Are you scared to travel right now? Well, you are probably not alone. Our recent trip took us on an Oceania cruise starting in Denmark and ending in Portugal from 20 September through 4 October 2021. I was definitely very hesitant and a downright stress ball leading in to departure. I almost cancelled the trip because I just wasn’t sure what to expect and the stress was taking the fun out of the entire experience.
About 5-days prior to our disembarkation, we were notified by the cruise line that in addition to our vaccination status being completed, we would also need a negative PCR covid test, completed no more than 3-days prior to our flights to Europe. Our only issue was that our flight was an overnight, so technically taking 2-days and results for the PCR test takes at least 3-full days to get back. So basically, it is almost impossible to get them back in time. But we got our tests, and the results were in hand when we landed in Denmark. Just under the wire.
The flight to Copenhagen, Denmark wasn’t nearly as long as we thought it might be. We flew in to Brussels, Belgium first and grabbed a few blonde beers at the airport before catching our final flight to Copenhagen.
In the Brussels airport, we watched the locals get ready for work as they boarded their flights. We were jealous…Not! Then we boarded and flew in in to Copenhagen and had to wait 3-hours for our transportation to the cruise boat. We arrived exhausted in to Copenhagen. In baggage claim a young lady with a clip board asked us if we were fully vaccinated. We both said yes, and that was it. Yes, THAT WAS IT. We were not asked to provide proof or to provide our COVID test results.
The wait for the shuttle bus was very disappointing as we had hoped to have a few hours to walk around Copenhagen prior to boarding the ship. Jake ordered a hot dog from 7-11, Danish style. I had a very strong beer. Finally, we were escorted to the transfer bus and headed out to the ship.
Upon arrival at the dock we were greeted with yet another COVID test. They clearly had very elaborate testing protocols in place for this trip, which although a drag, we felt comfort knowing that everything was done to make sure we would have a safe and healthy trip. A quick poke up the nose, we waited about 15-minutes for results, and then were able to get on board.
We happily ran in to Neill and Sofia (the honeymooners) as we boarded the boat. They had the glow of newly wedded bliss. They gave us a tour of the boat, where we met a “guy” that writes travel blogs for the cruise ship..his name was Guy. Thanks to that “Guy” for the inspiration!!
We were pleasantly surprised by the relatively modest size of the room. Where do you put 4-weeks of clothes in about 400-sf of space? We met up with the rest of our travel party (The bride’s parents). We promptly had a bottle of wine with lunch. It was freezing cold and wet out on the terrace, but the wine was good, and the company was even better! We then migrated to “Martini’s” and enjoyed happy hour.
Running in to several of Neill and Sofia’s cruise friends, it is very clear that this couple has no problem making friends!! Then, on to dinner in the Grand Ballroom. We had baskets and baskets of bread…the best bread I have apparently EVER had. The butter was definitely European style and fabulous. The wine was flowing and the list was extensive with choices! Georgia had told me that this was a “foodie” cruise line, but I had NO idea.
The food was absolutely insane and this was only day-1 AND in the main dining room…not even a specialty restaurant. I can’t imagine what is in store for our taste buds. This was definitely an awesome way to start this cruise!