A Travellerspoint blog

Denmark

Return to Copenhagen, Denmark

Wednesday, 10 September 2014


View 2015-02 South America & 2014-09 Royal Princess on greynomadm's travel map.

The Royal Princess eased her way into her berth before the 06:30 sunrise and before long almost 2500 passengers were disembarked and the crew prepared to receive an equal number of new passengers. There is also a significant crew swap at this port.

The Horizon Court was quite busy when we went there for breakfast. We returned to the cabin and waited to get a measure of the weather, there had been rain squalls all morning. At about 09:30 we decided to risk a drenching and boarded the first Shuttle Bus into down-town Copenhagen.
We found our way to the Tivoli Gardens but they didn't open till 11:00 so we walked on to visit the central railway station. A most impressive structure with vaulted domed roof and stained glass windows. Back to the Tivoli where we spent DK 100 (US$ 20) each for admission. It is not an extensive park in area but they have plenty crammed into that space.

There is a great variety for rides from the high excitement roller coaster and other thrill rides there are the more sedate carousel and miniature train rides. Rides are outnumbered by restaurants and other food outlets. There are performance stages and a Concert Hall as well as delightful gardens to wander through. The whole atmosphere was that of a relaxing family fun venue with something for everyone.

The rain held off and there were long periods of bright sun when we needed to shed our jackets. Spent the last of our Danish cash on some fast food before heading out to meet up with the Shuttle Bus for the trip back to the ship. On the way back to the bus we found an impressive display of Italian produce in one of the squares. The range of cheeses and processed meats was mind boggling.

The trip back to the ship was uneventful but there were some near-misses expertly avoided by our very competent driver. Can't get over the number of bicycles there are on the road and when you add the Metro Construction Project you have a recipe for chaos.

Back aboard and we meet our new Stateroom steward, nice chap named Jerico. Later when we went down to the dining room there was a new Assistant Waiter, her name is Katerina, she's from Serbia. We're overrun by Serbians, according to one of them there are about 120 Serbians in a total crew population of about 1400- almost 10% !!

After dinner went to the Theatre for the Welcome Show. Standing room only !! We'd missed the first show eleven days ago, didn't miss out on much. There was a lengthy introduction by the Cruise Director, great information for first-time cruisers but nothing new for us old hands ;-) The last 20 minutes were adequately filled by that funny man Al Katz, managed to have a go at people from Mississippi again.

Tomorrow we visit Kristiansand where we have a Shore Excursion booked.

There's an image of our visit to the Tivoli Garden at http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-09-10
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 12:56 Archived in Denmark Comments (1)

At Sea - En-route to Copenhagen

Tuesday, 9 September 2014


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Awoke this morning to find that the ship does actually move about !! For days the weather has been so calm one needed to constantly remind themselves that were in fact afloat. A slight rocking of the ship from side to side was the only effect of a very strong wind buffeting the ship.

I limited my walk as I was almost blown off my feet on the exposed areas of Deck 18. The deck-hands who mop the deck each morning had to restrain their mop-buckets to prevent them from 'running away'. Storm clouds dominated the skyline and there was no spectacular sunrise. A quick breakfast and back to the cabin where Jenny convinced me that there was no reason to 'get up' just yet. She's breakfasting on some fruit and yogurt she's stored away in the fridge.

We're off to the 'Culinary Demonstration' in the Princess Theatre, one of the most entertaining versions we've seen as the Chef tried to be all serious and the Maitre d'Hotel clowned through the whole thing. The stage setting was very impressive as was all the stainless steel in the cavernous Galley. Everything looked spotless and sterile. The Chef had explained that they were subject to Food Safety inspections at any of their Ports of Call so they maintained a standard that exceeds the most stringent.

Decided to buy the print from our Formal Night portrait photo and then visited the 'Outlet Sale' in the dinning room. There were lots of bargains but the queue lined up to the check-out was so long we were reluctant to even consider buying anything.

Up to the Horizon Court for a quick lunch and then we took our Kindles to the Theatre to await the screening of the movie "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" staring Ben Stiller. I found it rather confusing, but I guess that was partly the aim of the movie. Reality and his Imagination crossed over many times.

Paid a visit to the Captain's Circle Hostess to establish what arrangements were in place for the restocking of the Mini-Bar. It appears we will be totally replenished !!

From tomorrow morning we will have a new stateroom steward as Malcolm is being re-deployed to work in the Lotus Spa. We've also been issued with Transit Tickets to facilitate our return to the ship in Copenhagen. It appears that the majority of passengers are leaving the ship tomorrow so there will be lots of new faces.

