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connecticut06's Port Reviews of Berlin, Stockholm
Azamara Journey cruise in June 2010
Member Name: connecticut06
Cruise Date: June 2010
Embarkation: Copenhagen
Destination: Baltic & Northern Europe
Member Review: connecticut06's Azamara Journey Review
Berlin
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
We opted for an overnight SPB tour in Berlin as it's a very long drive from Warnemunde (3-3.5 hours). There were 8 of us. On day one we went to the must-sees in Berlin (Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, site of Hitler's bunker, Holocaust Memorial, Pergamon Museum, remains of the Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, etc. A lot was necessarily packed into the day. Being a museum junkie, I would have wandered for hours (days?) on Museum Island had I been able. The tour focused on what most people want---WWII history---though I would have enjoyed a bit more about Prussia. We stayed at the Swissotel (quite reasonably priced, very good service and a fine breakfast). Day 2 ---we were off to Potsdam to visit Sans Souci and the site of the Potsdam Treaty signing. Both were enjoyable. We had 2 different guides, both expats and well educated in German history. One caution---even though all the materials from SPB say you can use a credit card, they claim their machine has been broken for a year and you will have to venture off for an ATM (could be quite a problem, as the 2 day tour cost for a couple exceeds the daily limit most banks put on ATM withdrawals). All in all, I'm glad we did this and I can cross Berlin off my bucket list.



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Stockholm
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
For some reason (ignorance?), I had low expectations of Stockholm. What a pleasant surprise. Azamara provided a complimentary shuttle from the dock to the center (walkable, but rather long and parts unpleasant). On day 1 we were let off by the Opera House and walked to the Vasa Museum. Quite impressive---not to be missed. One of the best museum presentations I've seen. The old city is a nice place to stroll around, soak up the medieval atmosphere and have a bite to eat (my crazy husband had reindeer for lunch). The palace area is impressive and the cathedral quite beautiful. Day 2 we took in the art museum, went on a canal boat tour (advertised as historical though darned little history was involved unless you count Abba and Bjorn Borg as historical), saw City Hall, and went to the church where a number of Swedish kings are entombed. As we arrived there a concert was underway and the regular admission fee allowed us to enjoy some music as well as gawk at the medieval tombs. We had a wonderful 2 days in Stockholm.


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