We had a last-minute notion to try and book a hotel in Southampton but prices were over double the amount usually being asked and that idea was quickly dispatched. So, it was back to plan A and drive down on the day, but instead of M5, M4 & A34 we headed across the country via Salisbury and being a Sunday morning it was quiet with not too much traffic on the road. Our embarkation slot was from 12:00 -12:30 and having done the PCR test a few days earlier, the whole process of getting on board was really smooth. All the checking in was done via the Royal app including the health questionnaire, everything helping to speed the process up. So having arrived at 11:45 we walked over to the terminal and were actually onboard by midday. I did ask how many passengers are on this sailing and have been told by two different crew members that there are 840 and it certainly feels like it too. A quick Google search revealed it carries 4,180 passengers at double occupancy (4905 full capacity) so we are going to have plenty of space. I will be on first name terms with everyone come the end of the cruise.
After a substantial lunch in the Windjammer, we set about exploring the ship from top to bottom.
Our first impressions are very favourable and ship is giving us the impression that we are going to enjoy the experience. Our cabin was available almost as soon as we boarded and it’s where we collected our seapass cards.
Being as it is a port day, Nicole took the opportunity of one of the complimentary flights on iFly Ripcord. She enjoyed it so much she is going to go for the longer paid-for version.
Not being able to pre-book anything before meant we have spent some time this afternoon making sure we can maximize what we can get from this cruise. Meals, shows and experiences are all booked through the Royal app and we have pretty much been able to get what we want and when we wanted to. I had thought our cases would have been with us quite quickly but they hadn’t arrived by the time we left for Nicole to go on the iFly Ripcord. Before we returned to the cabin we found 10 minutes to sample the bumper cars which was great fun. This turned out to be a good 30 minutes because there was nobody waiting to have a go after us. By the time we got back to the cabin our cases had arrived and we made short work of unpacking them. We were so engrossed with this we never even noticed we had set sail.
We have My Time dining and selected to eat in Silk this evening, both main dining room restaurants have the same menu so it will only be a case of different decor should we use the other one. Having read that Royal Caribbean have plenty of vegan choices, it was really reassuring to see these on the menu through the app. I will cut this short this evening because time is of the essence. We also booked the theatre tonight at 9:00 which is a comedian called John Monoley, I’ve never heard of him nor anything about him but it’s worth a look.