Some of you posted the question: how are the cruise ship trains compared to the public trains?
Here are some impressions from Warnemünde:
the two times I saw the cruise trains:
HAL used both times the platform 6 of Warnemünde train station.
Platform 6 was in the time of the Communism reserved for operation of the trains on ferry connections to Denmark and therefore under the control of the border control. Therefore it had always a seperated access to the street which was easier to control in case someone wanted to escape by train to Denmark.
That's why it is seperated from other tracks and has the great advantage of a barrierfree access to the train.
I saw a lot of stewards with wheelchairs who took mobility reduced passengers from the train without a step back to the ship.
All others just walked over the street and was back at the cruise terminal.
HAL used both days I saw the train:
special charter train cars which are made of former East German 1st class cars.
So the seats are more polster style in compartments of 6.
As I could see there were windows which means no air-condition.
I think as they are using 1st class cars:
179 USD against 158 EUR (but in ICE-High-Speed-Train with leather seats and air-condition) is fair!!!
Celebrity was the same day with their train in town.
I was shocked:
They used 2nd class regional train cars without air-condition.
When I entered the car I saw that they used former InterRegio-2nd-class cars which were very unpopular in Germany. So the trains were taken out of service by and by and got a new paint and used for commuter train used. That's why they show DB Regio which is the regional train division of German Railways.
The advantage: if you can get a compartment there are 5 1/2 seats only (1/2 seat = one reclineable children seat at the window). Due to order of seats 3 vs. 2 1/2 you are not really sitting face to face which allows stretching out your feet. Another part of the cars are so-called a seat landscape which means one big room, some seats face to face, some 2 in one row, some 3 in one row.
I think Celebrity is making good money here as they chartered the cheapest cars you can get.
If you take the regional trains to Berlin you pay max. 70.20 EUR for a return-trip in 2nd class and you have air condition!!!
If you are smart you are not paying more than 7.40 EUR (seven point fourty - no mistype...) if you are on the right weekday in Warnemünde and has the right size of group. And you have air-condition.
I still cannot belive it and will cancel my shore excursions on CELEBRITY EQUINOX before I get ripped-off by them...
The cruise ship trains of Celebrity terminate in Berlin Gesundbrunnen. Some cruise lines will take you with buses to a more central spot.
For those who are travelling indepently in Berlin but used the cruise ship train of Celebrity:
Here is a map of the rapid transit system:
From Gesundbrunnen you can easily reach:
S1/S2/S25 to Nordbahnhof for Berlin Wall Memorial
S1/S2/S25 to Unter den Linden for Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag and Holocaust Memorial
S1/S2/S25 to Potsdamer Platz for Potsdamer Platz
S1/S2/S25 to Anhalter Bahnhof for Checkpoint Charlie (with a short walk)
... and if you follow the white "U" on blue square:
U8 to Alexanderplatz for Alexanderplatz
Do not forget to buy a day pass for public transport in Berlin:
You can also use a suggestion to walk around in Berlin with some sections on public transport:
Cruisers of HAL are taken to Berlin-Lichtenberg (which is in East Berlin).
Normally you can go on S5, S7, S75 back to Berlin City Center.
Alexanderplatz, Hackescher Markt, Friedrichstraße are close to all major attractions.
BUT DUE TO MAJOR RAILCAR CONSTRUCTIONS WORK you cannot use these commuter trains from July 20, 2009 until estimated August 10, 2009.
In this period you can only use U5 (Subway trains) to Alexanderplatz. From here you can get further by bus.
Somehow cruisers from HAL who are coming in on Monday to Friday are lucky cruisers, if they are travelling independently:
The ship arrives before 06.00 hrs.
From here I saw the bridge was connected very early.
Cruisers which I met on the platform said that they left the ship at 06.05 hrs already.
On Monday to Friday there is a train leaving 06.58 hrs from Warnemünde and without a transfer you are reaching Berlin at 09.42 hrs.
The train starts on Saturday 09.02 hrs and arrives 11.45 hrs in Berlin.
It does not run on Sunday from Warnemünde.
It's the flagship of German Railways: The ICE 3 - the newest generation of High-Speed-Train InterCityExpress.
It can run 300 kms/h but not on the section from Warnemünde to Berlin...
You will not need a reservation. Before you get trouble with other passengers:
The seats are reserved from Berlin to Leipzig...
and these are vacant. You may have them.
1st class (above) which includes the admission to the 1st class lounge incl. warm and cold nice snacks from a gourmet restaurant and free bar.... So save some time to be back in Berlin Central Station for having your cocktail there... It's next to platform 11 (DB Lounge - but go to the rear with a large "1." at the wall: the First Class section of the lounge).
vs. 2nd class.
