Day 1 on Rhapsody of the Seas was longer than I had planned, and while it involved boarding a big and exciting cruise ship it largely involved sitting in Circular Quay. A cloudless sunny day and Sydney is picture postcard perfect so we decide to get a ferry across the harbour to meet the big ship.

We’re early – the kids have been packed and ready for this holiday for a week, and up since dawn ready to board, so we head for Windjammer Café, the buffet restaurant at the bow of the ship, for lunch. My son does a quick tour of the buffet bar and gives me a hug – Roast meat and gravy don’t feature heavily on the menu at home.

Then it’s a bit of exploration, a swim and discussion of onboard activities before dinner and the long wait for the ship to sail, which finally happens close to midnight. And its far, far more exciting than leaving an airport. This is old-school.

Boarding a ship for my first family cruise is a bit like entering another dimension. The décor is’80s art deco, with brass and mirrors everywhere you look. The people play whist and bridge and use a Community Board to organise meetings for Red Hat Societies and Friends of Dorothy. It’s going to be interesting that’s for sure.