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671 Amsterdam to Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews

Due to poor weather we missed four ports. I have to believe that HAL knew the weather would be difficult for tender ports before we left Amsterdam yet kept us guessing. Being that we had more overnights in a port because we could not go ... Read More
Due to poor weather we missed four ports. I have to believe that HAL knew the weather would be difficult for tender ports before we left Amsterdam yet kept us guessing. Being that we had more overnights in a port because we could not go to the next port, they did not plan things to do on the ship assuming all would get off the ship. That did not happen and you had many bored people. The only time they did plan was the last sea day which was supposed to be a tender port. Along with that many many people were sick and there was so much coughing and sneezing on the ship and on the bus tours. I also was sick and by the end of the cruise after talking to many passengers found that about 1/4 of the ship was sick. After traveling with HAL for many cruises this was my first experience with this kind of sickness, I have experienced the stomach problems but not this. The whole experience was sad as after you plan for a great experience you come home so disappointed and still sick. Since home have gone to the doctor and on antibiotics. I stgill wonder is many of the crew were sick and they still make them work or something is wrong on the ship. My worst experience on any of the 25 cruises I have been on. Have to say service was great Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Strongest recommendation to future cruisers: book the Rotterdam IMMEDIATELY if you’re looking for: —LOUSY FOOD (except for the specialty dining rooms, which HAL surely is up-selling by downgrading everything and everywhere else). ... Read More
Strongest recommendation to future cruisers: book the Rotterdam IMMEDIATELY if you’re looking for: —LOUSY FOOD (except for the specialty dining rooms, which HAL surely is up-selling by downgrading everything and everywhere else). Dining room flavorless food is suited to senior living; much-touted “Dive-In” burgers are dry and flavorless. —CREAKY SHIP which, in our case, included: 1) stinky sewage seeping into our suite from an adjoining pipe closet 2) leaking pipes above our verandah 3) a fire that resulted in an all-ship alarm awakening us in the middle of the night (reportedly TWO fires in the two weeks immediately preceding our trip.) LOW-BROW SERVICE from a Neptune Suite concierge, a benefit for which we paid handsomely after enjoying excellent service on a prior HAL voyage. For $16K, she: refused to reverse bar charges for a rum-and-coke that was delivered as a gin-and-coke or an honor bar soda that wasn’t drunk; “apologized” for raw sewage in our suite with a cheap bottle of wine and a short, typed apology; and, assured us we would LOVE the next port of call literally moments before we learned that the port would be skipped due to bad weather. All that, for $16K. Speaking of bad weather, I am not blaming HAL for skipping five ports and replacing them with two alternative stops and three addl nights at sea or in port. Safety, as the captain told us, is #1. On the other hand, going the extra mile to meet his passenger’s needs is, for the Rotterdam’s captain, priority #23. Addressing passenger‘s concerns about skipped ports of call and potential financial losses for missing independent tour arrangements, his advice? “You can buy one of our ship WiFi plans.” As if offering complimentary WiFi for a few hours would ruin his bottom line. Speaking of bottom lines, here’s mine: The Rotterdam is doddering. Its service philosophy (excluding the loyal stewards and dining staff who are doing their best) is subpar. (But the America’s Test Kitchen live shows are phenomenal. Those ought to be offered every day.) Something is rotten on the Rotterdam. And until someone does something about it, it’s Bon Voyage, Holland America! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Truly enjoyed seeing the Fjords of Norway and starting/ending at Amsterdam. I needed time connecting with nature and this cruise provided many opportunities to do that. 95% of staff was awesome, and I think that is all one can reasonably ... Read More
Truly enjoyed seeing the Fjords of Norway and starting/ending at Amsterdam. I needed time connecting with nature and this cruise provided many opportunities to do that. 95% of staff was awesome, and I think that is all one can reasonably ask because there is no such thing as perfection. Beautuful ship; love the art theme. Musical and dance entertainment was outstanding. I am in awe of the Lincoln Center stage performers and the amazing creativity of the dance performances. Many fun nights dancing ourselves at BB King venue and what talent in the dual piano bar, being able to play such a huge repertoire upon request, no time to practice ahead. We fell in love with the Dutch Cafe and their amazing hard working staff and yummy food offerings. Nearly all the food we had was wonderful. Most service in the dining room was great, but when one chooses open seating over a set time, as we did for this cruise, its never going to be as good as when you have the same waiters every night and develop a relationship with them, so I attribute the couple nights it wasn't great to that. My only complaint about food is the gigantic trays used for room service. They will barely fit through the door and are heavy and take up massive space in an already cramped cabin. They need to have two sizes. The big ones for multiple meals and half size for small orders. I felt sorry for the room service staff, and us, when we had to manever them. We did not use the Holland America shore excursions due to their price so my average rating on that is just because there is no "not applicable" button. Was disappointed that nearly all the guided excercise activities cost extra. Never have experienced that before on the cruises I have done with Celebrity, Carnival & Royal Carribean. I will do pilates because its good for me, but I'm not paying $20 to put myself through that misery. :) No worries; I got my excercise hiking in the Norwegian countryside and dancing to the BB King All Stars. So all in all a great cruise and Holland America did a nice job. If I'm ever traveling with two or three friends again, I will choose a different cruise line if at all possible due to their cabin design. However if I had been sharing a room with just one other person I would have given this cruise five stars! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Holland America needs to do some serious updating to this ship. During the first half....the Baltic portion, there were 2 fires on the ship while we were at sea. The first one was a fire in the 4th deck galley and the 2nd one was an ... Read More
Holland America needs to do some serious updating to this ship. During the first half....the Baltic portion, there were 2 fires on the ship while we were at sea. The first one was a fire in the 4th deck galley and the 2nd one was an electrical fire in one of the common area bathrooms. Quite scary and disconcerting. We only did 1 ship excursion on this portion, which turned out to be a disaster. The bus we were on to go to Berlin broke down about 30 minutes after our 7 am departure. We didn't get back to the ship until 11 pm. Long day. To make a long story short....there were a series of other things that happened while waiting for transportation to Berlin. Holland America thought a good compensation was to not just drive by some of the major points of interest, but to stop and let us get out. They also thought that a less than par boxed lunch at 2:30 was compensation for the failed trip. NOT! As it was, the excursion we originally signed up for supposedly didn't get enough people so for $50 more pp we could go on this "ill fated" one. During the second half of the trip...the British and Irish Isles...we spent the entire time running from weather and trying to find a "safe port" to go to. Days for ports were changed, 5 ports (tender) were missed and replaced with 2 ports Torquay, England and Cobh, Ireland....nothing special. We missed Holyhead and Fishguard, Wales. Plymouth, Ilfracome, and St. Peter Port, England. It was kind of a catch 22 as our captain was cautious, but in some ways seemed extremely/overly cautious, but overall glad we finally made it back to Amsterdam safely. Since we didn't know most of the time which ports we were going to, where we weren't going and ports changed almost daily, everyone started calling it the "mystery" cruise. And before anyone says anything....yes, I had read other reviews about travel during this time to these areas, but honestly didn't think it would be as bad as it was. We also had 2 more electrical fires during this portion. One on the opposite side of our deck (glassware steamer/cleaner) and the other during the middle of the night (laundry room). Thankfully (?) they were both while we were in port and not in the middle of the ocean. Overall the food and entertainment were great. Our room steward was good also. I would NOT recommend going on this ship until it gets some much needed updating (1997 the age) and would NOT recommend doing a cruise to the Baltic's/British, Irish Isles during September and October. We pretty much had rain and cold weather (pea sized hail) in Copenhagen the entire trip....so much so that when the sun would peak out or we had a rare day of sunshine while we were in port....we were all so pleasantly surprised! Overall there seemed to be quite a bit of confusion and uncertainty about ports, how long we would be in a port, show changes and time changes for the shows during the second half. The above is just a "brief" summary of this 28 day cruise...trust me....there's more! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was a trip to a bucket list area of the world, and the Nieuw Statendam did not disappoint. The staff were courteous, friendly and obliging (thank you Iman and Izee and others in the main dining room, and stewards Petrus and Joko ... Read More
This was a trip to a bucket list area of the world, and the Nieuw Statendam did not disappoint. The staff were courteous, friendly and obliging (thank you Iman and Izee and others in the main dining room, and stewards Petrus and Joko who made everything work so smoothly for us and for whom nothing was ever too much trouble). I'll not repeat here the many positive comments made by other reviewers, save to say that I am in agreement with most of them. The food was excellent with sufficient variety, and the public areas were amazing. The only thing I would add some constructive criticism about is the level of on board entertainment provided. The musicians were talented, and from what I observed there was a "BB King" group, a classical music group, a rock and roll music group and a couple of pianists who played and sang together. There was also a small support orchestra for the theatre acts. I don't go to theatre performances at home, and avoid them on TV, so I am not in a position to offer any critique. The dancers could have included Michael Flatley and I still wouldn't have bothered attending. Chacun a son gout, but at least they were not the same entertainers every night. The other venues were a different story. Same players, same venue, same music style, same time, Every night, The day time daily activity program needn't have been published. It was invariably a rehash of the day before, and a copy could just as conveniently have been permanently affixed in each cabin. And some (most) of the "activities" being advertised? Friends of Bill W meet. Evening Mass (each evening). Mahjong players meet. Ping Pong players meet. Basketball players meet. Shuffleboard players meet. Bridge players meet. Pickleball players meet (yes, really). Shops are open with amazing deals (yeah right, I cruise to shop). There must have been a lot of deeply religious, card and board game playing sports fanatics on this cruise, although funnily enough I never came across any actual tournaments being conducted. Trivia was also there, And, apart from the bars, (and perhaps the casino for those so inclined) you would be hard pressed to find any other activity with general appeal. Seriously,I appreciate the age demographic of the HAL pool, and the fact that there were few sea days on this particular cruise, but I did expect a little more creativity. The ports of call were wonderful. If the ship excursions on offer matched those I privately arranged (and I believe they did) they would have been very much enjoyed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This cruise does the Baltics which was what we wanted to see. Busy cruise with few sea days but the ports were amazing. This ship is just beautiful. We were on Nieuw Amsterdam when it first came out and it was OK but this is decorated ... Read More
This cruise does the Baltics which was what we wanted to see. Busy cruise with few sea days but the ports were amazing. This ship is just beautiful. We were on Nieuw Amsterdam when it first came out and it was OK but this is decorated just lovely. The art work, the Central area, the Dining room, the Word Stage was awesome!! The rooms were really well thought out with all of extra spaces for storage. The bathrooms finally have a real shower will glass and that sure beats the shower curtains of days gone by. I would give this ship a review of 5 but for: the entertainment on the World Stage could have been a lot better. In ports of Berlin and St Petersburg they did not even have any entertainment or bring on anything local. They do have 3 other music venues, one Blues, one dueling Pianos and one Rock that are on nightly. The Lido buffet had very good food that they serve you. The dining room had lobster one evening in 2 weeks. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Very bad! The food terrible. In the Lido, old salade cheese! All restaurants fish have no any taste (Have been Frosen) The Pinnacle only the Sirloin is very good the rest...forget it! The Music, a little better than amateurs. ... Read More
Very bad! The food terrible. In the Lido, old salade cheese! All restaurants fish have no any taste (Have been Frosen) The Pinnacle only the Sirloin is very good the rest...forget it! The Music, a little better than amateurs. You must pay for everything on this boat! The Crew is also not the best..and lazy.. The Tamarind is ok, but!! The special Rice Table is absolute not go for the money! Tee Fish restaurant no taste at al..(becourse frozen fish came on board) The Manager for the restaurants..and entertainment change this men now! The band was hearing very loud in my cabin! I give my wife this trip to st. Petersburg. The Excusrsion's hurry hurry hurry! with a smal phone in the ear...follow me please?? We cry, after this experience. Better go with a plane and enjoy everything. In the Hermitage no time to see and enjoy a good piece! A poor Experience. Never with HAL again Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Pick this cruise based on its Baltic itinerary, which was all that was expected.. Plus * Music offerings both in variety and quality was great * Food was good both in dinning and buffet( had very good variety) * Staff was very ... Read More
Pick this cruise based on its Baltic itinerary, which was all that was expected.. Plus * Music offerings both in variety and quality was great * Food was good both in dinning and buffet( had very good variety) * Staff was very friendly * Excursion personnel were helpful * Had a wide variety of things to do on the ship from Microsoft training to art and alcohol informational sessions * Was compensated for the negative cabin experiences, but could have been better, i.e. they provided free dinner at premium restaurants, but made use pay for our individual (1 each) pop/drinks Minus * Cabin was underneath pool area and it was miserable, ship crew rearranging chairs and washing area, late night and early mornings * Movie's volume in pool area was so loud, could hear it in my cabin one floor down * To get answers from service desk staff had to ask 2 or 3 different persons to get an accurate answer * Pop/soda cards was for bar pop only, can of pop cost more and charged to room * Had frustrating experience playing Texas Holdem in Casino..in short was winning!, then dealer got full house, I got four of a kind, winner again..dealer called pit-boss over, they both looked at each other for a several seconds .. pit-boss said count the cards..then he said replace the deck... All of this was to affect the flow of the game and re-establish the casino's odds of winning..bad gaming sportsmanship... Again protecting the ship's profits.. I walked away.. General Observations * Ship is new and understated, wonder what it will look like/hold up in the future * Ship was overall the nosiest ship I have been on * It felt like the ship and personnel where there/measured to make a profit Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
It was a family reunion. Nine of us sailed with N.S. on my strong recommendation. I had good experience with Massdam years back. This time nine of us were so disappointed. And I was the only one to be blamed to take this ship. I was ... Read More
