The night before...
Well here are Kevin & I at the Holiday Inn, Southampton, looking forward to embarking on our long awaited cruise tomorrow. Also, a first for me, I'm contributing to Emma’s Jots by writing a diary of our holiday.
Firstly I'll give you a bit of background on why we're here.
In 2016, it was our Silver Wedding anniversary, so we decided to “push the boat out" and book a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords. We were so excited, but rather apprehensive. Would we like it? Would I spend the week throwing up? (I'm not great on ferries and small boats). What do we wear and what's all this about formal and informal nights, and how will we know when they are? We actually had a wonderful time, so much so that whilst on board we booked up for another cruise to Norway the following year, same ship, same cabin, but different ports.
Anyway, back to tonight, we are looking forward to a fortnight sailing around the Mediterranean. I'm writing about our experiences to give a good (hopefully) insight for those of you who may be thinking about cruising, and of course the places that we will be visiting.
Well today we joined our ship (those of you have cruised may want to skip this bit as you will know the process).
Southampton Docks are huge, but thanks to good instructions, they are easy to find, and from there staff will tell you where to queue. When you’ve parked near the embarkation lounge, someone takes your suitcases, someone else takes your keys and drives off to park the car, so it’s just you and your hand luggage to take into the lounge.
Inside you get a coloured card with a letter on it, and passengers are called, by group (for example Red F) to check in and collect their boarding cards. In the meantime there are plenty of seats, a wide variety of complimentary magazines and refreshments if you want them.
After check-in you go through security, then it’s the exciting bit of walking along the ramps onto the ship.
We hadn’t been on this particular ship before, it’s massive, holding over 2000 passengers and 1000 staff. You are given a fold up map of the ship, and there are plenty of signposts. Nonetheless I am hopeless, having no sense of direction, and I do struggle! We had booked our cabin on the 15th deck (almost at the top), midship, as it’s the least rocky and to be equidistant to the amenities.
After a good look around the ship, unpacking our luggage (which had been deposited outside our cabin door) and meeting our cabin steward we stood on our balcony to watch our disembarkation from Southampton. Then it was time to think about changing for dinner and deciding on the evening’s entertainment. One of the best things about cruising is that what to eat and where to go are about the biggest choices of the holiday...