Carnival Legend Norwegian Cruise +
Carnival Legend Norwegian Cruise + ports of Hamburg, Amsterdam, Zeebrugge, LeHarve, and pre/post cruise stay in London area. September 2013.
I'll post review as I complete it, but will start with individual FUN items or posts.
For complete review: Ray's Cruise Blog
Highclere and Old Boot Inn
We stayed in Windsor three days pre-cruise. We made a day trip to Highclere Castle for an afternoon tour. Highclere is the location that they film the popular Downton Abbey series. It was very nice.
Following we drove through Bucklebury and were going to call on the Middleton's, but they were busy with the new Royal grandchild. We did visit the Old Boot Inn where the Duke & Duchess have been known to 'hang' on occasion. The country inn was fantastic. We enjoyed ale, wine, & beer and stayed for a wonderful dinner.
Carnival Legend Norway & Europe Cruise
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ffqaAu4QYx...und-Legend.jpg Carnival Legend in our first port: Ålesund, Norway Carnival Legend Norway & Europe Cruise Review
September 1-12, 2013
Just The Facts:
Ship: Carnival Legend
Ship Captain: Giuseppe Donato
Cruise Director: John Heald
Ports: Dover, Alesund, Bergan, Stravanger, Oslo, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Zeebrugge, LeHarve
Weather: Mixed, but Generally Good
We left Canterbury with another couple about 10:00 am for the easy drive to Dover. We dropped the
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Xq4CHEYYyQ...liffsDover.JPG White Cliffs of Dover
ladies and luggage at the cruise terminal & then returned our friends rental car. We decided to walk across the bridge back to the pier as it would be a long wait for a taxi, but the weather was cool and only about a mile so off we go. Embarkation was smooth as they had been boarding for a while, we basically just checked in at the VIP Desk and walked onto the ship. After dropping our bags in the cabin we were up on Lido deck for lunch. Soon we began seeing our other friends and that’s all it takes for a party to start. I was able to sneak away to the cabin for a short snooze before the mandatory safety briefing. Just after 5:00 pm we had an excellent view of the ‘White Cliffs of Dover’ as we sailed out of the harbor and into the English Channel to begin our wonderful cruise. I was surprised to see all the large wind turbines in the channel. It was time to explore the ship as it is my first time on the Carnival Legend. First impression is good, but she has not had the 2.0 upgrades as yet. Most of the public rooms and lounges are located forward on the ship including the piano bar, comedy club, and of course the primary show lounge. We have two round tables located center in the Truffles Dining Room (MDR) for late seating dinner. DW and I had a nice salad in the Unicorn (Lido) before dinner so I only had the new Chicken & Shrimp entree, but had two desserts: the Creme Brulee and Black Forest Gateau. All were very good. Since we had two Carnival newbies in our group I insisted that we attend the 10:15 pm Welcome Show presented by John Heald in the Follies lounge. It did not disappoint as JH was his usual very entertaining self and the newbies were rolling in laughter. Great start for all on the cruise.
Day Two--Monday--at Sea
Very blustery day with choppy seas as we sail from the English Channel and into the North Sea. Not too concerned as this is a sea day and weather is to improve as the day progresses. I started the morning with my usual 1st morning Carnival MDR breakfast in Truffles. I had the Melon, Eggs Benedict, Bacon, hash brown Potatoes, Juice, and hot milk. It was good so that is a good sign for the
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FpwmzWutn7...Party+copy.jpg Private Cocktail Party cruise. DW had her usual room service breakfast. Our cabin is located just below the lido beverage area so it is very easy to get juices, tea, and lemonade as needed. Also just below the Deli and Salad bar, very convenient for a quick snack. Cruise activities for the day have begun, but we finished exploring the ship and had a casual morning. We had our usual first sea day ‘Snoozemates and Friends’ cocktail party in Billies Piano Bar at 1:00 pm. Our new and regular friends all attended and thanks to a good server and excellent bartender we had a great party and social. In fact they were very generous with drinks and it was a very happy hour. Following the ladies went to shop, one has her eye on a nice diamond, and a few went to the Carnival Deli for a nice late lunch. The Roast Beef Sandwich was very good. Being very content I had a very nice long afternoon snooze in the cabin. It was the Captains Elegant Night this evening so there were photo opportunities and cocktails on the promenade deck with the Captain and ships officers. Also the Captains Dinner with entree choices of Prime Rib, Lobster, Duck, and more. A few in the group went to the Punchliner Comedy Club and some to the casino. The main entertainment was Jazz Hot, but with a late show for late seating (10:30) we retired to the cabin as we have a big day planned for Ålesund.
