Jussie sails with Clipper 11-12

Jussie sails with Clipper 11-12
I sailed the last leg (8) in 2012 - USA,Nova Scotia,Ireland,Netherlands & UK. Travelling 4,000 miles, approx 22 days at sea, with 4 races in this leg.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Cruise Holiday April '09

Woohoo!! Here I am on the ship (Tuesday 14th April) in Palma, after travelling for an overnight stop at a Gatwick Hotel. Then the next day flying into Palma to get a coach to The Island Star cruise. To say I hadn't slept the night before - isn't a lie....I have been so excited about this holiday, and adrenalin running all through me! Even when I touched down in Palma..........just kept going.

My first day was spent on the ship arriving in time to eat some lunch from the buffet. There were 2 restaurants - both buffet based (the other a la carte - which I never used). Oh my goodness..how much food!!!!!! Everything and anything from hot to cold selections..fruit, salads, desserts galore, cheeses, and so much more. Lets just say I ate more than a have done in a lifetime and prob gained a couple of pounds. Oh well, was a holiday and I don't eat like that normally - so was a real treat for me (for that week). I also explored the ship on 12 levels with lifts!!! A casino, shops, swimming pool, spa, beauty area, gym, internet cafe, 8 bars, 1 theatre, nightclub, library, and then all the cabins, and much more.... WOW! What a mini adventure!

There were approx 2,500 passengers and about 550 employees onboard from all nationalities across the globe.

I spent the evening watching a show with the singers/dancers and then onto a welcome party. I rarely drink, but treated myself to two cocktails - Baileys banana colada (a frozen daiquiri) and starting swaying - or was that the ship!!?? lol

My cabin was an inside cabin - and I liked that, as wouldnt want to see the waves by the window! Generally I slept well and the bathroom was not bad with shower facilities. I didn't notice the ship rocking in the night - more so just in the evenings whilst watching shows whilst travelling from one port to another. At times, it was a bit disorientating - but you kinda get used to it.

The ports travelling into over the week were:- Palma, Cagliari (Sardinia), Naples, Civitavecchia (near Rome), Ajaccio (Corsica), and lastly Mahon (Menorca). I decided to go on a shore excursion every day to explore the cities upon arrival and other cities to get a feel for the country/city.

Wednesday 15th April - was spent at sea

Oh...you may be wondering who I travelled with? Well..I went with..just me! It was something I wanted to do on my own and to be able to experience more of life thanks to my donor. I did speak with a lot of people including crew onboard who all said how brave I was to go on my own. I explained, that I didn't see it as brave and after all I have been through in life - was an exciting adventure and that I have travelled on my own too. There were a couple of times I did get overwhelmed with emotion that I could do this and how great my life really is!

On Thursday 16th April, I arrived at Cagliari (capital of Sardinia)
Cagliari was a very pleasant city, lots of hussle and bussle and great to explore other cities which included, Bonaria and Castello.
It was great after a day at sea to finally arrive at a city and get a chance to go off the ship. I wanted to send some postcards and went on a mission to find stamps to which I did within the last few minutes I had left and post them!! So those who received - be grateful..lol.

Also how wonderful for warm weather too! Generally it was quite hot whilst away , with a couple of rainy/overcast days. But, I did not let the weather dampen anything and even walked in the rain!

That evening, I watched a show called, "Magic of the Musicals" to which different scenes were done from mainstream shows such as:- Phantem of the Opera, Chicago, Les Miserable and so on - which were absolutely awesome!!!!!! Then a late night performance with a singer/comedian called, Jayne Curry.
I never used the nightclub on the ship - even though I probably went to sleep each night about 12-1am. I can club anytime, anywhere...besides, I wanted to be up early each day to have breaky and explore each new city upon arrival!!

On Friday 17th April, I arrived in Naples
The day I had planned was to visit Sorrento and then go onto Pompeii. I have to say that Sorrento is such a pretty city and has lots of cute shops and plenty of cafes..but no starbucks (lol). Lots of tiny streets and side shops...so much to explore. Also, a great base to go onto Pompeii, or the Amalfi Coast or even the island of Capri. Somewhere, I would consider coming back again.....well...that was until I went to Corsica and Menorca! Here is the entrance to Pompeii, and there was so much history inside...kinda felt freaky, visiting the remains from an earthquake in 79 AD by the mountain Vesuvius. It was a sudden eruption of ash, cinder, lava mixed with mud that flowed and took the residents by suprise, who were killed trying to escape. After the disaster, Pompeii remained buried under a layer of ash more than 6 metres deep, a city that was suffocated to death. The tragedy came to light more than 2 centuries ago...and here I was in the heart of it all!

