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Eclipsing Northern Europe by cruise : Basic black , and Baltic blues


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We arrived at lunch time and we had booked a night's stay at our favorite T-3 hotel . After a cab ride and a quick check in , we headed out for our first meal on land .

 

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We enjoyed this pub near the hotel for lunch .

 

 

Seeing this double decker through the window made Tyler really feel like he was in London .

 

 

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In the happy zone waiting for lunch

 

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A wild boar burger for me

 

 

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We were all ready for a nap after lunch

 

 

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We like the hotel for is proximity to Heathrow and it's breakfast buffet , which I dreamed about while napping .

 

 

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Joe (and Pat) thanks for pushing the boat out on what no doubt will be another Epic review.

 

I'm looking forward to a good long photo-rich read.

 

Getting comfy...

 

Norris

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Scuba Cruisers: Doing this trip in August, 2017....LOVING your review and the pictures. Your Grandson looks like his Grandmother. Your train looks like our LIRR (only there were empty seats and an auto accident on the tracks would have been a delay of at least 5 hours)...lived in London and enjoyed the pub scenes. More More More!!!!! :D

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Joe (and Pat) thanks for pushing the boat out on what no doubt will be another Epic review.

 

I'm looking forward to a good long photo-rich read.

 

Getting comfy...

 

Norris

 

Hello Norris , we're glad that you and your wonderful POV make it on this cruise . After a very busy day yesterday we had hoped to speed things up today but unfortunately , Photobucket is undergoing maintenance at this point and so I can't upload photos at this time . I'll do some editing and upload some videos to you tube in the meantime , and hopefully we'll get back on track soon . :)

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Joe,

Very inflated London prices for the breakfast buffet!:eek:

 

We thought that the prices were inflated but breakfast was included in our overnight price of 92 GBP for 3 . We thought that perhaps they were preparing us for some of the over inflated prices which we would encounter on the Eclipse and in Scandinavia . :eek:

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£92 for 3 including breakfast is very good!:)

 

 

Good morning Jackie :) I think that we are still on GMT !

 

We were happy with the price that we paid and the stay . And we don't mind paying higher prices - if there is value attached ( we took Tyler to Murano on the Eclipse ) . However , if we feel that we are being gouged , like fuel prices after a natural disaster , we can become quite obstinate .

 

 

 

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Scuba Cruisers: Doing this trip in August, 2017....LOVING your review and the pictures. Your Grandson looks like his Grandmother. Your train looks like our LIRR (only there were empty seats and an auto accident on the tracks would have been a delay of at least 5 hours)...lived in London and enjoyed the pub scenes. More More More!!!!! :D

 

Thank you Hydrokitty . And the resemblance was even more similar when she had dark hair !

 

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If we would have boarded the train a day sooner , it would have had more people ( Students ) , but school had ended and so it was empty to start . It was a minor accident , and the tracks were clear , but we had to share a track section with the Amtrak trains creating the minor slowdown . But a serious accident or a fatality , which occur all too often , could have shut the track down all day . :(

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It was raining at the hotel and we had hoped to go out for some Indian food but we decided to get take out , which was delivered to the hotel . After a good night's sleep Pat and I got up early and headed down to our first buffet of our trip . BC ( before coffee ) photo .

 

 

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The Centrum area of the hotel made us feel like we were on the ship already ( except or the dart game on the tele of course ) .

 

 

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Tyler had surprised the previous night by wearing a grody pair of shoes which were falling apart and we asked our server where we could buy a pair of shoes locally before boarding the ship . It was a Sunday morning and she told us that the Uxbridge mall opened at 9 am . So we headed out early for the bus to Uxbridge .

 

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It was a double decker which we boarded and went to the top deck , front row .

 

 

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They didn't accept cash and so we swiped our Oyster cards which indicated that they were depleted . Tyler rode free . We were told that we could replenish them at the tube station , but we weren't sure how to do it ( dumb Americans ) . We asked the folks behind us what to do and they didn't speak English ( or American ) . And so we moved and gave them a chance , but they we're just as ignorant as us , only more persistent . Finally a local showed us the ropes and we were out of debt ! And while the mall was open - the stores were closed . Meanwhile we enjoyed some window shopping while waiting for the stores to open . Here's Chugginton , our youngest grandson's favorite .

