the Russian Vodka – Cruise # 6

Vision of the Seas Voyage # 785

Sweden – Russia 7 Night Cruise

This cruise, Diva, our new BM (Business Manager) took over from Abhi. She’s pretty awesome and very social, joining us on the back deck, on trips to the ports, for pizza after formal nights and even came out clubbing with us.

As we had another overnight in St Petersburg this cruise, we decided that it was about time we explored the city’s nightlife. So after work, at about 12am, Diva, Nikola, Marli, Andrii (the Art Gallery Manager from the Ukraine) and myself set off in search of some Russian Vodka. We found it and man, did we have fun! We started off at a bar called Barcelona (which I though strange), but it was amazing. A cozy, laid back old fashioned pub. Under Andrii’s guidance, we ordered a bottle of chilled vodka, 5 shot glasses and another drink each. So apparently, Russians don’t believe in mixing Vodka (why am I not surprised?) so we drank the bottle, shot by shot. The Vodka was strong like bull, a bit citrusy and smooth enough not to choke on or spit out! Me = impressed. Barry, our beloved Polish Wodka has nothing on the real Russian deal!

Next we decided to head to a popular club strip. We were naively chilling in a more modern looking club, getting a bit of dance on when a very classy Russian lady started chundering (vomiting) from her seat at the bar onto the floor. Luckily we were all far enough away not to get any of the splash back on ourselves, but we decided that was a sign to move on… Good choice I think! Once outside, we felt a bit hungry and so trotted along to a 24 hour bistro not far down the street. Pizza and coke were a perfect combination, and with happy bellies we left the bistro at 5am. This was an hour before our shuttle bus was due and so we decided to have a walk around the city. From the Church of Spilled blood, down Nevsky Prospect and to the Palace square, we had fun exploring the city during the eerie Russian dawn. Once home, I gladly snuggled into bed for some well needed Zzzzz’s!

I was much more impressed with St Petersburg during our night adventure, than by my day trip last cruise. It’s funny how the vibe of a place can change completely from day to night.

This cruise saw further change to our team with Jerry leaving us. And just like that we’re down to 2 South Africans, 2 Filipinos and 4 Serbians in our team. Yes, that’s correct, we’ve got a new new “new-guy”, Aleks. He’s pretty hilarious, but Jerry has definitely been missed this week. I’ve had no one squeezing my cheek and asking me: “What’s up Zille?” Helen Zille is the head of the Democratic Alliance, a Political Party in South Africa and I hope it’s only our common first name that prompted Jerry to give me this nickname! I would respond by saying: “What’s up Springer?” This is funny because Jerry Springer is the host for an uber trashy American Television Show.

Funny guest story: I met an American guest who very proudly told me that he had been to South Africa while in high school as part of a foreign student exchange program. I’m always excited to speak to guests from, or who have been to South Africa, so of course I wanted to know more about his experience and where he went. Well! It turns out he spent his time in Benoni of all places! I told him, with mock horror that he shouldn’t be bragging about it! Mr Benoni was awesome and Marli and I had a lot of fun joking around with him.

Highlight of the cruise:

1. Amazing night out with amazing people! Marli, Nikola, Diva and Andrii – you are amazing!

2. Being top shooter and salesperson for the cruise. My reward, a VIC card. This means that I’m going to spin the wheel of WOW! It sounds more exciting than it is, but I could win a night in a guest room or room service!

3. I was also given a €10 tip by a Scottish couple for helping them in the gallery. This was actually a bit challenging as I find the Scottish accent as hard as or even harder to understand than the Jamaican accent! Still, not bad for 20 minutes work!

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