Tuesday, 4 June 2013 – Day 14 – Last day on cruise and Harwich, UK

Tuesday, 4 June 2013 – Day 14

This is the last day of our cruise on MV Discovery. After breakfast, finished packing and saying goodbyes to new friends.  This was a fabulous cruise and can now cross off – “stepping on Polish soil”. Just a bit disappointing we didn’t have more time in Poland.1302

We eventually disembarked after we had lunch. 1308 The cruise took us from Harwich in England to Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Russia, Poland, Germany, through the Kiel Canal and back to Harwich, England. The food was fabulous, entertainment superb and there were many activities arranged. My cabin steward was really lovely and very helpful especially when I was confined to my cabin for two days. We were very lucky with the weather. It did rain a few times but did not affect any of our tours. A couple of days the sea was a bit rough but I didn’t take note which those days/nights were and I didn’t keep a record of the temperatures as too busy doing other things. I was pleased to say that my biggest fear before setting off on the cruise of worrying whether I was going to be seasick didn’t eventuate. I felt fine although there were a few passengers who suffered greatly.

Overall, it was a great cruise and I loved each city we visited and really don’t know which is a favourite. Although, St Petersburgh was a terrific city, did not appeal to me as the others did. Was disappointed I did not get to go to Berlin. This tour was cancelled as we were too late getting into Warnemunde, Germany. Was probably a blessing in disguise as it was going to be a 13 1/2 hour trip and it probably would have been too long for me. The substitute tour I did was much better and thoroughly enjoyable.

We saw so much of differing countryside, fabulous buildings including beautiful churches, many cyclists and walkers and many many people enjoying the outdoor fresco eating as the sun was shining. All great. Our tour guides told us so much about their countries but so hard to remember it all of course.

Bought home lots of little souvenirs to remind me of each place I visited.

Patricia and I got a taxi to our accommodation at the Pier Hotel, Harwich.1313 We booked in and then had a coffee. Patricia went for a walk with a couple of friends while I caught a taxi to a big store to get a new mobile phone as had no success using my so called Smart phone.

Later in the afternoon, we went across the road to the Museum and the chap on duty was very helpful – full of knowledge.

After dinner, we waited up to see the MV Discovery pass by but it was well over due leaving – we almost gave up when it passed by1334. Then we went to bed after chatting about the cruise and thinking it would have been good to be still on the MV Discovery heading to Iceland. Never mind – looking forward to my next big adventure and challenging times in England as driving will be hard for me as have not done much at all since my accidents. Will have to rely on my painkillers, pain patches and spray and my tens machine but am determined will do what I have planned. Thankfully, I will be driving on the same side of the road as to what I am used to.  Think about all that in 2 days time – for the next 2, hope to enjoy London and it is lucky for me that Patricia will be my “tour guide” as she was born in England and has been back a couple of times and knows the area where we will be staying in London.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, 3 June 2013 – Day 13 – Kiel Canal

Monday, 3 June 2013 – Day 13

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Today we were sailing through the Kiel Canal, the world’s busiest artificial waterway – a very busy waterway. A lot of tankers and ships were seen as we sailed along. We passed through the Holtenau, Brunsbuttle Lock and Elbe.

Had breakfast and a wander around the ship watching the pretty countryside and activity on the canal. Passed by lots of pretty little villages on the edge of the canal.

After lunch went and had another quick game of bingo – the last one for the cruise – then went and did some packing.  After dinner, went into the Discovery Lounge and did my usual listening to the Excelsior Duo, chatted, cocktails and then it was a relatively early night to bed.

Quote of the Day – “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concengtrate the mind on the present moment” – Buddha

Sunday, 2 June 2013 – Day 12 – Warnemunde, Germany

Sunday, 2 June 2013 – Day 12

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p2 gerUp for breakfast. We were too late getting into port to make the day trip to Berlin so was cancelled – bit disappointed but probably better as would have been a very long day. Decided to have a dip in the jacuzzi before going on my tour. Was super in, but very cold when I got out.

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I decided to go on The Molli & the Minster 408B – approx. 4 1/2 hours)

Boarded the coach and we started to drive in a south-westerly direction visit the restored red brick medieval church of Bad Doberan Minster. Was originally built as a monastery. The church today is an important historical site of the Mecklenburg region. The interior is beautiful – impressive winged alter, tabernacle and sanctuary lamp.

