We spent the night before in Southampton at the Holiday Inn, very convenient and excellent service. Arrival at the port at 10:45 was confusing as the guards on the gate did not really make their instructions clear, but we managed and it was actually very simple. Baggage drop off was quick and easy, the porters friendly and helpful. We used the ABP car park but were dissapointed that there was no disabled parking despite being asked if we needed any - again no real problem - just made arrival slower and physically more tiring.
The queues through customs and security were long but quick to clear. Check in immeidtae - we had a junior suite and are diamond C&A members. The usual delay to have our security photograph taken was a pain and took far too long. Why can't RCI get this better organised.
The cabin was excellent, deck ten and very convenient. The ship is wonderful and the different amenities also fabulous. The shows were very good and the overall experience was wonderful. We ate in my time and managed to get the same wait staff each evening we were there. They were al Romanian which gave me a chance to practice my few words of their language.
We won an auction - for the Steve Redgrave charity - to let us be on the bridge at sailaway from Cobh and what an experience. Captain Teo and his team were all welcoming and made this a once in a lifetime experience.
Cobh / Queenstown was a pleasant place to spend time but we only ventured briefly ashore. The weather was appalling, but this was not why we stayed on the ship - the ship has so much to offer.
We met so many new friends and enjoyed every moment onboard. Leavignt he ship took 11 minutes from leaving our cabin - not bad.