We arrived into Stockholm a day before as this long of travel from the States necessitates at least a day to unwind!
EMBARKAtion: About 30 minutes; although we arrived at "peak" boarding time. Not bad for a 1000+ passenger ship.
ROOM: Our vista suite was at front of ship and was exceptionally well- appointed, laid out brilliantly with large master, large living room, exercise room, two (2) outstanding full bathrooms, large walk-in closet, and then a massive deck with hot tub with 2 chaise lounge chairs, table/4 chairs, and 2 easy chairs with end tables. Every room (aside from closet and bathroom) had televisions! Butler was fantatic.....better than most of the other butlers I've had. Plus there was a great sound system in room......we stay in our room quite a bit, so we literally loved our suite! It was absolutely perfect for us!
FOOD: Some of the very best food I've had on cruise ship! From appetizers, to entrees, to dessert----all were exceptional. Usually a ship focuses on either desserts or entree selections or buffet line; but, this ship had outstanding food in each and every facility! We ate several times in the Red Ginger because my husband loves sashimi; but, my group's all-time favorite was probably the specialty italian restaurant on board. The food there, although it be rich, was exquisitely prepared and presented.
HEALTH CLUB: All new equipment and very upper-crust facility. I didn't use any of the "spa services" on this trip because we were in port each day; but, it looked wonderful and was busier than I had imagined with such a vigorous schedule on board.
SERVICE: As I mentioned earlier, the service was impeccable. The butler we had was one of the best on all of our 19+ cruises. The stewards did an outstanding job as well---they attended to our room several times a day and ensured our ice bucket never went empty.
GENERAL: The security, entertainment, programs were all above average. My favorite thing to do was attend the martini classes. My favorite bartender was Rackman---he ensured I knew my drinks and kept up with our group on making various types of cocktails! The ship was well-laid out and decorated and definitely appealed to an upper-end following. I loved the fact there was NO formal evenings.....when you travel, it is so difficult to pack those extra bulky outfits. Go to your formal gatherings at home....cruising if for sitting back and enjoying yourself while being pampered!
Tips: I would recommend the trip to Baltic for those who want to get away from the heat of summertime in the USA! It was so nice and cool and you were at a different port each and every day (aside from Russia). It is not a big "party" ship and this particular cruise was geared more so to couples in their 50's to 70's. Although I did see a few children ---perhaps 8-9 on entire boat. I'm used to a busy lifestyle at home and it was nice to slow the pace up a little. I thoroughly enjoyed the Marina and will focus my attentions on traveling with Oceania on all special future cruises!
NEGATIVES: Perhaps only that it was a bit too cool/windy to truly utilize our massive deck on front; it would have been perfect sailing the Mediterranean.