Day 1 – Harwich – Checking In and first evening

Well the check in process and dropping off the car was fairly seamless. The signs on reaching Harwich to the ship were very clear and final signs to the car park amazingly well organised.

It was very clever how on arriving with the car, the luggage was taken from the boot and after parking we stepped on a shuttle bus to the terminal building a couple of minutes away. Within 30 minutes we were on board for 1pm … interestingly the exact time that cabins are released to new passengers.

Our cabin is on Deck 3; our cabin steward is Dima from the Ukraine.
A delightful cabin, with loads of room, a large round window and double sofa. There are loads of mirrors, hairdryer, safe, large TV, and coffee and tea facilities.

To be honest after such a lot of driving I was ready for lunch and so we headed for the Windjammer Cafe. The make up of this buffet area is clever with sections for those with different tastes. Mexican, Asian, salads, pastas, desserts and drinks. Perhaps I was just hungry, but I paced myself and found the food to be well seasoned and with plenty of flavour. One gripe, the food could have been a little hotter.

Next, a compulsary drill to Muster stations where we assembled in Chops Grill to hear and see what should be done in the event of an emergency. Unlike other ships I’ve been on, we did not need to take our life jackets.

This evening after unpacking and a rest, there was a welcome aboard show in the Pacific Theatre. A spacious audotorium with colourful spacious seating and rows. The english comedian was very funny, but for the Mexicans and Americans and those that only spoke Spanish some 1000+ passengers, a little difficult for them to understand all the British humour.

Dinner was after the show around 9pm in the Minstral Dining Room which is spread over Decks 4 and 5.

As we entered the restaurant we met a lovely english couple, Andrew and Jules from Sheffield that we shared a table with for dinner.

The food and variety is well thought out, with all tastes and dietry requirements catered for. Jules was vegetarian and had no problem.

One thing about the ship and certainly something I had read a lot about is the constant selling of everything by Royal Caribbean. Tours, Spa, shopping, drinks, photos, etc. I prefer the less pushy approach, but am learning to live with it.

So far we have found the free juices and hot drinks to be adequate for our needs, however the bottle of Merlot with dinner was lovely if a tad pricey.. but we still have half of the bottle for tomorrow night.