All aboard – Part 1

I have just returned from what can only be described as the trip of a lifetime. A vacation so mahoosive that this blog can’t possibly do it justice? Challenge accepted….

We begin where all the great stories and some of the bad ones do, in a galaxy far, far away. No, wait… we began this trip by taking our housemate and Mrs Bob’s favourite animal, Dog, to his cat hotel. Much yowling and crying ensued … and that was just Mrs Bob. She’s become very attached to our furry little git bag AKA Dog. While she was struggling with this transition quite a lot. I was very grateful for my neurodiverse brain and its very logical way of thinking about things. That way I can compartmentalise it and not become affected by things like this.

This meant we had 24 hrs to finish packing and get ready to begin our adventures. So, the following morning, at dawn, we piled everything into the car and drove with a cheery song in our hearts to Southampton, even managing to grab a flying visit to an old friend on the way and also find gluten free pizza once we arrived at the docks. to climb aboard our floating home-from-home for the next two weeks, the Celebrity Silhouette. Two thousand other people had the same idea, though, and it was chaos getting aboard, but we were soon installed in our beautiful cabin.

The ship was massive – I mean really massive – compared to the last cruise liner we travelled on. As we were welcomed aboard with champagne and smiles, I suddenly became anxious about the size of the place and getting lost within the labyrinth of corridors and rooms. Fortunately, Mrs Bob was at hand to help me get my bearings alongside handy 3D maps (see below).

We eventually found our stateroom and decided to sit on the balcony while we awaited the arrival of our cases. After a bit of a rest, we had the usual safety evacuation drill thingy you have on every cruise. This was horrific, there’s no other word for it. Even Mrs Bob struggled. There were deafeningly loud tannoy announcements and strobe lights flashing everywhere, which was very difficult for me, as I felt very disoriented by it all. Fortunately, I had my bright mint green wireless noise cancelling headphones which helped me focus on the job at hand rather than stumbling round like a drunk university fresher. Those headphones became my signature accessory on the cruise and I was recognised for them… even getting comments about where they were if I didn’t wear them!

After this formality, we set sail for the first port of call – Guernsey – and it was time to begin exploring around the ship while Mrs Bob relaxed her back (which was not good after the long journey down etc). I was in full explorer mode by then, having relaxed a bit, and found my bearings. I started by searching for the pool area and, most importantly, the bar. I must stress that working in the licensed industry, I actually don’t drink very often, maybe one in a month, if that. Plus I’m allergic to beer, lager & Guinness, but I was on holiday and out to enjoy myself! I found several of the bars that were dotted around the ship, and once I had a rough map of the ship in my head, and easily found our cabin again, I felt confident in finding my way around the ship.

It was also handy that right next to our stateroom was The Hideaway – an area with lots of quiet pods, seats and a freshly-ground coffee machine, so I did what I do best “I drink (coffee) and I read things”. It was so peaceful sitting there and seeing our new neighbours finding their cabins, and watching the really impressive – beautiful looking- lifts whizz up and down the 15 decks to one side of me.

So began the start of two weeks rest & relaxation. And travel. Lots of travel.

To be continued….

Stay Safe X

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