Friday, February 3, 2012

2011 SFC Sea Day

We had an enjoyable sail-out of Stockholm, and next up on the agenda was our FAVORITE- a SEA DAY!

Lectures, napping, eating...HEAVEN!

The Captain's Welcome party and first formal night is the highlight of the first sea day...

All three Hancock girls were GORGEOUS!

Alix was all smiles.

Mary Cecile and Julia had met up with ANOTHER Julia, the Vice-Captain's daughter.

Hutch and JuJu cut quite a rug!!!!

We love our dinners in the Crystal Dining Room.

The Baltic is calm....simply a perfect day at sea!!!

2011 SFC Stockholm's IceBar

One of the most unique stops in Stockholm is a trip to the IceBar.

Located in the Nordic Sea Hotel, the IceBar is world's first permanent bar made entirely of ice.

Yes, the bar helps you dress appropriately, with fur-lined cloaks.

Even the drinks are served in ice--IN ice, not ON ice!!

Looks like the Hancocks enjoyed it!

I'm not sure what kind of cocktail this is...but it was GOOD!

(Hate the photo, but ) Proof that I was there.

We didn't leave much behind.

And the girls were chilly, but all smiles!

Try it out if you are in Stockholm!!!

2011 SFC Another Day in Stockholm

Even though we boarded Serenity, we didn't leave port for another night.

Before our land excursion, Alix and I made a sighting of "her" boat...

(if you didn't know, her family nickname has always been "the Empress").

We headed out for a quick look at Stockholm, featuring a stop at the IceBar, which warrants its own post.

We made a stop at the Royal Palace, just in time to see the changing of the guard.

And then stopped in at the Stockholm Cathedral, where Crown Princess Victoria married Prince Daniel.

We had about an hour for shopping.

And then we headed back to the ship in time for muster.

Maybe we are all a little more aware of emergency procedures on cruise ships in the wake of the Costa Concordia tragedy, but Crystal Cruises has always placed a top priority on safety, and muster drills are mandatory for all guests. Yes, it feels stupid at times, and could even be considered a pain in which to participate, but I will never complain about the drill again. I have nothing with which to compare Crystal's emergency procedures, never having cruised on any other line, but if you take a look at THIS photo....

you'll see they get the message across!

Life jackets safely stowed, it was time to prepare to sail.

A beautiful evening in the Swedish archipelago.

Little boats come out to see the big boats.

All of these houses are lovely.

We make quite a procession.

(No, that's not the Costa Concordia- it is her sister ship, the Costa Atlantica.)

I'd take this one!


This ferry made me think of SOME guy I know....... ;-)

Well after dinner, with the Swedish summer sun still not set, deck maintenance continues.

Everything interests me on this beloved ship of mine!!!

2011 SFC Embarkation Day

Some folks were catching some SERIOUS zzzz's after that long flight.

But soon, we were all ready-very ready- to head to Crystal Serenity. Bags sorted, everyone waited in my room for our alloted time to head to the ship.

Some read, some worked puzzles, some listened to music , some played video games.

Good thing I was taking pictures. There was no room for me to sit or lie ANYWHERE.

I had the chance to run ahead and catch the Hancock girls boarding the Serenity for the FIRST TIME.

On Serenity, we can open up the connecting doors of the verandas. Easy access to everyone, and we have one long bowling alley of a private deck.

All the stateroom doors are propped open for luggage delivery. This allows for the occasional stowaway.

The stewardesses finally got some deck guys to help corral our visitor before we left. Shame really- we could have made it our mascot.

2011 SFC A Few More Photos from Stockholm

Just a few more fun shots of our first day in Stockholm....

Everyone knows I love details...the ceiling of the first floor of the Grand Hotel...

The view from Uncle Woo's room.

Just walking around. So pretty.

Goofin' off.

Pretty Girls.

Silly guys.

Dribbling swans.

Someone wants some attention.

She got it.

Not Lost in Translation.

Now, after the fits of laughter subsided, Brother Ed posed the question. Is this a sign for a huge sale, or are the really selling large donkeys inside?

Always look down.

Always look up.

Always look around. We would have missed this sculpture if Hutch hadn't seen it.