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Monday, 30 October 2017

Monday 30th October. All aboard the good ship Magellan.

An early start, a long drive hampered only by the car park on the A14 (we managed to avoid most of that queue thanks to the AA and a diversion through St Ives), and we arrived in Tilbury about 12.30.

The port guys are dead efficient.  They direct the cars to unload, and then take the luggage straight from the car for you.  The next time you see your suitcases, they are onboard ship outside your cabin door.  Parking is about half a mile away, so once we'd unloaded, Peter took the van to park it and then catch the shuttlebus back to the terminal.  I waited outside the terminal with all the stuff we can't let the baggage guys take. (We gave them 2 large cases, one medium case and one small case.... so what more could we have!)  So I'm stood there with a tall set of plastic drawers full of art kit for the passengers, a rucksack and a small case.  Some guy walks past with the comment about "taking everything but the kitchen sink".  Thing is, we DID have the kitchen sink, in the form of a plastic kitchen bowl.

Anyhoo, I wait about twenty minutes or so until Peter gets back, and we make our way inside to go through boarding.  After completing the compulsory medical questionaire, we look for anyone in a CMV uniform.  Fortunately the lad we came across knew exactly how to look after us.  As "supernumery's" we get to go straight on board.   Passengers in the queue look on jealously as we go straight to the boarding desk to have our details checked, boarding card issued, and security photograph taken, and then we go on to security.  There has been an occasion when the security team insisted that Peter remove each drawer from the plastic cabinet that he uses, and put each one through the x-ray machine. But not this trip, thankfully.

Through security, we walked along the various corridors and tunnels directed,  We neatly duck past the photography team, who take pictures of the boarding passengers to sell back to them later, and continue onto the last boarding tunnel and the ship.

As always, there is the compulsory cleansing gel to clean your hands with, and the security guys who swipes your cruise card to check you on board.  In reception, the hotel staff are waiting for you, and some young scrap of a lad will be allocated to escort you to your cabin.  Peter wanted to offload the art kit first, so we quickly dispensed with himand got the lift up to the 8th deck where the conference room/Peter's art class room is.

Having dumped the stuff off, we went down to the 4th deck to check out our cabin.  Much smaller than the last time we were here, but nice, with a big window, which I am delighted with.

So that's it.  We're here.  We can relax and take the time to unpack, check out the ship, and do all the things that you do on a first day.  There will be a safety drill, and a meeting with the other members of the passenger enrichment program later on in the day.  But right now, we're heading upstairs to the Bistro for a cup of tea.

Norway here we come.

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