Trying to decide whether to take ship's tour of Berlin or just go it on our own from Warnemunde. Would appreciate some guidance from those who've done it on their own, as well as those who've gone with the ship's tours.

If you did it on your own, how was the trip from the port to Berlin (time, cost, hassle)? How did you get around in Berlin, did you have time to really see the city, and would you do it again on your own or would you opt for a shore excursion?

For those who did the ship's tour, what did you get to see, and would you do it again or opt to do it on your own next time?



We are planning to rent a van from Warnemunde and drive to Schwerin and Lubeck (one of the ship's tours goes to both and refers to them as "Fairytale Pearls"). But it hasn't been easy to arrange to pick up the car in Warnemunde. All the car rental companies have pick up points in Rostock but don't list Warnemunde even though one cruiser on another forum said there is a Hertz office near where the ship docks in Warnemunde but it's not listed. I am trying to find out if we can arrange pickup there rather than in Rostock. The cruiser who posted this had arranged a Rostock pickup because Warnemunde wasn't listed with Hertz, but was able to switch right there at Hertz's Warnemunde office and pick up their car there for the same price. I just got off the phone with Hertz and they say from June to August, they think, the Warnemunde office may be open to serve the cruise ships. They will try to contact that office to see if they might be open in May when we go.
I considered the ships' tour of Berlin but you spend several hours each way on the train and we'd like to see something of the historic and romantic Germany I remember from my childhood.