It was a family reunion. Nine of us sailed with N.S. on my strong recommendation. I had good experience with Massdam years back. This time nine of us were so disappointed. And I was the only one to be blamed to take this ship. I was not happy for the entire cruise holiday and now. My brother-in-law said he would not come back to this ship even it is free. 1) Lido Buffet - there was ALWAYS long line-up for food as most of the time there was only ONE server. Those servers only put a little food on the plate and thus made guests to line up again for food. We ate the same type of food for 15 days - just BORING. I remember vividly that one time I sailed with another cruise line on Asia route, the day I was in Thailand I had Thai food, while I was in Vietnam I had Vietnamese food. 2) Entertainment - very weak casts and artist/s usually repeated in two nights in such a tiny stage of the WORLD THEATRE. 3) Cruise Director - I have been cruising for 13 times. Justin had an easy job. He showed up at the WORLD THEATRE only on the 3rd night of the cruise. Through the 14-night cruise Justin only showed up for about 7 times. At one time he was watching the show with his friends and enjoying drinks. When the show was over Justin just left without going to the stage to greet the audience/guests informing what activities for the night, and for next day. I seldom saw him nor heard his announcements about activities on board. Guess he was paid very little, so he did just that little. 4) Sea Days - it was particular boring on sea days. I did not notice any activities on the pool side but only those seniors taking sun bathing. It was dead quiet. There were NO talks about history of the next ports. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this cruise for the itinerary which was excellent. Loyal Royal Caribbean diamond member. The cabin was as expected. Very clean. The bathroom sink had shallow cracks in it. The shower faucet had obviously been repaired but not ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary which was excellent. Loyal Royal Caribbean diamond member. The cabin was as expected. Very clean. The bathroom sink had shallow cracks in it. The shower faucet had obviously been repaired but not well. There was a sharp hole in the left side handle. On the right side we had to learn how to manipulate the handle to get enough hot water. They did send the plumber in good time to replace the side with the hole. Dining was disappointing in the main dining room for the evening meal.. Not a lot of variety and the food was not much better than a local restaurant. No lobster for a twelve day cruise. The Windjammer was pretty much the same. Breakfast in the dining room was the same every day. Nightly entertainment was excellent. One complaint - one night no entertainment at all. Casino very smokey. The waiters and room attendant were excellent. The ports and excursions were excellent. I feel that loyalty benefits are eroding. They are selling the key instead of treating loyal members who have spent a lot of money cruising with them to more benefits. I also think they are lowering quality in the dining room in the hopes of selling specialty dining. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise to see the Baltic Region (St. Petersburg, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Stockholm, etc.) and the Norwegian fjords - as well as to celebrate a birthday and our wedding anniversary. This was our third Holland America cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the Baltic Region (St. Petersburg, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Stockholm, etc.) and the Norwegian fjords - as well as to celebrate a birthday and our wedding anniversary. This was our third Holland America cruise since December 2018 and the second on the Nieuw Statendam. Overall we've had 16 extended length cruises in the past 8 years (5 Carnival, 2 Princess, 6 Celebrity and 3 Holland America). Celebrity and Holland are our current favorites. A few comments on our recent 21 day Norway and Baltic cruise on the Nieuw Statendam: The pre-cruise Movenpick Hotel suggested by Holland was a good choice - simple like most European hotels (3 Star at most), but very convenient. HA may want to offer something a little more upscale for those wishing something nicer. The ship continues to look great since our cruise last December and the crew do a very good job - Room Stewards, Main Dining Room, Lido and Crow's Nest. They all seem happy and eager to help in any way. The Captain is very personable and engaging. The passengers are another story. We met a few nice couples but most are rude, "pushy" and seem "entitled". I had hoped for a bit more refinement relative to a 24 day Mediterranean cruise we had on the Celebrity Eclipse last September (it was full of folks from New York City - but who were nowhere near as impolite). Not sure if it's the age group that HA attracts, the northern European culture or what. Simply "old and mean". The Signature Suite (SR 7100) was great. I think the design on other ships (without a Murphy bed) will be very nice (it's only two of us). The Pinnacle Grill is a disappointment. Poor service and poor food preparation (the Main Dining Room is much better on both). It seemed to be less than half full for dinner on each of the 21 days. Our "included" dinner was only available on the day of embarkation. We had hoped to save it for either our wedding anniversary or my birthday. We ultimately dined in Tamarind for the birthday - it was nice. The Pinnacle needs a rework. We enjoyed dinner in the Main Dining Room. Good food and very attentive and quick service. The Lido continues to be very hot when full of people (inadequate air conditioning) and the wash stations have exchanged the paper towels for something similar to Klennex. There are always gobs of it lying on the floor. Passengers become frustrated attempting to pull 2 or 3 sheets from the dispensers, which are routinely hanging out of the cabinets. One of the officers standing next to me agreed that it was poor. The silverware in the Lido is consistently dirty (large particles of food); the MDR has very clean place settings. The Hotel Director (large fellow who is very personable / friendly) always seems to be in the gym "pumping iron" or shaking hands. Maybe a little more quality control? The entertainment was disappointingly poor relative to the December 2018 sailing on the NS and the April 2019 sailing on the Koningsdam: Billboard 100 and BB King's were amateurish at best; Rolling Stone Rock Room was lame - a bunch of old fellows that can't play or sing. Lincoln Center was good. The World Stage is very uneven. Not sure why HA spent so much money on it - it is consistently under utilized. HA's "Speakeasy" performance had poor reviews from the fellow passengers. We finally attended half way through the cruise since we like performances, but left after 10 minutes. During the last 4 days of the 21 day cruise, dancers were brought on board to perform "Humanity" and "Stages". Nowhere near as good as on the other two sailings - watchable but uninspired - seemed like a last minute adjustment. We think these type of shows, and level of skill, are very good but need more). If you like performances on moderately sized bigger ships, probably better to stick with Celebrity The dis-embarkations for HA cruise tours were poorly managed. For St. Pete., we were assembled in the World Stage at 6:30 AM and 7:00 AM on the two days. We waited for 45 minutes both days before getting off the ship and then waited another 45 minutes outside the terminal for immigration. HA tried to blame it on the Russian officials. The same on the last day for disembarkation; many passengers were called to proceed to Deck (2 or 3) for offloading. We waited in a line that wrapped from the mid-ship to the rear elevators twice over and stood there for a very long time - with no movement. Because of the early assemblies and the age group, at least half the ship became quite sick. The coughing and sneezing was persistent everywhere. At one point it was so loud in the World Theater that the Excursion Guide halted his presentation for a bit. At no time did HA provide any guidance as to health measures or ask what seemed to be some very ill individuals to either remain in their cabin or seek medical attention. While we are quite athletic and healthy, we eventually became ill during the last few days from others coughing on us. Between cruises, we could not return to the same port in Amsterdam but instead docked in an industrial setting (Elbaweg 10). Bus service into the city was provided. However, upon returning we had to walk through a large dirty warehouse (chairs were set up for those joining the ship for the 14 day Baltic cruise). Very unsafe with fork lifts speeding past and behind passengers. I was nearly run over by a "smart aleck" driver even though I was in the outlined walking zone. He just laughed about it! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We sailed from Amsterdam to New York. The ship was great. It is small which I liked but it would have been nice to have more public space with more comfortable chairs. The remodel they did in June was lovely but more focused on design ... Read More
