September 15th, Saturday. We are on the SEATAC shuttle from Bellingham. First leg of the big trip. Well be in London on Sunday afternoon the 16th. Boarding the ship Monday.
Day 1 – Sept 15th Flight from Seattle to Cologne, Germany to London Heathrow
Originally we were going to stay in London 4 nights before the cruise started. I had surgery on the 11th so we changed the plan. I scrambled to get air changed. Eurowings was the only choice at $1,900 for 2pp, one way. We left home the 15th , Saturday at 11am and took shuttle to SEATAC. Flight departed on time for Cologne, Germany at 5pm. 9 hours later we landed in Cologne. 3 hours later we’re in London Heathrow Airport. We arrived the 16th at 2pm. Total travel time 16 hours.
Our large suitcase checked bag did not make it. We filed a claim and hailed a cab at the airport and for $86 he delivered us to the wrong hotel. We walked 6 blocks with our luggage to the correct hotel. (Good thing we did not have the big bag.) The room was up one flight of stairs (no elevator). This was Best Western Seraphine Olympia 225 High Street. The room was $706 for 4 nights, non refundable. We had to cancel the first 3 nights due to change of plans.
We settled into our room and then walked around the neighborhood for a dinner spot. Ate at Five Guys Burger place. Yum!
Since we arrived on a Sunday stores were closed but I needed to get some essential clothing since ALL my stuff is in the lost bag. Due to the surgery I could not pull or carry a bag. Bob’s stuff was in the carryon and I had nothing. So Monday morning I walked to H & M when they opened at 9am. Got a few things to tide me over and rushed back to the hotel for our shuttle at 9:45 am.
While we were on the shuttle Monday morning I got a call from the airline that my luggage was just delayed and at Heathrow to be picked up by me. The shuttle service would not let us divert so we got off and hired a private taxi to do this and get us to Southampton. Our taxi driver kindly took us inside the airport and our attempt to retrieve luggage failed because we did not have a boarding pass to get to the counter. Numerous other passengers were in the same situation. So we left without the bag. When I checked into the ship I told them and they said the Port Agent would get it delivered. We didn’t see the bag for 4 more days as it was flown to Cork, Ireland – our 3rd port.
Cost of change of plans and lost luggage about $2,500. Insurance did cover this and I received nearly all that back after I filed a claim when we returned.
Sept 17th – Checked into ship, The Norwegian Jade, and got room 10144 a handicap Balcony. Huge space and we unpacked what little we had and joined the sail away party on deck 12. Nice weather!
Sept 18th – St. Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands. We got off and wandered the town. I bought a sweater at the local Cancer thrift shop for $8. Then we had hot chocolate.
Sept 19th – Portland, England
Sept 20th – Cove, Ireland – I got off and toured the Titanic and Emmigration Museum. Fascinating stories. It was cold and rainy. This port town was the last stop for the Titanic before it started across the Atlantic bound for America. When I got back to the cabin the missing suitcase was waiting outside the door! Yea!
Sept 21st – Dublin, Ireland – We just rode the local transit around as this is a big city. It seems to have a few bars and drinking establishments that were popular with others but we skipped those and just walked around a nice quiet park.
Sept 22nd – Belfast, Northern Ireland – The government of Northern Ireland is in a period of suspension since January 2017. We took a tour of Belfast and the parliament building was very quiet of course.
Sept 23rd – At Sea
Sept 24th – Kirkwall and Orkney, Scotland Lots of wide open space and castles and The Ring of Brough. We liked this area!
Sept 25th – Invegordon (Inverness) Scotland
Sept 26th – Edinburgh, Scotland – CANCELLED due to rough seas. This is a tender port and the captain announced that there was no safe anchorage. We enjoyed a nice quiet day at sea instead. Many passengers were very upset to miss Edinburgh of course and evidently had booked this cruise mostly for that port.
Sept 27th – Newcastle upon Tyne – We took the train from the port to the city and walked to the River to see the Millennium Bridge. We got there at noon just as they were “lifting” it from the river for boats to go through. It is not a draw bridge but curved so it rises in the middle for boats to pass. Then we had lunch at Pitcher and Piano on the river. Really good and nice day out. Easy to take train back too. It was only 8 pounds each for all day.
Sept 28th – at sea
Sept 29th – Southampton again. We had to pack our belongs and leave them in the room. We knew our new cabin # but could not go there until about 2pm when the crew had prepared the room. Nice quiet day doing nothing.
Sept 30th – at sea
October 1st – Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Great Britain. We got off the ship and walked over to Jimmy Perez’s house. He’s the main character of the detective series “Shetland”. The town relies on tourism and the series helps a lot. We also went to the museum.
October 2nd – at sea
October 3rd and 4th – Day one in Reykjavik, Iceland. We did the Golden Circle Tour and saw Gullfoss Falls, the rift in the earth where the North American and European plates meet, and Geyser area. 8 ½ hour tour by bus. The 2nd day we stayed on the ship because it was very wet and cold. It snowed over the pass on our way back on the tour.
October 5th and 6th at Sea crossing the Atlantic.
October 7th – St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada
October 8th – at sea
October 9th – Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
October 10th – Portland, Maine – 83 HOT degrees!!! My friend Julie lives here and picked us up from the ship. We went to lunch across the harbor and had a lobster roll. Yum! She also gave us a tour of the area. This is our first U.S. port and by far the warmest.
October 11th – At sea
October 12th – At Sea
October 13th – NYC
October 14th and 15th – at sea
October 15th – Miami – off ship. HOHO bus around Miami and then to Airport hotel for the night.
October 16th – fly home Delta