A week after passing my Chief Mates exam I started my journey out to Egypt with British Airways, for once not an early morning flight! After the joys of connecting to a different terminal at Heathrow I landed in Cairo a little before 1am and was quickly met by agent and rushed through the joys of Cairo Airport to my hotel opposite the terminal.
A few short hours sleep later and I found myself in the back of a taxi for the 2 hour drive across the desert to Port Sokhna and arrived on the ship just before 10am right in time for the weekly fire and abandon ship drill…
A short handover later and I went and had lunch – from several prior experiences I refuse to eat or drink anything ashore in Egypt!
So, I spent a month sailing around the Red Sea – quite possibly the worst cruise itinerary ever – the only highlight being the overnight in nice civilised Jordan (Port of Aqaba for anyone interested).
Then came the repositioning back to the eastern Mediterranean and my first new port of Beirut, Lebanon – which is a lovely city! It was then back to the routine 7 night itineraries calling at Marmaris, Istanbul, Mytilene, Piraeus, Mykonos, Kusadasi, Rhodes, Alexandria, Port Said, Ashdod, Larnaca & Alanya with the occasional adventure up to the Black Sea ports of Nessebar, Constanta and Sevastopol.
After Egypt kicked off again Alexandria and Port Said were dropped – much to the delight of the entire crew and replaced with an overnight in Ashdod and calls at either Aghios Nickolaos in Crete or Rhodes.
Last contract was all fairly routine, although due to being in the right place at the right time I got promoted to Safety Officer in June and extended for 2 months, getting home to the UK in August.