After popping back to my friend Juanita’s house in Perth for a few hours, it was time to head off for my big adventure. Once we arrived at the Fremantle Passenger Terminal, a lady porter came to the car for my case. A couple of quick photos before saying goodbye to Juanita and going to check-in. Because my deck (3) wasn’t until 3pm, they weren’t going to let me on until I pointed out I’m a Diamond member. It’s a little bit of a pain but you know, I REALLY wish ours did that at times. P&O were SUPPOSED to for the Grand Event but didn’t, resulting in chaos! Once at the top, you were directed to the departure lounge where you had to fill in the usual norovirus form and also an immigration one stating the country you were disembarking. As it was still within Australia, I was advised to write Sydney. I’d been given number 3, as I was C&A, which had been called but was called again. Check-in was followed by immigration where you presented your passport and they took the immigration form. Security check and then on!
Lunch was in the Windjammer and, despite the lovely heat, hardly anyone sat outside. I was worried you were no longer able to now with Izumi on one side and Rita’s Cantina on the other. The ship had undergone ‘Revitalization’ so many areas I’d known from Jewel had been changed as they added stuff from Oasis. Mind you, one which was no great loss was Portofino next to the Schooner Bar, or Fartofino we nicknamed it. It had been replaced by Giovanni’s Table and I hoped the food didn’t result in the same side effect. There was also a Diamond Club next to the Viking Crown Lounge, while the old cigar bar had become the Concierge Lounge. The little bit of deck I loved on Jewel above the bridge was now for those using the Concierge Lounge – grrr! Afterwards I went to find my cabin, 3509. As much as I would have LOVED a window in case we got some beautifully awful weather, it was too much with the single supplement. People always say Royal Caribbean (and Celebrity) charge double but I can honestly say if they did, I wouldn’t be here nor done a few other long cruises with both lines the past couple of years. They did charge double when I first cruised with them in 2007 but have become more reasonable since. My cabin was very nice though and not the first inside I’ve had. At least the ceiling isn’t as low as Indy! When I’d done Jewel, it was on the Friends & Family so I was staying in a crew cabin along the I-95 on Deck 2. Not crew, not classed as a C&A member, not really a normal passenger so could have skipped muster since I wasn’t on the list at my station. It was an odd situation being an in-betweeny! At least now I in familiar territory.
The Centrum is so much nicer than Jewel’s. After the wonderful light flooding through the windows on Vision, the darkness of Jewel on deck 4 was a bit claustrophobic in comparison. Radiance’s was brilliant and I stayed a couple of hours listening to the music while chatting to people. Muster was 5pm despite us not sailing until 6.30pm and already I could hear Brits complaining. Stay at home then! Like Jewel, my muster station was the theatre and the only times I had been inside. I met my stewardess Clarion as I was heading to sailaway and she’s a lot of fun. We actually left about 11 minutes early, with just one short blast to let anyone know. After turning we headed to open water, several people on the quay whistling, cheering, photographing. Once we neared the Moles, the wind whipped up. We dropped the pilot not long after our turn then I went inside.
The Welcome Aboard show featured Ben Murphy, a magician, who I’m sure I’ve seen somewhere before.
Then dinner and rather annoyingly, considering this eclectic mix of nationalities and ages, they put me with elderly 4 Brit couples! Please, RCCL, put single travellers TOGETHER! I’d rather have a table on my own than be ignored as the couples talk to each other. Bit of shopping then bed and what a lovely rough night!
We were due into Albany at 1pm and the Captain came on with his noon announcement as I was having lunch. It was ever so windy that our lone bagpiper playing to welcome us needed to shelter. The chairs even had trouble staying put on the dockside but none ended up in the water. They put them inside in the end.
I took the chance to explore the ship while most were off before popping off briefly for photos and getting wet from the sea spray as I did it. This is just a taste. A full photo tour will be in the review on my site in April.
As my cabin is below the Aurora theatre, I can hear everything. The show was Tracey Shield being Celine Dion, who had been on another cruise but I didn’t bother going. Judging by the rehearsal, I wasn’t missing much! Our sailaway was in the dark before 8pm.
After dinner I decided to have an early night but couldn’t until she’d shut up singing songs which mainly weren’t Celine Dion. So the point of her act is???? Sea was lovely and rough again.
Esperance was the following day and our final call in Western Australia. Due to the wind, I wondered whether we’d even get there or if it would be like Guernsey. I was booked on the Esperance Town Tour tour, meeting at 9.15pm but with things running late we didn’t get led to the tender until ten minutes later. It was very bouncy just being alongside, so bad a Japanese lady got off! The crossing was smoother.