It all started here...

It all started here...

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Two Sea Days on Carnival Splendor

7/22/2008 & 7/23/2008 -- Two Sea Days on board the Carnival Splendor
After the intense four days visiting Helsinki, St. Petersburg, and Tallinn, it was great to have two sea days to relax and unwind. Mind you that the loud banging noise that bothered us in the first part of this Baltic cruise was still there, except that we didn't hear it as much maybe because we were on land and that the ship was not moving that much. Now that we are sailing all day long, suppose to be relaxing and enjoying the ship, the loud banging noise returned and it was quite irritating. We finally got the staff at the purser's desk to come up and listen to it for themselves. "Yep, definitely loud noise" was the verdict. She then called the engineering people to come up and see what the problem was. Two big guys came and they told the purser to move us to another cabin. They said it was the metal inside the wall that is warping back and forth that made the loud noise. Usuallly it would happen to older ships and they were very surprised that a brand new ship like the Splendor would have this problem. They would have to take the wall down to fix it and no one should be staying in this cabin for the time being.
The purser asked if it was OK to move us to another cabin. With two days left, we felt that it was kind of troublesome to pack and move but she said she will send people to help. So we followed her to our new cabin on deck 7, a balcony cabin. This turned out to be very nice as we sailed in and out of Amsterdam in the next couple of days.

Here is John Heald, a popular cruise director. We were invited to this private meeting with John who answered many of our questions about cruising and Carnival.

Formal night at the Gold Pearl.

Luciano and his wife. She works at another station in the same restaurant.

midnight buffet

Never felt crowded on this huge ship with all these passengers on board.

The retractable dome had to be close up because of weather.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tallinn, Estonia

7/21/2008 -- Tallinn, Estonia

This old medieval city is actually one of my favorite ports. Going there with not much knowledge about the country we were very curious as to what we will find. When the ship docked we could see the pointy spiral tops of buildings...hmmm, this is going to be interesting!

Instead of taking the shuttles to town, we decided to walk because it didn't seem to be too far away and we wanted to see if there would be anything interesting between the port and the city. Most people were taking the shuttles (with a fee), so it was kind of quiet as we walked towards the city. It was an easy walk with not much traffic around. Armed with a walking map that I found on cruise critic, we just followed the clear instructions and arrived at the side gate of the very old wall. It was very quiet and it seemed that we were the only people there at that time. We figured that most people probably got to the top of the hill by bus or went through the main gate to the city. We just leisurely walked our way up to the hill and bumped into locals instead of tourists as we explored this quaint city.

There was really nothing around the port.

The city seemed not too far away.

Inside the wall

hiking upward

We found another gate, so we went back outside to take pictures.

Just beautiful!

narrow streets

This postal carrier started early!

Now, we are at the top of the hill.

Lutheran Church, I think

Orthodox Church

The very busy town square.

We like to get away from the crowds.

A Chinese restaurant at the wall near the main gate.

The main gate area seemed to be very busy.

We were back to the side gate around the corner to the right and walked back to the ship.