Arrived on the ship…Excited to sail away…

 

This afternoon's view from our balcony.  Its good to see the ocean once again.
It’s hard to believe we’re finally aboard Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas for a 14 day cruise from Harwich, England to Boston.  Earlier today, we posted the ship’s itinerary. 



On our way through London to Harwich we spotted a number of popular attractions including this church.
As I write this, its 3:30 pm and soon we’ll be called for the muster drill which, for those of our readers who’ve never been on a cruise, is a mandatory safety procedures drill during which names are taken to ensure each passenger has attended this drill.
Buckingham Palace.
Several cruises ago, we missed the drill when we were told we didn’t have to attend when we were on a “back to back” cruise. The next day we were required to attend a private session for others like us who hadn’t attended.

Big Ben was to the right in this shot but I had no way to get the photo in traffic.



Another Ferris Wheel referred to as the "Eye."
After the muster drill, we’re headed to a party for CruiseCritic participants.  Tom is an avid follower and made many new friends on the site, many of whom we’re joining on several private tours.  That will be fun, thanks to my socially engaged hubby.  
A fast shot of the Tower of London.
Embarking on this cruise feels as if we’re we’re embarking on an entirely new leg of our years long journey.  We’ve had an unbelievable number of experiences in these past almost two years.  And, with the next two years almost completely booked, we’re looking forward to the future as well as living every moment as it comes.

Not sure as to the name of this memorial as we zoomed past.
The drive from the hotel in London to the pier in Harwich flew by as we chatted with our driver Tony who was delightful and charming.  As soon as we met, he welcomed me with a kiss on the cheek, a common greeting in the UK. 
A memorial near Buckingham Palace. With WiFi restrictions, we're unable to look up the names of these monuments.
Whoever said Brits are stuffy hasn’t been to the UK in awhile.  They are warm and kindly people with big hearts and a great sense of humor.  We loved that fact about London more than anything.

At last our ship, Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas.
After the party at 4:45, we’ll return to our cabin to change for dinner and mosey our way to the main dining room for what we expect will be an enjoyable evening sharing a table with six or more passengers.

We always appreciate having a sofa in the cabin as opposed to lying on the bed when relaxing.
Tomorrow morning at 8 am, we’re off on our first tour to Le Havre/Normandy, France for an all day excursion to see WWII Omaha Beach, Utah Beach and American Cemeteries.   As mentioned earlier, we’ll post a short update with photos as soon as possible upon our return to our cabin, prior to heading for dinner. 

Our balcony cabin.  The queen sized bed seems comfortable.
Our MiFi device is working.  The ship’s WiFi is working.  We’ll alternate between the two sources depending upon our location; out to sea, we’ll use the ship’s WiFi; in port, we’ll use the MiFi. 

Tiny cabin bathroom.
Unfortunately, we both had to spring for the ship’s WiFi service at US $399 each.  However, we have several on board credits we can use toward the final bill which we’ll post as the cruise nears the end.

A roomy safe is also appreciated.
Happy Labor Day tomorrow to our family and friends in the US and thanks to all for joining us as we head out to sea for our second Transatlantic crossing, our first westward.
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Photo from one year ago today, August 31, 2013:

There was no post on this date one year ago as we headed to Venice to spend the night in a hotel to prepare for the next day's very long flight to Kenya.

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