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canuck13

Regal Princess Baltics Cruise Review –May 24 to June 4, 2015 (long)

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We are 2 couples in our early to mid-60’s who had spent over a year planning this trip. As it turned out, it was also a retirement celebration for me, making it even more special.

Overall, a very enjoyable cruise. We knew we had booked a very busy itinerary and thought we were prepared. It turned out to be even more intense than we had expected and we did a LOT of walking. We saw some amazing sights and had a great time, but this was in no way a relaxing trip & we returned quite exhausted & a bit under the weather.

 

 

I hope this review will be helpful to anyone considering this cruise. It will be a bit of a “combo” report – I’ll be doing detailed descriptions of each port and summarizing our cruise and ship experience. While I’ll be pointing out the areas that fell short of expectations, there was definitely more good than bad and overall our experience was very positive.

 

 

Pre Cruise

DW & I live near Windsor, Ontario and normally Detroit is our airport of choice. However we discovered that we could get a direct flight to CPH from Toronto at a much better price than anything out of Detroit. The 8:50 pm departure would give us lots of time for the 3 hour drive and our plan was to leave plenty early to avoid the worst of Toronto traffic. Our friends (N & J) would be flying in from Chicago to meet us in Copenhagen.

 

 

You know what they say about the best laid plans. The vehicle was packed and the only thing left was to close up the house and be on our way. That’s when our garage door opener died. I tried to lower it manually but it jammed halfway and was truly stuck. After some minor panic, we found a yellow pages ad for a company advertising 24 hour emergency service. My wife explained our plight and they came to the rescue! The service tech arrived within an hour and while he quickly determined that we will need a new opener, he was able to loosen things enough to lower it one painful inch at a time until it was fully closed and secure. A big shout out to our new friends at Anchor Doors.

 

 

We had allowed some extra time so by skipping our planned relaxing lunch enroute we were pretty close to being back on schedule. Off-site airport parking was fast and efficient and they had us to the terminal quickly. We were able to check in and drop off our bags by 4:30. Since we had allowed for the early arrival at the airport, I had booked passes for the Maple Leaf Lounge. This turned out to be a good investment – food and beverages were plentiful and we had 4 hours of relative tranquility before boarding. Our flight departed about 20 min. late, but we made up the time and arrived in Copenhagen right on schedule.

 

 

Copenhagen

Despite being in quite a fog after our first overseas, overnight flight we were able to navigate CPH quite easily. Customs was a breeze and our luggage arrived quickly. ATM’s were readily available and I made a quick stop to get local currency.

 

 

To help us get turned around, we planned 2 nights in Copenhagen pre cruise. We had found a great rate at the airport Hilton allowing us to use Hilton points and cash and the short walk to the Hilton was well marked. I got DW settled in the Hilton lobby with free Wi-Fi, then headed back over to the terminal to meet N & J’s flight. Their flight was slightly delayed but we met up after a short wait and navigated through an increasingly busy CPH back to the Hilton just before noon.

 

 

I had previously emailed the Hilton asking for adjoining rooms and an early check in, so we were hoping to get to our rooms for some much needed rest. N & J’s reservation was in order, but they couldn’t find ours. Fortunately I was prepared with printouts and reservation #’s in hand. The Hilton staff could not have been nicer – they apologized profusely and set us up with beverages in the lobby while they got on the phone. Apparently the reservation was visible in the Hilton Honors US system, but couldn’t be accessed in the hotel’s system. After 30 minutes, the end result was a double upgrade – nicer rooms and executive floor with lounge access – and the rooms were available immediately. We were quite happy!

 

 

After our long flights with little sleep we were all quite tired but we knew the best way to get turned around was to stay up and try to get on Copenhagen time ASAP. J decided he just couldn’t do it & headed off for a nap. The other 3 of us grabbed a quick snack from the lounge and set out to explore Copenhagen.

