May 19 2017 Silhouette Baltic (+ Berlin) Photo Review Silhouette Photo Review

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BC, Canada
508 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
June 5: Berlin (Day Three, Part Three)

It was sunny and fairly warm, so we stopped for a mid-day beverage in an outdoor café and then walked over for one more shot at getting into the law library. No dice. From here, we took the #200 bus over to the Mohrenstrasse stop to begin a bit of a walking tour. Heading south on Wilhelmstrasse, we paused at the former headquarters of the Luftwaffe, an example of Third Reich architecture. The building is totally lacking in humour and humanity and is now occupied by the German Ministry of Finance. Draw your own conclusions.



In the “dangling from bits of string” category, there was a tethered balloon ride across the street.




This no doubt provides amazing views of the city; I was kind of envious of the people up there with their cameras. At the same time, I was glad to have two feet safely on the ground, even if it meant having to dodge small flocks of segway riders.



The Topography of Terror was our main destination in this area. It is home to an outdoor exhibition, “Berlin 1933-1945: Between Propaganda and Terror,” which details how Hitler’s National so-called-but-not-in-any-way Socialist Party gained and then exercised power. [Web site: http://www.topographie.de/en/]



DH considered this stop to be a highlight of his time in Berlin; I was leaning more towards the point of view of a Trip Advisor reviewer who had commented, “Why not just buy a book?” The exhibition is essentially laid out like the pages of an illustrated book, and the indoor exhibition is similar in style.

Still, reading this material with the rubble of the former institutions of fascist terror visible in the background was a different experience from reading similar content at home. The exhibition is very well done, weaving individual stories into the larger narrative. It’s a reminder, really, that choices were made and Hitler’s rise was not inevitable.



The site is bordered by a long section of the wall, now crumbling.



I was crumbling a bit myself by this point; a holiday cold was starting to get the better of me.
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Photo review: Celebrity Silhouette Baltic (+ Berlin) May 19 2017
Photo albums from some past cruises:
Celebrity Equinox, Ultimate Caribbean, November 30 2015
Celebrity Solstice, Alaska, May 1 2015

Celebrity Reflection, Eastern Mediterranean, May 12 2014
Celebrity Solstice, Pacific Coastal, May 5 2013
Celebrity Equinox, Ultimate Caribbbean, December 9 2013


BC, Canada
508 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
June 5: Berlin (Day Three, Part Four)

After leaving the Topography of Terror, the next few blocks of our walk passed through the heart of Berlin’s “tacky tourism” zone. Across the street from the Topography of Terror you will find “Currywurst at the Wall” and a number of souvenir shops.



Tourist opportunities like Trabant convoy tours, the Trabant Museum, and the Berlin Wall Panorama stretch all the way down Zimmerstrasse and around the corner to the location of the former Checkpoint Charlie, on Friedrichstrasse. This former border crossing point is now “restored” and you can have your photo taken there. The Haus am Checkpoint Charlie museum is also located here, just across the street from McDonald’s.



We left this very crowded area behind and carried on down Friedrichstrasse, which became more of a residential area as we approached the Jewish Museum. The museum consists of an 18th century building connected by an underground passageway to a new building designed by Daniel Libeskind. If you are from Toronto (or anywhere else with one of his buildings), you will recognize Libeskind’s style immediately.



The lighter-coloured vertical blocks that you can see in the lower right of the picture are the “Garden of Exile,” accessible from inside the building.

Security was tighter here than anywhere else that we visited except the Reichstag: there were guards outside, no parking in front of the museum, and scanners at the entrance. I was reluctant to give up a piece of photo ID in exchange for the audio guide, but I was persuaded by the worker behind the counter that they would make sure that I didn’t accidentally depart without it.

The Jewish Museum is simply outstanding. This is not a “Holocaust Museum” per se. It illustrates Jewish culture and the history of Jewish communities in Germany, and it does that well.



That said, it is the lower floor Holocaust portion of the museum that I remember best. This section of the museum emphasizes the void left behind by the absence of the Jewish population; it evokes a sense of loss through individual stories and by linking material objects with information, often fragmentary, about their former owners. The architecture echoes the theme through “voids” in the structure. After you walk through the Axis of the Holocaust and step into the Holocaust Tower, listening to the door clang shut behind you is chilling. Menashe Kadishman’s installation, “Shalekhet” (or “Fallen Leaves”) is extraordinarily moving and not to be missed; the faces that you see in the image below are iron discs, about the size of your hand, and they are placed at the foot of a tall narrow concrete cylinder another of Libeskind’s voids.



