JW  and I have been back from our cruise for a week now and I am only just coming back down to earth! It was the best birthday present I ever had, and was packed with so many wonderful experiences that I could write a book about it.

We saw places which I had drooled over in books or on film, made lots of new friends, and were cared for by the friendliest  crew imaginable. We chose the Ocean Majesty because it was one of the smaller cruise liners, we prefer that to the huge “floating hotels”. 

Our "home" for the Baltic cruise

Our "home" for the Baltic cruise

After a rather inauspicious start to our journey,(which Jennie  described) and a rather circuitous route to pick up passengers, we arrived in Harwich to be greeted by a piper in full Highland dress and playing the bagpipes! (Don’t ask! I don’t know why an English company sailing to the Baltic had a piper either :))
After a minimum of formalities we were being greeted on board and shown to our cabins. Our luggage was taken directly to the cabin from the coach, so we didn’t even have to worry about that.
Our cabin was clean and comfortable with plenty of storage space and room to move around in and it had a large square window overlooking the port side.
It was a good deal more spacious than the cabin three of us shared when I worked on the Bergensfjord 40 years ago 🙂
Our cabin stewardess, Nina, introduced herself to us.  Most of the cabin crew were from Eastern Europe or Indonesia  and were unfailingly helpful, polite and cheerful.
We went off on an exploration tour of the boat and found the Lido bar where they were serving a buffet meal, but only had a cup of coffee, and then went down and unpacked. We had opted for the first sitting for dinner, so we had quick showers and changed out of our travelling clothes in time to watch Ocean Majesty leave the dock.
We had set tables for the evening meal, but for breakfast and lunch there was the choice of eating at the self service buffet by the Lido bar or waiter service in the dining room. We usually opted for the dining room, but you took pot luck on who you were seated with. Most of the people we met were happy cheerful people, but as usual there were a few whingers, and one or two who tried to impress you with previous trips they had taken, but it was easy enough to  avoid them. I think anyone who found anything to complain about must be very sad people.
The waiters were mostly from the Indian sub-continent, and again were cheerful, patient and extremely good at their jobs. It was an eye opener to see them manoeuvering their laden trays on one hand!
Our lovely waiter Ronnie
Our lovely waiter Ronny
  We were lucky enough to be seated at a table with three couples with whom we found an immediate affinity. We had an excellent meal, chosen from an extensive menu, from which we could choose as many or as few courses as we wished! 
After dinner there was a choice of entertainment, or you could just sit and chat in one of the lounges. No pressure from anyone to join in anything ( I think  JW  had been a bit worried that it would be  like the old style holiday camps :))
There was a force nine gale forecast for the route we should have taken around Jutland so the Captain changed course and took the southerly route and we had an extra journey through the Kiel Canal next day.  
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