Northants Nutters at Sea (2024) – 1st July (Day 3)

Reading time: 6 minutes...

Morning all! It’s Monday, and here we are, aboard P&O’s Ventura, as part of the Northants Nutters group. It’s Day 3 and we’re here in Santander, Spain. 😎😎.

The clocks went forward an hour last night, so at least one of us is a little bleary-eyed this morning! πŸ˜΅β€πŸ’«

P&O’s Ventura: 3,078 Passenger Capacity, 1,205 Crew and 8 Nutters!

Northants Nutters – Previous Tour Dates (Click here)

Missed a Post?

Day 1 – Saturday 29th – Ship Ahoy!

Day 2 – Sunday 30th – Sea Day 1

Day 3 – Monday, 1st

Good morning Santander!
The view from e330 – excuse the lifeboat!

7.15am: Yes, it all looked a little overcast and dull when we first peered through the window this morning!

9.10am: Our first stop today was the Buffet for breakfast. It was busy, but manageable. The food was piping hot and there were plenty of staff on hand to serve us.

10.25am: We had all agreed to meet up at the Costa on the ship to get our bearings and plan out our day. We knew of the Road Train – the Magdalena Train Experience – that took us to the Castle, but on our way out of breakfast, we also noticed a red sightseeing double-decker bus parking opposite the Ventura in the town. A quick message to them via their website confirmed they WEREN’T operating today (so obviously, the driver was lost or just getting ahead! πŸ˜€).

10.43am: It was simplicity itself to get into the town – we just walked off the ship straight into the Terminal. A few minutes later we were on the streets of Santander. As we disembarked, what amazed us was how many of our fellow travellers were rejoining the ship! We thought we were pretty quick off the mark, but some had already had breakfast and been into the town. The other thing that surprised us was the WEATHER! Our fellow travellers were soaked, and we could see as we headed for the gangplank – umbrellas were up!

Grey skies turning to blue? Maybe!!! πŸ€”

There were no taxis immediately outside the Terminal – which was a little surprising – but we were advised to take the short walk in the direction of the main railway station. It only took a few minutes and there were plenty of taxis, as promised. The eight of us spread ourselves evenly across two vehicles, and we were soon on our way. The journey took around 15 minutes and cost us a total of (just) €6 per taxi! In our book, it was GREAT value. πŸ‘

11.15am: The Road-Train had arrived, and after a few bungled attempts by the staff to scan our tickets, we were all aboard – then things got noisy!

Really noisy!

REALLY, really noisy! 🫨

Red Route: Double Decker (not running today) Green Route: The Road-Train

For reasons best known to the driver, the volume of the guided audio tour being piped through the carriage speakers was dialled up to 12 29, the sound was heavily distorted and in Spanish only! No problem, we thought, a quick word with the driver should put things right…

Sort of! 😟

The solution? We were each handed headphones which we could plug into the consoles in front of us. So far, so normal! The good news? The headphones worked a treat, and we located the English Channel. The bad news? The Driver wouldn’t/couldn’t/didn’t turn off the Spanish commentary through the main speakers, so we couldn’t hear the English commentary anyway! 😑

The next solution was even simpler (in theory, anyway!) – ask the driver to turn the volume down on the Spanish version. No such luck as we were told, in very broken English, that the volume couldn’t be adjusted! 😑😑. So, our short ride was ruined because we literally couldn’t hear ourselves think. For once, it was an advantage if you wore a hearing aid, as turning the volume down, solved the problem – Well done Paul, the Nutter! πŸ‘ It was all very disappointing, but we did have a laugh about it afterwards (for all of about three seconds!). πŸ‘πŸ˜

The views from the train weren’t particularly ‘amazing’ but I’ve captured a few above, just for the record.

11.40am: Twenty-five minutes later, we were back where we started – and temporarily totally deaf! 🦻🦻🦻🦻🦻🦻🦻🦻

On the cultural front, the local area boasts a mini-aquatic-zoo housed in their Parque Marino de la Magdalena. Featuring penguins and sea-lions (minus the penguins), it’s worth a look around to pass the time.

It was all free, and the Park itself offered some stunning views out to sea.

…plus other amazing views… 😍😍

12.06pm: With our wander around the Zoo and the Park, our next priority was a beverage of some sort. We headed off in the direction of – err, nowhere in particular – in search of any Bar or CafΓ©.

Our wanderings took into some stunning views, both out to sea and inwardly, taking in the local architecture. The increasingly improving weather helped make this a very pleasant experience, with the temperature just perfect for walking (at a gentle 20Β°C).

