Travel Consultant Experience – London and Norway aboard the Celebrity Eclipse

Hi.  I’m Joan Leedy.  I’m a Senior Travel Consultant with Preferred Travel of Naples.  In April of 2017, my husband and I set out for London where we spent six nights and then we took the train down to South Hampton where we boarded the beautiful Celebrity Eclipse sailing eight nights to Norway.

So, we took a tour and we visited the Tower of London, we did a little river cruise on the Thames and we had a beautiful visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is just magnificent.  We had six days in London, so we had a good amount of time to see most of the sites.  We did the London Eye, Tower of London and we did a day trip to Windsor.  We spent the day.  We went there in the morning.  They have an audio headset tour, a self-guided tour, which we did and it was done very nicely.  Everything is so organized in London.  Very civilized, very organized.  The people are very well behaved, very respectful, very courteous.  I was very impressed with the people there and how well everything worked.  The underground is a terrific way to get around.  We used it often.

We were lucky enough to stay at the Browns Hotel, which is London’s first hotel and its located in the Mayfair district, so you are close to shopping.  I think what stands out about many of the hotels in London including the Browns is the concierge staff.  You really feel like you’re at home when you stay at these hotels.  When you enter the hotel and leave the hotel, the concierge staff are right there to help you, to assist you, to answer questions and they become your friends by the end of your stay and it really makes for a personal experience, especially when you stay at these iconic British hotels.

Celebrity cruise line is a mass-market cruise line.  The ship holds about 3000 passengers.  It is a class ship in that suite passengers have a dedicated dining room and then they have aqua class, which is their spa class that has a dedicated dining room.  There are three alternative restaurants, which you pay a fee to go to these specialty restaurants and then they have their main dining room.  We got on board and we were really pleasantly surprised by the attitude of the staff and the willingness to help from the staff.  No matter what you asked, the staff just wouldn’t say no.  They would figure out a way to make it happen.  They were friendly; they seemed happy.  The quality of their food, the presentation of their food from the buffet to the main dining room to the specialty dining rooms is really top notch.  In the mass-market category, I think they really exceed in that category.  The service and food is terrific.

So, the Celebrity Eclipse sailed from South Hampton for eight nights visiting five different ports of call in Norway.  These are all ports that are on the western coast of Norway all in the more scenic parts.  Bergen was our largest town Stavanger was the next largest and the other towns were small, touristy towns with absolutely gorgeous scenic value.  There are Snowcap Mountains.  There are beautiful waterways, which are referred to as fjords, which is the ancient word meaning travel.  Fjords were the way that people travel, how they communicated and how they traded their goods.  There are also these quaint, cute little villages.

One thing about Norway is the towns.  As charming as they are, they are absolutely spotlessly clean.  I think I want to open a paint store there because everybody has fresh paint.  Beautiful colors, you know the reds, the golds and the blues.  But every house is painted, clean windows.  There is a lot of nationalism there.  They are proud to be Norwegian.  The country is very well off financially.  They have an influx of financial resources because of their oil drillings they found off the coast, so they are a huge resource of petroleum and the country has become very wealthy because of that.  The citizens enjoy the benefits.  So, it’s one of the wealthiest nations in the world.

There are a lot of activities there: soft adventure, hiking, biking, rib boats, which are inflatables and they go real fast and they take you along the fjords.  Often off to the side of these mountains are waterfalls.  So, there’s lots of water.

If you’d like to plan your next adventure, please contact Preferred Travel at 239.261.1177 or visit our website http://www.preferrednaples.com.  If you’re not currently working with an agent, we’d be happy to find someone to help you plan your perfect trip.

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