 

 

We had originally thought of buying 48 hour Copenhagen Cards for all 4 of us, but decided at this point to wait until Saturday and buy the 24 hours cards then. Transportation from CPH to the city was as convenient as advertised. The Metro stop was easy access from the Hilton & I used my Canadian chip & pin card to purchase fares from the kiosk. 15 minutes to the Konger Nytrov stop and we were in the heart of Copenhagen. Note – we used public transportation a lot in Copenhagen. While we always had valid fares, no one ever checked or asked for tickets. I’ve heard that fines are steep and not worth the risk.

 

 

Our first impression of Copenhagen was of a very clean and vibrant city with beautiful architecture. We took our time just wandering through the city and getting oriented, knowing we’d have a full day tomorrow. We quickly found the very pretty Nyhavn district and enjoyed just strolling through. Stopped at the Marble Church and an amber shop. We got as far as the Ameliaburg Palace – we just took some photos of building and guards from the outside. The flags were flying as we understand the prince consort was in residence. After about 4 hours, we were ready to head back to our hotel on the Metro. We met back up with J and checked out the executive lounge again. The food and beverages available there were more than adequate for supper, so we took advantage and had a relaxing evening before heading off to bed early.

 

 

Day 2 in Copenhagen began again with breakfast in the lounge. We were quite satisfied with the offerings there and this Hilton turned out to be the best deal of the entire trip!

After breakfast, we walked to the airport to purchase our Copenhagen Cards.

TIP – In CPH, as you exit the baggage claim area, there is a small tourist info booth on your left. There was never any lineup here and we were able to purchase our Copenhagen Cards with no wait. No issue using credit cards without chip. We found the Copenhagen Card to be good value. The only minor irritation was that we still had to wait in line at various attractions and use our cards to get admission tickets. In many other cities, they just scan the card.

 

 

We wanted to start our day in a different part of the city so we took the train from CPH to Central Station. We began the day at City Hall – a very beautiful and interesting building. It appears that a wedding is scheduled for about every 15 minutes if your visit is on a Saturday. This made things more crowded but the people watching was great! We then spent some time at the National Museum, which was OK but probably not worth as much time as we spent – Danish history started to blur together after a while.

 

 

The Copenhagen Canal Tour was included with our cards, so after a few wrong turns (this will become a theme) we found the embarkation point for the canal cruise. Highly recommended – a great way to see a lot of the city and well narrated. This was also our only chance to see the Little Mermaid, so that was crossed off our list. After the cruise, we found a spot to get a quick sandwich for lunch. This was probably our worst meal experience of the trip – mediocre quality and very expensive. However this fueled us sufficiently for the walk to Rosenborg Palace. We did the tour of both the palace and the amouries and enjoyed this very much. Highlights were the huge tapestries dating back to 1650 and of course the crown jewels.

 

 

Fatigue was starting to set in by this time, so we re-evaluated our plan for the rest of the day. We found a stop to catch the train back to Central Station, then walked across the street to Tivoli Gardens. We took advantage of the admission included with our CC and just enjoyed strolling the grounds and gardens without any additional expense. We found that the legend of Tivoli being Walt Disney’s inspiration for Disneyland is certainly believable and it was a completely charming place to spend some time and wander. Definitely a must see!

 

 

DW and N wanted to check out some shops they had noticed earlier, so J & I found a spot to wait at the Central Station. While waiting, we also found a small grocery store in the station where we could buy affordable wine for carrying onto the ship. Souvenirs and wine in hand, we were soon making the return trip by train to CPH and our hotel. The executive lounge was calling us once again and the beverages and light supper there made for a perfect ending to a very enjoyable day.

 

 

Next Up - Embarkation Day on the Regal

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Thanks so much for posting this report. We are taking the same cruise in July, and staying a few days in Copenhagen before the cruise.

Your reporting is excellent, easy to read and full of useful information.

Keep them coming.

 

Fran

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Thank you for your review. I am doing this cruise next year and looking forward to your tips and information.

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I'm enjoying this review! We got off the ship on the 24th of May. Below are a few things that I wish I would have known prior to the sailing. Hope this helps anyone sailing this itinerary in the future.

