thanks, Chris! :D
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Boudicca - Cape Town to Seychelles Oct. 2019

Postby Gillzajoker » 07 Dec 2019 16:21

Gill's Ramblings on Oct. 2019 South Africa and Indian Ocean Cruise on FO
Boudicca

Hi Everyone,

As usual I had a seamless transition to UK, overnight stay and back to LGW.
Flight to Dubai was on time and I met up with Marie there, in readiness for
our continuation to Cape Town. The promised hotel shuttle didn't arrive,
but there was a taxi waiting for other guests, and he kindly contacted the
hotel and arranged to take us as well. The hotel was centrally situated and
quite basic, but with very comfortable mattress and pillows.

I was expecting the weather to be hot, but it was quite cool with a strong wind,
so we had a walk around the local area to familiarise ourselves, quick meal
and an early night. For the next day we had pre-booked a HOHO bus that
incorporated Table Mountain (with entry fee) on it's route. Therefore we
were very surprised at the length of the queues waiting for the Cable Cars.
It turned out that this October was the 90th anniversary of the cable car, and
as a result, the charge for South Africans was reduced from R360 to R90, so
as this was the second to last day of Oct., the world and his wife were taking
advantage of this rate.

It was a cloudy day, and quite cold at the top, with strong winds but luckily
the 'Tablecloth' was absent, so we had wonderful views. Somehow we got
separated – it's quite a large expanse up there, and there were hundreds of
people milling around. So after waiting outside the entrance to the cable car
a while, I wondered if Marie had already gone down and was waiting for
me there. However, when I went inside, they asked for my ticket, and she
held them both. Quick panic, but they directed me into a small room where
a lady put out a call for her, and shortly after she came along, and down we
went.

We continued our HOHO tour with a stop of at the Waterfront – a complex
of shops and restaurants, etc. on the.......water front, where we had a lovely
meal at a very reasonable price. The next morning we checked out of the
hotel and went to the port to see if we could check in. They said it wasn't
available until 2.00 pm, but they had laid on a shuttle bus to take people
to the Waterfront. There we booked tickets for Robben Island, where Nelson
Mandela was incarcerated for so many years, for the following morning. We
took the shuttle back to the port and to our amazement within less than five
minutes we were checked in and in our cabin. I have never had such a
wonderful embarkation in all my travels! A trip to the library was the first
order of the day, and I was pleased to see there was a good selection of books
in the passenger donation section. (Lots of hardbacks of all genres as well,
but my arthritic fingers can't hold them). Then we had lunch in the buffet
and explored the ship. After dinner, there wasn't a show that night so we
retired early.

Next day, even with tickets, we joined a long queue to board the ferry for
Robben Island. It was a dull and cold day, but the tour itself was interesting
and all the guides were ex-prisoners - political. The cells were exactly
the same style and size you saw in all the US prison films - about 8' x 5' -
with a very thin so-called mattress, (basically a piece of felt), blankets,
a stool on which was a metal bowl for washing (or slops), and a small bowl
with fork and spoon, and that was it. That evening was a very energetic
Production Show.

The following day we met up with people who had been posting on the Cruise
Critic Roll Call but only 8 out of 17 turned up. It was again cold, so sunbathing
was not on the cards, so we relaxed indoors and read, and did the afternoon
quiz. The show that night was a talented guy who sang and played the ukelele,
banjolele,guitar, violin and piano. He had a very pleasant personality and
everyone enjoyed him.

The first port of call was Port Elizabeth where a shuttle took us to a Mall.
From there we walked to the front and along the promenade, (it was still quite
cool and windy) alongside side a nice beach. But that was the only thing to
recommend it, and being a Sunday we couldn't find a Tourist Information Office.
Almost all the ship excursions there, and in Richard's Bay, were geared to going
on safari, but as Marie and I have both done a couple in the past, we didn't go.

The show was a Scottish singer, - a poor man's Lulu, who was only average.
We should have left at 7.00pm but apparently there was a problem with the
bunkering barge coming to refuel, so it was 7.00am next morning before we
set off. One story was that it was too windy for it to pull alongside, but the
other was that, with South Africa winning the rugby, they were all too drunk!

