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16 July 2024
Alan Morris, MSC Lirica at port in the background.

Today, I joined the MSC Lirica for my cruise. 

Depart Alicante.

I had set my alarm for 10 am in case I slept late. There was no chance of that in such an uncomfortable bed, and I was up early. I tried to have a shower but the shower unit was so small I could not get in it. I doubt anyone half my size would have found it easy. I dressed, did crossword puzzles for a while and then checked out.

It was noticeable that the girl in reception, although polite, didn't ask if the room was okay or enquire if I slept well. I will not stop there again, even if it is only for one night.

I typed in the cruise terminal on the map app on my phone and then started the walk there. It was hard work; the wind had already begun to pick up, and as I pulled my case along, the wind did all it could to slow me down. The wind was strong at the end of the sea wall walk, where the terminal was, and I struggled to walk against it.

When I got to the terminal, I got an elevator up to the hall where check-ins were done. It appeared I was one of the first there. Check-in was easy, and just before 12 midday, I was on board MSC Lirica.

I found one of the cash machine terminals to register my credit card and room key, and after pairing the two, which everyone has to do even if you have an all-included package, I found a coffee lounge. I had never seen it before, but they did a ginseng coffee which I have never tried. It supposedly helps your memory and is suitable for gut health, so I tried a small cup. It was fantastic and was quickly followed by a big cup. I have found my new favourite coffee.

After drinking the coffee, I walked around the ship to locate the restaurants, bars, theatre, and my cabin. My cabin wasn't as big as the one I had on the cruise last year, but it was better than the one I slept in last night. I then went and found a bar and had a Pina Colada before going to one of the buffets.

I was feeling hungry as I hadn't eaten. For my lunch, I had potato and shrimp soup, chicken salad, calamari salad, black bean rice with meatballs, stewed beef, sweetcorn and some cheesy bread.

Lunch was delicious, but I had to wash it down with something, so I ordered another Pina Colada, which the waiter went off to collect for me. After lunch, I went to my cabin. My suitcase hadn't arrived, and as it had gone 2 pm, I decided to take an afternoon nap. When I woke later my suitcase had been left outside my cabin door. I took my case in, unpacked it and then took a shower. The bathroom in my cabin was small, but I could at least shower.

Feeling refreshed, I went to a bar and ordered a Mojito. At 18:30, I took my cocktail to my assigned dining room and sat down. I was soon joined by three Spanish ladies and a Spanish gentleman from Alicante. The man spoke English, and I explained that I could speak a little Spanish but not enough to converse with him. He and the ladies all seemed very lovely. Seeing if my Spanish improves before I get home will be interesting.

For dinner, I had spicy mussels for a starter, roast pork for my main, and chocolate mousse to finish. The waiter was good enough to collect another Mojito while I ate my meal. After saying goodbye to my Spanish companions and telling them I would see them tomorrow, in Spanish, I walked to a nearby bar for a Pina Colada. The singer was terrible, and I moved to another bar with appalling singers. I stayed until the evening cabaret was due to start in the main theatre.

After sitting in my favoured seat in the theatre, the compare informed us all that tonight the entertainment would be the standard ship crew, not the regular entertainment team. To say they were awful would be kind, and I left before the show finished. I have a terrible singing voice, but it would have been better than any of the singers tonight, and my humour would have received a lot more applause than the attempt at humour the ship's crew attempted in the theatre. I decided to call it a night and retired to my cabin.