The interior of this Church was absolutely beautiful and I could not put all the photos I took up here.

We left here after a wander around the well manicured grounds and went to the historic station in  Bad Doberan, a small country town that was once a bishop’s seat and a centre of religious and military power and pass through Heiligendamm, Germany’s oldest bathing resort visited by the Kaiser, the Russian Tsar and European royalty. The “Molli” is a steam train and has been in operation since 1866, the carriages being pulled by an old-fashioned locomotive along a narrow gauge railway.

1184Once on the “Molli” our 30 minute journey along the Baltic coast,we pass through scenic landscape of Doberan Linden Alley, a two mile strip lined with lovely century old linden trees , pass through picturesque villaged, an unspoiled coastline and attrative summer villas. At the end of our trip at Kuhlungsborn station at the end of the line, we board our coach and go to the Aquamarin Hotel  where we served a huge afternoon tea of lovely cakes and coffee.

1203 Wandered around the village and stroll along the promenade and see “strandkorbs”,  typical German roofed wicker beach chairs.

We then had a panoramic drive back to the ship.  Was a terrific tour. All had to be back on board by 21.30 for departure time at 22.00.

After dinner, went into the Discovery Lounge for my usual entertainment by the Excelsior Duo, watched Lilly and Jim teach some passengers dance steps followed by going into the Discovery Theatre to listen to a duo Tatyana and Tetyana. Lovely voices. Then it was back into the Discovery Lounge for the usual chatting, cocktails before going to bed after a great day out in the country.

Quote of the Day – “There is nothing better than a friend unless it is a friend with chocolate” – Charles Dickens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, 1st June 2013 – Day 11 – Gdynia, Poland

Saturday, 1 June 2013 – Day 11

day 11map gdyniap2 polandp3 polandToday was quite exciting for me to be stepping on Polish soil. Even if it is for a short visit. I chose to go on the Tri-City Tour – 425A1 – 4 3/4 hours. The land between the western shore of the Bay of Gdansk and a belt of forest-covered hills is traditionally known as the “Tri-City” area. It is dominated by the cities of Gdynia, Sopot and Gdansk.

Had breakfast and then it was time to board the coach. We drove  through the streets of Gdynia and then we disembarked at Stagiewna Street and walked across the bridge over the Motlawa River – we were now in the Old Port of Gdansk. We then walked to the Green Gate which is an entry for pedestrians into the Old Town.  Here we had some free time to just browse about, talk to some locals and bought some little souvenirs and postcards.

1060We then got on our coach again and drove past the Old Town Hall, St Catherine’s Church and the Solidarity Monument commemorating the deaths of shipyard workers shot in 1970 during the communist regime before passing those same Gdansk shipyards – known at the time as Lenin shipyards.

We then drove onto the resort town of Soport. Here is the longest wooden pier in Europe.

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I had a paddle in the sea here!!!!

It was then time to be driven back to the ship.

This was only a very brief stop in Poland due arriving late into port, but at least I have been and hope one day to return and do a more extensive trip as the people we met were very friendly and helpful.

We were due to sail at 1300.  Back on board the ship, then went and had some lunch. then went and watched one of the chefs carve out a beautiful swan and it was then taken down to the restaurant.

 

 

Friday, 31 May 2013 – Day 10 – At Sea

Friday, 31 May 2013 – Day 10

day 10Another day had to be spent in my cabin. I woke up at about 5.00 and decided to take a large dosage of my painkillers. I groggily opened the door for my breakfast that was delivered to the door and went back to bed. At 12.30 I woke up and didn’t know what day it was, whether we were sailing but all I thought of was that I was on this cruise to step foot on Polish soil – being my ancestors’ place of birth – and the programme said we were due to sail at 1300. What?  A half hour on Polish soil. I hurriedly dressed and up on deck to see where we were.  When up on deck, I could see we were at sea. The first person I saw, I asked where we were. Must have thought I was completely mad. “We are heading towards Poland and it is Friday – we get to Poland tomorrow”.  I was so relieved.  I quickly went back to my cabin in case I was seen by the doctor and she confine me to my cabin longer.

Settled down once more for a boring day here – but so relieved..

