Cruise 11
Russia and Scandinavian Countries

Jewel of the Seas
July 9 - July 22
We left Boston on Tuesday, July 8, at 6:30 PM on British Airways to London.
We arrived at Heathrow Airport at 5:30 AM and shortly after we were picked up by a taxi sent by Royal Caribbean, which took us to the Royal Garden Hotel.

Stella and I checked in and were pleasantly surprised that they had a room ready for us at that time. 
We were not supposed to check in before 2 PM. After resting for a few minutes we returned to the lobby to wait  for Lou and Mary, who were supposed to arrive one hour later than us.  
After awhile ... there they were.
After checking in the four of us went out to lunch to a local restaurant.
The weather was not that great so ... we decided to wait for Renato and Biota who arrived around 3:30 PM. 
By now it was raining!
After checking in, we all rested for a bit, then decided to go see the famous Super Store - Harrods - 
.... on foot, carrying umbrellas!

 Later on,  we had dinner in the Hotel Restaurant, where we also had breakfast.
At 11:30 in the morning a bus picked us up for a two and a half hour ride to 
Harwich, where we boarded the Jewel of the Seas
Everything went very smoothly.
We left our belongings in the cabins and headed to ....where else?
The Windjammer Café where we had a nice lunch.
And so it began what turned out to be a very nice cruise and experience.
As last year, the best part for me was to spend two weeks with my brother Renato and Biota,
as well as having our "traveling companions" with us Lou and Mary.
I will miss most of all the many hours Renato and I spent ... just talking.
Great memories that both Stella and I will cherish forever.

July 9 - Arrival at London, England
Royal Garden Hotel

Day 1
 July 10, 2008
Boarding the ship at 2:00 PM

4:30 PM - Mandatory muster drill
5:00 PM ...the Jewel of the Seas sailed out.

Days 2 and 3
July 11 and 12
Sailing ...

Day 4
July 13 - Tallinn - Estonia
Ship arrived: 10:00 AM 
Panoramic Tallinn Tour (3h)
Ship left: 6:00 PM

Day 5
July 14 - St. Petersburg - Russia
Ship arrived: 7:00 AM 
City Highlights and Pushkin Tour (9h)

Day 6
July 15 - St. Petersburg - Russia
Stayed in the ship.
Ship left: 6:00AM 

Day 7
July 16 - Helsinki - Finland
Ship arrived: 9:00AM 
City of Helsinki Tour (3h)
Ship left: 6:00PM

Day 8
July 17 - Stockholm - Sweden
Ship arrived: 9:00AM 
Stockholm Beauty on Land & Water Tour (3h)
Ship left: 6:00 PM

Day 9 - July 18


Day 10
July 19 - Copenhagen - Denmark
Ship arrived: 8:00 AM
City of Copenhagen Tour (3h)
Ship Left: 6:00 PM

Day 11
July 20 - Oslo - Norway
Ship arrived: 9:00 AM
Oslo Highlights Tour (3h)
Ship left: 6:00 PM

Day 12 - July 21


Day 13
July 22 - Harwich - England
Ship arrived: 5:00 AM

We had breakfast at 6:00 AM in the Windjammer Café,
said goodbye to Renato and Biota, who left the ship first, 
sat for awhile
in the Viking Crown Lounge with Lou and Mary, who left next, 
and around 7:30 we left the ship and boarded a bus for 
a 3 hour ride to 
Heathrow Airport for our flight home at 4:30 PM. (London time)
We arrived at Logan Airport at 6:30 PM ... Boston time.
Michael and Michelle picked us up and brought us home ... 
satisfied but happy to be home.

I must say that I enjoyed this trip. 
The ports of call were very impressive.
I found the Scandinavian countries very "civilized", 
very clean, very "green",
lots of vegetation, ... gardens, flowers, forests, etc. 
Gorgeous cities with wide avenues, many bicycles,
and very well-kept beautiful buildings.

As for the cruise, being our 11th ... the usual good accommodations and service. 
The dinning room food was ok/good ... the usual.
The entertainment however, was good/excellent.
I did miss not having the kind of weather which allows you to use the pool 
and sunbathing ... even though, all in all, the weather was good and we had several 
days with a good amount of sunshine. 
And ...fantastic sunsets! Often at 11 PM it was still daytime!
Very beautiful and unusual.

Go to page 222 
Tallinn, Estonia 
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