Southampton to Southampton aboard Sapphire Princess calling at Bruges, Copenhagen, Skagen and Oslo.
  • Day8

    Cruise Information

    September 8, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

    Well back safe and sound after a fantastic week aboard Sapphire Princess. Thanks to all who followed us around and for all the comments. Below are some facts about the ship. Until next time............

    Cruise : 7 - Days Scandinavia
    Ship : Sapphire Princess
    Captain : Paolo Ravera
    Ship Tonnage : 115,875
    Length : 288.33 meters
    Breadth : 37.50 meters
    Max no of passengers: 3100
    Max no of crew: 1060
    Ship delivery date: May 2004

    Southampton to Zeebrugge 171.15 miles
    Zeebrugge to Copenhagen 722.2 miles
    Copenhagen to Skagen 172.5 miles
    Skagen to Oslo 106.95 miles
    Oslo to Southampton 841.8 miles

    Total miles since Southampton 2015
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  • Day7

    Day 7, At Sea

    September 7, 2018, North Sea ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Last full day on board today, tends to be busy as we try and pack in as much as we can. On the plus side we got an hour back last night and are now back on UK 🇬🇧 time which considering the challenges we’ve been having dragging ourselves out of bed, was a good thing. Sharon, bless her heart got up at 7.00am and went downstairs to check the restaurant breakfast menu and whispered she was going to get a coffee and sit at the back of the ship before it got busy. I decided to get up and meet her there. Unfortunately no Lumberjack breakfast this holiday, but hey ho, you can’t have everything and we can’t complain. The weather early on was mild but cloudy and we sat and watched the world go by. Not a soul about. We decided the restaurant for breakfast rather than the decks today so went back to the room to grab some bits and then go. We had balloons and banners on our door wishing Sharon a Happy Birthday and a coupe of token gifts. After breakfast we had a wander around the ship and then decided to pack giving us the rest of the day to ourselves (the usual royal we obvs 😂).

    The sun made an appearance mid morning so we went and did our jobs (booked our future cruise deposit, sorted disembarkation info out etc.) and the headed to the open decks for a dip in the hot tubs. We used the ones at the back of the ship and had the ship to ourselves. It was blowing a gale and was a bit choppy but the sun kept making an appearance through the clouds and it was just our spot. We jumped out about 12.30 and headed for a pre lunch lunch before making our way to the theatre for an interview with the one and only Eddie The Eagle Edwards. He spoke for about an hour and his personality really did shine through. He had a very hard time but his passion and determination got him to where it did. It’s such a shame that the Olympic committee don’t really want you to succeed if you don’t have any money. But he doesn’t regret anything, he really was inspiring. He said the film was about 85% true but they made a few bits up to keep in line with the film appeal, such as him getting drunk and his dad not being supportive (he was most of the time but did get a bit annoyed when he wanted to leave work early to go skiing ⛷). He then signed photos in the bar, we bought a photo of the ski slope at Oslo for him to sign, when we were buying it at the photo desk the bloke who served us asked if we would get him one signed !! We did, still charged us $2 for the ski lift photo though. As we left the bar the weather had turned, it was pissing down with rain and very foggy, what better opportunity to get our coats and head to the back of the ship with a nice hot cup of tea.

    We then went back to the cabin to get changed and go out for our last dinner of the cruise. We managed to get in to the club class restaurant, sat with a couple from Toronto and a couple from St Helens, both lovely and the Canadians were fascinated by our accent. As we left the dining room the balloon party was in full swing in the atrium, the theme was “British Night” and the band and singers were ace. Lots of great songs and it was packed. A good end to a fantastic holiday. Princess Cruises never disappoint us.

