Thursday, February 27, 2014

Another vacation...

      Last year in June, along with 4 couples, my husband and I went cruising for the first time after so many years of planning! Finally, all ten of us hopped on the Norwegian Spirit  in Bacelona for 12 days and ended in Venice! Wow! We really had a gala time all the way! We promised each other to cruise together again whenever possible!

Norwegian Spirit

The Grand Mediterranean Cruise.
     Alhamdulillah, our dream came through! This year, we are going cruising again! Yabadabadoooooo....!!! This time to the Scandinavian countries in the Baltics. The countries involved are Copenhagen, Denmark as the port of entry.  Then we move downwards to Port of Warnemunde in Berlin, Germany and then to Talliin, Estonia. Next stop will be two full days in St Petersburg, Russian before proceeding to Helsinki in Finland and then to Stockholm in Sweden. The cruise will end in where we started in Copenhagen.

The Norwegian Star.... our ride to The Baltics.
The route in The Baltics.
     Surprising, this time around more than 40 friends and neighbours are joining us! Can you believe it? Last year only 10 of us! All of our excursions were booked directly online using my credit card but for 40 participants.... totally madness! Anyway, I managed to contact the cruise excursions agent based in St Petersburg  online and felt relief and happy by the way they responded to my 1001 questionaires !! Hahhahahah. Well that is me! They even gave us good discount! Hoorrey!! All the iteneraries which were custom made had to be amended to suit our group.  Like for example, for every ports that we are stopping, I insist on visiting or stop by a Mosque for us to pray. And then, they have to look for Halal Food Restaurant for us to have our meals along the way. With those two additional and amendment in hands, and agreed, I am happy enough! At least I know, I have done my part in negotiating and came up with the result that I hope. Now I just make dua to Allah and hope that all will go well as planned! Insyaallah!

Below are some images of places we are visiting in all the ports.

Port 1: BERLIN, Germany: Some of the places we are visiting such as The Charlottenburg Palace, Kaiser Wilhem Memorial Church, Ku'damm, Kadewe, Tiergarten and Victory Column, Reichstag, Bradenburg Gate, Holocust Memorial , Humboldt University, State Opera House, Unter den Linden, Museum Island and many more. Not forgetting a mosque too.
Humboldt University of Berlin
Holocust Memorial

The famous Berlin Wall

Port 2: Talliin, Estonia: Some of the places of interest we are visiting in are The  Talliin University, Freedom Square and Freedom Monument, Kadriorg Park, Presidential Palace, Swan Pond, Song Festival Grounds, Olympic Village, Town hall, Toompea Castle and many more. A visit to a local mosque where convenient.
Town Hall

Swan Pond

Toompea Palace
Port 3: 2 days St Petersburg, Russia. Some of the places we are visiting are as follows. St Petersburg Mosque, Yusupove Palace, Peterhof,Church of Our Savour on the blood,Tsar's Village, Catherine's Palace. Furthermore we will be experiencing  the Subway Ride,tour by boat and Hydrofoil ride.

St Petersburg Mosque.
Peterhof Palace
Hydrofoil Ride
Boat Ride
Subway Ride
The participants ages range from 4 years old to 70 years old. As the so called leader, I need to think about the youngest and the eldest especially. But I believe, all will go well because cruising is very relaxing. No hassle and no stress. Most of those who took the cruise are old people. This is because, the ship will sail only when we are sleeping. In the morning, after breakfast we just grab a bottle of water, sunglasse and a small pouch and off to our excursion. There is no need in checking in and out like we have to do if we take the land tour by coach across Europe! Been there and I slept all the way in the 5 to 8 hours journey from one city to another! Spent few hours in that city and at the end of the day you felt so tired and worn out and the process of checking in the hotel started all over again!!! That is not vacation... that is work! It got worst when your tour leader commands you this and that and  gives limited time for anything! Everything is timed! 

Port 4: Helsinki, Finland. Some of the places we are visiting are as follows: Olympic Stadium, Seurasaari Open Air Museum, Havis Amanda,Parliament House, Finlandia Hall and  a local mosque.

Finlandia Hall


Port 5: Stockholm, Sweden: Below are some of the place we will visit in this city including a local mosque, Fjallgaten, Vasa Museum, Concert Hall, Grand Hotel, Kungstradgarden, Old Town and so on. 
Royal Armoury

Stockholm Narrowest Alley
             Unlike cruising,  it is totally different. We sleep like babies in a very comfortable bed throughout the night. Furthermore, food and beverages are free flow from most of the restaurants on board. Just make your choice from the menu or see the head of chef or the restaurant manager should you need any proper diet. They will entertain you like kings and queens! As for this voyage, I wrote in to NCL regarding our Muslim food and they responded well. I had mad prior booking for Vegetarian Food, seafood, eggs and alcohol free food and drinks. The minute I check in in Copenhagen, I will have to call for an appointment with the person in charge as told by NCL. Thank you very much for the understanding. 

Now I will have to reconfirm everything and then I can sit and relax until May 27th when we all will depart from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to Amsterdam and another flight to Copenhagen as our  port of entry. Good luck to all Balticans and enjoy your vacation! Thank you to all Balticans....Che Din Sulaiman, Wan Remlah, DS Ahmad Kabit, DS Halimah Yusof, TS Rahman, PS Rugayah, Dt Ruhani, Rokiah, Dt Othman, Dt Farethah, Dt Noraini, Wahab Bakar, Nor Azizah, Noraini, Capt Nasruddin, Hanisah, Dr MIM, Kamariah, TS Raja Alias, PS Hafsah, Tg Shamsul, Faridah, Dt Ibrahim, Dt Lailee, Tan Boey Kee, Yeik Siew Chai, Dt Kwan, Dt Karen, Suffian,Noorul Azlin, Baby Rayyan, Dick Helmi, Nik, Alif, Areesha, Zubaidah, Sau Hong, Dt Rais, Dtn Rubilah, Dt Zin, Dt Amna, Suzanne, Mrs Lim and  Dt Norma. See you all on board of Nowegian Star!!!