A Travellerspoint blog

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Day 6

Oslo

IMG_0108.jpgIMG_0127.jpgIMG_0131.jpgIMG_0159.jpgOur first view out of the window this morning was of a tree lined shore just a few hundred metres away as we sailed towards Oslo. The wind was light and the sky was blue. We had breakfast in the buffet. Then after docking at 10am, we were on one of the first shore excursions.
The bus took us through the city and up into the surrounding hills, to the site of the ski jump once used for the winter Olympics. After a short stop there and some pics of Oslo, we went to Vigeland, a park dominated by hundreds of nude sculptures by the one local artist. Our last stop on the trip was at a Viking ship museum with intact boats and period artefacts. The bus dropped us in town outside the Town Hall. The huge murals inside the Town Hall were impressive. We then wandered the shops for a short while. We exited a shop we had been browsing and found it had been raining. We made it to the duty free shop to reclaim taxes on purchases when the skies opened again. After a short wait it eased up and we reboarded the ship.
After dinner we attended a TV style game show called Yes No where the contestant has to avoid saying Yes or No for 3 minutes. We both had a go, along with about another 10 brave souls. You have the full TV studio experience with the hot lights in your eyes and the set and the cameras. It is apparently broadcast through the ship. Darlene lasted about 1 min 20 secs. I lasted 2 minutes 58 seconds. Oh so close! The good news.is that was enough to win. I walked away with a bottle of French Champagne and a Princess cruises water bottle.

Posted by IanDarleneUK 23:42 Comments (0)

Day 7

Aarhus, Denmark

IMG_0167.jpgIMG_0171.jpgIMG_0175.jpgIMG_0196.jpgSunshine and smooth seas greeted us this morning. We didn’t dock till around midday so after breakfast we did our daily email check & blog upload and took part in some of the ship’s activities. After lunch we left the ship on the tail end of a passing shower. Fortunately the sun came out and we had a sunny afternoon to explore Aarhus, Denmark. We had to catch a shuttle into downtown Aarhus as we docked in a commercial port.
We chose not to do a pre-arranged shore excursion here. What we wanted to see was within walking distance. We were greeted with maps and guides who were able to point us in the right direction. We walked to the far end of the retail precinct, and then the full length of a mostly pedestrian mall to an old cathedral. Along the way we had an ice cream and found some weak, free wifi on our phones. We also followed a picturesque canal, reminiscent of Copenhagen along our way. On the canal we found an Australian Bar, I can only assume they were opening Australian hours as they were closed. Back on board we had just enough time to get to the afternoon trivia. I think we came a distant second, but there were only about 5 groups.
After dinner we went to the 60 second challenge where you have a minute to accomplish a task. Darlene successfully flipped a playing card over and landed it on top of a nearby glass. I took about 61 seconds to accomplish my task of catching table tennis balls in glasses but they said it was close enough. We then went to a music trivia session and we won. We now have 3 Princess water bottles, two lanyards and an empty bottle of booze . A rock and roll music session night followed the trivia with a live band and dancing. Yes, we got up once or twice. We finished the night at the Princess theatre at the other end of the ship where they had a singing and dancing show.
If you want to view the web cam to see where the ship is go to www.princess.com, there is a link there somewhere.

Posted by IanDarleneUK 23:43 Comments (0)