    We are currently sat at the back of the ship having a drink, writing this and enjoying the last few hours. Southampton tomorrow, then homeward bound. We’re currently off the coast of SkegVegas but quite a few miles out, it’s choppy just how we like it. Cruise log to follow. Thanks for following us around, until next time, Au Revoir
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  • Day6

    Day 6, Oslo

    September 6, 2018 in Norway ⋅ 🌧 15 °C

    The last stop of the holiday today in Oslo, Norway. The weather forecast today wasn’t so good, lots of rain in fact. However, although very cloudy and slightly cooler, we did avoid any rain whilst docked. It was an early dock, we were at the berth by 7am and being the last stop we set the alarm for 6.15am. Cor blimey did we know about that !! Anyway we got up and headed for the front of the ship. Once again a nice quiet glide in. To be fair, to take full advantage of the approach we would have needed to be on deck for about 5am, needless to say we didn’t bother.

    We’ve been here twice before so didn’t really have anything planned, and the weather could have scuppered things. But as it was dry we decided on a 2hr Fjord cruise run Independently from the port. It was ok, not brilliant but ok. It was overshadowed by the fact it was Baltic, windy and 2 whole hours in the cooler breeze. We would have also seen just as much on the way out from our ship, but there you go, you live and learn.

    Due to the fact I thought I was going to die from hypothermia when we got back, we got straight back on our ship and had some lunch before getting off yet again to look around the shops. I was armed that time with a thick fleece and a jumper. It was an early sail-away so we had to be back on board for 3.30pm which thankfully cut the shopping a bit short. We decided to stand on top of the bridge for the sail-away and we were up there for about an hour before wandering to the back of the ship for a cuppa. We sailed down quite a narrow fjord out of Oslo for about an hour and a half with some very nice sites, before joining the North Sea.

    We were invited to the Captains Cocktail Party tonight, formal dress and plenty of canapés and drinks. It’s always nice and we decided to attend tonight. We got chatting to some lovely people. As the party was finishing, Eddie the Eagle was behind us, so we went and said a quick hello and got a selfie. He was a really nice bloke, very chatty and very friendly. Sharon went up to him and said “Hi, you are Eddie aren’t you?”, I just wished he’d have said “No, I’m Dave from Birmingham why?”. He didn’t, he said yes and started to chat. Next we graced the formal dining room with our presence, Sharon had snails to start and Lobster for main, Beef Wellington for me. We were lucky (in one way) whilst we were in the handbag shop (that’s the not so lucky bit, being in the handbag shop), the captain 👨‍✈️ came in had a look around and just started talking to us. Sharon asked him if he got a good discount 😂😂, he said he didn’t buy handbags. Again, a nice bloke. We told him how much we enjoyed Skagen yesterday and how welcoming they were. He told us they were very excited and thankful for our visit and that the mayor had come on board to thank him personally, it was quite nice. So we’ve had a very sociable evening.

    We were going to go out on the open deck to watch tonight’s movie, but due to heavy precipitation in the atmosphere (Its pissing down), we had a cuppa at the back of the ship and are now off to our cabin to possibly watch s movie or more likely to fall asleep 💤 .Last day on board tomorrow so will be busy, we’ve been told to prepare for some stormy waters, lovely, just how we like it.

    So until tomorrow folks.....
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  • Day5

    Day 5, Skagen

    September 5, 2018 in Denmark ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    A new port for us today despite doing this cruise a few times before. Skagen pronounced Skane is the northern most tip of Denmark. It’s well used by artists due to being known as the land of light. We docked this morning at 9am and we were up to watch us dock. Weather was mild, sunshine and cloud but no rain and it remained similar all day. We had expected Skagen to be very small with almost nothing there but we were pleasantly surprised. The main industry here is fishing so there was lots of traffic around the port waters. We were welcomed in to port by a group of Danish singers stood at the port as we docked (singing obviously, not just stood there for a laugh watching us in).