Day Three--Tuesday—Ålesund, Norway
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-A6oENv3JP9...arama+copy.JPGA beautiful day sailing around the islands into Ålesund this morning. I went upstairs (one deck) to Lido for a nice buffet breakfast and brought it down to my balcony so I could enjoy the views as we approached our first Norwegian port. We were docked about 9:00 am and were soon off as we have a big adventure to Geirangerfjord with another couple planned for the day. We walked to Avis and picked up a rental car and were off for the two hour drive to meet the 12:30 Geiranger tourist ferry at Hellesylt. En route we crossed one fjord by ferry, went through long mountain tunnels, crossed over several mountains and enjoyed wonderful scenery. The Geiranger ferry passes through the UNESCO heritage listed Geirangerfjord between several large snow capped mountains with numerous waterfalls on each
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OR7n1f-Jzf...ngerfjord2.JPG Geirangerfjord Overlook side, a truly beautiful and unique experience. I even enjoyed an authentic Norwegian hot lunch of meat balls, new potatoes, mushy peas while on the ferry. As the ferry Captain approached Geiranger he began playing Con Te Partirè by Andrea Bocelli as a tribute to the Italian ship anchored there...very clever I thought and I doubt very few ‘got it’. The return drive was similar with one small ferry, ten consecutive hairpin curves up a very steep mountain, tunnels, and beautiful farm land and a few small mountain villages. The highlight of the return trip was a fantastic turn out with spectacular views up the Geirangerfjord. Beautiful views. Open the photo at left (double click it) and you will see the ferry returning up the fjord. It will give you a since of scale as well, this fjord is huge. We returned the car in Ålesund about 4:30 and were back on board ship by 5:00 pm. A great adventure indeed. We found a note on our cabin door upon return that the
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PUvY-wQNh6...200/salute.jpg Ålesund Salute group sail away party was scheduled for 5:45 pm. in our cabin. Makes since as we have a large balcony facing the port of Ålesund. We sailed at our scheduled 6:00 time and were escorted out by a fire boat spraying water and firing guns as a salute. We had a perfect view from our balcony of the salute, harbor, and mountains as we sailed away. It was soon time for dinner, tonight I ordered the Shrimp Cocktail, Fillet of Sole, a Shrimp entree to share, Prime Rib, and a Strawberry combo dessert. Brett Cave was the primary entertainment in the main lounge, but after a long busy day we retired to the cabin after dinner.
Day Four--Wednesday--Bergen, Norway
Some rough seas overnight until we entered the fjord leading into Bergen. We arrived about 9:00 am
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-V00oAcg3PL...046+copy+2.jpg Bergen from Mt. Fløyen
right on schedule and most in the group have a big nine-hour excursion today on the Flam railway, but our plan is to see the Bryggen and visit Mt. Fløyen in Bergen today so we have an easy morning. I had an omelet from the Unicorn Cafe on Lido deck and DW had her room service. We are docked in town so it’s only a easy ten minute walk to the UNESCO heritage site Tyskebryggen located along the eastern pier side of Bergen fyord. The Bryggen is a series of wooden wharf warehouses dating back to 1360‘s when the local merchants were a part of the Hanseatic League. The fact that any have survived is amazing in itself although most now date back to 1702. They now house art galleries, premium tourist shops, and restaurants. We ran into two friends while there and decided to go to the Mount Fløyen Railway together. It was only a few blocks to the rail station where we boarded the train that takes you to the top of of Mount Fløyen and the beautiful overlook of the town of Bergen and the harbor. We have been fortunate with the weather and had a wonderful view. The Carnival Legend cruise ship looks so small from here. We returned to Bergen proper and looked around before heading to the famous Bergen Fish Market at the head of the two sides of the Bergen fjord. Here are located fresh fish stands that will sell and cook any combination of sea food you wish. Very popular spot for lunch. We walked around more of the town then back through the Bryggen again on the return to the ship about 4:00 pm. A very nice walkable port to visit. I ordered a BLT sandwich from room service as a late afternoon snack and it was excellent. We had sail away cocktails in one of the cabins on starboard side as that was the side we were docked, nothing fancy as in Ålesund, but sailing the fjords are so beautiful in Norway. Dinner was very good this evening, I ordered the Escargot, a Seafood salad, the Filet Mignon, and Ice Creme for dessert. The steak was great so I will go with a beef theme the rest of the cruise. Again we retired to the cabin after dinner. Others went to the Casino or Punchliners Comedy Club.
