Copenhagen is a delightfully charming city and very easy to get around. I recommend buying a Copenhagen Card (which my family and I did online and picked up at the airport as soon as we landed). Since we did not have time to see Copenhagen the last day of our cruise, we used the Card to take the train into the city, the public buses to get around, and took a canal tour - all included in the card. Since we were loaded down with luggage, we did not get to go see any other parts of Copenhagen - would have loved to see Tivoli! - but it was worth it to spend the $43 to see what we did see in Copenhagen and still get to the ship on time versus spending the $30 to get airport transfer straight to the ship. So if it's all you have time for, take the canal tour!
We docked in Warnemunde, but decided to go into Berlin for the day. Here is the best tip I can possibly reccommend to you - BOOK A 4 BALTIC PEARLS CITY TOUR THROUGH SPB TOURS! It includes Berlin, Tallinn, 2 days in St. Petersburg, and Helsinki (though sadly not Copenhagen and Stockholm). Still, it was a great deal at $399 per person - you will not get half as good a deal booking your excursions through NCL!
Anyway, about Berlin. As soon as we got off the ship, we were met by an SPB tours bus driver who took us to the city (3 hour drive) to meet our guide, a delightful American ex-pat named Preston. It was pouring rain and freezing cold and yet we had an amazing day and so much fun seeing the city! I know a lot of people want to stay in Warnemunde, which I heard good things about and actually might have wanted to do if the weather was better. However, going into Berlin is really worth it - it was the most interesting city we saw! SPB tours takes you to all the important places - checkpoint Charlie, the reichstag parliament building, the main church in the city, the Olympic Stadium, etc. Wherever our bus parked, we also saw the NCL tour bus parked and felt good that we paid a lot less to see the same things ;)
What a beautiful, well-preserved, and historic city! We took a 3 hour walking tour through SPB tours with a great guide named Triin - a young woman about my age who is a law student. Even though you could do a self-guided walking tour of the Old Town in Tallinn, it was much better to have an Estonian guide with us to explain what we were looking at and the fascinating history behind everything. We saw all the old churches and fortresses, the town square, the sweater market, and lots of other places. Whatever you do, don't step onto a bus unless you have physical limitations, you'll want to walk all around Tallinn and soak it up - the history and culture are what you're going on a Baltic cruise for!
The most beautiful city you never knew anything about! Through SPB again, we had an AMAZING guide named Luba who took us through 2 full days of the amazing splendor that is St. Pete's. We saw Peterhof palace, the Hermitage, the Church of Spilt Blood, and Peter and Paul's fortress on the first day, and on the second day we saw Catherine's Palace in Pushkin, Yusupov's palace, did some souvenir shopping, and had a traditional Russian lunch. WAY more than what NCL offers for a better price, and we made a real connection with our guide. My family and I did not do any of the evening programs, but we still don't feel that we missed out because we saw everything else that was there to see. What a wonderful city!
This is another port for walkers! Our last SPB excursion took us on a 3 hour bus ride through the city where we saw the organ monument, the rock church, and the main transportation center in the middle of the city. It wasn't as good as our other SPB tours, but SPB was still worth the price if only for St. Petersburg and Berlin. We got out right in the middle of the city and walked around - it's a lovely city, and perhaps the most green of all of the ports we visited on the cruise. We walked down the Esplanade to the tourist info center where we picked up a map and some info on how to walk back to the cruise ship (it took us about 45 minutes, but I imagine if we didn't take the scenic route, it would have been 30 or so). We stopped at the market to try Finnish fried sardines, and also took the ferry out to Suomelinna island which was a great idea for only 4 Euro per person. The Sveaborg fortress is really cool. We made it back to the ship in time for a late lunch and some sunbathing by the pool - it got to about 78 degrees Farenheit the day we were there! It was beautiful day and we had a lot more fun on foot than on the bus, but still got to see everything we wanted to.
What a cool city! I would love to live there someday and will definitely go back if I can. It is on a series of islands, however the ship docks in Nyshahamn which is about an hour away. We took an NCL excursion here, and we're glad we did, since we got priority in taking a lifeboat tender off the ship and got right onto our bus with our guide which brought us to Stockholm straightaway. We visited the incredible Vasa museum, got out to get great pictures over the water of the city scape, and saw the city hall where Nobel prizes are given. We drove around Gamla Stan (old town) and past the open air market. It was pretty good for the experience, and we also made it back that day for a late lunch and some relaxing, which was very welcome after the hectic days that came before! Some people who did not go into Stockholm also enjoyed walking into Nynashamn, which they said was a nice experience as well.