George, we will be on the Grand Princess for the same cruise in August. It takes a little research, but there are many trips that you can do without the cruiseline surtax. We will be there on a Sunday and decided that we could better spend our time in Northern Germany.
We will be renting a car at the port. There are lots of resort areas, quaint towns and sights to see within an easy drive of the port. There is a book entitled something like "Favorite Driving Tours in Germany", and has a tour called "Northern Ports & Two Seas" while our 14 hour stop in Germany will not allow us to take the entire circle tour - there are lots of good suggestions - like in SCHWERIN there is a castle modeled after a chateau on the Loire. There is Ratzeburg, which is an island tile, and the island of Rugen.
I'd rather be doing this tour than riding a train to get to Berlin. The flight home is long enough, and I will be back another time to visit Berlin.
Warnemunde is a coastal town which is the terminus for the train ferrys between Denmark and Germany. Nearby is Rostock which is an old Hanseatic port town. Very atmospheric. There's plenty to do there, which can be done on your own with public transit. Also North Sea beaches.
Hi! Just returned from a NCL cruise to several of your ports.Thr train station in Warnemunde is 5 minutes walk from the ship. (Small tourist town.) We took the train 20 minutes to Holstock which is larger. We picked up maps & things to see just by the ship & enjoyed our day. We did the same in Copenhagen, go to the Palace & see the Crown Jewels, Stockholm, again go to the Palace for the changing of the Guard, about 12:30. We took the tour bus from the tourist office near the ship that we could get on & off of all day for $20. We saw the Vasa Museum which is a big thing there. In Helsinki, we got maps near the ship & did our own tour. You will find things to interest you on the tourist office maps. We bought our first ship tour of St Petersburg & it was well worth the price. Have a great trip! Linda
For St. Petersburg, you have to make advance preparations or you will have to use the ships tours which are not as good. Either use Red October or get your own Russian Visas from the Russian Consulate in N.Y and book privately. You see so much more with a small private tour. We never stood in a line. We bypassed lines whereever we went. We were in and out much faster than a bus tour with 30 t0 40 people on a tour.