Just as I thought, I couldn't find an older cruise schedule (but I found two of the more recent ones, coincidentally starting from the date the 'good management' left the ship and different kinds of 'bad management' started rolling in), so I had to resort to retracing my steps via facebook lol. Well, I did write on this postcard 'here is a first postcard!' so that I can be sure of :D I flew to Hamburg while the ship was still on dry dock, had a few days of practice, and...then off to Southampton, the ship's turn-around port. The first cruise was so-called 'party cruise' or 'booze cruise' - those are generally the short 2-3 day trips over to Zeebruge/Bruges As those are the busiest cruises (you have to fit in all the different shoots plus the selling into a small time-frame) I didn't even go out in Zeebrugge. Well I couldn't have anyway as the company I worked for still didn't sort out my Bermuda ID by that point, plus it requires actual planning and sufficient free time to get to Bruges, so I thanked the Lord that I have visited lovely Bruges on my own, and simply had some rest.
Party cruise, or should I say 'fiery baptism' (is what we call any tough introduction into a job), over and done with, Xmas cruise around the Canary Islands (and a few other ports) next. Madeira was a delight - I actually had enough free time to go to the Funchal town centre, have a stroll, enjoy a bit of a Xmassy-feel, have a snack, and buy some postcards. Many souvenir (and tobacco) shops were open and were also selling stamps - not that you could tell from this stamp-less postie..!