    We disembarked the ship around 11.00 after a leisurely breakfast. We walked towards the town (or so we thought) following a few other couples. It did become apparent they had no idea where they were going so just went in the first pub!! To be honest, we weren’t far away, we just took the scenic route. The town itself was extremely pleasant, like most Scandanavian places it was very clean, beautifully presented and well maintained. There were lots of shops and cafe bars and the people were extremely friendly. We decided we would try and get ourselves to Grenen, a small town about 5 miles away where the North Sea and the Baltic Sea meet. We hopped on a local bus and the driver was very friendly and took us. It was a shuttle service and cost 8 Euros. Although the currency here is the Danish Krona, most places actually take Euros, fortunately we had some of them 🙂. Once we got to Grenen, there was a little gift shop and cafe and we were able to walk over the dunes to the sea. There were a few places of interest, ww2 bunkers, Drakmans Grave and a lighthouse which is predicted to have been eaten up by the sea by 2020. We had a wander down the lovely beach and Sharon decided to go for a paddle near a large rock, first time in the Baltic Sea. I didn’t bother, don’t like sand near my feet so I watched. On the rock was a seal pup, sat there posing for anyone who would talk to it. Apparently the mother had gone for food. Sharon waded in for a pic, the paddle was nearly a swim but she got a few nice pictures. Imagine how chuffed she was when she waded back out, soaked to just under her arse and decided my photos of it were clearer than hers, and I was lovely and bone dry 😂😂.

    We were going to return to the ship but then saw a tractor ride through the dunes to the exact point where the two seas meet, so we jumped on and off we went. It was magnificent to see, the waves came from different directions and met in the middle. Truly fascinating. Sharon went back in and had a picture with one foot in each sea and then we got the tractor back and then the bus to the ship. Obviously, a spot of lunch followed and then we went to the back of the ship, got a couple of loungers and had a cup of tea and just watched the world go by before finally leaving a Skagen around 6pm. The people of Skagen were so thankful for the cruise ships they had a band playing to see us off and lots of people gathered at the port to wave us off. Was a great sail away. We were at the back rather than on top deck which was lovely as we watched the sun go down as we left.

    The captain announced over the loudspeaker 📢 that we needed to do some essential maintenance as we left which was to recalibrate the magnetic compass. This involved us pushing back from the dock in to a non traffic part of the Baltic Sea and doing a series of 360 degree turns before zipping off towards Oslo. He was advising us as in his words he didn’t want us thinking he had lost the plot !! We stood at the back of the ship and watched us do one of the complete 360 degree turns before heading back to our cabin to get changed ready for dinner downstairs in the restaurant. As always it was fabulous and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

    It’s now 10.30pm, we are heading north towards Oslo and we’re laid out on the open deck watching a movie on the big screen. Hot chocolate and popcorn are readily available and we’re gliding along. It’s perfect.

    So that was Skagen, Oslo tomorrow, so until then, goodnight all.
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  • Day4

    Day 4, Copenhagen

    September 4, 2018 in Denmark ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    So we had to set our alarm last night to make sure we didn’t miss the 10am dock this morning. We were up and about at 8am and headed to the deck for breakfast rather than the dining room. No Lemon Danishes and we’re in Denmark !!. Never mind, the muffins were a good substitute. As we didn’t dock until 10am, we went to the front of the ship and watched the approach and dock. We just glided in, all nice and peaceful. We were able to pick landmarks out from when I worked here and our visits to Jens & Eva’s.

    Usually when we dock here we are off the ship and we walk up in to Nyhavn which is a very pretty, colourful harbour where Hans Christian Anderson lived. This time we berthed at a dock that was much further out which meant we had to get a bus in. It was a little bit of a pain but I guess that’s because we are used to doing it the other way. So we got the bus which dropped us of at Nyhavn (means New Harbour I believe), traffic was a nightmare but we went past the apartment I used to have when I worked out here and it fetched a few memories back. We had a wander around and stopped for some lunch and a pint in the sun. We then had a wander through the city and out to Tivoli Gardens at the other side. The weather was tremendous and it was a lovely walk. We wandered around at the other side of the city before making our way back leisurely and finally catching the shuttle bus back to the ship. The number of cyclists still amaze me, they are everywhere.

    Once back on board we had the obligatory snack or two followed by tea and cake before grabbing a bit of a granny nap while Sharon watched the end of some documentary about some ballet dancer. Once that was done we headed out and spent a couple of hours in the hot tub watching the sun go down, it was lovely, beautiful clear skies, nice temperature and fairly quiet. I have however detected a few brats on board, not caused us to much bother yet, hope they don’t, they make an awful noise when you have to drown them 😂😂.

