Embarkation in Dover. Quick and fairly simple - mainly because we were fast tracked. Suite ready almost as soon as we boarded. This was after running the gauntlet of the girls dressed in huge pink feathers and the inevitable photographer. When will they learn that you are not looking your best at this point. Tell them you are in the ‘Witness Protection Scheme’ it will go over their heads but what the hell.
We had a wet room because it was a disabled cabin. This was good plenty of pressure and nice clean shower curtains.
One grievance every other cabin seemed to have four wardrobes we had only ONE and only half of that was hanging space. Only one of us was disabled when we arrived but after scrambling about under the bed to get things out of suitcases I think I might qualify too.
Come on Holland America just because you are disabled does not mean that you don’t have clothes. Had to resort to hanging formal wear on the hooks designed for the dressing gowns.
Cabin Stewards were excellent. Clean towels twice a day and plenty of them. Asked for extra pillows and they were delivered speedily.
I won’t list the restaurants and bars because they have already been reviewed several times. Except to say that the food in the main restaurant was excellent at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Beautifully presented, hot and served with a smile.
Try the cold soups at lunch and dinner. Weird but very very nice.
The entertainment was varied. The guy in the Crow’s Nest plays the guitar and sings. He sounds just like Neil Diamond and this was before consuming several cocktails. Well worth several visits
The String Quartet are excellent and one night they play in the small theatre so you can listen without the chatter in the bar where they usually play.
The Piano Bar is fun, themed and full
Drinks are on the expensive side but there are Happy Hours which means if you buy one cocktail at $5.95 you can order the second for $1.00 - So you have to drink in multiples of two. Hey its dirty work but someone has to do it.
Trips have been reviewed before but treat yourself and book a local company in Russia called T. J. Tours. There were four of us a driver and a guide. I can’t praise them enough they were more than excellent. We cleared customs and they were there waiting for us no problems at all
Don’t worry about Russian customs they are just like customs anywhere. In fact they were even nice to the old couple in front of us who could not find their passports or paperwork. Don’t let the ship tell you anything else
Disembarkation in Dover is something else. Going you get the up to date clean terminal. Leaving it is a hanger that looks like something out of a world war 2 film. On the up side the porters are terrific and if you need it there are people there to help and it is fairly efficient.