 

1. We think that the taxi cost to the port is a fixed amount. We were charged 205 Danish krones. This amount was on the driver's meter when we got in the car. There were four of us from the Nyhavn area.

2. We had a 9:55 am flight the day we disembarked. We booked the earliest Princess shuttle at 6:35 am because we were afraid that there would be no cabs at the port that early in the morning. There were cabs there at 6:00 and many were larger, station wagon type cabs. Taking a cab would have been more economical. Also, we prefer to do luggage walk off.

3. Many of the shops in the many different countries take both euros and American dollars, so there is no need to get their money. You may need a few small euro coins for restrooms. In fact, there were no free restrooms to, from, and in Berlin.

We used Alla Tours for both Berlin and SP. We were very satisfied with these tours. We toured the other cities on our own. Regarding Stockholm, it was easy to get to and from Nynasham on the public train, however, it was a challenge to get around Stockholm once you arrived. Their central train and bus station is HUGE, busy, and a bit confusing. It is an hour ride each way on the train.

We stayed two days pre-cruise at the Hotel Bethel and were very happy with our choice. It is in a prime location, clean, and at a fair price.

This trip surpassed our expectations!

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Sunday, May 24 – Embarkation

Up early for breakfast – our final meal in the Hilton lounge. Checkout was easy and Hilton staff ordered a larger cab for the 4 of us with all our luggage. We knew we were departing on the day of the Copenhagen marathon, so we weren’t surprised when our driver warned us the ride to the port would be longer than usual. It turned out to be an interesting ride through some different sections of Copenhagen and our driver was very friendly and informative. We arrived at 12:15 to be greeted by – no lines! This was our first cruise as platinum, but it didn’t matter as all check in stations were a walk up and we were through security and on board in minutes. They commented on our wine at security, but I just told them it was 4 bottles for 4 people and they waved us through with no issues.

 

 

They had warned us at check-in that cabins may not be ready until 1:00 pm, but both our cabins were ready when we got there. Dropped off our carryon bags and found our way to the buffet for lunch. We beat the crowds and this was our most positive experience at the buffet for the entire trip. Things went downhill quickly as far as the buffet was concerned – more to follow.

 

 

SHIP & CRUISE EXPERIENCE REVIEW

I had read a lot of reviews of the Royal and Regal and I was familiar with most of the complaints. Nevertheless, I was determined to keep an open mind and form my own opinions. There were a lot of things we liked and the service was outstanding. However by the end of the cruise, I found myself agreeing with others about some basic design flaws with this class of ship.

 

 

Cabins

We had booked early and chose adjoining mid ship mini suites with extended balconies – B410 and B414. We felt very little ship movement in this location and the Seaview Bar a few decks above didn’t bother us at all. Our steward opened our door between balconies right away so the 4 of us had quite a large terrace. Unfortunately the cool temperatures kept us from enjoying the balconies as much as we had hoped. It did allow us some great views both at sea and in port.

 

 

The mini suites gave us ample room for the 4 of us to gather in either cabin with lots of seating space. We have had mini suites on the Coral & Island and we agreed that these seemed smaller. We believe the cabins are narrower and the ceilings are definitely lower. We also felt the soundproofing was inadequate both between cabins and between decks. We seemed to hear the people above us much more than on previous cruises.

 

 

Storage space was more than adequate and luggage could be stored under the bed (once I rearranged the extra supplies our steward had stored there). Lots of hangers and closet/shelf space. We found the curtain dividing the room helpful and the bathroom was well designed and surprisingly spacious. The 2 TVs and on demand services worked well, despite some problems with the remote controlling both TVs. It was nice to have so many movie and TV options in the cabin, as well as the port lectures on demand. The port lecturer found himself much more amusing than I did, but he did provide some useful info and minimized the shopping pitches.

 

 

Ship Design – General Comments

Much has already been said about 2 of the major flaws – the lack of both midship stairs and a promenade deck. I agree that both would be nice to have but can’t really be seen as necessities for us. We used the forward stairs and elevators most of the time without any real inconvenience. We also used the walking/running track a few times and it was nicer than I had expected, but not as enjoyable as doing laps around the promenade. We did so much walking in the ports on this cruise that we weren’t looking for many opportunities to get additional steps.