    Next we decided we would go to our cabin and watch “London has Fallen”. It’s a film we never saw but always wanted to mainly due to it being based in London. I’ve trawled Netflix, Amazon etc and it’s gone so was going to buy it but it’s on the demand TV in the cabin. Wow, what a great film, we both really enjoyed it. We did say we wasn’t going to do dinner tonight, and to be fair we didn’t go to the restaurant, but after the film finished we popped upstairs to the deck just to get a cuppa and watch us leave Copenhagen. Well, there was pork loins, potatoes, fish bites, all sorts really so bugger it, we had some, oh and more pink cake 🍰.

    It’s 10.45pm now, just polishing off the cake and we’re waiting to depart for Skagen. Sat out at the back of the ship, pleasant temperature and a perfect end to a lovely day.

    Until tomorrow peeps 👍
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  • Day3

    Day 3, At Sea

    September 3, 2018, North Sea ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Lazy so and so’s this morning. 10am before our peepers burst in to life. Well, not exactly, I did sneak downstairs to the dining room at 8, just in case “The Lumberjacks” breakfast was on but it wasn’t today so I went back to bed. When we finally did get out of bed for real, we went up to to the buffet for breakfast. The trouble with the buffet is that you just help yourself as many times as you like without having to ask. So 3 lemon danish patties later I decided that was enough. And moved on to the bacon and eggs. Am going to have to behave when we get back. We saw “Eddie the Eagle Edwards” at breakfast this morning, he’s with us for the week. We’re hoping he gives a talk at some point but not seen it advertised as yet.

    A lazy day today, we’re at sea so we don’t plan anything really we just take it as it comes. The weather was mild with sunshine and cloud. It was lovely in the sun but not quite so warm when the cloud cover came. Nevertheless we headed out to the open decks. We just sat and watched the world go by for the first hour or so, me listening to some music 🎧🎵 Sharon reading some magazines. We then decided to give the hot tubs a whirl whilst out on the open deck. It was lovely, very relaxing. Then disaster struck, they put Michael Bubble on the big screen - 45 mins of my life I won’t get back !! We went for a spot of lunch before having a wander round the ship 🚢 . The wander around the ship is always a dangerous one for me, we end up looking at handbags, perfume, that kind of stuff, you know, the stuff that’s of no use to me 😂. Anyway, we did have a wander and I managed to get away with it so we then went and splashed out $10 in the casino. Yes a full $10. We would have probably seen the $10 for longer had we gone out on to the open deck and thrown it up in to the air, needless to say, we won nowt !!

    It was formal night tonight so all dressed up in best bib and tucker. We went to watch the show “Born to be Wild” with the ships dancers. It was a cracking show, I’m not one for shows but I did enjoy it, the singers and dancers were excellent and the music was pretty good. After the show we went for a snack up on deck, eaten far too much today so just a sandwich and of course a cup of tea and a cake at the back of the ship, that’s our favourite place. We’re only 30 miles from the coast of Denmark at the minute and I’ve managed to get a signal. Copenhagen tomorrow, until then, ttfn.
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  • Day2

    Day 2, Bruges (Zeebrugge Dock)

    September 2, 2018 in Belgium ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    After an early night last night and 11 hours of sleep we woke this morning in a very sunny Zeebrugge. First objective of the day was breakfast down in the dining room. Lemon Danish to start and bacon and egg for me, Alaskan Scrambler for Sharon. We met some nice people and one lady was a clone of Mildred from a George & Mildred !!

