Day 3 – London to Harwich (check-in and boarding cruise)

Another day and another opportunity for me to apply some key lessons. As we had difficulty moving about on the tube on day 1, I was not going to make that mistake again, off to Liverpool Station in a taxi. There is always just another adventure just around the corner and today was no exception. Liverpool station is just a minor adventure. Down the escalation with many bags, large station and no idea where to go. So, off to the help desk. After some minor questions and answers – I was off to purchase tickets. We got our tickets for the train to Harwich International with moments to spare. Once our gate was up on the board, we were off for the next part, sitting on the train for about an hour. The train ride was definitely a good way for us to view the country-side. 

The day was rolling along very smoothly. Yes, I wrote it and quickly the tides turned as we got closer to the check-in for the cruise. Walking up, I noticed that there were not many folks waiting around. My wife and I have been on a few cruises and the check-in usually has quite a few folks waiting around. We were greeted nicely with a smile and a memo that the departure time has been changed, due to the last cruise having about a 300 or so folks get sick causing the cruise line to super cleaning the complete ship. We checked in and were shuffled off to a bus to take us to a locate hospitality area. We rode to Colcesther and to the local football stadium. Many folks were upset, unhappy and tired from their travels. Me, it was an inconvenience but rolled with it. No need to upset yourself over something that you have no control over. We got to continue to experience new things, what more can you ask for. After hours we were called to board the bus and head back to board. Excitement starts to set in again. Once back, there were lots of people now waiting to board, a familiar sight. We got on board and were greeted with another smile and an announcement that we are only allowed in the common areas, no checking out your room, they are still being super cleaned. The silver lining in this was that you actually had plenty of time to see the ship. The Jewel of the Sea is a very large ship (Royal Caribbean Cruise Line), with that time we got to explore all over before leaving port. It was a very long day, as we were finally allowed to get to our staterooms around 10pm. I was lucky, as all of our luggage was waiting for us in the room. Unpack and finally get some sleep.

Overall, the ship’s crew did an amazing job with handle the customer service end. The crew smiled and tried their best to remain positive throughout the late afternoon and evening. Many people could have taken a lesson from keeping a positive attitude – as it helps to make a bad situation at least seem better.

Lessons learned from Day 3:

  • Stuff happens; you must roll with them and stay positive throughout. I watched so many people set themselves off to a very bad start to a 12 day vacation. Me, stayed upbeat, smiled and enjoyed the people around me.
  • No question this day was rough for me and many others. Not as rough as the crew that did have to deal with the super cleaning. So as bad as you think it is for you – someone else is having it worse.

Things I would have done differently:

  • Called ahead to the cruise line to see if there were any delays in boarding.  Especially that day… As it was the Queen’s birthday parade and is a big deal in London. I know I would have like to experience that. Since we did not really board the ship till after 4pm, I could have gotten an opportunity to see the Queen and everything that goes with that day.
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