 

 

If design features are intended to maximize revenue, then I can at least understand the intent. What puzzled me about the Regal, was the decision to choose flash over function so often. Features like the seawalk and fountain area added no value for me and seemed like wasted space. While the pools weren’t used as much on this itinerary with our cool temps, it seemed to me the pool space would be completely inadequate on a warm weather cruise. I was also disappointed with the lack of a covered pool. While the Piazza is visually stunning, having so many activities scheduled there made if often noisy and unappealing for us. It just doesn’t seem to me to be the most appropriate venue for morning fitness classes, for example. There seemed to be very few quiet places where one could escape the noise during the day.

 

 

None of these shortcomings spoiled our cruise. However we would think twice about booking on this class of ship again and we will be more likely to explore options on older Princess ships. Having said that we are booked on the Royal in November and the itinerary is appealing enough to convince us to keep that booking.

 

 

Dining

We chose early traditional and were assigned a table for 4 in the Allegro. We prefer the consistency of traditional dining and we find it easier to manage DW’s special diet request if we maintain the same servers. We found the quality of food to be consistently high and we were very pleased with every meal. We were also blessed with the best serving team we have had in our 6 Princess cruises. Waiter Orlando and Asst. Waiter Zainal were very professional and personable and quickly learned our preferences from the first night on. They loosened up as the cruise went on and we had a lot of fun with them. Head Waiter Ilario took care of special diet requests and was very helpful in accommodating DW’s needs. He also took the time to chat with us every evening. We enjoyed this dining team so much that we requested a table in their section on the 2 open seating nights. By coincidence, we got our regular table both nights with a minimal wait.

 

 

The Horizon Court Buffet was a different story. On a port intensive itinerary like this, everyone seems to be on a similar schedule. This made for a very crowded scene at the buffet. Particularly at breakfast, the multiple stations intended to spread out the crowds just seemed to lead to people scurrying everywhere and the traffic became unmanageable. In addition, the lack of hand sanitizing and other unsanitary practices by passengers led to us avoiding the buffet entirely.

 

 

The International Café became our go to place for a quick breakfast before getting off the ship and that met our needs. We also took advantage of sandwiches and salads at the IC several times and were always happy with the service and food quality. Several trips to Prego Pizza and the Trident Grill also did not disappoint. We finally got the chance to try Alfredo’s for lunch on the last sea day and we very much enjoyed their offerings. We found Alfredo’s to be a very nice addition to the dining choices.

 

 

Entertainment

The busy schedule on this itinerary didn’t allow much time for entertainment options. We did see the show “Spectacular” on the first sea day and we enjoyed it very much. There were some very talented performers in this production show and it’s a shame we didn’t get to see more of them. We also saw the Russian Folklore show the night we spent in St. Petersburg. We didn’t enjoy this as much, but to be fair we may have been just too tired to appreciate it. In hindsight, we wish we had skipped this show. We understand that most of the regular Cruise Directors were at their annual retreat this week, so we had a last minute replacement whose name I don’t recall. On this itinerary, I don’t think the CD made much difference to us.

 

 

Fitness & Exercise

I’m usually a regular in the gym on our cruises but I only made it twice this time. The facilities and equipment were quite nice and allowed for great views while working out. I did notice that the gym was open 24 hours, with times posted for supervised and unsupervised hours. As mentioned, the outdoor walking/running track with the workout stations was better than expected. However it was also unusable on windy days.

 

 

Only the forward Retreat Pool was heated enough to make it tolerable on chilly days. It was drained and unavailable the last 2 days, including the second sea day.

 

 

Room Steward

Our steward John was excellent. He welcomed us promptly when we embarked and quickly dealt with our usual requests for a top sheet, wine glasses and lots of ice. While he always greeted us warmly and by name when we saw him in the hall, he was otherwise a ghost. He always seemed to know when we were out of the cabin and he took care of his duties very efficiently without us ever seeing him. We’d like to clone John and have him for our steward on every cruise.

