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RetiredMustang

Live from Eurodam Transatlantic 11-27 August

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I thought I would keep a running log of our journey on the Eurodam from Copenhagen to New York, and perhaps do a live blog, or at least file a review at the end of our cruise. We have a packed itinerary some days, so I may miss a day or so between posts. The first few days are covered in the next several posts.

 

Aug. 8, Sat.

 

We caught a non-stop SAS flight from Washington Dulles airport to Copenhagen. We booked air and hotel through HAL, as we were able to get a much better price for a one-way flight that way, since we will be taking the train home from New York. The flight was a bit bumpy, but otherwise unremarkable, except that during conversation with passengers around us, we discovered that Axel from CC, who had signed up for the meet and greet I helped organize, was sitting a row behind and across the aisle from us.

 

Aug. 9, Sun.

 

We arrived at Kastrup shortly after 7 a.m., a few minutes ahead of schedule. Kastrup was easy to get around, with relatively painless passport control. HAL reps met us in baggage claim, and after we got our bags, led small groups of us through customs to waiting buses. The drive was only a few miles to the hotel.

 

There were reps at the HAL hospitality desk inside, and we quickly had our keys. We stopped by the desk to swipe a credit card, and were upstairs in a few minutes.

 

Dave

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Can't wait to hear more! We sail the Eurodam after you disembark......so we will be eagerly awaiting the Eurodam the morning of the 27th while you will be dreading disembarkation.

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Sidebar - Scandic Palace Hotel

 

The hotel was the Scandic Palace Hotel, facing the Radhudspladsen. The statue of the horn blowers is directly in front of the hotel. The facade is Victorian red brick. I understand from the Internet that Scandic recently aquired the Palace, which had been one of the older, elegant hotels in the city. Scandic has refurbished and redcorated the hotel in elegant Danish style, and it is quite nice.

 

The room is very good by European standards, although small in size compared to usual North American hotels. The main area is about 10 feet by 15 feet, with a king-sized bed with plush duvets at one end.

At the other end is a glss desk, a wall-mounted TV an an easy chair.

The bath is glass, chrome and tile and quite modern and elegant. The bath has a large deep tub and a shower that adjusts either to have the water come out of a hand-held wand or an overhead shower head. Either way, the shower seems well designed to put water all over the floor, so be careful about leaving things on the floor nearby (it could also be operator error.)

 

The room has a large closet, an in-room safe, a minibar and coffee-making apparatus. This consists of a tea kettle and spills of instant coffee, but anything is welcome to a morning coffee addict!

 

We had room #224, on the back side of the hotel, away from the main square. We thought it a good location, until at night, when we discovered that the street behind the hotel contained two restaurants and a nightclub/disco. The first night, we were so tired it really didn't matter much, but the second night, Monday, was a bit more intrusive. I slept several hours and got up about 1 a.m. , for the reason you are probably thinking. When I returned to bed, I realized the club had started playing a song whose rhythm line went something like thud, thud, thump-thump-thump-thump, THUD! (repeat 347 times).

 

Then, it segued into more varied, yet similar fare. About 2:30, they put a sock in it, and I was able to get a bit more sleep ... until roused at about 4 a.m. by a lively multi-voiced a capella chorus of Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer." That's when we got up, and I decided to start this blog.

 

The hotel's breakfast room is on the ground floor, and offered a quite extensive buffet, included in the room price. There were hot trays of boiled and scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, sausages, etc. There was a large choice of cold cuts and herrings, four kinds of slice your own cheese, cereals, yogurts, and fruit. There were many kinds of fresh breads on offer, from English toasting slices, to still-warm cibattas, to loafs of crusty Italian-style, dark ryes, and a couple of loafs that look like pressed wood logs, only with more chunks in it. There was fresh Danish butter and jams to go with the breads, You could easily, especially if not careful, eat so much breakfast that you wouldn't need much lunch.

 

The hotel has a nice bar, with drinks and snacks available, and a small coffee bar adjacent. The bar also has outside seating, which is a pleasant place to watch the people walking by and across the street in the square.

