How did your cruise go BlackHaddock?

Pretty well, thanks for asking.

P&O ship Britannia; Southampton to Southampton, 14 days, 6 ports of call and 8 sea days.

Drove down to Southampton for a night in a hotel, stopped at Beer Virtue on route to pick up some stuff to take on board. Hotel was near the Bookshop Alehouse, the Guide Dog and the Handle Bar. 10 new rates from those three establishments, plus those from Beer Virtue of course.

Took my sister-in-law (Auntie Sue) with us as well as Margie (my good lady), Auntie Sue isn’t too mobile so I knew my drinking in ports of call would be ‘slow and difficult’.

Joined the ship on Sunday 12th June and sailed off towards the Med. Checked out the bars on board and was happy to see Batemans XXXB and Adnams Ghostship on hand-pull (Key-Keg) in the main ‘Pub’, one new beer for me, a keg Harvey’s beer called ‘Jolly Olly’.

First stop was La Coruna on the Spanish mainland. Visited a beer shop-cum-deli and had a great time drinking Spanish, Polish and Irish beer, took 5 more back to the ship. The bar I wanted to try didn’t bother opening, so we had some Cava and Prawns next door (almost) instead.

Next Port was Palma on Mallorca. Got the girls up early and we were eating Palma Ham and drinking Pink Cava in the old market of 'Mercat de I’Olivar by 09:30. 11:00 saw us at the Del Mon bar where I managed two local beers before the girls wanted to go ‘shopping’. Couldn’t find much at all in the tourist laded streets, but I did get four ‘healthy beers’ from a Bio-Eco supermarket (Eco-Veritas?) to take back to the ship.

Couple of days at sea and we are in Italy, La Spezia being the port. Always fancied seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa, so I again managed to get the girls moving and we were on the 08:21 train to Pisa (organised trips were stupid prices). I found four new rates in Pisa (three Italian, one German) and bought another for the train journey back to La Spezia.

France and Toulon was the fourth stop. Nice town, bars closed though. 6 beers bought in a deli and tourist shops, all French, also had a weird Bio-beer in an equally weird Bio-café (sometimes I let the girls choose where we stop for a bite!).

Barcelona is Barcelona, Cava and Tapas in the Mercat de la Boqueria (on La Rambla) with all the other tourists and then a single bar for me to gets some rates before hitting a supermarket and buying a few bottles for the ship.

Last stop was Cadiz, had trouble finding the two bars I’d ear marked, but found them both in the end, both disappointing. Bought some really cheap tins from a supermarket for the journey back to the UK.

51 new rates during the trip (including the Southampton crawl) plus 12 brought home.

Sadly no new countries or regions, but I have moved into the top 50 raters of beers from Hampshire and risen a little on the Catalonian leader board.

Any questions, please ask.




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I lied about not getting a new region, I didn’t realise I had no rates from Tuscany until I just added the two I drank in Pisa.

You can add Asturias to my Spanish regions too, so I am up to 341 regions now; pleased I somehow picked a beer on tap from there when in Barcelona.


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I feel like that’s a lot of regions to just now be picking up Tuscany. But I suppose that’s just based on my own limited travels

You don’t see a lot of Italian beers in the UK and although I’ve been to Italy a few times I’d never been to Pisa or that area before. I am not sure whether the smaller/artisan/craft Italian breweries sell outside their local regions, don’t remember seeing much variety when in Rome or on the Amalfi Coast.

I do chase regions (and countries), which is why I’ve hit 341 and 160 countries.



Surprised Margie let you go to a singles bar. Nice to hear the Parma ham travels well. And please don’t disappoint us all by not posting a photo of you trying to push over the Leaning Tower of Pisa!

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