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After a long flight from Sydney, we spent three days relaxing in Madrid.

We then caught a local airline flight to the Mediterranean port city of Malaga, where we would board Seadream I.

Malaga is a charming town and a long-time favourite of British escaping their winter.

We kept to my credo of always arriving at foreign departure ports a day or two early (with the possibility of strikes, earthquakes and other disasters, this ensures that you don’t miss the boat) and spent our time sightseeing, shopping and enjoying the local cuisine.

Champagne on Boarding Seadream

On the day of departure we boarded Seadream I at 2 p.m.

The Captain and officers greeted us at the top of the gangway with champagne and smiles. And our baggage beat us to our stateroom as we enjoyed more of the same with canapés in the lounge while completing registration formalities.

A very nice start.