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    A wonderful tale of a river crossing, Eilun.

    I think wherever this ship sails, people will turn their heads.

    Perhaps because she is so beautifully restored, or perhaps she is like a fresh breeze from the past.
    With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

    Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
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    Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.


      Hello Seagull! Are you ready for your Serenissima cruise? Have you packed your suitcases and loaded your cameras? Now you are our thrust and hope. We can hardly wait for you to get away, and even harder it is to wait for your return and your cruise report! For my own sake I'm waiting for your pictures and your statement about whether Serenissima has got stabilizers installed or not. This point isn't quite clear to us. Have a marvellous voyage!
      Regards; Sigve.


        Awww Sigve, such a nice post... thank you for your good wishes. Ummm, I hope to live up to your expectations! - but I can almost hear Ralf reminding me (AGAIN) that I haven't finished telling you about a voyage on Fram from last year yet, and there are lots of Thailand photos for pakarang, AND readers of another thread this morning will have heard about yet more travel plans already for 2015!

        Anyway, yes:- packing commenced, camera ready, depart for London on Tuesday, fly to Malta and board Serenissima on Wednesday. Don’t know if I’ll be able to be in touch while away, but keep an eye here and in “Seagull away a while” (and FB) just in case. Not back home until November 9th.


          Bon voyage, Seagull.
          You're not the only one who is late in the process of posting photos

          If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you...


            Yes,bon voyage Cecilia.Enjoy your trip aboard the Old Lady.


              AGAIN! May I assume, that you don't have other plans for the week-end???
              Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                Thank you all so much for your good wishes.

                I've now moved across to Seagull away a while for the less Serenissima-specific chit chat.


                  Cruise aboard MS Serenissima - “Sicily and the Barbary Coast” - October 22 – November 8, 2014

                  Day 1 - Valletta, Malta

                  Looking now at all my photos from the holiday, the first thing that strikes me is how relatively few photos of the ship herself I actually took!

                  Of course Jan-Olav has shared with us his remarkable, professional, and utterly outstanding photo-portrayal of at the ship at the time of her maiden voyage as Serenissima in April 2013. But although Jan-Olav's achievement was naturally on my mind, I do always say one can never have too many photos of a ship! The reason for my having taken fewer than you might suppose is more likely due to characteristics of this particular trip. Although the cruise was 18 days/17 nights onboard, there was only one "at sea day". Furthermore, as is standard for Noble Caledonia's charters, all excursions are included in the price of the holiday. In my case, not having been to Sicily since the early 1970’s and with the other destinations new to me, I naturally wanted to make the most of the opportunities.

                  The notion of taking one really nice photo of the ship in every port is also easier said than done. Here is Serenissima in Valetta, Malta, as our bus arrived from the airport and as you see it couldn't have stopped any closer to the ship's gangway! I seemed to be the only person wanting to go along the quay to take a photo of the ship. With settling in, safety drills and so forth, there would be no time to go ashore later, and daylight hours are shorter at this time of year. Ideally I would have enjoyed a few days in Malta before the cruise, but at the time of booking a year ago after complicated domestic circumstances it had seemed a long enough duration to be away, and simpler to take the included flights from London - which I did, along with the majority of the 87 guests and 5 tour directors/guest lecturer.

                  At least I thought to take a second photo with a little background that is more recognisably Valletta, though Jan-Olav had already done considerably better via webcams!

                  Scurrying back to the gangway moments later, I managed to take another photo ...and then stepped aboard Serenissima for the first time. A very wonderful and much anticipated moment!


                    Deck plan of aft of decks 5 and 4

                    Once checked in at reception on Deck 5, I am shown to my cabin via the restaurant and the former cafeteria of Harald Jarl, now the Andrea Lounge. Down the aft stairs from the end of the lounge to deck 4 it just seems so natural to continue round to my cabin, on the port side.


                      Here we are …would you like to see inside?


                        Oh please, what question is that?
                        Of course we want to see inside AND we (I'm) are eager to see more from your trip.
                        I have a feeling you have sorted out quite a few images for us, to take us kind of chronologically through your holiday. I'm excited :-)
                        "IF GOD COULD MAKE ANGELS...., WHY IN HELL MAKE MAN?"


                        • Seagull
                          Seagull commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Just teasing! ...though I am absolutely nowhere near as "sorted out" as I would wish to be.
                          A welcome to cabin 424 is ready though

                        At the time I was ready to make arrangements last year, earlier cruises on Serenissima had no single cabins remaining, but this cruise had only just been released for bookings and I was able to choose whichever I wanted! 424 would not be suitable for many, but for me it was absolutely perfect as you who know me already figured out!


                          This is the view looking the other way, taken standing at the door by the little cupboard (which contains bottles of water and a glass that fit into circular shelf holes). As always my travel mascot Sea-troll has already been unpacked!

                          Round the corner by the wardrobe is my bathroom.

                          They always draped the shower curtain in this attractive way that seems to complement the Gustavian-style furnishings.


                            Here is a view to show the carpet, and also that the space under the bed is of sufficient height to accommodate the deepest case. In fact I used my case as an extra drawer for folded T-shirts and suchlike which gave me lots more room in the wardrobe to hang things up. Although the dress code on the ship is 'smart casual' at dinner, I had correctly anticipated that the ladies in particular might tend to be a little dressier, perhaps more so on a Mediterranean cruise than those to the north of Norway.

                            The black 'thingy' on the table is a charging dock for a radio receiver, which you hang round your neck on excursions and attach an earpiece to hear your guide. I liked this as I could be on the edge of the group, looking away to take a photo whilst still listening to everything that was being explained.

                            The knobs on the table drawers are something else to note. Can you see that the corner and bottom drawers look knob-less, almost as if they were locked? (Yeapp, I should have taken a close-up photo!). Actually the knobs can be pressed in and this secures the drawer. Then just press and you have a knob to pull open the drawer again. No opening and slamming shut when the ship rolls, or need to resort to parcel tape as I once had to do aboard Vesterålen!
                            I found it convenient to kneel on the chair, propped up by my elbows on the window ledge, to take a photo - the at sea equivalent of a ‘hotel room view’!


                            • Tommi
                              Tommi commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Actually I have the same action on the lockers and cupboards on board my "yacht", neat isn't it?

                            • Ralf__
                              Ralf__ commented
                              Editing a comment
                              I know this also from houseboats, caravans and mobile homes, a very practical standard nowadays!

                            So here is the view from inside my cabin in Malta.

                            However, as I indicated on the plan in post #639, I could rapidly exit my cabin and step outside, and it seemed ok to go out that way, not just as an emergency route, though with due consideration to any crew requirements of course. Thinking about it now, I can't actually see how guests in 417, 418 and 420 can get to their cabins without going outside and then in again on the port side. These are classed as "superior staterooms" in Noble Caledonia's brochures, and listed as having twin beds.

                            Aft on deck 4 is a clearly a crew area though - for recreation (smoking!) as well as work when docking - and the stairs down to there from deck 5 are roped off as 'crew only'.