5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This cruise was unique in that you can embark either in Copenhagen or Warnemuende, Germany (about 2.5 hours from Berlin). Because I was going to spend time in Germany afterwards it seemed to make sense to embark from Germany. I ... Read More
This cruise was unique in that you can embark either in Copenhagen or Warnemuende, Germany (about 2.5 hours from Berlin). Because I was going to spend time in Germany afterwards it seemed to make sense to embark from Germany. I don't recommend this option at all and it made my cruise disjointed, strange, and a second class experience. I would estimate about 10% of the passengers embarked at Warnemuende, based on what I overheard from the crew and our roll call. Of course embarkation was quick with zero waiting. The port was easy to find - the local train takes you right there, although there's really no clear signage at the train station telling you which way to go (to the right, and through the tunnel :-) ). Luggage delivery was super fast. Disembarkation was also easy with none of the massive herds to deal with, the deactivated elevators, etc. But I'd say the advantages ended there. The entire cruise was set up for the Copenhagen group. 100%. All materials are geared towards that group. When I got to my cabin, I had stacks of paperwork from Day 1 that had already occurred. But my Day 1 is their Day 2. All the "Welcome Aboard" activities have already commenced. I traveled as a solo passenger, paying a premium for the privilege. When I attended the "first" solo traveler get-together only 2 others showed. I figured the rest of the cabins must be empty because I didn't see the large group I did on the Epic. Many days later I went into the solo cabin lounge to find a large group of people! One person said "who are you?" And I said the same back to her! All in fun of course but for days I had not really seen anyone until then. I didn't bond with these folks and was really just an add-on. All the busy and long port days (which were great!) took away from the opportunity to connect with folks. This disjointed customer experience created oddities and variation throughout the cruise experience. Talking to another group who embarked in Warnemuende I found that we each received different documents regarding how the Copenhagen day would work specifically for us. Clearly this second class experience wasn't intentional per se, We also found that the cruise ship marketing was also not geared towards us. On the last day of our cruise we got all the "Day 1" marketing. My friends commented that the offers like the Internet package they wish they knew about so they could have enrolled in it! All those offers were not made to us until the last day! So NCL needs to fix this for the passengers and for their shareholders. Also, our muster drill was very much truncated. Instead of meeting in our muster stations we all met in the theater. The content was much less than what we should have received (and what the Copenhagen passengers received). On my last day I'm overhearing the Copenhagen brief learning things I didn't know from my safety brief. This is a safety gap that needs to be closed! Attending the Welcome Aboard show on my last night (their first night) that highlighted all the cool entertainment I *could* have seen was strange and was just disappointing and sad. Going on the all-day Copenhagen excursion (that wasn't available online, I had to sign up on the ship) was good but then embarking while the muster drill was going was weird. My friend's son was forced to attend it again by mistake by the crew despite protest from his parents. Meanwhile it was awkward for me, I was in the Atrium waiting for their drill to end to talk to Guest Services, and because I was on my phone catching up on email and not listening some passenger, she was glaring at me. I'm like, Lady, this isn't even my muster station! No passengers seemed to be aware at all that people were embarking from Warnemuende, and many didn't know that was an option. Again, we were second class citizens on the ship. My steward didn't seem to understand my situation. I got double documents or no documents. I didn't get a towel animal on my last day. It was just...weird...all throughout. Not the consistent customer experience I've come to expect as a 8 time cruiser. So until NCL addresses this situation I definitely wouldn't recommend embarking like this. Just take a train from Berlin to Copenhagen. The trains run efficiently and predictably. Flix Bus is another option, or even renting a car. Read Less

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