Embarkation at Southampton was completed after 1 hour from arrival at 1pm at the Mayflower Terminal operated by ABP. For a ship of this size the terminal does get crowded and long snaking queues form for initial check in and security. The waiting departure lounge is large and coloured tickets issued to denote your boarding. For those less able he walking is reasonably long and goes up and down dependant on the tide, with only a small gang plank for reaching the ship. ABP need to upgrade the Mayflower terminal to reflect the bigger ships coming into Southampton. Those who arrived early 11am appeared to wait longer and their luggage arrived later, one to remember.
An excellent cruise to very interesting ports, highlight was the North Cape and Spitzbergen, for their geographical positions and scenery. Weather is a major factor in this region and low cloud, fog, mist and rain could be an influencing factor. Crossing the Arctic Circle was a key part for our party but we were disappointed that Princess Cruises prioritized other on-board activities, in fact the Daily Patter was often incorrect and contradicted the 12 noon Bridge update. For those who want to know, a GPS or viewing of the in cabin TV navigation channel will indicate exactly when it is crossed. The 8 days of daylight added to the pleasure and being in daylight at midnight is a spectacular sight not to be missed especially if you can see the Sun traversing above the horizon. Skywalkers Nightclub is the best indoor viewing position.