The Azamara 8 day British Isles cruise leaves from Copenhagen, Denmark, cruises wset across the North Sea to Edinburgh, goes North to the Orkney Islands, west to the Isle of Skye, south west to Belfast, Waterford, and finally Dublin. In Dublin we disembark and fly to Paris for 5 nights.
July 2, Saturday – Our Air France flight doesn’t leave until 10:50 so I’m finishing up work issues, tidying the house and have a last minute conversation with my mom. I should take a nap but I’m too wound up. Gail and I are sharing a larger bag that we’re shipping back after the cruise. We each have a separate carry on that we’ll bring to Paris. We’ve booked a limo to pick us up at Gail’s at 7:20 to make our 10:50 flight.
The driver is 20 minutes early but we’re ready to go. Not too much traffic on the roads or through checking/security – so far so good – then we go through to the international gates and its packed! Invariably our flight is delayed by an hour and we’re now talking about what we’ll do if we miss our connection from CDG to Copenhagen and miss the ship. However to put everything in perspective, we aren’t traveling with young children about to get on a 6 hour flight leaving at midnight, and we have the knowledge and means to readjust our plans if need be! If we miss the connecting we check for another flight Paris to Copehagen, if we miss the ship we fly to Edinburgh to meet the ship on day 3 and spend our time there (we both love Edinburgh). Could be worse.
No worries – we depart BOS at midnight, get in 25 minutes late, hit the long security line and the even longer immigration line in Paris, run to the gate with only minutes to spare – wow are we tired. (CDG, Charles De Gaulle airport is huge, but the signage is excellent)
I never sleep on a plane, much as I try, so I’ve been up for 36 hours. Fortunately we arrive in Copenhagen on time, a little wait for luggage, but no immigration or customs, easy getting to the exit and into a taxi. The driver has a list handy and sees exactly where the Quest is docked and we’re there in no time. We had exactly enough Kroner (450) for the ride. The travel gods haven’t forsaken us after
all. We’re here and so is our luggage.
We made it! After swearing that we haven’t brought Noro virus on board, pose for a security picture (who is that pale exhausted person) we enter we ship. We’re late and they’re about to start the safety drill. We don’t need our life vest and we aren’t led outside – good thing because while sitting in the Cabaret/theater (our designated lifeboat station) we discover its hailing outside!!! Very weird because although it was overcast when we arrived in Copenhagen it’s not that cold (60-65). It lasts minutes but caused quite a stir, we’re told that hail at this time of year is rare.
Our cabin is the normal outside cabin size but its newly refurbished and good quality. They’ve created plenty of storage space and we’re able to unpack and put everything away in closets and drawers. The linens and bedding are quality and I long to stretch out on the bed – but we have a ship to explore!
First things – we apply for the full voyage Internet package so we can keep up with the family and friends and I can post. It actually works surprisingly well.
Leaving Copenhagen – love the off shore windmills
Gail and I on deck – a bit chilly but the sun is lovely
Azamara offers wine and cocktails and you can upgrade to higher quality wines and liquors if you chose. We’re tired but we’ll enjoy a cocktail in the “livingroom” and light dinner before heading to bed.
Day 2 – Sunday, July 4
Day at sea
We’re not sure what time we woke up because the ship TV says 10:05, our iPhone says 9:05 and according to the ships clock its 8:05. Conundrum. In any case we had a good sleep and we’re ready to go. We’re in the North Sea going west from Copenhagen to Edinburgh. We left Copenhagen at 9pm Sunday night and we’ll arrive in Edinburgh at 2:30pm on Tuesday. The sun is shining but it’s quite windy on the top level jogging track and we’re not dressed for it. The gym treadmill is a good substitute, although it’s quite strange walking on a treadmill on a ship! The ship’s movement makes you feel unsteady, you need to hang on or fall over. The faster your pace the more you feel as if you’re careening around the treadmill. The gym is small but has great equipment.
After a shower we’re in time for the 10am Jazz brunch, champagne and all. Great food, atmosphere and service.
The ship is elegant and everything from furnishings, to decor, to food, is good quality, however the real difference with Azamara seems to be the staff and crew. The Captain – Carl is an Irishman and very personable and funny. He’s around a lot, as are his department heads. You get the impression the crew is genuinely happy to see you and the guests are genuinely grateful for the services provided.
At dinner we met two women from Houston TX, they are doing back to back Azamara cruises (Baltic first) and had arrived in Copenhagen 11 days ago. This is the second cruise and one of them is still without luggage! She’s surviving on borrowed clothes and whatever she can find in ports. The airline has no idea where it is and won’t give her compensation until its missing for 45 days. Ya gotta love airline customer service. Never fail to disappoint.
After dinner we head to the Cabaret to see Teacake (that’s her given name) a singer from Texas who sings Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin songs very well. Time for bed, anticipating arriving in Edinburgh at 4:30P tomorrow afternoon.