Day 1 |
May 19, 2012

Portsmouth, England  

By Imogen Corrigan, Historian

Co-ordinates: N 50º48'38", W 01º05'41"
Weather: Sunny but cool
Air Temperature: 15.2C / 53F
Pressure: 1097 hPa
Wind: 12 knots

Turn-around day is always a bit hectic and it all ends not with a bang, but a whimper. We were waving goodbye to newly made friends and running around to get everything set up for the new ones. Eight had decided they couldn’t bear to be parted from us and are staying on for the next cruise. The last couple left at about 0956, making the ship a guest-free zone, which feels strange. Small torrents of contractors checking everything from windows to laundry simply aren’t quite the same.

We needn’t have worried: within three hours it was all go again with first timers admiring the ship and Venetian members greeting each other and the staff enthusiastically. I’ve said before that it really is like a reunion and it is. Within another three hours, everyone was settled in, the mandatory briefings had been done and we were sailing away. There was quite a crowd on the top deck to watch Portsmouth become a mere dot on the horizon. The Spinnaker Tower attracted a lot of interest; it looks at its best from the water.

Introductions and a briefing for tomorrow followed. A show of hands suggested that at least 75% of the guests had not only sailed with Silversea before, but on the Silver Explorer – shouldn’t have too many lost and puzzled people to shepherd around then. Some of the guests had been travelling overnight so not many wanted a late night in the bar, although there’s always a handful with a stamina one can only admire. And the evening and the morning were the first day...