 

Dave

Edited by RetiredMustang

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Aug 9., Sun (continued)

 

From experience, we knew not to try to nap, so we quickly dropped our things and ventured back out. The front desk people said a good place to get coffee was across the square and up a block to a chain Italian coffee bar called Baresso. So, we went and got a couple of very good latte grandes for 36 DKK (about $7 U.S.) each. Copenhagen is very expensive, even by Europe standards.

 

We had been in Copenhagen before, but it was more than 25 years ago. Still, we knew we weren't going to be trying to do a lot of things, so did not purchase a Copenhage Card. And, we enjoy walking so did not expect to need it for public transportation, either.

 

We just wandered about most of the rest of the morning, walking up the Stoeget, the pedestrian shopping area, across Kongens Nytorv (King's New Square), down the north side of Nyhavn, and then along the waterfront area, past the Royal residence of Amalienborg, to the Little Mermaid. It was a glorious sunny day, with temps in the mid-70s. We got a soft-serve ice cream, which tasted like it had about 50% butterfat (yum!)

 

We then wandered through the Kastellet, and back past the Marble Church, which we did not enter because it had just finished with Sunday services. We strolled back down the Stroeget, and stopped at the Dubliner pub at the Amagertorv, a square near the center of the mile-long walking area. We sat outside and watched the people go by and had a drink, but no food -- we weren't hungry after the ice cream, and it being Sunday the kitchen didn't have the full menu on offer anyway.

 

We then wandered to the National Museum and checked out the great displays of Danish history, had a coffee in the mesuem cafe, and then went back toward the hotel. About 2 pm., we found a restaurant called Strechlers on the Strroget near the hotel, which advertised steak frites for 79 DKK (about $16 U.S.) It turned out to be quite edible, with a top sirloin steak of about 6 ounces cooked medium rare, good fries to dip in the steak juices, and a bit of salad on the side. With drinks, our late lunch was about 250 DKK ($50 U.S.)

 

We walked about a bit more, then decided at about 4 p.m. that we had made it enough through the day to adjust our body clocks a bit. We returned to the hotel, had a mineral water and a beer at the bar, and went up to the room, showered and hit the bed about 6 p.m., sleeping mostly through the night until about 4:30 a.m.

More to follow,

Dave

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Aug. 10, Monday

 

When we woke and got ready for the day, we discovered it was raining. So, we lingered over the huge breakfast buffet, and then went a did a bit of shopping. We walked back down the Stoeget to another Baresso and had cappuccinos (about $6 U.S. each).

 

Then, we continued to the end of Stoeget at Kongen's Nytorv, where we had noticed a wine store the day before. We got there just as it opened at 10, and were able to get a couple of bottles of chianti at about $12 U.S. a bottle, and a bottle of Valpolicella for about $9. The name of the place is Skjold Burne (http://www.skjold-burne.dk). It is right on the corner facing the square, across from the corner of the Hotel D'Angleterre.

 

We took the wine back to our room, and then went across the square, to find a store of the chain named Matas, which the HAL hospitality people said was a good place to find mouthwash, shampoo, etc. There is one along the south side of Vesterbordage, across from the main square, on the way toward the main entrace to Tivoli. There is also an arcade of shops inside the building which includes a shop called Irma, which is kind of like a Whole Foods place where you could get foods and drinks.

 

We dropped our purchases back at the room, and went back out. We walked by Det Lille Apotek and then on to Gray Borthers Square to check out the restaurants there as well. We went on to apost office and purchased cards and stamps and mailed them to our sons. Then, we went up the street to the Round Tower and climbed it (25 DKK entrace). It had stopped raining, but was still overcast. Even so, it was quite a view and well worth the few minutes climb to the top.

