When we first booked this cruise it was with some trepidation having read previous reviews, however we thought the discounted price was reasonable (Â£795 per person) so we took the plunge, we did find out that some Dutch people we met booked for significantly less and also had a 300 Euro spending allowance on board. On the whole the ship was absolutely fine with the exception of the breakfast and buffet area where the food was abysmal along with poor service. It was plainly clear that this was a problem area as the buffet restaurant is far too small for the number of passengers using it and appeared to cater mainly for the German passengers of which there were many as the cruise started in Hamburg, generally however the food was absolutely fine in the main restaurants.
We had an inside cabin on deck 9 and was pleasantly surprised at the size and layout, perhaps the mid to rear of the ship would be a preferred cabin location.
Be aware of the cost of drinks (a small glass of beer 5.64 euros), coffee and service charges which amounted to 6 euros per day per person ie 10 days amounted to 120 euros also all drinks incur a 15% service charge, we wanted to enjoy our cruise but felt the on board prices to be excessive and whilst we didn't go without we were somewhat careful even so our bill was some 600 euros
STOCKHOLM The City is close to the port we took the Hop on bus immediately next to the Ship for 10 euros and enjoyed a water boat tour which took in most of Stockholm and a great way of seeing the major sites
TALINN for 15 euros get a taxi to the town centre and enjoy a lovely medieval walled city
St PETERSBURG Due the cost and difficulties in getting a visa we took the City and Hermitage tour and Canal tour which where both excellent.
COPENHAGEN Again you can walk in to Copenhagen Centre from the ship, we caught the water hop on boat a the Little Mermaid which was only a five minute walk from the ship and again a great way of seeing the City. We did hear there were problems with the hop on bus immediately by the ship.
PLUS POINTS a great itinerary visiting interesting places of which St Petersburg and Copenhagen were our favourites. The ship was better than we expected, not luxury but acceptable.
MINUS POINTS we boarded at Ijmuiden an obscure port some way from Amsterdam, the cost for a taxi from the airport was 80 euros the alternative was to catch 2 trains. The quality of food in the buffet was very poor for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea was the worst I have experienced on any cruise I have taken. The cost of coffee, drinks etc was excessive we compromised by having wine with our evening meal, also compulsory service charges.
Generally we had a pleasant experience and would recommend the cruise if only for the places we visited