We found our Bar! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘- Balneario De La Concha.

It was quite unassuming from the street level, but on heading down via the stairs, we were soon seated with stunning views of the beach and further out to sea.

With a combo of beers and coffees, we all commented on how much we were enjoying the day so far and each other’s company. Our first impressions of Santander were all very positive – clean, tidy, easy to get around plus stunning beaches. Whilst enjoying the views, Richard tested our general knowledge with a few questions from last night’s Quiz (that most of us missed!) πŸ˜€πŸ€”. Happy days!

Meet the Northants Nutters – L to R: Rhonda, Paul, Sue, Ann, Me, Geoff Nicki and Richard

1.25pm: That was enjoyable! Time though to make our way back in the direction of the good ship, Ventura.

Rather than attempt to find a taxi, we decided to try out the local buses. A short walk back up the hill on the opposite side of the road was a bus-stop – Luis Martα½·nez – near the Grand Hotel Victoria. A quick inspection of the timetable revealed that pretty much ANY Bus would get us back to the Cruise Port – and all for a paltry sum of €1.30 each. Ten minutes later, we were ‘all aboard’ the bus and after a brief ‘lost in translation’ moment, the Nutters and the Bus Driver were in perfect harmony – heading for ‘home’.

Monument to novelist, Jose Maria de Pereda, en-route to the Cruise Terminal

Ann and I left the rest of the Nutters to explore the town whilst we took a slow walk back to the Ventura. It really was the shortest of walks, taking no longer than 10 minutes.

Aires Del Sur in full flamenco flow

After a quick freshen-up, we headed for the Laguna Pool and the ‘Flamenco demonstration’. We both assumed it was flamenco dancing, but based on the first ten minutes, it was flamenco-style SINGING – you probably know the sort of sound: like a cat being strangled! πŸ™€. Nope! Not for us and we retreated back to e330. We probably should have stayed longer, because on re-reading the in-cabin newspaper, it was a mixture of both.

Fizz and Nibbles!

5.30pm: It’s a Northants Nutters tradition that each couple take it in turn to host a pre-dinner ‘Fizz and Nibbles’ event. Tonight, it was Paul & Sue in c435. Well, that was a good start to the evening! Cheers, you two!

The Restaurant

6.35pm: It’s only Day 3 and we seem to have spent most of our time, eating, drinking and laughing! Tough life, ehh?!?! 😁

Tonight’s Entertainment

The headline act tonight was ‘Badness’ a UK-based tribute act to Madness, Bad Manners and Ska.

8.30pm: Word had got around! Pretty much a full house tonight! πŸ˜€

YouTube player

The Band didn’t disappoint! We may not all have been fans of the originals, but no-one could fault these guys for their professionalism, energy and musicianship. We two, enjoyed everything about them, and it was amazing how many tunes we knew word-for-word. One Step Beyond!!!! 🎷🎺🎢

More Music…

In complete contrast, we wandered along to The Tamarind Club for some old-style ‘big band’ music from the 40s courtesy of The Ventura Orchestra.

Sail Away!

10.05pm: Just time to head out on deck to see the Ventura up-anchor and sail out of Santander. Next stop, Vigo.

Late Night Quiz

10.29pm: What’s this? It’s almost 10.30, and we’re both still up!!! 😁😁. Party Animals, us!!!! So, here we are at the late-night quiz. I estimated there must have been near to 70 people ready to test their little grey cells where this felt like a serious quiz for serious quizzers! Because there were eight of us (and the rules suggested a maximum of 6 per team) we formed two. With Richard, Geoff, Rhonda, Ann and yours truly in one team, and Sue, Nicki and Paul in the other, we were almost ready to go. But not before the others recruited some extra youth and wisdom onto their side by way of persuading some random guests to join them. Desperate measures or good strategic thinking? You decide! πŸ˜€

It was a tough one, with 20 questions covering a wide range of topics. It helped our daily step-count too requiring us to write down the answer and then walk to the front of the room and hand over our guess calculated response Some groups did much better than others, where for me the ‘daftest’ answer of the evening was to the question: “When was the Battle of Britain?” – answer? “1066”.

I blame the Government! πŸ˜…πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

11.40pm: With the final question posed and the ‘scores on the doors’ totalled up, both of our teams did well. We didn’t win, but we were in the top 3. The Northants Nutters are back on form! πŸ‘πŸ‘


It’s the second of our (three) sea days. Our next stop is Vigo in Spain on Wednesday.

11.56pm: It’s been a long one! Sleep well! πŸ›ŒπŸ’€πŸ›ŒπŸ’€

Keep Reading



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *