Tuesday, May 8th, 2018 HELSINKI, FINLAND
I woke at 5 am and by 6 am I was in the Lido with my laptop and completed downloading all of my photos from the cruise to the laptop and then copied them into another file to set up as an album that I can share with friends and family. About 7 am Steve showed up and we talked about the upcoming day and transferring photos from the cell phones to a USB zip drive.
He and Myra are still scheduled to visit the “bridge” this afternoon at 2 pm at the personal invitation of the captain of the ship. I later learned that the visit lasted about 45 minutes and the captain was not there but they really enjoyed their visit.
Shirley arrived about 8 am and later Jim came up also and we all had breakfast together. Mary had breakfast in her room. We agreed to meet at 10 o’clock to go off of the ship together for our visit to Helsinki. Mary and Shirley decided to pay the 30 euros each and take the Hop On/Off bus for a tour of an hour and a half throughout the city. A great tour that they really enjoyed. Jim and I decided to take the Shuttle Bus into town for 10 euros each and walked about two miles in the center of the city. Probably should have taken the bus with the girls but we enjoyed our time.
Good to check the emails and able to send a post on Facebook while on the bus into and home from town. Surprisingly I was able to send and receive texts on the ship all day.
Shirley and Mary returned about 1 pm and we all enjoyed lunch together on the ship. Jim spent the afternoon reading his book and the girls and I enjoyed playing Hand and Foot for several hours.
About 4:30 pm we dressed for dinner and headed to the Ocean Bar for the Happy Hour and danced several times to Gabriel’s beautiful music. Mary joined us for the hour and then we were off to dinner. We were back on the high seas and everyone was there. Many stories swirled around the table about the activities for the day. One of the more exciting ones was a tour taken by Bill and Shari to the Ice Bar which also included a dog sled ride.
Tonight we watched the spy movie “Red Sparrow” on the television in our room. So many spy movies chosen for this cruise. I guess it is because we were in Russian. Today I walked 7,095 steps which equaled 3.32 miles.
Wednesday, May 9th, 2018 Nynashamn Stockholm Sweden
We moved our clocks back one hour at 2 am this morning.
We were up early and in and out of the Lido as we watched the slow crawl into the port. Actually we were scheduled to “tender” into the dock; small groups in small boats. Very slow. But the port had just completed their new floating dock and we were able to be the first to use it! A long walk but very easy and fast. We all thought that we’d dock in Stockholm, but we think that this is a new port and cheaper and they’re giving it a try to see if the passengers like it. There are lots of tours into Stockholm.
We were able to contact Kevin and Melissa who were on the train while we were still on the ship using Text thanks to our T-Mobile Service. Good to know they were going to be there to meet us. We took a taxi the two miles to the train station, Mary picked up the five euros each; and we discovered a nearly empty fast food restaurant where we all enjoyed an early lunch instead of breakfast. But we were nearly the only customers and we had the place to ourselves for over an hour and the owner did not try to rush us out! So good to see the kids and actually, Shirley had never met Kevin’s wife before. Ironically, I picked up a text from Kevin’s sister in USA about her wedding while we were at the table. Mary will be attending the wedding but we have a prior commitment in San Francisco for our grandson’s high school graduation. Kevin and Melissa will also be traveling to Colorado for the wedding. All in all, a fun hour and we’re so glad that we got to meet. They actually live in Stockholm which is over an hour away. They got on the train to return to the city and go to their jobs. We decided to walk back to the ship. A long walk, fairly level, and the weather was good so we enjoyed it as we slowly made our way back to the ship. Mary said she felt better after the walk.
At the entrance Jim and I spent some time on the internet while the girls shopped for their Sweden mementos. Then back to the ship and shortly thereafter lunch. In the afternoon I watched the movie “Father Figures” in the Main Stage and then after dinner Jim and I watch “The Book of Henry” on TV in our room.
We enjoyed walking up to the ninth deck that is open to see the views of the shorelines about 4 o’clock. Lovely, many inlets and private homes along the shoreline. Then off to the Ocean Bar to enjoy the music played by Gabriel on the piano and a dance or two before dinner. We were only six tonight at dinner; Bill and Shari were elsewhere. The ship left the port at 5:30 pm so they must have been on the ship but we’re not sure just where. Mary and Myra have both begun to pack for their trips home that begin in four more days.