1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Baltic Sea Cruises
  4. Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews

1,106 Baltic Sea Family Cruise Reviews

We used our cruise next and invited our niece and nephew to come with us. I fixed our itinerary for at least a 1-2 night stay before embarkation. The date to board was on the 11th of October. My wife made arrangements with NCL knowingly ... Read More
We used our cruise next and invited our niece and nephew to come with us. I fixed our itinerary for at least a 1-2 night stay before embarkation. The date to board was on the 11th of October. My wife made arrangements with NCL knowingly that the agent will at LEAST get us an early arrival on the 10th. After getting confirmation via e-mail on the 24th of August, that our arrival time was at 8:00pm on the 10th, my wife tried got a hold to one of their agent and his only response was someone will get back within 72 hours. My wife was able to contact O from NCL to arrange an early arrival but was declined since everything was already booked. My wife was trying to cancel the hotel since it was too expensive at $370 for 2 person for one lousy night in a small room. But we got the same exact answer given earlier, they could not cancel reservation. I believe our late cruise to the Baltic was one of the last ones to sail. So, every port that we docked, we were just the only HUGE ship at the port. And I guess this was one of advantages when we did the excursion in St. Petersburg where there were lesser tourist at major attractions. We also had an onboard credit and had dilemma what to use it for. Our options where shore excursion which will still be much more expensive, specialty dining, when complimentary dining are already par quality dining itself and lastly the internet package of 250 minutes which I took. Aside from how slow the internet was, which I already knew from previous comments by other travelers, be very watchful and always check your usage. The day before the last day at sea, I still had 36 minutes to spare and use for the next day. As soon as I was going to check my emails, it showed that I already have exhausted all my minutes. I brought the issue to their IT department and was given extra 60 minutes. All on board staff were very friendly, cabin crew was nice and food was very good. We loved getting our breakfast either at Savor or Taste where it is a sit down and food are freshly prepared (kind of). I also recommend O’Sheehan’s chicken wings where we always go for our late night snack. Love all the entertainment show that they offer. We didn’t quite do all the activities on board because of the cold weather. Overall, the drawback was just the late arrival that NCL has given us and still hoping that they would make the refunds they promised. Now, all about our shore escapades: Copenhagen, Denmark: The person who picked us up from the airport was very friendly and gave us some pointers and recommendations for a place to eat local food. After check-in, we immediately went to Frk Barners Kaelder, where the driver mentioned for us to eat which was a short walk from Scandic Copenhagen Hotel. We didn’t expect for the price to be so high that we just ended up ordering appetizers. The only place we could get to after dinner was Tivoli Food Hall. We should’ve opted to eat at this place as it was very reasonable price. We could no longer go inside Tivoli Garden, which were on their soft opening for Halloween, since we did not want to spend $24 for each which was closing in 30 minutes. We tried to walk along Stroget but noticed that most store are already closed, we retreated back to the hotel. It was pouring rain the next day and neither uber nor lyft was available and out pick up time from the hotel was 11:15am that a stroll to anywhere was impossible. Warnemunde/Berlin, Germany: We did not avail of the NCL shore excursion. We just got off the ship and walked a couple minutes to the train station. You don’t even have to buy the ticket from the machine as what everybody tried to do that caused a long wait. We just used the app, trainline and bought the ticket which was very convenient and fast. The ticket only cost $60 each with a return. As soon as we had confirmation, we boarded the train and travelled for 3 hours to the central station and got out of the public square in Potsdamer Platz. Pretty much walked around to see all major sights (Public Square, Panoramapunkt, Holocaust Memorial, Brandenburg Gate, Galeries Lafayette, Gendarmenmrkt, Checkpoint Charlie) to check out. We chose to ride the taxi from GendarmenMrkt back to the station which cost less than 9euro. Tallinn, Estonia: Aside from Copenhagen, Tallinn was an all-day rain as well. We made a huge mistake taking the taxi going to Old Town, driver immediately charged us 20 euros. We lately found out about the app, Bolt (you can also use in St. Petersburg) which is exactly the same as uber/lyft that charges way a LOT less. The taxi driver also dropped us off in the uphill area so it would be much easier for us to walk going back. We didn’t cover that much of Tallinn due to the downpour. We first started on a nice overlooking spot where a sign said “The Times We Had”, and made our way to Old Town, St. Patrick’s, Saint Olaf’s Church but was closed, so we were not able to climb to check out the view. We also went to Balti Jaama Turg Food Market, Telliskivi Creative City & Linnahall. Bolt saved us a lot of time and kept us dry for at least a while. St. Petersburg, Russia: We didn’t bother applying for a visa since it was just for 2 days but since our companions (nephew/niece) are both from UK, they applied for an e-visa which was free starting October 1st of this year and had to apply for less than a week before embarkation. Me and my wife on our part had to use TJ Travel. I tried Alla Tours but could not get through their website. Maybe it was for the better as we had a great time with TJ Travel. Our Guide was Elizabeth or Liza and our driver was Alexander. Liza was very friendly and informative. A great guide and very knowledgeable and that made the trip more exciting. Our group of 13 was always on time that made the whole tour swift and spontaneously that was able to get to see all included in the itinerary list and much MORE! We also ate at some local restaurant that was delicious. I and my wife got to see and roam around after lunch but make sure not to go out too far. The tour also had their own special place to buy your souvenir where they also serve you hot coffee and even a shot of vodka. Unfortunately, I received an email 3 days before the trip that the fountain at Peterhof will close on October 13th. Helsinki, Finland: When we got off the ship, a minute walk from the ship, a public bus (#14) was waiting. And it only cost 8 euro each for the whole day getting around. We started from Sibelius Monument, Regatta for a quick sticky roll and hot chocolate (highly recommend), we went afterwards to Temppeliaukion Kirkko and were delighted to get a chance and to listen to an orchestra practicing. We also went inside Kampin Kappell. Then we went to Old Market Hall/Kapaturi Market, Esplanade, Market Square, the Tori Quarters, the Senate Square, Helsinki Cathedral and finally Uspenski Cathedral. If only there was more time. Nynashamn/Stockholm, Sweden: The final leg of the cruise. Another mistake on our part and hopefully you gain from our experience. Read some of the post from previous people who already took the same trip mostly took the Hop on Hop off (HOHO). So, we bought tickets before the trip not knowingly will be a tremendous waste of money and time. Just to let you know also that going to Stockholm from Nynashamn is a one