Arrived in Southampton around 10am. Turning the corner and seeing IOS was some experience! Like the biggest block of flats you ever saw! Gleaming in the sun. Awesome. Dropped relatives at pier. Had a bit of an issue finding the hire car place to drop off car but managed that eventually. Climbed into back seat with DD and SIL and approached the car park. ‘You got your yellow ticket?’ ‘Excuse me?’ ‘You got your yellow car park ticket.... you paid to park here?’ ‘No we have a letter confirming car space’ Show letter. He points. Hmmmmm.
Parked up. Boarding has started. Very easy check in. Get pics taken prior to boarding in front of RCI sign. Straight up to Windjammers. 1130. Great selection of food. Drinks being served continually (water and some sort of cherry squash). Also came round with alcoholic drink of the day. Thanks to reading the forum I am aware that the ‘glasses’ are included in the price. SO, DD and SIL have one and declare them delicious. I go to dining room (Romeo and Juliet) to check out our table seating. It is near a window. Perfect. We have a table to ourselves. Book in for Chops and Portofinos.
1pm rooms are ready. Spotless. Have to say shower room tiny. 2 bars of soap provided and a canister of shampoo. Hmmmm. Adequate storage for our 2 weeks worth of clothing. Wonderful to have the balcony on such a glorious day.
Visit spa. Get manicure and pedicure before the rush. Heaven. A real treat and really relaxing.
Cases have been delivered. Our steward has cleared the fridge and (bless him) provided us with 2 towelling robes. Unpack.
Muster. Well. What can I say. 3600 people crammed into life jackets crammed onto decks in very warm weather. I start singing boating / sailing songs quietly and get funny looks. I get a call from a cousin in the US who has no idea where I am and why I am whispering (we have been told not to use mobiles..... oops).
Sailaway. On our balcony. Wonderful. Lots of boats trying to race us. Children waving from them. Wave back. Feel elated.
Early seating for dinner. Great service. Delicious if rather small portions but then I am offered a second load of my main course..... drool.
Welcome show. Great fun. Brilliant comic. Jeff Stevenson. Very very funny.
Little punt in casino.
Pop into Sorrento’s and have pizza and fruit salad and biscotti and biscuits.
Parade performed by representatives of all departments. Lively and colourful.