Norwegian Celebration Cruise - May 13th - 20th 2014
Off for a cruise on this lovely Fred Olsen ship.
The MV Braemar, photoed at Flam.
This is at our first port of call, North of Bergen.
This was a working trip, as Ken, a well-known lecturer on various subjects in Central London, had been hired to give some lectures about classical music, through the P & R Agency on this link.
There are hourly trains from Liverpool Street to Norwich which stop at Mannigtree, where one has to change, which is a Pain, as one needs to be at the far end of the platform & there are steps down, a subway under the tracks & steps up: no lift & little time for this move.
The trip took us from Harwich to:
...so the brochure map (right) is not quite what we did & back to Harwich, where we stayed on the ship and took
The Suffolk bank of the River Stour opposite Harwich on a day of iffy weather
Tuesday 13th May 2014 - Boarding
Up briskly & the cab was exactly on time for Liverpool Street (£15 with tip). Much to our delight, it drops one down at platform level, so there is not struggling on the escalator with the bags. That comes at Manningtree, where there are four minutes to get to the end of the platform, struggle down stairs & up the other side for the Harwich train. This was awful. The Harwich Cruise terminal is a chilly tin shed with a café, where we had drinks & Avis, a filled croissant. We saw Holly Mason there. Apparently, her Show Team, who I had thought were coming off today, were doing an extra week. Show singer Emily spotted us in the terminal later & waved furiously, so we were definitely, back among friends. We had taken the 10:00 Norwich train to be on the safe side but had to go on with the cargo, so there as much hanging around & several (!) electrical failures. However, our gold cards counted although we were crew, so we were soon on & our bags arrived quickly. I went to the Cruise Office to check the Daily Times & found one spelling mistake. After Lifeboat Drill, we had the Entertainment crew briefing & champagne. Ricky Jermy is the Cruise Director, who has used me while a passenger in the past. I made the Bodyguard (my wife) joke but Don Ried, the comedian said he had been a Catholic Priest until Terretts let him down! We had dinner, fish in the Palms, heard the In-Tune band in the Coral Club after I had introduced myself & the Show Team in the Broadway to Hollywood show in the Neptune Lounge before going to bed. I had advertised my talk to everyone I has spoken to. I am down for Thursday afternoon as well, so that will truncate our At Sea visit to the morning.
Wednesday 14th May - Day at Sea on the North Sea
William, the Tours Manager, gave the Ports talk for At Sea & Eidfjord, but the ports have been changed around, so it's At sea on Friday & we are fjord cruising tomorrow. When I ordered the Drambuie from the slop chest, Ricky asked if I could do a fourth talk on Monday if needed. No probs - I have 30 talks with me. I changed, ran a rehearsal & set up a Norway 'show before the show'. Avis said I had 200 guests but I doubt if it was that many. There were a lot, though. We had tea & changed into black tie for the Captain’s Reception, where he introducted the Chief Officers. Dinner at 1830, as it was “Girls Night Out” in the Coral Club but Emily (from the Show Team) has lost her voice & Lauren had to do it alone. We went up to the Observation Lounge & chatted to a couple of cruise virgins I had spoken to getting my last cup of tea yesterday, newly weds Pili & Tabor but they had lived together for 20 years. The concert was Jiaxin Lloyd Webber & Rebecca Omordia introduced by Julian. Very good & Rebecca played Scarbo. I told the people round me that it was the hardest piano piece ever written & she was note perfect, then collapsed into bed.
Contact: Ken Baldry at 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 or e-mail him
URL: http://www.art-science.com/Tourism/Cruises/NW2014/index.html Last revised 3/6/2014 ©2014 Ken Baldry. All rights reserved.