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Dave 07-28-2009 01:56 PM

No updates yet, but I wanted to start the thread. I am currently in my hotel room in London suffering the ravages of jet lag. I arrived on-time this morning at Gatwick. Celebrity had a driver (with a new Mercedes) waiting for me. After a 90 minute drive to the hotel and a useless 2 hour nap, it was up again and off for the press team dinner in town. Very impressive group of journalists with a couple faces I've seen before on network TV.

We board buses tomorrow morning and head to Southampton and the ship. Since CruiseMates is sponsoring me, they get the reports of the ship and the naming ceremony. I'll be posting a live link to CruiseMates once Paul Motter sets it up. However I will post personal asides and other observations here (stuff that won't be in the articles at CruiseMates).

Great dinner tonight at OxO restaurant overlooking the Thames. I had great dinner company with two highly experienced writers from Philadelphia - they write for newspapers and magazines.

But the night was not without controversy. It seems the person who scouted the route to the restaurant used the typical small British car - and then handed the directions to the typical 50 passenger bus driver. All was well until a couple hundred yards from the restaurant when a street sign which intruded into the road at about 10 feet contacted the bus and scrapped along the side, finally shattering (but not breaking) a window behind me. Nobody was injured but the driver wasn't happy. I now know how some of those words on our banned list sound with an English accent.

Cruise Fanatic 07-28-2009 02:12 PM

There's a review out already from the 1-nt inaugural. Sounds like she is fabulous. Looking forward to your assessment. Rest up and have a great time.

billybuzzy 07-28-2009 02:43 PM

Dave -You've already begun - sounds like a "smashing" success already!! However one "close scrape " is enough, get some seaweed between your toes and climb aboard! Oh-Stay away from chocolate factories!!!

Bon Voyage,


Cruise Fanatic 07-28-2009 02:48 PM

I'll take some Droste or Toblerone.

LisaP 07-28-2009 03:38 PM

Dave, do we have any new words to add to the banned list?

I'm glad you had this first day to recover from the travel before boarding the ship. Remember to look around the terminal... lots of great ship posters from times past.

billybuzzy 07-28-2009 03:38 PM

CF - This must be a sort of "Cruisebug Pandemic"of Chocolateism!!! First Dave and now you too! Best you book the Equinox ASAP - you need to take the cure!!!


Dwayne 07-28-2009 07:32 PM

Dave, that sounds like an interesting way to arrive. Hope you get some rest, and I look forward to your reports.


penny3333 07-29-2009 06:22 AM

Thanks for keeping us updated, sounds like it's already been a smashing success!

Nadine 07-29-2009 06:35 AM

Dave, I'll look forward to your reports. It is so exciting that you are there and can participate in the festivities and learn a new dialect at the same time!


Dave 07-29-2009 10:54 AM

The naming ceremony was just completed. Beautiful. We are seriously hamstrung by internet problems on the ship. Wi-fi is down and I am having to share computers with everyone else - either in the media center or the internet cafe. Thus I can't find time to upload photos.

CruiseMates has the story here. I hope to upload photos and a link to them later tonight.

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