Other sections of the museum are informative about religion and culture, and are well worth your time as well. A temporary exhibition about head and body coverings (“Cherchez la femme”) was interesting and thought provoking. The only negative thing I have to say about the Jewish Museum is that it is (intentionally) disorienting and it’s difficult to find your way around. You might want to bring a ball of string that you can tie to your travelling companion, to prevent them from becoming lost.

[More information on the architecture here: https://www.jmberlin.de/en/libeskind-building ]

For this site, I had made an exception to my “selected highlights only” approach to museum-visiting; it’s open late, and I really wanted to see most of the museum. I did see quite a bit, but I had to call it quits after a couple of hours because of the effects of the cold/flu/plague that I was afflicted with. There came a point beyond which it made no sense to keep plodding along.

No matter how sick I am, I always insist on being fed. We had not yet been to the Hackescher Markt area, so we took the s-bahn over there.



We ended up ordering pizza and salad at a little hole in the wall place. I am sorry to say that except for the little sausages at breakfast and the occasional golden-coloured beverage we did not try any German specialties while we were in Berlin not even a currywurst. I had originally planned one night at a beer garden with German food because DH has German heritage and I thought he would like it, but he opted out of that. At the end of our busy days of touring around, we were always just looking for a fairly quick meal, and not a dining experience. Sorry, foodies, about the lack of useful content on this thread.

After dinner, we took our last s-bahn ride back to the Hauptbahnhof. No bands on the platform to greet us. Packing up again. General glum-ness all round, as is often the case on the last night of a terrific holiday.
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Photo review: Celebrity Silhouette Baltic (+ Berlin) May 19 2017
Photo albums from some past cruises:
Celebrity Equinox, Ultimate Caribbean, November 30 2015
Celebrity Solstice, Alaska, May 1 2015

Celebrity Reflection, Eastern Mediterranean, May 12 2014
Celebrity Solstice, Pacific Coastal, May 5 2013
Celebrity Equinox, Ultimate Caribbbean, December 9 2013


BC, Canada
508 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
June 6: Homeward Bound

It was a very early start on our travel day. Checking out, the front desk clerk was quite surprised that we were leaving so early for a 9:10 am flight; he felt that we would have had time for breakfast. But we would rather be too early than too late for a flight, so we retraced our steps from four days earlier and caught an early TXL airport bus. That was the first stage of our very long but perfectly smooth journey back to the west coast of Canada via Amsterdam on KLM. If you were on one of our flights, I apologize for the coughing and sneezing.

Sitting at Berlin’s Tegel Airport waiting for our flight, I tried to distract myself from the lack of comb honey at airport breakfast venues by trying to do some preliminary sorting of all the great memories that we had accumulated since we left home. I asked DH which city he had liked best. His response was Moscow, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen. And Berlin. And … it was so hard to answer that question. I felt the same way … it was a dumb question in the first place. Every city that we visited had its own appeal, for different reasons, and we enjoyed all of them.

If I asked a slightly different question, “Which city would you like to go back to?” we both agreed that the answers would be Copenhagen, because of its friendly people and so that we could enjoy more of Denmark. And Berlin, because we had such a great time there and there were a number of day trips that we did not have time to fit in. If we had an unlimited budget, we would also love to revisit Russia, because we really just scratched the surface there.

I will close out this photo review with one random shot of sunset somewhere in the Baltic Sea. It’s a cliché, but things get to be clichés because they work so well. Some of you may agree that sunsets at sea are one of the things that keep bringing us back to cruising, and they are one thing that Celebrity has not yet figured out how to charge us for. The date stamp on this tells me that it was taken on May 29, which was the day we sailed out of St. Petersburg. I have no recollection of taking this picture, so perhaps I was sleepwalking at the time. Or perhaps it’s just an indication of over-crowding in my head: so many wonderful sights and experiences that my brain has not yet completed the process of converting them all into memories and filing them for later retrieval.



Thanks so much to both of you for slogging through this “review” as I spewed out so many semi-random thoughts about our holiday and life in general. Thanks also for the words of encouragement. I hope to meet you at a Sunset Bar sailaway event some day. Otherwise, wishing you smooth sailing and happy memories, wherever you may go.

Signing off, but happy to answer questions if you have any.




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Photo review: Celebrity Silhouette Baltic (+ Berlin) May 19 2017
Photo albums from some past cruises:
Celebrity Equinox, Ultimate Caribbean, November 30 2015
Celebrity Solstice, Alaska, May 1 2015

Celebrity Reflection, Eastern Mediterranean, May 12 2014
Celebrity Solstice, Pacific Coastal, May 5 2013
Celebrity Equinox, Ultimate Caribbbean, December 9 2013


West Yorkshire.
5,032 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Thank you.
I have made notes as I have read, so that we can visit different places on our return to the Baltic in 2018.


