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24 April 2024
Alan Morris, MSC Lirica at port in the background.

Today is the day that I board my ship, the MSC Lirica. I had set my alarm for 10 am in case I slept late. There was no chance of that in such an uncomfortable bed & 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 got dressed, did crossword puzzles for a while & then checked out.

Depart Alicante.

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 be stopping there again in the future even if it is only for one night.

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

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

I found one of the cash machine terminals to register my credit card & room key & 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 & is good for gut health so I tried a small cup. It was fantastic & was quickly followed by a big cup. I have found my new favourite coffee.

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

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

Lunch was very good 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 & 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 & then took a shower. The bathroom in my cabin was small but I could at least take a shower.

When I was feeling refreshed I went to a bar & ordered a Mojito. At 18:30 I took my cocktail to my assigned dining room & sat down. I was soon joined by three Spanish ladies & a Spanish gentleman who were all from Alicante. The man spoke English & I explained that I could speak a little Spanish but not enough to hold a conversation. He & the ladies all seemed very nice, it will be nice to see if my Spanish improves before I get home.

For dinner, I had spicy mussels for a starter, roast pork for my main, & chocolate mousse to finish. The waiter was even good enough to collect me another Mojito whilst I ate my meal. After saying goodbye to my Spanish companions & telling them I would see them tomorrow, in Spanish, I walked to a nearby bar for a Pina Colada. The singer was terrible so I moved to another bar which also had terrible singers in it. 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 normal ship crew, not the regular entertainment team. To say they were awful would be kind & I left before the show finished. I have a terrible singing voice but it would have been better than any of the singers tonight & 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 & retired to my cabin.