Fri. 15th March While queuing for embarkation at Bristol Avonmouth, we found out that the previous cruise that had started 2 weeks ago had been cancelled by health and safety officials after 2 days, due to the new crew not fully knowing the lifeboat drill! The ship was in Dorset near Portland Bill, and the passengers were refunded plus Â£250 extra.
The Discovery left Bristol Avonmouth at 19.00 hours. Later we had lifeboat drill, which was rather haphazard.
Sun 17th March At sea.
Later in the afternoon, before the Captain's Cocktail party, a force 9 gale started in the North Sea. Many people seasick. The Gala dinner was a fiasco, with glasses, wine and plates of food being thrown off the tables. After one big jolt, 2 people fell over backwards from their chairs. One woman already wore a neck-brace. After a group of staff clustered around one woman, the Maitre D' rushed to a telephone and called Code Blue. This meant for the Dr and nurses to come immediately with a stretcher.
From that day, the ship started listing and continued having a list for 5 days! One got used to climbing uphill or walking like a drunk weaving down the corridors. Everything was at an angle. During the gale, many TVs were flung off their holders and drawers, other things fell around and it was difficult to keep in the bunks due to the violent rolling and shuddering action.
Mon 18th March At sea.
When we went up to the lifeboat deck , the doors were cordoned off and we saw that the emergency supplies for the lifeboats had been put out on the deck and the plastic packaging had already been opened. Some passengers had got dressed that night and slept up on the top deck in the Yacht Club with their lifejackets on!
The captain changed course to try and get out of the gale, so we missed stopping at Stavangar. Instead we sailed on to Alesund, where we docked for the night.
20th March At 4.30 a.m. a message that was only meant for the crew came over our cabin TV speaker, ordering crew members to the engine room. Evidently there was a fire. Later my husband photographed black smoke coming from the funnel. We were never told the truth about what had happened.
Thur 21st March Narvik
We took the complimentary shuttle bus to the centre. Evidently a passenger broke her leg in the war cemetery and was taken to hospital!
Fri 22nd March Alta
While we were on an afternoon self-drive husky safari, it started snowing heavily. However, 350 passenger (half the full 700) who had booked to be taken to the countryside in coaches at night, to see the Aurora Borealis, still went there and obviously saw nothing. No compensation at Â£100 per person = Â£35,000!
Sat 23rd March Alta
My husband started feeling unwell, and so did I a fwew days later. By the end of the cruise a vast amount of passengers had a bad brochial, throat and cough problem. We have had antibiotics, but still have the health problem. We believe that something we breathed in through the faulty air conditioning was the culprit. (some residue from the engine room fire?).
Wed 27th March Bergen
We had a coach trip around the city and thentook the Funicular up to a viewpoint overlooking the entire region. Evidently during another organised trip, someone had an epileptic fit. An ambulance was waiting at every port of call to take one of our passengers to hospital.
Some passengers were so worried about the return journey over the North Sea, that they booked flights from Bergen back to Bristol.
At 4.45a.m. I was woken by a different noise than usual. My husband told me there was a helicopter above the ship and he was going up on deck. Some of the outer decks had been cordoned off, but we managed to get out on one deck and saw the patient and RAF person being winched up on a rope. They were dangling over the sea for a while before being winched into the helicopter, which we were told was flying to Scotland. The captain walked past us (in a warm hat and clothes) and told us it was an RAF helivac operation. Evidently a passenger had heart problems.
Fri 29th March At sea
The last day at sea, with most of us wishing we were home!
Sat 30th March 9 a.m. Arrived Bristol AvonmouthDisembarkation
9 days later. After one week's antiobiotics prescribed from the health centre, we are both still unwell. A group of passengers have started their own website and more and more of the ship's problems have some to light. We will NEVER go on a Cruise and Maritime ship again, as this ship has now got a very bad name.