Great dinner with fabulous service as always, one of the Head Waiters has taken a shine to our table, he drops in for a chat every night. At about 20:00 we passed under the Great Belt Bridge where the ship had a clearance of only 4 metres. It was a bit too dark to really see the proximity.
Copenhagen tomorrow, depending on the weather we'll catch a shuttle bus into the city and visit the Tivoli but if it is raining we'll stay aboard.

There's an image of our Formal Night Portrait from last Sunday at http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-09-09

Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 12:15 Archived in Denmark Comments (1)

Boarding the Royal Princess

Saturday, 30 August 2014


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After another excellent breakfast we returned to our room and packed our cases. The official 'check-in' time for the ship is 13:00 so there was no rush to leave. It was raining so we decided to just sit in the lounge and read our Kindle. We requested a taxi at 11:45 and five minutes later we were on our way.

The trip to the Cruise Ship Terminal was relatively short and to my surprise there were six cruise ships in port, three large ones at one pier and three smaller ships at the older terminal. Additionally there were terminals for domestic ferry services. Unfortunately the weather precluded any decent photos but we may rectify that in 11 days when we return to Copenhagen. The Royal certainly stands head and shoulder above the other two ships that were lined up behind her.

Check-in was most efficient and after a short delay at the security scan station we had our cruise cards and walked aboard. Some guests appeared to take longer to check-in and I asked why. Our lovely check-in lady explained that depending on the nationality some guests required upward of 5 visas, all of which had to be verified. We Australians didn't require any.

Despite the size of the ship the layout wasn't difficult to figure out. There was just so much more of it !! The Horizon Court Buffet, Deck 16 Aft, comprised a bewildering array of servery stations and it will take some time to work out what's available and where. We picked up a quick meal and had no trouble finding some seating. It was interesting to observe a party of eight trying to find a table big enough to accommodate them all. It just didn't happen, there were very few that big and all that I saw were occupied, so much easier travelling as a couple.

Went down to Deck 5 and explored the dining room, the Passenger Services desk and the Shore Excursions. All very busy given the many new passengers embarked today. Looked in on the Theatre on Deck 6 and 7, it is big but time will tell if it is big enough.

When we returned to our cabin the baggage was there so we spent some time unpacking. The cabin is the most spacious we've experienced and should be most comfortable.

Muster station drill at 17:00 was well conducted and we faced the climb up five decks back to Aloha deck 12. for no good reason we're both a bit weary and have decided that a quick meal from the buffet would suffice. While we were up there we watched the ship push off from the wharf and back out into the channel and head out to sea for the overnight journey to Oslo.

Looks like the WiFi from the cabin should work, fingers crossed.

No great images but there's one of the midship section of the ship at http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-08-30

Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 10:56 Archived in Denmark Comments (1)

Copenhagen - Day Two

Friday, 29 August 2014


View 2015-02 South America & 2014-09 Royal Princess on greynomadm's travel map.

Awoke to an overcast sky but no actual rain - yet. Locals are almost universally wearing coats and jackets. We enjoyed our buffet breakfast and met two couples who are also sailing on the Royal Princess.

After breakfast we set out to do part of a walking tour described on one of the free tourist maps. The route took us towards the City Centre and through the University area. The cobbled streets wound their way between stately old buildings, lots of caf├ęs and into bewildering 'squares' with many unidentified lanes and small streets. There were signs on the corners of most streets but not all were identified on the map.

We eventually found our way to the Nyhavn, an area beside a canal flanked by various sailing vessels on one side and a continuous string of outdoor eateries on the other. Very picturesque but somewhat subdued by the overcast sky. The prices for breakfast appeared rather steep Kr 99 for bacon, egg, toast, cheese and tea or coffee. That's over AU$ 20 and makes our included breakfast at the hotel a bargain.

We arrived at the Amalienborg Castle about an hour before the 12:00 'Changing of the Guard'. There weren't many of us at that time but by 11:45 people were 10 and 12 deep around a section of the square. There were no barriers just a jovial older policeman who politely asked the front row to stand behind the black line. We watched as he asked a rather large lady to move back and then encouraged a small girl to come forward, all very lighthearted and civilised.

While we waited we fell into a conversation with an American and a Canadian couple, all of whom are booked on the Royal Princess. That make four couples we've met and aren't even aboard yet !! The actual "Change of the Guard" was a low key event and once the New Guard had been posted the crowd dissipated and the square was almost deserted again.

