All-you-can-eat buffet was a lot quieter next morning

Ewan McGregor  as Renton in Trainspotting - the gender neutral toilets Zella has visited are almost as grubby

ZELLA COMPTON: Men – just aim it in the right direction and we’ll all be happy!

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With the Great South Run looming, could I manage to eat healthily and keep up on my running whilst on a cruise? Sipping our first glass of Champagne as we slipped away from Southampton, I think I knew the answer.

But there is something that has certainly helped my quest not to overindulge on our seven-night cruise on board the Oriana – and that’s the Bay of Biscay!

I sort of half-caught the captain’s welcoming announcement as we were unpacking in our cabin.

I thought I heard him say ‘do take care when moving about the ship’, but didn’t think too much of it. Yet after dinner, ‘sea discomfort bags’ were being hung out!

I have to say Oriana handled the conditions wonderfully. Yes the ship did move in the Atlantic swell in the bay, but it was more a pitching motion than rolling.

I woke at 4am and went for a wander, along with a few fellow passengers unable to sleep.

We watched the lights of ships in the distance pitching and rolling around, extremely thankful we were on our big cruise ship.

Let’s just say the all-you-can-eat 24-hour dining buffet was a lot quieter the next morning!

By the evening, conditions had improved and ,after the captain’s welcoming cocktail party, we were told our first stop at Vigo would be hot and sunny.

But we decided to stay on the ship. No disrespect to any Vigans reading this, but apart from their football team, Celta Vigo, nothing else appealed.

I think we just wanted a relaxing day in the sun on Oriana’s wooden decks.

There is something special on formal nights. All passengers are asked to wear their finest to dine in the ship’s restaurants.

So tuxes and evening dresses abound and the surroundings make you feel like you are in the swankiest of country masions. Silver service with a brandy to finish!

Today is Lisbon. It’s 32C, so we’re going to make the most of it.

It’ll be off the ship for a wander around before we depart for a sea day and the plan is to reach Bilbaobefore heading home at the weekend.

Look out for us on Southsea seafront!