A Travellerspoint blog

United Kingdom

Apparently, fun follows us!

sunny 85 °F

Just a brief update before heading to bed. We are in London, leaving for Venice tomorrow. This morning, we woke up, ate breakfast, finished packing up, and left the ship. We were sad to leave but excited for the next step! We were very impressed by P&O's disembarkation process - it was much smoother and quicker than other cruises we've been on. We got in a cab to the bus station, where we had to wait a few hours before the bus we had reserved. The bus took us from Southampton to London in 2.5 hours - it was easy, and relatively painless (besides being hot! London is getting a heat wave and their AC's are not equipped to handle it!) From the London bus station, we got a taxi to our hotel, the Park Lane Hotel. We had to wait about an hour and a half before our room was ready. Usually, this wouldn't be a big deal, but as I've mentioned, I've really not been feeling well. My sickness was multiplied by about 50,000 this morning, and I woke up feeling miserable, so by the time we got to the hotel, I really just wanted to lay down. C'est la vie! We went to grab a small lunch instead.

Once we did get in the hotel room, we rested, read, watched the World Cup and Wimbledon, and basically wasted the afternoon! In the midst of that, we got a phone call from the Platinum Membership desk (I am a Platinum member of Starwood due to traveling for work), and they apologized for the delay and not being able to upgrade our room. They were having a special event tonight, though, and offered us tickets as "consolation." With not feeling well, I thought we'd probably pass, but we took the tickets anyway. It turns out, it was a Pink concert in Hyde Park (the "Central Park" of London)! Wow! We decided we'd give it a shot. We called Kev's parents first - they are staying at our apartment for the 4th of July - and they had good news and bad news. Good news - our apartment is still there and in good condition :) Bad news - our fish of almost 2 years, Zeus, has gone to fishy heaven :( I have to say this was expected since we'd be gone so long, but he had survived up to 13 days (including 11 days for our wedding) without being fed, so we figured he'd have a shot. Again, c'est la vie.

Anyway, we decided to walk around Hyde Park first. It was very nice and there were TONS of people there! It took us about 30 minutes to walk around it, I think. Honeymoon_Day_20_001.jpg

When we went into the concert, we were blown away - this was a BIG deal! Well upwards of 50,000 people (Kev thinks 100,000) were in attendance. There was a private tent set up for the Starwood guests (probably ~30 people) with a bar, appetizers, free goodies, etc. As we weren't really in "party mode" we didn't stay there too long, but it was nice to meet a few people, have some appetizers, and feel special :) Honeymoon_Day_20_003.jpg

Then we saw Pink! Again, the venue was enormous and there were so many people there - we were towards the back since we knew we'd leave early. Right around the time the show was supposed to start, I noticed a huge crane, carrying a multi-colored box with balloons on it, and asked Kev what it was. He said "I bet Pink's in there!" and he was right! Soon after, she popped out and went flying down onto stage - it was crazy!!! The concert was good, but we didn't stay for the whole thing as we were hungry, tired, and not feeling great. Regardless of that, how crazy is it that, on the ONE night of our honeymoon where we decide to really lay low and not do ANYTHING at all, we end up in a VIP suite at a Pink concert in London? This honeymoon is full of surprises! Honeymoon_Day_20_006.jpgHoneymoon_Day_20_007.jpgHoneymoon_Day_20_015.jpg
(Warning ... sick-looking person ahead! Dim your screens :) Honeymoon_Day_20_010.jpg

After the concert, we walked back and spent forever trying to find a take out place for dinner. It was about 9:15, which we realize is late, but it's a Friday night so we expected to have several options - wrong! Eventually we just went into a grocery store and picked up a random smattering of things, ate while watching the World Cup, and are headed to bed. Tomorrow, we head to Gatwick, fly to Venice, and spend 1.5 days there before our cruise leaves! Hope everyone's doing well and have a great weekend!