We sailed from Amsterdam to New York. The ship was great. It is small which I liked but it would have been nice to have more public space with more comfortable chairs. The remodel they did in June was lovely but more focused on design instead of comfort. Our room was lovely and was in a great location. I LOVED the walk-in closet and bathroom. Room Service food service was EXCELLENT...always on time or early! Our Room Stewards were very good. The dining room was lovely and food was very good. Our itinerary was very good and the captain and crew were focused on our safety by skipping one port to avoid a storm. Most of the entertainment was very good. Some of the singers were "weak" but they sure gave it a lot of effort. Cruise Director Ray was a real showman and a wonderful entertainer with a fabulous voice! Piano man, Clive, was delightful. He should have been in a bigger lounge though. Free access to the Internet was GREAT! The daily schedule of activities was a bit repetitive...same activities every day. And you better get to the games at least 15 min early or they won't let you play! The people who ran the games were the singers and dancers. Some were great but most didn't like running the games and it showed. Most of the shore excursions were very good but we did not like waiting in the lounge for the tour tickets. This could have been handled much better. The enrichment lecturers on arctic animals and the history of the North Atlantic were interesting but there were no programs about any of the port destinations. All port info was on the website and there was no one on the ship to ask questions about the ports. And there was no info on the website that free shuttles would be available in the ports. This was disappointing. Our flights that Regent booked for us to Amsterdam were great and on time but when we arrived in Amsterdam, no one from Regent was there to meet us. We only had 4 hours to get to the ship and this was very unsettling to have no one there to take care of us. The phone numbers I had on our documents to call were in Florida and Belgium! After 1 1/2 hours and the help of the Airport Information Desk, we finally got a Regent agent to come see us and they informed us we were not on their list. I had them check if we were on the ship and thankfully, they said yes, but we would have to pay to get to the ship. We booked our flights thru Regent so transfers were included but they said NO. They got us an Uber and charged $200 to our room. We got on the ship by 4pm which was a bit late, but we made it as the ship sailed at 5pm. After contacting our travel agent and complaining to Destinations team, we did get a refund but no apology from Regent for not meeting us. Then halfway thru the trip, Destinations sent us a form to fill out about our flights home and true to form, they told us we had no transfers....they had been cancelled 4 months BEFORE we booked the cruise! Wouldn't you think they would have re-checked this after we had a problem arriving? But no. So after contacting our travel agent again and complaining to the Cruise Consultant, we were informed the next day that we did have transfers and we finally got a lame apology for being left at the airport (only 2 weeks after the fact!). And if that wasn't enough, the Destinations manager told us to de-book a shore excursion that required a 15 min walk to the tour boat because my husband needed a little extra time to walk the distance. No accommodation from them at all. I told them we would just work it out. In Nova Scotia, I went and talked to the local tour people on the dock and they were very kind and helped my husband get an early start on the walk to the tour boat. Thank God for the friendly and welcoming Canadians! We enjoyed the boat tour a lot but met another lady who had the same experience as we did, and her husband didn't take the tour. She kept saying he would have really enjoyed it if only the Destinations dept was more accommodating and kind. By the way, we were surprised when people in wheel chairs and people with crutches were on our tour! When we got off the ship in New York, our assigned bus driver did not know which airlines were at which terminals at La Guardia. Regent agents had to be called to get the info. Then when we got to the airport (which was torn up under construction), the driver could not find the way to the terminal that the majority of the passengers needed. After two trips around the airport, a man got on and told us we would all have to get off and take a shuttle bus to our terminal and we would have to "lug" our luggage with us! Needless to say, no one was happy and some of the passengers vehemently told the driver to "Find our Terminal" or get us a taxi! A policeman finally came and directed the driver to our terminal. So as you can see, just about everything the Destinations team organized was a disaster for us! Because of all the trouble we had with the Destinations team, we did not book another cruise on Regent as we had planned to do during the voyage. Their rudeness and lack of customer service and lousy organization really turned us off. Also we felt that the ship's staff really catered to returning passengers and the 12 of us who were on Regent for the first time were not a priority. We did like the all inclusiveness of the cruise so we will look for another cruise line (maybe Viking), who will hopefully have a Destinations Team that will be more organized, accommodating and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this crew because of the itinerary and we wanted to try Holland America.. Embarkation (Amsterdam) was the best of any cruise we have been on (4 previous cruises). Disembarkation (also Amsterdam) was also the better than any of ... Read More
We chose this crew because of the itinerary and we wanted to try Holland America.. Embarkation (Amsterdam) was the best of any cruise we have been on (4 previous cruises). Disembarkation (also Amsterdam) was also the better than any of our previous cruises. Ship is big, new, and beautiful... Great layout and we never felt too crowded. Cabin was spacious with good amount of storage for suitcases and ample closet space. I would say dining was above average but we did not dine at any of the specialty restaurants. We "tried" to attend a few of the shows but never stayed for the duration they were just too boring. Service was outstanding throughout the ship for the duration. Ports were all good but we did not book any excursions through HAL as they were too expensive. We booked through a third party for much less and they were basically the same tours. Shops were somewhat limited but all the staff were friendly. Casino was sufficient (also a great staff) but I would have liked for them to have a Texas hold'em table. Overall a good cruise and we would probably give HAL another try possibly Antarctica. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As usual, Celebrity delivered excellent food and service on our recent Baltic cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and efficient. Our balcony cabin was larger on the Reflection than on past Celebrity ships. The layout was ... Read More
As usual, Celebrity delivered excellent food and service on our recent Baltic cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and efficient. Our balcony cabin was larger on the Reflection than on past Celebrity ships. The layout was great and the extra space was appreciated. The entertainment was good, but not spectacular. We have become comfortable with the fact that if you want big productions, try Celebrity's sister line - Royal Caribbean. Rob Lewis, a Phil Collins tribute act, was great. The service in the Opus restaurant was exceptional - as was the food. I can't imagine what our waiters and sommelier could have done any better. We did have dinner in the Tuscan Grille one evening and it was a disappointment. Three of us ordered steaks. Two were too rare and one was overdone. By the time we got one steak redone, everything was cold. We paid $45 each and wished we had eaten in the Opus dining room. The ship is fabulous. Although we were with 3,300 other guests, the ship never felt crowded. There are enough small areas (library, Hideaway, etc.) that we could always find some quiet places when we desired. We toured Berlin, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Stockholm with TJ Travel Tours. All were great experiences. Our guide in St. Petersburg was Natasha and she worked very hard for two 10-hour days. Her knowledge of Russian history was exceptional. She was old enough to have lived under Soviet rule, so she also had an interesting perspective on the czars, the Soviets and on life after the fall of the Soviet Union. We toured Copenhagen on a Celebrity tour, since TJ was not able to form a group there. The guide was knowledgeable and we got a good feel for the city. Overall, it was a great trip. We were extremely lucky with the weather. We traveled with a couple who had just gotten their first passports and this was their first cruise. We warned them that the Reflection experience will probably spoil them for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have just returned from 12 night Baltic Trip from Amsterdam and can honestly say we enjoyed every single moment.We normally sail with Celebrity and while there are some differences the customer service provided by each and every ... Read More
