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Serenade of the Seas picture heavy fun review–12 day Med cruise incl DIY port trips!

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Hi Steffi,

 

My sister and her husband just came back from this cruise and we saw her photos last night; it looks like you had great weather and calm seas.

 

We hope to do this cruise in 2015, assuming that Serenade is still doing this itinerary. :)

 

Can't wait to see all your photos and narrative,

 

Paul

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We were on the same cruise as Stef, Tanja and Tarik and spent time with them. Looking forward to reliving a fabulous holiday!!

 

Carol

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Thank you for you review. We are doing the same cruise Sept 28th.

Looking forward to your info. I have been accused of being a crazy planner too.

But everyone wants me to do it. ( someone has too).

 

Love you binder, I have separate folders for each thing.

 

Thanks again.

Mark

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I'm like you in planning vacations...do it on Ipad and enjoy every minute...btw. less than a months for my cruise :)

 

 

Hi Mycraft,

 

:eek: less than a month?....I would have probably done night shifts just to squeeze it all in in such a short time. But thumbs up to you! I would have been a nervous wreck:D.

 

Stef

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cant wait to find out more. we were on the serenade in 2012 and loved it. i think we did the same ports you visited too.:)

Hi lorrdean,

 

amazing itinerary, isn't it? Feel free to kick in, if you catch me lost on some port info stuff:D.

 

Stef

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Hi Steffi' date='

 

My sister and her husband just came back from this cruise and we saw her photos last night; it looks like you had great weather and calm seas.

 

We hope to do this cruise in 2015, assuming that Serenade is still doing this itinerary. :)

 

Can't wait to see all your photos and narrative,

 

Paul[/quote']

 

 

 

Hi Paul,

 

mhhh, Long Island -- you don't happen to be the sister of JoAnne from Cruise Critic?

 

Lol -- so you got to see all kinds of pictures from the ship and the ports already...most other people reading this cruise report will have to wait until I keep going. Hope you still enjoy my pictures anyway:).

 

Stef

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We were on the same cruise as Stef, Tanja and Tarik and spent time with them. Looking forward to reliving a fabulous holiday!!

 

Carol

 

Whoohhoooooo!!!!!!!! Carol has joined the review!!!!! Everybody please: a big applause for Carol (Wriggler) who kept all the lists in our roll call and was just a fabulous person to meet. I'm honoured! Please feel free anytime to kick in for info about anything if I get it wrong (note for everybody: Carol is just as obsessed as I am:D)

 

Stef

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Thank you for you review. We are doing the same cruise Sept 28th.

Looking forward to your info. I have been accused of being a crazy planner too.

But everyone wants me to do it. ( someone has too).

 

Love you binder, I have separate folders for each thing.

 

Thanks again.

Mark

 

Hi Mark,

 

always great to meet a fellow cruise addict:D. At least your folks honour the fact that you're the planner...Tanja and Tarik think I'm nuts.....but afterall I think they were pretty happy about how (most:o) things worked out because of their nutty planner:D.

 

Stef

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Steffi you misunderstood a Little...i've booked my Cruise back in may and at this Time i started the planning :) now there are only couple Weeks left...Til we can finally Board the vessel...so excited like always :) but still a Lot of planning to do...

 

 

Gesendet von meinem iPad mit Tapatalk HD

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Hi Paul,

 

mhhh, Long Island -- you don't happen to be the sister of JoAnne from Cruise Critic?

 

Lol -- so you got to see all kinds of pictures from the ship and the ports already...most other people reading this cruise report will have to wait until I keep going. Hope you still enjoy my pictures anyway:).

 

Stef

 

That's my big sister!! I got her started on cruising 5 years ago and now she's addicted, just like me. Paul

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All the planning of course was fun. But 2 months before the cruise I needed something more physical. I started to roam around the suitcases on the attic and fought against the wish to start packing right away. That worked until June 9th ( just checked on the roll call for the exact date – I’m not that fanatic about numbers). Then I couldn’t contain myself anylonger. I brought down the suitcases and propped them up in our spare room below the attic. We ‘re still in the process of renovating that room – so that’s why it looks so unfinished. A perfect place for all my upcoming packing madness. We wouldn’t have time to keep renovating before the cruise anyway -- dahhh, that would have taken time off my cruise planning/packing activities --- so no way! After 4 weeks of continuously bringing stuff up there it looked like this:

 

IMG_0623_zps23872edd.jpg

So many shoes! How are they ever going to fit? They did afterall.

Like these babies:

IMG_0625_zps2c107ade.jpg

 

And our pharmazeutical kit

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We travelled with a kid for the first time, so we wanted to be prepared.Would we need it? We never brought one of these before. And afterall they would have a medical station on board. Stay tuned to find out. Let’s just say there was blood, tears and a multilingual audience involved.

 

More packing pictures:

 

 

Don’t forget those!

