This is one of those times when I admit to having experienced travel on a number of different cruise lines (Royal, Norwegian, Celebrity, MSC, Costa, Crystal, Princess, P&O, Voyages of Discovery, Windstar just to hit the highpoints). Each line is unique in how it does certain things.
Phoenix is more unique than the others. It is not just that it is a German speaking line. It is more than the ship arrival time was scheduled for 0900. Yes, that is right – 0900 in the morning. Not 0430-0700 for which there is plenty of time to get home the same day. Once docked, the immigration personnel have to look at the non-EU/EEA passports. That, in simple terms meant all of the non-EU crew and the three Americans and one Canadian on board. Ok, that can take a few minutes. Next – rather than letting one member of the couple pick up both passports – each of the four of us had to head to Guest Services and rescue our individual Pass.
Next was the challenge of getting off the ship which turned out not to be as problematic as the scrum at the gangway first indicated. The ship’s personnel were prompt and had the walk-off passengers to the front of the line. That meant us since we had booked a van for Bremen (two with train connections at 1115 or 1325 and us with a flight at 1315). Given the drive was going to be at least 80 minutes in best traffic, I figured that waiting for baggage off load at 1000-1015 was not a good idea.
Did I mention that they sling-load the luggage off with a crane? No conveyor belt or rolling baggage cart here!
The terminal was more than a bit of a zoo. The two other Phoenix Ships – Amadeus and Albatros were also in port with earlier arrivals than us. And then there was the Costa Magica cluttering up the largest docking space and hogging all the taxis in town.
We made it to Bremen in enough time for Ron & Amy to catch their train. George and I are now taking a break in the Lufthansa Lounge prior to our flight to Munich. That is right – Munich on the way to Copenhagen.
I obviously have a sense of humor and an ability to find the most inconvenient flights (which have a tendency to save me money).