hour train ride. Outside from the ship after the gate, on your right, there was a tent that sells tickets for $27 that also is good for bus rides. When you arrive at the Central Station, you go down to the right side where Mc Donald’s is located that would be the first station of the HOHO. We skipped the 2nd and 3rd stop since we knew that we were going to spend more of our time there and decided to stop at the 4th stop where a scenic view awaits after a short distance of walk. By the time we got back to ride another HOHO, it wasted more than 30 minutes of our time and the driver was VERY SLOW! At that point, we decided just to use the bus and explore ourselves. We went to Drottninggatan, NK for some shopping, walked at Kungstradgarden, visited Cathedral Storkyrkan, wondered around Gamla Stan and Stortorget Square, Royal Palace and Tessin Palace. We also crossed and walked at the narrowest alley which was awesome. We ended at Ostermalmstorg and got back to Central Station to catch the train going back. We missed Vasa Museum and I heard it was a must. So let me know how good it is. The journey to the train station requires at least a 20 minute walk but there is a bus which is included with the ticket that you purchase that will take you to the station. It’s about a 5 minute walk from the ship and takes 2 stops by the bus to the station. A helpful advice if you wish, especially when it’s pouring rain. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My family and I made a cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line on October 2019. The ship, "Getaway" is pretty new ship, manufactured 2014. The ship is very well maintained and in great condition. The stuff is wonderful and very ... Read More
My family and I made a cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line on October 2019. The ship, "Getaway" is pretty new ship, manufactured 2014. The ship is very well maintained and in great condition. The stuff is wonderful and very friendly. But, not all is good. The main thing that we felt bad about is money. Although the cruise is not cheap, all the time we felt that the cruise staff has one goal above all, and that goal is to take the max amount of money out of the passengers pocket. The prices of each "extra" is ridiculously high and not reasonable. For example, a bottle of mineral water in the room cost 7.20$ !!!! The cost of spa, tours, and sport is just outrages. As a passenger you can choose not to take any of those, but, we were very surprised to see on our bill a compulsory pay of 15$ a day per person for tip. For us it adds up to an extra of 675$. No one told us that when we made reservation of the cruise. I think that it should be part of the cost in advance, because it's compulsory. (Yes, it is probably somewhere in the agreement small letters, but I see it as kind of cheat). The looks like the food was the same in the 3 restaurants included with no extra cost. (Savoy, Taste, Tropicana) The food in the buffet had a lot of choice, but not so tasty. I prefer quality on quantity. Embarkation and disembarkation went very quaqly and smoothly. The entertainment program was dinamic and had differant show each night. some were better then other, but it depands on personal preferance. For us, the Burn The Floor show and the Hipnosis were the best. Some of the ports are far from the city. Berlin is 3 hour drive from the port and Copenhagen is 1 hour drive from the port. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Cancelled half the ports and offered no refund or apology. Terrible customer service. Leaking sewage and overflowing toilets. Ruined our very expensive trip and lied or withheld info from customers on several occasions. Wouldn’t ... Read More
Cancelled half the ports and offered no refund or apology. Terrible customer service. Leaking sewage and overflowing toilets. Ruined our very expensive trip and lied or withheld info from customers on several occasions. Wouldn’t travel with Norwegian ever again even if it was free. The food service and cabin cleaning crew were great and the food was decent but everything else about this cruise line frankly stinks. There was even a protest on the ship because of so many disappointments. Apparently they had canceled several of the ports before the cruise even began and then told us that it was the weather When we called one of the ports they said no ship was even scheduled to dock that day. This company is dishonest and greedy. Sail with someone else or be disappointed I have cruised many times w other lines w no problems. This cruise had nothing but problems and cancelations from day 1! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We travelled in late Sep - Baltic sailing. Despite the fact that temperatures on this later season sailing were quite cool (10 C – 16C), I would say that this is an excellent time to do a Baltic cruise. Firstly, there are far less ... Read More
We travelled in late Sep - Baltic sailing. Despite the fact that temperatures on this later season sailing were quite cool (10 C – 16C), I would say that this is an excellent time to do a Baltic cruise. Firstly, there are far less crowds and secondly, the cruise fare is more reasonable. We were also able to secure a Haven 2 bed cabin at an excellent fare. Embarkation We took a taxi from Copenhagen centre (Hotel Bethel) to the Oceankaj port where the Getaway was berthed. Embarkation was quick and easy and NCL are very efficient. We arrived just after 11am and were on the ship before 12pm. Haven guests could either have lunch in the Haven restaurant or at Margaritaville (complimentary). We decided to go Margaritaville and the service was excellent and the shrimps were delicious: large, firm, tasty. This was the standard throughout the ship – wherever we had shrimp it was the same excellent quality. We spent an hour exploring the ship and our bags were already at our suite by 2pm so we unpacked. The mandatory safety drill was at 4pm and this is the one area that NCL could drastically improve. The drill took at least an hour because all the information was repeated in three different languages. Many people are rude and talk over the languages that they don’t understand and the crew then has to request them to please be considerate of other guests. There was not enough space for seating in O’Sheehans for everyone and it was tough standing for all that time. In addition, the crew would not let us sit on the floor. So I suggest that you try to get to your meeting point before the required time so that you don’t end up like us standing all the time. Further, the crew member who demonstrated how to put on the life jacket literally got “stage fright” and was unable to do it correctly. He tried 3 times, before another crew member took over and correctly demonstrated how to do it. Many people just put their heads down on the tables in O’Sheehans and blotted the “noise” out. It just got too much. But hang in there, because after a bad start, it was all positive after that! Haven 2 bed family suite 15108 We absolutely loved our suite. With 2 adults and 2 children, there is ample space and it really is wonderful for the children to have their own room and bathroom. Our steward (Moncito), set up the Pullman bed for our 10 year old son (similar to a bunk) and made the sleeper couch below into a comfortable bed for our 12 year old daughter. There is ample storage space in the suite. The king bed in the main bedroom is the most comfortable bed I have had in over 10 cruises. We requested memory foam pillows and this was handled by our Butler, Stefan. Stefan also made sure we had coffee pods for the Nespresso machine and brought a lovely selection of snacks each afternoon (including choc chip cookies which were the best!) Stefan really was an excellent butler – always willing to go the extra mile and always offering helpful advice. The master bathroom in this suite is absolutely amazing with its bath and shower that look out to the ocean. The cost of the suite is worth that view alone! This Haven suite is so wonderful – you feel like you are experiencing the best of the best at sea in every way. The only negative is that there is some noise at night which sounds like a door slamming shut. It appears to be a door used by the night crew. After a couple of nights, it didn’t bother us as much anymore. Layout of the ship Although this is a massive ship (over 150,000 tons), it is so well layed out that you never feel it is so large. The flow of the ship is excellent. There are ample elevators so that they only time we really waited was when we returned from a port and a number of people were returning to the ship at once. Photography I honestly wonder when NCL is going to phase this out. No-one seemed interested in having their photos taken especially at the ports. Same in restaurants, no-one wanted their photos taken. Art The biggest waste is the Art Auction section – they must waste tons of paper with all the flyers for Art Auctions that get delivered to the rooms. I wonder if they even cover all the cost of paper and printing with the amount of art they sell?? Shows We attended three shows: Burn the Floor – absolutely fantastic dancers. We thoroughly enjoyed this show. Russian Folk Show – very talented performers. Make sure you get there early as it was extremely popular and the Theatre staff are clueless at trying to assist with checking who has been waiting for a seat and who is just walking in and pushing past. Million Dollar Quartet – vey long show. It became tedious and boring. The guy who portrayed Jerry Lee Lewis was excellent as well as the guy who portrayed Johnny Cash. Restaurants We had all our breakfasts at the Haven restaurant. A special word of thanks to Johnson who always ensured that my daughter had gluten free meals and who provided the most delicious gluten free bread. He also ensured that there were gluten free muffins and toast at breakfast as well as waffles and French toast. Breakfasts at the Haven restaurant are a real treat but I did feel that some of the waiters were not up to scratch. A little extra training is needed. For example, some waiters neglected to take juice/coffee orders and some just plain rushed us by bringing plates of cooked breakfast when we were still trying to finish fruit/yogurt. Tropicana We came here for dinner at 5.30pm when we had Burn the Floor show booked at 7.30pm. Edwin, our waiter was amazing. He ensured that we had ample time to enjoy our meal without feeling rushed and also ensured that my daughter’s gluten free requirements were met. He was extremely professional and the next time we ate there, we requested a table in his section. Savor The food and service were acceptable. Nothing spectacular but a pleasant enough evening. Teppanyaki Great evening, fun chef who made us laugh and have a great time and a great meal. Gluten free for my daughter was carefully taken care of and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Cagneys Loved the beef fillet and the service was excellent. Le Bistro Probably our least favourite of the specialty restaurants but still enjoyed it. Warnemunde We had planned to take the train to Rostock, but we so enjoyed the seaside town of Warnemunde that we stayed there and enjoyed strolling around all the lovely little shops. We enjoyed a lunch of fresh fish and chips and then we went on a cruise around the harbor. Very interesting to see the construction of ships at Neptun Werft. Tallinn We took a taxi into the town centre. Tallinn is a wonderful town to spend the day wandering around. We also walked to the Balti Jaam Market just outside the town centre (near the railway station). We enjoyed lunch there. There is a lovely confectionery shop at the ground floor of Balti Jaam which has a wide selection of chocolates suitable for souvenirs at very reasonable prices. The market is frequented by locals so it is an authentic example of Estonian produce. St Petersburg We took a 2 day tour with TJ Travel. Our guide was Daria and her knowledge is absolutely astounding. She never stopped giving us interesting facts and making the history come alive. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip to Catherine’s Palace and the walk in Peterhof with its utterly stunning gardens. September is a great time to visit as the trees are changing colour for autumn/fall so it is especially beautiful. We also found the metro trip very interesting and enjoyed the boat canal ride although it was the one time that it was raining. The weather was cool but there were minimal crowds so it was possible to really appreciate the sights especially at the Hermitage and Church on Spilled Blood. Daria took us to two modern Russian restaurants for our lunches on the two days and I must recommend Russian dumplings- they are light and delicious! St Petersburg is the place to really soak yourself in history and transport yourself back in time to another world. Would highly recommend Daria and TJ – they also give discounts to Cruise Critic members. Helsinki We met friends in Helsinki and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them. We were there on a Sunday which is not ideal as the shops only open at 11am (and we had to be back at the ship at 3.30pm) and many of the stalls in the market are closed. There is far too little time spent in Helsinki. NCL should only leave at 6pm. Nynashamn (for Stockholm) We took the HOHO bus into Stockholm which is about a one hour bus trip. We had $50 credit for each port so it was well worthwhile to use this option. The HOHO buses were parked within easy walking distance from the ship and they recorded your ship cabin details so you did not pay at the pier – instead you were charged directly to the ship account. We spent most of our time in the Old Town and then walked to the modern side of Stockholm. We also watched the changing of the guard which I honestly would not recommend. This is nothing like the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. There are 4 guards marching around (no band) and a bit of shouting. We really felt we wasted our time here. Stockholm is a beautiful city and we thoroughly enjoyed the day. The HOHOs return between 3.30pm and 4.30pm. This was a fantastic cruise – both the ports and the service on the Getaway and we wish we could do it all again. We would not hesitate to cruise with NCL next time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise to visit Baltic capitals, specifically St Petersburg. Chose NCL based on our prior experience with Alaska (Sun) from Vancouver and Gem ( Eastern Caribbean from NYC) experience more than 3 years ago. This big ship with ... Read More
