I am in the process of cleaning these links up.
Welcome to our travel blog. This is a work-in-progress that I hope to get completed on our Baltic Sea Cruise. Mary and I enjoy cruise vacations where you get to see different places but your hotel follows you. We have become fans of Carnival Cruise Lines.
Mary and I decided to take a cruise to celebrate her 50th birthday. We found out that a new Carnival ship, the Splendor will be her on second cruise. This cruise is starting in Dover, England and going to Copenhagen, Berlin, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Amsterdam, and then back to Dover. We leave from San Diego on 7/24/08.
OK… It is Wednesday late afternoon. The phone rings. It is an automated attendant from American Airlines. It says “Please hold for information regarding the cancellation of your flight!” – What the??? No!!! After an hour on the phone I find out that they had weather issues and the plane that we are supposed to be on on the morning will not be in San Diego in the morning. Nice…
They tell us that instead of going through New York we are now going to Boston then on to London. OK, no biggie right? Then they tell me that they want to put us in the back with the regular people. You know that I don’t like to sit with the regular people. Do you know that they use plastic utensils back there? No hot fudge sundaes and free spirits. They went to work to find some alternatives. They ended up routing us through Dallas. Hey! I have dodged hurricanes before, no sweat! If all goes well we will be on a nice long flight on a 777 from DFW to London. We get in an hour later but still have time to get to Dover and the ship.
Let us see what the morning will bring.
We got out of San Diego OK. This diversion worked out well because today there was nasty weather in Boston and New York. Dallas was awesome. We had to spend a couple of hours in the Admiral’s Club in Dallas. The Flight to London was fully-booked. We managed to keep our Business Class seats. The Business seats on a 777 are incredible. Your set of two seats are in a pod. You are completely isolated from the people in front or behind you. The seat can lay all the way flat like a bed. Dinner was very good and the service was flawless. I managed to sleep for a couple of hours and Mary doesn’t seem to have any trouble sleeping. The route is funny because from Dallas you head north over Ohio, Toronto, near Iceland and then into the British Isles. It doesn’t make sense until you look at a globe.
Oh, Mary is making me out myself because I always make fun of her. In Business they give you Bose noise-canceling headphones to use. They are very nice. I was unable to get mine to work. They have a real nice entertainment system. I finally plugged in my earbuds and they worked. OK, I must have a bad set then. Just as I was trying to get the Flight Attendants attention Mary said something like “Hey Dork, did you try turning them on?” You all know that this was just a test for Mary, right?
The sun is coming up and we are 1150 miles from Heathrow Airport.
We arrived at Heathrow on one of the few really nice summer days that they get. Of course there is no real need for A/C here. It was miserable inside. We had to wait about 90 minutes inside for a bus to the ship. The trip to the ship was a non-eventful, nap-filled 2 hours. As we came over the last hill to the coast, there in the distance was the ship and the White Cliffs of Dover.
We have become fans of a ship’s cabin called the aft-wrap. These are demi-suites that sit on the back corners of the ship. These cabins usually are larger than a normal cabin and have huge decks. Our cabin is built like a big triangle instead of a square. Because of this we have more room. The big benefit of these cabins is the deck. The standard deck is about 10 feet wide. On our cabin the deck is 40 feet wide. It spans the back and side of the ship. We can see ll the way to the bridge up the side and the other side of the ship across the back.
When we got to the room we had a great view of the Dover Cliffs.
We caught our neighbor filming our deck. They could not believe how large it is. It turns out that the guy used to work for the same company as my Dad and remembers him. That was pretty cool.
We spent most of today just trying to stay awake. We need to get on this time zone. At one point I thought that I was combing my hair when Mary said “WAKE UP you are snoring!!” I jumped up and we went for a walk.
The Cruise Director is John Heald. He is known as one of the very best in the industry. He was the Cruise Director when we sailed the Mediterranean. He is a funny, round Brit. He does the same jokes and you still laugh until you cry. We made it to the introduction show and enjoyed it. After that we got our second , third, fourth, or fifth wind and decided to go to the sit-down dinner at 8:30. It was a good choice. Dinner was great, we met some very nice people. After dinner we managed to find the soft-serve ice cream machine and headed back to the cabin. I really don’t remember much after that other than seeing the bottom of the empty bowl of ice cream.