The last day of the cruise was like the last day at school, swapping addresses and URLs  with the new friends, collecting photographs from the “official”  photographer, taking last minute photographs on our own cameras, saying goodbye to people you thought you might not see again, and then meeting them around every corner, missing out others altogether.

We packed our main bags as far as we could, went to all the excellent meals, reflecting on the thought that from the next day we would be back to shopping and cooking again!

There was a full programme of onboard activities as usual, but I was quite happy just watching the sea go by, and observing my fellow passengers.  Most of the time we were within sight of the distant coast, Germany, Holland, and then we were going through the Straits of Dover and the sight which has gladdened the hearts of returning travellers, The white cliffs of Dover. I didn’t see any “blue birds over” those white cliffs, but it did feel as though we were home again. 🙂

We had lunch on the same table as the confused old gentleman, who was still confused. He was worried about going to Southampton because he said he had a rail ticket from Dover! I don’t know where he had got Dover into his head as we left from Harwich, and Dover had never figured in the tour at all. We reassured him that a coach would take him back, either to his hometown or Harwich, and the Page and Moy team would sort it out for him! He seemed quite happy with that, not so the woman looking at the map which charted our journey thus far. She was angrily demanding to know why the Captain couldn’t  “just call in Harwich,” while we were so near! She must have been on too many “hop-on hop-off” buses. I could have understood her frustration more if she had come from East England, but she was from Huddersfield and going back on the coach anyway!

After dinner we went to the Variety Show in the theatre where we treated to very enjoyable show which included the guest entertainer, Robert Craig.  He has a lovely voice and gave a great performance as both singer and comedian.

 Back in the cabin we finished packing and put our bags outside the cabin before we went to bed. (That was the last time we saw them until we claimed them in the customs shed next morning.)

When we woke next morning, we were already steaming up river to Southampton. We said a sad farewell to Ronny in the dining room. How I would have loved to win the lottery and take Ronny and Anthony home as butlers and Nina as housekeeper! They had remained friendly and kept up a cheerful appearance throughout the journey, despite the devastating news about landslides and earthquakes from their homelands. They must have been getting a bit anxious about their own futures too, as this was the last time Page and Moy were chartering Ocean Majesty, after several seasons, and many of the crew had been together for a considerable time. The Captain and sailing crew were staying with Ocean Majesty, but the “hotel staff” were being dispersed.

We docked in Southampton at 8am.

We gathered in the lounges and waited for our coach numbers to be called. Our coach was about the fourth to arrive, so we didn’t have long to wait. We were soon through Customs and Immigration and boarding the coach. Our quiz friends John and Jackie were on the same coach, and we were soon driving westwards in the warm sunshine, with which we had been welcomed home.

We were second last to be dropped off, and we were met by our lovely daughter, Jennie, and arrived home 10 minutes later. She had not only kept an eye on the property for us but had filled the fridge with all the essentials and made us a casserole for our evening meal, aren’t we lucky?

It had been a wonderful two weeks,  not only the exciting places we had visited, the lovely people we met, (even the whingers gave us a talking point) or the glorious weather, but it had reminded me how much I love being on the sea and how comfortable I feel in Scandinavia.

If anyone has enjoyed this tale of our cruise and would like to see more pictures my husband  has also posted on his site and he is a much better and more prolific photographer than me 🙂