We are frequent cruisers, probably nearly 100. We were excited about seeing the Northern Lights and know that there is no guarantee. What we did not expect was the poor quality of entertainment, total lack of communication and regard for passengers and overall scabby service by most of the seniour staff.
We stayed in cabin 527, and our Ukrainian cabin stewardess was fine. She was friendly, pleasant and worked hard to service 19 cabins twice a day. (among the most cabins we have heard being assigned to one person).
Ditto for the wait staff. Despite limited English, the staff in the Waldorf was fine. For the most part, the food was acceptable. We actually liked the smaller portions. It is overwhelming to get course after course of mediocre food in large portions on many of the other ships. We sat at table 37, and it was pretty obvious that is where the waves came thru and killed the passenger the previous month. It was covered by a metal sheet, and several got covered during our cruise.
Entertainment was poor, and the cruise director totally worthless. He showed up infrequently to introduce a guest entertainer, and seldom seen again. He would never make it on any of the other cruise lines. Richard seemed to turn over most duties, announcements to Julie, who was in the excursion department.
Ditto for the mostly absent captain. we missed Sortland to "avoid" rough weather. So instead of being docked for 10 hours of the time, we spent 2 solid days in gale force 8 winds. Virtually everyone on the ship, crew included, were violently ill. We heard that 25 passengers out of 700 made it to breakfast one day. Never any announcements, updates from the Captain or worthless cruise director or other seniour staff. We heard that the head of the dining room wouldn't let anyone take food back to their room for someone who could not make it to the dining room. The buffet was frequently closed for rough weather. In fact the second day I was sitting in a chair in the bistro and a wave violently hit the ship, and my chair toppled to the floor. One staff member came over, took my cabin number and never bothered to even check on me later. Totally forgotten about. Only had a huge bruise on my left thigh, but it would have been nice to show some concern, even faked for passengers. The cruise was probably 90% elderly, and they also loved to closed the lifts with little notice. People in motourized scooters and canes, and with only a few moments notice it was difficult for them. Room service was an extra charge, which was limiting to those unable to leave their cabins during turbulent weather.
Boarding was fine, but disembarking was awful. Kicked out of the the cabin by 0700, and we did not get off this ship til 1030. You are herded into various lounges to sit, again with little to no information from the so called seniour staff.
The man and lady who frequently worked the info desk appeared to be more into each other than helping anyone.
Took Marco Polo twice to Antarctica, where it wound up hitting an underwater mountain and ripping a huge gash into the side of the ship. Think we are done with this ship, But mainly the attitudes and uncaring staff was enough for us.