 

 

 

 

Thursday, 30 May 2013 – Day 9 – St. Petersburg, Russia

Thursday, 30 May 2013 – Day 9

Woke up this morning and had quite a lot of pain. I had booked to go on Peterhof Palace &  Park – with hydrofoil (410H3 – 4 1/2 hours). Realised I had booked to go back to the Palace again so did not cancel as the hydrofoil ride sounded a bit different. After having been to the Palace and although as beautiful as it was, I did not wish to return. The only way one could get reimbursement of any excursion was if you had a medical certificate. I went down to the medical centre which is only open for very limited time, to see the doctor to request a medical certificate and a stamp for reimbursement of my excursion. She asked some questions – not interested in my pain episode – and asked me had I had any diarrhoea. I said that I had a little bit yesterday – well, no more questions but promptly told me – “You have Novo Virus – you must go immediately to your cabin and stay there 48 hours”. “You will have room service and not be charged”. I believe I upset my stomach by having too many rich cocktails the night before but she would not have it. So off to my cabin I went.

My cabin steward was absolutely lovely and checked on me regularly.

When meal time came, there would be a knock on the door and a masked person from the kitchen handed me the tray and promptly left – was quite funny as one would think I had the plague. Anyway, my diet consisted of 3 dry bread rolls, a banana, jelly and some broth.

That was today.  Wouldn’t have a clue whether we were sailing or in port as I had an inside cabin.

 

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 – Day 8 – Novrogod, Russia

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 – Day 8

Today was an early start as I chose to go on the Novgorod tour (410W – 13 1/2 hours). After breakfast we boarded our coach and started the tour to Novgorod, (almost 3 hours drive from St Petersburg)  – Russia’s oldest city and has just celebrated its 1150 year anniversary. The history of Novgorod is closely linked with all the major pages of Russian history. From here the Rurikovichi dynasty emerged and ruled Russia for more than 750 years. It was the cradle of Russian republican and democratic traditions. For a period of 600 years up until 1478, the “Veche”, an ancient parliament comprising the representatives of Novgorod aristocratic families, took all decisions on life and foreign policy. Novrogod became one of the greatest art centres in Europe; its architectural traditions, school of icon painting, jewellers and decorative art becoming famous all over the world. Novrogod is a city-museum. The unique architectural monuments of Novrogod are included in the Register of the World Heritage of UNESCO. These include the Kremlin, St. Sophia Cathedral and St. George Cathedral in Yuriev Monastery.

We drove through some lovely countryside before we reached the Yuriev Monastery which was founded in the 12th century by Prince Yaroslav the Wise.

Here is the strikingly beautiful St.George Cathedral, another masterpiece of ancient Russian architecture.

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This was a beautiful cathedral and one cannot appreciate its beauty in the short time one visits these places.

We then boarded the coach and proceeded to visit the open-air Museum of Wooden Architecture, “Vitoslavlitsy”. Assembled here is a whole complex of genuine 16th and 17th century wooden buildings, including churches, wooden peasant huts, flour mills and store houses which complete the picture of a fascinating region. Was lovely just roaming around the complex. Interesting to see that there is still work being done on the buildings.

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We then drove to a hotel for lunch and proceeded to the mighty Kremlin – the core of the ancient city. The oldest Russian fortress in the heart of the old town was the centre of life in ancient Novgorod. The grounds are huge and we started our long walk around it.

The impressive St. Sophia Cathedral erected in 1045 dominates the Kremlin and historic downtown Novrogod. Inside, ancient mural paintings and icons are a unique and important part of Russia’s national heritage.

Mikhail Mikeshin designed the “Millennium of Russia” Monument – 1862, that stands in the Kremlin’s central square. The unique monument in bronze immortalises all those who greatly contributed to the development of the country’s culture science, art and literature along with other outstanding Russian state figures.

1010We still wandered along until we finally left the Kremlin and its amazing surrounds, cathedrals with their beautiful interiors and murals. Once again, could not appreciate everything on our visit here.

Our coach was there to meet us and it was the long trip back to St Petersburgh and the ship. We arrived back at the ship quite late and although it was a superb trip, my body was telling me to have an early night.  I loved Novrogod. Went into the Discovery Lounge for a little while but did not have a late night. Did the usual chatting but then it off to bed completely exhausted.

Quote of the day – “A life without love is like a year without summer” – Swedish Proverb.

 

Tuesday, 28 May, 2013 – Day 7 – St Petersburg, Russia

Tuesday, 28 May 2013 – Day 7

We arrived in the Port of St Petersburg this morning. Was up early this morning and down to breakfast as long day ahead for the shore excursion.