We chose this cruise to visit Baltic capitals, specifically St Petersburg. Chose NCL based on our prior experience with Alaska (Sun) from Vancouver and Gem ( Eastern Caribbean from NYC) experience more than 3 years ago. This big ship with 4000+ Passengers was a big disappointment for many reasons. There were also some good points. Good: Great cabin stewardess, Varied cuisines in Garden Cafe, Clean and spacious mini suite with balcony on the 11th floor. That’s about it. Bad: confusing ship with all sort of carnival like money making outfits between the fore and aft sections of the ship. You pay for almost anything that is tasty or of quality (like Cappuccino, gelato, water bottle, fountain soda and many such items). You pay through your nose for alcoholic beverages with 18% mandatory gratuity and the same for specialty dining. Included dining rooms serve at snails pace and food is mostly cold by the time it’s gets to you. If that’s not enough there are continuing game shows, Bingo and other scams that are heavily weighted in favor of the house. Casino area, unavoidable as you go for dining area, are smoke filled. For this big ship, the deck board walking track is about 1/8 of a Kilometer as opposed to nearly 1/4 of mile or so on the smaller Gem class ship. Avoid taking shore excursions with the cruise line. You can save more than 50%. Viator offers St Petersburg 2-day Excursion (Russia exempts one of Visa if taking approved tour) with 18 or less passengers in AC van for about $220 per person (you pay for lunch that costs about $15- $20 or less per person per day). Compare that to some $550 per person! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Cabin size was not so bad for two people BUT - there is a sound underneath or on the side of your walls that is like flowing water - loud flowing water like gushing in - and just every night it woke us up - it's not the ... Read More
Cabin size was not so bad for two people BUT - there is a sound underneath or on the side of your walls that is like flowing water - loud flowing water like gushing in - and just every night it woke us up - it's not the toilet from the next door, it's a like a big gush of wave going through underneath the floor or on the side of the wall - also, sometimes that flush in the toilet doesn't work - and one day, all the toilet didn't work in our floor === our cabin steward "Muhamed", was awesome === When we were going to Sweden, I asked one of the Deck 4 staff if they accept US$ in Sweden, the answer given was, I don't know as I have never been to Sweden. there were two of them who can't answer a basic question. They are not deck hands, they are actually crew that's stationed by the stairway on Deck 4 before going to the Port Security, and Port Security didn't know either, and there was not notice on the daily bulletin. Wish you could staff those areas with more knowledge of the city we are visiting ==== The waiters on our last night at Tropicana Room, are, hands down, awesome ! - starting from the Manager - Ivan - there were 19 of us, and we ahve earlier requested with our reservation 2 long tables of 10. We got to our reservation early enough so that we can be seated to our tables, but as it turns out, the tables are not ready because one table, the guests was just beginning to order dessert, that's understandable. - Ivan, started with 3 square tables put together, for 10 people (squished in) and a round table of 8 - then another square table came open, he then added it, then another one - to the point that we were able to accommodate 14 of us in a long table - and 5 in the round table - perfect night - it was my wife' birthday too, so the waiter sung and surprised her with a cake and candle blowing - the singers, Funky Duo, greeted my wife twice - plus we had wine and bottle of Champagne from our Travel Agent for her birthday - but the champagne was warm, so "Gede", assistant Manager, replaced with a cold one - it was a great last night dinner for all of us === Special mentions to other waiters - at Wasabi Bar - Gary (waiter) , Stephan (chef) - Deepa, at Savor and Moderno, not only did she recognized and greet me everytime, she was even able to pass on a message to my brother at the restaurant. She is of greet asset, very diplomatic, very nice, and a great dining hostess Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise as it was a good price but with hindsight I would rather miss a cruise and put that money towards another cruise line. Ive been with other cruise lines before and have enjoyed all of them. The problem with MSC is ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it was a good price but with hindsight I would rather miss a cruise and put that money towards another cruise line. Ive been with other cruise lines before and have enjoyed all of them. The problem with MSC is passengers embark at every port which means constant security processes going on and in so many different languages, suitcases and chaos everywhere almost daily, this gets very tiresome. Whilst check in was ok they don't seem to have the administration sorted as well as other cruise lines. You have to have your photo taken separately and you have to add your credit card separately once on the ship, why? This has all been done at check in before and is much easier. The actual ship and cabin was very nice, a little more room in our cabin than we've had before so this was a bonus. The food though was not good, very poor, I hardly ate anything in the main restaurant, in fact I only ate the rolls and a little breakfast. If you go to the buffet for breakfast by the time you put everything together it's stone cold as the eggs are nowhere near the bacon and it's a big place to walk around! We couldn't get a table in the buffet one morning and had to go to the restaurant which we wanted to avoid as the service was quite poor in the morning, we often asked for milk with the tea but often never got it! Never got our cereals either so when we asked for them they were almost thrown at us! Have to say at this point our waiters in the main restaurant for dinner were very nice and helpful. Some of the staff apologised for the food and said they had to eat it too! Reception staff were also hit and miss, some were helpful and some wouldn't help at any cost! We were late back from Amsterdam and weren't allowed into the main restaurant as you only have about 10 mins from opening to closing! When we asked reception to help they said it wasnt their fault their trip was late back (referring to traffic) but it was their fault as when we booked we were supposed to dock in Amsterdam but we're moved to Rotterdam and this meant a long coach journey which took 2 hours and was not easy with an 18 month old baby let alone not being able to get into the restaurant to feed her! The Europeans on this trip were the rudest I have ever encountered, they never said thank you for letting them through the narrow hallways or when you kept a door open for them. My daughter had to use the lift as she had a pushchair and even if she was the first one there when the lifts arrived the other passengers would just barge in front of her! Most of them were young or middle aged and didnt seem to even need the lift! The trips did not appeal to us at all, very early starts and we're things like cycling tours or they just dropped you off. We have been on some really wonderful trips with the other cruise companies so missed that very much. Didn't like any of the ports on this trip, Hamburg was awful and to have paid the expensive shuttle would have been a waste of time as we were told everything was shut on a Sunday. This was told to us by a local taxi driver not the ship, they didn't tell us anything not even which gangway to get off! The ship did constantly make announcements in your cabin though in loads of different languages that really got on our nerves, this was usually about the muster stations or their team! MSC gave us a letter to say they are welcoming British guests but we did not feel welcome at all. They gave us a kettle in our cabin and a one cup little pot of milk for 2 people so we asked reception for some more and they told us, sometimes it's complimentary and sometimes it's not! What sort of answer is that! They then said they could give us some for 3 euros! We said no thanks and brought milk down from the buffet! We had no in room tv in English apart from one channel which claimed it was a news channel but you only got a couple of lines of news now and again it was mainly history documentaries or about egg donation which was constantly repeated! Thank goodness I had a book! The t.v service is so much better on Princess cruises as you have access to t.v shows, films etc and this was needed on MSC as their theatre entertainment was almost the same every night and did nothing for us! The best thing in the evening was to get an Italian ice cream! Also, please note there are smoking areas on board, like the casinos and by the pool on one side which obviously affects you if walking through these areas. I would sum up by saying I wouldn't go with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise with MSC. We chose this cruise because if the itinerary, especially Hamburg and Amsterdam. We really liked the ship its self, which is very grand, and our cabin was quite spacious with a small “Juliet” ... Read More