Sent from my iPad using Forums
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Jackie



Princess Platinum



Previous Cruises:
Crown Princess: Mediterranean Adventure 13-27th May 2017
Azamara Quest: TA Southampton to Montreal 09.09.16
Celebrity Eclipse, Baltic Capitals. July 25th-Aug 8th 2015
Infinity TransAtlantic October 24th-7 th November 2013.
Eclipse, Southern Caribbean March 23- 6th April 2013.
Constellation ( Celebrity) Amsterdam- Southampton (5th-7th Sept 2012) We are now Elite!!!
Century ( Celebrity) Honolulu to Ensenada Mar 2012
Eclipse (Celebrity)- Western Mediterranean Oct 2010
Arcadia (P&O)- Lands of Ice & Fire July 2009
Mercury (Celebrity) Oz & NZ Jan /Feb 2008
Artemis ( P&O) Iberian Delights Oct 2006
Galaxy ( Celebrity) Rome- Galveston TA Oct 2005
Ocean Village Barbados B2B Jan 2004
Infinity ( Celebrity) Alaska July 2003
Splendour of the Seas (RCCL) B2B Greek Islands Sept 2001
Carnival Sensation ex Dominican Republic 1999
+ 6 others, inc Airtours x3, Fred Olsen,Thompson, & Louis line
Swaffham, Norfolk
51 Posts
Joined May 2016
Thank you for this excellent review. We also are going to the Baltic in 2018, via Southampton on the Silhouette, and I have saved your review in my favourites to read again nearer the time. There are one or two places which we will miss, due to the different itinerary but your review has made me want to visit them separately! Wishing you all the best and happy future cruising, thank you again.
Chicago, via NJ, via Miami, via London, via Northern Ireland
5,449 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Originally posted by OhioDogLover
great review.
Thank you,
Ohiodoglover
What Terry said.
A great review indeed.


Norris
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Celebrity Reflection Western Caribbean January 14 2017 Sky Suite 7358
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Crown Princess Jan 2012 Southern Caribbean C749
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Diamond Princess Aug 2012 Vancouver to Whittier C757
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Ruby Princess Jan 2013 Eastern Caribbean C749
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Ocean Princess Sept 2014 Venice to Rome Suite 6088
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Photo/Video reviewhttp://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...3#post48880163
Comparing Princess
and Celebrity
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2317130
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Photo/Video review http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2403532
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Photo/Video reviewhttp://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2447364

norrisadair.blogspot.com
Chicago, via NJ, via Miami, via London, via Northern Ireland
5,449 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Originally posted by Bimmer09
What Terry said.
A great review indeed.
Norris
Oops-I confused Ohio Dog Lover with Terry (TLC Ohio)
The sentiment still stands! Thanks for putting so much work into bringing us along with you.


Norris
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Celebrity Reflection Western Caribbean January 14 2017 Sky Suite 7358
Photo/Video reviewhttp://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2447364
Coral Princess Aug 2011 Whittier to Vancouver C210
Photo/Video review http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/s....php?t=1850609
Crown Princess Jan 2012 Southern Caribbean C749
Photo/Video review http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/s....php?t=1932543
Diamond Princess Aug 2012 Vancouver to Whittier C757
Photo/video review http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/s....php?t=1798138
Ruby Princess Jan 2013 Eastern Caribbean C749
Photo review http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/s....php?t=1786957
Caribbean Princess Jan 2014 Western Caribbean C749
Photo/video review http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/s....php?t=1976282
Ocean Princess Sept 2014 Venice to Rome Suite 6088
Photo/video review http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2110302
Ruby Princess Jan 2015 Eastern Caribbean D616
Photo/Video reviewhttp://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2161859
Emerald Princess Sept 2015 Rome to Barcelona C750
Photo/Video reviewhttp://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...5#post47937585
Celebrity Silhouette January 2016 Eastern Caribbean Sky Suite 7309
Photo/Video reviewhttp://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...3#post48880163
Comparing Princess
and Celebrity
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2317130
Star Princess Sept 2016 Vancouver to Whittier D733
Photo/Video review http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2403532
Celebrity Reflection Western Caribbean January 14 2017 Sky Suite 7258
Photo/Video reviewhttp://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2447364

norrisadair.blogspot.com
NJ
5,969 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
Thank you again for the great review! Safe travels home and I hope you feel better.
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Nancy
Celebrity Equinox 11/6/2017 So. Caribbean, plus a few more planned for 2018

