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


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It would be easier and cheaper to just fly into Heathrow, then take either the train or bus to Southampton. There are several cruise transportation companies that make that trip daily. Do a Google search for them.

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A few more shots of 7108 . Our bedroom

 

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Tyler's bedroom ( no window )

 

 

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And a couple shots of the balcony

 

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And finally , an aerial photo showing the balcony in blue and the front windows in red .

 

 

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I am loving your review. I'm excited to read more.:):):)

 

Thank you , and other thanks to everyone who has written in ! We value your opinion and participation .

 

So let's move on to our first port on this cruise , Bruges . :):D:D

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We went to bed fairly early knowing that we would be losing another hour of sleep on the first night due to moving the clock forward . We also had and early port time of 7 am . Additionally , London had 3 more hours of sunlight than Florida did on that date . You may want to bring a mask , like we did .

 

 

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The next day's Celebrity Today

 

 

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We were awoken from a sound sleep by some noise and vibrations which are best described as hearing the intro to Pink Floyd's Welcome to the machine , played at volume :

 

 

 

We were aware before booking that there would be thruster noise and vibration when docking , but these were well before sunrise and docking . Wakey , wakey , time to photo the sunrise .

 

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It was great and we had a beautiful , clear day .

 

 

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There's not a lot to see in the port of Zeebrugge and so we had booked the 9:15 Bruges on your own tour . This gave Tyler some sleep in time ( I don't know how he could sleep through the noise and docking process , but he did ! ) , and Pat and I had some private time for a sit down breakfast in the MDR .

 

 

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After waking and feeding Ty , we boarded the bus for the half hour ride to Bruge .

 

 

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Video clip :

 

 

 

We have been to Bruge before and so after confirming the meeting point and time for our return , we headed off ahead of the group toward the city . This is the point where the buses drop you .

 

 

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You then cross this bridge , and into a park .

 

 

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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.

 

Changing in Dublin is a definite but that's ok...as long as they give me a long enough lay-over to shop! :D and I don't mind small "prop" aircraft...safer anyway, they can land them pretty much anywhere if necessary. We had one land on our expressway once....can you imagine driving home from work and all of a sudden a small plane is coming at you? on the roadway?

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It would be easier and cheaper to just fly into Heathrow, then take either the train or bus to Southampton. There are several cruise transportation companies that make that trip daily. Do a Google search for them.

 

Actually I got $1500 business class per person from JFK to Southampton....and I don't think I can beat that with anyone else, but I will check to be sure. I'm kind of looking forward to spending night in Southampton. I lived in London but we never got to Southampton and it looks like a quaint little place. We're doing a b2b so we'll have about 3 hours on our own between cruises as well. It's our first b2b and apparently everyone has to disembark for 3 hours???

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I am SO enjoying your travelogue!!! It's gotten so that every morning I pour my coffee and boot up to see your newest photo gallery. :D

 

We were on the Eclipse in March for Southern Caribbean and Damian and Dan were running things then too. What a pair!!! And the hot glass show was fantastic. We saw several of them, even though we've been to Corning, NY many times, I just never get tired of it.

 

On to Brugge one of the prettiest cities in Belgium. We had lunch in the Square and took the boat ride around the city. Beautiful.

 

So Stockholm tomorrow. Can't wait. Haven't been there yet...going in August, 2017.

Edited by Hydrokitty
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We were on the Eclipse, same itinerary as this, last year so it's a journey of the heart to read your travelogue. Seeing the wheelchair folks in your bus reminded me of a couple we met on that trip. He pushed her in her wheelchair (borrowed from the ship) from Brugge city center to the train station -- got there faster than we did by city bus and appeared to enjoy the walk more.

 

I'm interested to know if your grandson went to to the kids' group. My then 15-year-old loved, loved, loved hanging with teens from all over the world and still keeps up with some of them via Skype and who knows what else.

 

JoAnn

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This is the park that I was talking about

 

 

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And crossing another bridge

 

 

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Yields this view

 

 

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Walking along the canal

 

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And closer still

 

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And our first tourist boat sighting . We have arrived .

