Day 3 Oslo

Today started early as Debbie couldn’t sleep and woke me up playing jigsaw puzzles on the iPad, so at 5 we decided to get dressed and head to he cafe promenade to get a cuppa, from there we were told that we were coming past land so we headed onto deck to have a nose, we were coming through Norway coast and the scenery was really scenic and picturesque, lots of little islands, lots of wooded cabin houses either side of us and unfortunately lots of wind!! After about half hour of shivering we headed back in and got ourselves more suitable attire and headed to the windjammer for he early bird breakfast and another cuppa. After a day and a half at sea it was rally nice to see some land and it definitely whetted my aptitude for Oslo. After breakfast we sat on he deck where we were enjoying the views when things got so much better. We passed through Oslo fjords WOW WOW WOW absolutely stunning I didn’t know where to point my camera as everywhere was outstanding. I would love to do the fjords properly one day and this made my mind up, it has to be done. Eventually we reached the harbour at half 9 and docked by ten ready to disembark.
I had kinda organised things myself for Oslo. I had already prepaid and booked to visit the icebar and that was second on my itinerary, the first as to head over to vigeland sculpture park which after walking round like headless chickens for 20 minutes trying to find a cashpoint we headed to the tram station. We had bought the Oslo pass which enabled us free travel and free entry to most places, I had thought that 270 NK was a bit high for one pass ( roughly £30 ) but the prices in Oslo are quite high so after working out we saved ourselves about £70.
We managed to find Vigeland quite well in the end and it is a beautiful park surrounded by about 150+ statues built by Vigeland depicting life and death, I managed to bug everyone the by taking a photo of every single one, I think I outdid the Japanese tourists there as well. It was a beautiful sunny day and the walk around be park only took about 30 minutes but it was well worth it, highlit for me was Debbie walking past a statue only for it to move very amusing. From here we had to get ourselves to the icebar, which was something I had been really excited about. We found it eventually got given our cape and gloves and headed inside the ice bar where the temperature is a cool -5 degrees. Now I enjoyed it and it was unique BUT I was slightly disappointed in it, I had expected bigger, more seats, better choice of drink ( you are given a complimentary drink but not of you own choosing), the glasses were really good though and after taking photos for about ten mi uses that’s about it, you are limited to 45 minutes but to be honest you’d struggle to be on there that long. However I would recommend doing it once at least . From here we went to the munch exhibition at the national gallery where I was dying to see the scream painting. Was dismayed to see that we weren’t allowed to take cameras around and had to put them in lockers but then walking round the gallery at seeing people taking photos on their iPhone or iPads. I said to Debbie that was wrong and she said you only saying that cos you didn’t think of it, she knows me so well. Wasn’t overly impressed with the gallery so we decided to walk round the shops and head back to the ship, on the way stopping to buy some touristy crap!! Well had to be done didn’t it. Once back on board it was time for lunch
I loved Oslo, I’d definitely love to come back. Next time ill go to the Viking museum and the ski jump tower but all in all Oslo is lovely

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Day 1 orienteering !!

So finally the day had arrived, for what seemed like an eternity of waiting we were on our way, from getting up at 6, getting washed and ready by half 6 then waiting for he taxi to come get us at 9 everything had led up to this point. The taxi ride to east cowes was interesting as we were keeping an eye on the meter going up and up until it finally stopped at £25.50!!!! Thankfully the driver let us of 50p so we tipped him a fiver, ( generous ain’t I). We managed to catch the earlier ferry and got ourselves the holiday tradition of a large hot chocolate. Part of the reason I got the car ferry was so that I could get some photos of our ship as we docked and I wasn’t disappointed, I’d seen it go last before from cowes and east cowes but this time seeing it closer up you could appreciate just how huge It was. So eventually we exited the car ferry and we could see that the ship wasn’t far away so we decided to walk to the terminal.

HOLIDAY BEGINS!!!!!