We have just returned from 12 night Baltic Trip from Amsterdam and can honestly say we enjoyed every single moment.We normally sail with Celebrity and while there are some differences the customer service provided by each and every person on this ship more than made up for it.The staff are outstanding in every area. The atmosphere on the ship they created as a consequence was tangible. We pre booked all our excursions with the ship...the 2 day trip in St.Petersburg is worth every penny and the city itself is stunning although I would caution that they are 2 long days from 7.00am to 5.00pm and 1.5 days might suit some people more. Skagen was a wonderful surprise as cruise books advise there is little there but it is in fact a beautiful stop over.Helsinki bike ride is excellent for cycle enthusiasts and there is a free shuttle which we were not told about at the port. Tallinn, Copenhagen and Stockholm are very manageable alone.In Stockholm we had the service of Alex , a local taxi man who dropped us at The Vasa and Abba museums, collected us for drop off at the old town and then brought us back to the ship.(mobile no.0046736422255).He charged €75 euros for our family of 4 adults for doing all of that.Not to be missed on the top deck is the 4 hour sail out from Stockholm. The scenery is stunning.The Baltic cities particularly Copenhagen are very expensive so we didn't but buy a lot. Tivoli gardens is worth the entrance cost though without the rides as the gardens are beautiful. We took the 3 day speciality dining package which was excellent value particularly as we did not have a drinks package and enjoyed 40% discount on all wine bought there without a limit on the bottle numbers purchased.We also bought drinks cards at day 7 for $75 dollars plus 18% service for 10 drinks.The drinks package at the outset is very expensive and the cruise is very full on so it is not worth the cost as you will not have time to consume the number of drinks required to even break even. The activities including Murder Mystery night are great fun.The shows are not as good as Celebrity due to the fact that this is a small older ship and probably doesn't attract the big names.They are however enjoyable particularly the guest appearances. This trip was excellent value for money and I will look at Royal Carribbean again. I am no longer a committed Celebrity cruise due to the outstanding service. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Retired active senior couple desires to leave sunny, humid Florida Summer for two weeks. Have sailed several times on Holland America. This ship and its sister ship Nieu Kolingdon (which we sailed on last December) are HAL newest. About ... Read More
Retired active senior couple desires to leave sunny, humid Florida Summer for two weeks. Have sailed several times on Holland America. This ship and its sister ship Nieu Kolingdon (which we sailed on last December) are HAL newest. About 2,600 passengers...larger than the rest of their fleet. The food, the service and the ships themselves are 5 star. The main shows in the evenings in the main large theater are soso which can be expected on a ship this size. This cruise was about 60% Scandinavian, 30% US/English and 10% Asian with not many children. Vista Suite (4110) was on deck 4 midship and was small but had great storage and a first class cabin attendant. We ate in 2 specialty restaurants ($35pp) (Pinnacle-steak and Calenture-Italian) and came to the conclusion that the food in the main dining room was as good if not better. The made to order pizza and ceasar salads in the New York Deli for lunch are terrific. The highlight for us were the daily classical concerts in the Lincoln Center which consisted of a talented ensemble of piano, cello, base and 2 violins. They also had a blues band in the BBK Room and a R & R band in the Rolling Stone Room which were OK. A hint on the drinks. Different bars have different Happy Hour times which gives you a cocktail at regular price and a second for $2.00 more. Another nice thing about HAL is that you can buy a 5th of vodka or others for about $40 bucks for your cabin which lets you have a nip on the veranda before the evening festivities. Excursions: Bergen was the best. The other tours were soso. I guess after you see a few fiords and cute little colored cottages it becomes redundant. The truth be known,,,,our numerous national parks in the good old USA are the truly spectacular sights! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Let me start by saying that it's 20 years since our last cruise and after reading reviews and itineraries for the different cruise lines, my husband and I decided on Celebrity. We also chose Amsterdam as the departure port because we ... Read More
Let me start by saying that it's 20 years since our last cruise and after reading reviews and itineraries for the different cruise lines, my husband and I decided on Celebrity. We also chose Amsterdam as the departure port because we didn't want to fly for various reasons. The check-in and embarkation could not have been better. No problems whatsoever. At this point I think it's only fair to say that as for security, it was first class. Obviously because of the times we live in it had to be much stricter than our last cruise but as a result, we felt very safe on board. A big thank you to celebrity for that. As we were Concierge class it included a welcome aboard lunch in the Opus Restaurant. However, as were given an embarkation time of 1 o'clock, by the time we got to the restaurant in question we found another couple trying to get in but had been told it closed a few minutes earlier. All four of us explained our situation and finally, we were allowed in. Not a good start to our cruise as we believe the restaurant should have been informed of the latest time for concierge guests to board and be directed there for lunch. Thankfully it was the only incident on embarkation day. Our Concierge Aldin Buendia, was very helpful and kind. As we both have food allergies and after experiencing some difficulties during an "open seating" for dinner in the Opus Restaurant the day we were docked in Warnemunde, she immediately dealt with our complaints and everything was sorted out. From then on, we had the same table (142) all the time with our trusted waiters Yanin, Tatitiana and Sergei to take care of us. A big thank you to all of you. However, like other reviews we did feel the menu in this restaurant could have been a lot better. We had no problems with the quality of the food, but the selection/description left a lot to be desired. Specialty Restaurants - we didn't dine in any as we believe guests shouldn't have to pay extra for things like that. It seems cruise lines are now putting profit before guests which we think is a step in the wrong direction. Spa - had my hair done twice by Anderson for the two Chic Evenings and found him excellent. Gave me some very helpful advice all of which I have since acted upon. Thank you! Photo Gallery - excellent. As my husband doesn't like having his picture taken, we have very few over the last number of years. However, as we we were celebrating a few things, we decided to have some taken around the ship and on good advice by the staff took the "photo package" for $250. Best value ever! Evening entertainment Reflection Theatre - we enjoyed most nights. The best ones for us were The Overtures Stares of St Petersburg Folkloric Group and The FlyRights. We felt Celebrity's own production shows we not great and the costumes let it down. It's as if they wanted to do the whole thing on a shoestring. My experience of shows on a cruise were spectacular with props and costumes giving it a real Broadway feel. These were nothing like it unfortunately. As for the places visited, see our reviews of each port. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise very much and would certainly recommend Celebrity and this itinerary without hesitation. One final piece of advice: if you experience any problems whatsoever do not hesitate to speak to the person in charge. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our cruise began in Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Cruise Terminal was wonderful. They had water bottles, wine, and cans of soda for sale to bring onto the cruise in your carry-on at a very reasonable rate. My 8 year-old daughter ... Read More
