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Bimmer09

Celebrity Silhouette, Norwegian Fjords Sept. 1 2019

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The Saga Continues

We were fast running out of the "Sights of Southampton" waters

 

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That round fort is Calshot Castle built by Henry VIII when there was no Home Depot!

 

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Anyone know which city this is?

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Once in open water the ship sped out to sea to get the shops and the casino open for business

and so with nothing to gaze at we did  what comes naturally-a nice two hour nap with the sound of the wake being our white noise.

 

We were in no rush as our dinner was booked on line on the thing Celebrity jokingly call a website. They were offering a discount on our favorite restaurant-Lawn Club Grill. $30 instead of $45 each if booked on shore. However they only offered a 10 pm seating which is the last possible. Yikes, must be busy! We eat late in Chicago anyway so not a big issue.

 

When we awoke we went up to the Sunset bar hoping it lived up to its name.

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The ship's funnel lets me know that this is a smoking section...

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We are wearing jackets as it is cooler and windier 

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Crescent moon

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We passed the White Cliffs of Dover but far out to sea (likely 12 miles) that this was the best shot I could get hand-held.

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Not round and sunken like the Reflection

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Cheery bartender Alex

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Next a 9 p.m show then a much anticipated dinner

Edited by Bimmer09
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1 hour ago, Bimmer09 said:

 

Sure Joe!

 

The sail in to Stockholm takes several hours through the Swedish Archipelago and you get pretty close to some of the islands and houses

 

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It was still very early but the bow was open

 

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39 minutes ago, Bimmer09 said:

 

Anyone know which city this is?

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It is Gosport and Portsmouth, they are west and east respectively of the channel which goes from the Solent into Portsmouth Harbour.  The tall structure is the Spinnaker Tower which is in Portsmouth.  Both are naval towns.

 

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Sail out was a slightly different route

 

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Very busy on the sail out

 

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This is more our speed

 

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It is amazing how close the ships would get near some islands

 

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We had a Swedish SAR flyover

 

 

 

 

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From the Sunset Bar we made our way down in the elevator to deck 5 for the 9 p.m. Welcome Aboard  show in the Silhouette Theater, passing the beautiful, but somewhat impractical from a noise standpoint, Library on deck 10

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We thought it would be a "here's  a sample of the entertainment you'll enjoy this week" compendium- a comedian, plate spinner, maybe a guy with a sock puppet etc but it was a performance by a singer/pianist only. 

This one

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The theater was slow to fill up (pic taken 9.05)

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She was given a big introduction by our Cruise Director, Bethany Moorhouse who in Celebrity Today is called Sue for tonight's show. Oops!  Bethany is a type A  Cruise Director-big smile, infectious energy and quick wit. Seems to love her job which is key.

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A warm welcome from the smallish audience and there is a talent on the stage-a strong singer with a big range and lots of emotion and crazy-good piano skills. She can play any style

and had drilled the band in rehearsal as they navigated the twists and turns of her arrangements. Claire was also a good talker. She's from Yorkshire (where the puddings come from) but lives in Amsterdam and was a finalist on Holland's Got Talent TV show.

She sings big songs-think Adele, Alicia Keys while playing superb piano. I wish I had videotaped her so that Youtube could have failed to upload it.

As with every X show we have seen the sound and lighting was first class.

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I wish we could have stayed until the end but I had to keep an eye on the time and when 9.55 came I dragged the reluctant Carol from her seat in the balcony and we headed to Lawn Club Grill for our 10 p.m reservation

 

Norris

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There was just one table of 4 dining (on desserts) when we got to the LCG and announced ourselves.

Apparently the staff had called our room asking if we wanted to come earlier but of course we had been out for about 3 hours. Would you like to come back tomorrow night asked a waiter named Francisco. Nope. We're here now. On time. You're still serving , right?

 

Yes Sir, certainly sir. We had the pick of the tables and chose one as close to the kitchen as possible so that some residual heat would waft our way as it was a coolish and windy night.

 

We decide that as there were no beets we wouldn't be using the salad bar so I told Francisco they could clear it away which they were happy to do.


