1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Welcome both old friends and new to the all new Walt Disney Secrets :-D Please take a moment to say hi

The Slowhands cruise around Europe ~ Part 1

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Slowhand, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. Slowhand
    Offline

    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,748
    Likes Received:
    153
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Staffordshire U.K.
    Our “Northern Europe Capitals Cruise” was to be our 8th cruise with DCL and had been in the planning stage for over a year because this time we were to be joined by our good friends from LA [Doug, Michelle and their 15 year old daughter Dani] who we first met on the DCL Med. Cruise in 2007, and with whom we have become firm friends over the years.

    Shortly into that Med. Cruise we found that we had a lot in common with these folks. Michelle has a senior position with WB records with whom Eric Clapton is associated via his Reprise record label, and Doug [apart from numerous other “claims to fame”] has appeared in the role of Conan the Barbarian at US and also Gaston in Beauty in the Beast at Disney. In addition all of the family are avid Disney fans, recently becoming DVC members as well.

    Our vacation therefore really began a few days before the actual cruise when our friends flew into Heathrow on the morning of Thursday July 15th on a direct flight from LA.
    Although I had offered to drive down to London to meet them at the airport, they insisted on travelling to our house via the London Underground, followed by a 1½ train journey to our nearest station in Stoke-on-Trent from where I would collect them to stay at our house a few miles away.
    Their journey after arriving in the UK was not really as daunting as it may seem because Doug had worked in Oxford Street in 2008 and had visited us on this earlier occasion by the same method. I did however send them in advance all details of when and where to change trains on the London Underground system bearing in mind how tired they would be after such a long flight.

    Their journey went like clockwork and I received a call from Doug soon after they had boarded the train at Euston to tell me that they would be arriving in Stoke at 11.25 am. :banana:
    The train arrived bang on time [Virgin do get some things right! :lol:], and after loads of hugs and kisses [and a firm handshake with Doug of course! :lol:] I drove them back to our house just in time for my DW to arrive home having had to attend to her Mum in the morning.
    Following more hugs and kisses [this time also involving Doug!], we showed them to their bedrooms that I had already prepared, placing on their beds the turn down cards and chocolates from the GF that we had brought back with us after our trip to Florida in May.

    The afternoon was simply spent talking about this, that and the other, and as we knew that their jet lag would be kicking in very soon we had dinner at home followed by an early night.

    Friday July 16th
    Following a good night’s sleep and a late breakfast, Michelle expressed a wish to visit the Wedgwood pottery factory which is located only a couple of miles away from our house. As my DW needed to run a few errands for her Mum, it was therefore down to me to be our friends’ tour guide for the morning!
    The Wedgwood visitor centre is actually quite a pleasant place to spend a few hours. After seeing a short film about the history of this World renowned company you enter another area where you can see some of the craftsmen potters at work decorating the various items of pottery.
    As usual, the tour inevitably ends via the factory shop, although there is definitely no pressure to make any purchases which came as quite a relief bearing in mind the cost of some of the items!

    After leaving the factory, Doug mentioned that Dani had asked if they could try some “real” fish and chips for lunch and this seemed like a darned good idea to me as it had been ages since I had enjoyed this British delicacy. I called my DW to tell her the plan but she declined the fayre on offer, saying that she would rustle up a more healthy chicken salad sandwich when she arrived home! :lol:

    Now we have a fairly decent chip shop a mile or so away from our house, so the plan was to take our meals back to our house where we could eat them in comfort, direct out of their paper wrappers [albeit on plates]. Sadly nowadays due to Health and Safety laws, newsprint can not come into contact with any food items so we had to settle for the chip shop`s greaseproof paper even though years of newsprint have never done me any harm in my childhood!

    Dinner tonight was at a country pub a few miles from our house where even Ricardo had earlier commented on the quality of their steaks when we took him there last year..quite a testament. :thumbsup:
    After chatting over a bottle of wine after returning home, we all retired for a good nights sleep.

    Saturday July 17th
    Although we had stocked up on our friends` usual breakfast food [bagels, cream cheese & tomatoes], our guests instead preferred to sample my choice [cheese on toast, along with a cheese oatcake…. which is a local food item], which they ate with great relish, commenting upon how much better the cheese tastes over here than in the US. :wiggle:
    We all then headed into our main shopping area in Stoke as Michelle had heard about some items for sale at Topshop that she wanted to check out.
    While Michelle, Dani and my DW trawled through every clothes store in town, Doug and I passed the time window shopping at all of the other shops, checking out cameras and computer equipment etc.

    My DW had an appointment with her hairdresser this afternoon in readiness for the cruise, so after dropping her off back home to collect her car, I took our guests for lunch at another old quaint pub where I introduced Michelle to yet another British delicacy, namely a pint of lager shandy which she thought was very refreshing after first sampling the one that I had ordered for myself.
    Again Dani ordered the fish and chips on offer at the pub which she genuinely enjoyed although she was in agreement that those we had yesterday from a “real” chip shop were the best.

