Well, after all the anticipation we’re finally on board! Now begins the orientation to the ship. Safety lectures, the captain’s address, tours of the ship: a maze of staircases – many of them one way: i.e. the stairs on the port side only take you up, the stairs on the starboard only take you down. Which is port? That’s the left of the ship as you face the bow (memory aid: port and left have the same number of letters). A sea of faces to get to know. Everyone very friendly and helpful: total strangers offering assistance unbidden if they see a ‘newbie’ looking lost. Ship routines to get used to. Quiet at night (although as there are two 12 hour shifts, there’s always someone asleep in the cabins), but once we’re underway tomorrow it will be a different story as our cabins are quite low down. Tonight? A last group meal onshore at a Chinese restaurant. Tomorrow? Dinner on the open ocean!