Sunday, October 7, 2012

All On Board For Our 2012 NCL Sun Cruise

Today is Sunday, 09/16/2012 and it is time to get on board for our 14 day NCL cruise on the Sun.
We got up early today and went downstairs for our complimentary breakfast.
The hotel had a full buffet set up with part of it being geared towards the more Americanized style of breakfast and the other part being geared towards the the European style of breakfast. The European style, at least from what I saw in this restaurant had several styles of granola cereals, various cheeses, cold cuts, some fish items, along with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers along with various styles of bread and Danishes.
The Americanized style of breakfast buffet had the usual eggs, bacon, waffles, sugary cereals and the usual fare that you get at any normal American breakfast buffet.
After eating Veronica and I went upstairs to our room and hung out for a while.
We had received a letter in our room that told us that we were to meet with an Norwegian Cruise Line representative in the hotel lobby at 11:00AM and that this rep would assist us in getting our luggage and ourselves to the pier where we would board the NCL Sun.
So at around 10:30 we gathered up our 4 pieces of luggage, my backpack and Veronica's carry on luggage bag and dragged everything downstairs into the hotel lobby.
We had already affixed the NCL provided luggage tags onto all of our bags.
After getting everything to the lobby, we made contact with the NCL rep who told us where to place our bags for transport to the ship and she gave us a number that showed us to be on the first bus that would be going to the pier.
At approximately 11:45 we boarded the shuttle bus for the approximately 15 minute bus ride to the pier, where the NCL Sun was docked at.
Upon our arrival at the pier, we found the lines for check in to be very long.
It took us approximately 30-45 minutes before we made our way to the head of the line and it was our turn to be checked onto the ship.
Our boarding paperwork was given to the check in staff and our photos were taken along with our ships ID cards being given to us. The ships ID card issued to each of us is basically used for everything on the ship, from getting our soda(we paid in advance for soda pass that last for the entirety of the cruise, for each of us which entitled us to a thermos style mug that we could get unlimited refills of soda) , to charging anything purchased on the cruise to our room account.. Very little on these cruises are paid for in cash unless you put cash towards your inboard account. Most times people give the cruise line a credit card so that all purchases made on board can be charge to your card to settle up your on board account.
It took us about 5 minutes to be checked in and then allowed to board the ship.
We walked around the ship until it was approximately 1PM, at which time our balcony cabin was ready for us.
We went to our cabin 8232, which was balcony cabin. We had made a call about a week or so prior to our cruise starting and upgraded our inside cabin to a balcony cabin for only $118.00 for the two of us.
Within a reasonable length of time all of our 4 pieces of luggage arrived in our cabin. We decided to go ahead and unpack and put all of our clothes in the drawers and hang everything that needed to be hung up. Basically we set up shop in our cabin for our 2 week cruise.
After unpacking we went to our muster drill. The muster drill is mandatory for all cruise passengers and you go to a pre-assigned location on deck 7...the Promenade Deck...at least from what I can remember. We were to meet our group at Section J. This is where our group would meet should something happen to the ship and should we ever have to get in the life boats.
I would like to mention that the muster drill really doesn't last long unless you have those inconsiderate cruisers that feel that they have the right to be late and force everyone who came to the drill at the assigned time, to be waiting around for these jerks that feel that they are special. We had several of these folks that just meandered in like they had no clue or they belonged to royalty and that the world revolves around them.
The muster drill lasted about 40 minutes.
Veronica and I then walked around the ship, went window shopping in the duty free shop and the ships store, had some dinner and then started to watch a production show that was being done in the Stardust Theater.
We did not care too much for the show and we were pretty well wiped out from the last couple of days worth of travel and adventures, so we decided to go back to our cabin, relax and call it a night.
We knew before going to bed that the next day was a sea day and that we had nothing really planned and could sleep in late if we chose to.
We opened our balcony door and let the sounds of the ship under way and .the waves of the ocean along with the gentle swaying of the ship, send us off into a deep sleep.



I won't say a word!!!


