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Sunday, June 30, 2024

Southampton Disembarkation Day

Aloha Everyone,

A very active day. Our disembarkation was painless. There was no passport control, no customs. After we gathered our luggages, J.J. and I walked to the taxi stand just outside of where our ship docked and took a cab to Leonardo Royal Southampton Hotel.

We had nearly 5 hours before our room became available. We left two luggages plus my backpack and walked to the walled city. Interesting that on our precious stay in Southampton, our Leonardo Hotel was in the city center. We walked through a beautiful park to go anywhere not realizing how close everything was to the ancient Walled City.

Our lunch was at Wagamama, a Japanese restaurant where we previously dined. My Vegetarian Yakisoba and J.J.’s noodle soup dishes US$36. 

For dinner, it was Ottoman’s Turkish food. In both cases, having clean toilets were high in our consideration. $59.50 was a fair price for large quantities and authentic Turkish foods. Purchased croissants and a few supplies before we returned to the hotel.

Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Zeebrugge, Belgium

Aloha Everyone,

The port area is off limits to pedestrians. We boarded a free shuttle from the ship to just outside of the port gate. A different shuttle bus services were being offered to the town center. The price, 25 euros round trip per person. Buses aren’t permitted to enter the city center. We walked from the bus parking lot to the train station.

Used clean pay toilet at the station for 1 euro per person. We then hired a taxi for 100 euros for one hour.

Ahmad, our taxi driver, told us that he  is originally from Syria. He turned out to be an excellent driver. Lack of a mutually common language led to minor misunderstanding and guessing games but otherwise Ahmed gave me chances to take photos inside the walled city.

Light lunch of coffee and croissants before we returned to the bus parking lot. 30 more minutes wait until we boarded our prepaid shuttle. Witnessed couples dispute and displaying frustration. Heat, dust, fatigue and unable to identify the bus you’re supposed to be taking can put people on edges.

At dinner we met Cyndie from New Zealand. She is continuing next two weeks cruises on Regal Princess. Looking forward to getting her input on New Zealand weather in October and ports of calls we will be visiting.

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, June 28, 2024

Sea Day

Aloha Everyone,

Rough sea day. J.J. brought me crackers and hot tea for breakfast and lunch. By late afternoon, the weather had improved and I was able to walk by holding JJ’s hand. 

Formal night and Captain’s Circle invitation was on our agenda. Neither one of us felt like dressing up. I didn’t want to wear a dress with 2 inches heels.

Aloha -- Cathi