Alan Morris on the veranda of his cabin on the Costa Toscana as it leaves Valencia, Spain.

Day 1 of my cruise around the Mediterranean started when I was picked up by a coach in Los Alcazares & driven to Valencia to board my ship, the Costa Toscana.

Valencia.

The coach journey was made in the dark until after we stopped for a rest break near Benidorm. After our rest break, we continued on our way to Valencia. After being dropped at the port of Valencia by the coach & handing my luggage to security there I was very quickly shown through the security checks. I showed my passport & TIE card which were swiftly returned to me & was surprised when no COVID certificate had to be shown at all. I had my photo taken for my Costa Cruise ID card, which I had to link to my credit card & would be used to buy any extras I wanted on board as well as pay the service charge that would be added to my bill for tips. On the back of my Costa Cruise card was my room number & by 11:30 am I was already sitting in my cabin right at the front of the ship, or the bow as we sailors call it.

After I had found my cabin on board, I began to walk around trying to work out where the bars, restaurants & entertainment were. I had a beer & sat down to give my legs a rest. After another beer, I went to see a mandatory safety drill. After watching the safety drill I found the restaurant that I had been allocated for my dinner & I had some sea bass with mashed potatoes and grilled veg from the lunchtime buffet. Then I had a bit more sea bass & some roast chicken before following that up with two pieces of cake.

I then went for a long walk around the ship exploring. I think I walked about 5 miles just walking around the decks of the ship before then going for something to eat for dinner in a different restaurant where I had baked ham & a chicken fillet dish before going back to my room for some needed sleep.

When I wake I find a notification of tomorrow's agenda pinned to my cabin door. My first two excursions have been cancelled as there won't be enough people wanting to do them in English. I go to try & sort out replacements for them this evening before having a cocktail & my dinner at 9:15 p.m. I end up with a change for one trip & having to cancel another.

At dinner, I discovered who I would be sitting with for dinner on the cruise. The people I was sitting with, were both on the coach I had come on, a lady called Lynda & her husband Michael. We got on very well & I really enjoyed my dinner, washing it down with 3 glasses of white wine. As we finished we were joined by Susan & her husband Bryan, who were also from the coach I had gone on.

After dinner, we all went to the Colosseum bar where we chatted & drank cocktails till about 1:30 the following morning when we all retired to our cabins.

I tried 3 cocktails, a Pina Colada, a Mai Tai & a Bahama Mamma today. Add this to the 3 glasses of white wine with dinner & the two pints of beer & I think it's safe to say I slept well on my first night aboard ship.