 

We returned to street level and back-tracked to Gray Brothers Square, to Peder Oxe, which I had read about in some guide books. The most famous place to get the Danish open-faced sandwiches (smoerrebored, which literally means buttered bread) is a place called Ida Davidson's, near the Royal residence at Amalienborg, but it doesn't have much seating, whereas Peder Oxe does. We sat outside and odered the special of three sandwiches of our choice for 139 DKK (about $28 U.S.).

 

These are not just a bit of butter and maybe a slice of meat on a small piece of bread. The three were quite filling fare. I had one with mozarella and tomato slices on arugula and rye bread, topped with olive oil and basil pesto; the second was a chicken and apple salad on baby chard and arugula atop an Italian bread slice, with bacon pieces; and the third was rare roast beef on rye, topped with greens, paper-thin pickeled cucumber slices and a relish of pickled vegetables with horseradish and mustard sauce. With drinks, our substantial lunch was 400 DKK ($80 U.S.).

 

We sat outside, and the sun had come out by the time we were finished. The restaurant has displays of their various sandwiches inside, and while we were eating, a tour group from a cruise ship stopped in the square for a short talk from their guide, and then they all trooped into Peder Oxe's to see the sandwiches, and then came right back out. We had thought that the tour organizer had set up lunch for them, but apparently they only went in for the show. It struck us as funny, anyway.

 

We then waddled back to the Stroeget, and ambled back down it. Since it was Monday, many more shops were open than had opened on Sunday, and the crowds were much larger. We popped into the Royal Copenhagen shop, and looked at the displays in the windows of Ilums Bolighus of Danish design furniture and household items.

 

We then went on to Tivoli for the afternoon (85 DKK entry, which did not include rides; the all-inclusive ride charge I think was about 210 DKK more) and just meandered about. We had once before, on our trip in the 1980s, stayed up for the fireworks, but we didn't plan to stay that long this time. We didn't take any rides, but did have another soft ice, although through sheer strength of superior willpower, we declined the chocolate sprinkles on top when offered them.

 

We then came back to the hotel and hung at the bar, people watching, until after 6. The bar was packed with fellow Eurodam passengers, many who had arrived that morning and like we had the day before were just trying to stay awake. We were still stuffed with sandwiches from lunch and ice cream, so we shared a snack at the bar for dinner, and then turned in (until serenaded by Bon Jovi music).

 

It is now Tuesday morning, Aug. 11. We are now waiting for breakfast and will probably stroll down to get another Baresso capuccino before the bus picks us up at 11 to take us to Eurodam. Our bags are in the hall and should be pcked up shortly. I will post more over the next day or two.

 

Dave

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Well take good care of the ship for us as I am also going to getting on just as you get off. Looking forward to your daily posts.

 

Hope you have a wonderful trip...I'm sure you will. Be sure to tell us all about every little detail.

 

Joanne

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Thanks for the series of posts. I'll be interested in what you have to say about the ports on this itinerary. I happen to like this northern crossing.

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Aug. 11, Tuesday

 

We boarded the bus shortly after 11 and arrived at the pier about 11:25. There was a bit of a wait to go through check-in, as several buses arrived from various hotels at about the same time, and, as it turned out, a lot of people had had their cabin assignments changed.

 

We were worried when it was our turn to check in and the HAL rep said there was a problem with our cabin -- it seemed somone had checked in earlier and been assigned our SS cabin. We were starting to be quite concerned when she asked a colleague to check if we had been upgraded, even though we had declined that option. While he was searching, she also did a computer search by confirmation number, and found where we had been reassigned -- into an SA deluxe verandah suite! Wow!

 

We floated aboard, and were directed to an elevator and whisked to the 7th deck and into the Neptune lounge to wait for our cabin to be ready. There were snacks and drinks available, but I left DW there and went to the front desk to check/confirm the date and time for the roll call meet and greet. There were many people in line, most not as happy as we had been about their cabin changes. By the time I got through the line and back to the Neptune Lounge, DW was gone, so I went to the cabin, where she had just arrived. We then spent some time talking with our stewards, checking with Shore Excursions, etc., to make sure all our bags, tickets, and my rented tuxedo and everything had been diverted into the new cabin. Of course, it all worked out eventually, and everything arrived just fine.

