Boarded the ship today and soon we’ll begin sailing across the Atlantic to the USA!…

Our cabin, nice and tidy before our luggage arrives.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Southampton, England:From this site:

“Archaeological finds suggest that the area has been inhabited since the stone age.[15] Following the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43 and the conquering of the local Britons in AD 70, the fortress settlement of Clausentum was established. It was an important trading port and defensive outpost of Winchester, at the site of modern Bitterne Manor. Clausentum was defended by a wall and two ditches and is thought to have contained a bathhouse. Clausentum was not abandoned until around 410. The Anglo-Saxons formed a new, larger, settlement across the Itchen centred on what is now the St Mary’s area of the city. The settlement was known as Hamwic, which evolved into Hamtun and then Hampton. Archaeological excavations of this site have uncovered one of the best collections of Saxon artifacts in Europe. It is from this town that the county of Hampshire gets its name. Viking raids from 840 onwards contributed to the decline of Hamwic in the 9th century, and by the 10th century a fortified settlement, which became medieval Southampton, had been established.”
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After a light breakfast in the hotel’s dining room, we returned to our room to close the bags and be ready to head out the door.  We ordered a taxi to take us to the cruise terminal at 10:45 am which is a little early but we’ve gone to the terminal this early in the past and it’s always worked out.
Alternate view of our balcony cabin.  We’re always fine with the small space since we only sleep here.


This is our first-time sailing from Southampton and we had no idea what to expect. As I write this from our hotel room we’re hoping the Wi-Fi on the ship will be active at the time of boarding enabling us to complete today’s post including a few photos of the ship, Celebrity Silhouette.


With approximately 2900 passengers booked for this cruise. check-in may be slow but nothing compared to the bigger ships with several thousand more passengers. We have avoided those huge ships.  


However, with our Elite(priority) status, we are able to get into a faster-moving queue which speeds up the process considerably.  The porters take all of our bags away at check-in, leaving us to carry only a computer bag which we don’t want out of our sight and the blue cloth bag containing a camera and a few other essentials.

Another cloudy rainy day in Southampton harbour.


After boarding, most often, we head to the cafeteria or Cafe al Bacio for beverages. This is when the socializing begins. Aboard ship, we don’t dine as early as we usually do when preparing our own meals.  We strive to be seated at a shared table by 7:30 or 8:00 pm, depending on how much fun we’re having elsewhere.


Generally, we won’t receive our luggage to our cabin until close to dinner or thereafter.  Thus, we’re wearing clothing suitable for tonight’s dinner in the main dining room, not dressy but less casual than we might wear on any day. 


The muster drill transpires today at 3:15 pm when emergency instructions are delivered by ship staff.  Each cabin has its own designated muster drill area which may be outside on the deck, in a restaurant or at the theatre.

Lounge area on the same level as our cabin.  It’s unlikely we’ll ever sit here.


Once the muster drill is over which usually requires about 40 minutes we are free for the remainder of the evening when the fun picks up where we left off, mid-day.


The check-in process was seamless with no hitches whatsoever. Within minutes of arriving at the cruise terminal, our bags were whisked away, we check-in for the cruise and boarded the ship.


Tom went to the internet cafe and set up both of our accounts and now with a good signal, we were able to finish today’s post.  Thanks for your patience in the late posting.


We’ll be back each day with more photos and updates on the cruise and the ports of call we visit.


Back at you soon.  Have a fantastic weekend!

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Photo from one year ago today, October 24, 2018:
Last night’s full moon over Marloth Park.  For more photos, please click here.

