Day 1 - Board the Ship on Copenhagen

June 30th and July 1st continued...

The plane landed in Copenhagen 50 minutes early because we had a good tail wind. On most trips you would be happy to land early, but when it is 7 a.m. on Saturday, nothing is open yet in the city and you cannot yet board the ship, it’s not a good thing. You would think the confusion our group experienced collecting our luggage would have used up some of that time, but not really. We went through customs first – a very quick stamping of our passports, then we headed to the luggage carousels.

Chris was on a mission to get organized. He is by nature, a very prepared traveler and the chaos of the rest of his family was not making him a pleasant person. Angela was talking with another mom about adjusting young children to the time change while holding Kirsten. Brian and Brad were scrambling around to get the bags off the belt, asking how many bags were still needed and if we have enough carts. Meanwhile, Tina was trying to get all of us to sign the Princess forms so that we could charge things on the ship, leaving her bag open and her passport on the ground. I stood with the piles of luggage and bags that had been found and made sure they did not disappear. The combination of little to no sleep, with very different travel personalities results in very short conversations.

After all bags were accounted for and labeled with the stateroom tags, we left them with the other Princess passenger’s bags outside the main terminal where a Princess staff member waited to show us to buses that would take us to the ship. It is a little disconcerting to leave your luggage in a random location, but I guess since you are relieved that it has arrived thus far you assume that everything else will go smoothly.

The bus then took us to the dock where we were “invited” into large white tents to wait. We were allowed to go to the “priority” section since Tina and Brad had a suite, but all that really meant was that we were on a side of the room with fewer people than the other side. We waited there, and waited some more. The general idea of when we would be able to board the ship was noon, but it wasn’t definite. Even though we were all delirious and just wanted to sleep, there was little we could do but chat and try to get Kirsten to sleep. We sporadically listened to conversations of those around us. A really weird older couple was talking about how they go on a trip every 60 days. I’m not sure if I would aspire to do the same. Other than that, we joked about Kirsten being called Jr. and talked with one of the local staff members who told us that this was the day the Princess of Denmark was to be christened.baltic day one

At noon the priority members were asked to come up to the desks first. We were directed to a specific numbered window. All seven of us approached and handed our passports to the woman behind the counter. Tina handed all the tickets to her and then we waited some more. We had been directed to the trainer who was using our group to train another employee on how to check everyone in. Honestly, the wait was not very long, but since we all had to sign our own cards and do our own papers there was shifting of who was at the counter and the people around us were boarding the ship. A wonderful place with beds and food; that was all we could really think about.

Finally with our “cruise cards” in hand, we left the waiting tent and walked up the gangway to the ship. But first we were stopped for the embarkation photo, and then again for the cruise ship’s identification photo. We all split up to find our rooms. Chris and I were in D(dolphin)526 on the port side of the ship. From our balcony we could see the other passengers boarding the ship and another cruise ship on the other side of the large pier. Not the most beautiful view, but still wonderful to be in an outside stateroom.

Our tummies were getting the better of us. We walked to the starboard side of the ship were Brian and Angela had a room and were joined by Brad and Tina for a trip to the buffet. One of the newest editions since our last cruise to the dining rooms were stands outside the buffet area for a hand sanitizer. The fear of the Norovirus had made these a mandatory step before getting your food. They even had a staff member standing there to help show you how to use it and to make sure you used it. Afterwards, Chris and I walked along the upper decks looking out at the port and checking out all the pools.

When we finished walking around it was naptime. I only napped for a few hours; Chris got a little more sleep than I did. While he was napping our luggage started to arrive outside our door. Of course it didn’t all arrive together. I brought in a piece; a little later two more pieces arrived and then finally my big suitcase found its way to our room. I quickly unpacked the hanging luggage while Chris was still asleep. Once he was up I unpacked the rest of my luggage. When I opened it I had once again been one of the lucky ones -- the TSA had searched my bag. It annoys me because I take great care to fit everything the way I want it and then they mix it all up. Annoyed, I found homes for all our stuff in our cabin. It took some figuring out since there weren’t really any drawers and the bathroom counter was a lot smaller than at home. Chris showered, I changed for dinner and then it was time for our mandatory life jacket drill before the boat could set sail.

We all meet up for dinner. We had the early seating in an effort to get Kirsten on a reasonable schedule. Our table was in a nice spot with a window, so we could watch the scenery pass while we ate. After dinner it was time to change again and check out the casino with Tina and Brad. It was a little different than the previous trips when we had a late dinner. The casino was pretty empty since all the people who had an early dinner were at the shows and those at the later dinner were still being served. Chris was glad that the casino had a craps table. I was happy that they had the “I Dream of Jeannie” slot machines and a “Jackpot Party”. Unfortunately, the emptiness of the place didn’t stop me from losing $20 in the slot machines before going to bed.