This was our first cruise with MSC. We chose this cruise because if the itinerary, especially Hamburg and Amsterdam. We really liked the ship its self, which is very grand, and our cabin was quite spacious with a small “Juliet” balcony. However, we were very disappointed with some aspects of the cruise. Amsterdam The main problem was Amsterdam. When we booked, the ship was going to dock overnight in Amsterdam. This was changed to overnight in Rotterdam and we were given the chance to cancel and have our deposit back, or in compensation we could either book one of two discounted shore excursion to Amsterdam, or use a free shuttle bus to Amsterdam that would be provided. We were quite happy to opt for the free shuttle. Once on board, the itinerary was changed again with departure from Rotterdam at 10pm instead of 6am the following morning. We were still OK with this as we thought we could still get a full day in Amsterdam. On the day it turned out that the free shuttle was in fact a transfer there and one departure back on the “Amsterdam on your own” shore excursion. The return was moved back from 3.15pm to 4pm because of heavy traffic on the outbound trip, but this was still way too early considering that the All Aboard was 9.30pm for a 10pm departure! So our full day in Amsterdam that we had been looking forward to became just four hours! When we tried to complain at reception later, the man we spoke to was quite rude and dismissive, saying that this was the rules and what we had signed for. We also felt that the shuttle buses provided by MSC at the other ports were VERY expensive. We have sailed with P & O before, where port shuttles provided by them were free. The food We found the layout of the buffet at breakfast and lunch quite confusing. For example, toast at one point, butter somewhere else and jam in a third location! As other reviewers have said, a lot of the hot food was only just warm. Trying to get a hot cup of tea was hard as the self service urns were only warm. The Hotel Services Director told us later that he was aware of this problem and was trying to get in sorted. In the meantime he advised us to take our mug and teabag to the bar counter and ask for hot water there. This worked well! A good thing about the buffet was the all day pizza which is delicious! We spoke to the UK Cruise Director and the Hotel Services Director who were both helpful and took our comments on board, but overall we were not impressed by the way the ship was run. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because we love cruising. We find this way of travelling very relaxing and at the same time interesting. You can visit many cities and have a general idea of all the places the ship stop. The ship has all you need to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we love cruising. We find this way of travelling very relaxing and at the same time interesting. You can visit many cities and have a general idea of all the places the ship stop. The ship has all you need to have a fantastic vacation time. We never have to wait for a table to eat. The restaurants, all of them are amazing. The chef Ivan, from Chile took really good care of us. He showed as the kitchen and we were surprised how everything was being prepare for each meal in all of the restaurants. The cabin was very comfortable, as well as the bed and pillows, but the best part in the cabin was the bathroom. Really big for a ship bath with warm floor. They have service twice a day to keep the cabin always tidy and clean. We love the entertainment, the 4 young vocalists were exceptional, same as the pianists and the 2 girls who played stringed instruments. We only were sad because the ship couldn't stop in Poland port due to weather conditions.The excursions were very interesting same as the guides, specially Helen in Saint Petersburg. We did some included excursions and some prepaid ones. We already booked a future trip to Egypt in a Viking river for 2021. We recommend the pre and post cruise extensions, both great options, we enjoyed them a lot. We value very much; the quality of service Viking has. Although we did many other cruises with other companies, this last one was overall the best ever. Thanks Viking crew and everyone on the ship for a great experience and a phenomenal vacation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was a winter break away. The check in was straight forward. No major problems. Inside the ship, you scan your sea pass card at a machine and authorize €250 to b taken as on board credit. The first night, the food was ... Read More
This was a winter break away. The check in was straight forward. No major problems. Inside the ship, you scan your sea pass card at a machine and authorize €250 to b taken as on board credit. The first night, the food was abhorrent. Our waiter James from India was quite quick with service. The dining room is all on one level. The headliner show was a magician who made animal shapes with his hands, he was quite good. The casino is a rip off, it seemed to be a smoking casino as non smoking signs were ignored. The activities were abysmal, €35 for a F1 simulation car for 30 minutes, €25 for 4 people for 10 pin bowling for 30 minutes, €9 for flight simulation. Not a whole lot else. The staff looked uninterested in their work and the cruisers. Cirque du soleil was also on the ship, tickets varied from €15-€45. It was cancelled 3 nights in a row, due to rocky seas. Our cabin was at the opposite end to the market place. The market place was a complete nightmare for finding tables. I had to share with strangers as no table was available for me. I walked round 3 times to find a table. The food doesn’t stay warm very long once it’s on your plate. Restaurant waiters very slow in clearing plates, cups, glasses off tables. The cabin was on the small side for 3 people, no storage space, the wardrobe was fairly small only 2 shelves and 2 drawers. We only saw our room attendant twice during the whole week. Room was left in excellent condition. The solarium was lovely, 2 jacuzzis and 2 cantilevered jacuzzis. No cushions on any of the chairs. Very uncomfortable. The shopping offers were reasonable enough. The price of the excursions were obscene. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Over the past 12 years we have cruised with NCL 13 different cruises. We had always wanted to visit some of the Baltic countries, especially Russia. This particular cruise covered most of our wish list. Two / three months after we booked ... Read More
