Regal Princess, somewhere on the sea between Oslo and Berlin
The fiery orange sunrise is peeking through the slit between your curtains, but that's not what woke you up. You're still on your hometown time zone, although you flew into Copenhagen the day before embarkation. Oh well, you intended to get up and see the sunrise at least once anyway!
Room service breakfast arrives! This was one of your favorite memories on your first Princess Cruises adventure, and the croissants are just as incredible as you remember. Food always tastes better on vacation.
It's your first full day at sea after leaving Oslo, Norway, and you're glad you booked your massage right away. All settled in on Deck 5 at the Lotus Spa for a 90-minute Thai coconut massage! Cruising is the perfect time to take advantage of every available perk—as long as you're there, might as well be in the lap of luxury.
Time to refuel at the International Café! The best thing about it is that the Café is open twenty-four hours, but their delectable treats and sweets are the main reason you keep coming back. "One cappuccino and one chai latte for here, please"—you've got people-watching to do.
You're a sweets person, but you're also a salt person, and the French fries from the Trident Grill on the Lido deck are sounding like the perfect palette cleanser. You convince yourself to take the stairs up 10 floors to earn your fries. If you're willing and able, the stairs are the only way to go on a cruise ship! Plus, gotta stay active after that muscle-loosening massage.
Somehow your travel buddy talked you into a glass of champagne. It has to be 5 o'clock somewhere between Oslo and Warnemunde...plus, fries and champagne has always been your favorite combination. "Two glasses of Korbel, Boris!" You catch up with your favorite waiter just before he leaves on his break.
After the fries are gone, you decide to take your champagne on the road and do some exploring. It's your friend's first time on the Regal Princess, after all! You head up to the Sky Deck, the highest deck on the ship, and watch a Carlos Santana concert on the big screen. It's 50 degrees and you're in a jacket and hat—while some hearty folks are laying out in their swimsuits. Now that's dedication.
Your explorations lead you to the adults-only pools at the front of the ship, which you make a mental note to hit up once the temperature increases. But your other favorite part of the ship is a few steps down back on the Lido deck—the SeaWalk! 60 feet of glass walkway, 128 feet above the waves—you get the same viewing experience as the captain does from the bridge. It's quite thrilling—you were a little afraid of it your first time around, and now it's one of your favorite parts of the ship.
Since most of your day has been about eating, you decide to keep up the trend and attend Royal Afternoon Tea, so back down the stairs you go to the Piazza. Three pots of tea come your way—green, white, and red—and each pot goes along with one tier of the dessert platter! The scones are the clear winners for you, as you'll eat anything covered in Devonshire cream and jam, and then an incredible unique trifle for the finale that is unlike anything you've eaten before.
Since you're already on Deck 5, you head over to the Shore Excursions desk to finalize your plans for tomorrow's port day in Warnemunde. Most of your group is heading into Berlin and spending six hours total on the train there and back—while the city and excursions sound incredible, you'd rather hit the streets right away, so you make a plan to visit Rostock and enjoy a river cruise and microbrewery for the first half of the day. Anything that gets you a soft pretzel sounds like a solid plan. That will leave the rest of the evening to do some souvenir shopping in Warnemunde.
Now that you've got tomorrow all planned, you're on your way back to your Lido Deck stateroom when you notice the jacuzzi is free. It's too cold for the pool, but the jacuzzi might actually help you warm up (you try not to think about getting out afterwards). It might be 40 degrees out, but that's what your fur pom hat is for. You run and change in your stateroom and come out in bathrobes and swimsuits. No shame in Scandinavia!
You realize this cold-weather jacuzzi situation is pretty ideal. You & Tamara will spend a few more evenings doing exactly this.
Perfectly pruny, you head back to the stateroom and put on La La Land while you get ready for dinner...which may include lounging on the bed catching up on social media. You're on vacation after all. It's practically island time up here.
A plate of chocolate-covered strawberries has arrived in your room. You are not at all concerned about spoiling your dinner. When in Rome...or in this case, northern Europe.
You're only a few minutes late for dinner after spending some time shooting photos at the back of the ship, out of the wind. It's formal night and you've got to document those smashing outfits. Finally, you're seated in the Concerto Dining Room and a bread basket is in front of you. Even Princess butter is better than what you've got at home...
Everyone at dinner starts freaking out, and you can't tell why until you catch a glimpse of the view outside. Sailing silently along, you're used to seeing nothing on the horizon, but suddenly there's this:
The Great Belt Bridge in Germany. Everyone scrambles up to the top deck, where half of all cruisers on the Regal Princess stand with their cameras and phones pointed at the horizon. It's just a bridge, but it's inexplicably beautiful and something about seeing it in the middle of what you thought was nowhere makes things feel...peaceful. The sunset, the colors, the silhouettes every way you look...this moment will become one of the best memories from your trip.
Everyone decides to call it an early night thanks to tomorrow's early call time. You still have so much to explore on the ship, but first, Germany calls. The view of Warnemunde from your balcony tomorrow—sun coming up between hazy, pink clouds above a picturesque little town—will be nothing short of beautiful.
Thank you to Princess Cruises for sponsoring this post.