Feed on

Dinner on the last evening was a quieter affair, but was still very enjoyable. We were a slightly-reduced group: Linda and Vicky were eating in the Orchid Room, so that left five of us. Val had a lamb shank, which she said was very enjoyable, but was perhaps a bit too big. It didn’t stop her enjoying the apple crumble dessert, with (of course) oceans of custard. I had an interesting started: ‘carpaccio of beetroot with goat’s cheese mousse and raisins’. No matter how you described it, it was a few slices of beetroot on a plate with a dollop of goat’s cheese mousse in the middle, and a few raisins around the outside. Perfectly OK, just a bit strange…. The slices were very thin, though. Having started with a veggie dish I had the veggie main dish as well, which was very pleasant. Then after a last visit to the Crows Nest we went to bed not too late. Although we had an early start – 6am alarm – we also got our hour back on the last night, so we had the prospect of a reasonable night’s sleep.

Arcadia berthed around 6:45, while we were breakfasting in the Belvedere. I had expected it to be quite busy as passengers were supposed to be out of their cabins by 8 o’clock. But even after breakfast it seemed that most may still have been in bed; certainly, there were a lot of shipboard account final statements still in cabin pigeon-holes and not yet collected. Talking of which, we had a look at ours: it would appear we had a very good time on Saturday night!

We had decided to ‘self-disembark’ so we made our way down to deck 3 with our bags to join the queue at about 7:20. The gangway was opened at 7:30 prompt, we were off the ship by 7:35 with our bags, and had found Val’s car and were driving away at 7:45. While we were doing this we observed some passengers thinking that this was main disembarkation starting: they seemed a bit put out when they were told that it would take an hour before all the bags were off-loaded into the baggage hall. As we disembarked we could see the shore-side baggage handlers starting the task; small containers of bags were being off-loaded from the ship, taken through to the hall and then the individual bags placed in the appropriate deck lane. But at 7:35 or so there was a very empty-looking baggage hall with very few bags in it.

For us this was such an easy disembarkation that we’re seriously thinking of doing the same for the next cruise (17 nights on Ventura next spring). Yes, we’ll have more stuff but that just means bigger bags, we think. Certainly we still have bad memories from last time on Ventura, of waiting almost 30 minutes in a standing crush to get off even after our disembarkation colour had been called; and then a further 10 or 15 minutes desperately searching for our bags in the baggage hall. (They were there, but well buried.) Whereas this morning was both easy and quick. And the ease continued: the roads were clear and we were home in Yorkshire just over four hours later, having stopped a couple of times as well.

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