COLUMBUS 11th June 2017, Part 1
Sunday 11th June
Another weekend, another little trip with CMV, and this time on their ship COLUMBUS. I made my way to London and Fenchurch Street station via Tower Hill, (lovely view of the previous Port of London Authority building)
and took the local train east to Tilbury. I am booked on a three-night trip to Amsterdam and Antwerp yet again, but this is a new ship for CMV, and a group of us are looking forward to sailing on her.
Once in the London Cruise Terminal at Tilbury we were informed that there were computer problems, and that boarding had been delayed. Glasses of Sparkling Wine were then handed round to everyone and eventually we were able to board. I made my way to my twin inside cabin 10209, starboard midships, which looked spacious and comfortable.
This ship has had many names and owners since she was built in 1989, including SITMAR FAIRMAJESTY, STAR PRINCESS, ARCADIA, OCEAN VILLAGE, PACIFIC PEARL, PACIFIC P and now COLUMBUS. Now with Cruise & Maritime Voyages as their flagship, she is 63,786 gross tons.
Our large group met up for lunch and then dispersed around the ship to take photographs or simply enjoy the summer sunshine on deck.
Lifeboat Drill was scheduled for 3.15 and I made my way to one of only two muster stations on the ship. COLUMBUS has 775 cabins, allowing for 1,400 passengers, and this includes 150 cabins for solo passenger use. Bearing this in mind, I thought the Lifeboat Drill was absolute chaos, with far too many people crammed into far too little space. Many of us had to stand close together in the public rooms used for the two muster stations, holding our lifejackets, and still move to allow other passengers to get through the crush to the other muster station. I was standing near a couple of people in wheel chairs, although I was too tightly packed in to see anyone else. I shudder to think what it might be like in a real emergency!
The end of the passenger Lifeboat Drill was a great relief and I was pleased to be able to get back on deck for our departure from the London Cruise Terminal here at Tilbury. On the quayside there were plumes of coloured smoke to celebrate our sailing, as we headed off into the English summer sunshine and the sea.
Later on I unpacked my possessions and realised that my passport would be put into a cabin safe with the name label on it of OCEAN VILLAGE.
Walking around the decks I was glad to see a Coffee Shop with sea views, swimming pools, outdoor bars, the Plantation Bistro with the Fusion area, the Dome Observatory/nightclub with its panoramic view out to sea, and the Waterfront Restaurant with wonderful views at the stern. The atrium was spacious and the carpeting in there was what I shall call eye-catching.
Pre-dinner drinks were enjoyed in the Connexions Bar, before dinner at our allocated tables in the Waterfront Restaurant. Clocks go forward one hour tonight as we sail towards arrival tomorrow morning in Amsterdam.
Ships seen: Columbus, Silver Wind sailing past us in Tilbury, Morning Champion, and something of Finnlines berthed in Tilbury.
To be continued...