Good news everyone! Finally I received the message everyone waits for with baited breath, the passport request aka COPR!
According to MyImmitracker, 112 days was all it took! Also no email, just the vague, “you have a message in your CIC account” which then linked to a PDF with the passport request. Chose to use VFS in Dortmund, as we were not sure regarding couriers picking up the passports. All in all, a very quick process, even though we messed up and sent the wrong photos, so keep in mind the correct size as well as the details that have to be on the back of them! (photo specifications)
Passports and COPR papers were back in under two weeks even with the photo issue, and since I have my African heritage to thank, a visa counterfoil stuck into my passport, the German did not need one. Next up is to finish the guide, since the last steps of the process is error prone and I finally understand all the changes in the Express Entry profile on MyCIC.
Also next up is the recon trip we need to take in order to land and activate PR, get SIN numbers and open up bank accounts, at least we have time until April 2018, but time flies so there is a lot to do still. Fingers crossed this will also help the job hunting, also have been checking out the pre-arrival services offered by the Canadian government, some of them are a bit pointless.