Day Five--Thursday--Stavanger, Norway
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TuwLKzwplg.../PulpiRock.JPG Preikestolen - the Pulpit Rock We had good weather and smooth seas overnight and arrived early so it was very easy for passengers going ashore early this morning. I went up to the Lido to get a nice breakfast and returned to the balcony this morning to have breakfast with the DW. We have a nice view of a picture perfect Stavanger neighborhood. We have really found Norway to be very neat and clean, not only this area we are overlooking but the rural areas and small towns we have visited as well...almost unbelievably clean. Again we are docked very near the city center so I went into Stavanger before our noon excursion. I walked around for an hour+ visiting the Watchtower, the Stavanger Cathedral that dates to 1150, and observing the numerous quaint shops along the cobblestone streets of the old town. Just before noon the group met for our big Lysefjord cruise tour. We did book this one through Carnival as it was impossible to book a private tour to this location. It was dear ($149.00 pp) but well worth the cost. The Lysefjord is situated close to Stavanger, and is especially known for the mountain formations of Kjerag and Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock). We had a nice high speed vessel that took us from the cruise pier around the harbor, some islands, and into the Lysefjord. It was
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ERXEej-Nwl...fjord+Crew.jpg Lysefjord Crew another spectacular Norwegian fjord and a fun excursion especially with the entire group along. Again we were lucky with the weather. A guide pointed out Cleng Peerson’s home area to me, he is buried in my local cemetery in Norse, Texas. We returned to the ship about an hour before sail away so it was an enjoyable easy day. DW and I made a dash for the old Stavanger Cathederal as it was not open this morning, we got in just as they were closing. It is an active church so tourist hours are limited depending on use...very worthwhile if you can get in to see it. Dinner tonight was again very good and I’m staying with the steak theme, tonight I ordered the Langostino Cocktail, Pumpkin Soup, NY Strip Steak, and the Penne Pasta with Artichokes. After dinner John Heald hosted a Jazz and cigar event on the Serenity Deck. It was fun, but starting to get rather cool in the late evenings. The feature entertainer tonight was Justin Illusion and the Legend Dancers in a magic show.
Day Six--Friday--at Sea
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rRFo--OHu4...0/luncheon.jpg Golden Fleece Steakhouse luncheon Smooth seas overnight, foggy morning and no port today so we slept until 9:00 am. Just a light room service breakfast this morning on the balcony as we have a special luncheon today for the Diamond Guests on Board. At noon we went up to the Golden Fleece Steak House on deck ten for the function. Cruise Director John Heald introduced Captain Donato, Hotel Director Chastney, the Senior Chef, and Senior Staff. They served Champagne when we arrived and we had a choice of Red or White Wine with dinner. We were served starters of Quail, Cured Salmon with Candied Tomato, and Peppered Cheese Ravioli in Truffle Creme. My entree was Duet of Petit Fillet Mignon and Short Rib Confit served with Oven Roasted Potatoes and Burgundy Wine Sauce. For dessert we had Variations of Strawberries: upside down Strawberry Cake, Strawberry Sorbet, Strawberry and Mascarpone Creme Strawberry Tart. DW had a very nice Vegetarian Platter of potatoes and vegetables. The ravioli and steak were outstanding. It was a very enjoyable two-hour lunch and the service and venue were fantastic. You can see from the photo there were about 50 people as they combined the Diamonds with passengers on a B2B. With great afternoon weather we met our friends out on Serenity Deck and spent the rest of the day. Very enjoyable sea day on the Carnival Legend. The group met for cocktails as usual and then off to the Truffles dining room. For dinner tonight I ordered: Shrimp Cocktail, a Penne Arribacco, the Rib Eye Steak, and a sampling of desserts. Again staying with the steak theme...they have been very good. After dinner it was visiting, music, or gambling for most of the group.
Sounds like a great time, thanks for sharing.i would love to have JH as a CD sometime.
I now get your screen name snooze!!:)
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