Baltic Sea Ports Trip - Day 8 (Wednesday, June 6, 2007)
Over the ship's com system, the captain had announced when we would pass under the Great Belt Bridge that connects Denmark's islands of Zealand and Funen. That time came just after midnight. I went onto the deck along with many others and waited. In the meantime, I played with my camera, taking night shots of the deck and a passing ship. Slowly, the bridge came into view, showing its lighted towers and string of lights on the cables. The clearance from the bridge deck did not seem large, but we clearly made it. I went back down to sleep after that.
We would spend this entire day at sea, so I did not set an alarm to wake up, but still awoke somewhat early. After leisurely getting ready for the day, I went up to Cova Café in the Grand Foyer to relax and enjoy a danish and hot chocolate. I then met up with my brother and we decided to go to the gym for exercise on the machines there. While on the treadmill, I tried to hook up my earphones to the embedded television, but didn't get the sound to work. I just accepted watching the video screen silently or switching to the navigation map.
After working up a sweat, we tried out the sauna, even though I'm not a fan of them. Another guy entered and we chatted about cruise ships. He compared the facilities of Celebrity Century to ones he preferred more. I listened but kept thinking of when I should get out of the heat. When we finally left, I immediately took a refreshing shower and my brother and I returned to our cabin to change clothes then head to deck 11 for the Scandinavian lunch buffet. The highlight of the buffet turned out not to be the food, but rather the decorations in fruit and ice.
From the daily cruise newsletter, I found out about a self-guided audio tour one can take of the publicly accessible art scattered throughout the ship. At the least, it would pass the time, so I obtained an audio guide device for me and my brother at the Customer Relations desk along with a map showing the locations of the featured art. We started from tne top deck and worked our way down while crossing the length of the ship. Most of the art was done by Andy Warhol and his circle of influence. We saw pop art, minimalist paintings, photographs and sculpture.
We returned the audio guide units and maps to Customer Relations after we found most of the featured artworks. I then got some cash from our cabin to exchange at the bank counter for 670 Swedish Krone, which I figured would be enough for lunch and postcards in Stockholm. I decided to take a nap next and returned to the cabin, along the way grabbing the English version of the world news in brief printout at the Customer Relations desk.
My dad had gone ahead and bought a package of minutes of internet access because he wanted to show his friends where to find his music CD for sale online. He showed up in our cabin and gave my brother the wireless access details for his laptop to try out the connection and get to his page. I took this opportunity to check my email quickly. After that, we went to the Grand Restaurant for dinner for the usual course of salad, soup, entree then dessert.
When I returned to the room after dinner, I found the information about our port call to Stockholm. On our scheduled shore excursion, we would have a free period for a late lunch, so with the port information on hand and my Lonely Planet Scandinavia book, I picked a place to eat. I relaxed some more then went to the art gallery to guess the value of a Max painting and chat with Jina, a beautiful young woman who worked there.
With plenty of time to spare, I set about wandering the ship, seeing if there were any more places I did not see. I took a good look at the navigation chart in the Grand Foyer to see exactly where the ship planned to go and noticed a nearby sculpture on a spring responding to ship movements. Feeling thirsty, I then went up to deck 11 for a glass of lemonade. There, I saw a fruit sculpture of a viking. Finally, I returned to the cabin, set an alarm and slept.
Contact me if you have any questions or comments about this trip.