Cruise Change Day Southampton
Well, I must say the change of cabin went very smoothly. We left cabin A136 at 8:00 after breakfast with two suitcases of summer clothes and things we had accumulated over the last 55 days. Behind us the cabin had a wardrobe of clothes, and several suitcases with other things in them.
… and a pair of crutches
The six of us then met at reception to get our new cruise cards, and were off the ship by 8:15. The trip through the suitcase hall, and customs was easy, and even the pair of sniffer dogs seemed happy.
Outside the three men loaded the suitcases into a taxi and set off for the hotel. The ladies waited for the crew bus and went into the city to go shopping.
At the hotel, the taxi waited 10 minutes while we loaded the summer suitcases into the cars, and Robin recovered a pair of winter cases to take back to the ship. By 10:00 Richard and I were back in the city shopping centre and meeting up with our wives. Robin went back to the ship with his luggage and returned to find Rosemary soon afterwards.
It was so simple.
After Deb and I had done a little shopping, we caught the 11:00 crew shuttle back to Aurora, found our way through the crew gates and back to our new cabin.
The wardrobe was full of our clothes, the suitcases were ready to unpack, and yes, the crutches were waiting for us as well.
It was time for a drink, and then we began the suitcase unpacking.
Just after midday we went to the Medina Restaurant for the loyalty welcome on board drinks and nibbles. Almost immediately Richard and Angie joined us.
The second half of our adventure had begun.
The afternoon concentrated on putting our clothes and bits away in the cabin. There is a little less drawer space than our previous cabin, but the wardrobe is adequate. I think we will be comfortable here, at least we will do when we remember where the cabin is.
Our dinner time was now gone back to the familiar 6:30 and we have more time to relax at the end of the afternoon before getting ready. Finally we could have a drink in Anderson’s and finish it before walking to the restaurant. Of course, it was the first night of the cruise, and the queue stretched back along the corridor for further than we can remember.
The menu was very familiar, but we all found something to tingle our taste-buds. Sadly our waiter was not as fast or friendly as Joseph, and he has made enemies on another table for the slowness, and from someone complaining about a lack of choice for those with special needs.
I understand their annoyance, but it is the first night, and it takes time to meet everyone’s expectations.
After dinner, Deb and I went to the theatre to watch ‘Destination Dance’ for the third time on the cruise(s). It was superb as normal and even with the familiarity of the show, we still enjoy it.
From the show we walked along the corridor to Champion’s for the late-night quiz.
Someone moaned that we had been on the cruise last week, but the questioner pointed out that this was a different set of questions. Yes, we had remembered some of them from the previous quizzes, but many were new to us.
That was it for the night, and the six of us parted for the night.
It was calm, and I mean really calm, with virtually no wind, so things looked positive for a peaceful sleep filled night.
Thursday 28th February – Sea Day
It had been a good night with no bumping, jiggling, or wind whistling through the balcony doors. The morning Aurora was sailing alongside the coast of Suffolk somewhere to port. It was cool outside, but the sun was shining, and the sea was almost flat calm.
After breakfast in the Medina restaurant we planned our morning. Deb has Fit Steps, and although I wanted to take part, I realised my weaknesses of my joints and stayed away. Instead I sat in Champion’s reading until an individual quiz started. I was second, behind another passenger from the previous cruise. He got full marks, and I was surprised at such a score.
From Champion’s it was a dash to the theatre for the first port talk on the town of Andelsnes. The pronunciation of this Norwegian town is proving complicated. We arrive there on Saturday morning, and we have a tour that gives us a look around the nearby Fjord, and mountain areas. It includes Waffles, which was one of our ideas to reduce the cost of coffee and snacks in this rather expensive country.
With dozing in the theatre over, I met up with Debs and we had a cup of coffee in the buffet, plus a muffin to keep us going until we have lunch.
Deb then made her way to the Battle of the Sexes, where she did NOT get chosen as the captain. The ladies lost by just 5 points.
Meanwhile I had a go at archery. This has been going on in the sport’s nets on the last cruise, but has now been brought inside in Vanderbilt’s.
No, it does not use pointed arrows. They have suckers on the end, and a solid wooden target. There were over a dozen of us attempting it… and I won by some ‘beginner’s luck’ fluke.
After eating we had less than an hour to recharge our batteries before starting again with a port talk on Tromsø at 2:00. Aurora arrives there on the 4th and we again have a tour booked already. The talk is to give us a little more background of the town and what we will be doing.
I managed to stay awake in the port talk for about ten minutes before the darkness and uninteresting elements of the talk convinced me to close my eyes. Sometimes Deb gave me a nudge, and sometimes something said grabbed my attention, but it really is a waste of time for me to try and learn anything.
When it was over, Deb took me up to tea. It was then that I noticed that we were enveloped in fog, and when we walked back on the open decks, it was obvious that the temperature had dropped. Perhaps it is time I considered wearing a jumper instead of just a T Shirt.
The navigation channel shows the temperature to be just 10°C at 3:30, with a Force 4 South Easterly wind. The sea is still remarkably calm as Aurora makes gentle progress at 16 knots.
Tonight, is the first of the formal nights, and we also have a ‘Welcome on Board’ cocktail party to listen to Captain Pembridge, and drink his wine budget. We have also received our loyalty pack to confirm we are now in the top tier and have one extra perk of having my suit pressed.
The entertainment features a comedian called John Evans in the theatre. He appears to be new to us, so we will enjoy (hopefully) his fresh act after dinner.
Elsewhere there is a classical guitarist called Adam Wescott in Carmen’s, and a new resident band called ‘Next Step’ taking over in there later in the evening.
Our plans for after the comedian are to have a go at the Syndicate Quiz in Vanderbilt’s at 10:30, but there is also a movie quiz in Champion’s an hour earlier. It would be really good if I can add some more stickers, or even a bottle of wine, after my archery success.
Tomorrow is another sea day as we head northwards to Norway. Perhaps soon the new passengers will get familiar with the ship, and stop wandering around in a mist of confusion. It is strange to be so confident amongst so many hundreds of new people.