It’s the third of the sea days on this cruise around the Caribbean islands.
The next few days will see a hectic round of port visits, to St Kitts, St Lucia, St Maarten, Tortola, Dominica and St Vincent, before we arrive back in Barbados.
So today’s a final chance to relax, right?
Every minute of the day, from dawn until after midnight, is packed with activities, from the sunrise stretch on the open deck, to the formal dress black and white dance date in the Tamarind Club.
So let’s take a look at how to fill a day at sea on board Ventura
There’s bungee trampolining at Cirque Ventura, tennis on the sports court, and Yoga in the fitness centre, all before most people would be thinking of breakfast.
An acupuncturist is advising on how to lose weight, and quit smoking; there’s a sale of perfumes in the shops, and an art sale in the gallery, which is packed with reproductions from artists as wide-ranging as Rolf Harris, L.S. Lowry, and Jack Vettriano.
Adult Scalextric takes over the Havana Club and in the fitness centre there’s a seminar to delight every passenger: How to eat more and still lose weight.
There’s a lesson on computers for the terrified, a treasure hunt, and a presentation on some of next week’s ports.
All this and it’s not even time for morning coffee yet. To fill in the time before lunch, there’s a passenger choir rehearsal, the first of the day’s quizzes, a deck quoits and shuffleboard contest, and a table tennis competition.
There’s aerobics, pain relief for arthritics (after too much aerobics?) and the ship’s dentist lecturing on how to achieve a perfect smile.
Kids – and there are a surprising number on board given that it’s school term time – get their chance on the Scalextric circuit next, while mums are playing bingo or attending a beauty presentation.
Next there’s another of those cruise ship favourites, line dancing in the Tamarind Club, and then by the pool the final of the light-hearted Battle of the Sexes quiz in which the men have been taking on the women for the past three days.
As lunchtime arrives, so the musicians emerge from their slumbers; the Neil Shaw trio are playing in the Exchange pub, Enrico is plucking his Spanish guitar in the tapas bar, and steel band Silver Stars are playing by the pool.
For those no longer terrified of their computers there’s a lesson in advanced photo-editing, and later on a step-by-step introduction to Facebook, and understanding files and folders.
For the energetic, there’s another tennis competition and golf lessons; for the more sedentary, a roulette tournament, a bridge get-together, a whist drive, and a Spanish class.
The adventurous can develop their skills on the trapeze or juggling at Cirque Ventura; the curious can join a tour of the galley to see where all their food is prepared.
As the afternoon wears on there are Pilates and aerobics classes (Mrs Greybeard is at one of those), a family magic show, and another round of the daily individual quiz.
Between all the action, there have been three weddings on board today – six were booked for the voyage. Goodness knows how the brides squeezed their outfits into the 23kg baggage allowance for the flight from the UK.
When evening arrives, we will be dressing in our formal finery for the black and white night, James Bond will be the theme in the casino. Irish comedian Adrian Walsh will perform three shows in the Arena Theatre, and Andy Nolan will do his Ronan Keating impersonations in the Havana Club.
There’s a Bond quiz in the pub, a game of Play Your Cards Right in the Tamarind Club, and for the serious trivia fans, the late-night Syndicate quiz.
It’s all enough to leave you breathless, although for many people, all these events have passed them by as the lay on their sunloungers or sat in their chairs on the Promenade deck, reading and chatting.
And what about my day, I hear you ask. . .
I have to admit that many of the events were over by the time I emerged from my cabin after a long (and ultimately successful) night playing poker, and only just in time for a very late breakfast just as the first lunches of the day were being served.
The afternoon passed in a leisurely haze, and tonight I shall be watching Adrian Walsh before chancing my arm in the casino once more.
Or maybe I should have an early night ready for St Kitts tomorrow.