The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal in Tenerife had an unexpected bonus yesterday, when the Royal Caribbean International cruise line invited us to sell poppies on board Mariner of the Seas on its first visit to Santa Cruz.

The ship is huge - 138,279 tons and a third of a kilometer long. The Chief Security Office Bob Smith who, together with the Environmental Officer Christopher Collard, welcomed us on board, told us they can carry 3,800 passengers and 1,200 crew.
In other words, a small town.
 Here are Don and Paul taking a first look at the interior - apart from the slight movement of the calm harbour waters beneath us, we could have been in any luxury hotel.

Looking up several stories through the central well, the lights are dazzling.

 Following on the "Small town" theme, there was a shopping mall with "pavement cafes".

There are theatres, swimming pools and a running track. You can play what looked like mini-basketball, there's a gym and a putting green, and a climbing wall for the more adventurous. There is even an ice rink where international skating stars perform.

The main dining room is on three levels, with the Captain's Table dead centre - of course - and can seat half the passengers at one time. Imagine the noise!

The bridge, at first glance, looked like a luxury penthouse suite, with pale blue carpet and panoramic windows, but the technology reminded me of Star Trek. Everything can be controlled from here, even the massive fire doors that can isolate a fire if necessary.
This is the Boss's Chair, so it was only right that I should be invited to sit in it!

 The three sailors on the left were our hosts, with Don Young, Chairman RBL Tenerife, and Paul Grey, Vice Chairman and Welfare Officer on the right.

The Mariner of the Seas was only in port for a day, and after an excellent lunch - we were spoiled for choice! - we stood by the gangway for over an hour while the passengers returned from tours or shopping trips in Santa Cruz. Our collection box now has euros, pounds and a few American dollars, and the ship sailed with quite a few non-British chests displaying a Royal British Legion poppy.


  1. Who's name dropping & trying to impress? You won - I am impressed. Well done Liz!.

  2. How brilliant!

    As for the noise of the diners, I've been lucky enough to enjoy a couple of cruises and it's actually an intimate experience.

    Poppies...this is something I'm passionate about - I used to be a collector and treasurer. Wear those poppies with pride!

  3. What a ship! Poppies will always be special to me--the red ones especially.

  4. What a great opportunity to sell poppies - well done! I hope they wear them with pride.
    Fabulous ship!


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