Venice & Dubrovnik Cruise - October 14th to November 5th 2013

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Venice & Dubrovnik Cruise by Fred Olsen

Off for a cruise on this lovely
Fred Olsen

The MV Braemar, photoed at Kekeria, Corfu.

Ship picture

There are hourly didmo bullet trains from St. Pancras to Dover Priory, which use the HS1 high speed tracks. The trip took us from Dover to Dover via:-

Malaga, Spain
Valletta, Malta
Split, Croatia
Venice, Italy
Koper, Slovenia

Ancona, Italy
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Kerkeria, Corfu, Greece
Catania, Sicily, Italy

The map is from the Fred's brochure & not quite the way round we did the cruise,
the list of links above being the order but the ports are right. Sibenik is Split.

Monday 14th October 2013 - Boarding

I had booked a taxi for 1030. It was the same driver we have had before: an oldish guy. The little bullet train left at 1112 &, when we got to Dover the shuttle was waiting for us. There was a couple, he oldish, she looking Chinese & a lot younger (not necessarily the case) who turned out to have been Hong Kong Police: Angus & Judith. As gold members, we jumped the queue again, after seeing Jamie, one of the Hosts,as we came in. Avis had a cake & we had free tea as goldies but were not on the boat until 1410. We have the same cabin as in August, so I shoved the bunks together to make a double bed & went for tea while Avis did her unpacking. I collected her for tea at 1500, finding her chatting to Win, a shipmate from Xmas (we were to find several other old shipmates), after which she crashed out for the afternoon. I met some of the entertainers, including Kim, the classical singer with whom I bonded. I variously chatted & read my book. It was quite cold as we sailed out. The band is the 4th Dimension, badly balanced by the system in the Coral Club but, as we were on 2nd sitting, I did not have time to have a word before we went in for dinner. We are on a long table as at Xmas. There was a live wire, Carol, on the other half. Later, we chatted to her & her man in the Observatory Lounge on the top deck, after which we went to bed.

Tuesday 15th October - Three days at sea

The hour went on the Europe Time, so we were theoretical up early but the Thistle Restaurant had plenty of people in it at 0845. They are still doing Eggs Benedict. We went to the port lecture by Ken Martin we have met before & was very thorough. Then, Vanessa Jenkins, a doctor, spoke well about The Grand Tour. Ken had taken an hour, so no tea until after Vanessa. It was raining, so no deck pounding before lunch, although I did a damp mile after. Meanwhile, we had picked up a lady of 66 who had lunch with us & was as full of stories as me. Divorced a long time ago, quite large but clearly, on the prowl! Avis went to choir practise at 1400 & after my walk, I did a bit of web editing. There was a talk, allegedly about classical music but the first was about Rodgers & Hammerstein! It was formal evening already, so into posh dress & penguin suit.

A bit lively in the night but hardly a Bay of Biscay to remember. It did appear that there might have been engine trouble, as we did not seem to get far enough & an ex-Freds engineer on board was spreading rumours. We went to the Split port talk & Adrian's "Blood & Fire" Spanish painting talk, which started too slowly but I was well pleased at the end &, after correcting a date, told him he was good because he lectured like me (apparently without notes). We did a few U-turns round the deck, either both of us or just me. Dr. Vanessa gave a talk about Malta GC & Operation Pedestal. The less said of the Tchaikovsky talk, the better. Tony was sick, so the 4th Dimension did not play. Mark the Magician did the same gig as last time but it was worth seeing again.

Quiet night but my leg played up. Although we know Venice, we went to Ken's port talk for the pictures. A few turns round the deck & also after Adrian's surgery of Mediterranean Art. I was sitting next to Vanessa & she said we would have all (Adrian included) worked well together. We saw whale spouts from the bow.

Round the Ship

Out on the deck

Morning Light Pub

Braemar Room lounge

Thistle Restaurant

Breakfast Buffet

Cake Buffet (not every day!)

Reception sort out problems

Show Team in the Coral Club

Neptune Lounge (theatre)

This is a lower deck (3) cabin of 130sq feet, one deck up from steerage (where we sleep when on the entertainment team) but so well laid out that it is quite practical & does not feel cramped. The bathroom has a loo & shower, which is problematic for obese people, which we are not. In the cabin, there is a telly, hair dryer, 'phone, tea making equipment, more shelves (you cannot see the adequate wardrobe in the pictures) & a power point to charge cameras & laptops. Oh yes - you can see lifejackets in the second photo! There are bigger cabins up the ship but the more you pay, the more you sway.

Looking in to the cabin

Looking back from the bed

Port 1 - Malaga

Port 2 - Valletta

Port 3 - Split

Port 4 - Venice

Port 5 - Koper

Port 6 - Ancona

Port 7 - Dubrovnik

Port 8 - Corfu

Port 9 - Catania

Port 10 - Melilla

Next Page - Malaga

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Contact: Ken Baldry at 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 or e-mail him
URL: Last revised 6/11/2013 ©2013 Ken Baldry. All rights reserved.