GRAND PRINCESS To Scandinavia, Part Two

Peter Knego continues his seven night voyage to four northern European ports from Southampton aboard Princess Cruises recently refurbished GRAND PRINCESS with a day at sea and a visit to the Danish capital of Copenhagen.

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All photos by and copyright Peter Knego 2012 unless otherwise noted.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Minisuite D115, facing starboard.
Fruits of the sea.

Our second full day provided a perfect opportunity to sleep in as GRAND PRINCESS plunged her way through the North Sea en route to Copenhagen. Located on starboard Deck 9, our spacious mini suite had a walk-in closet, a separate sitting area with sofa bed, two televisions (one facing the sitting area and one facing the bedroom), luxury mattresses and bedding with duvets and a pillow menu.

D115 balcony.

On the blue-glass-paned balcony, there is room for two chairs, two ottomans and a small table.

Minisuite 115 wc.

The tiled bathroom has a tub with shower.

Lotus Spa toiletries.

And all Princess ships supply Lotus Spa amenities that include shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and bath gel.

Grand Princess Piazza.

Not ready for full breakfast, I headed down to the International Cafe at the base of the Piazza on Deck 5 for a cappuccino and something light.

View Parfait.

There are a number of wonderful pastries and croissants, English muffin sandwiches with bacon, egg and cheese (much better than what you’d get at McDonald’s) and delicious parfaits with granola and yogurt available at Cafe International. Perfect for a bite on the go…

Aft from Deck 17.
Aft from starboard wing.

Although the seas were a little bouncy, the sunlight up top was spectacular, so I headed to the midships observation deck and the wing over the bridge for some views of the massive GRAND cutting through the sea.

Up from DII5

Later, on the balcony of D115, I captured the wing from below.

There was plenty to do all day long, from movies and quizzes to Bingo, game shows, exercise classes and Elevator Roulette (we stumbled on this while heading to Horizon Court for lunch) and many more diversions. For me, it was all about sorting the thousand or so photos I had taken thus far and trying to make sense of them all for this blog and other markets.

Waiting for the tea to steep in Leaves.

In Leaves, we enjoyed a fresh late afternoon Spring Jasmine Green tea. The tea sommeliers provide colorful hourglass timers for those who want their tea just right.

Pizza margherita.

And, of course there was plenty of time for eating. Another slice of pizza margherita at the end of the day filled the gap between lunch and dinner.

Terrace wake at night.

After dinner and a unique show in the Theater featuring Siobhan Philips, an Irish singer and comedienne, we took a stroll around the temperate upper decks before calling it a night. The next day would begin rather early…

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

GRAND over Copehnagen.

I was up a little past seven to watch from the balcony as GRAND PRINCESS backed into Copenhagen harbor. Having been to the gorgeous Danish capital many times, I skipped a proper excursion in favor of joining my friend Rob on a romp into town for some shopping and sightseeing.

Brick facade on canal.

We paid $33 a-piece for an all-day bus service called “Step On, Step Off”, where we could supposedly get off at our leisure and then catch a later bus to complete a sixteen-stop circuit of the city’s main attractions. The driver could not even swipe a credit card, let alone drive safely and along the proper route. We got off near the National Gallery and never found another bus thanks to their (knowingly) distributing an outdated map. We later learned that “Step On, Step Off” is a complete rip-off trying to cash in on the successful and highly rated “Hop On, Hop Off” service. Still, if one is to get stranded, there is no better city than Copenhagen, which is both a friendly and beautiful (if somewhat expensive) place.

Spire and gables.

A city of canals, not unlike Amsterdam, Copenhagen dates to the 11th Century and brims with fascinating buildings, such as the Stock Exchange with its spire-and-copper-gabled roof and brick facade.

Nyhaven Canal.

In Nyhaven, there is a wonderful canal lined with shops and cafes…

PK and the Pissoir. Photo by Rob Di Stefano.

..and even pissoirs…

Gables and greenery beyond the Royal Garden.

Our self-guided tour included a walk through the topiaries and blossoms of the Royal Gardens.

Lion and Rozenborg.

We stopped at Rozenborg Palace, built in the late Renaissance to house the Danish crown jewels.

Kastellet archway.

On our way back to the ship, it rained occasionally. Our last stop was the Kastellet, a fortress surrounded by a star-shaped moat near the cruise terminal.

HMDY DANNEBROG at Copenhagen.

Meanwhile, the gorgeous Danish Royal Yacht DANNEBROG beckoned from her anchorage. Resembling the famed cruise ship STELLA POLARIS, the DANNEBROG was completed in 1932 and serves as an official private residence of the Danish Royal Family.

Eggplant Parmesan.

GRAND PRINCESS would not sail until 3:00 AM the following morning, allowing us a calm evening on board, highlighted by a superb Italian Night dinner in the Da Vinci, which began with a flawless Eggplant Parmigiano and a Spaghetti Marinara of perfection…

Limoncello sorbet.

…and ended with a tangy Sorbetto Limoncello.

End Of Part Two
Much More To Come….
Very Special Thanks: Julie Benson, Karen Candy, Brian Henriksen, Andreas Pitsch

Peter Knego

Peter Knego

Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea.  With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications.  Knego also runs the website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India.  He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
Peter Knego

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