In thirteen days, we’d visited six very unique countries (seven if you count our overnight adventure at Heathrow!) and as our vacation was coming to an end, I still couldn’t get over all of the places we’d gotten to explore.
We had grød in Copenhagen. We crossed through the Brandenburg Gate, across a path in the street where the Berlin Wall once stood. We (well…I) dangled over a ledge in Tallinn overlooking the most beautiful maze of colorful streets. We visited the rock church in Finland. We had fika in Sweden (and listened to the Mamma Mia soundtrack on repeat for a solid hour on our way there). We went to Russia, you guys. We went to Russia and saw the ballet and the Church on Spilled Blood and the Hermitage! Is any museum as breathtaking as the Hermitage? We visited all of these places that, in my wildest dreams, I never really thought I would. The things we saw and did, the people we met and the stories we have to tell. It’s been eight months and I still can’t get over it.
What wasn’t so easy was saying goodbye to the Norwegian Getaway. We woke up on our final morning, with Copenhagen just outside our balcony window. It wasn’t the end of our trip – we still had four more days of vacation left in one of the most wonderful cities in the world (bonjour, Paris!) – but it was the end of our time onboard the Getaway.
We gathered our belongings and headed upstairs for one last breakfast at the Garden Café, settling for a table just outside because just about every other cruiser was having breakfast, too, and we just kind of reflected on our week.
After this cruise, the number of cruise lines we’ve sailed on hit four (Norwegian, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess) and it’s hard to stack rank them because we enjoyed all of them for different reasons (well, except Princess, but that’s another story for another day). We loved the Freestyle nature of Norwegian. We loved how many options there were for just about any kind of dining and any kind of cuisine. We loved how relaxed it was and how the lack of structure was perfect for this kind of port-heavy itinerary. We loved our cabin, which was clean, modern and super functional. We loved the entertainment – Burn the Floor and Million Dollar Quartet were up there with any of the other productions we’ve seen at sea. We didn’t love the lack of activities (or, at least, activities that appealed to us), but with only a couple of sea days, we managed.
Oh, and Mom is obsessed with Norwegian now. We’ve done one (well, I’ve done two) Carnival cruises since we got back and we have another coming up on the Horizon in April, and all she asks me (as our de facto family vacation planner) is when we can go on Norwegian again. Between the frequent promotions and the deeper selection of itineraries (…because I’m going to push that Canary Islands cruise real hard!), it can’t be long.
Debarkation was quick and painless – from our table up by the Garden Café to our transfer was less than 15 minutes. You don’t go through customs at the cruise terminal for European cruises that start and end in the EU, and Norwegian took care of our luggage, so we walked right off the ship and onto our bus. We opted for a Norwegian transfer to the airport instead of taking a taxi because someone had told us earlier in our trip that taxi cabs are not that abundant, especially near the port, and as we drove in a week and a half prior, we didn’t see many taxi’s (and people coming off the ship were trying to flag down ours before we even got out!). And also, taxi fare in Copenhagen is, much like everything else, more expensive than it is in the US, and the airport wasn’t that close. We didn’t do the math to see if we came out ahead or behind. We really didn’t care. The convenience far surpassed whatever the delta was.
The transfer was on a luxury motorcoach that had an upper deck that was all seats and a lower deck that had seats and tables. It took a good half hour or so for our bus to fill up with passengers before the driver would leave. And then we did, leaving the Getaway behind us, past the colorful Hygge blocks at the port and through the colorful streets we’d left behind a week and a half prior.
We were dropped off right at Terminal 3 of CPH, quickly made our way through luggage drop and security and spent the entire morning (and most of the afternoon) in the SAS Lounge, before we hopped on the plane and left Copenhagen and the Getaway below us, as we jetted off towards the City of Lights.