Gone to see Europe. Semester at Sea. Fall 2012 Semester Voyage on the MV Explorer. Day 00: Halifax, Canada.
Arrival of MV Explorer in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Overnight I received an e-mail from Michael Mariant that confirmed the MV Explorer would arrive in Halifax at 08:00 hours. I went down to the harbor early to watch the sunrise, and scout a good location to photography the ship when it arrived. When the ship did not arrive at 08:00, I walked to the Halifax casino, and then back to the cruise line terminal. Part way back, I saw the MV Explorer coming into port and started taking pictures. The ship went around an island in the harbor so it could dock on the port side of the ship. After waving to Michael and the other staff and faculty on deck that sailed from Boston to Halifax, I went back to the hotel to have breakfast and pick up my luggage.
The Life Long Learners and students with work-study assignments boarded the ship the day before departure. The boarding process included inspection by both Canadian immigration authorities and ship staff. Prior to leaving we were provided with a list of prohibited items, but I noticed some students giving items back to their parents when they realized that the luggage was going to be inspected. Passports were checked and those going to Ghana and Brazil needed their visas a yellow fever vaccination certificate. I did not need the visa and Yellow fever certificate since I would be departing the voyage in Casablanca, Morocco. We all received a ship ID with the picture we provided. The luggage was both x-rayed and hand inspected. There even was a dog that sniffed the luggage. Finally, after going through a metal detector we were allowed to board the ship. The majority of the students board the ship tomorrow.
Once onboard, I found my cabin on deck 4. For this voyage, my cabin was on the starboard side of the ship. This confused me a bit since I was on the port side on my previous Enrichment Voyages. I spent the afternoon wandering around reacquainting myself with the ship and its layout. I recognized many of the ship staff from my previous Enrichment Voyages. My suitcase was delivered to my cabin mid-afternoon. In the evening a reception was held on the ship for the parents of the students that would be on the Fall 2012 voyage. I am looking forward to meeting the students and getting on way to Europe.