    After lunch and a quick tour of our local town of Stone, Michelle & Dani decided to have a quick nap back at our house as the jet lag was beginning to kick in.
    Doug however was keen to visit our friends house located adjacent to a canal to view his 70 ft. narrow boat which they moor in a dock right next to their house, so this killed a couple of hours before we all got ready for dinner.

    I had reserved a table at the BPMF Club in Stoke where I have been a member for many years. This is a place where we used to entertain our overseas clients and is very much like the gentlemen’s clubs in London with a separate lounge with sofas and armchairs where you take pre-dinner drinks until you are escorted into the dining room.
    I had arranged for small flags of our two countries to be placed in a display in the centre of our table, a gesture that always went down well with our various guests from overseas, and tonight was no exception!
    I also gave our friends a small Wedgwood china dish that the BPMF Club had commissioned as a memento for any visitor who dined there.

    After downing another bottle of wine and sorting the World out back at home we all called it a night as we had a big day ahead of us tomorrow.

    Tomorrow it would be “anchors aweigh” ! :bounce:
     
  2. daveann
    Offline

    daveann Addicted to Mickey

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Messages:
    3,364
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Dorset UK
    Glad they enjoyed the fish and chip :)
    Sounds like you all had fun :)
     
  3. Dorothy
    Offline

    Dorothy Smiley Herder

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,054
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Northern Illinois
    Now I want fish and chips :sigh:

    Keep on going Terry, you're doing a great job :thumbsup:
     
  4. Isafari
    Offline

    Isafari Wild Animal Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    13,085
    Likes Received:
    86
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    North East England
    Really enjoyed reading your trip report so far Terry :thumbsup:
    Lookinmg forward to the next installment :yes:
     
  5. Tinkfan
    Offline

    Tinkfan Earning my ears

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    2,629
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Western NY
    You do sound like the "host with the most!!!" Lovely so far, more please!!
     
  6. Tinker
    Offline

    Tinker Earning my ears

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    3,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sounds like great fun by all . Now I can't wait to go to WDW in 26 days for chips . Although I'm sure not as good at WDW , than across the pond . I want to hear More !
     
  7. uscwest
    Offline

    uscwest Senior Cast Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    7,730
    Likes Received:
    232
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Woodbridge, VA
    Must make a point to remember that chip shop the next time we come for a visit Terry. :tongue:
     
  8. Tink
    Online

    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    26,735
    Likes Received:
    615
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    15 minutes (or so) North of WDW
    What a nice beginning to what promises to be a wonderful holiday!

    What wonderful hosts Mrs. Slowhand and you are! :yes:
     
  9. catrancher
    Offline

    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6,096
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Cumming, GA. A small suburb of Atlanta.
    Good lord, what a marvelous start! :thumbsup:

    I really wish I could get Carol on an airplane so that we could come visit you and Sue! But if she won't even get on one to go visit her son in California, I guess the chances of her boarding one for the UK are pretty slim.
    Sigh... :sigh:

    Great start on the trip report Terry! Keep 'em coming!

    Tom :)macwave:... oh... and pictures please! For you know what! As well as the enjoyment of these fine folks!)
     
  10. Tink
    Online

    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    26,735
    Likes Received:
    615
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    15 minutes (or so) North of WDW
    You could cruise to England, Tom. :yes: (Or get some handy dandy meds from the doc)! ;) :D
     
  11. Slowhand
    Offline

    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,748
    Likes Received:
    153
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Staffordshire U.K.
    That`s exactly what I told Tom also Tink.
    I even suggested the best of both worlds as Tom and Carol could sail over on the Disney Magic when it returns to the Med.
    [Mind you, this would mean them staying in Europe for several weeks until the ship returns to Florida].
    Maybe an option when you have retired Tom?
     
  12. catrancher
    Offline

    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6,096
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Cumming, GA. A small suburb of Atlanta.
    Actually Tink, the thought of cruising to England had occurred to me. However, the amount of time we'd need to be gone would be prohibitive. At least while I'm still working for a living. Now, maybe if I ever get to retire... :idea:

    The bit about the meds wouldn't work either I'm afraid. My DW currently takes what she considers to be far too many meds and is loath to supplement them with anything else. I can't even get her to take a Tylenol when she's got a headache. :eek:

    Tom :)macwave:... someday, somehow, I'll figure out a way!)
     
  13. catrancher
    Offline

    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6,096
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Cumming, GA. A small suburb of Atlanta.
    Exactly what I was thinking Terry! Once again, great minds and all that! :thumbsup:

    Tom :)macwave:... now, when was it that I was going to be able to retire?)
     
  14. Tink
    Online

    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    26,735
    Likes Received:
    615
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    15 minutes (or so) North of WDW
    Ah, I see. A former neighbor of mine has a Mom who is afraid to fly and she took a ship to return home to Norway for a visit. I don't know how long it took, but not too terribly long.

    She did (years later) do the anti-anxiety medication and flew with no problems.

    That's where the ideas came from. :yes:
     
  15. Disneybumble
    Offline

    Disneybumble The Secret is in the Sauce.

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,110
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I always love a Slowhand report. Great reading Terry as always.
     
  16. Slowhand
    Offline

    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,748
    Likes Received:
    153
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Staffordshire U.K.
    Well thank you, kind lady!
     

Share This Page