And a full service restaurant car. You get also a full breakfast with scrambled eggs and bacon...
but in 1st class you get also all food at your seats served by the conductor...
The menu changes every month (execpt July/August and December/January).
You can see what they offer here:
If you scroll down and click on:
you can see what you can have for dinner on the way back to Warnemünde...
I cannot put a link because the link changes every month.
But this is the July/August 2009 menu:
German Railways offer month by month in 2009: a regional menu which is for July and August from Mecklenburg- Western Pommerania. That's the state you are when you are in Warnemünde, Rostock, Schwerin, Wismar, Bad Doberan, Kühlungsborn etc.
Ronny Siewert is the awarded chef of the restaurant in Grand Hotel Heiligendamm.
The G8-summit was hold two years ago and the cruisers who were going on Molli-Train just went by. So if you really want to have star-cooking of this region use the chance and have it in this train.
The night before my new cruise friends Ning and Greg were so kind and invited me for dinner in this car... Gred had the speciality of Mecklenburg-Western Pommerania...
HAL has always early dinners... so when you are returning around 21.00 hrs... you mostly get stucked with the room service...
If you made a paid reservation (which is unnecessary - for my taste):
You are in car 27 (Wagen = car and Sitzplatz = seat).
This folder is bilingual and gives you schedule orientation.
And some information on the order of the stops... so if you are not familiar with Germany's geography and want to know if you can take the seat to Berlin: have a look inside.
Some "stops" on the reservation display you may not find in the list of stations...
Kleinkinderabteil = compartment reserved for families with small children
Schwerbehinderte = reserved for handicapped
Begl. Rollstuhl = company of wheelchair guests
bahn.comfort = for frequent train riders
ggf. freigegen = "Jump seat" for last-minute-reservations who might have a separate reservation on mobile phones or paper
Best find a clear sign to avoid discussions:
German mentality is: I paid for the reservation and there could be 100 seats next available: be sure the majority will ask you to let them on your seat if you took it by mistake.
Announcements are mostly made in German and English:
But if you only get as final announcement:
"Thank you for travelling Deutsche Bahn"
and nothing more like information on dining car or connections...
then be sure the conductor can only very limited English.
Your train arrives additionally
Berlin Hbf (= Hauptbahnhof = Central Station)
We were very punctual so you will have around 8 1/2 hours to spend in Berlin.
and you are in the heart of Berlin. From platform 11 you can see:
The return train is daily except Saturday at 18.12 hrs from Berlin and arrives 20.44 hrs in Warnemünde.
This means: 1st class stops in platform section B, the dining car in C and all 2nd class cars in D and E. The platform sections are the white capital letters on the blue square like here:
If you are travelling on Friday or Sunday back to Warnemünde:
The second part of the train will remain in Berlin and will not continue to Warnemünde. So make sure that you use the first part of the train.
By the way: all cars are fully air-conditioned - as well as the trains from Rostock to Berlin or Hamburg (via Schwerin).
And cruisers who booked the ICE-train very early made it for 19.00 EUR (one-one ticket per person). But you need to book it as early as possible from 3 monthes ahead of your date of travel until 3 days ahead. Limited availability: first come - first serve. No refund - no changes. And you should know: This season once EURODAM did not make it Warnemünde due to strong winds...
Cruisers who purchased the tickets on the train with the conductor made it for 53.00 EUR (one way in 2nd class per person).
All others need to use the Regional Express to Berlin or Schwerin-Hamburg (with connection to Lübeck) and here you often can read the question:
How is 1st class compared to the 2nd class in German Regional Trains:
It varies! Therefore I cannot get you pictures of all 1st class seat configurations.
Most trains on the route Rostock - Berlin are supplied with cars from the state of Brandenburg.
A typical 1st class coach is the upperdeck of a dobbledecker-car like this:
And on the Hamburg-routes: leather chairs:
What's the difference to 2nd class:
Here in 1st class you have 2+1 per row. In 2nd class you have 2+2.
No large table.
Less foot rest.
In the 2nd class you also find a multi-purpose compartment for stroller, buggies, wheelchairs and bikes:
And you'll find vending machines for hot and cold beverages and snacks (you need Euro-Change):
and of course toilets:
For those of you who are travelling to
may use the special offer of
Länderticket Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Day pass for the State of Mecklenburg-Western Pommerania)
for 28.00 EUR Single
or 46.00 EUR Group of 5.
For those of you who wants to go to Berlin by 1st class need to know:
You need additionally a
Länderticket Brandenburg-Berlin (Day pass for the States of Brandenburg and Berlin)
47.00 EUR Group of 5.