Another sea day and we went to the Port Lecture and the quiz and read. We
were sailing faster than usual to try and catch up. We had asked to be on a
Table for 6 or 8 but we were on a table for 6, albeit with only 4 of us on it.
Luckily they were a pleasant couple from Corby and we got on well. Our
entertainment that night was just a guy from the Production Company, which
seems a bit cheese-paring.

Next day was Richard's Bay - with absolutely nothing of interest in the
immediate are, so we took a taxi with another couple to an 'authentic' Zulu
Village, which was quite some distance away. There we witnessed tribal
dances, which mainly consisted of a lot of shouting and stamping of feet and
culminating in them falling on to their bottom. All the dances had different
names, but........... There was another Production Show that night.

Three sea days followed but by now the weather was good so I was able to
sunbathe and read. The first night it was the Music Man - again, and the
second night was the Scot singer - again, but on the third night for a change,
we had a good comedian - inasmuch he was a very entertaining personality,
but for me, I had heard all the jokes before.

Next day SHOULD have been Mayotte in the Comoros Is., but the Captain
announced that because of the delay, they were going to miss that out
altogether - and I was not best pleased, as that was the port I was most
looking forward to.

So we ended up in Nosy Be, Madagascar and visited a local zoological and
botanical gardens, where we saw lots of lemurs, most in the wild, and also
went to a ylang ylang factory and a rum distillery, where we had a small
sample. A Production Show entertained us that evening.

The Captain also announced that as we had missed out on Mayotte, he had
gone to a great deal of trouble (!) to fix us up with another port of call - in
Madagascar, called Diego Suarez. Now, a few years ago when I visited
Madagascar, that was also a port of call, and what a disaster, so I knew that
it was a s--thole. Absolutely filthy, not more than a couple of yards of road
without huge potholes, and really nothing of interest. We had tendered in,
and most people walked around for a few minutes and went straight back to
the ship. To make the best of a bad job, we had a two hour city tour, and on
asking what was worth seeing, they only thing they could come up with was
a cemetary! In the end we went along the coastal road to a monument in a
park (just walking trails, and the momunent was miles away) so we just
headed back. And we were very disappointed to find that the evening show
was a short appearance by the Scot singer, Music man, and Comedian. I've
never been on a ship before where the acts were so repetitive as on here.

Our final sea day was very warm so I was happy to sunbathe and read and
do the quiz. The Crew Show that night was very good, and a welcome
change.

We arrived in Victoria, in the Seychelles and took a shuttle into town and
visited a Cathedral, had a general mooch around, and found a cafe with WIFI
so we could check in back home. We overnighted there and went to a deck
party in the evening. Next morning we disembarked and had booked a taxi
to take us to our hotel for a two night stay. The hotel was very nice, directly
opposite the beach, BUT up about a 1 in 3 hill! We chilled out around the
pool, and next morning took a local bus around the island. The bus fare
was 7 Sehychell Rupees, which worked out about 45p, and that was for any
distance. so we took a couple of them, and had a walk on the beach in both
directions.

Although the bus stop was just about at the bottom of the drive, I found the
steep hill quite daunting, and in the absence of crampons and a Sherpa, I
decided I wouldn't be doing that again. So next morning Marie took the
bus into Victoria, with another couple who'd been on the ship, whilst I
stayed round the pool.

Our taxi came at 19.30 to take us to the airport for our 23.55 flight to
Dubai. He was a very nice guy and was telling us how high the cost
of living is there, but the wages are low. He used to be a police officer
but the wages weren't enough to live on, likewise with the army. Up to
8,200 S Rupees a month salary meant that you didn't have to pay taxes,
but thereafter they were quite high. Health care and schooling was free.

Marie and I parted in Dubai and I arrived at LGW with a 6.5 hour wait
for my flight back home. And so ended another enjoyable cruise.

