Had the trip of a lifetime on Blackwatch to St. Petersburg, fantastic holiday.
I am a great believer in a holiday is what you make of it and I am staggered to see some of the reviews which are so negative. Especially a reviewer who mentions the price paid for their cruise, which is barely more than it would cost to feed yourself at home for 12 days, but they seemed to expect The Ritz Hotel, obviously looking to reclaim every penny of the fare by wishing to eat 24 hours a day.
Embarkation at Dover - smooth, did not wait long at all. I found the ship to be spotlessly clean and the Blackwatch exactly the way I wanted it to be. It looked like a ship rather than a floating slice of Las Vegas. Lovely wood panelling and portholes -cant wait to book again for next year. Only minus point in the whole trip was I found the library roasting hot, despite wearing only a thin blouse.
I found the food very good and the staff endlessly cheerful and good fun. My cabin was unobtrusively looked after and the information in the Daily Newspaper concise with the Captains Reports keeping us up to date with everything sea-wise.
Found the guest speakers interesting, especially one gentleman who gave us a great talk on forensics. Cabaret is not really my thing, so I only went to one show. This was the one the crew gave and it was brilliant - all the better knowing this is not their day job so to speak.
Fellow passengers - I am no spring chicken myself (51) and yes a lot of the passengers were elderly. However, I found them excellent company, most extensively travelled and very well educated, good fun and generally first off the boat when in port with a great spirit of adventure putting me to shame when it came to energy levels.
Copenhagen was good and very pretty at this time of year - Estonia wonderful, St. Petersburg, staggeringly beautiful and empty as it was winter - a real plus point. Berlin was a slight disappointment but I think that was only because St. Petersburg knocked my socks off.
Disembarkation - great once your floor called, off the ship in minutes with luggage all safely waiting.
Because we had some rough weather Helsinki was missed, but it was Nov/Dec in the Baltics and we could hardly expect 80 degrees and smooth sailing. The weather delayed us considerably and I had to travel to the far north of Scotland, but I went on the internet in Hamburg and got the sleeper bus for £40.00 practically to my doorstep.
Having the extra day and a half on the boat was great, I did not want this holiday to end. Superb!