Never in a million years did I imagine that we would be winging our way to a place where we could experience crossing the Arctic Circle and enjoying the natural phenomenon of the midnight sun. And yet, here I am with Randy and our friends Doug and Sue sitting in JFK airport waiting to board our flight to Copenhagen, Denmark. Once in Copenhagen we will board Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas for an 11-night Arctic Circle Cruise that includes stops at Alesund, Honningsvag, Tromso, Geiranger, Olden and Bergen, Norway.
If that was not exciting enough, we will continue on the Serenade for a 10-night Scandivania-Russia cruise that will includes stops at Rostock, Germany, Tallinn, Estonia, St. Petersburg, Russia, Helsinki, Finland, Riga, Latvia and Stockholm, Sweden. It is going to be an interesting and exciting month.
As I mentioned, we would be traveling with friends Doug and Sue who we met on a transatlantic cruise on the Oasis of the seas in the fall of 2014. We will also be traveling with long-time friends Jim and Vilma from New Mexico and Vilma’s long-time friend Mickey from Chicago and Mickey’s sister Betty from Indiana.
Our flight to Copenhagen, Denmark was uneventful and comfortable. The food on the KLM flight was just wonderful. Randy watched a variety of shows while I worked on crossword puzzles and played solitaire on the computer.
None of us slept on the plane so when we arrived in Copenhagen we were very tired. We were escorted by a representative of the cruise line to a holding area until the buses picked us up to take us to the terminal. The terminal and ship staff were very friendly and made every effort to make us comfortable until we could board bringing coffee, tea, juices, pastries and sandwiches to the waiting area in the terminal.
Vilma and the others had flown to Copenhagen several days earlier and had been enjoying the sights, sounds and flavors of the city until it was time to board the ship. Randy and I had visited Copenhagen last year and knew they were in for a treat. Copenhagen is a beautiful city.
When we finally were able to board the ship, which was very early, we settled in some comfortable chairs just outside the Windjammer hoping to catch a glimpse of the others as they came up for lunch. And, we did! As soon as we spotted the others we gave hugs all around and settled down until we could go to our cabins.
Randy and I had been on the Serenade in April and so were familiar with the ship and all it had to offer. On our way to the cabin I stopped at guest services and picked up a ‘Fun Facts’ sheet about the ship. The sheet included facts about where the ship was built, its maiden voyage, passenger capacity and technical information. But the one fact that I always look forward to learning on each ship is the amount of food that is consumed during a voyage.
According to what I read the food consumption in a one week period on-board Serenade of the Seas is as follows:
18,450 fresh eggs
4,750 pounds of rice
12,500 pounds of fresh vegetables
11,580 pounds of fresh fruit,
3,500 galls of milk
5,350 pounds of beef
185 pounds of fresh herbs
5,000 pounds of potatoes
556 pounds of coffee
785 gallons of ice cream
549 pounds of lobster
31,345 pounds of chicken
3,650 pounds of sugar
18,000 bottles of liquor
12,500 cans of beer
6,120 cans of soda. Now, does that make you head spin or what! I could not help but think, I would not want that grocery bill.
We continued to our cabin for a bit of a rest before the safety drill. While the bed looked inviting, sleep was not an option. I knew that if I lay down I would not get up until morning. So, I unpacked the suitcases and then Randy and I went onto the balcony to enjoy the sunny weather, the windmills and sailboats in the harbor. Before long Doug and Sue joined us outside, we were next door neighbors, and we chatted a while before preparing for the mandatory safety drill.
By the time the drill was over it was time to head up to the Concierge Lounge for cocktails before dinner.
It was really quite funny to be at our table. There were four people looking rested and fresh while the other four people were looking very, very tired. I really do not remember much about dinner that night except that all I could think about was sleep.
I ordered a shrimp cocktail and the Horseradish Crusted Fillet of Atlantic Salmon with Celeriac-potato mash, snow peas and a lemon beurre blanc and sweet mustard drizzle for dinner; no dessert. I enjoyed this particular salmon on the Freedom a few months earlier and remembered how delicious it was and, to my pleasure, still was. Randy ordered the Mojo-Marinated Pork Chop which is equally as delicious.There was ‘Welcome Aboard’ show for all guests this evening but we were just too tired. We said our good nights to everyone and headed back to our cabin. On the way Sue mentioned that she would like to stop and have a ‘Welcome Aboard! souvenir picture taken and so, we did. We then moved on to our cabins and settled in for the evening. Vilma and the others went on to the show.
Unfortunately, neither of us could drift off. With the curtains open, we just lay there for the longest time watching the sun as it started to set beyond the horizon. By the time it had finally disappeared the sky was filled with bright orange, red and yellow hues. Beautiful! I jumped out of bed and took a few photos, returned to bed and finally fell fast asleep.
Tomorrow we will be at sea slowly cruising towards Norway.