Over the past 12 years we have cruised with NCL 13 different cruises. We had always wanted to visit some of the Baltic countries, especially Russia. This particular cruise covered most of our wish list. Two / three months after we booked this cruise and made our airline reservations, we were sent an email stating that do to a port scheduling conflict we would not be making the port stop in Stockholm, Sweden but would stop at a small port on the western coast of Sweden called Gothenburg...there's virtually nothing their to do or see. But since we had made our airline reservations we were stuck with this cruise. Since the ship was going to be in St. Petersburg, Russia for 2 full days, we decided to take a "Private non-NCL tour to Moscow. The tour company we used did a great job. In their communications to us they warned us about NCL may not allow us to disembark the ship just as soon as it has been cleared by the Russian officials. However, we could leave the ship once the passengers going on NCL bought tours had disembarked. Our flight out of St. Petersburg going to Moscow was to leave at 09:40AM. The first thing I did when I boarded the ship for departure was to go to the Customer Service Desk, stood in line for 45 minutes and finally spoke to a very non-helpful individual. He said " go stand in the other line to get a number assigned for disembarking AFTER NCL TOUR PEOPLE were off the ship. I told his this would not work and I wanted to speak whith his manager. He disappeared for 15 minutes and finally returned with his manager. I explained the situation to the manager and he said he would handle it and would leave me a voicemail on my cabin phone. I waited till the next day and NO VOICEMAIL message. So, I went back down to customer service desk stood in line again, spoke to a different desk person...same answer "NO CAN DO"...asked to speak to the manager again. A different person came out...explained the situation again...he said he would send me a voicemail with instructions...next day...no message. The late afternoon prior to arrival in St. Petersburg I finally spoke to a person who said he would take care of it and again ...send me a voicemail. Lo and behold 1 hour later I received the voicemail with these instruction. Please go to the Port side door of the Getaway Theater arounf 7 - 7:15AM. Show the gentlemen my tour ticket to Moscow and they would let disembark as soon as the ship cleared. That morning, we went to the port side door of Getaway Theater showed personnel our tour ticket and they said we needed to go to the service desk. We went to the desk and had a manager escort back to the theater. We were then able to leave the ship, clear port security and finally meet with our tour guide for Moscow. We made it on the plane with 15 minutes to spare. Enough of my of that. How about a general over all. If the Getaway was cruising in a warm climate many of the guests would be outside by the pool, walking / jogging waterslides, basketball and all the other outdoor activities. BUT with cool windy weather all 4,000 passengers and 1,600 crew were inside. That said, it was the most over crowed uncomfortable ship I've ever been on. In retrospect, the customer service group did a very poor job. Be cause of that I currently have a cruise booked with NCL in May 2020, that I will more than likely cancel. It may be time to look at other cruise lines. I refuse to sign out without saying something positive...To get away from the massive crowds we chose to pay the price and eat at Cagney's....The food there is wonderful each and every night. My wife wanted to adopt our waiter Ronald he was such a pleasure and also Cagney's hostess Maricel, see took care of us with timely reservations and great ocean views from our table. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Pros = 1) Service at the dinner - Waiter always friendly 2) Service and cleanliness on our Room 3) Pre paid internet was 4gb for 4 devices and it was cheap comparing with other cruises that I´ve made 4) Pre paid digital ... Read More
Pros = 1) Service at the dinner - Waiter always friendly 2) Service and cleanliness on our Room 3) Pre paid internet was 4gb for 4 devices and it was cheap comparing with other cruises that I´ve made 4) Pre paid digital pictures was very cheap. I got in the end a pen drive with 120 pictures taken during the cruise and it costed 90 euros. During the cruise, they were charging 30 euros for EACH picture 5) Pizza was very good Cons = 1) Overall the bar staff was not trained at all. First night at the Cruise, I ordered a bottle of Champagne, the lady came after 10 minutes with the Bottle saying that it was the first time that she opened a Champagne bottle and tried to close it with the Cork again. 2) The food at the buffet was terrible and always crowded. It was always stressfull getting food, find a table 3) The cruise only offers free Water (when other lines offer Iced Tea, etc). The places to get drinks were dirty and some of them had only Coffe and not hot milk 4) The portion size of the dinner was terrible ... everyone at our table asked always 2-3 main courses because it was impossible to have food enough with only 1 main dish. 5) The shows during the evening at the theater were very poor. Comparing with other cruises that I´ve been, it was by far the worse. I even slept because if was boring. 6) The overall entertainment during the cruise was very bad... other cruises that I´ve been, have a Cruise Director that cheers up the entire ship with lot of enterntainment and parties. At the Preziosa, and I dont even know if we have similar role during the ship. 7) Basic stuff like NUTELLA... it was not offered during the breakfast for my Daugther, but it was available if asked.. so every time i needed to go to the bar and ask for Nutella and the waiter passed me a few nutella hidden like he was giving me drugs. 8) The overall service was so bad that I went to the guest services and asked to remove the service charge. I then paid good service at the dinner and room directly to the waiters. 9) I´ve been in many different Cruise companies before and this was the first that THEY DONT OFFER FREE ICE CREAM. All other have free 24h ice cream. They charge at Preziosa for everything. Worst cruise experience I ever had, and i will never get on a MSC ship again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have cruised with P&O and NCL and decided to do a Royal Caribbean taster cruise before we committed to booking a full cruise for us and our children. We travelled with our 2 and a half year old, we have found it very difficult ... Read More
We have cruised with P&O and NCL and decided to do a Royal Caribbean taster cruise before we committed to booking a full cruise for us and our children. We travelled with our 2 and a half year old, we have found it very difficult to get the right level of entertainment for him on previous cruises as he’s not a baby but still too little to go into any clubs/groups. There was a fantastic aqua park for him with a baby area which was great. The water was heated too which was a brilliant idea. There wasn’t much else going on for him though, there were a few toys laid out in a nightclub area in the day but very limited. We could pay $6 an hour to put him in a under 3’s club which we didn’t do. The food was comparable to NCL, a good standard and plenty to chose from. However, there were strict times on when food was available. On previous ships there was always food available in the buffet but it closed in the day for 3 hours and at 9:00pm in the evening which seems a bit early considering there is nearly 5k guests on board and there was a wait for a table. The only other option if you missed the buffet or dining room was pizza which is very limited, especially if you have dietary requests. We ate in the main dining room every night which we do on every cruise, A manager came to the table every night to ask how our dinning experience was which was