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    But of course it is also very quick to go from my cabin up the stairs and out onto the flag deck.

    Here is the view across the harbour from the starboard side.

    ...then up the outside stairs to the transformed covered seating area on deck 6.


      Continuing to explore the ship, I was pleased with this view looking beyond a lifeboat towards the impressive fortifications of Valetta. This is the kind of photo of the ship in the context of a port that it is so nice to have.

      Serenissima's funnel and mast in the late afternoon light.


        In my eagerness to show you my cabin I didn't mention the welcome glass of champagne and sandwiches on arrival, the safety drill and the introductory meeting. Dinner would be a buffet that first evening, rather as would be the case in Bergen on day 1 of a Hurtigruten voyage. It did seem that following the meeting most guests had stayed in the lounge and were already keeping the bar staff busy while I was enjoying my stroll out on deck!

        We were scheduled to depart at 21:30, but didn't, and for good reason!

        I mentioned that I had gone down to London from Edinburgh earlier than planned, due to the severe weather warnings resulting from the effects of hurricane Gonzalo reaching the British Isles. Well, I suppose it was bound to catch up with me eventually! Related heavy rainfall and flooding had already affected many parts of central Europe, Germany and northern Italy in particular. Further south on our route to Sicily we would be on the edge of those weather systems, avoiding rain but liable to experience very strong winds indeed. Look for the schematic outline of Italy and Sicily on the right hand image to get an idea.

        Soon an announcement was made. The Captain had made the wise decision to stay in Malta overnight and set sail for Sicily the following morning.


          The Maltese nights, I find them a bit special indeed. Looking forward for the upcoming pictures.


            What a start of a trip report. I am already with you, sharing your views, wanting to put my nose into each corner and know you will so the same in the next posts. You did a very good choice with your cabin, my choice would have been similar, while of course looking for a double cabin. But deck four is the place to be!! Here the work is done and you are near the water. Brilliant posts!
            Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


              Something tells me we will have a nice trip with you Cecilia.
              Cabin 424 would suit me in case I'd travel by myself.
              A cosy bachelor flat......


                I have mentioned it before; but cabin 424 (and 421) is the most noisy cabin on board Serenissima, because of the propeller right below. That's why i is called The Propeller Suite. You need a good sleeping heart to sleep here. But Seagull seems to know what she was doing when she chose this one. And as Sterkoder wisely said before; the noise in this cabin is like music to her ears!
                Am looking forward to more photos!
                Regards; Sigve.


                  Yeapp I certainly did know what I was doing! - and Sterkoder expressed it exactly I really like to hear and feel the ship when I'm on a ship. On some ships the requirement to be able to get quickly and conveniently to outside decks is an overriding consideration, but here this cabin has everything.

                  That said, 424 actually wasn't excessively noisy, and you have to remember that there is actually a crew area on deck 3 directly below:-

                  Looking at the link to a deck plan from the Harald Jarl era that Clipper posted, you can see that there were cabins available there in those days - more appropriate contenders for "the propeller suite" designation perhaps!!!


                    The cabin looks so cosy! I'm stepping on board with you and I'm looking forward to seeing more pictures of your trip.
                    MS Lofoten April 2006, March 2012, Feb 2013. MS Polarlys Dec 2010. MS Fram Feb 2009, Sep 2011.
                    Upcoming : MS Fram Dec 2013, MS Lofoten Sep 2014
                    My travelblog : Hurtigruten, Antarctica, Svalbard, Norway (and other places...).



                      Seems hardly any time at all since Andrea was under arrest in Split and we all anticipated her demise.

                      Loving the photos. Andrea's owners really can take a lot of kudos for their conversion work and décor - as I've said before, Gustavian was a brilliant decision - whoever made it deserves an award. Such a pity the company's only reward was to go bust.

                      And many thanks for the deck plans. I've not seen any in quite such detail before. Now I know where the doors are, and I love your route down from the lounge - that would suit me. Good old "73" (alias "424"). Interestingly, 419 and 422 appear to have a communicating door meaning, presumably, that they can be offered as a suite. I doubt it's intended to be an escape route as the cross-passage just aft would fulfil the same purpose.

                      Is there any trace of the Andrea era deck names - Baltic (6), Mediterranean (5), Caribbean (4), Atlantic (3) - or have they been completely expunged?

                      Dying to hear your verdict on the stabilisers. Is there any sign of the old "roll-pitch-roll-yaw-shimmy" that she used to do?

                      And did you get to see the famous engine room?
                      Harald Jarl, Honningsvag to Svolvaer, Summer 1985.
                      Deck plan geek.
                      The first 5 days after the weekend are the toughest.


                        Welcome onboard Sarnia and Clipper!

                        Just a few things arising from Clipper's comments before continuing to Day 2:-

                        The deck plan details I've shown so far are annotated enlargements from my 'cleaned up' photos of the framed "You are here" type pictures around the ship. (I overlaid the bit near my cabin from the picture at another location so as to get rid of the obscuring red dot!):

                        As already mentioned, the exit door to aft deck 5 is no longer as shown (see my note in green, post #639). The connecting door interpretation between 419 and 422 does seem plausible, though it could also be a misaimed mistake on the plan, which doesn't show any door into the bathroom of 417!
                        I wish I'd asked to see inside cabin 422 though.