 

 

Passenger Mix and Communication Issues

I don’t know what the typical mix is for this itinerary, but we were surprised by the large proportion of passengers from Asian countries. A crew member told us there were several large tour groups and we’re quite certain that more than 50% of passengers were Asian, many of them with limited English skills. This led to some interesting culture clashes.

 

 

We do our best to be understanding and tolerant of different cultural norms, particularly when we’re travelling internationally and find ourselves in the minority. However some of our fellow North American passengers didn’t have the same level of patience. The differences in definition of personal space, not understanding the concept of lining up and waiting your turn and the absence of “elevator etiquette” were interpreted as extremely rude by many. While we didn’t see any extreme confrontations, it was evident that tempers were wearing thin by the end of the cruise and we started to see some examples of non-Asian passengers abandoning their own manners and deciding to “fight fire with fire”.

 

 

My major disappointment with Princess was their failure to provide enough assistance to passengers who were clearly struggling with language issues. We saw Patters printed in Chinese and there appeared to be a lounge dedicated to these groups, but we still saw many confused passengers who had difficulty getting information they could understand. Lines at the Passenger Service desk were frequently long, but for some reason there were no staff there who could communicate with the Asian passengers. This led to lengthy conversations at the desk with neither side understanding the other and passengers waiting in line becoming increasingly frustrated. Princess could have easily anticipated these issues and taken more proactive steps.

 

 

Also on the topic of communication, we felt there was a decline in the quality of the daily Patters. Apart from the daily schedule, they seemed to be filled with useless information and ads, while important information was buried and hard to find. We booked 2 Princess excursions and for both the meeting time and place was not announced until the Patter came out the evening before. That meant when we read our patter at 9 PM, we eventually found in very fine print a notice that we had to meet our tour group at 6:45 AM. We like to plan our agenda a bit sooner than that.

 

 

I’d be happy to respond to any questions about our ship and cruise experience in general. Now it’s back to our ports of call.

 

 

Next Up - Oslo

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I was also disappointed with the lack of a covered pool.

 

We booked 2 Princess excursions and for both the meeting time and place was not announced until the Patter came out the evening before. That meant when we read our patter at 9 PM, we eventually found in very fine print a notice that we had to meet our tour group at 6:45 AM. We like to plan our agenda a bit sooner than that.

 

Thanks for your detailed reporting.

 

Only 7 of the 18 Princess ships have a covered pool. The last one built with a covered pool was built in 2004.

 

For the future when the meeting time of an excursion is not known until the evening before, you can plan on meeting 20 to 30 minutes before the time of the excursion listed when you booked the excursion.

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Canuck-

Thanks for sharing all your info and tips.

We are taking the same cruise next month and counting the days. Your reporting is certainly helping us along!!!!

Happy sailing to you!!

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Monday, May 25 – OSLO

This was one of our rare sleep in days as we were not scheduled to arrive in Oslo until 10 AM. We were cleared for disembarking right on time and getting off the ship was very easy. We had decided this would be a DIY port and we knew what our priorities were.

 

 

As promised, we docked right next to Akershus Fortress and it was a short walk to downtown. First stop was City Hall which was very impressive. The Nobel Peace Hall, art and murals were fantastic and we spent more time here than intended. Very interesting displays and artwork. We made some small purchases at the gift shop (US $ accepted) and were advised that the Tourist Center right behind City Hall is now closed. We got directions to the one at the train station and this turned out to be a nice walk down their major pedestrian mall. The staff at the TI were very helpful with directions and public transit routes and we bought the Oslo pass there. This covered all our admissions and transportation for the rest of the day.

