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Well, we’re finally on our cruise for this year. Back to Ventura, for our fourth cruise on her; in the same cabin as we’ve had before, in fact – C324, a port-side C-deck balcony cabin.

We left home on Friday morning for a pre-cruise stay at the Holiday Inn at Fareham. We did this last autumn before our cruise on Arcadia and thought it was good, but this time it seems to have just made the pre-cruise preliminaries very long-drawn-out. Maybe we’ll go back to our previous strategy of leaving home the evening before a cruise and staying in a Travel Lodge three-quarters of the way to Southampton. (Nothing wrong with the Holiday Inn, btw.)

We arrived at the Ocean Termina at a quarter past eleven and were directed straight to the unloading bays – no queue this time. Then upstairs into the terminal where we only had to wait a short time as embarkation started at 11:30. We stepped onto Ventura just before noon and made our way straight to the buffet for a bit of lunch; then paid a visit to the Glasshouse; then the cabin was ready. The gifts we’d bought (flowers and a half-bottle of champagne) were waiting for us. Having arrived early our bags were already outside the cabin so unpacking (especially in our post-Glasshouse state) took a good hour or more.

The muster drill was delayed for some unknown reason and took place at 4:45. Just as it was starting I watched Adventure of the Seas drift past us on her way out to sea, and as the drill was ending MSC Opera did the same. Then there was a pause before we actually got going. Captain Charlie Carr explained that because of the very high winds all ships leaving that afternoon were requiring tug assistance to get off the berths, and the tug that had been booked for Ventura was suddenly diverted to help Queen Victoria, which was berthed up at the Mayflower terminal. So we had to wait until QV came past us, and in the end it was 6 o’clock or bit after before we pulled forwards out of the terminal. It was very windy down Southampton Water and out into the Solent so apart from a quick move to the exposed decks to get pictures of QV ahead of us as we both rounded The Brambles we drank our free glass of fizz behind the screens on the Lido deck.

We’re on Club Dining, second sitting, and as usual the first evening’s dinner was at 8:45. We’re on a table for eight, and they seem to be a good bunch. Conversation flowed well, and I think we’ll have some good evenings.

Then to bed not very late, and a night punctuated with some creaking and groaning – from the ship, not us – and an annoying squeak from somewhere whenever Ventura moved a lot. But we slept well overall and didn’t surface until gone 8:30 this morning.

4 Responses to “Ventura 2013 – travel, embarkation and first evening.”

  1. Christine says:

    Hi Tom ,came across your blog whilst surfing the web.i was hoping someone had filmed the ventura leaving port.my sister and brother are also travelling on the same cruise,their first cruise so I am very excited for them.
    I look forward to reading your blog as you travel the seas as it gives me an insight of my sisters journey.
    Happy sailing 🙂

  2. Enjoy your cruise, Tom. Look out for @CruiseMiss – Danielle Fear. She’s on Ventura with you

  3. […] first was about pre-cruise activities: travel to Southampton and embarkation; […]

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