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Day Four – At Sea

by Patrick O'Halloran
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We awake late and almost miss breakfast. Fantasia is slowly making her way through the Straits of Hormuz as we round the Oman Promontory before heading southeast toward Muscat. The gulf is a flat calm, perfect sailing weather. A few white clouds dot the hazy blue sky and the air temperature is a pleasant 28c. There are plenty of ships about. The straits are the only way in and out of the gulf and many an oil tanker can be seen as well as smaller fishing Dhows. Large flocks of white seabirds bob gently on the calm waters no doubt after the silvery shoals of small fish I can see just beneath the surface. I even spy a group of 9 or so stingrays in formation heading northwards. I’m not sure what the collective term is for that? Will keep my eyes peeled for more marine life.


We take a late lunch in The Zanzibar Buffet 2nd seating for dinner is not till 21.15 which is quite late even for us. First seating at 18.30 is way too early. The Buffet is really busy which is not unusual on sea days. We find a seat easily enough though near the aft windows with a view of the ship’s wake. We have now rounded the promontory and are headed southwards with Iran to our port side and Oman starboard.

Afterwards, we stroll up top in the warm sunshine. Empty sun beds are rare as everyone seems to be enjoying basking in the sun. We stop in the Solarium for ice cold beers and people watching. Speedos on middle-aged portly gentleman really need banning. The afternoon is spent on our balcony reading and listening to music. There is a cool breeze as the ship leisurely slips through the calm waters.

It’s formal night tonight or gala night as they call it on this ship. We dress appropriately and head to Il’Transatlantico for cocktails. We are feeling very relaxed. To say we have been lazy today is an understatement but that’s what holidays are for to relax and recharge. Next stop is La Toscana which is the wine bar. Two glasses of our favourite Woodbridge Chardonnay are ordered which is delivered with a full plate of delicious tapas.


They have a special Gala menu in the main dining room tonight. We arrive first shortly followed by Maureen and Graham and then the Irish couple (forget names) and then Colin. After catching up on each other’s days (mostly similar to ours) we order food. I have a salmon and prawn starter followed by what I thought was going to be a Greek salad from the description, was more like a Caesar salad as the cheese was not Feta. Still good though. I had leg of lamb for main which was cooked to perfection and the chocolate dessert was tasty. Dinner conversation was varied and often raucous due to the copious amount of wine we were downing.


Following dinner, we embark on our usual routine of visiting as many bars as possible and trying a variety of cocktails and drinks. My new favourite is Jamaican Paradise. Looks like something Bruce Banner or Shrek would drink but is delicious. By midnight we are giddy kippers and visit the buffet for a late night snack. Up to midnight, you can get a variety of pizzas and even have it delivered fresh to your cabin. As it’s past that time we make our own sandwich which is served by a guy whose face tells us he really doesn’t want to be doing it at this hour of the night. Stomach lined we head back to
The cabin before falling into bed.

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Patrick O'Halloran

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