We drove from home in the Midlands to the port of Southampton taking our usual 2.5 hour and arrived just after 12 noon. We dropped of the luggage and parked the car and then walked back to the terminal in order to go through the passport control. We were soon on the ship and were welcomed with a glass of champagne after walking through a balloon archway. It made you feel like royalty. We rode the elevator up to the lido deck and walked along to the Windjammer restaurant to have a quick spot of lunch. Plenty of choice of food and soon seated. We then went for a walk around the deck and marvelled at the Flowrider. After having a quick game of golf we went back inside the ship and wandered round finding our bearings. One good thing about the royal promenade is that there are so many different things to look at and do, gift shops, bars, snack bars, etc etc.
The evening meal was taken in one of the main restaurants and we had a very pleasant head waiter called Maximo. He was a great comic and made us laugh with his intepretation of the English language ie. a jacket potato. When he had first heard about a jacket potato he thought it was a potato with a napkin wound round it to form a jacket. To say the table was in fits of laughter was an understatement. The first evening was spent moving around bars, theatre and sampling all that the ship had to offer. Also as we found the ice rink and it was fairly quiet we had a try. At one stage we were even the only two on it. Less people to laugh when I nearly fell over! Cabin was just underneath the bridge and was an oceanview. It was very spacious and the bed was enormous. Bathroom was small but functional. Also had a small sofa which is a great advantage as it means that you do not have to sit on the bed whenever you are in the cabin to watch the TV.
First and only port was Cobh, Ireland Cruise port in order to go to Cork City. Morning was spent walking around and watching the brave souls try the flowrider. Had a couple of games of golf and a quick game on the basketball court. About 1 - 2 pm we hit the outskirts of Ireland and then followed the inlet into Cobh. We were escorted to the dock by pilot boats spouting water fountains. As this was Indy's second appearance in a month, she was still warmly welcomed by the irish crowds who were lining all the streets of the town in order to see the largest liner (at the time) enter their town. As we were stood on the deck everyone was taking photos, people on the ship were waving at people on the docks and street and vice versa. To add to the occasion, the local market was happening alongside the lower streets of the town. Once we had docked, we left the ship and went for a walk around the town. It is very compact and very attractive, with an enormous church at the top of the hill which overlooks the whole town. We went and sampled some of the local drink in one of the many public houses in the town. After a couple of hours sampling the local life, we went back to the ship for evening meal and then went back out on the town again.
The next day we left the ship and took the bus into Cork city. We then caught another bus and went to Blarney castle. We toured the grounds and then climbed the many steps inside the castle to the very top where we kissed the Blarney stone. On return to the city we walked around for a while and then caught the train back to Cobh. Left Cobh at 6 pm.
The following day was spent at sea cruising back to Southampton. During the day we again watched people on the flowrider. I had a go at climbing the rock wall and got halfway up. Some very small children were climbing up it with no bother at all. Had another game or two of golf and in the afternoon watched the Ice Show. Considering how small this rink is the shows which are produced on it are spectactular. The skaters put in throws and stuff which you see on the television and they have no room whatsover to get their speed up before the throws. Congratulations to them. Whatever you do, do not miss the ice shows!! Best entertainment on the ship.