I ordered a glass of Malbec and Carol had a ginger ALE-she tells me they didn't have Ginger Beer

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The other diners leave and we have the place to ourselves

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I tell Francisco "you da maaannnn" and he concurs. He is from Goa and very personable

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I visit the chef at the grill

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For any non-LCG/Celebrity readers, you can, if you want, grill your own meats and veggies or try your hand at tossing pizza dough to make your own flatbread. We were offered the bread which is damned tasty but weren't hungry enough to indulge and wanted to save space for a special yummy dessert.  As we ordered Francisco kept suggesting more food but we both knew our limits and we would be heading to bed not long after dinner. Service in LCG has always been superb and the food fantastic. Simple grill food!

How can you not love this guy?

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The smells of seared meats are intoxicating!

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Here comes the food

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My dish, poorly focused filet Mignon, 2 succulent lamb chops, baked potato with butter and "baked beans". Luckily I love kidney beans. Every morsel savored. Good cuts, well seasoned and cooked just right.

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Carol's lamb chops, tandoori chicken (I got some), Shrimp (got some)

with sides of mac 'n cheese and corn

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Dessert, after another glass of Malbec, generously poured was chocolate chip cookie pulled from the oven at 475F served with vanilla ice cream

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If you've eaten that you will know why we saved room...

 

Speaking of the room, although the wind can whip through it, there are heaters above to help make it comfortable on cool summer nights 

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Fantastic, as expected. $35 a head.

Norris

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18 hours ago, scubacruiserx2 said:

We did get to go to Norway this year and are really looking forward to Bimmer's photos and insight !

 

Thanks for the sail in photos Joe. Looks like something Carol and I would savor!

Norris

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On 9/21/2019 at 11:10 AM, Tigrou said:

 

It is Gosport and Portsmouth, they are west and east respectively of the channel which goes from the Solent into Portsmouth Harbour.  The tall structure is the Spinnaker Tower which is in Portsmouth.  Both are naval towns.

 

 

Thanks for clarifying Tigrou. I'm very familiar with Portsmouth although from 40 years ago.

I love those South Coast towns.

Thanks for reading!

Norris

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After a delicious meal in LCG we adjourned to deck 5 for my last cigarette of the day and looked forward to our sea day in the morning. Those are Carol's favorite whereas I am Mr Ports.

 

Here are scans of Celebrity Today, the ship's newsletter so you can see what your options would have been upon boarding with us...

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Sleep came quickly and was deep

 

Editor's note...I am tackling the Youtube beast this morning as I have video in the ports plus our sailaway. Also a complete Le Petit Chef animation video (and the food) plus big chunks of the most dazzling stage show we have seen. Plus waterfalls of great magnitude and wetness and scenic fjords. Plus the usual sports and weather.

 

Norris

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Monday, September 2, 2019

In the North Sea

I woke with the lark which must have flown in through the balcony door. I wanted to be up on deck for the sunrise but had to make the obligatory stop at the Ocean View Cafe for my Lavazza coffee.

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Oil rigs break up the monotony of the sea and sky

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as does an occasional cargo ship

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As we are not in a suite  on this ship nor in an Aqua cabin we don't have Luminae nor Blu as breakfast options. We will dine in the MDR which is called Grand Cuvee. I will meet Carol there at 8.30

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On the way from deck 15 to deck 3 for breakfast I stopped in The Porch, a lovely spot for seafood @$30 pp but underutilized anytime I pass during the week. Serving lunch and dinner only.

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Breakfast of Champions

We have, in our two previous X cruises, only dined in the MDR once and that was best forgotten for both the food and service. When we gave up the suite booking on this cruise we had to consider that we would be eating meals in the MDR. So it was with relief that the service here for breakfast was top notch and the food delicious.

 

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Carol smiling before being presented with the check for her $6 double espresso

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The water glass filler comes then the coffee waiter comes then the pastry waiter

then the waiter who takes our order from the expansive menu. All with smiles.

 

My Kadota figs, so refreshing!

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Carol's fruit plate

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My French omelette with Gruyere cheese and a side of corned beef hash

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Carol's Belgian waffles (syrup on the side) and English back bacon

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A very pleasant start to the day. As it is a sea day the meals will be highlights along the way.

