DAY 1 - Sunday 22nd October- Southampton
Our first back to back cruise, as this followed a 2 day cruise to Zeebrugge which, due to Storm Brian, turned into a cruise to nowhere as we couldn’t dock due to high winds (see separate review).
The morning passed quickly and just after midday we headed down to the Glass House and ordered a bottle of Peller Ice Cuvée. Lunch (at extra cost) is now available here on embarkation day and is a very civilised start to a cruise, unlike the scrum in the buffet. We also booked the paired food and wine dinner for the evening of our La Rochelle visit
Accessible balcony cabin. Great for wheelchair users as you can access all areas of the cabin, balcony and bathroom whilst in the wheelchair. Please only book one if you are a wheelchair or scooter user, as those with severe disabilities cannot cruise once these cabins are taken, yet we have seen people with very mild degrees of disability booking them when they don’t really need one and could cope with a standard cabin with shower.
Best UK port to depart from. Always love the sailaway down Southampton Water and past the Isle of Wight.
A lovely destination with a picturesque town centre and a long promenade walk to the Hercules Tower. No tours needed - easy to do on your own.
Guggenheim Museum more impressive on the outside than the inside. Lovely riverside walk. Old city a bit oppressive with some unsavoury types but we didn’t experience any problems. Easy to get lost in the narrow streets of the old city - had to get a cab back to the shuttle bus stop.
Very nice old town, pretty harbour with loads of lovely looking restaurants. Didn’t eat in any as eat all meals on the ship, but there were around 20 that we would have been happy to try. They say it is 3 miles from the port to the town - seemed more like 10 miles.
A shuttle bus is provided but not needed. The town is a 10 minute walk and you pass all the fishermen selling their catch from the quayside. Bigger shopping area than we had expected. Highlight was the City of the Sea exhibition, which was adjacent to where the ship berthed. Comprises a Titanic Museum, aquarium, maritime museum and a full size decommissioned French nuclear submarine which you can walk around using an English audio tour. Well worth a visit.