2013 0801 – Stockholm and Shipboard:
Had a hard time getting to sleep last night – even after midnight – since our body clocks are still not adjusted to the time difference. Set an alarm for 8:00 and went downstairs for the sumptuous continental breakfast. Then Marian stayed in the room while I took a walk along the waterfront in the direction of the City Hall. Could not make it all the way there, though, since I ran out of time.
They came and collected our luggage and we went downstairs to get into the waiting Mercedes for the short trip to the dock where the Nautica
is berthed. Got there before 11:00, so had to wait a bit. First you have your passports checked by Swedish security. Then it’s through the scanner for your carryon and body. Naturally, I got patted down. Getting used to it. Marian had one of her carryon bags opened and inspected since there was something in there they couldn’t identify on the scan. Still don’t know what that was.
Entered ship and went up to Deck 5 into the main dining room for check in. Woman scanning our passports had a hard time, which she found out was caused by her scanner not being connected to her computer! Got our ship ID card/room key. Rooms weren’t ready until 1:00, so we went to Deck 9 to the luncheon buffet. Sat outside over the stern, drank some coffee, ate a light lunch from a huge buffet. Went to the men’s room where there is a sign over the sink to “wash hands often,” and a sign over a tissue dispenser near the door telling you to take one and use it on the door handle. Also, hand gel dispensers at head of buffet line. Good!
Around 1:00, our suite was ready, 8044 on the port side. It’s right by a staircase, which is great. In the suite (PH2), there was a bottle of red wine complements of the booking agency and a cold bottle of champagne with some baked goodies. We left these alone! A knock on the door brought our butler, Nenad from Serbia, who told us all about ship services, room amenities, laundry, Internet, and showed us how to order breakfast to have in the room or on the balcony.
Housekeeper, Margaryta from Ukraine, came and introduced herself and how to contact her, etc. All very nice people here as your would expect.
Weather sort of dreary. So, we did a tour of the various decks that have other than staterooms or suites. Nice faux artwork everywhere (Picasso, Miro, etc.). All the way up at deck 10 is a beautiful library with tons of books. Elegant furnishings … but that’s everywhere. Also up there are the two premium restaurants, Toscana and Polo Grill … we have reservations there for three of our nights aboard. The bar area up there is where tea is served at 4:00, which we have been told by everyone who has been on this line to make sure to attend. There is also a track on this deck.
Deck 9 has the terrace aft where we had lunch. Also has swimming pool and hot tubs and lots of lounges.
Deck 5 has the big restaurant where we will eat tonight as well as a bar, casino, and other nice areas. Marian scoped out the casino, which is only open on nights where the ship is sailing. Same with the boutiques. Then back to the suite … would have wanted to go ashore to Milles Gardens, but it’s too cloudy, rainy to bother today. Perhaps tomorrow.
Connected to Internet … sort of. It’s very slow and it keeps dropping the signal. So, we plod along at a snails’ pace. And it should be good here in port, so don’t know what the deal is.
Went down to dinner in the Grand Dining Room about 6:30. It seats 300 with a menu that changes nightly. Lots of staff attending to all your needs. The sommeliers do a good job selling. We originally asked for a glass of wine each. We were told we should buy a bottle, drink as much as we wanted, and the balance would be put away with our room number on it and available in any of the onboard restaurants. So, we did that, of course, but left enough for tomorrow night. The menu is extensive and food/service excellent.
Around 9:00, I went up onto Deck 10 outside to take pix of the sunset. Lovely sky.