On Monday the Queen Victoria should be arriving in Southampton at about 6.30am. Peter and Lesley-Jane Nicholson will be disembarking after a cruise to the Western Mediterranean.
As they disembark, the Smith team will be arriving at the Mayflower terminal for Queen Victoria’s next cruise – to the Canaries.
Some of the shore team have been involved for some time
Linda – head housesitter – she takes over on Monday. Then she looks after the house and always leaves it cleaner and tidier than it is when she takes control.
Ian – Notary Public and accessible vehicle driver. He gets Jane to the port in our adapted Peugeot. Thinks he is Lewis Hamilton and always tries to get there first. But we love him.
Gary from Area Cars. He is always reliable and good fun. Regrettably I get paid nothing for advertising Area Cars. They always charge me full whack. If you want to get to Heathrow, or anywhere, Area Cars are the men to take you. We need them because the adapted Peugeot won’t take all of us and the luggage.
It’s always a busy time in the days leading up to a cruise. Other members of the shore team come in.
Jane St looks after Jane when I have to be out during the build up. She is a star. She goes through our diary and works out when she can be here. But she does have a fault. She refuses to fill our dishwasher as I like it to be done.
Carole G helps Jane to decide which clothes she wants to take and she comes again to pack them. She is an expert, but they always pack too much and I am always ignored when I tell them.
Chris J takes Jane out on shopping missions to find more and more clothes for Carole to pack. They always hide the credit card slips from me and inevitably, when items need to be returned, I’m the one who is blamed for not knowing where the slips are.
And Georgina and Miranda are regular supporters and lead Jane astray by taking her to National Trust estates and garden centres leaving me behind to mastermind the cruise schedule and the tours.
The person that makes cruising work for us arrives the day before departure. Kim Bigwood. This will be Kim’s 6th cruise with us. She is fantastic and without her we couldn’t contemplate joining Queen Victoria on Monday.