Mr Waldo's friends had said "Oh you must go to Russia" and Miss Waldo had just embarked on a thesis about the Romanovs so we began planning.
Things went pear shaped and it turned out to be just me and the Little Waldos aged 22 and 18 (moral ...live life to the full)
one of the negatives to this cruise was having been to 2 ports before so we cut short our pre in Stockholm just overnighting and taking in the splendours of the new ABBA museum.
Emabarkation: I wasn't quite sure why we were segregated, at first I thought it was being with 2 "kids" Note: Mr 22 yo was invited to join the children's program. I'm sure if 20 years time he will appreciate not looking his age or whether it was our comp upgrade to an OW. Either way this was hassle free and we were onbaord quickly.
First Impressions: Colonnade: OMG this is a Zoo. Every man and his travelling companion was out on the back deck soaking in the summer rays. We were served relatively quickly and the only hitch was wine with lunch. yeah.... i know... she's going to complain about the quality. Well actually NO. They asked for Little Waldo to prove his age so he could drink and after much digging around he produced his drivers licence (note we found this into Day 2, if you have hole punched into your card no grog!). Offering Miss W a drink, she declined we settled into mmmm this is nice
Suite: Our suite was ready just as we finished dining and we were very happy. Cmon OW who wouldn't be!
Our Stewardess offered our soap options (a choice each) and asked if we wanted any additional beverages for the bar (Yes please we needed 3 different tipples..at this point we were not aware of the 21 drinking age) The cabin was explained and we just went wow (again)
I wont go in to detail about an OW except to say for 3 it was MORE than ample and while the rollway was removed each day it wasn't really necessary to do so.
Now Mr 22 is a foodie (yep) so his first task was to book for Restaurant 2. Mission accomplished, Miss 18 and I made our Spa bookings. Yes it was tight, 7 days are an issue if you want to fit around ports. the only hitch for the Spa was the Spin bike is apparently only for fitness classes :(
Meals: there was only 1 course in The Restaurant which was a let down and it was ......... the Souffle. Now Miss W is a Souffle Queen and I mean that seriously. Whilst 22 dutifully consumed his to the last Iota I struggled and Miss W, took 2 spoonfuls and said urrg, scrambled eggs. ( to give reference Miss W has dined and worked in hatted restaurants) I have to admit the waiters took her critique with a grain of salt. She has said if the souffle isn't up to scratch on Quest in January she'd like a cook off ;)
We only managed one meal in Resaturant 2 and well...yum........not up there with the likes of Geranium or Quay, but certainly excellent for location matching wines IMHO worth the $$ Remember we convicts have limited access to anything non home grown.
Liquid: Hitch wasn't aware that US drinking laws onboard. Note to self (read the fine print). Did it matter, um no. But poor Mr 22 got sick of dragging out his card until everyone knew him and that took 3 DAYS! ;)
Ships Tours: bone of contention. We did 1 out to Cathy's place and wow. The solitude was worth the $ the wine, not so. I wanted to Kayak in Helsinki but was howled down by Miss W (aka I know everything now I'm 18). In short, should have Kayaked!
Ports: Well we are small ship creatures because I like to convenience of central docking and fats flow immi, and Seabourn ticks that box nicely. (well more than nicely because it added 2+ hours to each day in SPB)
Service: Yep this is where it went pear shaped I had ONE server who ignored me. T......??? in the Colonnade at the dessert bar. Why do some people think only guys want ice cream!! Loved pulling up my chair and within 30 secs having my tipple and MissWs Fire Engine (paul;) ) on the table.
Now i do NOT like buffet or tie dining, so Seabourn is an excellent choice for avoiding this. breakfast in the restaurant , was great, yeah it's only open for an hour but hey, 8-9am ain't early bad if your tour starts at 8,30.. heaps of time! For those eat all you can, as fast as you can Colonnade will suit.
Disappointment: never had IRD ( will fix this in Jan)
Trivia (ohhhhh) only once and only a few of us. Poor Miss W. Trivia is one of her things and to to the supercilious guest who pooh poohed Mr 22s knowledge of TdF, yep don't think the onboard newspaper is up to date. Mr 22 is a sport tragic. Other than that less friendly than we have had before, especially on SS, maybe it was being 3? (never been 3 before) and I know more than 1 pax was surprised it wasn't a gay divorcee situation. Maybe because our other cruises have been less port intensive?
Debark: too soon
Other lines : What i missed for SS.. the opportunity to be seated at a communal table (but that may have been to us being 3 and Mr W missing and conversations with other liekminded guests