 

 

Since our visit was on a Monday the National Gallery was closed so we decided to visit the Munch Museum instead. Estimates on walking time there varied from 15 to 30 minutes, so we chose to hop on Bus # 60. This was a good call since most of the trip was uphill. The driver made sure we got off at the nearest stop and pointed us in the right direction. We did not know there was a special exhibit here comparing Munch and Van Gogh, with numerous works on loan from the Van Gogh museum including the original “Potato Eaters”. This turned out to be a fantastic exhibit that we stumbled across completely by accident. N, our retired art teacher, was in heaven. Of course no Munch Museum would be complete without a version of the scream and we were not disappointed – a crayon on cardboard version. The café here was very crowded and seemed to be running low on supplies, so we opted to seek lunch elsewhere.

 

 

We hopped on the #20 bus, which looped around the city toward Frogner Park. This was a nice drive through various Oslo neighborhoods. My initial reaction was that they seem to have a lot of colleges and universities. Before long, I realized that the architecture I associate with college campuses is just typical buildings in Oslo. The Frogner Park stop was easily identified and we found a small café right at the entrance. It was quite pricey but offered tasty sandwiches and gave us the break we needed. A few showers had begun while we were on the bus, but they had passed by the time we finished lunch. On we went to view the Vigeland sculptures. This was a wonderful display and should not be missed. Lots of great photo ops and just a great place to wander through.

Our map showed that if we headed toward a different exit from the park, we should be able to find a bus stop to continue our journey. However the paths through the park were somewhat confusing and we made several wrong turns. A friendly jogger stopped and offered to help, but he seemed as bewildered as we were. We eventually found an intersection we could identify on our map and discovered that we were following Embassy Row to get to our bus stop. There we met up with numerous other cruisers also boarding Bus # 30 to the Viking Museum.

 

 

The Viking museum was definitely worth the visit. There were 3 recovered ships on display, all from the 900’s and numerous other artifacts. Well laid out and relatively easy to navigate the crowds. We left here and headed in what we thought was the right direction to catch the ferry back to City Hall. Once again we found ourselves taking the scenic route and again a local tried to be helpful but was unsure which way we should go. We eventually found a sign pointing the way and the ferry took us right back to where we began our day. We probably had time for a visit to Akershus Fortress but none of us had the energy and we were happy to return to the ship for a nice dinner after a very full day.

 

 

The consensus – we LOVED Oslo!

 

 

Next up - Aarhus

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Thanks for a wonderful review. This cruise is definitely on our bucket list. We stayed in B410 this past November on our Regal cruise, and loved the mini-suite and all the storage. Like you, we had wonderful service and great food throughout the cruise.

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the Tourist Center right behind City Hall is now closed. We got directions to the one at the train station and this turned out to be a nice walk down their major pedestrian mall. The staff at the TI were very helpful with directions and public transit routes and we bought the Oslo pass there.

 

When we were there, there was a Tourist counter right inside the building where the ship docked. We were able to purchase our Oslo pass there and it even was at a discount since they knew cruise passengers would not be there for 24 hours.

 

Do you know if they closed that Tourist office also?

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When we were there, there was a Tourist counter right inside the building where the ship docked. We were able to purchase our Oslo pass there and it even was at a discount since they knew cruise passengers would not be there for 24 hours.

 

Do you know if they closed that Tourist office also?

 

Don't know. I don't recall entering a building there.

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Tuesday, May 26 – AARHUS

Scheduled arrival in was not until noon, so we were able to have a relaxing morning. This was one of only 2 times we made it to the dining room for breakfast, which was a very pleasant experience. We took our time getting ready and hit the IC for a light lunch right around noon. We let the early birds get off the ship first and followed them off with minimal wait. We docked at the Container Port and walking was not allowed. This meant reporting to a dining room & getting tickets first for the free shuttle bus. From leaving the IC to boarding the shuttle bus was only about 10 minutes and the ride into our drop off point in Aarhus another 10.

 

 

By this time, we had figured out that we needed to start pacing ourselves on this itinerary. We knew that the next day in Berlin would be a long one, so we planned a light day in Aarhus and decided to skip Del Gamle By. We found Aarhus to be a very walkable city and once we found the canal, we just followed it around toward the Aros Art Museum. This was a pleasant walk through a shopping district and the ladies were excited to find a Marimekko store. Apparently this was a big deal, but well beyond my level of comprehension.

