Incredible India.

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Christmas Eve dinner in our new Sushi restaurant.

We have arrived on the continent of sensory bombardment. India. Eyes, ears, taste, touch and smell all get a hammering in India. And I love it. Many people don’t. Thats ok. But I adore this place. Once you get past the stifling paperwork that is.

Whilst we were in Abu Dhabi a guest on a ship ahead of us took a photo which made it way to me. I am sure they won’t mind we sharing it.

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Looking pretty in Abu Dhabi.

We crossed the Arabian Sea from Oman spending Christmas Day and Boxing Day on the ocean wave. There were rather a lot of ocean waves actually. A stiff NE wind upset a few guests and crew on Christmas Day but a combination of Stollen Cake and plum duff bunged up the best of tummies. This was the first time this ship had encountered any seas of note and she was very stable.

Christmas Eve dinner in the Sushi restaurant with the Hotel Director, Daniel was very agreeable. What I really liked about it was that you can sit and watch the chefs prepare the sushi. We tried and bit of everything and it was first class. My son Leo is a sushi lover and he will love this when he gets a chance to visit.

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Shameless selfie in the Sushi Restaurant.

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Our chefs preparing the sushi.

Christmas dinner was excellent. I had the usual turkey and plum duff and even a few Brussel sprouts. My mum would have been proud of me. After that in the Colonnade restaurant we served the crew their Christmas dinner where Chef Dexter did his best to hack turkey into edible slices for the wonderful crew. All in all it was a wonderful day full of naughty treats and chocolates and great company. I was even coerced into singing a duet with the beautiful Jaqueline, our Assistant Cruise Director at the Christmas show. We did Baby its cold outside. I hope it never makes it to youtube! The entire entertainment team are brilliant and were even kind enough to help a ship driver get over his nerves. I was more nervous singing that song than bringing this ship out of Venice for the first time. Well out of my comfort zone.

Now we are in Mumbai, the first of our three ports of call in India. I won’t get a chance to visit but I have been coming here on and off for the last 30 years. It has changed enormously in that time. The people are still very friendly and it's amazing to watch the Indian Navy docked close by doing their drills.

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Mumbai terminal has had a lick of paint since my last visit.

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The cruise berth in Mumbai

While the guests are away one job that needs to be done is to land our garbage to the recyclers. We separate and bundle everything on board and send it ashore for processing.

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The team on standby waiting for the garbage truck to arrive.

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Anna and Ronnie keeping an eye on it all from the bridge.

Now we are heading south to New Mangalore. The humidity is rising and the smell of woodsmoke lingers in the air. Ah India!

Mark Dexter 2015