 

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When we spied this poster we asked Tyler if he would like to see the clowns in town and of course , he wanted no part of it .

 

 

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But if we would have asked Tyler's younger brother the same question , he probably would have asked as to forget the cruise to see the clowns instead . He thinks that clowns are supremely funny as you can hear the giggles in this video clip :

 

 

 

Next : Boarding the ship

Edited by scubacruiserx2
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We had an advance notice of Norovirus on the previous cruise as reported on Cruise Critic , by a passenger , kevinyork . On June 1st we received a notice from Celebrity advising us of delayed boarding on June 5 due to Noro and deep cleaning of the ship for our safety . We contacted both Novotel and Smith's for Airports , our tranportation to Southamption , and they were fantastic allowing us to change to a later schedule . And so we ate lunch at the hotel before leaving for Southamption at 13:00 . This was our first time using Smith's and they were fantastic . And arriving at Southamption , we found our lady in waiting .

 

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We also found a larger than normal queue

 

 

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After about a half an hour , it was our turn to receive our boarding cards . However , we weren't too happy when our passports confiscated at this point . The only other place where this has happened before was in Chile . We are independent minded and like to DIY , or use private tours and so we carry our passports when going ashore . This had not happened before on either of our cruises from Dover . Fortunately , the only shore excursion which we had booked with Celebrity was for the next morning , and so we glad that we had used them at that point .

 

It was just a walk up the ramp at that point to board .

 

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And a photo stop along the way

 

 

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We were told that the rooms were not ready yet and so we waited in the Sky Observation Lounge .

 

 

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About an hour later we were told that our rooms were ready and we headed down . We were pleased to find that our luggage had arrived and that in 20 minutes time , the safety drill was being conducted in the Celebrity Theatre .

 

 

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As you can see , safety vests were not required ( evening chic ? ) . However , we found it strange that there were no life vests present in our stateroom .

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We had an advance notice of Norovirus on the previous cruise as reported on Cruise Critic , by a passenger , kevinyork . On June 1st we received a notice from Celebrity advising us of delayed boarding on June 5 due to Noro and deep cleaning of the ship for our safety . We contacted both Novotel and Smith's for Airports , our tranportation to Southamption , and they were fantastic allowing us to change to a later schedule . And so we ate lunch at the hotel before leaving for Southamption at 13:00 . This was our first time using Smith's and they were fantastic . And arriving at Southamption , we found our lady in waiting .

 

We're sailing out of Southampton next year on Scandinavia b2b with Norway and I've been looking at flights directly into Southampton as well as a hotel there. We actually lived in London and while I'd love to go back, I'd rather stay in Southampton and just wake up have breakfast and board. May I ask what the taxi cost from London to Southampton? (just in case we do go to London first)

 

I was very surprised about the lack of life vests at the drill. We didn't have to wear or bring them, but they had crew members all over the theater demonstrating how to put them on.

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However , we weren't too happy when our passports confiscated at this point . The only other place where this has happened before was in Chile . We are independent minded and like to DIY , or use private tours and so we carry our passports when going ashore . This had not happened before on either of our cruises from Dover.

 

Joe,

This has never happened to us on a ship before either.

When were your passports returned?

Edited by upwarduk
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We had an advance notice of Norovirus on the previous cruise as reported on Cruise Critic , by a passenger , kevinyork . On June 1st we received a notice from Celebrity advising us of delayed boarding on June 5 due to Noro and deep cleaning of the ship for our safety . We contacted both Novotel and Smith's for Airports , our tranportation to Southamption , and they were fantastic allowing us to change to a later schedule . And so we ate lunch at the hotel before leaving for Southamption at 13:00 . This was our first time using Smith's and they were fantastic . And arriving at Southamption , we found our lady in waiting .

 

We're sailing out of Southampton next year on Scandinavia b2b with Norway and I've been looking at flights directly into Southampton as well as a hotel there. We actually lived in London and while I'd love to go back, I'd rather stay in Southampton and just wake up have breakfast and board. May I ask what the taxi cost from London to Southampton? (just in case we do go to London first)

 

I was very surprised about the lack of life vests at the drill. We didn't have to wear or bring them, but they had crew members all over the theater demonstrating how to put them on.

