About us: We started cruising 9 years ago; this was our 18th cruise. Up to now, our cruising experience was limited to NYC-Canada and varied Caribbean cruises. In June we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary a day after our oldest son graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy and was commissioned as an Ensign in the US Navy. We had hoped to bring him along for this cruise the last time he sailed with us was 2009 (although hes far outdistanced us in time at sea) but the Navy had other ideas. We figured that this year we needed to do the blowout cruise something completely different. We sailed with DH (52), me (53), and sons 17 and 13.
Pre-cruise: Booking the cruise was easy. Flights to London well not quite as easy. We spent more on the airfare than on the cruise. After looking around and checking various itineraries, it turned out that the best-priced flight for us was Albany (30 miles from our house)-Toronto-London on Air Canada. The Albany-Toronto leg was on a Beechcraft 1900 18-seat turboprop. You had both an aisle and a window seat. I cant stand small planes, but somehow I managed it without drugs or alcohol. When we debarked in Toronto we saw our bags on the luggage cart, ready to be transferred to our London flight. With three hours to change planes, there was plenty of time. Or so we thought.
Well, when we arrived in London we had none of our bags. Zero, out of four checked bags. When DH reported them missing, Air Canada found that all four bags were still sitting in Toronto. It seems that when they were checked in Albany, they werent scanned properly so no one knew what to do with them in Toronto. (Never mind that the tags were clearly marked transfer and LHR.) At this point, it was early the next morning in London, we hadnt had much sleep, and it was much hotter than normal in London. Fortunately, Ive learned enough from past trips to pack a change of shirt and underwear in our carry-ons, so at least when we reached our hotel we could change. And Air Canada promised to deliver the bags either that night or early the next morning. We arrived in London on Saturday morning and werent due to travel to Dover until Tuesday, so it should work.
5293 - This is an Ocean Suite with a larger balcony, which is really nice. Being aft, there is some vibration and movement. The cabin itself is in a quiet location.
It is very easy to do a walking tour on your own in Copenhagen. Maps are available at the port and it's a very friendly port. The Little Mermaid is very close to the ship. If you'd like to visit a cafe, they're very happy to take Euros.
We absolutely loved Tallinn. It's very easy to do a walking tour on your own. We had lunch in the town square - local beer and Baltic herring. Very enjoyable.
Amsterdam is very unique, very quirky. We opted for a canal tour to give us an overview of the city. Afterward, opted for beer and Dutch cheese at a cafe.