As we were near the Marble Church (Frederik's Church) we stopped to look inside. It is built as a complete circle with a massive 31 meter dome, the largest church dome in Scandinavia. Unfortunately, like much of Copenhagen it was engulfed in scaffolding and construction equipment making it difficult to see the outside in any detail.

A brief shower encouraged us to don our rain-jackets but the rain didn't amount to anything much.

We were back at the hotel by about 13:15, about four hours after we'd set out. Some hot drinks and biscuits in the lounge and up to our room to download our photos and for me to record the morning's events.

Looks like the rain has set in for the afternoon so spent a few hours reading and snoozing. By 18:00 figured we should blow the budget and have a meal at a proper Danish restaurant. I found a place on the Internet but decided to ask Victoria at reception, she recommended "Koefoed" just a block away.

It was a basement setting with sheep-skins on the seats, very stylish and frighteningly expensive. I asked the waitress for her recommendation and she pointed to a five dish "taster" offering, we baulked at the DK 600 each and settled for a main course from the regular menu. Jenny had a pork dish while I had a beef, both quite minimalist meals, looked great but not a lot to them. With a shared cheese platter and a cup of coffee for me I was somewhat taken aback when the total came to DK 710. I reluctantly added a small gratuity to round it out to DK 750.
For a once-of experience Denmark is a great place but I'm glad we're here for two days and not a week. By all accounts Norway is even more expensive, certainly makes the cruise ship look very affordable.

We board the ship tomorrow so this will be the last upload from Copenhagen. First impressions of the Royal Princess tomorrow.

This link should take you to today's image of the Palace Guards http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-08-29

Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 10:58 Archived in Denmark Comments (3)

Copenhagen - Day One

Thursday, 28 August 2014


View 2015-02 South America & 2014-09 Royal Princess on greynomadm's travel map.

Got up this morning after about 15 hours sleep and felt almost refreshed. A lovely hot shower and a delicious buffet breakfast and we were just about ready for anything.

The lovely lady at Reception marked some highlights on our map and we set off Northward to find the "Little Mermaid". We walked for quite a while and finally located her surrounded by bus-loads of foreign tourists !! Not exactly 'surrounded" but certainly obstructing her.

On our way there we walked through an old fortification surrounded by earth ramparts and moats. Everything beautifully maintained and so clean. It is a pleasure to walk through a city where public buildings and art-works are not defaced by mindless graffiti.

On our way Southward towards the City Centre we struck up a conversation with a British couple who were off a cruise ship that was in port. They walked with us for a while and eventually wandered off to do their own thing. Jenny found a place marked on the map for fine handmade chocolates. It was like entering an exclusive jewelry store, each chocolate like and exquisite piece of jewelry. Tempting and all as they were, they were a little out of our price range.

Wandered some more along the NorthEastern edge of the main square and found our way to the Rosenborg Slot - from Wikipedia -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosenborg_Castle "Rosenborg Castle (Danish: Rosenborg Slot) is a renaissance castle located in Copenhagen, Denmark. The castle was originally built as a country summerhouse in 1606 and is an example of Christian IV's many architectural projects. It was built in the Dutch Renaissance style, typical of Danish buildings during this period, and has been expanded several times, finally evolving into its present condition by the year 1624. Architects Bertel Lange and Hans van Steenwinckel the Younger are associated with the structural planning of the castle."

Walked back through the gardens and then a short walk back to the Hotel. By the time we got there we were both quite weary and enjoyed a juice and a cup of coffee before crashing out for a snooze.

Went out for another stroll about 17:00 and we were surprised at the number of bicycles on the road. Many riders were in business attire and the wearing of helmets appears optional. There is a great variety of bicycle styles from the more sedate erect single speed through mountain bike and multi-geared models. There are also some strange adaptations with the front wheel well out from the rider's position. Many of the cobbled sidewalks have two narrow concrete strips whether for bikes or prams/pushers I couldn't determine.

I spotted a petrol station where diesel was priced at DK10.3 per litre which roughly translates to just over AU$2 per litre, no wonder there are so many bikes.

It has been a very warm day and with daylight savings time at 19:00 it was still quite warm and bright outside but we were getting a bit foot-sore so calling it a day. Tomorrow is another full day and we'd like to visit the Queen's Palace and observe the 'Changing of the Guard' which occurs at 12:00. We were considering the Tivoli Gardens but decided that we just weren't up to an amusement park, even one that was the inspiration for Disneyland !!

More from Copenhagen tomorrow.

This link should take you to today's image of the "Little Mermaid" http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-08-28

Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 10:06 Archived in Denmark Comments (0)

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