 

 

That sounds like a great trip ! We loved Norway when we visited there . A number of folks on our cruise also chose a Southamption pre - cruise stay . Smith's charged 71 GBP which was only a little more than a Celebrity transfer from the airport . The driver was great and we had a private mini van which left as soon as the driver had loaded our bags . :) :D

 

 

The crew members did demonstrate the life vests , but they were not seen wearing them in the photo which I took .

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Loving this. I thought I used to get updates if sent to my email if a new post was added to the tread. Any idea if I accidently turned something off, that I don't see when something new was added.

 

Thank you for sharing that sentiment , it means a lot to us . I had to ask my DW how to subscribe to a thread . She said to go to the blue bar at the top of the written thread . On the right , in yellow , is Thread tools . Click on it , and the third option is Subscribe to this Thread . Clicking on that should do the trick . ;)

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Thank you for sharing that sentiment , it means a lot to us . I had to ask my DW how to subscribe to a thread . She said to go to the blue bar at the top of the written thread . On the right , in yellow , is Thread tools . Click on it , and the third option is Subscribe to this Thread . Clicking on that should do the trick . ;)

 

Fine if it works, my iPad does it intermittently. If it does work, you then get a drop down choice, I think it's the 3 Rd option for email.

I'm afraid that I just reply to a new thread, which sets up the subscription. I then go into 'User CP' ( extreme left of the top yellow bar) which shows all new posts for your subscribed threads.

 

We're sailing out of Southampton next year on Scandinavia b2b with Norway and I've been looking at flights directly into Southampton as well as a hotel there.

 

I do wonder if Southampton airport takes international flights. It is a small airport. We have used it once to fly back to Manchester ( UK) Currently the cost is £30, but you then have to pay for your suit case + £ 35+ taxes.

Then you have to get from Eastleigh airport into Southampton. It's about a 20 minute train ride.

Edited by upwarduk
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On the first night of the cruise we ate in the MDR where we met the Dynamic Duo of Olman and Joseph . They were amazing , fantastic and always upbeat !

 

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The prefer traditional dining and getting to build a relationship with the staff .

 

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Here's the first days edition of Celebrity Today

 

 

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When visiting the Baltic it's smart to be flexible and have back up plans for changing conditions , circumstances and weather . This cruise was not our original plan . We had wanted to board the Regal Princess after a stay in St. Petersburg ( we have Russian Visas ) . But he apartment which we usually rent had been rented already for the time that worked for us , and so the 3 days in SPB on the Eclipse cruise appealed to us as a back up plan . Our original cabin for this cruise was a Sunset Veranda which we really like , and in fact , had stayed in on our TA cruise , also on the Eclipse , in May of 2015 .

 

 

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We love the aft view and it sheltered from the wind . This photo is from a similar cabin on the Regal Princess .

 

 

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We were concerned that with only 194 sq. feet in the SV cabin that it might be too small for 3 people . But a plan B came along that was heaven sent . A Family Veranda became available with 2 bedrooms and 574 sq. feet , for about the same price ! It's forward facing at the bow of the ship and you had to first enter through this unmarked door .

 

 

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Behind it was 2 doors with the one on the right being ours ( doorbell included ) .

 

 

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It includes living room with a forward facing , sloped window .

 

 

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The larger bedroom faces forward also with a sloped window .

 

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I do wonder if Southampton airport takes international flights. It is a small airport. We have used it once to fly back to Manchester ( UK) Currently the cost is £30, but you then have to pay for your suit case + £ 35+ taxes.

Then you have to get from Eastleigh airport into Southampton. It's about a 20 minute train ride.

 

So far the only one I've found from JFK to Southampton is Aer Lingus and we'd go through Dublin. I don't think anyone goes directly from US to Southampton...at least not that I've found so far.

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Upwarduk

I do wonder if Southampton airport takes international flights. It is a small airport. We have used it once to fly back to Manchester ( UK) Currently the cost is £30, but you then have to pay for your suit case + £ 35+ taxes.

Then you have to get from Eastleigh airport into Southampton. It's about a 20 minute train ride.

 

]-Hydrokitty;50374531- So far the only one I've found from JFK to Southampton is Aer Lingus and we'd go through Dublin. I don't think anyone goes directly from US to Southampton...at least not that I've found so far.

 

I would think you will change planes in Dublin, I don't think Southampton has a large enough runway to take wide bodied jets. The Flybe aircraft that we were on was a small 'prop' aircraft.

Edited by upwarduk
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