Our cruise began in Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Cruise Terminal was wonderful. They had water bottles, wine, and cans of soda for sale to bring onto the cruise in your carry-on at a very reasonable rate. My 8 year-old daughter absolutely loved the Adventure Ocean Kids Club. The activities ranged from sports activities, arts & crafts, and organized games. The counselors did an amazing job motivating and engaging the kids in the games and making everyone feel included. The Ports were wonderful! Our three stops in Scotland included Edinburgh, Inverness, and Glasgow. As guests returned to the ship in Inverness, RCCL arranged to have a fantastic Scottish Dance Troupe accompanied by a bag-pipe player, an accordion player, and a singer aboard to perform prior to departure. We had two days in Dublin, Ireland, a stop in Guernsey, Holyhead Wales, and Dover/Canterbury, England. One recommendation that I have is to look to 3rd party companies for excursions because RCCL doesn't offer many excursion options due to the limited sailings on this itinerary. The food in the main dining room was delicious however each night there were only 3 new courses that alternating with the 4 offerings that remained the same on the menu; in the past there was more variety. The WindJammer seemed to have a diversity of food options and theme nights that would have been welcome in the main dining room especially on a 12-night cruise. We used the 6:45 Adventure Ocean pickup & our waitstaff ensured that our daughter’s meal was expedited while our meal was served at a normal pace. We also dined in Chops. Our filets were cooked to perfection but we were disappointed that they no longer have the tator tots. We absolutely love Izumi’s and decided to take the sushi making class. The class was a blast and we made a California wrap, a Spicy Tuna roll, a Shrimp Tempura Roll, and shrimp sashimi. I highly recommend this class. A big disappointment was the amount of cigarette smoke that filled the atrium at all hours of the day from the Casino. People were consistently allowed to stand in both entrances while smoking & facing the atrium. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My wife and I were celebrating our 25 years of marriage with the third of three RCCL cruises within the last nine months. We had spotted this itinerary of 12 nights in the British Isles and Ireland, and thought how nice it would be to ... Read More
My wife and I were celebrating our 25 years of marriage with the third of three RCCL cruises within the last nine months. We had spotted this itinerary of 12 nights in the British Isles and Ireland, and thought how nice it would be to visit Scotland, in particular. We had not cruised on Brilliance before, but had done trips on sister ships, Jewel and Serenade. Boarding/check-in in Amsterdam was probably one of the easiest we have ever done in 40 cruises. The problem was the gauntlet of sales crew between the dock and the ship, pushing everything from drink packages, restaurant specials, facials, massages etc. I t was like getting off of the ship in Barbados. That was not impressive. The stateroom was ready as advertised at 1:00 p.m. As soon as we walked in, the smell of the sewer system in the toilet/washroom was ridiculous. The cabin attendant came, washed and sprayed again, but had to call a plumber. Eventually the smell subsided until later in the cruise and it came back again. Again, the stateroom attendant had to take the same actions as on day one. Also we were told that our cabin was noticeably warmer in the middle of the night when we said how uncomfortable it was, because the line has instituted a rotating policy which raises the temperature to save energy. On one occasion we had to leave the door open to get some sleep. We were not amused or impressed. When we asked the attendant if he had forgotten to leave the shampoo, conditioner and lotion, as is always done, he replied that company policy at RCCL was that unless we had 340 loyalty points with Crown and Anchor, (even though were are Diamond Plus status) there would be no no shampoo, conditioner or lotion given. That may be written somewhere, but we had never heard of it. Makes RCCL look pretty cheap and classless. When we asked about a bathrobe that we have always had, we were told that since we asked, we could have one each. But if you do not ask, it will not be provided. So far, Day 1 not so impressive. We had been given onboard spending credit, and wanted to check the account on the TV. "Sorry that technology does not exist on this ship, but you can go and stand in line at Guest Services to have a copy printed out". Now the the line has decided that Guest Services is the best place to add the noisiest place on the ship; the Centrum. Morning Zumba classes, Evening rock bands and lord knows what else during the rest of the day. You literally have to yell to heard at Guest Services. Not bright. Do not choose your your cabin too close to the aft elevators if you retire early. Showtime ends at 11:30 p.m.To add insult to injury, after spending 25 minutes in the line, on two occasions, I was given another passengers account information, and had to go back again. Again, not impressed. The offers to sell us "special things" continued every day. We were informed that part of RCCL staff training and contract renewal states that the line is less interested in servers, and more interested in sales people. That is certainly obvious. With regard to food, the Windjammer buffet started out very well early in the cruise, but was less impressive in its choices as the cruise went on. But, in fairness, it was superior to the dining room. On its best night, the Dining room food quality was average. Up until now, if you did not like any of the daily offerings on the menu, there was always the fallback standards of steak, chicken and/or salmon. Well, not anymore. Forget about the salmon. The Assistant Head Waiter made it clear that we were not getting salmon. Unfortunately, his delivery needs work. When one person at the table said they would like salmon, in a frustrated tone our fearless head waiter huffed and said "why don't I just bring everyone salmon." Not everyone is cut out for sales, I guess. Because of the mediocre offerings in the dining room, we went to Chops and Giovannis three times, without the promotion. Which reminds me that someone should keep an eye on the differences between what the RCCL website says and what is practiced on the ship. The website offers what amounted to a three for the price of two restaurant deal, on the condition that your first night had to be taken on the first or second night of the cruise. When we talked to staff, we were told that that was not actually true, and we could have gone whenever convenient. Not impressed. When we filled in our mid-cruise "How is everything Survey" we shared some thoughts. We then received, on the second to last day, a letter offering a future cruise saving certificate. Don't get me wrong. They did not have to do this, and I know it. However, this is where we have another example of the difference between pretender to excellence and a real contender. The certificate was for a new cruise within the next 12 months. A quick check of our C&A file would reveal that we already have our next two sailings booked in May and September 2020. Considering that I am still working and have restraints on my vacation times, the offer is more frustrating than pleasing. The same applies to a Casino letter we received with the same conditions. The old saying that its the thought that counts does not apply here. As a final farewell, for the first time, we decided to purchase the airport transfer tickets, only to find that they had not put my luggage on the truck, and thus made me chase someone down at the airport, since the ship had no one there to help. Luckily the supervisor from Inter-Cruises was excellent and went above and beyond to help. Having said all of this, I must distinguish between the Corporate policies in Miami of RCCL which are tarnishing the image of the line, and the dedication of many of the on-board staff, who work hard and do what they can to help and make the thought of returning more palatable. The dining room waiters, the stateroom attendants, the Concierges in the Diamond and Diamond Plus Lounges made the difference. And less the HQ staff tries to take credit, forget it. Their policies have staff reminding at all chances to remember the number ten, as if it is the be all and end all. Miami needs to focus on defining how much is enough. This incessant nickel and diming of passengers is a reflection of what I see as a major malaise of our times. It is ruining the industry. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Not everything about this cruise was abjectly awful. The food and service in Pinnacle Grill was good. Annette, who led the America's Test Kitchen demos, was very good. The itinerary was fairly rare. But a lot of stuff went wrong. ... Read More
