Saturday Oct 6 – Southampton England

October 6th 2018
Published: October 6th 2018
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Hello from chilly and rainy England. Our ship arrived in Southampton during the night and was tied to the pier when we woke up. There were announcements over the PA system in the hallway and people walking/talking past our cabin door, even before we got up. Since we aren’t going anywhere except another cabin, we slept in until almost 8:00.

We got up and took a last shower in the large bathroom of the mini-suite. We already had all the clothes arranged for today and the rest was in the suitcases. After packing the last few things we said goodbye to Christopher (our steward) and went up to the buffet for breakfast. It was now about 8:45 and the big crowds were gone, so it was comparatively quiet in the Horizon Court.

We went down to the Central Piazza on deck-5 and Janet got one more of her Salted Carmel Strata coffees. We don’t know if her access will be continued on this next cruise. We do know it will not be continued after we leave in 3 more days – no more continuing from one ship to the next. Anyway, we waited there and watched groups of people being herded off the ship. Eventually it was down to about 16 of us sitting around and nobody leaving, even after they announced that all passengers should disembark the ship. That may be the extent of the “transit passengers” continuing to the next cruise. We went over and they scanned our cruise card to officially leave the ship and then scanned the new card to officially join the ship. Then we went back to our chairs and waited some more in the Piazza.

About 11:00, David went up to the new cabin to see if it was ready for us. Voila! All the other cabin doors were standing open but ours was closed with our suitcases inside. So we moved in and started hanging some of the items in the closet for the next 3 days. The room isn’t as large but it will be fine for us. There was a note informing us of a change in itinerary. Apparently it will be too windy tomorrow for us to go ashore in the Guernsey Islands, so the decision has already been made to divert to Brest France instead. Our scheduled excursion has been cancelled and will be refunded, but no tours have been arranged for Brest. We will see later what there is for 2600 or more people to do suddenly landing in France – other than D-day. Luckily the tour which Janet was most wanted is scheduled for the last day in Cherbourg. We have only attended one of the excursions which we initially booked and that was in Vigo.

We met our steward for this cabin. His name is Ferdinand although the sign on our desk said he was Ronald. He was very embarrassed and ran off with the sign and brought a sign with his correct name. He also provided us with coupons for a free drink since there will be no Captain’s Circle reception on this brief cruise. By now it was about 12:30 but Janet wanted a short nap and wasn’t hungry yet, so David went up and got a cheeseburger from the grill – avoided the buffet on the first day when everyone has to look at each food item before filling their plate. When he got back to the cabin, Janet was up from her nap and wanted a slice of pizza. So we went back up and she had a little lunch. We ate in the Conservatory, which is an indoor pool and was one place where Janet had not been during the first cruise.

At 3:15 was the lift boat drill. Technically we probably did not have to attend since we had the briefing on the previous cruise, but it was easier to go and get checked off instead of risking an argument. We went down early so we could use the elevator instead of stairs and to ensure we got a comfortable place to sit – it was literally standing room only. The drill was the same thing we’ve heard many times before, but it didn’t hurt to refresh our memory.

Just looking around the ship it is pretty apparent there are lot more children on this 3-day cruise than the previous trip. More kids also mean more of the young-to-middle aged adults. This is the start of a weekend so it probably isn’t too hard for them to go on the cruise and not miss too much work or school. Anyway, we most likely are NOT going to be in the younger half this trip.

By the way, this is certainly going to be the shortest cruise we’ve ever done – something of a first for us again.

David took a few pictures of Southampton before we sailed away. We are berthed in the Ocean Terminal and it was close enough to be within walking distance of town if the weather had been better. But not only was it raining, it was also only 57 degrees this afternoon. Then we met up in the cabin and Janet watched “Beauty and the Beast” movie on the TV. Shortly before we went to dinner we sailed past the USS Harry S Truman, which was anchored outside of Southampton harbor – this is certainly the first time we’ve seen an aircraft carrier while at sea.

At dinner we were recognized by the staff and we were about the only couple which did not need an escort to find our table. There are 2 other couples from England sitting with us this cruise (Gordon & Carol, and Darren & Paula). We found them real talkers and we had a good time chatting this evening. For appetizers, Janet had the melon balls while David had fortified beef broth and also Pina Colada chilled soup. For entrée we both had the Prime Rib with baked potato and corn on the cob. For dessert Janet had chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup and David had the flourless chocolate cake. It was a very good dinner and we look forward to joining these other folks for dinner tomorrow night.

Then we went to the Princess Theater to hear a British comedian. Some of the jokes we understood and some we didn’t. But then some of the jokes nobody laughed at, so maybe it wasn’t just us who didn’t know to laugh. We did get the breakdown of populations on this cruise. There are 2907 people in total, which is a lot more than max capacity but that probably reflects a lot of kids in the extra bunkbeds of some cabins. There was a tie for 4th place between Ireland and Netherlands with16 people each. The USA was 3rd place with 55. There were 86 from Japan and the winner was UK with exactly 2600. That means the other 137 or so people were from the other 19 countries which are represented this cruise.

Tonight we lose an hour before we reach Brest France tomorrow. So that is going to be about all for tonight.


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