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WRITER, CONSULTANT AND BROADCASTER SPECIALISING IN BEER, PUBS AND CIDER. BEER WRITER OF THE YEAR 2009 AND 2012

What's new?

What's new?
Next beer book - now called 'Miracle Brew' - is finished! You can still subscribe to it here.
You can still listen to The Apple Orchard on BBC iPlayer radio
I'm taking the pub on tour - four dates between now and Christmas.
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Friday, 28 September 2007

Oceana: a rest home at sea, but in a good way

Our first leg at sea was on the P&O cruise ship, Oceana. I was angry at Barry (see below) so he remained in our cabin the whole time, glowering. But he was in good company – it was a pleasant surprise to discover that the ship’s many bars all stocked Marston’s Pedigree and Bass Ale, which should have made him feel at home.

I can heartily recommend a cruise ship holiday to anyone who can afford it. Even if you don’t think it’s your kind of thing, it’s like all your senses are in a warm bath. This is what it must be like to be in long term respite care, only without being ill. Every need was catered for. You sign for everything on a little card that goes on your bill at the end, so you don’t even have to carry money.

Although this did cause a problem when we went ashore in Madeira, had a few bars in the Madeira Brew House (not worth the bother), realised we’d both become so institutionalised we had left all our money on board ship, just bringing our little cards out with us. With thirty minutes to go before ship left port, cue a sprint along the cobbled quayside back to the ship for my wallet, and a sprained ankle to add to my rapidly mounting injury count. And these were supposed to be the easy bits.

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