Sorry it has taken me literally SO LONG to write this post. I went on this cruise back in July #shameful.
In this post I will talk about the cruise line, our stops, and what it was like traveling internationally at 25 weeks pregnant.
Norwegian Cruise Line
I have only been on two cruise ships now: Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. Royal Caribbean in my opinion is MUCH BETTER than Norwegian.
We went on the Baltic Sea Cruise with Norwegian out of Copenhagen.
The ship just wasn’t that impressive to me. I think when you are spending all day off the boat the most important thing is the food and that just fell short. We didn’t really love anything we ate on the ship. Even the soft serve ice cream was lacking!!
It was also really hard to get a waiter when we were spending time out on the deck and sometimes the food service was soooo slow in the restaurants.
Lastly, unless you went to the meetings they had about the destinations, you had NO IDEA what to expect when you docked. They gave you a sheet with info on where you were docking, but nothing on what to do once you got off. More than once we missed the bus and had to take a train or taxi inland. In two locations you docked about 2 hours from the actual city!
We will probably go with a different cruise line for our next one! You just spend A LOT OF MONEY for these type of cruises so I guess the quality just didn’t meet the standards of what we paid for if that makes sense!
Baltic Sea Cruise Stops
*We didn’t do much research for this trip. My sis was preparing for her medical school boards and I was pregnant, working a lot, and prepping for the N Sale. This won’t be a very comprehensive guide, but will hopefully help nonetheless!
First- Make sure you give yourself PLENTY OF TIME if you plan on flying in the day of the cruise. My sister and I BARELY made it on the ship. Do your research and look up when the boarding closes for your particular cruise line. Make sure you allow for airplane delays, baggage issues, and traffic from the airport to the port. I recommend going in a night early.
I talked to some of my friends who had done this cruise prior to my trip, and they all suggested SKIPPING Berlin. We didn’t just because it was our very first stop on the cruise.
I recommend booking a tour. A bus will come and pick you up from the port and drive you into Berlin. The drive is about 2 1/2 hours bleh. Not fun. The buses have a bathroom on them and they stop halfway for you to get snacks and water and stretch your feet.
We did a private tour, but we did the same things as the non-private tour and we shared the same bus with everyone anyway. I would save your money and go with the bigger tour.
It was pretty cool walking around Berlin. There is so much history there. I think it still ended up being one of our least favorite stops.
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This was probably my second favorite stop after Russia. It was such a charming little town and our guide was amazing. We did a walk/bike tour and got to see the entire city.
You start from the ship and walk through old town- sooooo cute! Then we visited a palace and biked through gorgeous gardens.
It was so fun to learn about the history of Estonia!
St Petersburg, Russia
We were in St Petersburg for two days of the cruise and each day was more magical than the next. It was just so surreal to be in Russia.
There is so much beauty at every turn. We basically toured every castle and church we could fit in those two days. I think we were just in awe the entire time.
When you go to Russia on a cruise ship you HAVE to book with a tour group but it doesn’t HAVE to be with the cruise ship.
We went with a private tour and it was so amazing. We had our own guide the entire time and it was so nice just to be able to go at our own pace and do what we wanted to do.
Tailored Tours St.Petersburg
191014 St.Petersburg Russia
We did a Rick Steves’ walking tour in Helsinki. It was a cute city but we just really liked all of the shopping! I got so much baby stuff for Miller here. I would skip the walking tour and just explore the area around the port and do some shopping, eating, and wine drinking here!
I think Helsinki was one of our least favorites. Other than shopping there just wasn’t much to see/do. You can walk to this white church easily and then be done for the day!
Stockholm was beautiful, but we wish we had more time there. We didn’t realize we needed to be off the ship at a certain time to catch the buses into town (about an hour away) so we were stuck taking a train and then the metro. We lost so much time!
We did another Rick Steves’ walking tour and really loved all of the cobblestone streets and architecture there in Stockholm. We were just in such a rush the entire time :(. Oh, and this is where my phone was stolen! MAKE SURE YOU KEEP YOUR PURSE ZIPPED UP 24/7 AT ALL OF THESE LOCATIONS! I had mine open for 10 min because I had to give my ticket up once on a bus.
Make sure to check to see when you need to be off the ship for this port. And I recommend doing a hop on, hop off tour! You can also do a hop on/hop off water taxi!
Also one of our favorite places. Our cruise started and stopped here, so we stayed an extra day so we could tour this beautiful city. 100% recommend!
We did the Rick Steves’ walking tour here as well and loved it. We got to see everything and still had time to spare.
If you do this cruise, make sure to grab Rick Steves’ book HERE. It has tons of tips and tricks in it and walking guides for each city in case you are on a budget and don’t want to pay for guided tours at each port.
He also gives you info on currency, dress codes, language barriers, etc. It is a MUST! We would read about the next port the night before and would be prepared for what we saw and would know a little background on the locations (which would impress our tour guides haha!)
Flying Internationally at 25 Weeks Pregnant
Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda HAVE NOT DONE THAT AND BEEN PERFECTLY HAPPY. Yall, it was horrible.
I would NOT recommend flying internationally at 25/26 weeks. I even had a super easy pregnancy and it was so hard.
-The actual plane ride. You have to usually fly overnight and at 25/26 weeks you have to wear compression tights and set an alarm for every two hours to get up and walk around. It has to do with blood clots (super dangerous while pregnant). Imagine flying overnight and getting up every 2 hours. NOT FUN. The plane ride home was so horrible too. Same thing, but by 26 weeks I was just uncomfortable. I actually tried to sleep on my tray in front of me and it ended up pulling something in my stomach that lasted for a month after.
-The walking. We did SO MUCH WALKING. My body isn’t used to the extra weight in my midsection and my back just didn’t know what to do. IT KILLED MY BACK. We had to stop so many times for me and my sister had to stretch me out every night.
By the end of the cruise I was so exhausted and could barely walk. I think I slept for a full week after. I was lucky I had the time to wind down after the trip. If you plan on going back to work/back in the office after I would just skip the trip altogether.
Instead, do something that will only be a short flight away and that will be relaxing, not taxing.
Sorry if that isn’t what you wanted to hear! It is just the truth!
What to Wear
All I can say is: Look at the weather beforehand and just be super comfortable! Don’t look at what I wore because it was during the N Sale so the stuff I wore was NOT weather friendly (I was usually super hot!)
Please comment below with any questions! I will do a little digging (aka ask my family) and get back with you on the answer! It has been so long but between all of us someone should remember!
PS- I will be uploading more pictures as my sis sends them. My phone was stolen so I only have what I posted on Instagram. Speaking of, make sure to look at my Baltic Sea highlights on my Instagram Stories for tons of pictures and videos (from Tallin (forgot to save stories from Berlin) to Stockholm (that’s where my phone was taken and I hadn’t uploaded the videos yet!)