Virgin Atlantic has terribly cramped seats but really good in-flight entertainment. We took off in sunlight; all the little airplane windows got closed; all the little airplane windows got opened; it was still/again sunny out. Very disconcerting.
The Royal Caribbean minions were easy to spot when we got off the plane at Heathrow, although there was a fair bit of waiting around before we got on the bus to Harwich (which is not, as I thought, pronounced harr-wick, but rather hair-ridge). The bus ride itself was fairly pleasant. I had a really good time watching Andres react to all the slight differences of car types and gas station names and general Britishness. He was very enthusiastic; it was cute.
The bus dropped us off at a large port-related building in which we stood in yet another line with our passports and so forth (fortunately, we were pretty inured at this point) to get our stateroom key / cruise identity cards. While in line, we spotted my parents, then got our picture taken for what looked like some official purpose but turned out to just be the first in a long line of cruise people taking our picture so they could try to sell it to us later.
Our stateroom was cramped, but not unlivably so. There were odd panels in the ceiling that we later learned were extra beds that could be lowered to hang against the walls over the main beds (two twins pushed together; we kept falling in the crack). We explored the boat a bit, had our first dinner in the dining room (very nice), and watched the welcome show. This one was a lot of corporate propoganda, a competent band with a limited repertoire, and a comedy juggling act. The performer was pretty bad at juggling but good at the comedy part, although he went right past "it's funny because it's true" into "too true to be funny" with lines about how this trick took him seven years to learn but the audience would rather watch him hit himself on the head with the clubs. Jugglers take note: Have some sort of additional marketable skill, or you will end up as this guy.