The other photo, is of a plaster cast of a body left from the volcanic eruption, and I saw many including a dog! This was quite sad as the poses were caught obviously illustrating the true horror in these times. I felt like a right history buff, and even bought a book on Pompeii with a dvd..hahaha...Saturday night TV!!! (not..but, mid-week). It was fascinating seeing places like their:- bakeries, houses, shops, prosititute parlours (even in those days too!), and much more to feel how the city was before the sudden fate of it all.

My evening back on the ship was spent watching (not for long) a George Michael tribute act (not my cuppa tea) and watched others play bingo, the casino!! Time to sleep - for the next day's adventures.

On Saturday 18th April, I arrived in Civitacchia
Originally I was planning to spend the day onboard the ship as there is plenty to do and heaps entertainment/activities. But, I decided to re-visit Rome and spend more time at the Colosseum (which I had seen 2 years ago when travelling through Europe - but never went inside). I was very happy that I did decide to do this. WOW. The Colosseum is breath taking, and amazing to think about all the history of that time. How people enjoyed watching people being eaten by lions or other animals as entertainement and how men fought with their lives.

From the Colosseum, I walked to another landmark called the Pantheon and then onto Piazza Navona whereby a political demonstration was going on. Not sure it was the ideal stop...but coconut ice-cream was beckoning me!!! Lastly walking through all side streets (getting lost always happens to me) to Castel Sant Angelo (castle) with minutes to spare before the coach was due to take everyone back to the ship.
The evening was spent being entertained by a comedian called Maxwell Plumm, and laugh a plenty that night!!

On Sunday 19th April, I arrived in Ajaccio
Ajaccio is in Corsica, a French speaking country - and mostly consisting of mountains! The best views are from the top of the mountains and included a scary coach ride on very narrow roads to get to a point to then go onto a mini train ride (check out the train, it was like Bob the Builder had just made it..hahaha) through the mountains. It was a bumpy ride, to say the least (gulp) and a great way to see the spectacular views! There were a couple of stops, wherby walking higher up to see even more wonderful sites (as this photo below shows, which is the Lake Tolla).

Next stop was a trip to a honey farm in Corsica..mmmmm....YUM!!
I love honey, so was very excited by this, and was able to try many different types of home-made honey out there. Yer..yer....I did end up buying 2 different types and have already opened one since being back home. The evening was delighted with yet another singing/dancing show - wow - these singers/dancers are talented. I felt like I was in the West End! The crew had their own late show called the "Shippendales"...hahahahhaha...not quite the muscle hunks I was expecting - but puny wimps, maybe one was ok - but the rest definitely put a smile across my face. Yes, I have photo evidence (but not for here..lol).

On Monday 20th April, I arrived in Mahon

WOW!!! And I thought Corsica was beautiful (kinda fell in love with the place, and would love to re-visit). But.....Menorca was truly stunning, very small island, tranquil, breathtaking sites, and just look at the crystal clear waters glistening in the hot sun!!! My tour that day took me to Fornells (a fishing village), and then to Monte Toro the highest peak in Menorca. Then to another village called, Torralba and lastly Binibeca ( a very busy day!). My last day too before heading home...poo hoo.

However, I also felt ready to come home...need to eat better and start training again ready for my Transplant Games in July.

On Tuesday 21st April
Home Sweet Home!! After a long day travelling and my drive back to Essex, and a much needed stop for milk - to have a proper cuppa....arrived shattered and ready to sleep! I felt a bit strange with a swaying feeling, as if still on the ship. But, I'm pleased to say after a day's rest - I am back to normal!

Now a couple of days have past since being home, and my life is getting back into action. I definitely love travelling and exploring different countries...and want to go somewhere different again later on in the year. Go Jus..Go!!!!!

Sadly, whilst away a friend called, Petra who also had a lung transplant (at Harefield Hospital) passed away, and I was very saddened to hear this news on my returns. R.I.P lovely Petra. All I do in my life is in honour of my donor, and my friends who haven't been as lucky as me. I want to live a long time, and achieve many things in my extension on life.
Last shot to end my blog...a windy day at sea!!!

Much love to you all and wishing my friends waiting get their gift of life soon, those poorly to get better, and my friends I have lost......always thinking of you x x x x


  1. A lovely read. Best wishes from Tania. xxx

  2. You look amazing and have inspired me to keep fighting...I really enjoyed reading it! Sorry to hear about your friend Petra...I am sure she would be very very proud of you!!! :-) xxxxx