Having gone offshore and not knowing what to expect, or at least not knowing what to expect compared to what I had previously been used to in Beryls and Forties, it is safe to say that it was a great first trip.
The guys were great, the food was great, the ice cream freezer was wanting to see me more often.
I also found that my bed was probably the most comfy bed I have had ever in my offshore career. I was quite use to taking a few nights to get into any sort of decent sleep, but here it was from 1st night. Television was provided by OSN and there was a reasonable selection of British TV /English language programs and more than what I expected to get in the offshore Gulf. Was unusual at first also having my cabin and office as one with a concertina wall between them, but after a couple of days never gave it much thought.
The other thing that really made a difference was the bridge links, the cluster I have is 5 structures all bridged in a T shape. so going out for a walk around the place actually means you can go for a walk. Don't know the length of the bridges or the size of the structures (still trying to find the drawings!), but I did time how long it took to cross one of them at my normal walking pace and it took 90 seconds. The main processing platform in the cluster is a fair monster, and there is so much space on it compared to the compact "squeeze everything in" Forties.
The other big difference was the interfield shuttling of personnel. This was done a boat, and then the guys were basket transferred up to the platform. The boat they use is called the Seacor Leopard, has a top speed of 42Knots and can take 150 Passengers (+12 Crew) and can be seen in the videos below;
More specifications and pictures at: http://www.gulfcraft.com/crewsupply/191-x-42-seacor-leopard/
Looking around the field it is amazing to see so many platforms, tankers, FSO's from all different companies. There was definitely more than I expected to see.