We went on the Baltic capitals cruise and had read lots of the negative reviews but it was cheap and convenient so we were keen to give it a go. This was 5th cruise line we had tried so we wanted to make our own opinions.
We had an easy embarkation (excluding Dartford tunnel journey to Tilbury) and loved the relaxed atmosphere onboard . Staff are fabulous Cabin was as expected very nice and we were very pleased all round and were thinking this is a cruise line we would use often again. Prices were cheaper than most and food was good enough and generally impressed. The ship is not the flashy type but it felt like it was grand from another era. First few ports were good Copenhagen Warnemunde the fabulous St Petersburg and Helsinki but then the big storm St Jude hit.
We were unable to dock at Nynasham for Stockholm and there had been a collision blocking the Kiel canal so we were unable to use that route home. We were warned via the captain that things would become uncomfortable but we were totally unprepared to the absolutely terrifying night ahead. I enquired at reception at about midnight whether this was the level of storm expected or would it get worse because I didn't think it too bad and would not need seasick pills at that time. He said we do not know an hour later I was the most scared I have ever been and had to hold on to the chest of drawers to stay in bed. All of the drawers were sliding open there were terrible crashes and bangs and although we were on the 5th deck and in calm times about 3 decks above sea level the waves were coming up to our port hole. Now this would be awful to be caught out in but our captain chose to leave port and go out in that storm. It showed total disregard for both our safety and his crew and whilst he may have been confident in the safety of the ship travelling through those seas it only needed an additional problem like hitting debris or another vessel, a fire, engine failure or something else and we would all have perished. There would have been no helicopter evacuation or RNLI .There was no way of getting lifeboats off or even being out on decks. We heard the next day a lifeboat became loose in the storm but they were unable to reattach until next day due to conditions. In Denmark 120 mph winds (highest ever) were recorded and we were just off Denmark! If the captain had announced the next day that he was sorry that conditions were worse than expected even if not true we would have been happier but we felt it was foolhardy to choose to travel on those seas and it felt to me like my life was less important to CMV than getting back to Tilbury on time presumably for financial reasons.
Incidentally we were offered 10% off our next onboard bill and 50% off our next cruise if we booked by 31st October but the 50% off part would be available to all in the November sale anyway so we were just offered it a day early. Really disappointed when we thought we had found a treasure that really suited us but the companies priorities were reckless. I was aware that it was October and could be stormy but I stupidly trusted the company not to put me in fear for my life. I was wrong to place that trust. Difficult to place overall rating stars because the actual cruise was above average but for this policy when the storm hit.