                        Here's something to amuse Jan-Olav in particular, who as you all know, delights in calling me Lady C. Well, Noble Caledonia include a passenger list with the cruise documentation, and there were a number of titled people including a real Lady C - moreover she was actually Lady Celia! This of course led to me having to spell out my name Cecilia to people to avoid confusion ...though Lady Celia's impeccable accent (like the Queen's) should have sufficed! It was only later in the cruise that I realised she had cabin 422 opposite mine (a few people travelling alone pay extra to have a larger double cabin).

                        There was a problem with the shower drain of 422 at one point (stuff coming up rather than water not going down apparently).

                        More answers for Clipper:- There's no trace of the old Andrea deck names to be seen anywhere - it's all numbers now. That seems fine to me as the names were not especially significant, but I absolutely love how the ship's history is preserved in the lounge names.

                        Edit - On a later voyage on Serenissima (!) I came across a reference to Atlantic deck here

                        And stabilisers were indeed fitted last February.
                        So how effective are they? - Well, I wouldn't describe the movement as "roll-pitch-roll-yaw-shimmy", but the ship was certainly rolling when we eventually set out from Malta to Sicily. But perhaps it would have been worse without the stabilisers, and the weather resulting from the hurricane was unusual and extreme, so it is hard to give a definitive verdict.
                        There was a night of even more challenging conditions for the guests later in the cruise - but that was a considerable swell with the ship pitching.

                        Yes, I did get to see the engine room!
                        Last edited by Seagull; September 12th, 2017, 10:44. Reason: Added later info about old deck names


                          It will be fantastic to be part of this pictorial journey.
                          Request permission to come aboard your ship, Cecilia

                          The first pictures look great.
                          Looking forward to the continuation.


                          • Seagull
                            Seagull commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I had been thinking about you when I was away, but not only for your nautical expertise. Later in the journey a change in the itinerary took the ship to Spain, and for me a new region. Looking at the map I suddenly saw a familiar name, Torrevieja!
                            I suppose it must be only some 60km or so from the port of Cartagena. I follow a Group on Facebook about the ship Funchal, (on which I have booked a cruise for next August), and saw photos there of members of the Torrevieja Maritime Association having a day trip to Cartagena and a ship visit.

                          Cecilia, thank you for your answers. I'm particularly impressed that you got to see the engine room.

                          Well it looks like we have CV new mission - to find out for certain whether 419 and 422 really have a connecting door! Maybe one day a Serenissima crew member will join CV and post a version of the deck plan marked up with lots of red & green corrections - Seagull-style.

                          Pity that the verdict on the stabilisers is inconclusive. I guess you would really need to do a direct comparison - turn them off/on while under way. I know someone who used to do just that - and more - during stabiliser sea trials. He's well retired now but used to work for Sperry Gyroscope. (At one time almost half of my home town worked for Sperry Gyroscope).

                          Anyway, I have taken the liberty of adding your cleaned up "You Are Here" image to my local copy of the Deck Plan widget as "Serenissima 2" and, with your permission Cecilia, will upload it next time I'm home (can't FTP from here).
                          Harald Jarl, Honningsvag to Svolvaer, Summer 1985.
                          Deck plan geek.
                          The first 5 days after the weekend are the toughest.


                          • Seagull
                            Seagull commented
                            Editing a comment
                            It may not be totally inconclusive Clipper.
                            D now tells me that the wind data imaged in #648 was actually for a day later, so the winds Serenissima encountered on departing Malta would be more like the ones heading for Greece at the right of that image.
                            The wind image as shown depicts the situation when sailing overnight between Porto Empedocle and Trapani, where you can see it looks windy around the west of Sicily. I'm pleased to report that the guests enjoyed a good night's sleep, so perhaps the stabilisers were indeed doing their job!

                          Day 2 – Porto Empedocle, for Agrigento, Sicily

                          It was still dark when I woke and looked out of my cabin window. I could hear some activity outside, and then the ship's engines sprung to life. Within minutes I was dressed and up and out on deck 5, seemingly the only guest around as the ship moved away from the quay. The floodlighting on the fortifications looked impressive, and I took a few photos and then went up to deck 6. I was about to discover what a sheltered natural harbour Valletta’s Grand Harbour is.

                          We seemed to have scarcely reached the breakwater when the pilot boat, which I was at that moment attempting to photograph, turned and bid us farewell. I like the photo, although it is a wonder that it shows anything remotely recognisable as a pilot boat. For not only was there suddenly the movement of the water and that of the boat as it swung past, but Serenissima was swaying too, and then so was I. Although I'd wedged myself by a pillar (optimistically to hold the camera steady!) my movement was less dramatic than an unsecured chair that had been left out. It seemed like a good idea to head out of the wind and down to a lower vantage point to see the lights of Valletta fade into the distance!

                          Breakfast time was from 07:30 but not too many guests had emerged even by the time I had finished eating!

                          Later, I took some pictures from inside my cabin, though note that by this time it had become considerably calmer, and for me perfect for being at sea. I don't seem to have taken any more photos that morning, just enjoying being around the decks, watching the waves, so happy.

                          Last edited by Seagull; November 28th, 2014, 16:23.


                            Approaching Porto Empedocle in the afternoon.

                            The ferry Sansovino.