    We were a bus and a train ride from Bruges so we left the ship around 10am and headed in. It was a lovely walk up from the train station to the old square, some lovely buildings and a lot going on. The weather was fabulous and not a cloud in the sky. We had a wander around looking at all the old buildings and lace shops, not to mention the chocolate shops, before stopping for a spot of lunch in the square. We ambled around a bit more and came across a group of people playing some classical music with some weird looking instruments 🎻 🎺. We then decided to go on a canal cruise around the waterways. Only half an hour but toddling along on the water in the sun was lovely. We learned where the saying “Daylight Robbery” came from. Many years ago, they decided to tax the rich on the number of windows they had. So in order to save the tax, they covered the windows up as they thought they were being robbed for having daylight !! We also saw a great sign in a shop (yes I did go in a couple), it said “Please don’t steal, the government don’t like competition” 😂😂. We walked back to the train station, stopping for a beer along the way.

    As we boarded the ship 🚢, they were doing a lovely line in sandwiches, doughnuts, pastries etc.. but I was drawn to the potato soup, Sharon had a posh arsie farcy sandwich and there were 2 chairs almost calling us which sat looking in to the atrium. It was a lovely stop off before the grill shack on deck for a bratwurst and chips 👍. We then made our way to the deck and spent a couple of hours in the hot tub as we sailed in to the sunset away from Belgium heading for Denmark.

    This evening took us down to the restaurant for dinner. A great menu and lovely service, a great table too, looking out over the English Channel watching the sun go down. Garlic Soup for me to start, a new one for me but quite nice, seafood soup for Sharon. We both went for the roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for main and desert was chocolate brownie for me snd a drambui soufflé for Sharon. It has to be said, there’s no lack of good on this ship. A lovely sunset this evening and we overtook one of the Hull to Zeebrugge ferries as we steamed ahead to Copenhagen.

    The Greatest Showman was the movie under the stars this evening and it was our full intention to wrap up and get out on deck to watch it, start time 10.00pm. However, we failed but a great day nevertheless.

    We’re at sea tomorrow so little or no comms, so until tomorrow, over and out.
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  • Day1

    Day 1, Southampton

    September 1, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Woohoo, a week of floating luxury awaits. An early start this morning after a late night last night, we didn’t even get the suitcases out until about 8.30pm. But all packed up and on the road for 6.30am this morning.

    As appears to have become customary on sailings from Southampton we stopped off in Hungerford for breakfast. A full English at The Tutti Pole just over the bridge and a little wander through the town before setting off for Southampton. Past experience told us that the M3 is usually extremely slow on a Saturday but last year we went on the bus from London and he cut the motorway out, so we gave that s bash and it was quite successful, no hold ups and at the port for about 11.30am. We’d booked ship side parking so we literally pulled up at the side of the ship, butler man comes along and takes the cases, woman comes along and takes the keys and we get on. Was a dream, lucky we have a reasonable loyalty card so straight on no waiting.

    First time on Sapphire Princess, although we have seen her before, we sailed past her in Alaska which apparently was a rare sight, but I was cold and pissed of so we were having food and missed it !!. She is s beautiful ship, similar to the others in the fleet but some nice differences. There is an enclosed area on deck with an indoor pool, lots of pools and hot tubs and the best feature of all is a dedicated massive cake counter - see attached pic. She’s recently been refurbed so is in tip top condition. Again, as seems to be customary we went to the cabin, chucked our hand luggage in and went to the food decks. That’s when I found the cake section, I felt it my duty to pay it a visit, unsure if everything was as it should be I returned a 2nd time to make sure. Unfortunately I’m still not certain but I’m sure I’ll work it out by the time we get off in a week. Sharon face timed her Mum and Dad so they have seen the decks around the ship and can picture where we are, they like to know where we are and that we’re ok.

    We were late setting sale, we were due to depart at 4pm but it was nearer 5. We were out on deck for the sail away party which was good as always and then off down for a drink as we zipped past the Isle of Wight en route to Bruges.

    We went down to the room to unpack, when I say “We” I mean the royal we, I took it upon myself to have a bit of a nana nap 💤. As a reward for Sharon doing all the unpacking i decided I’d take her out for dinner, I’m all heart. We were both s bit on the tired side so we went to the buffet rather than the restaurant as it meant we could just have a mix and match. We contemplated the hot tub, but decided on an early night so we can be nice and refreshed for Belgium 🇧🇪 in the morning.
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