Boarding MSC Orchestra

Thursday morning we awoke and had breakfast at the house.  We did our final pack and had a shower in readiness for Gary’s cousin to pick us up at 10.  The cleaning crew for the accom arrived a little before 10 with Kate arriving shortly after.

Kate was driving Sherman the German, a big old Mercedes with a massive boot.  Unfortunately the boot wasn’t big enough for all out bags so Kate dropped Kath and I at the cruise terminal and went back to pick up L&G.

We dropped off our bags and had a bit of a wander around.  L&G arrived and dropped off their bag but left again as Kate was taking them for a tour into Perth.  We went through the first gate on our way to the embarkation process.

As we were there early we received ticket number 1 which meant we would be on the first batch to go through the process.  We sat down in the waiting room and a few minutes later Kate Cebrano sat down opposite us with her daughter, manager and pianist.  We were sitting just beside where the boat was docked, so close, but not quite there yet.

You’ll notice I keep using the word ‘process’, which is the best way to describe what is indeed a long exercise, with a number of steps.  We didn’t hear our number called, but when we noticed a bunch of other people lining up we jumped in line.

First step was a line up for a photo in front of a picture of the MSC Orchestra, then into another line where we waited to receive our cruise cards and proved our means of payment for the trip.  The credit card reader on our attendants system wasn’t working so they had to put us down as cash and told us to see the account desk when on the ship.

Here we also had our picture taken that is linked to the cruise card so they can identify us as we come and go from the ship in ports.  This step took about 20 minutes.  

Then we were onto passport control which had no line at all due to the backlog in the previous step. This was painless and and there was only 3 steps left.  Next was the line up to hand over our passports, they put little stickers on the passports so they know which cabin to drop them back to at the end of the cruise.  The second last step was to go through the metal detectors.  No airport style scanning here, laptops can remain in bags, all very easy.

We’re almost there! We were now on our way to the boarding bridge where the last step involved scanning our cruise card, confirming our picture matched, and we were aboard.

It was just after midday so we headed to the buffet to grab a quick lunch and have a beverage.  I had a beer and Kath had a cider, however we quickly learnt that the cider was probably not the best option. It’s huge!! 570ml, way too much for Kath to get through at lunch.  It’s all good though, I helped her out 😉

We spend a bit of time wandering around the ship, have a shower, head to some pre-dinner drinks and eventually head off to our allocated dinner sitting, have dinner, and then call it a night.

Tonight we depart the dock at around 10pm on our way to our actual departure point which is Albany, where the diggers left from in 1914 on their way to Gallipoli.  Tomorrow is nearly a full day of sailing before we get to Albany.

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