Happy cruisers

I am not sure that we got one of the new ones...I forgot to check



Looks like something from the pre-historic days

This was a really weird looking building.  Who knows what evil lurks inside

The area around the pier where the NCL Sun was docked



  
Our balcony cabin #8232


There was a queen sized sofa bed along with a fold down bed that was hanging on the wall. We pulled it down and used it to store our luggage, souvenirs and our coats

Ahhhh yessss....this is my fine sea fairing maiden

The pilot boat to assist us away from Copenhagen

Proof of our actual departure from the pier




Many wind farms in this area







  


Here I am deep in thought. Not sure what I was so deep in thought about...probably whether to have the shrimp cocktail appetizer or the crab cakes. Hmmm....really tough decision. Oh hell....let's just have two of each!!! No wonder I packed on a couple o pounds during this cruise. Fellow cruisers can relate.

Lighting outside of the Stardust Theater

Or maybe a sparkly Christmas Tree

Here we are in the Stardust Theater on the NCL Sun

and our feet to prove it. This really was a great idea Veronica.


Below is what happens when jet lag finally kicks in despite your every effort to fight against it. As you can see...it is not a pretty sight at all.




Saturday 09/15/2012 Our Day In Copenhagen

Upon landing at the Copenhagen International Airport, it was a Saturday morning around 7:30 and we gathered up all of our luggage from the carousal and went to fetch our CPH Advantage card that I had signed up for online prior to our leaving home for this vacation.
The CPH Advantage card provides you with the opportunity to get discounts at various locations in Copenhagen. We mainly got it for the free Wi-Fi that you can get at the airport. For us it would be handy to have the free Wi-Fi for our time spent in CPH awaiting our flight to return Home.N
With our card in hand, the next thing to do was to find a taxi to take us to the Copenhagen Marriott hotel where we had a room booked for the night.
Outside of the Arrivals Terminal, we found a long line of taxis in all shapes, colors and sizes.
It was no problem getting one to readily take us to our hotel.
The taxis ride from CPH to our hotel wasn't very long....maybe a 15 minute drive.
Upon our arrival at this hotel, we knew that our rooms would not be ready that early in the morning.
We ended leaving all of our luggage in a safe room that the hotel's concierge service provided us. Before securing our luggage in this safe room, we gathered up whatever belongings that we would need for a full day spent in Copenhagen....backpack, a secured pocketbook, cameras and of course some local currency along with our government issued IDs and passports.
After washing up a bit it was off we went to rediscover parts of Copenhagen that we had seen 2 years prior, on our Baltic Capitals cruise and to discover new exciting sites that we had never seen before. Veronica and I had mapped out a basic route that was approximately 4 miles long and this distance would be spread out over the course of a day. Like usual for us, this route was just a basic guide for our days journey and for the most part we didn't adhere to it but only used it to kind of guide to lead us in the right directions for things we wanted to see. We always veer off course every chance we get in order to find something new and different to see and/or photograph and this day was no different that any other day we are on vacation.
Our hotel was situated along a large canal on the backside of the hotel and the front faced Tivoli Gardens which was less than a half mile away and could be seen from our eventual room.
We started walking up the canal in the direction of Nyhavn, which we had visited the last time we were in Copenhagen. We very much enjoyed the area and wanted to see it again. We started taking photographs from the time we landed in CPH until the time we landed back home?
Veronica and I also started  our own special tradition where we find something like a manhole cover or other historical or special marker that is embedded into the street or ground or any other place where we can put both of our feet near whatever marker or reminder that we find and then take a photograph of both of our feet with that marker. This way we can document where we have travelled together and this was thought this trip along a few others that we have taken together.
After spending time in the Nyhavn area, we headed to the Stroget area, which is a very long pedestrian only shopping street. Of course we strolled off the beaten path several times in search of new things to see throughout the course of the day.
After spending quite a bit of time on the Stroget and surrounding streets, it was time to head over to Tivoli Gardens, a place that we didn't get to visit the last time we were in Copenhagen.
I don't remember how much it cost us to go into Tivoli but it really wasn't that much for all that you get to see and do. We didn't go on any rides but we saw some amazing sites and and got some great videos and photographs. We walked out of Tivoli Gardens with so many other memories that going on rides really did not matter to us. If you ever get a chance to visit Tivoli Gardens, make sure that part of your time is spent in the evening hours when it starts to get dark. That is when Tivoli is at its best...when they turn the lights on..really beautiful.
You should also note that Tivoli Gardens gets busier and more crowed as it starts to get darker and later in the early evening.
We started walking back to to hotel around 7:30 or so and arrived back around 8:00.
We officially checked in and had our luggage delivered to our room before heading downstairs to have dinner in the bar area where they had food more to our liking than in the actual restaurants dining room.
While we were eating, the very long day began to catch up to us and we began to fade fast.
We finished our meal and headed upstairs to our room. Our room was very nice and tastefully decorated in the traditional minimalist Danish design.
From our room we could see the lights of Tivoli Gardens and some of the high towering
rides that carried the delighted squealing tourists and locals.
This sight was a great end to an exciting day.
veronica and I both were exhausted and nestled into our Danish bed for a good nights sleep.
We would need it, because tomorrow would come way too soon and early for us and the day would be full of new adventures and the official start of our cruise.






































They were doing repair work to the building below and had what looked like some type of fancy webbing that was draped on the side of the building to keep anything from falling on people below. 
  





This is something that Veronica came up with. Anywhere we go together, we always find something in the street, sidewalk or on the ground that can be used as a symbol, marker or reminder of where we were together. You will see this throughout the remainder of my blogging days. So if you see it, you will know what it is. I think that Veronica came up with a really fantastic idea.




Nyhavn brings out the smiles in everyone
















The big guy to the left of the door must have been this establishments bouncer. Why have this big brute around this early in the morning, when no one is around, is any ones guess.







We were in Nyhavn early enough that there were few people around at all








Below...13.52DKK is equal to $2.36USD. This is for 1 litre of gas. I believe that there are 4.2 litres in a gallon making a gallon of gas equal to $9.91USD

They had quite number of Hostels in the city




I am not really sure what was going on with this guy. I didn't hear him say anything but I did notice the bag and metal stand in front of him....hmmmm... 



McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC...it doesn't matter which country we went to, these business were everywhere











Not sure what this is called nor exactly what it is supposed to do other than what is obvious. If anyone out there knows, please leave me a comment with the answer...I would greatly appreciated it



We found this bakery and decided to stop by. The bakery was a French style and the pastry was really good



The little one is a Pistachio Macaroon and man was it full of flavor. Veronica and I split the little thing and would have loved to get a 12 pack of them but everything in Denmark was very expensive including these goodies. The bigger item is some type of Orange frosted thing with a light cream filling. Not sure of the name but if I had to put a name to it, it would be the Big Orange Yummy Thing!!







This is the Copenhagen Marriott Hotel that we stayed at. It was very nice. There is a wide canal that is on the back side of the building



Below are photos of our room...minimalistic but very sharp looking and overall a very comfortable room. We were very pleased.








And then the luggage arrived


I think Veronica was pleased with our room to or maybe she just loves to be on vacation

After going to the hotel and checking in, we went to Tivoli Gardens. Had a great time and stayed until it started to turn dark and they turned the lights on. That is the best time for photos. Unfortunately we had to head back to the hotel when it started turning dark. We had about a 1/2 - 3/4 mile walk  to get back there




Below is the Nimb Hotel which is rated number 1 in Copenhagen by Tripadvisor. Although we did not go in, but I wish we had, it looked very nice from the outside















































  




They had a really nice marching parade. I also took some videos of the parade and they are at the bottom of this blog entry








Below is the Tivoli Gardens Fire Department



They had an oriental section in Tivoli

























They had several rides to but we chose not to go on any of them. One ride was the tallest rising swing ride that I have ever seen. You could see it from outside our hotel room window





They also had a Pantomime Theatre and there was an actual show going on as we were leaving. Quite a number of people were there to watch it







Below is Copenhagen's Central Train Station...KĂžbenhavn

Below are various videos taken during our visit in Tivoli Gardens
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