Not everything about this cruise was abjectly awful. The food and service in Pinnacle Grill was good. Annette, who led the America's Test Kitchen demos, was very good. The itinerary was fairly rare. But a lot of stuff went wrong. Aside from Pinnacle Grill, the food was fit for a King. As in "Here King! Here boy! Good boy!" Food is subjective but food temperature and consistency are not. And they couldn't get the basics right on temperature and consistency. In eight dining room appearances, my wife never got what she ordered on the first try once. The Lanai room was clean, but the good points stopped there. The Lanai door did not work and was propped open or closed with wood. We could not control the stateroom temperature. This could not be fixed. The toilet clogged frequently. Passenger internet was knocked out for a week in/around Spitsbergen. Some internet worked of course, as the daily mini-newspapers kept appearing, just not for pax. A $50 credit was belatedly offered...a decent deal for those who bought the cheaper packages, but cold comfort to those who bought the more expensive/multi-device ones. The itinerary was clumsy, with too little time in too many ports. Putting Heimaey on the list of ports was ridiculous: at the best of times, the ship cannot approach the shallow harbour so it's a 35-minute tender ride to shore. These were not the best of times: It was not safe to put the tenders out so we skipped it, burning a day we could have been elsewhere. This was supposed to be an EXC cruise and after reading about the biologists and geologists brought on for the Southerly cruises we expected a treat. Instead our "expert" was a drowsy Aussie who had never been to this part of the world. His "expertise" was reading us Wikipedia. Easy enough to skip his talks, but his mumblings were blared on the outside decks, likely scaring away what little wildlife there was. They ran out of 2/3 of the wines in our package (Cellar #2). Servers eager/kind but hopelessly overworked The thermal package bought pre cruise was a grimy hot tub, grimy sauna, and six heated loungers. Layout unsuitable for this wheelchair user. Guest Services to their credit cheerfully gave Day 1 refund. We would only travel HAL again if, factoring in price, it was still a good deal after factoring in the $39pp it costs to eat in Pinnacle Grill nightly in a full balcony with working balcony door. The auto-itinerary says we were on a 34 day cruise but it was 20 days only, disembarking Aug 4. Mostly Spitsbergen and Iceland, with a stop in Norway Proper and Scotland bookending. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise because of its unique itinerary which went to Svalbard and then south to Iceland. We booked the original cruise which was to be on the Prinsendam, but this was changed to the Rotterdam. We were therefore on a cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its unique itinerary which went to Svalbard and then south to Iceland. We booked the original cruise which was to be on the Prinsendam, but this was changed to the Rotterdam. We were therefore on a cruise that was designed for a smaller ship and I think that detracted from the experience as we did not seem to get as close to the glaciers and polar ice cap as the smaller ship would. As a result we saw very little wildlife compared to the same cruise in previous years. The crew were good and the outside cabin was roomy, But I may as well have had an inside cabin because the windows were really dirty. In fact, for a cruise that 'featured' so much scenic cruising the windows were disgustingly dirty - particularly in the main dining room and lounge areas. At least some attention there would make it look like someone cared. The food in the MDR was good to very good and the wait staff were very attentive and helpful. We ate at one of the speciality restaurants and whilst this was very good, would not be value for money other than for the occasional treat. The entertainment was very hit and miss. Enjoyed the female singer and the modern dance troupe, but the rest of it was just strange. An Australian singer/guitarist playing old American country music in a fake American accent was weird. Post Modern Jukebox band and singers were great, but some modern music is really good and shouldn't be retro'd into big band music. The holographic dancer and video segways to the franchise owner made it just look cheap. The entertainment timing was also odd. The movies clashed with the stage shows and it was really difficult to get to dinner, movie and show in one night. The day time entertainment usually consisted of someone trying to sell you something. A matinee movie would have been great. And talking of movies - they were repeating them on a 20 day cruise! Again, very cheap. Would have thought they may have packed some more. The American Test Kitchen was great. Annette was an excellent presenter and I really enjoyed her sessions. We paid a lot of money for this cruise because we booked early to get a place on this unique itinerary on a small ship. It was therefore a bit galling to hear about how cheaply this cruise was discounted after the change of ship. I feel pretty ripped off that having paid this money we still couldn't look out a clean window. This was our first cruise on HAL. Can't imagine coming back to it unless things improve. The feature was the itinerary, but the ship just met (average) expectations. It was OK but certainly no wow factor, and not enough to make me recommend it to my friends. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this cruise to go to Svalbard, pure and simple. Was not disappointed. Been to Iceland a couple of times before but still found things to see. Ship board life was fine by me. Did a few shore excursions organized by Holland, all OK ... Read More
I chose this cruise to go to Svalbard, pure and simple. Was not disappointed. Been to Iceland a couple of times before but still found things to see. Ship board life was fine by me. Did a few shore excursions organized by Holland, all OK but a tad expensive I thought. I deliberately sail on smaller ships where I can and Rotterdam is about as large as I want to go. Still had a feeling of smallness about it, and able to meet others passengers several times, creating a more intimate feel. My biggest upset, while not Hollands fault but something I will try and check on in any future sailings, was the arrival of a behemoth carrying 4500 passengers in the same small ports as us. 3 times. Imagine our 1400 passengers and 4500 off the other ship arriving in a port with a population of about 2000 people. Most unpleasant for me who lives in a small town with a total population less than the mob on the Preziosa. I like to feel a ship move and it took a storm with wild seas to make this happen. It appears a very stable ship. Cant have been too bad as we have just booked a cruise on a sister ship, this time to go to the bottom of the world. The review here by cancruise2 indicates to me he/she would be better of staying at home. One small complaint. I paid extra to have an ocean view. It is pointless to do this if you cant see through the dirty window. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
To begin with this review, the cruise with the Silver Wind was fabulous as always. Food was great and the service could not be better. The ship need a renovation, but that happens nex year. Dining at eveningtime we prefer The ... Read More