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My carry on luggage. I ended up taking two more books. I figured we would have 3 seadays -- so better pe prepared. Did I read any of them? Wait and see. Most important items: of course the camera ( which you don't see of course -- since I'm taking this picture and the extension cord. There is only ONE european plug in the cabin. If you want to recharge more than one item at a time this is priceless. Oh -- did you notice what's missing? The binder! I still had this baby out to be filled with last minute infos. But of course it ended up in the carryon as well.

 

 

More to come!

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Whoohhoooooo!!!!!!!! Carol has joined the review!!!!! Everybody please: a big applause for Carol (Wriggler) who kept all the lists in our roll call and was just a fabulous person to meet. I'm honoured! Please feel free anytime to kick in for info about anything if I get it wrong (note for everybody: Carol is just as obsessed as I am:D)

 

Stef

 

My turn to be honoured to get such a welcome :)

 

Really enjoyed spending time with you guys after chatting for so many months on here. Will maybe offer a couple of photos if the chance arises but after seeing all these planning photos I'm sure you'll have everything covered!! :D

 

We don't have anything planned holiday-wise right now so my planning is being put to good use in getting Liam ready for Uni next month :p

Edited by Wriggler

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Steffi you misunderstood a Little...i've booked my Cruise back in may and at this Time i started the planning :) now there are only couple Weeks left...Til we can finally Board the vessel...so excited like always :) but still a Lot of planning to do...

 

 

Gesendet von meinem iPad mit Tapatalk HD

 

 

:oooops, sorry about that!

 

I hope you have a fantastic cruise:)!

 

Stef

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Almost time to cruise! All bags packed and hauled downstairs, all plants moved to one room, neighbors know we'll be gone, food for the critters prepared in day to day packages.....

 

 

Nothing could possibly go wrong now, right?

 

 

 

WRONG!

 

 

 

Before we left, we wanted to bring our two horses to another pasture, where they would camp out during the time that we’re on the cruise. I think it was my (stupid) idea to give them a deworming paste before they go out there. Well, Smokey spontaneously decided that anything would be better than getting the nasty taste of this stuff in his mouth – and with anything he meant throwing himself down on the concrete in a less than favourable manner concerning his legs. Picture this: You stand there with this paste in your one hand, lead rope in the other and suddenly the horse isn’t standing anymore but on the ground with a terrifying noise. Even worse. When he got back up, he stood there shakily on three legs. His hind right leg was way up in the air. Bruises everywhere. Please don’t have a broken leg! Please no! Well, to abbreviate this somewhat: He got tons of medicine from a fellow large animal colleage and we were able to bring him to the pasture lamefree two days later (around 10 hours before we had to leave to the airport…Puh, close call. Here’s a picture of the big dummy getting his last medication on the morning of our departure. The big guy in the front is Danito (Great moment to blink, sheesh, our horses really are a handful sometimes).

 

IMG_0658_zps12a28951.jpg

 

 

 

 

So, what’s left to do before we leave? Oh yeah, saying goodbye and thank you to my wonderful parents who would take care of all our critters while we would be gone. And that was a load of work. Horses, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, chicken, bunnies, turtles, fish and budgies needed to be taken care of. Did I mention my parents rock?

 

IMG_0648_zps3726c06f.jpg

A picture taken on the night before we left

 

So now we really were set to leave.

 

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That’s what one of our dogs thought about that. The LOOK! Doesn’t that make you feel like the meanest person in the world?

 

Sigh, but he wasn’t offended enough to at least say goodbye with a kiss

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This is my dad’s car. There was no way, we could have made the bags AND ourselves fit in our own little family vehicle….I won’t tell you which kind it is --lol – you’ll be able to figure it out quite easily when I get to the port trip pictures.

 

Off to the airport!

 

More to come!

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That's my big sister!! I got her started on cruising 5 years ago and now she's addicted' date=' just like me. Paul[/quote']

 

Hi Paul,

 

it was a pleasure to meet your big sister. And what a great brother you are getting her hooked on cruising. I believe she had a great time. We kept running into her on the ship --- mostly with a mug (coffee?) in her hand:)....unless she was on the track of course:D.

 

Stef

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We kept running into her on the ship.....

 

Stef

 

That's the nice thing about the Vision and the Radiance class ships, you actually get a more intimate setting along with great views of the water. The bigger ships have more bells and whistles, which I enjoy, but there are just so many people on board, ......well you get the idea. Paul

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Haha, Stef, so funny that you figured out that Paul is my brother. Amazing deduction on your part! It was a fabulous cruise, and we're already thinking about the next one ~ maybe Northern Europe this time! I'm enjoying your commentary!!!

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From our house to Hannover airport it’s about an hour and a quarter drive. Arriving at the airport we saw three of these cute (and 3 story tall!) commercials.100_3997_zps219fa636.jpg

 

Tarik was happy, since he’s in love with anything that has to do with cats. Sigh – I think we heard the name of his favourite cat (in a former life it actually belonged to us) about 6 million times during the entire cruise.

Once we got rid of the suitcases at check in we headed to grab some food.

IMG_0664_zps1339ae51.jpg

Okay, okay – not really gourmet. But we were going to be pampered pretty soon, so this would have to suffice for now.

