We had elected to visit Warnemunde and Rostock on our own, so about 10:00 a.m.,we took our boarding cards, passports and day pack and made the 10-15 minute walk from the ship to the little harbor town of Warnemunde. We had received ... Read More
We had elected to visit Warnemunde and Rostock on our own, so about 10:00 a.m.,we took our boarding cards, passports and day pack and made the 10-15 minute walk from the ship to the little harbor town of Warnemunde. We had received directions to an ATM, which was about 3-4 blocks into the center of town. Within a bank building on the square that surrounded the church was an ATM. The screen was a little confusing at first, since it was in German, but once we spotted the flags at the bottom to select English, our cash withdrawal proceeded fairly easily. We somehow missed an option for a receipt (probably while the screen was still in German), so although we got our cash, we didn't have a printed record of the withdrawal.
We did a little shopping at some of the many souvenir shops along the "main drag", as we headed back towards the train station, which we had passed on our walk from the ship.
We located a ticket machine where we could purchase a pass good for use on the train to Rostock as well as the tram there. The pass that we wanted was to be 4.60 euros, but we couldn't get the machine to read our credit card, so we used some cash. The 4.60 pass was good for the two of us. There was an S1 train waiting and we hopped on. It took only about 15-20 minutes to reach Rostock. The train ended at the main train station, so there was no question as to where to get off. We had been told to catch tram 5 or 6 to Rostock city center and were under the impression that we had to walk a bit to catch it. We did walk several blocks and caught the appropriate tram, but later on our return, saw that we could have caught the tram right there in the train station at another platform. Although the tram stops were lighted on a sign on the tram, we were not sure of the correct stop, so we asked another passenger by showing her our map. When we thought our stop was approaching, we confirmed with her and she nodded yes. The tram lets you off right at market square which is overlooked by city hall and St Mary's church. It probably was only 10-15 minutes from the station to city center.
There was a small market in the Rostock square, with vendors selling produce, clothing and food carts selling snacks. Leading off the square was a shopping street bustling with shoppers and other tourists. It was pleasant to walk along this street and see the shops and listen to some of the street musicians. We also visited St Mary's church, much of which dates from the 15th - 17th centuries and includes an astronomical clock that dates from the mid-1400s. At the end of the street is the Kr'peliln Gate, which is a tall tower built originally as part of the city's defenses in the 13th century.
After resting a bit with coffee and a pastry at an outdoor cafe, we caught tram 5 to return to the train station. We then had only to go to platforms 1 and 2 and a train to Warnemunde was waiting. We discovered then that there is a machine on the platform for validating your ticket. We should have done that when we boarded in Warnemunde, but didn't realize it. Apparently, no one routinely checks for tickets on the trains.
We returned to the ship in the late afternoon. Other passengers had elected to take either an Oceania tour or an independent tour to Berlin. We chose to skip that, as it was at least a 3 hour bus ride each way, leaving only a short time for a limited city tour. From our veranda, we watched those busloads of passengers returning to the ship about 9:45 p.m., a very long day. The positive end to their trip was that a band and about 100 crew members were lined up on the dock, singing and greeting each group of travelers as they arrived. We spoke with a few who went to Berlin and no one was ecstatic about it. Some were disappointed and others felt it was just "OK".
The ship departed the port at 11:00 p.m., soon after the last of the tours returned. Read Less