Sadly, it seems that this is to be my 'swan song', (as I've had to cancel
my next cruise). Apparently my COPD has got the better of me, and
now, apart from my usual regime of spending an hour on inhalers and
3 nebulisers every morning, and the same every evening, I now have to
be tethered to an oxygen machine for a further minimum of sixteen hours
a day. Still, I can't complain, I've had a really innings, with 31 cruises
and visiting 132 different countries/islands. But things will be different
now - as Mr. Spock was wont to say "It's life, Jim, just not as we know it!"
But I'm still alive and kicking and thankful for that.

Love Gill xx
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Boudicca - Cape Town to Seychelles Oct. 2019

Postby bobbyoscar » 07 Dec 2019 19:07

Thanks for posting your review, Gill, and so sorry to hear of your health problems which has necessitated major life changes.

You know where we are if you feel the need to have a rant or want to 'talk'.

Take care, my lovely xx
Cruises booked:
June 2020 Celebrity Silhouette
- Bergen - Geiranger - Flam - Stavanger CANX
Sept 2020 Celebrity Silhouette - Madeira - Tenerife - Las Palmas - Lisbon- Vigo CANX
May 2021 Celebrity Silhouette - ST. PETER PORT - CORK (COBH) - WATERFORD(DUNMORE E) - DUBLIN - GLASGOW (GREENOCK) - AKUREYRI - REYKJAVIK - BELFAST
Aug 2021 Celebrity Silhouette GIBRALTAR – CARTAGENA – BARCELONA – VALENCIA – CADIZ - LISBON
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Boudicca - Cape Town to Seychelles Oct. 2019

Postby Gillzajoker » 08 Dec 2019 11:16

thanks. much appreciated! xx :D
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Boudicca - Cape Town to Seychelles Oct. 2019

Postby judgegeoff » 08 Dec 2019 14:52

Many thanks for posting your most interesting review of your "Boudicca" cruise from Cape Town to the Seychelles Gill, it was a really good read. It was of particular interest to Chris and myself as we shall be visiting some of those ports next year - Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and the Seychelles.

We were also very, very sorry to hear that your medical problems may prevent you from enjoying further cruises in the future, you must be very disappointed. Our members have gained much useful information from the posts of your travels and they have always been good reads, written with experience and sometimes humour. Love and best wishes from Geoff and Chris. x
Geoff

Booked cruise :-
"MSC Orchestra" - Cape Town to Venice 2020 (now virtual)
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Boudicca - Cape Town to Seychelles Oct. 2019

Postby Mungo » 08 Dec 2019 15:28

Thanks for sharing Gill. I think Boudicca is now my favourite Fred ship having sailed on her for the first time earlier this year. :thumbup:

So sorry to read that you’ve had to cancel a cruise due to health issues. That must have been disappointing but hopefully you can share your knowledge for others to enjoy. :clap:
Iona July 2020
Arcadia December 2020
Britannia March 2021
Columbus May 2021
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Re: Boudicca - Cape Town to Seychelles Oct. 2019

Postby rdw123 » 09 Dec 2019 10:21

Thanks Gill for another of your usual very interesting reviews. Sorry to hear of your health issues but as the saying goes one door shuts and another opens. You never know what you may be able to do in the future albeit perhaps closer to home. I must admit that I found the food and shows to be very repetitive on F.O.. Seems to be a lot of cost cutting going on. Best wishes Ruth
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Boudicca - Cape Town to Seychelles Oct. 2019

Postby Gillzajoker » 09 Dec 2019 12:04

Thank you, Geoff, Sue and Ruth. I shall still stick with the Forum and share all your travels instead! :D
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Re: Boudicca - Cape Town to Seychelles Oct. 2019

Postby Camela » 09 Dec 2019 13:47

Informative review especially as I haven't yet done a cruise in Africa. Sorry to read the last paragraph though, glad you will be staying here!
"Won't you let me take you on a sea cruise"
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Boudicca - Cape Town to Seychelles Oct. 2019

Postby Gillzajoker » 10 Dec 2019 11:05

Thanks, Camela :D
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