Friday, October 3, 2014

My Crush Album- Baltic Cruise Journal

Good morning!

This past August, my husband and I went on a trip of a lifetime.  We booked a cruise with Celebrity Cruises to the Baltic Seas.  We departed from Amsterdam and for 12 days, an interior cabin aboard the Constellation was our home away from home.  We docked in 7 different countries.  We knew we were going to like our trip, but we never expected to fall in love with the cruise life.  Going to bed at night and awaking in another country the next morning was so much fun.  I really loved the down time too.  I even got to scrapbook!
me working on My Crush album in the Reflexions lounge on the ship

I had packed in my luggage a CTMH My Crush album.  It would serve as my journal.  I chose the Wildwood album  and assortments as my base, but I also brought with me Skylark Picture my Life cards and the Wanderful complements stickers.  Along with those supplies, I also brought with me scissors and a journaling pen.  I had forgotten my glue, so one of our first stop was at a grocery store in Amsterdam where I purchased a glue stick (along with other necessities like food, water....).
The Crush album had none of my pictures.  I contemplated bringing my photo printer, but finally decided not to.  Instead I stocked up on tourist information flyers and other free documents at every port.

For the cover, all I added was a few stickers.  The Wanderful sticker set had the boat and the getaway stickers, the alpha stickers are from the Wildwood assortments. 
I added envelopes on the inside cover to place our receipts and other momentos that did not make it inside the album
I saved everything that was given to us and included it somhow in the album.  I don't particularly like journaling, but adding business cards, lists, cutouts of flyers and other documents was an easy way to get the message across without actually writing.
I brought journaling cards with me almost everywhere we went.  I wrote details like the menu so I did not forget later that night. 
After we sailed from Amsterdam, our fist port of call was Warnemunde, Germany.  I saved all our train tickets and entry passes.  I searched for maps of the region as soon a I stepped out of the boat.  I tried to get 2 - one to consult on our trek, one that was carefully placed in my backpack to be cut apart later for my album.
After a day at sea, our next port of call was Tallinn, Estonia.  We were given in our state room every night a destination guide which listed the excursions we could take and gave a list of things to see in the next port along with  and a schedule of activities on ship.  We actually had 2 copies of each, one in french and one in english.  I save an intact copy of each that I placed in a binder, the other copy was cut and pasted in my journal. 
 I loved that I was also able to reference the pictures in the album one I got home and compare them to my own pictures. 
 Our next destination was St-Petersburg, Russia.  We did not have visas to visit on our own, so for the only time during our trip, we booked a tour.  The only way to tour Russia without a visa is if you are on a cruise and you book a tour with a registered tour provider.  It turned out to be a great decision since we saw so much more that we could have on our own, and I think for a fraction of the price. 
We walked, we took the subway, we went by boat and hydrofoils, we covered a lot of distance!  I used the maps from our guides to trace our steps.   
I glued an envelope here to place cards and flyers that I did not want to cut.  I wanted to be able to take the out and read both sides of the documents. 
I traced out rout on another map where we went on our canal boat tour. 
Our amazing tour guide Maria in St-Petersburg brought each of us a copy of the St Petersburg Times.  She made us read this article and then brought us to see it.  I had to include it in my journal. 
We went to a traditional Russian pie restaurant.  Luckily, they had tiny menus.  I got to add one to the album.
 Our next destination was Helsinki Finland.
In Helsinki, we visited the Church in the Rock.  An amazing church that was created by blasting a hole into the rocks.  It was amazing.  They had prayer cards in so many different languages.  I added the french one to my album
From all of our port of calls, Stockholm was our favorite.  It was also the destinations that took the most pages in my album even though it was one of the destination where we spent less time.

Copenhagen was my second favorite.  We walked so much in this city, we were glad that we had a sea day the next day to rest up. 

 After Copenhagen, we had a day at sea.  Leaving the Baltic and entering the North sea, we encountered some very rough seas.  That is why I added a tab from our Gravol box.  Waves of 4-5 meters high had someone in need of some Gravol.
 Our last day in Europe was spent walking around Amsterdam.  We took a canal cruise, shopped for some souvenirs and prepared for our return home. 
 It was simply amazing, a trip of a lifetime, but at this time were ready to head back home and see our girls.   
 We look forward to visiting Europe again and to our next cruise.  Next time, I think we will bring the girls though. 
I love my album.  It was awesome reading it on the plane ride back home, reliving all the moments that I had already forgotten.  We experienced so much in those 2 weeks, it was a great idea that I set aside some time every night to journal what we had saw.  Otherwise we would never had remembered everything that is in this book.  Now when I sit down an work on my picture scrapbook.  I will be able to recall what happened on the day the picture was taken.  I will for sure bring a My Crush album on my next trip!

1 comment:

  1. Love your smash book! I too want to cruise the baltic sea. A river cruise down the Danube River is also a must for me. Anyway, love your blog. Maureen