 

We don't know for sure, of course, but spoke with some passengers and discovered that a large number of people had been upgraded/changed. One passenger said he had had a suite guarantee on Maasdam's return trip on a similar itinerary to Eurodam's, and had been called by HAL, who told him Maasdam was overbooked and offered him a suite on Eurodam, which he accepted. Perhaps many Maasdam passengers were offered a chance to change and took it, meaning that Eurodam needed to make shifts. Whatever was the real reason, we are happy to have an SA, on the 6th deck, starboard side -- basically about the same location as the SS we had booked previously.

 

We had early confirmed dining, and had a wonderful meal, as usual. Afterwards, we went to the Crows Nest to watch Sweden passing to starboard and Denmark, including Helsingoer and Hamlet's castle, passing to port. Later, we attended the suite passengers welcome party in the Neptune lounge after dinner. I was able to speak with the beverage manager, Chris Bruno, who assured me that his staff was prepared for our meet and greet the next morning.

 

We did not do much exploring of the ship that first day, occupied as we were with the shifting of rooms, but I admit we know what the Ocean Bar and casino look like. Eurodam's layout is very similar to the Vista class ships, with some minor details, primarly topside.

 

More to follow,

Dave

Edited by RetiredMustang

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Aug. 12, Wednesday,

 

Wow, I slept more than 9 hours last night! The beds are very comfortable.

 

And, it was nice waking up in a large suite. The suite looks just like the photos on the web site, but feels larger. It is about half again deeper than the SY/SS cabins that we had booked before, and is about twice as wide as a V class cabin. It has a separate dressing area with extra closets outside the bathroom, but in essence is laid out similarly to an SS. The color scheme is black and red, with dark wood surfaces, not the blond/lighter woods in the SY/SS cabins on Noordam and Westerdam. That color scheme may be unique to the SA/SB cabins; I have not seen into others, which may have different colors. I'm not sure the darker scheme would work in smaller cabins; it may make the cabins seem smaller. In sum, it is a great room that we lucked into unpaid for and probably undeserved, but we'll take it!

 

Today is an at-sea day, so we spent the morning and early afternoon with various activities on board. We had breakfast in the Lido, which is arranged very similarly to the Vistas. The color scheme is light greens and yellows, with deep purple accents, which I find very attractive.

 

The Lido deck is different. To the starboard side, the area that on Noordam and Westerdam is devoted to the taco bar is missing. There is a railing, and separate floor surface, that separates the Lido pool/siting area from the bar, which has more room now. There is a water "curtain" separating the pool from the hot tub, instead of dolphin statues, and there are some more seats forward of the hot tub. The forward wall has more glass and less tile. But, the main change is that, along most of the port side, there are cabanas, that have a wide couch, a couple of chairs, a table, wine/water cooler ice bucket and robes. You can close the curtains if you want. Cost is $50 per day at sea, $30 a day in port. We are not poolside people, but I can see that if you were, you might want to get one of those instead of fighting the chair hogs.

 

We had our meet and greet at 10, and about 50 of the 70 or so people who had signed up actually attended, which is great. The hotel manager, Mark Zeller, came and spent nearly an hour with us, mingling about and chatting. It was great fun to meet some of the people I read on CC, and to put faces and real names to CC names and avatars.

 

We followed with lunch in the Lido, and the stations are again a bit changed. They've added a fruit bar in addition to a salad bar, and it appears the tacos/Mexican food has been moved to the pasta area from the Lido outside area. The Lido outside still includes the grill where you can get burgers, hot dogs, etc. No one seemed to miss the trays, although some cruisers may be on their first cruise or two and don't know that HAL used to have trays in the Lido. The lines do seem to be moving, and there does seem to be less waste. I didn't notice any mobility-challenged people having problems, but there were plenty of stewards to help. I can see, though, that if it is very crowded, there may not be a steward to assist someone who really does need help with their plates and glasses.

