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Cruise time!

We’re off! We embarked Azura earlier this afternoon and as I write this we’re off the Isle of Wight. I’m writing this quickly hoping to catch some iPhone connectivity as we go.

We left home after tea yesterday and got to our hotel on the southern side of Reading just after 9:30. Not a bad drive, though I was very tired – it had been a long day. This morning we hit the road just after 9am dand were approaching Southampton by 10:30 or so – and we drove straight past. Instead of wandering aimlessly around the town for a few hours we drove on down to Calshot. I’ve seen it a number of times, of course, from the ships as we sailed past, but I’d never been there. It was OK. The old castle actually looked a bit sad – Val noticed that while some of the old gun ports still had cannon poking through them, other had been turned into windows and had been glazed. We were impressed with the activity centre, however – we reckon that it must be a great place if you’re a kid in Hampshire – and we enjoyed a coffee, tea and scones in the cafe bar there. Then we walked along the shingle back to the car park and left.

Next stop was Hythe, another place which I’ve seen often but never visited. This time we were delighted. I think I’d convinced myself that what with Marchwood and Fawley, all that side of Southampton Water was industrial, so finding a delightful little seaside town was a big surprise. We had a little wander around the High Street, walked the length of the pier and back, and then had an enjoyable lunch at the Seashells restaurant (thanks to Andrew Sassoli-Walker for suggesting it). Then back into the car for the drive round to the Mayflower terminal.

Embarkation went as smoothly and easily as I’ve ever know it. We arrived outside the terminal at 2:30 and we were in our cabin by shortly after 3 o’clock, so just over 30 minutes to hand over the car and bags, get checked in, go through security, and actually embark. That was excellent.

First stop was the Terrace Bar for a bottle of sparkling water each. Then it was time for the muster drill, at which for the first time that I can remember we had our cruise cards scanned. By the time that was over our bags had been delivered to our cabin so we unpacked. While we were finishing, Azura left the berth so a few minutes later we were up on deck looking for our free glass of bubbly. We stayed up there until we’d been past Calshot, then went back to the cabin for a cup of tea. Now we’re preparing for a drink in the Glasshouse followed by dinner (Freedom) in the Peninsular restaurant. It’s a hard life….

One Response to “Cruise time!”

  1. rosie says:

    Glad you liked Hythe, it where we live now and a wonderful place.

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