Cruise Review by Mandy Guthrie: Baltic Treasures
Leaving Leith on a beautiful evening we set sail for Copenhagen. The weather turned, notorious for the North Sea, and we hit a force 8-9 gale! Many passengers were unwell, but we staggered around the ship. Quite good fun really, but there again I love sailing! At first we compared the Ocean Countess to our first cruise, but soon settled into the friendly atmosphere of a much smaller ship.
The staff were terrific nothing was too much trouble and always a friendly face. Cleanliness was paramount, with regular hand sanitization stations around the ship to be used every time before entering the dining room or boarding the ship after a visit ashore.
The cabins were good with plenty of storage space. The ensuite was small but adequate. It was cleaned every day. Clean towels twice a day if necessary, beds turned down every evening, bottled water provided(extra cost)
Meal times were super efficient with the maitre d and assistant always in attendance supervising in More the restaurant. A lot of pork but all meals were good and always alternative choices available. An extensive wine list also available with very knowledgeable wine staff.
There was also The Boathouse for a buffet if you fancied something a little more casual.
Entertainment was exceptional and we enjoyed all the variety of shows every evening. There were also photographers on board who captured your memory in a professional manner all available for viewing in the gallery!
Tours were organised for those who wanted or you could be independent. Although St Petersburg is highly recommended to accompany the ship's tour due to visas etc.
We felt that more could be done to help individuals who were 'going it alone in other ports, i.e maps, taxi (or at least a phone number) or bus timetable.I strongly recommend booking all the tours you want prior to embarkation because they fill up fast.
We didn't call at Oslo due to the problems at that time and due to the weather we were 3 days at sea to reach Helsinki! Many people suffered cabin fever! Helsinki-lovely we took open top bus so toured the city as much as possible as we did in the other ports.
St Petersburg was something else and you have to go to appreciate the vastness of it. We went on a tour the first day around the city then to a folk show in the evening which was fantastic and the next day a tour to St Catherine's Palace, just amazing.
Tallinn was a wash out, didn't see anything due to the rain and the tour guide was awful.
Stockholm was my favourite! Beautiful city I would love to live there.
Copenhagen was dirtier than I remember 32 years ago but enjoyed it all the same.
The North Sea on the return journey was like a mill pond! Beautiful sunsets and seagulls so far away from land.
Didn't like the final bill just put under the cabin door without an envelope. Other final accounts from other cabins were visible. Less
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