 

We did some walking around the ship, and it all looks familiar. The public rooms and info desks are all in the same places as the Vistas. The Explorers Lounge is more open, and has a small stage for the string quartet aft, and a bar forward. There is a separate movie screening room across from the small rooms forward of the shops -- where the explorations/coffee bar area used to be forward of the library on the Vistas prior to refit.

 

The Pinnacle Grill looks about the same, and the menu looks like the expanded one that has been used for a while now on other ships. I'm sorry to say, though, that I really don't care much for the decor of the Pinnacle wine bar. It is futuristic in design and color, even more so than on Noordam, and while it's not to my taste that's not really a problem, although it probably would be enough for us to pass by and go to the more-welcoming Ocean Bar. But, the seats at the tables have narrow high backs, and are very uncomfortable. DW said it felt like sitting in an airline coach seat with the seatback locked in full upright position. Not a chair that invites lounging. Let's just say we'll be getting pampered and spoiled by Betty and Pancho in the Ocean Bar while other passengers try the wine bar.

 

The sports bar is more open, and has a bit more seating than the ones on the Vistas. It is still a smoking-allowed bar. The casino is pretty much the same -- it has the penny slots that do funny things if you get three of whatevers for me, and the double diamonds and video poker machines for DW, so life is good from that stand point.

 

The show lounge is called the Mainstage instead of Vista Lounge (probably because Eurodam is not a Vista class). The decor is different as all ships are, but I think the Eurodam's is quite attractive. The seating is fold-down theater seating instead of the usual benches. I like it better, but it may make it less flexible for management to do different things in there.

 

DW just returned from a walk on deck, and reported spotting dolphins! We have been seeing Norway in the distance all day, and even though we knew there were no flying fish in the North Sea, we both caught ourselves looking from the Lido at lunch -- I'd spot a gull gliding just above the waves and start to tell DW "look, there's a flying fi ... oh wait, that's right, it's a bird." But, the birds were the only wildlife we had spotted until she saw the dolphins.

 

I'll sign off now, and try to look at some of the places on board I haven't seen yet. Tonight is the first formal night. We have four scheduled according to the literature, but I don't know which nights the other ones will be.

 

More later,

Dave

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Thanks for the series of posts. I'll be interested in what you have to say about the ports on this itinerary. I happen to like this northern crossing.

 

Ruth,

 

We hope we like the ports, too. We saw this itinerary and booked right away, more than a year ago, because of where it goes. We've both been to Copenhagen and Edinburgh before, and I have been to St. Johns, but we are excited about all the others -- not a ho-hummer in the bunch!

 

We've booked the Tattoo in Edinburgh, and several other tours. Any tips on what absolutely is not to be missed?

 

Thanks,

Dave

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Thanks so very much for doing this Live From, Dave. The Eurodam sounds fascinating ... and we hope to sail her before long. Keep the reports coming - we're hanging on every word. :)

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Hi,

Thanks for the great reports so far.We will be on the Eurodam sailing Oct.10th.We can not wait. Our first HAL cruise.

Thanks,

Bonnie

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Thanks for the updates, Dave!

 

DH and I are contemplating taking the Eurodam on Dec. 5 and it's nice to get a mini-preview from you.

 

Hubby is curious to know if the casino has a craps table?

 

Will you being eating in the Pinnacle Grill?...it was one of the best meals I've ever had and then we booked it for a 2nd night and I got to enjoy it all over again!!! YUM!

 

Enjoy Edinburgh...one of my favorite cities. Wear comfortable shoes, lots of walking around the castle up and down the hill.

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Thanks one more time for doing thees updates. We love the Eurodam and it is really nice to hear someone else talking about it so nicely.

 

If you have a chance, could you either have a look at the daily activity sheet or even sneak a peek in the Piano Bar and let us know who is playing. Thank you and have a wonderful cruise!

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Thanks so much for the reports and description of the Eurodam Dave! We are considering cruising on the Eurodam and want to know how you like it.

