Thursday, August 18, 2022

Vacation: To The Ship

So we continued on to Southampton.

It is rather unnerving to have cars coming at you from the opposite side that you expect them to do, not to mention being in a car doing a right hand turn from the left side of the road feels all kinds of weird.

All the curbs at the end of  sidewalks in London have markings painted on that say either "Look Left" or "Look Right" to encourage tourists to overcome years of conditioning when crossing a street by foot.   Driving in it would be much worse.

Made it to Southampton without incident, though our driver entered Gate 20 of the port rather than Gate 4, so we got a scenic view of the port and had to pop out of the port complex and back in to get to the ship.

From Gate 4 there was a ton of traffic as there were multiple ships being loaded/unloaded and it took awhile to get to the terminal. There also were special event going on at the Isle of Wight so there were large crowds to get on the ferries to go there as well.

Once there it wasn't too bad, dropped our luggage off in the designated spot and then got in the boarding line.  They confirmed we had all our documents and all the Covid Vax cards and negative tests were done (this was a pain had to be done within 72 hours so we did them in Michigan just before heading to the airport), and the onboard we went.

We were in the Princess Cruise Line Sky Princess.

Turns out that since it was departing from Southampton, about 95%+ of the passengers were from the UK.

This made you feel like you were on the set of a BBC show, but without the subtitles for the various regional accents which made life interesitng at times.

The food had a definite British focus - breakfast offered English bacon, grilled tomatoes, baked beans, sauteed mushrooms, bangers, and black pudding as perennial offerings, along with many awesome Indian curries. And, there was a tea time on the ship each day.

We sat in the Piazza and had our first on board beverages as we awaited the rooms to be ready. The cabins were soon announced as ready to be occupied and we went to them, did the mandatory safety video and then went down and checked in at our muster station.

Those items done, we came back to the room and went onto the balcony to await departure.

Quite a few ships were moving along outside:

The port had a rather lot of cars parked around:

And in one of the parking lots:

Yep, that's a Saracen armored car just sitting there amongst the trucks for some reason.

Then we were off and the side thrusters thrusted, kicking up the bottom and turning the water a muddy brown.

Then we were on our way.

Soon we got to test out two of the most wonderful words in the English language: Room Service!

How I only gained 2 pounds the entire cruise I'm not sure.  The thousands of steps walking helped, as did trips to the very well equipped fitness center on board for a few workouts at sea. So we sat on the balcony as we left the port behind.

As we passed the Isle of Wight we saw aircraft in the distance. There was an airshow going on during the festivities.

Another plane appeared and was seen doing acrobatics in the distance there.  Got a photo and cropped in:

Much too far away to get any decent shots, but that's a Spitfire! The pilot did a full loop which was cool to see.

The cabin, as it turns out,  was nicely decorated with a large picture of my spirit animal:

Then we wandered about the ship some more, exploring and getting our bearings.

After that we had dinner which was beyond amazing.

Then after walking around the ship even more, Abby and I headed to the casino to play Craps. Abby at 18 was allowed to both drink and be in the Casino.  So I taught her to play, and we together won $84 starting from a $200 stake, not too bad.

That was the end of the first day on the cruise.


juvat said...

A Flying Spitfire? That right there would've been the high point of my vacation. WAAAY cool!

pigpen51 said...

My son and his wife are heading out to a Mediterranean cruise in November. I think that he said that they are flying into Rome, and then go and pick up their ship a day later. It sounds like you are on a fantastic cruise now, also.

Aaron said...

juvat: Yep, I dearly wished it had buzzed the ship - it was really far off in the distance. It was cool though as was the sound of its engine.

pigpen51: Rome in November should be very nice, and it should be a great time.