The Aros Art Museum was outstanding! We began at the top with the Rainbow Panorama. This offered great vistas of the city and the rainbow panels made for interesting views and contrasts. We made our way down to a temporary exhibit, “Out of Darkness”. I’ll call this Experiential Art, although I’m sure there’s a more proper term. It was a unique and fascinating immersion walk through. On the lower level was the highlight – “The Boy”. I could not believe how detailed and lifelike this sculpture is! It’s definitely one of the most impressive works of art I’ve ever seen.

We walked back through some very pretty local neighborhoods toward the center of town and the Aarhus Cathedral. Impressive building and as expected the interior was quite plain. We found the restored frescos interesting. The whitewashing by the Lutherans did a surprisingly good job or preserving the original Catholic frescos underneath. After wandering through a few local stores, we found our way to the water and traced our path back to the shuttles. We were back on board by 4:30 feeling like we’d had a nice taste of Aarhus without wearing ourselves out.

We enjoyed a relaxing dinner on board and took advantage of a smoke free night in the casino. Much to our surprise, I think we all came out a bit ahead in the casino for the trip. We didn’t spend a lot of time there, since smoke was frequently an issue. Unlike some other ships, the casino is not enclosed at all and smoke tended to drift to other areas, especially on Deck 7.

We made it an early night to prepare for our Berlin trip.

Edited by canuck13

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Canuck-

Thanks for sharing all your info and tips.

We are taking the same cruise next month and counting the days. Your reporting is certainly helping us along!!!!

Happy sailing to you!!

 

Thanks for the encouragement from everyone. I did so much reading in preparation for this cruise and the reviews and tips from others were invaluable. This is my first effort at a trip report/review. I felt I owe it to this community to offer some small contribution after others have been so helpful to us.

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When we were there, there was a Tourist counter right inside the building where the ship docked. We were able to purchase our Oslo pass there and it even was at a discount since they knew cruise passengers would not be there for 24 hours.

 

Do you know if they closed that Tourist office also?

Two years ago the tourist office at the pier was open. We got off as soon as we could, bought our Oslo passes before line formed and then walked over to the pier to take the water taxi to Bygdoy to start our day at the attractions there. There was also an office to get your VAT refund if you had made any significant purchases.

 

Enjoying your review and it brings back memories from two years ago. We also stayed pre cruise at the Hilton and found public transit from there very convenient. We also used the 7-Eleven at the train station to buy three decent bottles of wine at about $15-$16 per bottle.

Edited by IECalCruiser

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When we were there, there was a Tourist counter right inside the building where the ship docked. We were able to purchase our Oslo pass there and it even was at a discount since they knew cruise passengers would not be there for 24 hours.

 

Do you know if they closed that Tourist office also?

 

We are going next month, but based on what I have seen, it looks like the Tourist Office by the ship is no longer open. Here is something I found on Rick Steves' guidebook updates. http://www.ricksteves.com/europe/guidebook-updates-north-cruise

 

The tourist-information kiosk at the cruise port and its office near City Hall have closed, but a new tourist-information office is in the Østbanehallen next to the Oslo Central train station (May–Sept daily 9:00–18:00, Oct–April daily 9:00–16:00, tel. +47 81 53 05 55). The TI no longer offers a booking service for private homes, but does list B&Bs and pensions on its website.

 

I believe I saw similar information on the Northern Europe board, but I can't find it right now.

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We are going next month, but based on what I have seen, it looks like the Tourist Office by the ship is no longer open. Here is something I found on Rick Steves' guidebook updates. http://www.ricksteves.com/europe/guidebook-updates-north-cruise

 

 

 

I believe I saw similar information on the Northern Europe board, but I can't find it right now.

 

Thanks for the clarification. That's the one we found - next to the train station. It's an easy 10-15 minute walk from City hall.

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Thanks for the clarification. That's the one we found - next to the train station. It's an easy 10-15 minute walk from City hall.

 

 

Good to know thanks. :)

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