Bill

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Thanks....your posts make for very interesting reading. I have a friend on board this cruise with you so it is even more interesting to see what you are doing each day.

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Dave,

 

Thanks for the updates. We are traveling on the repo from Quebec to Ft. Lauderdale on September 26 and it is great hearing about the different places on board. I can not wait to go on the Eurodam. Very lucky on your upgrade, enjoy it to the fullest.

 

Thanks again,

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We've booked the Tattoo in Edinburgh, and several other tours. Any tips on what absolutely is not to be missed?

Have a great time at the Tatoo. It's something I'll never get to see, I'm afraid, as it's too taxing. But how I would love to!

 

There's some great castles to visit in the Invergordon port, and if there are any highland games going on, I think it's worth a visit.

One "don't miss" (IMO, anyway) is the little settlement you pass in Prins Christian Sund. You have to be on the look-out for it, and you pass quickly, but notice how far it is from anything---and everything! It is so totally cut off from civilization. I have to wonder how the people there survive. It has got to be soooo lonely!

 

Thanks for posting!

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Aug. 13, Thursday

 

We sailed up the Firth of Forth this morning, and anchored just outside the famous railway bridge, with beautiful views in any direction. The weather was cloudy at first, but turned sunny for while and then partly cloudy. It is a fine day, and I hope the weather holds for the Tattoo tonight (although we brought rain ponchos in case).

 

DW and I had been in Edinburgh before, and even climbed to the top of the Sir Walter Scott monument (we were much younger then). But, we had never seen South Queensferry village, and our sons who are both literature buffs said once they learned that we were anchoring off South Queenferry that we had to find the Hawes Inn, since it had featured in Robert Louis Stevenson's "Kidnapped." So, we took a tender ashore, thinking to walk about and ask if necessary where the Hawes Inn was. As it turned out, the tender landing was just opposite the Inn, near the east end of the village.

 

We walked along the high street, which is less than a mile long, on the shore between the rail and road bridges over the Forth, had a cup of coffee at a very pleasant small sunny terrace of a tea/coffee shop, shopped a bit (wine, stamps and post cards) and sauntered back to the Hawes Inn and had a pint of real ale. We came back aboard Eurodam and rested a bit in anticipation of a late night tonight with the Tattoo excursion.

 

To answer some questions you had:

1, Yes, the casino has a craps table, as well as roulette and a half dozen game tables, and many slots.

2. I don't know if we will eat at the Pinnacle this time, but have on other cruises and enjoyed it very much. It is great for carnivores!

3. The daily program lists the piano bar performer as Piano Man Dave; no last name listed. There has been a piano player in the Ocean bar both afternoons, and I presume it is the same man; if so, he is good.

 

It occured to me that, in addition to describing some of the spaces on board, I could try to take some photos and upload them. I took some and will try to upload a couple. If I succeeded, attached is a photo of the Pinnacle wine bar so you can see the chairs I described. If this works, I'll try to upload more photos.

 

More later,

Dave

1326701500_Pinnaclewinebar.jpg.cca60b0aa608305f27f64d847557ec85.jpg

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More photos

 

Well, that seemed to work, so I'll try some more. Here are the Lido cabana, pool and eating area I described earlier.

 

Dave

476499821_Lidocabana.jpg.8e00a775c734fab5b2a27be2d5e2f0c6.jpg

2136577171_Lidopool.jpg.e68520107722523c225abc9da051eddb.jpg

Lido.jpg.3647771a49b4a7137ea66c94d4e25af4.jpg

Edited by RetiredMustang

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Thank you for your excellent posts and photos, i'm counting the days unil our Eurodam cruise next month.

 

Did you happen to notice if the machines in the Lido were dispensing lemonade at lunchime at all? I hear it varies from ship o ship, and cruise to cruise.

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Nice to here about the ship. We (group of 10) will be waiting for you to get off the ship. So we can start your 10 day cruise. Enjoy your cruise.

 

Bigbenboys

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