Thursday, 31 July 2014

Sights of July and what lies ahead

A lot has happened in July, resulting in several posts and good memories for a long time. In the meanwhile I've had lots of workdays at the cruise harbour. Although having the access doesn't feel as special as it used to, it's still a great place to look around and take photos once the shift is over. I've seen some beautiful ships and I'm yet to see some more, although most of the work is done by now. Of course I've got some really neat shots from outside the cruise area as well.

For example this photo of outbound Superstar, taken from Linnahall.
And this portrait of Victoria I, taken when I worked as a volunteer sailor on a sailboat named Emily, transporting people from one harbour to the other and vice versa during Tallinn Maritime days.
Quite the normal summertime six o'clock traffic on the bay: Norwegian Star, (Tallink) Star, Finlandia, Gann and behind her, Viking XPRS. Out of the picture, Victoria I is also setting sail.
The two sisters (Mariella and Princess Anastasia) behind the Old City Marina; the funnel of Viking XPRS also shows.
Norwegian Star seemed to be present every single time I had any business near the sea.
Which obviously results in lots and lots of pictures of her.
Quite a common, yet interesting sight - lifeboat drill. 
While I was on the Legend of the Seas she also seemed to be everywhere. 
And I got to witness some more advanced modern methods of ship maintenance. 
From two perspectives.
Fleet Street, Tallinn
Same place the other day.
From farther away
and from above.  
In comes Costa Luminosa
.. and Emerald Princess, accompanying Baltic Queen.
The list of visiting royalties extends - Royal Princess in royal solitude.
Slightly closer to the Emerald Princess.
My beautiful hometown and some boat.
Speaking of my hometown - on busy days, this lineup of wifi-enjoying crew members can be found at the stores.
Meanwhile at the "baby pier" - Hamburg
and Serenissima
Serenissima and Viking XPRS
Gann, seemingly, was a bit too big for the baby pier though - here she is next to Crystal Symphony.
Azamara Journey and MSC Poesia
Celebrity Eclipse. Characteristically to the cruise line, her shape is quite interesting.
And the gangway is quite fancy.
Silver Cloud
Eurodam and Finlandia.
Back in May-June, I used to mention travelling plans a lot, mostly, to be more exact, my inability to make any. In the beginning of July I finally knew all I needed though and I've spent the whole month organizing. Now that the time left is as long as the trip itself and everything is quite clear to me, I feel like it's the right time to shed some light on what's coming up. So, for now I'll say that in two weeks I'll be on the move in Finland and Sweden, trying out all the Viking Line vessels I haven't travelled on yet. Of course it'll be so much more than just that but the rest I'll let you know of as it happens. Although accessing the internet may get a bit complicated sometimes, I'll try my best to post trip updates as soon as I find a way.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Ship Visit: Legend of the Seas

Legend of the Seas in the middle
Earlier today I visited Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas as she called in my hometown. I was kindly invited by a crew member whom I had met while at work a few weeks before. The first shock for me was the security at and around the gangway. First of all we had to exchange our documents for visitor cards and on the ship the cards were immediately checked and we had to pass through security gates. After doing that, we spent well over an hour just looking around the ship's public areas. Although Legend of the Seas is one of the oldest ships in the fleet, she has been fully renovated not long ago, therefore she didn't feel outdated at all.

One of the first areas we were shown was the Romeo & Juliet dining hall.
The Romeo & Juliet dining hall was quite large, extending through two decks with a nice central stage that had a piano. In fact, I saw quite a lot of pianos on board - pity I didn't count. On the upper deck in the middle, behind the wooden decorations, is the chef's table - a table for 12 people, where 5-course meals are served to groups every evening and the chef himself introduces the dishes.
Next up was the Schooner bar - a Royal Caribbean signature bar with, what a surprise, another piano.
Casino Royale, open only when the ship is at sea. 
The theatre. The chairs look extremely comfortable, though I didn't sit to judge that. While we were there, dancers were rehearsing for tonight's show.
One of the most impressive places was the Centrum. Extending through several decks, aerobatic shows are often held there. 
It's impossible to show the place in just one photo.
So here's more.
Oh and guess what was on the stage.
Close to the centrum there was a nice shopping area, also open only while ship is at sea. 
It was just as lovely on the uppermost deck - Izumi sushi bar had possibly one of the best views you could get.
Chops Grille, located right next to Izumi.

There was plenty to do on board for the young as well - for example a nursery for kids under three years of age.
Adventure Ocean kids' club for older kids.
I found this poster in the kids' area and I think it's really cute.
In addition to dining rooms and venues, which can be found on board lots of passenger ships, there were many other things to do and ways to spend time. Here's the beauty salon. It's a pity pictures can't deliver scents - the smell there was heavenly. 
To keep fit during the cruise, there's a nice gym.
And a jogging track.
And even different related services, such as personal training sessions.
There's a mini golf course outside.
As well as a rock climbing wall that looks three times as high once you're near it.
The sundecks are quite nice for sunbathing, though there's probably much more people on sunny days while at sea.
If I were to cruise with the Legend of the Seas, I would probably spend most time in the solarium - a nice, quiet 16+ pool area with a cafe.
I really liked the look and feel of the place. The roof is, apparently, removable, although my hostess said she has never seen it removed.
What caught my eye quite soon after getting on board was ads for an upcoming art auction. My inner Mart Sander was feeling really tempted. 
The ship was actually filled with art - beautiful decorations, paintings and even statues.
Builder's plate
Mandatory funnel picture
Getting to go on board the ship gave me quite interesting views to the port and other ships as well, for example Celebrity Eclipse on our port side
.. and Norwegian Star on our starboard side.
After getting familiar with the public areas we were taken to the bridge by the chief safety officer. The bridge was quite large and not very old, although still old enough to have open wings. The officer said that he prefers open wings and in today's lovely weather it indeed felt like a blessing.

About a quarter of the bridge
The wheel
Control panel of the ship's horn.
Open bridge wing
Bridge cam
Port of Tallinn from the bridge
After the bridge visit we had a nice lunch in the buffet and I was given a model of the ship as a present. 
Now that I have something fancy to put on my office table, all that's left to do is to get an office.
Shirrelle and Carlos, if you're reading this - I know you are - thanks a million for this wonderful experience. You rule.