Friday, 19 April 2013

MSC Magnifica To Hamburg!

Continuing the MSC Cruises voyage aboard MSC Magnifica with Danielle Fear, aka Cruise Miss, from Amsterdam to Dover...

Today I had the chance to enjoy the hospitality of Hamburg as MSC Magnifica sailed into our next port of call. We didn’t arrive until 10.30am so it was the perfect excuse to have a short lie in and not worry about rushing off the ship.

I made my way down for breakfast which consisted for me of an English muffin, beans and a hash brown. Yes just one! I love hash browns, so it was best not to be greedy and just resist the temptation to have more than one. The selection of food was pretty impressive once again, though. I bumped into my adopted Dutch family during breakfast and they said I was welcome to join them for the day so I accepted their invitation and we arranged a time to meet.

This was my first experience of having some passengers disembarking and others just simply trying to get off to enjoy the day ashore. I have to admit it was a little confusing; everyone was trying to get through the same exit but what started out as a huge queue went down in less than 4 minutes and we were off the ship before we knew it. It was one of those times when you don’t judge it, just go with it. It actually worked very well because everyone worked together.
Once off the ship we jumped on the Number 111 bus to Landungsbrucken and began exploring. We walked for what felt like miles and passed the beautiful Municipal Building, truly gorgeous both inside and out. The best section was a courtyard at the back, so don’t miss this if you are heading to Hamburg. In front, there is a pleasant square with a few coffee shops and it branches off onto other streets with stores and other places of interest.

We passed church after church and some impressive bridges, one of which is the oldest in the city and links the old town with the new. It was a mix of modern and historical literally joined together in places; different, but nice.

I must admit I found it difficult to navigate and was fortunate having my Dutch friends with me, one of whom could also speak German. Had I been on my own, I doubt I would have seen half as much as I did. I am good with planning and mapping a route, but can’t quite grasp the German language. I took in my route, noted it down in my brain, then checked the map again but was still baffled!

After having walked some distance, we decided to hop on the train at Baumwall one stop back to Landungsbrucken, where we opted for the water taxi back to the ship - good idea until we got on! The brisk breeze made for lumpy water and, within minutes of leaving, the boat was pitching so much we were getting soaked on the open top deck.
Once back, it was time to grab some lunch. I opted for spinach and ricotta pasta and then grabbed a few steamed asparagus spears, a slice of freshly baked baguette and sat down quite content. As I made my way back to take pictures, I came across the biggest carving joint I have seen in my life. I asked the chef what it was and he said ‘It is beef madam, it’s a leg.’ To me, it looked like a whole cow - it was huge. Again, the food on board had proved its worth, and is one of the reasons I'm sure I won't want to get off on Saturday. 

The evening dress code was Casual, so it was nice to have a fun-filled day without the pressure of having to rush back to dress for dinner. Jeans, pumps and a smart jacket would see me right for the night.

Next up - the island of Heligoland and a rare cruise port of call.