great. We love the formalities of cruising and were disappointed when the waiters started doing the Macarena in the middle of dinner service, it really wasn’t great. Also on formal night, a guy wearing jeans and muddy running trainers was sat next to us in the main dining room while we were wearing a tuxedo and a cocktail dress. It’s disappointing that people can’t make the effort but also respect that people don’t always want to however, I feel on formal nights especially, trousers and shoes should be worn as a minimum to get into the main dining room. We decided to have an inside cabin as we were only sailing for 3 days. When we got to the cabin I was so disappointed. It was very dated, even though the independence had apparently had a refurb recently, the carpet was grubby and the sofa had stains on it. The cabin wasn’t cleaned properly with stains on the mirrors and marks on the walls. The cabin was really knocked about, dents in the wood work, paint chipped and just really dated. We did feel the need to complain about the cleanliness and someone was sent to shampoo the carpet and sofa but I feel for the price of a RC cruise, this shouldn’t be happening and I expected a much better standard. The toilets in the public areas were not cleaned all the time like on other ships. Bins were over flowing in the toilets and no toilet paper. The main promenade was dated too, i don’t understand where on this ship there has been a refurb. There were plenty of lifts which meant the wait time for one wasn’t too long, this is a plus when you have a buggy. For a taster cruise, I thought all the stops would be pulled out to ensure further bookings on RC but I felt it wasn’t, I think it was a true representation of RC. Would I sail with them again? Yes but only on a new ship which I think would be completely out of my price bracket. For the price of RC I think the standard should be a lot higher and couldn’t help but think it was a bit ‘butlins at sea’. I would definitely pick other lines over RC especially for the price of them. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Loved the ship. The layout was not as open as some ships I have been on but there were tons of drinking and dining options to enjoy. The top deck and outside areas were not used much due to weather on this particular cruise. Having said ... Read More
Loved the ship. The layout was not as open as some ships I have been on but there were tons of drinking and dining options to enjoy. The top deck and outside areas were not used much due to weather on this particular cruise. Having said that a balcony room is a great plus on this cruise as the Baltic is small and you will get to see lots of things out your window on a daily basis especially getting in and out of the ports. I was amazed at the number of cruise ships in the Baltic (there were 8 other ships in port in St. Petersburg). The destinations were great with the exception of Germany. The Berlin for a day trip was very expensive and really not very enjoyable. 3 hours each way on an a non-air conditioned train with 6+ hours on a bus in between. We were very rushed. Little opportunity to get off and take pictures. It was also a brutal heat wave while we were there (close to 100 degrees F). The centerpiece destinations on this cruise are St. Petersburg and Stockholm as they are both incredibly beautiful sightseeing opportunities. You will not be able to take pictures fast enough in the palaces and churches in St. Petersburg. I would also recommend arriving into Copenhagen Denmark a few days early and explore that beautiful little country. Tivoli Gardens, all the castles and fortresses scattered in and around the city are very impressive. The dining in general was very good. We really enjoyed the food in the main dining room and the buffet was well appointed. What wasn't worth the cost, was the upgraded dining package. The Brazilian steakhouse was excellent and we enjoyed it the first night and the Cirque dinner show was excellent bu the food was a set menu from the main dining room. Ocean Blue and Cagney's were big disappointments. They ran out of lobster 2/3 way through the cruise so our "upgrade" meal at ocean blue was fish or shrimp similar to what was on offer at the main dining room. We dined at Cagney's our last night and the steaks were tough with very little flavor. Got better cuts of meat at the main dining room in the evening. My family that I was traveling with had gone Norwegian last year and raved about the upgraded food only to be let down this year. The on board entertainment was decent. This really isn't a big factor in cruising for me to begin with. We enjoyed the upgraded cirque show and a dance show called Burning the Floor. We enjoyed a night at the dueling piano bar and a night with an 80's cover band. To be honest many of the excursions were so long and required so much walking that we went to bed early many evenings as our departure times for excursions were also very early (between 7 and 8 am). Not complaining about this but we needed our rest. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
We wanted to start with an ocean cruise that brought us to countries we had not been too before. Norway was amazing and the stops we made along the start of this trip were truly memorable.We did do some of the "optional" tours ... Read More
We wanted to start with an ocean cruise that brought us to countries we had not been too before. Norway was amazing and the stops we made along the start of this trip were truly memorable.We did do some of the "optional" tours along the way and some of the "included" tours were also quite good! The restaurant experiences (food, seating, service, etc) were quite an experience, as everyone seemed to want two help and be a part of our experience! The Fitness Center was perfect, never too crowded and my wife's facial and both our massages were among the best ever! Our room was very comfortable and the staff (Clark and Ameline) were great as far as extra water, coffee, etc. Enjoyed the Explorers Lounge as it was close to our room and got us out and relaxing a bit! There was only one thing that I would not do again...the Malmouse Castle was boring (Baron ?) and we unfortunately had a couple from New York, who seemed to know more than the "Baron" and constantly interrupted his long-winded description of the "castle". The soup was not that great and the organic beer was less than enjoyable! Now, overall, this experience did nothing to dampen the great time we had as we enjoyed everything else on our trip and have booked the Ageatic Cruise for next year and have no qualms about going and enjoying! Thank you! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I was party leader for a group of 10 friends and family. I joined this cruise with low expectations, based on the previous reviews. What I actually experienced was way beyond my expectations. We did the Baltic Cruise and visited Stockholm, ... Read More
