My family and I cruised for the first time ever in June. We were nervous that cruising wouldn't be for us but we absolutely loved it!
We arrived in Copenhagen a few days prior to embarkation which I would highly recommend. Copenhagen is a beautiful city and very easy to get around. It was also helpful to adjust to the time change before beginning the cruise. The embarkation process went extremely smoothly and there was barely a wait to board the ship.
The ports of call were phenomenal! We opted to stay in Warnemunde and Rostock rather than go to Berlin and thoroughly enjoyed both small cities. My favorite stop was Stockholm but I wished we had more time there. Traveling through the archipelago was stunning! For travelers going to St. Petersburg for the firs time, be aware that the ship excursion desk if very serious when it warns about long wait times. Disembarkation in Russia was lengthy because of passport control and the museums and sights were very crowded. Be prepared to be patient.
We loved the ship itself. It never felt crowded and there were always public places to escape for serenity. We enjoyed the shows, especially the aerialists and Elements on the last night.
As for the food, we were told by friends to avoid the buffet and eat in the main dining rooms. The Versailles room was our favorite and we enjoyed the variety, presentation and flavors of our meals. The staff were amazingly attentive and accommodating. We never waited for a table either and usually were seated near the aft windows. We did eat at the buffet out of necessity once and it was just OK. We found that between Versailles, Aqua and Blue Lagoon that it was fairly easy to avoid the buffet and have a nice, sit down meal or snack.
Service on the ship was wonderful all around. We will definitely do another cruise with NCL!
We loved Copenhagen! We spent three days there - 2 before, and one after the cruise and adored every minute. It's a foodies paradise and we had wonderful meals everywhere we went. Nyhavn is not to be missed and worth braving the crowds. We thoroughly enjoyed our meals at M&H and Geranium and would recommend both restaurants enthusiastically.
We met friends in Helsinki for the day and had a great time. I would highly recommend visiting Suomelinna island.
We opted to stay in Warnemunde and Rostock instead of taking the ship's excursion to Berlin. Rostock was a big surprise as we had low expectations but the architecture and sights were beautiful. The astronomical clock is not to be missed. Warnemunde had the feel of a seaside resort town with lots of restaurants and shops. The beach was beautiful but too cold to swim while we were there.
We loved Tallinn. It was easy to explore on our own, close to port and really like taking a step back in time. It was clear to see why the entire medieval part of the city is a UNESCO site.