To begin with this review, the cruise with the Silver Wind was fabulous as always. Food was great and the service could not be better. The ship need a renovation, but that happens nex year. Dining at eveningtime we prefer The Restaurant. Meals are very good and the service also. At lunch we prefer La Terrazza outside. It's so nice to sit there with a nice view. In St Peters Port the weather was the best, so nice then to have lunch outside. Service in La Terrazza exellent! Entertainmaint was also very nice, we liked the performance of the singers. Butler en housekeeping as always, very good service! Room was very clean. You may know, me and my partner sailed more then 400 days with Silversea. Why did a rated this cruise one ball? That's because of the price. I booked suite 439 (Vista) and pay including 10% off, because more then 250 days, and 5% on board booking Euro 2.254,- You may know, the last half year before this cruise, start the price was going up to Euro 4.000,- per guest excluding flight, transfer. In the Netherlands is a website for crew members for airlines workers and touroperator workers. They can booked a lot of Silversea cruises for VERY MUCH LOWER prices. There was a couple on board they had in the past worked by KLM and booked this cruise for Euro 1.700,- for a vista suite. Three days before boarding they get a message from the operator that they got an upgrading to suite 741, yes a Medallion suite. Almost three times bigger then a Vista suite. Also including free laundry. Is this normal? Of course not!!! Possible you know that pilots working with KLM had a year income to Euro 275.000,- The may also booking this cruise for this price. I call this larceny! Okay some people get discount, but that upgrading is far from right. Ans this was not for the first time. Last march this couple did a 13 day cruise with the Silver Muse from Singapore to Hong Kong. Price for a Vista Suite USD 1.300,- Once they came on board they get an upgrading to a veranda suite. First i was interested to do a cruise with the Silver Shadow from Rome to Venice in 11 days starting at september 22 this year. Price for a Vista Suite on the Silversea website Euro 7.700,- per guest. Price on www.insidertravel Euro 2.600,- for a Vista, per guest! NO WAY that we booked this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our first cruise ever and we didn’t quite know what to expect. We chose it because we wanted to reach beyond the Arctic Circle and into the Midnight Sun, and had a limited time availability. We stayed into a Neptune Suite - ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever and we didn’t quite know what to expect. We chose it because we wanted to reach beyond the Arctic Circle and into the Midnight Sun, and had a limited time availability. We stayed into a Neptune Suite - Mozart deck, Aft corner. We absolutely loved the suite. Top of the line, modern and elegant dual sink bath with oversized shower, all in travertine. Ultra large screen TV, and lovely wrap around balcony. King bed was best ever. The personnel was without reproche. All were just trying to go beyond the call of duty. We went to the restaurants - Tamarind was our favorite, with the Mango Posset desert being a killer. Rudy’s is also very good. Great atmosphere. Sophisticated food. The Orange Club was a very convenient way to have a more intimate environment for dining, and Neptune Lounge handy and well stuffed. The World State venue is just extraordinary. Music program onboard video was diverse and we could find our preferred tunes with Hyperion Knight piano, Dual piano performance, blues and rock bands. Shore trips - did do the job. We enjoyed them and used them to the fullest. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This cruise was the third leg of a 4-leg trip including a land trip across Austria and Switzerland, a river cruise on Avalon from Switzerland to Amsterdam, this Baltic cruise, and then 4 extra days in Amsterdam. All 4 legs were great, ... Read More
This cruise was the third leg of a 4-leg trip including a land trip across Austria and Switzerland, a river cruise on Avalon from Switzerland to Amsterdam, this Baltic cruise, and then 4 extra days in Amsterdam. All 4 legs were great, although admittedly we were a bit weary by the time we checked into for the Baltic Cruise in Amsterdam (which was about two blocks and a very short cab ride from the river cruise in Amsterdam, VERY convenient transfer!). The process checking in (we already had our sail passes) was VERY convenient and quick and could not have been better. The transition from river to ocean cruise was so easy and the terminal was so easy for this cruise! I booked this cruise to see bits of Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea area in a convenient way (just the highlights). Like all cruises, you only see so much in a port day (or two in the case of St Petersburg, Russia) but we felt like we saw and did many things even given the nature of cruises, and we were satisfied that we had a good sampling of Denmark, Estonia, St Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm and, including the extra 4 days we did separately, Amsterdam (all travelers should definitely spend extra time in Amsterdam before, after, or both if they take this cruise). All in all the itinerary was very good, and we actually enjoyed having the 4 sea days to relax, especially at the beginning and end of the cruise. I've cruised before, and have sometimes booked excursions in advance, before sailing, but this time I actually research everything and booked ALL the excursions in advance. I was very glad I did, and we ended up paying much less that way (and we didn't spend any time in lines at the excursion desk). I will probably do that at all times in the future (they can always be cancelled onboard as long as the cancellation period is met). We were satisfied with all the excursions and felt that we maximized our time in each port. They do seem expensive, but for the entire trip, for two people, with all the excursions we wanted, we spent about an extra $1000. Since the cruise itself was quite cheap (I booked early on a different site and got a good deal) it all worked out well. The biggest kudos to Royal Caribbean was the customer service. I have to say that EVERYONE was very helpful and friendly. We didn't ask for a lot, but when we did, everything we needed was taken care of quickly and well. The excellent customer service made up for a few things that were a little less than great. The food was good, overall, although I wouldn't say fabulous, and the choices were very helpful. We enjoy the late dining period (8:30) because we spend a lot of time at the gym and in the spa and don't like to rush for dinner. The show times forced us to see the show at 7 pm most of the time, but it still worked out. The food choices were better at the buffet a Windjammer but we don't like the crowds so we usually dined at the main dining or a specialty restaurant (we booked the 3-dinner package in advance). We personally choose room service for breakfast most days (the continental is free) but did enjoy the buffet for that on sea days. Our waters (Juwan and Anniket) were outstanding and we enjoyed our dinner partners we met and ate with on some nights. We thought the shows were terrific and offered talent and variety. We saw all but one of them and enjoyed them all. Keeping them less than an hour is perfect so we can see the show, eat dinner, and not have to rush or stay up too late. I love the gym and spent a lot of time on the treadmill (or walking the promenade decks) watching us sail. The main thing we spent money on (beyond the excursions) was the spa (3 massages each) and although the massages aren't "great" they were adequate. They are expensive but if you book in advance and/or book carefully to take care of "specials" for multiple massages the helps (and my medical insurance pays back $60 for each massage, so that helped too). We also buy the thermal suite all-cruise pass and we spent lots of time in the heated marble chairs, steam rooms and saunas. Very relaxing, if expensive. It also kept us away from the crowds. We were in a ocean view cabin just below the promenade deck (it was on deck 4) and it was perfect for us. Would love to have had a balcony but it wasn't worth the extra cost (especially in the Baltic Sea). The porthole window was quite large and I spent lots of time looking out (and didn't have to worry about closing curtains except in port). We found it to have adequate room and we were comfortable (we prefer the beds split to give more room). The bathroom was outdated and sometimes smelled bad, and this is clearly an older ship that is getting a bit worn, so that was a negative, but other than that all was fine. Our cabin steward (Nick) was great :) More on that in the cabin part. Overall we thought this cruise was a very good value for the money, but we do warn cruisers to research and plan carefully, and be judicious with your money while onboard. Unless you plan to drink or use the Internet all the time, avoid the all-cruise packages (they are very expensive). We drank some, but avoided most of the extra costs onboard (except the spa, which we admit we probably spent too much money on). If you're not careful you'll owe a fortune after 12 days on the ship. Just make sure you read and research, and think about what you really want and need. We would recommend this cruise to others, but book ahead for excursions and other extras if possible (but don't buy the expensive beverage and internet packages unless you really need them). Read Less
Sail Date July 2019

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