My husband and I were looking forward to our Baltic cruise with new destinations for us as well as the royal, new Queen Elizabeth. It was no where near our expectations.
First of all, after we entered our first port of Hamburg, there was a sewer gas smell that permeated the ship, especially mid ship. This odor seemed to come and go periodically and was even noticed on the third floor of the theater. It was present at different times, not necessarily only at port. Then, when we smelled cigarette smoke in the hallways of the cabins, we were disappointed to learn that nothing was being done to passengers who ignored the smoking rules that were established. None of the ship's crew was evidently able to enforce the no smoking rules except in designated areas on deck the ship.
I was unpleasantly surprised to find a dead insect in my salad, although my table mate found a live one in her salad that crawled away before table staff could take it back to the kitchen. We decided her salad was fresher since her insect was still alive. However, worse than the insect was the metal bolt (about an inch long) that was in my scone. I was lucky not to break a tooth on that one.
We were very concerned at Hamburg when we were requested to surrender our American passport to German officials. The Purser's office told us we would have our passports back so we could go ashore. Then we were told we could go ashore without them. There seemed to be a real lack of communication and we felt we were being lied to, quite frankly. We weren't certain if the problem was from the German or Cunard side, but the end result was we didn't leave the ship.
The destination cities were quite beautiful and the individual tours were lovely. However, it was tiring to have four ports of call in four days, back to back. And, it was also disappointing that St. Petersburg was relegated to one day, rather than the previously published two days. Substituting two days of Hamburg rather than two days of St. Petersburg wasn't a good bargain.
Given a choice, we'd do the Baltic cruise on a different cruise line.