Day 1 Bishop's Stortford-Southampton

Trip Start Mar 11, 2014
Trip End Mar 28, 2014

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Our driver arrived on time to take us to Southampton Cruise Terminal, we knew we would be sharing with another couple and as we journeyed down to Southampton it was nice to share travelling experiences. We left Bishop's Stortford at 11.45 and had a very good journey despite the usual roadworks on the M25.
 The journey took us on M11/M25/M3 and we arrived at the cruise terminal about 2.15pm. As we drew up, porters were on hand to take our luggage to the ship and as we made our way to the ships check in desks we knew our next holiday adventure was about to start. 

 It is our first time to cruise with Saga and as we queued at the check in desk we were amused at the special mobility line where there were several people with wheelchairs/frames/crutches all taking up their positions as if on a racing grid.

 The check in was a little slow, most of the check in staff were recycled teenagers themselves but all the safety and health questions needed to be said and for the hard of hearing twice !  We then moved through into the security check area and another chuckle as the x-ray machines had large notices "No Pacemakers". 

 Once on board we were greeted by a charming young cabin steward who took our coats and was surprised we did not have more to carry and showed us to our cabin.
 We are on the 7th deck. A spacious cabin and although we usually like a balcony on our cruises, this trip it won't be missed. It wasn't long before we were directed to attend the lifeboat safety drill, that over we headed to the bar for a drink.

 I went off on one of my usual walkabouts just to get my bearings and bumped into a friend Allen and his wife Gill who we knew would be on this cruise. They are regular travellers with Saga and upon arrival had been upgraded to a suite complete with butlers service - when they asked if I would like to see their cabin, off course I said yes (you never know we might do another Saga cruise in the future).

 Unpacking done, it wasn't long before dinner. We chose to have flexible dining rather than our usual fixed seating for dinner and it was lovely to meet a couple who were on their first ever cruise, they were very appreciative that we could exchange tips with them.The service and the meal was first class - I think we are going to enjoy our first Saga Experience. Yes, a high proportion of the clientele are in their "Winter years" but that will be us in a few years time - I always enjoy speaking with older people, they have so many life experiences to share so  we should hear lots of interesting tales (hopefully not all about their joint replacements).

 The ship has a very homely feel to it. There are lots of comfortable seating areas, beautiful works of art and interesting features and I'll be touring the ship to take photos for you all to share over the coming days. 

 A drink after dinner in the main lounge where we were entertained by the resident singers & dancers. Back in our cabin we found our arctic jackets and snow grips for shoes that have been provided by Saga for the destinations ahead. It was now time for bed. The first day over we were ready for our next port of call Ijmuiden in Holland where we were told it would be a technical stop only but seems we might be able to disembark after all so watch this space for tomorrow's entry..
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Anne Boyes on

I love reading your blogs - can't wait for the next chapter! xx

Gill Shanks on

Hope the rest of the trip is as good as the start and that you enjoy all that's on offer. Looking forward to following you around.

Jenny B on

Looks nice. Also isn't it great to say the passengers are all older. Bet you two feel like spring chickens.

beverlyndavid on

We do feel a big like the "Young Ones" but give the recycled teenagers their due, they are all up for a challenge which makes it a very interesting bunch of fellow passengers.

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