By Marina Aagaard
In order to answer the critical question “A Baltic Cruise, how cool is that?”, I set out to test if it is too cold, clammy, contra-Caribbean-cruise-like to be cool …
Baltic Cruise Day 1: Embarkation (Excursion) Day Kiel, Germany
After a surprisingly smooth embarkation procedure, The DAILY program in the cabin says ‘Welcome on BOARD’ and has a ‘Have a wonderful holiday’ greeting from Giuseppe Maresca, The Captain.
Comfy, cozy cabin: Cruise quarters for this mission.
As embarkation is early, at 1300 hours (1 pm), this leaves time for lunch at the buffet and an afternoon in Kiel before taking of for a one hour sail through the Fjord of Kiel (unless one wants to stay on board for the Cruise Guide Information meeting about life on board).
Very importantly before taking off, always have an extra look at the program to check, when to be back on board (or better; bring the program with you):
All on board 17:30. Departure 18:00.
Kiel is the capital of the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, with a population of approx. 242,000. A nice reasonably sized city worth a visit.
Pride of the Kiel port, mega cranes.
Kiel is an important port (formerly the main German marine base) with ferries to Norway, Sweden and Lithuania – and cruise ships for Baltic and Atlantic cruises – and is known for the annual Kieler Woche, the worlds largest sailing sports event – every school kid in Kiel learns how to sail!
Creative and organic cobblestone use in central Kiel.
Alternative fountain at a Kieler square.
‘Window shopping’ – alternative cushion display – at a Kiel home textiles shop.
When you gotta go, you gotta go: Free-lounge-party-at-the-park-toilet.
Heavy art: Massive iron and granite sculpture in a Kiel park.
Summary: In spite of the weather forecast this august day was bright and sunny and warm, approximately 30 º F Celsius, 86 º F.
As a nice Kiel surprise there was a summer event by the harbour with a live rock performance. In addition there was a great afternoon lounge music and dance event at the park. You could have stayed on for a little longer.
After a couple of hours of sightseeing it is back on board to get ready for dinner, though. On embarkation day the “suggested dress tonight” is: Casual … until first-time cruisers get the hang of it.
Program of the afternoon (for those who stay on board) and evening: Aerobics, Pilates, Mambo and Merengue Dance Lesson,
Plus welcome cocktails, fashion shows, activities with the entertainment team and Welcome Disco from 23:30 o’clock.
It’s cruise time!