Posted by megandkev 14:47 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (3)

Day at sea!

sunny 60 °F

Today was our first “Day at Sea” on the cruise and it was a blast! Rover got most of the day off, but we still managed to get a couple of pictures to share.

First off, here are the remaining ones from last night (I’m sure you just couldn’t sleep in anticipation! Haha). Our first drink at the pool bar, Kev looking handsome, shrimp cocktail and minestrone soup appetizers, salmon, steak, and desserts. Honeymoon_Day_14_002.jpgHoneymoon_Day_14_003.jpgHoneymoon_Day_14_006.jpgHoneymoon_Day_14_007.jpgHoneymoon_Day_14_010.jpgHoneymoon_Day_14_011.jpgHoneymoon_Day_14_013.jpg
And a happy dinner eater! Honeymoon_Day_14_009.jpg

Here are some shots of the amazing video we watched. Can you tell which backgrounds are the movie and which are the window? (Behind me is movie, behind Kev is window, the last is the movie). Honeymoon_Day_14_017.jpgHoneymoon_Day_14_020.jpgHoneymoon_Day_14_021.jpg

OK, now on to today! I had signed up for a 3-class spinning package yesterday, and the first class was today at 9am. I am pleasantly surprised to report that it was an awesome class! We even beat Lance Armstrong at the end ;) After working out, Kev and I conquered a huge task – LAUNDRY! We are so lucky that our cruise ship has free laundry facilities. It was definitely needed! I feel like a new person now. Once that was done, we headed to an early lunch. No pictures, but it was good!

After lunch, we went to the pool deck to read a bit. It was sunny, but boy was it chilly! We used our towels as blankets! We came in to take a quick nap, then headed to the casino. They had 1GBP lower limits (~$1.50), so we played for a while, but we still lost. We caught a little bit of the Korea – Uruguay World Cup game, then got ready for dinner.

There was a captain’s onboarding reception tonight, so we stopped by, but we weren’t really having a great time there so we decided to head to dinner early. Here’s us on the way to dinner. Honeymoon_Day_14_027.jpgHoneymoon_Day_14_028.jpgHoneymoon_Day_14_032.jpgHoneymoon_Day_14_035.jpg
We did get some professional pictures taken of us at the reception, so I hope those turn out well! Even with the addition of Rover this trip, it would still be nice to have a professional photo to add to the ever-expanding cruise collection!

At dinner, we got the best seats in the house – right next to the window! Honeymoon_Day_14_036.jpgHoneymoon_Day_14_039.jpg
Here is the entire dining room. Honeymoon_Day_14_008.jpg
We started with some appetizers that were a little too gourmet for us – game terrine for Kev and asparagus with duck egg for me. Instead, we both got the vegetable soup which was great! For the main course, Kev got steak and lobster tail, and I got maple-glazed duck breast – both came with some sides including cauliflower gratin! In Kev’s picture, he’s saying “you’re my lobster” … 10 points for the first person to identify the TV show that comes from!!!! I had strawberries and cream for dessert and Kev had vanilla ice cream. Honeymoon_Day_14_040.jpgHoneymoon_Day_14_041.jpgHoneymoon_Day_14_042.jpgHoneymoon_Day_14_044.jpgHoneymoon_Day_14_045.jpgHoneymoon_Day_14_046.jpg

After dinner, we hung out at a bar watching the US-Ghana game. At the beginning, EVERYONE was rooting against the US, and Kev was being quite loud in his support of the US … it was awkward! We’ve heard British people speaking badly about Americans several times on the cruise, and this may or may not have been the best way to change their minds! By the end of the game, we had more US supporters, but it didn’t turn out to help the team … we lost. It was still fun! Kev wants me to mention that we do have 2 British friends so far – one is the cutest old man named Erroll who we keep running into and loves to talk. The other is our cabin steward, Wilson, who is awesome and SO friendly! Anyway, we hung around a bit more and hit up the 24-hour buffet, and now we’re going to call it a night. Tomorrow, we have a countryside excursion through Stavanger – our first stop in Norway! Stay tuned for more pictures!

