We headed off from Dover on Thursday – that in itself was great because it meant no time wasted in airports. The embarkation process was seamless, we pulled up beside the ship in the car and off loaded the cases to very helpful porters (who weren't allowed to accept tips/gratuities!!) and then parked the car in the FREE car park, free minibus back to the ship and all aboard. Really short queues through immigration and security and very helpful pleasant staff – service with a smile – all round.
The first night was incredibly bumpy, to say the least, I think we expected a more turbulent trip than the Caribbean but we were still surprised – especially when the shampoo bottle crashed from the rack in the bathroom scaring the whatever out of us! Friday at sea was wobbly but we soon got used to the roll and adjusted our walking accordingly knowing, as Linda so succinctly put, that as soon as we took the sharp right at the top of Denmark we would be in calmer waters.
Tuesday was Talinn, Estonia – a truly lovely place. We only wandered around the old town but were mesmerised by its traditional buildings and character, being very hilly it meant that we could see on the horizon where to head to – by this time our calf muscles were starting to talk to us!
Friday another lovely day took us to Helsinki – possibly the least impressive place that we visited, I'm not sure. We took a guided tour on a London Routemaster bus! I thought the Sibelius monument was quite special (he wrote Finlandia and not Peter and the Wolf as I previously thought – thanks Julie!)
Sunday and Monday were sea days, the weather started to turn as we took the left at the top of Denmark but the sea was nowhere near as choppy as on the way there, Tuesday morning brought us back to a grey, dull, overcast Dover. The disembarkation process was as good as the embarkation, we left our cases outside the rooms for collection overnight and opted for a 7.50 disembark time. Apart from an elderly lady fainting in the gangway on the way out we were off the ship and on dry land in moments, a porter collected our cases and the process was reversed from arrival – oh, and the music system was playing Bye, Bye Baby by the Bay City Rollers as we walked through customs!!