 

 

 

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We were on the Eclipse, same itinerary as this, last year so it's a journey of the heart to read your travelogue. Seeing the wheelchair folks in your bus reminded me of a couple we met on that trip. He pushed her in her wheelchair (borrowed from the ship) from Brugge city center to the train station -- got there faster than we did by city bus and appeared to enjoy the walk more.

 

I'm interested to know if your grandson went to to the kids' group. My then 15-year-old loved, loved, loved hanging with teens from all over the world and still keeps up with some of them via Skype and who knows what else.

 

JoAnn

 

 

Hi JoAnn , thank you for joining in , and how are you ?

 

Ty did go to the kids group on our days at sea before Stockholm . There were only about 10 others and at age 13 , he was by far the youngest . He did play some sports ( basketball and soccer ) and of course video games . We had hoped that there would be more kids in his age group and for a cross cultural exchange , but we didn't realize that the kids in Europe were still in school in early June . Perhaps somebody from Europe could tell us when their school holidays are and when there would be more school age children on the ship .

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I am SO enjoying your travelogue!!! It's gotten so that every morning I pour my coffee and boot up to see your newest photo gallery. :D

 

We were on the Eclipse in March for Southern Caribbean and Damian and Dan were running things then too. What a pair!!! And the hot glass show was fantastic. We saw several of them, even though we've been to Corning, NY many times, I just never get tired of it.

 

On to Brugge one of the prettiest cities in Belgium. We had lunch in the Square and took the boat ride around the city. Beautiful.

 

So Stockholm tomorrow. Can't wait. Haven't been there yet...going in August, 2017.

 

 

As confirmed early birds , we're happy that you start the day with us . :) :D

 

I hope you don't mind if we share some more photos of Brugge . On our first trip there it rained continuously , and so we were thrilled that is was nice and dry this time . :cool:

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Hi JoAnn , thank you for joining in , and how are you ?

 

Ty did go to the kids group on our days at sea before Stockholm . There were only about 10 others and at age 13 , he was by far the youngest . He did play some sports ( basketball and soccer ) and of course video games . We had hoped that there would be more kids in his age group and for a cross cultural exchange , but we didn't realize that the kids in Europe were still in school in early June . Perhaps somebody from Europe could tell us when their school holidays are and when there would be more school age children on the ship .

 

English (state) school holidays run from the 3rd week in July until the 1st week in September. Scottish schools usually start two weeks prior and return 2 weeks earlier. Hope this helps.

Edited by Tom Baker
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but we didn't realize that the kids in Europe were still in school in early June . Perhaps somebody from Europe could tell us when their school holidays are and when there would be more school age children on the ship .

 

My Grandaughters (16 &18) completed state exams last week, so have now left school, but my 12 year old grandson 'breaks up' on July 20 th until 5 th September.

I think we have more school holidays thro' the year- 2 weeks off at Christmas and Easter and a week off for Half Term, Oct, Feb & May.

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On 29 June, Hydrokitty wrote, "I lived in London but we never got to Southampton and it looks like a quaint little place."

 

There is much to admire about Southampton, but I don't think I have ever heard it described as a quaint little place. Although there are some vestiges of mediaeval town walls, the town suffered dreadfully in the Second World War and most of the centre is drab post-war reconstruction.

Edited by Froxfield
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I agree, it's just a port town like many others but it does have the New Forest on its door step and Winchester (about 20mins by car and less by train) is a much prettier and more interesting place for our visitors to spend a day before boarding a ship.

 

 

PS Enjoying your review and the lovely photographs, we will be on Eclipse again in August to the Fjords

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English (state) school holidays run from the 3rd week in July until the 1st week in September. Scottish schools usually start two weeks prior and return 2 weeks earlier. Hope this helps.

 

Thank you Tom , it surly did help us and other cruisers who may be cruising this region at that time . :) :D

 

 

 

My Grandaughters (16 &18) completed state exams last week, so have now left school, but my 12 year old grandson 'breaks up' on July 20 th until 5 th September.

I think we have more school holidays thro' the year- 2 weeks off at Christmas and Easter and a week off for Half Term, Oct, Feb & May.

