Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Monday, 27 August 2018

An Unexpected Summer Baltic Cruise.

We had planned to spend Summer at home after our return from the month's tour of Europe in the camper in Spring. However, not long after settling back in we received a message from our dear friends Doug and James (ex narrowboat Chance), to tell us they had booked a cruise aboard P&O Cruises Arcadia which had recently been significantly reduced in price. The last line of their message which was received around 7.30pm one evening was "fancy joining us?" or words to that effect. I looked at Margaret, she looked at me, I visited our cruise agent https://www.iglucruise.com and within half an hour our cruise together was booked and paid for! This was now set for about 4 weeks time ahead.

We drove South the day before our schedule to join the cruise to stay overnight with Doug and James to share a taxi together to Southampton the day after. Our lovely hosts showed us their delightful home in the South of England and the beautiful beach which lay at the end of their street, where we enjoyed the warm evening sun and dinner out later.



Once in Southampton the next day, we were whisked straight on board Arcadia as we arrived at midday, to enjoy our complementary fizz and private buffet before visiting our luxurious outside cabin that we had been upgraded to at no additional cost. After the usual lifeboat drill, it was time to settle down into the carefree routine of cruising again. Unbeknown to us all, Doug's schoolfriend Chris and her husband Kevin were also aboard, and before long we all met up for pre dinner nibbles and enjoyed dinner together at our table for 6 every evening thereafter, with much laughter.








Our cruise was to take us to all the Scandinavian Capitals including Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm, Tallin after our first port of call - Skagen. However, the highlight of this cruise was to be St. Petersburg which included an overnight stay on board ship. On Doug's advice we booked what turned out to be a fantastic 2 day independent grand tour by https://alla-tour.com who provided us with the very best of everything St. Petersburg had to offer over 2 days, and included lunch in a 4* hotel and a lovely picnic packed lunch on the second day. We visited all the usual places including the Hermitage Museum and Summer Palace, but also more unusual ones such as a ride on the spectacular underground railway.



















There was much spectacular scenery to view from the ship as we cruised in and out of port, the best of which, in our opinion was through the fjord into Oslo. Throughout our two week cruise the weather was also hot and sunny every single day.



The timing of this cruise took us within a few days of my birthday, so using that as an excuse we arranged dinner for us all at the ship's speciality restaurant Ocean Grill where we had the most amazing celebration evening together.







We enjoyed the most fabulous cruise, probably our best yet, and also had the benefit of lovely company throughout. Once disembarked back in Southampton, we again shared a taxi with Doug and James to collect our car from their place, but not before enjoying the most wonderful day out again with them, making our way home the day after.






We really must now gather our thoughts before our next travel adventure which isn't too far away.