Day 8

Warnemunde

IMG_0225.jpgIMG_0227.jpgIMG_0237.jpgWe were already docked when I first glanced out. Our side of the ship is facing away from the port so there wasn’t much to see apart from an industrial complex across the water. We had breakfast in a largely empty buffet. This port, Warnemunde in Germany is the point used to visit Berlin and those going there left early as it is a few hours away. Warnemunde Is a fairly old sea port and very pretty.
We didn’t worry about visiting Berlin as we are going there after we get off the ship. We walked into town, a few hundred metres away and wandered the shops along a canal. At the end of the waterway where it met the ocean there is a lighthouse. I climbed the steps to the top to get some photos while Darlene rested below.
We continued our walk and found a restaurant with an English version of the menu and stopped there for lunch. We had a German white wine with the meal, a nice Riesling. After lunch we walked to the station and boarded a train for Rostok, about 20 minutes away. We boarded a tram at the train station and rode it into the city. From there we walked a pedestrian mall to a square where a street market was open. We eventually found some wifi in the Visitor Centre and caught up with email and managed to contact home. Rostok is all cobble stones and old buildings and a pretty place.
We noticed here in Germany not as many people speak English. We pressed the information button at the station on our way back and were told by the speaker that no English help was available. We made it back anyway.
We had a nice evening meal with a French red wine and sat next to a couple from Minnesota and had a good chat. We had plans of seeing a show but upon returning to the cabin we decided to stay in and watched TV.

Posted by IanDarleneUK 01:19 Comments (0)

Day 9

At Sea

IMG_0244.jpgIMG_0251.jpgIMG_0264.jpgThis is our first day where we do not dock at a port. We are at sea all day. We slept in and had a late breakfast. We then toured the upper decks of the ship we had previously not visited, all the way up to deck 19 where we had a game of mini golf.
I haven’t mentioned much about our ship, the Royal Princess to date. It is just one year old and everything is still very new. It has 15 decks accessible to passengers. It isn’t as easy to get around as some other ships as they have 3 sets of lifts but only 2 sets of stairs, one at each end. If you are in the middle, as we are you tend to have to wait for a lift each time you need to change decks.
The sun shone for most of the day with no rain and it was warm in the sun although it probably didn’t reach 20 degrees. It was warm enough however to bring out the swimsuits and many people were in the pools and the spas.
After lunch we watched a Bon Jovi concert on the big outdoor screen. The seas have been remarkably calm this whole trip, and today was no exception. We could be inside Sydney harbour it is so calm today.
We attended the captain’s loyalty program event in the late afternoon and were entertained by the ship’s vocalists and a few short speeches. They drew some prizes but alas we didn’t get one. Tonight is a formal night and I am suited up and Darlene is looking lovely in her formal dress.
After dinner we enjoyed the singing and dancing show based around soul music. Then it was a brisk walk to the other end of the ship for the 50s theme with a live band. They were terrific. Tomorrow we are again in port in Tallinn, Estonia.

Posted by IanDarleneUK 22:45 Comments (0)

Day 10

Tallinn

IMG_0266.jpgIMG_0281.jpgIMG_0292.jpgIMG_0307.jpgIt was a sunny but cool morning this morning. When I first looked out we were in the process of backing into our parking space in Tallinn, Estonia. The breakfast buffet was really busy so we sat outside on the terrace and had our breakfast. It was a bit too cool for our liking but the sun made it bearable.
Our shore excursion was a morning one departing at 9.30am. It took us through the city to a few local landmarks and then to the upper old town. It is a six hectare site of really uneven cobblestones and old buildings. The centrepiece was the Russian Orthodox Church with the curved dome roofs. It is Sunday and there was a service in progress but we were allowed to enter if we were silent and took no photos. Another nearby church was not so accommodating and we could not enter. A brief downpour that seemed to come from nowhere caught us and we were fortunate to find shelter under an outdoor café umbrella and had a coffee whilst we waited it out. We continued on catching more snaps of the old city and also the wall that used to encircle the city.
We returned to the bus and returned to the ship. No wifi was to be found in our travels. We had a late lunch and a lazy afternoon on board. After dinner we saw two excellent shows back to back. The first was a Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons tribute show by a group called the East Coast Boys. The auditorium was full to capacity. We then did a mad scramble through the crowd to get to an “unplugged” concert by one of the ship’s vocalists singing some covers but mostly her own material. She accompanied her singing on guitar and piano and sang a couple of duets with one of the other performers. Her name is Leigh Cara and she is very talented. We intend to check out her website www.leighcara.com upon our return. Her music is available on iTunes.

Posted by IanDarleneUK 23:10 Comments (0)

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