 

 

I'm sure that your grandchildren are thrilled to be taking a break from school as ours are . But it's funny that in late August , when school begins again , they can't wait to go back !

 

Thank you for the information Jackie . I wish that we had asked about this before we had booked the trip . Live and learn ! ;)

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Brugge is filled with canals , bridges and charming buildings .

 

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And bicycles too

 

 

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Brugge for dummies

 

 

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Tyler got quite of laugh at this statue , and he earned a gold star from me .

 

 

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Our first horse-drawn carriage sighting

 

 

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Waiting for the canal boat tour

 

 

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On 29 June, Hydrokitty wrote, "I lived in London but we never got to Southampton and it looks like a quaint little place."

 

There is much to admire about Southampton, but I don't think I have ever heard it described as a quaint little place. Although there are some vestiges of mediaeval town walls, the town suffered dreadfully in the Second World War and most of the centre is drab post-war reconstruction.

 

I agree, it's just a port town like many others but it does have the New Forest on its door step and Winchester (about 20mins by car and less by train) is a much prettier and more interesting place for our visitors to spend a day before boarding a ship.

 

PS Enjoying your review and the lovely photographs, we will be on Eclipse again in August to the Fjords

 

Are you saying the photos to attract tourists would lie?? :D

 

Seriously, thanks for the update. I have plenty of time to research this and check out what kind of excursion X will offer since they want us off the ship for 3 hours.

 

Jo42....we're on the same cruise in Aug., 2017....that's the back of our b2b. Can't wait to see your review.

Edited by Hydrokitty
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Brugge is filled with canals , bridges and charming buildings .

 

Second morning coffee with Brugge....one cannot ever have too much Brugge!!! I love the picture of the mannekin pis....that's about how big he is too!

 

So glad you got to do this beautiful city on a clear day...

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I agree, it's just a port town like many others but it does have the New Forest on its door step and Winchester (about 20mins by car and less by train) is a much prettier and more interesting place for our visitors to spend a day before boarding a ship.

 

 

PS Enjoying your review and the lovely photographs, we will be on Eclipse again in August to the Fjords

 

Jo, one of the options I am considering from Southampton is to take ferry to Isle of Wight and spend the day there. Problem is, it will be on Aug 13 which apparently coincides with some yachting week. Will IOW be covered up with people? Should I stick with original plan of spending day in New Forest?

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This is what divers refer to as a cattle boat and should be avoided at all costs ! Hopefully ours won't be this crowded .

 

 

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Mooooo !!!

 

 

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It's really hard to take any good photos in the back of a cattle boat . Whenever the guide pointed out something interesting , out would come arms with assorted cameras , phones , tablets encased in double - cases and selfie sticks . The only chance to take a uncluttered photo was the dreaded nostril shot , as you passed beneath the subject .

 

 

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I really wanted to attach my camera to a hot air balloon that I could hoist at will and get the shot . But it would take a massive balloon this size to hoist my heavy DSLR camera .

 

 

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But I don't think that it would do well under the low bridges as shown in this clip :

 

 

 

Ultimately , I think that this swan had the best idea for a canal tour - a selfie . :)

 

 

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Edited by scubacruiserx2
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Jo, one of the options I am considering from Southampton is to take ferry to Isle of Wight and spend the day there. Problem is, it will be on Aug 13 which apparently coincides with some yachting week. Will IOW be covered up with people? Should I stick with original plan of spending day in New Forest?

 

Ferry to Isle of Wight....that sounds fantastic....except I'm there 8/26....please include me in f/k/a Seabee's response...thank you. HK

Edited by Hydrokitty
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After our canal tour , we walked to Market Square

 

 

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We wanted to go on a horse drawn carriage ride and since this group was finishing their tour , we wanted to hop in because I really liked the co pilot .

 

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But we were redirected to the queue on the other side of the square

 

 

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Half way through the ride we stopped for a break to water and rest the horse and for a photo op .

 

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The water for the horse comes from this horse's mouth - I kid you not .

 

 

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But I didn't get a photo of the water coming from the horse's mouth because I was distracted by the canine cutie .

 

 

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