One of the things that people have told me about cruising is the hospitality onboard, well as soon as we entered the terminal it began, one of the baggage handlers spotted us struggling with two huge suitcases and a holdall and came over straight away asked us If we were travelling on the adventure then took our bags from us and directed us where to go. Once inside the terminal the staff was exceptional, because I had pre checked in online we could go straight through where we had passport control, checked my debit card and x rayed us and within 30 minutes of getting off the car ferry we were onboard!!! No mucking about, no delays just checked in and go
Once we stepped aboard we were simply in awe of the ship, inside its amazing the decks all have something on them from ice skating rink to a cinema to a casino to the swimming pools etc. the thing that struck me first was the staircases and Debbie was loving the glass elevators. Deck five is the royal promenade and WOW that is outstanding. Shops and bars adorn either side and the is something for everybody, we found he English themed pub the duck and dog ordered a drink and just sat in admiration. After a short drink stop we went exploring the upper decks to get our bearings, the pools and jacuzzi’s area looks great and although it was quite windy that soon died down.
Eventually we decided to find the windjammer for lunch. The windjammer is a self service buffet style and naturally I helped myself and ate til I was full!! Plenty of food that caters for everybody ( obviously I had chips)!!! The food and drinks are good size portions, after lunch we headed back down to the royal promenade where I found the Ben and Jerry’s shop after Debbie twisted my arm I had a large waffle cone which I just about managed to eat. By two our room was ready so we headed off to find it cabin 7579, before we went I preordered the grand romance package which consisted of decorations for he room, bottle of champagne, bath robes, bouquet of flowers and cupcakes and all these were ready for us in the room. It was much better than I expected the bed was lovely and although I’m not a shower person that was nice too. We had a view over the royal promenade as well which was nice. Before we knew it it was time for the compulsory meeting where all guests had to go to the muster station for the showing of how to do you life jackets up and where to go and women and children first ( I don’ t think so). Then it was time for the ship to depart, I was hoping for the foghorn to blast as we left but no so with camera at the ready it was time to start snapping, it took us a good 45 minutes to pass cowes and I got the photos that I was looking for, it was however very blustery on deck and we lasted as long as passing ryde and Portsmouth and getting a quick snap of sandown pier before it got the better of us and we headed in to get ready for dinner. You may notice a lot of reference to food already !!!.
Dinner time arrived and we headed of to he Mozart dining room to get seated, thankfully we got a table for two and we were met by our waiter and his assistant. The menu is quite posh and I was worried that I would find anything but then right at the bottom the old reliable steak turned up so I had that. Very nice it was too. After dinner we set of to find the entertainment and found a lovely little bar called blue moon where a duo were performing an acoustic set and that was enjoyable.by this time it was 11:00 and after a tiring day we headed to bed.

My first impressions so far are that this holiday is going to blow my mind. Everything so far has been perfect much better than I had imagined, the staff are friendly the people onboard all seem normal and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

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Holiday begins

So as you know I have been worrying pretty much for the past three months how my stammer is going to behave whilst we are on our cruise. I can’t get past the feeling that I’m going to show not only me but Debbie up as well. This has led to more anxiety and as a result my speech is not great. Some of the comments from my previous post were quite helpful and I feel I am trying more to relax a little and as I am no longer working I’m hoping I can turn my head off a little and let myself go. I really am excited about this cruise and I know it’s going to be everything I think it will. I just need to let myself go and just chill!! What will be will be (no I don’t believe it either!!!)
I’ve been quiet blog wise for the past few weeks as I seriously don’t want to get repetitive but I am honestly going to give things a go. I have been trying to breathe a bit more and slow my talking down which I know does help. Hopefully once I’m on board I’ll be able to relax more and just try to focus on breathing instead of just focusing on getting my words out as quickly as possible
So here goes 4 days til we go you probably won’t hear from me until after we get back on the 26th when I will no doubt be showing my thousands of holiday snaps. Oslo, Copenhagen, Tallinn, St Petersburg. Helsinki and Bruges are you ready for me!!!!!!!