On the fourth day of our cruise with Mein Schiff 4 we were all day at sea. Only in the evening we reached the beautiful island of Lanzarote. It was a day before Christmas Eve. We were never on board a ship at Christmas before and were very excited to see how the Christmas days would feel like when being on a ship. But first we experienced a relaxing day aboard Mein Schiff 4 with a full program including a question time with the captain.
Breakfast in Ankelmannsplatz
Our day started with a delicious breakfast at the buffet restaurant Ankelmannsplatz. Breakfast there lasts from 7:00 am to 11:00 am. There is really everything your heart desires. When you walk into the Ankelmannsplatz on Deck 12 you will see yummy croissants, rye bread, pretzel sticks, custard tarts and poppy seed rolls from the bakery. There are also two sandwich stations, where you can let a cook make some fresh sandwiches and paninis for you. So if you want a fast and fresh breakfast just stay at the bakery.
However, if you walk further, you will discover more goodies:
- many cakes, muffins, creams,
- an incredible assortment of exotic fruits (passion fruit, Guayabo, Tamarillo, mango, lychee, but also pineapples, bananas, apples and grapes)
- a large selection of sausages and hams (hunting sausage, blood sausage, cheese salami, cooked ham, ham sausage, Serrano)
- a cheese station with soft cheese, hard cheese, cream cheese and mustard,
- a pasta station where you can get meat, fish, vegetables and sauces for your pasta, which is then freshly prepared
- a fish and a meat corner,
- a children’s corner,
- a large ice cream station where you can get a scoop of ice cream,
- a salad station, where one can make a great salad,
- a lot more: pancakes, pork, eggs, …
After breakfast we took a look into the daily program. At 11 am you could listen to christmas stories or christmas music from the Humboldt quartet in the coffee lounge. There was also the popular shuffleboard game, in which you accelerate a puck so that it remains on the opposite scoring field. This game is played only on sea days and takes place on the promenade deck. 5 For us, however, we went to the Captain Question Time at the theater on Deck 4. There, the captain, the chief engineer and the environmental officer would answer all questions about the ship.
Question Time with Captain Kjell Holm
In the Captain’s Question Time first the captain Kjell Holm held a PowerPoint presentation. He’s fin and speaks thanks to several professional stations in Germany very good German. In this presentation, he explained many facts and figures about the ship and also showed pictures of the construction of the vessel and from the bridge and the technology-rooms below deck. After all the passengers present had the opportunity to ask questions. Two questions were most frequently asked: Why is there no “Behind the Scenes” tour? And why isn’t it possible to see the bridge? We asked ourselves the same questions before, because on many ships such those tours are part of the offered program. The captain Kjell Holm told everyone that there are no such tours for safety reasons. Safety was more important to TUI Cruises than to make some money with some guided tours. However, they think about a show room overlooking the bridge for later ships. When this cruise ship was built, it was already too late to think about such a show room. Too bad, but that is one more reason to try the next ships!
The captain was very proud of himself that he designed the bridge of the ship. It was exactly built according to his wishes. He explained a lot based on photos of the processes on the bridge, which was very interesting.
During the question time we were also informed why there are no lifejackets available in the cabins. The Mein Schiff 4 is one of the first ships that was built according to the latest safety aspects. Apparently it is safer to distribute lifejackets anywhere on board instead of keeping them in the cabins. Some recent accidents happened because passengers had gone back to their own cabins to get the life jackets. Too much time was lost by going back.
At the end there was the opportunity to be photographed with the captain, the environmental officer and the chief engineer. You could walk up the stage of the theater and stand next to them. That was very nice and afterwards you could buy the photo in the photo shop. The Question Time was overall very interesting and entertaining, because Captain Kjell Holm always answered the questions confidently and with humor.
Our highlight: The Chocolate Buffet
In the evening there was a special highlight of the cruise. At 9:00 pm there was a pool party on deck 12. As soon as you left the elevators and went through the doors to the pool deck, a waiter waited with champagne or orange juice for you. Everyone got a glass, which already significantly lightened the mood and gave everyone a special feeling of luxury.
However, on the pool deck there were not only musical entertainment, cocktails and colorful lights, but also an incredible fruit and chocolate buffet – an absolute treat! You could take a plate and napkins (which you need!) and then choose between prepared fruits dipped in white or dark chocolate or you took a some fresh fruits and and out them under the fountain of chocolate. They had delicious strawberries, bananas, pineapple, grapes and melon pieces to enjoy. You could take more as many times as you wanted plus sip a sparkling wine. On the entire deck 12 and deck 13 was a great atmosphere. Young and old celebrated together and danced to pop songs and the latest charts. In the background you could see the colorful lights of Arrecife at night. A wonderful day at see.