So as I said on Day 1 this morning's plan was to go Rhino hunting! The taxi to the port was booked for 12:30pm so we had a few hours. I downloaded an app onto my iPhone which gave us a map to follow. Before the hunt began we saw the Southampton Football Club mascot.
Onto the hunt, the first few that we found were in the town centre, my favourite was 'Bunty' in a shopping arcade, isn't she lovely!
In the same arcade there was a chap holding an Olympic and Paralympic torch. We had seen the Olympic torch on a couple of occasions but it was so nice to see the Paralympic one too. For personal reasons this was very special to me and Charlie and I attended the Paralympic Games last year. As it turned out the chap was telling us that it was a year to the day (27th July) since the Olympic Opening Ceremony!
Once we left the shopping area we followed the map to a park area where we found a few more rhinos and also went into the city library, inside there were quite a few miniature rhinos in the children's section. A family had told us about a mirrored rhino called 'Glint' around the corner. We had seen her on the map but were running out of time but he said she was really worth seeing so we tootled off to find her. I asked someone to photograph us all with her and uploaded the pic to Facebook!
As we made our way back to the hotel we went past a shop that we'd seen something that attracted our attention every time we saw it. Courtney in particular was enthralled so a purchase was made, later in the cruise I will introduce you to 'Funky Monkey!'
Sylvia and Hughie were already back at the hotel when we arrived and the taxi came shortly after. We'd requested a 6 seater and they indeed did send one but the 5th and 6th seats were in the boot, therefore no room for luggage! Silly really when booked they were told we were going to the cruise terminal so to me, you'd presume there would be luggage! Anyway, in the end Sylvia, Courtney and I took the taxi with all the luggage and Mark, Hughie and Charlie walked. It worked out quite well really because we booked the luggage in and by the time the boys came we were ready to check in. Boarding went smoothly, here's our official embarkation pic!
and our first view of the ship, look at the angry grey cloud! It was a lovely day so I don't know where that appeared from!
Once on board we registered Charlie and Courtney for the kid's club and then went to our cabins. When we sailed with MSC last year we had a balcony cabin, this year we decided to try an inside, Sylvia and Hughie had an outside. After unpacking we had to go to our muster station for the emergency drill, a little mundane but important part of the cruise, don't we all look good!
After dropping off our life jackets in the cabins we made our way onto the pool deck to watch the Disembarkation Pool Party! It had a real feel good factor to it, we were all dancing along!
As the ship left Southampton we made our way to the front to watch us leave. What we hadn't realised was that we were standing right under the ship's horn, it made us all jump but Courtney REALLY didn't like it and clung to us! Soon it was dinner time, we chose first sitting. It was a lovely meal and we have great waiters. Sylvia and Hughie decided to have a wander around the ship after dinner but we thought we should settle Charlie and Courtney, shortly after arriving back at our cabin Mark suggested that the children could go and join in the welcome on board activity and we could go to the top deck for a cup of tea. By this time we all had second wind and after collecting Charlie and Courtney we went to the theatre to watch the show. There is a door out onto the deck just outside the theatre and we could see the sunset through the window, it was stunning.
Do the children look tired to you? But then it really was time for bed!