We stepped off our tour bus, walked a few steps on a gang plank and were officially embarked on our 10-day cruise aboard the M/V Corinthian.
I’ve never met a ship I didn’t like but I certainly prefer the boarding process on smaller vessels. Instead of waiting in long lines with thousands of other passengers on the big cruise liners, it is such a breeze to board a small ship.
Takes minutes, not hours.
Since only 79 passengers are on my cruise and we are split into four groups with four different program directors, there was no waiting at all. Our cabin keys were ready. A crew member led us to our cabins. Luggage swiftly arrived.
We had a late lunch in the ship dining room and we had almost three hours to settle in and explore the ship before we would have the mandatory safety drill, a welcome aboard drink with the crew, quick briefing on the ship and activities, then dinner at 7 p.m.
Already on my bed when I checked into my cabin were the daily program for our next day and a listing of the lunch and dinner choices for the next day. That cuisine sheet is something new that cruise line passengers had requested and Grand Circle happily obliged.
It might seem strange to know the night before what your meal choices will be for the next day but I find it quite pleasant. No dawdling over the menu when we sit down to eat. I’ve already got my choices made – unless I change my mind which is quite possible when the server describes some of the dishes.
That cuisine page also has a corner called Chef’s Local Inspiration & Discovery which talks about some of the regional food and drink.
For example, one of our soup choices of Cock a Leekie Soup is described as a Scottish dish consisting of leeks and peppered chicken stock, often thickened with rice or sometimes barley. The original recipe added prunes during cooking and traditionalists still garnish the soup with a julienne of prunes. I might try it.
In past cruises, I have either taken photos of the daily menus or written them down in my notebook to share with you. Now everything is there neatly arranged for me on that daily information sheet. I’ve scheduled a time to sit down with the chef so will write more about him later.