Southampton, England…A great hotel for two nights…

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The Leonardo Southampton Royal Grand Harbour hotel. (Not our photos).
Fascinating Fact of the Day About Southampton, England:

From this site:

“Southampton is a port city on England’s south coast. It’s home to the SeaCity Museum, with an interactive model of the Titanic, which departed from Southampton in 1912. Nearby, Southampton City Art Gallery specializes in modern British art. Solent Sky Museum features vintage aircraft like the iconic Spitfire. Tudor House & Garden displays artifacts covering over 800 years of history, including a penny-farthing bike.”
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The hotel we selected in Southampton for two nights is the Leonardo Royal  Southampton Grand Harbour is located only minutes to the cruise terminal. For these dates, the nightly rate is GBP 180, US $231.  
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The hotel at night.

We used accumulated points in Expedia and only paid GBP 145.50, US $187.06 for both nights in a king room with breakfast included which we prepaid at the time of booking.



Yesterday, taking our time on the drive and stopping for a light lunch we arrived at the hotel later than expected. Subsequently, we dined in the hotel’s restaurant.  Unfortunately, the lovely couple, Kim and Keith, whom we’d planned to meet for dinner, canceled due to Kim’s bad cold. They didn’t want us to catch it which we really appreciated. There are plenty of germs on cruises as it is.
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One of the many seating areas in the hotel.

As typical for hotels, the meal in the restaurant was good, not great, with prices commensurate with what we’ve observed in the UK these past few months.  Tonight, we may go out or dine in the bar which has a great menu for my way of eating.  


Food is not so important to us these few days when we have the cruise ahead of us where they’ll make everything befitting my restricted diet. In any case, we don’t make cruising about the food.  
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A king room.

For us, it’s the opportunity to socialize with other travelers from all over the world that make cruising special. Now, situated in the hotel bar preparing today’s post at a table close to an electric outlet without much social interaction. We’ll make up for it soon enough. 


My fast dying laptop (almost five years old) requires I work with it plugged in with the battery also on its last leg. On the upcoming cruise, we’ll have to find a spot close to an outlet. 
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Typical English breakfast served buffet-style in the main dining room.


We’ve been able to find a good place to sit near an outlet on the past several cruises. Cruising on this particular ship, Celebrity Silhouette is new to us and we’re hopeful we’ll find a spot close to all the action. 


We prefer not to be isolated when working on the post especially when other passengers stop by to chat. It may take six or seven hours for me to complete one post with all the interruptions but we love the interactions with other passengers and, from time to time, crew members.

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Cruise ships are often waiting in this harbour for enthusiastic cruise passengers.

It’s funny how passengers will say when they see us working on our laptops, “Couldn’t you have left the work at home?”  


We laugh and often say, “This is “home” at the moment.”


Yes, we continue with our daily tasks, handling photos, the posts, financial matters, banking and so forth wherever we may be at any given time. Its the nature of our peculiar lifestyle.


I don’t have anything in the way of photos today. It’s raining and we don’t care to walk in the rain nor do we want to pay a taxi to take us around when we’ve already returned the rental car.  

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This is where we’re seated now as we prepare today’s post.

Yesterday, when we arrived and couldn’t get a signal on the phone and thus we drove around Southampton (population 253,651) and had a good look.  It’s a very nice city but with too much traffic and commotion for us after these quiet months in the English (and Wales) countryside.

The cruise will be the perfect segue back to a crowded environment when afterward we’ll be on Minnesota highways with plenty of traffic, horn honking, and impatient drivers, typical for any large city.

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Map of our hotel and its close proximity to the harbour. Regardless of the weather, we’ll still have to take a taxi to the cruise terminal.

We always say the most courteous drivers in the world are in South Africa. The slower vehicles always move to the shoulder to let others pass on both highways and on dirt roads. We’ve never ceased to be amazed by this phenomenon.  


(Yeah, I know…I miss it, and every day I wonder if immigration will allow us to return and if we can rent the Orange house again…and then if “you know who” will return to see me.)

Well, folks, tomorrow is another “day-in-the-life” of these two nomads as we board yet another cruise, this time a transatlantic crossing. 

Happy hump day to all the working people and happy any-day to the retirees!
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Photo from one year ago today, October 23, 2018:
Single file, from matriarch to baby.  For more photos, please click here.