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p3I chose to go on St Petersburg Portfolio (410C – approximately 91/2 hours) After an early breakfast, had to go through some formalities to set foot on Russian soil. Finally boarded our coach and set off through the streets of St Petersburg. Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, the city has a fascinating history and is built on a series of islands connected by a network of iron and stone bridges – these connect the islands.

We crossed over the River Neva and continue along the embankment. We passed the Church of the Spilled Blood – also known as The Church of Resurrection – it was built on the site where the Russian Tsar Alexander II was assassinated. It took a quarter of a century for the magnificent facades to rise from the earth and become covered in intricate mosaics and crowned with elaborate domes.

We next visited St Isaac’s Cathedral, reminiscent of St Peter’s in Rome. Is a magnificent building – took 40 years to complete, and the great dome, covered with more than 200 pounds of pure gold, is one of the largest in the world. It was one of the main cathedrals of the Russian Orthodox Church at the time of the Russian Empire. The structure is supported by 112 monolithic columns and the interior is elaborately decorated with more than 30 different kinds of marble, spectacular mosaics, painted ceiling murals and sculptures.

892We continued on to the magnificent Peterhof Palace and Gardens approximately 22 miles to the west of St. Petersburg on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland. Built by Peter the Great at the beginning of the 18th century to rival Versailles, this town of palaces, fountains and parks is known as the grandest of all the summer residences of the Russian czars.

902There was a lot of people visiting here. We had a guided tour of the interior of the palace – it took us ages to proceed into the next room as we could not go in until the group in front of us had finished. I was feeling quite tired here as too much standing. One of the attendants gave me a chair to sit on and fanned me down although I wasn’t feeling too hot but it was very nice of her. We continued on through several rooms. The state apartments are sumptuously appointed with expensive tableware etc. Very over the top.

896I was pleased to be outside again.

Wandered through the magnificent gardens – Peter the Great designed the layout of the 300 acre park with its spectacular fountains. The Grand Cascade, often considered the highlight of the grounds, consists of three waterfalls, an avenue of 64 fountains and 37 gilded statues. During World War II, the estate was occupied and all the buildings and fountains were virtually destroyed, so it has taken many years to restore Peterhof right down to the last detail.

901Just so much to see here – you can see why it is said to be one of the great places to visit. It was a massive park and I felt like I had walked the whole of the estate. We still kept on walking until we came to the sea and had a short stop here.

913Kept on walking through more lovely gardens and fountains  and then it was time to board the coach. Oh, for a seat!!!!

Our lunch stop was in a huge building and the paintings on the ceilings were beautiful. The lunch was almost silver service.

After lunch, we drove back to our ship but we were an hour late getting back due to traffic.  There was only about 10 minutes to get off this coach and get on the one to go to the ballet. Reluctantly, I decided I was not well enough to go to the ballet – disappointed of course.

Got back to my cabin and rested for awhile before going into dinner and then I went into the Discovery Lounge to “drown my sorrows” by not going to the ballet. Had several cocktails before I went to bed as tomorrow is going to be another long day.

Although I was quite exhausted, it was an amazing tour.

Quote of the day – “Cinderella is proof that shoes are a girl’s best friend” – J. Fiddler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, 27 May 2013 – Day 6 – Tallinn, Estonia

Monday, 27 May 2013 – 6th day

We arrived into the port of Tallinn early this morning. After breakfast it was time for my shore excursion. I chose to go on the Old Town & Home Visit – 403D – 31/2 hours.

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Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

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Boarded the coach and passed many impressive buildings in Tallin’s Upper Old Town. Our first stop was at the beautiful Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Is a 13th century Dome Church. The interior was beautiful but we were not allowed to photograph inside.

We then went into a building to see a lovely view of Tallinn and then we wandered along the cobbled streets, stopping to look into various shops. Baltic Amber jewellery is everywhere so we made some little purchases.

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We had lunch and then did more wandering. Lovely town and the people very friendly. The squares are full of people sitting outside eating and drinking enjoying the sunshine. More wandering in and out of the various little shops.