Posted by megandkev 15:22 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (2)

Onwards to Norway!

sunny 65 °F

Well, we’re officially on the Norway cruise, and it’s amazing! This one will be very quick as I’m tired, and we lose an hour tonight. Here’s the recap.

We woke up super early in Dublin, and took a cab to the airport. Flybe passed the test with flying colors compared to Ryanair – check in was easy and painless, and the flight had slightly more room. It was a prop plane, so that was a definite minus, but we made it to Southampton with no issues. Once in Southampton, we decided to save 50 GBP by taking the Uni-link bus to the dock. We weren’t exactly sure where we were going, but it worked out perfectly! Once we got off, we only had a 5 minute walk or so to arrive at the ship. Look how big it is!! Honeymoon_Day_13_006.jpgHoneymoon_Day_13_008.jpgHoneymoon_Day_13_010.jpg

Check-in was again relatively painless and took only about an hour. When we got on the ship, we hit up the buffet, and I was so hungry I didn’t take a picture, but we had some random samplings of salad, chicken, Quorn fajita salad stuff, and a cool ice-cream-cone-looking cannoli. After lunch, we checked into our room – it is the nicest cruise cabin I’ve ever stayed in! The whole ship is very modern and clean and you can tell it is very new. It’s amazing! Honeymoon_Day_13_011.jpgHoneymoon_Day_13_013.jpgHoneymoon_Day_13_015.jpg

Once we unpacked, I got to do my favorite thing on cruises – look through the daily schedule! I circled and underlined like mad  Honeymoon_Day_13_017.jpg

We then spent several hours touring the ship, and again, it’s amazing! Here are a few photos of the casino, some restaurants, the main entryway, the theatre, and the library (I already checked out a book!)

We also walked around outside and noticed the several amazing pool decks. It was fantastic weather - but quite chilly at night! The sun didn't completely set until around 11pm, and sunrise is set for 4:30am! Honeymoon_Day_13_032.jpgHoneymoon_Day_13_033.jpgHoneymoon_Day_13_035.jpgHoneymoon_Day_13_036.jpg

After walking around, we did a short workout in the gym as the ship was taking off, then showered and grabbed a drink on the pool deck while watching the boat move out to sea. We then headed on to dinner, which was great! On this ship, they do "Freedom Dining," so you can eat whenever you want rather than having an assigned time. It was very efficient and convenient! We both started with minestrone soup (AMAZING), Kev had shrimp cocktail then sirloin steak, and I had grilled salmon. Then we finished with some chocolate pot thing (Kev) and mango sorbet (me). Yum! Pics coming tomorrow.

After dinner, we headed to the theatre for a production of "New York Rhythms" put on by the dance/acting/singing troupe on board. It was great! I think the males were more talented at dancing, for sure, and arguably at singing, than the females, but overall it was very entertaining and a great production!

After that, we headed to the upstairs bar (picture here from earlier in the day), as they were showing a 2-hour feature film on manmade and natural wonders of the world. It was in HD, split on 3 screens that were each ~100 inches, and the quality was amazing. It was sooo interesting to talk about all the places we've been and want to go eventually! On the way back, we hit up the 24-hour buffet and are headed to bed. Honeymoon_Day_13_038.jpg

One random note before I nod off ... People REALLY notice our accent here! We are guessing that ~80% of the people on board are from the UK, and they ask us where we're from and can't recognize the American accent! In Dublin they were all over it. Hmm... Another random note, the average age on this cruise is approximately 70. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but we are definitely in the lower 5%. I guess we just pick "sophisticated" places :) But several of the "older" generation definitely stayed at the bar way longer than we did. We'll have to step up our game! Better post tomorrow - good night!

Posted by megandkev 16:18 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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