Memories: X Silhouette 12/30/16 Caribbean, X Silhouette 10/8/16 Western Med., RC Allure of the Seas 5/15/16 Western Caribbean, X Reflection 10/12/15 Greek Isles/Ephesus, X Silhouette 6/9/15 British Isles, X Silhouette 9/23/14 Adriatic, X Infinity 3/2/14 South America, RC Grandeur of the Seas 11/16/13 Western Caribbean, X Constellation 5/20/13 Baltics, X Eclipse 4/16/13 Southern Caribbean, X Century 9/25/12 Vancouver to San Diego, X Silhouette 3/17/12 & 11/6/11 Caribbean, RC Enchantment of the Seas 3/21/11 Caribbean, Emerald Princess 10/29/10, X Infinity 5/10/10 San Francisco to Alaska, RC Radiance of the Seas 11/30/09 Mexican Riviera, RC Explorer of the Seas 3/15/09, X Constellation Repo 10/30/08 Bermuda & Caribbean, RC Explorer of the Seas 3/16/08, Azamara Journey Repo 10/27/07 Bermuda & Caribbean, X Century 4/21/07, X Zenith Repo 10/21/06, X Constellation 3/26/06 plus more on Celebrity, Princess & MSC
BC, Canada
508 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Thanks everyone for all the kind comments. Glad to hear that some of you have found some nuggets of useful information sprinkled here and there. Have to confess I have no idea what to do with my life now that the review is finished. Maybe I will have to plan another trip.
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Photo review: Celebrity Silhouette Baltic (+ Berlin) May 19 2017
Photo albums from some past cruises:
Celebrity Equinox, Ultimate Caribbean, November 30 2015
Celebrity Solstice, Alaska, May 1 2015

Celebrity Reflection, Eastern Mediterranean, May 12 2014
Celebrity Solstice, Pacific Coastal, May 5 2013
Celebrity Equinox, Ultimate Caribbbean, December 9 2013


Vancouver, BC
29 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Wow, Afto! Thanks so much for this delightful review! It was a great way to spend a few days discovering the ports of call that we'll be visiting next May, 2018. (Actually, I should have been painting the bedroom ceiling - but this was WAY more fun!) We're on a similar itinerary, with most of the same ports.

"Some nuggets of useful information"? Uh....yuh! Like 3 pages of notes! We'd be quite happy to make it a template for our upcoming trip. Thanks for doing all that research, and for providing us links to follow up with. And your pictures are excellent - well done! I appreciate your taking the time and effort to entertain us with your writing and photo journal. It's an inspiration to maybe try my hand at it with our upcoming Transpacific/Japan B2B this September.

Happy Cruising!!
British Columbia/Arizona
176 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Afto, thank you so much for the entertaining and very helpful review. I love your humour and since we're also from the west coast, appreciated some comparisons, such as the sail in to Stockholm. We leave next week for 5 days in Amsterdam prior to the Silhouette cruise on the 23rd. We also fly with KLM & I've taken notes from your port visits, that will come in handy. I hope you & DH take another cruise soon, as you have many followers waiting for your next review!
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08/06/2016 Celebrity Silhouette British Isles
01/16/2016 Celebrity Eclipse Exotic S Caribbean
05/16/2015 Celebrity Constellation Italy Croatia
01/04/2015 Celebrity Eclipse Exotic S Caribbean
01/21/2013 Celebrity Equinox Ultimate Caribbean
09/28/2009 Celebrity Solstice Eastern Mediterranean
07/10/2006 Celebrity Galaxy Eastern Mediterranean
BC, Canada
508 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Thanks for your comments, BCJO and Drifting. Glad you found the review useful and I'm sure that you will enjoy your Baltic cruises. Drifting, I will keep my eyes peeled for your trans-Pacific review.
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Photo review: Celebrity Silhouette Baltic (+ Berlin) May 19 2017
Photo albums from some past cruises:
Celebrity Equinox, Ultimate Caribbean, November 30 2015
Celebrity Solstice, Alaska, May 1 2015

Celebrity Reflection, Eastern Mediterranean, May 12 2014
Celebrity Solstice, Pacific Coastal, May 5 2013
Celebrity Equinox, Ultimate Caribbbean, December 9 2013


Southeast PA
2,880 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Thank you for the time and effort! I really enjoyed your pictures.

OK, what was the verdict on the D5000?

And, in reference to the "fictitious" Peregrine Falcon in Moscow:



Ken
BC, Canada
508 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Thanks, Dawn and Ken. Nice falcon shot, Ken! I haven't taken the D5000 in yet but I suspect that it is toast.
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Photo review: Celebrity Silhouette Baltic (+ Berlin) May 19 2017
Photo albums from some past cruises:
Celebrity Equinox, Ultimate Caribbean, November 30 2015
Celebrity Solstice, Alaska, May 1 2015

Celebrity Reflection, Eastern Mediterranean, May 12 2014
Celebrity Solstice, Pacific Coastal, May 5 2013
Celebrity Equinox, Ultimate Caribbbean, December 9 2013