We left Wales about 10:45 on Friday morning, to drive to Southampton and join the Equinox.
The journey wasn't too bad, although M was frustrated by some of the other drivers on the road. Until we reached Southampton. I truly believe they hired a bunch of non-drivers to design a road system with the specific intention of confusing and annoying people from out of town. There's just no other explanation for the number of traffic lights, the way the lanes seem to merge and switch places without warning - or the way traffic gets backed up right into town if a cruise ship is boarding. We didn't have too much troube - about half an hour I think - but MIL & FIL took an hour in the traffic jams to get through Southampton.
Once we made it to the ship, embarkation went very smoothly. We handed over our cases, parked the car in the Royal Caribbean car park (free parking as RC own Celebrity), and in under 10 minutes were finding our cabin having already drunk our complementary glasses of sparkling wine and dodged the ship's photographers. Then we headed off to find some food, choosing the Mast Grill for our first meal. Celebrity Grills always make excellent fries, and this one had added onion rings. Sadly, my meal - cheeseburger (I only ate half the bun), fries and onion rings were all stone cold, but I believe that was down to it being very cold and windy and the gradual arrival of the passengers meaning that they couldn't judge the turn-over very well.
Next we started exploring the ship, paying particular attention to the restaurants, gym and bars.
The Equinox is a beautiful ship, and as we were the first set of paying customers everything was sparkling clean, free of wear and tear, and immaculate. It was a pleasure to explore, and I enjoyed the spa tour, where they tried to sell us ridiculously overpriced spa treatments that just made us giggle when we got out of sight. The main one being the 24 Karat gold facial, where they claim to apply a 24 K gold foil mask to your skin and leave it on to miraculously freshen your complexion.... who writes this stuff?
Then we met the PIL for drinks in the Martini bar and then went to dinner.You'll have to excuse the half-eaten lamb shank, it looked so tasty I got carried away - and it tasted as good as it looked!
Finally we explored the shops, and I got a little carried away with their excellent collection of stuffed toys (I admit it, I'm 7 at heart!!!)