This was a very interesting door and one of the most photographed ones in Tallinn. 852It was time to board the coach and leave the Upper Old Town and visit an apartment in the Lower Old Town. This home is built over three floors, is a medieval house and is luxurious and a historic home which the owners have kindly agreed to open for us to see. Anna was our host and after looking at the home, she served us a lovely afternoon tea of homemade cake and coffee/tea.  We then farewelled Anna and onto the coach to return to the ship.

Tallinn is a very interesting town with the medieval houses, alleyways and the cobbled streets.

Everyone had to be back on board by 1500 as we are due to sail at 1530. Back on the ship, it was more chatting etc.   I went into my usual quick game of bingo, then dinner and spent the evening in the Discovery Lounge enjoying the entertainment, chatting and my cocktails. Then it was time to go to bed – once more a wonderful day in Tallinn.

Quote of the Day – “Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all” – Alexander the Great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

Sunday, 26 May 2013 – Day 5 – Turku, Finland

Sunday, 26 May 2013 – 5th Day

Another nice day – down to breakfast and then into a bingo game again. Had a little win. Wandered around, chatted and coffeed. We were coming into Turku, Finland.

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Turku Finland

Turku -  Finland

Turku – Finland

Was time for another shore excursion. I chose to go on Excursion 424B1 – Turku City Tour – 3 hours. We boarded our coach and headed to Turku Cathedral, the mother church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and Finland’s national shrine. Finland’s oldest Cathedral, consecrated in 1300, is the seat of the Archbishop of Finland and is the final resting place of several bishops and even a Swedish queen. The interior of the cathedral has many memorials and plaques with interesting information about the history of Finnish people. A very beautiful Cathedral.

We then drive through the city centre to go to the Handicraft Museum. This Museum is open-air and allows us to step- back in time to 200 years ago and witness firsthand the artisans at work using ancient craft methods. There are over 30 workshops from different fields of craftsmanship as well as many buildings of residence. This area is known as the “Old City” of Turku as it survived the Great Fire of 1827 which destroyed most of the city and has been protected from development since. Was very interesting going around the different workshops but of course we did not visit all of them. Had a drink and look in the souvenir shop before we boarded our coach again.

Our final stop was Turku Castle – one of the oldest buildings still in use in Finland and the largest surviving medieval building in Finland. Initially build in 1280, this national monument sits proudly on the banks of the Aura River. We go through a maze of corridors and rooms giving an indication of life in the 15th century Finland. The Castle also houses an important collection of medieval wooden sculptures, gold and silver artefacts and glass.  A very impressive building. Had an icecream before it was time to board the coach once more and head for the ship.

769 Arrived back at our ship and it was time for dinner. Then my usual into the Discovery Lounge. Watched Lilly and Jim were giving dancing lessons and then it was a game show – Mr and Mrs – this was to find the most romantic couple on board. There were lots of laughs when you heard the answers. After this, the Excelsior Duo did their usual performance. Following this, Julie, the Assistant Cruise Director sang some great songs. Julie is a very bubbly person and has a beautiful voice. Usual chatting, cocktails and then off to bed. Another great and interesting day. I like the Turku excursion.

We left the port of Turku about 1800 and we are now at sea heading towards Tallinn, Estonia.

Quote of the day – “A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man” – Lana Turner.

 

 

 

 

Saturday, 25 May 2013 – Day 4 – At Sea

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Today we are at sea heading towards Finland.

Sailing from Denmark -  Finland

Sailing from Denmark – Finland

Up and had breakfast in the Yacht Club. Didn’t do much this morning except chatting and wandering around. After lunch,went into the Carouse Show
Lounge to listen to a presentation on the shore excursions for Gdynia and Warnemunde.  Then went and had a quick game of bingo. Only one game is played so not in here for long. At 1500 went into the Bri

dge Room again with Patricia for another craft session.  This time it was with Stephanie. Purchased a hessian bag and then given 9 cardboard square shapes and needed to chose chose some fan material. These were then placed and stuck on the bag.  Decided to buy Alicia one – zoo animals.

Friday 24 May 2013 – Day 3 – Copenhagen, Denmark

Friday, 24 May 2013 – 3rd Day

Up and into breakfast in the Lido Buffet and then had a quick game of bingo before going into another craft session with Rita. This time we bought a watch and then was shown how to make the complicated band. When it was finished, looked quite nice.

568 Then it was time for lunch and go ashore as we have now docked in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

 

I chose to go on Excursion 401A1 – City and Cruise 31/2 hours.

