Trip Start May 26, 2010
15Trip End Jun 10, 2010
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Where I stayed
This morning we awoke at 8:00 AM (0800) in chilly, overcast London. Our ride to the port of Dover arrived early, but the driver was quite gracious and waited for us to finish breakfast and check out of the hotel. He called my mobile phone, which worked perfectly.
The wireless service in Europe is outstanding, unlike the USA. We have 3 levels of service in the USA. They are no signal, lousy signal and poor signal. Given all the politics at home over towers, I doubt we will ever see service like they have over here. It's our loss.
The ride to Dover was interesting. Our driver told us there was an accident so he would take us through the city to avoid the traffic jam. We went through southwest London, and got to see an area we have not visited. It's a very diverse area with people from all over the world. Eventually we cleared the city and headed southeast towards Dover.
The English countryside is beautiful. It is incredibly green and verdant. There were acres of wildflowers in bloom. We saw lots of live stock, including sheep, cows and horses. Large fields of buckwheat were in bloom. It was a nice offset to the grey sky and occassional rain showers. It was classic English weather - cool, dreary and just enough rain to be an annoyance.
The ride was great until we were about close to Dover. The traffic stopped cold, and didn't move for about 15 minutes. We thought there was an accident, but in the end it was just heavy traffic. We crawled into the city. This is a 3 day weekend in England as it is in the USA, so I guess everyone was headed to the coast. We eventually arrived at the ship, 2 hours after departing London.
The check in process was a breeze, and we were on board in less than 10 minutes
Our cabin is on the 7th deck, about halfway between midship and aft. We are on the port side (left). This port is unusual in that the ship docks on the starboard side. I always choose a port cabin as usually they dock on the port side, and the views in port are always interesting.
Dover is an interesting port. It is not really a natural harbor. Large breakwaters were built to protect the small harbor. The port is very busy with many ships and ferrys running between England the continent. Ship traffic was constant as we waited to depart. It was fun to watch.
We had a nice view of Dover Castle and the famous white cliffs. Unfortunately the dismal weather did not give us the best conditions to enjoy or photograph the cliffs. We could not see France today due to the poor visibility. It showered on and off all afternoon.
Our luggage arrived quickly and Annie was able to unpack
We made our dinner reservation for 6:30 PM. By a stroke of incredible luck, we were given an incredible, private table for 2 in the back corner of the dining room. This will be our table for the whole cruise. Our waiter said it is the "honeymoon table", due to the privacy. It's the best table we've ever had on a cruise.
Dinner was excellent. We had no problem keeping within our guidelines. Annie did cheat at dessert, but I stayed on track with a fruit plate. The portions have shrunk over the years, which is perfect for us.
After dinner we explored the ship. We did a little shopping and found the health club. We're going to do a workout tomorrow.
Speaking of tomorrow, we will be at sea all day. I'll get some pictures of the ship if we get some sun. Our first port stop is on Monday in Copenhagen. The forecast is not good, hopefully they are wrong.
The satellite connection is too slow tonight to upload pictures. I'll try again tomorrow.