I woke early as the ship was docking in Southampton, and when it was light I noticed a ship docked right beside us – it looked like the Eclipse was in for some maintenance. I could see the Queen Mary in the distance – there are three ships in Southampton today.
We had breakfast in Blu and said our farewells – we have been very lucky with our dinner companions; we have always met very nice people at dinner and this cruise was no exception. We headed back to the cabin to collect everything and then onto the Eclipse Theatre to wait to be called. I had heard an announcement that we could get off, but we were on the wrong deck for the gangway and ended up waiting in the Theatre – which was a good thing apparently because I overheard staff talking about the long winding queue.
Five minutes later we were called – as was everyone else with luggage tags 3 to 30!!!! – and of course, we joined another queue. It moved quickly and we were off the ship in about 5 minutes.
When you are trying to get almost 3000 people off a ship in a very short period of time, one should expect that there will be an element of chaos involved. Yet, today I saw many people get angry and frustrated, using words like nightmare. Not quite, in my opinion, but it would again be helped by people demonstrating common sense rather than assuming they are the only people in the room. And I’m beginning to think that luggage trolleys are evil because they have a mind of their own, and only contribute to the chaos.
A quiet trip to Heathrow, a day in the Sofitel Hotel at Terminal 5 where we could catch up on work, repack, have afternoon tea at the tea restaurant, and shower before we walked to the Heathrow Express Station at the terminal – about 10 minutes walk with lots of lifts to help with luggage. We transferred to Terminal 3 on the Heathrow Express (free of charge) and then spent a few hours in the lounge waiting for our flight. I must be getting old, because there was a man in the lounge who spent the entire time he was there (about an hour) talking non stop – and it was all about him, how great he was at work, and how much his wife didn’t understand him. Okay… Very annoying for me.
We are now back at home, after an uneventful flight, expect for the amazing sunrise as we flew towards Melbourne – blues, oranges, white – the colour was vivid and mesmerising. I tried to take a photo but nothing seemed to work out.
It does not seem like we have been away for a month – which is sad, and which is why I write these journals and take photos. Now to start planning the next cruise!