 

Tummies filled (especially Tariks – we’re working hard to have him gain some weight) we went exploring and found this cute little bug

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And since we loved it so much here’s one more:

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But that was pretty much the only cute thing at this airport, so we headed to our gate.

100_4012_zpsbede04c7.jpg

 

 

Tarik's first ever flight coming up!

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So looking forward to your review! We're going on the Serenade in about....65 days (!!!!) but on 12 night itinerary that includes Greece!

Tarik is adorable, your little dog is adorable - can't wait for more!

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So looking forward to your review! We're going on the Serenade in about....65 days (!!!!) but on 12 night itinerary that includes Greece!

Tarik is adorable, your little dog is adorable - can't wait for more!

 

:pThank you so much! You'll have a great time! That is such a wonderful itinerary as well!

 

Stef

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So I was a little nervous… I’m a big chicken when it comes to flying. Would Tarik be scared as well?

IMG_0681_zpsa2cc120a.jpg

NO WAY!!!!

This picture was taken before the plane started moving. Tarik had the window seat, Tanja the aisle and I was smugly tugged in between my loved ones. Everybody was as happy as can be. And the positive (thank God) excitement pouring from the kid made me almost forget my fear of flying. During take off (the worst part, if you ask me) both held my hands and I was just happy to have such a loving, caring family. Of course I didn’t tell them how nice this moment was for me, because otherwise they might have taken their hands away sooner;).

 

The rest of the flight the kid was busy taking photos of the clouds from above. This is my favourite one:

APDC0405_zps4151ad9a.jpg

We’re somewhere over the Swiss Alps at that point.

 

The flight lasted 2 hours 15 minutes. When we landed in Barcelona (hooray – I got the hands back for touchdown:D) Tarik saw his first real palm tree and the trip was a success already for him. Sometimes travelling with a kid can sure remind you of the little things we take for granted so often when we get older:o.

 

 

Coming up: Barcelona airport directions for public transportation into town

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When you leave the plane you pretty much stumble right onto these nifty little movable bands. To find your way to the baggage claim is a no brainer, since there are signs virtually everywhere.

 

IMG_0685_zps18991bea.jpg

 

Once we had our bags we left the terminal and turned left. This is what you see:

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See the orange white tunnel that crosses the picture in the back? Almost looks like a train hovering in the air. This is where you’ll need to walk to and through in order to get to the railwaystation. There are cute little train signs to guide you towards it. It’s quite a walk to this tunnel. Shortly before you get to it you have to reenter the building to the left…just follow the little train signs. Once in the tunnel I felt a little cheated.

 

IMG_0688_zps48afa575.jpg

These only look like movable bands!

But you’ll have to do all the suitcase pulling and walking by yourself. Actually it's easier to pull the trolleys in the middle lane because of the smoother ground. Go Tarik!(He was pretty much the only one who figured that out). After quite another walk you’re being poured out into the departure/arrival area.

 

The ticket machines are to your right, the platforms to the left. The machines are easy to use.

 

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You can even push the little flag button at the bottom left of the screen for English directions.

 

We bought 2 T-10 tickets for Zone 1. That means we would have 20 single rides on the metro, railway in Barcelona or bus free to go. We knew we wouldn’t last long with only 10 rides, so that’s why we already bought the next ticket for later. One T-10 ticket Zone 1 costs €9,80.

 

IMG_0692_zps60f7110c.jpg

Tadaahh!

 

So now with the ticket in your hand you have to pass one of the little metal gates to enter the platform. Put the ticket into the slot above the green arrow. You can’t pass if the red x is shown. The machine will suck in your ticket, stamp something on the back and return it to you through a different slot. If you bought a T-10 ticket don’t forget to hand the ticket to the next person in the party. Once you pull out your ticket, the gates open to let one person pass.

 

lol – don’t worry about which platform…it’s the one where all the masses are hovering

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aaalllll these people want to enter this train. Yikes. But we miraculously made it on as well---as did our 3 suitcases with 22 kg each.

 

For those of you who are not into pulling suitcases for a longer period of time: there are plenty of cabs right outside the terminal that will bring you to town for around 30 Euros incl. tips. On the way to the tunnel we also passed an airport shuttle bus waiting for passengers. I believe it brings people to Plaza Catalunya…but I’m not 100% sure about that and I don’t know the prices. But it wasn’t far to walk to the bus departure spot.

 

Coming up: the train ride into Barcelona – or pure hell!

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On the way to the tunnel we also passed an airport shuttle bus waiting for passengers. I believe it brings people to Plaza Catalunya…but I’m not 100% sure about that and I don’t know the prices. But it wasn’t far to walk to the bus departure spot.

 

We always get the airport shuttle bus, it's right by the exit, very quick and cheap (around 6 euros for a single and 10 for a return) and it stops at a number of places along the way and terminates at Catalunya. Having seen those pictures of the train I think I'll stick with the bus for our trip in September ;)

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Excited for this review! Thank you for posting info about public transit from the airport and I cannot wait to see some more pictures of post-drydock Serenade :)

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