Copenhagen - Denmark

Copenhagen – Denmark

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We boarded our coach and our first stop was at the famous statue of the “Little Mermaid”, the fairytale creation of Hans Christian Andersen. She is only little and nearly 100 years old. A lot of damage has been done to her over the years, but is now fully restored.

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Drove through the city passing places of interest such as Frederiksstaden, the Gefion Fountain and the Church of St. Alban. A short stop near the Amalienborg Palace – the residence of the Royal Family. Continued on past King’s Squrare, Nyhavn, Rosenborg Castle, Christiansborg Castle and Tivoli Gardens.  Hard to take some photos because of trees, etc.

Copenhagen is surrounded by water and a network of bridges that connect the two main islands of Sjaelland and Amager, on which the city is built. At Gammel Strand, formerly the Old Fish Market we changed from our coach to a boat for a 50 minute leisurely cruise through the canals of Christianshavn a charming area with houseboats and low bridges. There are picturesque old buildings and soaring between them is the landmark Our Saviour’s Church with its distinctive green and gold steeple.

After the leisurely cruise along the canal, we were met by the coach and taken back to our ship.  Went into dinner in the Lido Buffet and then did my usual – into the Discovery Lounge to hear Excelsior, chat and cocktails and then off to bed. Another enjoyable day.

Thursday, 23 May, 2013 – Day 2 – Day at Sea

Thursday, 23 May 2013 – 2nd day

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We are sailing today – seas a little choppy but not bothering me.

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Into breakfast in the Lido Buffet. Wandered around the ship for awhile and then Patricia and I went into a Craft Session with Rita. We were to make a Shambala bracelet and earrings.  We were quite pleased with our effort although quite fiddly.

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After our craft session we went into the Discovery Lounge to meet some other solo travellers. We had a nice cocktail, then it was time for lunch.  At two Patricia and went into another craft session – this time with Stephanie who was going to show us how to make our own version of the famous Faberge eggs. Was really enjoyable – but, was very time consuming as the little beads were a challenge. They would seem to jump off the mat. We did not finish our egg in the session, but I did some in my cabin and finished it although there are some errors on it. Bought another one to bring home and will try and make it a bit better when I have time.

567It was then time to go and get ready for a meeting with Captain Giovanni Biasutti.

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We then went into the Carousel Show Lounge where Captain introduced his officers and department heads.

548We then went into the Seven Continents Restaurant for another super meal. I went and had a lovely massage in the Atlantis Spa and then went into the Discovery Lounge to listen to Excelsior again, more cocktails and chat and then it was time for bed after another enjoyable day.  When I came into my cabin, my cabin stewardess, Natalie had made a little elephant out of towels. It looked so cute. The eyes were from the caps of the mineral water.

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Wednesday, 22 May 2013 – Start of Cruise on MV Discovery

Wednesday, 22 May 2013 – 1st Day of Cruise

Up quite early. Went down to breakfast and a short walk along the promenade. Watched the MV Discovery come into port.

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Booked out of the Hotel Continental and the taxi picked me up at 1000 and took me to the Harwich Port. This was my first day of my Baltic Cruise on the MV Discovery.

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day 1

My case was collected and taken on board. Embarkation time was 1130 so went and had a coffee. Met another passenger, Margaret so we chatted before it was time for me to go and do the formalities for boarding.  Finally went on board and found my cabin – 5138 on Pacific Deck. Patricia came and met me as she was already on board having done a short cruise prior to this one. She showed me around the ship and I found this very helpful.

At 1345 all passengers had to attend a compulsory lifeboat drill. We were required to take our life jackets and assemble at our designated muster stations. At 1430 we departed and headed out to sea. Quite excited and just hoped that I was not going to be seasick.

At 1600 we went to see a shore excursion presentation for Copenhagen, Turku and Tallinn – these are places we will be visiting so it gave us an idea of what we could be seeing.

Patricia and I were on the early sitting for dinner so at 1745 we went to the Seven Continents Restaurant for a silver service dinner. We were seated with Jean, Joan, Margaret, and Gwen, four English ladies.

552After a superb dinner I went to the Discovery Lounge and listened to the Excelsior Duo – a pianist and lovely singer.

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Had a couple of cocktails, chatted with other passengers and then it was off to bed after an exciting first day on this cruise.

Quote of the day “The best way to make your dream come true is to wake up” – Paul Valery