We travelled down from home (Wirral Merseyside)the night before the trip and stayed overnight in a Travellodge and then were able to have a leisurely breakfast before travelling the last part of the journey which took about an hour. Excitement was high as we reached Southampton docks and nothing prepares you for the first sighting of such a magnificent ship. Compared to air travel the whole check in process was seamless, suitcases whisked away, car taken care of, friendly and receptive reception-what a difference from the hassle that are airports.
The interior of the ship took your breath away. Our outside cabin (a free upgrade a fortnight before travel) was clean, spacious with ample room for Rebecca's bed. The half bottle of champagne was a nice and welcome touch. Our time on board made you feel very special-all the staff were pleasant and attentive with the chamber maids using your name every time. We enjoyed the food and ambiance of the restaurant where we were on the first sitting with an excellently placed table by the window at the back of the ship. A table for our exclusive use was welcome, especially with our 9 year old daughter. We tended to visit the ports of call when possible so majority of time on board was late afternoon to evening. After dinner we would drop Rebecca at the Time Out club which she thoroughly enjoyed - difficult to drag her away! Angela and then were able to attend the excellent productions in the theatre, relax in the Commodore bar or have a flutter in the casino. After this we would collect Rebecca and spend some quality family time in the Lido with a little more food!!
Although the weather was not brilliant we used the outside pools which were maintained at an pleasant temperature and the Spa changing rooms were immaculate. This was our first experience of cruising and certainly wont be the last as we intend to travel again as soon as funds and work commitments permit.