A lazy day is imagined. Carol will find a quiet relaxing, reading and napping spot. I will roam around restlessly, stopping for a beer and cigarette now and then and use our Wi-Fi perk to check mail or work on my London pictures from a couple of days ago. I'll bring you a copy of Celebrity Today so you can see what you would have chosen to do...

 

Norris

 

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15 hours ago, Bimmer09 said:

Thanks for reading!

Norris

 

Thank you for sharing your journal with us, it's a pleasure to be following along. 

 

 

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I love the panoramic elevators on this ship but they are not all working. The aftmost starboard one in a bank of four was out of service all week and was out of service back in January 2016 too. Compounding the wait times are the "go up to go down" (and vice-versa ) people who must get in an elevator at all costs rather than wait for one going in the direction they wish to travel. Thus I find myself squeezing in to go to deck 15 aft and when we get there I am the only one getting off. Really, people?

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The ship layouts outside the elevator banks  are helpful in finding your way around

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The grass is always greener on deck 15 aft

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No Officers vs Passengers bocce game today as on our previous sailing

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A plane circles the ship a few times

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It's the Dutch coastguard 

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Carol has meanwhile found a quiet spot to read-all the way forward on Promenade deck, deck 5 by lifeboat 1. A passing crew member brought her a reclining deck chair so she could stretch out and inevitably nap. 

by the pool

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You'll see some folks with shirts off but many clothed and with blankets.

 

I return to our cabin and there find myself laying down to "rest my eyes" and sleeping for two hours. Victor, our Philippino room steward has brought the dozen extra hangers we had asked for. They were those thin wire ones that a dry cleaner returns your shirts on. Modern Luxury.

I left a couple in the trash on this very ship in 2016. Still, they hang even though they don't look like they belong. 

 

While I sleep batteries are charging for although there may not be much to photograph today tomorrow we arrive in our first of 4 ports-Bergen and we'll be getting off the ship for an excursion. Carol had originally picked a 5.5 hour coach trip along the scenic Hardangerfjord but I lobbied against it as I didn't want to be taking most of my pics from a bus window and there was no lunch ($109 pp). A week before we sailed I lobbied again and we changed it to Bergen Panoramic which was 2 hours in a coach around the city with a couple of photo stops @ $49 pp. We changed our reservations. We would have lunch ashore which I am always keen to do.

 

The X website doesn't go into much detail in describing their excursions but the pamphlets from the onboard excursions desk (deck 3) do. One will arrive in your cabin.

 

Norris

 

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Carol loves afternoon tea so we head to the buffet around 4 so she can indulge

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sandwich, scones, empanada  and cookies with tea

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I have a couple of empanadas and a quiche

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That will tide us over until dinner tonight. It's elegant chic night and Carol figures the MDR will have a special menu. I was aiming for Murano which I love but we should try Grand Cuvee for dinner  I reason. If it is poor or disappointing then it will be Specialties from here on in.

 

Carol had lost the sun around noon when it went overhead and tried to find another quiet spot. She visited the Sky Lounge with its great view over the bow but it was packed and noisy there due to a ballroom dancing class. Oops! After the sun moved over to the port side she set up camp in the less visited forward smoking section which was quiet and nap-worthy.

 

Later in the afternoon the wind is picking up and Sunset Bar isn't the place to be so I take myself to the aft smoking section on deck 5 port.

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The sea is getting less friendly and the sky is grim. It is raining gently

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Looking forward on deck 5

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This is likely to be an evening spent indoors

 

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30 minutes ago, Bimmer09 said:

I love the panoramic elevators on this ship but they are not all working. The aftmost starboard one in a bank of four was out of service all week and was out of service back in January 2016 too.

 

 

 

 

 

The same elevator was not working for the whole 14 nights of our Ireland/Iceland cruise last month also!  

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Elegant Chic Night

I left my suit at home. Black pants and black shirt was fine. We had packed with Layers in mind and warmth was a big consideration so I had flannel excursion shirts and a heavy rugby jersey from Canada. Thermal undershirt too and an Eddie Bauer rain shell. I could muster half a dozen layers no problem.

 

People dressed in their best early and had pictures taken around decks 5 and 3 where cables and light boxes suddenly sprung up. Bands played all over except outdoors.

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the Martini bar

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deck 3 staircase

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the band is on their break

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beautiful staircase

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