I was party leader for a group of 10 friends and family. I joined this cruise with low expectations, based on the previous reviews. What I actually experienced was way beyond my expectations. We did the Baltic Cruise and visited Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersburg and Tallinn. This is an expensive route normally and this was a budget price in the scheme of things. Based on what we paid and what we received there are no complaints. The food was of a good standard at the buffet and the formal dinner and in fact some of the formal dinner food was amazing. I had one of the best beef steaks I have ever had on one evening! The waiters could have been a bit more jovial but they were not rude and their service was fine and we always had a good experience every night. The room was bigger than expected with a good size comfy bed and plenty of hanging space for clothes. We did not see our cabin steward at any time on the cruise but the service was fine and the room was always well looked after. We did have a problem with a shower tray that would not empty properly so one ended up stood in water and also with water overflowing onto the main bathroom floor. I reported this and they came and fixed it while we were out. They then called the room later that day to make sure that we were happy with the fix and by that time we had not used the shower. When we used the shower we found that it was not working correctly still and so we called them and once again they came out to fix it. Once again they called us later that day to check it was ok and this time the fix had worked. I have been on many cruises and I have never had a follow up call to make sure that we were happy with the fix. This is a first for me, so well done to them for actually taking the time twice to make sure we were happy with the repair/fix. Credit where credits due. We did three excursions through Costa and two of these were very good. However we did do the Best of Stockholm and Vasa Museum tour on the final day which is a 3.5 hour tour at €70 per person their ref 2501. This is rushed tour and is not enough time. It ended up that we only had 40 minutes in the Vasa Museum, which is the highlight. They introduced this as one of the World's best Museums and a wonderful experience and then gave us only 40 minutes inside. This is ridiculous as in my opinion you need at least 1.5 hours inside, minimum. I would suggest that you go privately and take your time as this is an amazing museum that deserves more of your time. This was a blemish on what was otherwise a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The restaurant staff very professional and well trained. Out cabine room was superficial clean every day lots of dust and the bedsheets not changed for the entire week. The excursion staff lack of knowledge and very rude not happy to offer ... Read More
The restaurant staff very professional and well trained. Out cabine room was superficial clean every day lots of dust and the bedsheets not changed for the entire week. The excursion staff lack of knowledge and very rude not happy to offer any excursions in English unless is just downtown were we can go by ourselves. We we looking forward to have a nice hiking and engage with nature but NOT POSSIBLE NOT POSSIBLE. When we book the excursion there was nowhere mentioned that they don’t have a English guide available not the necessary number of people needed so the tour can be offer. The excursion assistant manager poor poor quality of service and very disrespectful. I wasn’t expected to have such a unprofessional staff.They absolutely were so rude that I will never try a cruise with this company and I will let everyone know about my terrible experience on the ship. It almost felt that staff were angry when speaking to them in English. They don’t have the urge to offer quality service as you seen been advertised. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The ship is really nice large ship great for families with the splash park slide and pool, kids club ran all day pretty much until 23.00 whixh ours loved. The food in my opinion was great when you think abou thr value against a 4* hotel in ... Read More
The ship is really nice large ship great for families with the splash park slide and pool, kids club ran all day pretty much until 23.00 whixh ours loved. The food in my opinion was great when you think abou thr value against a 4* hotel in Europe you can't compare yes the portions aren't massive but it's a l carte and you get 3 courses and bread so was absoutely plenty and a great standard. The kids menu was the usual burgers nuggets pizzas etc so they were happy. The entertainment was good with lots of choose throughout the ship the show not the best but again I have to compare against the price you would pay for a royal Caribbean ship for example so its not going to be on the same league. But we lways found something to watch on an evening. Overall can't complain and would definetly sail with msc again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The ship was beautiful but not many windows in bars and coffee shops. The staff were hit and miss many of them could not speak English , some were just plain rude. The food was mediocre no where near as much choice as other cruise lines ... Read More
The ship was beautiful but not many windows in bars and coffee shops. The staff were hit and miss many of them could not speak English , some were just plain rude. The food was mediocre no where near as much choice as other cruise lines . Ice cream was chargeable so was cinema bowling etc. the daily activities were sparse . We travelled with a five and a six year old who only went to the children's club once as they found it confusing as they cannot speak Italian or German . The pools were a joke as they were all at least five foot deep, the aquapark is only open when the conditions are right so be mindful of this. We were promised a status match as we are Diamond+ on RCI it sounded amazing before boarding . We did not receive all that was promised due to the fact it was a 3 day cruise. We did get priority boarding (thank god) as some passengers took hours to board the ship. The bottle of Prosecco arrived eventually after a lot of badgering a complimentary meal in Butchers Cut , so glad we did not pay for it as it was average to say the least. We ate once in MDR that was enough. The Inca Restaurant ( Buffet) was very nice it was a shame the food did not match the surroundings. The photos were of high standard. The theatre was lovely the shows were good . The one positive we did not have to stand in line on the ship for the face to face passport checking procedure we went straight to the front . The price we paid was good for the four of us we had a great deal with Criuse Nation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have never cruised before, and chose the specific cruise we went on, due to the availability of kid’s activities for our 10 year old daughter, the destinations throughout the Baltics and a decent price. Getting on board as newbies was ... Read More
We have never cruised before, and chose the specific cruise we went on, due to the availability of kid’s activities for our 10 year old daughter, the destinations throughout the Baltics and a decent price. Getting on board as newbies was a bit stressful, as we did not know the process and there was little information about what to expect. We also was more stressed than was required as we roamed around trying to find out how to register a credit card to our cruise card (which wasn’t obvious on the machines) and find out how the kids club works and how/where to go. As it turned out our daughter never gelled with the kids club, as she was hitting the top end of her age group and felt they were being treated childishly and there were few kids of her age. I did get the feeling a lot of other kids truly enjoyed it, just not ours. The boat was generally fairly busy and the common areas (particularly the buffet and the pool areas) could be very crammed and chaotic. At times the central inside area was blocked by other activities. The dining area was great, with a new menu every day, so there was always lots of choice. We did ultimately enjoy our cruise and had some nice on land days, both self served and on excursion, though it will probably be better if we do another cruise now we know what to expect. The staff was generally attentive, smiley and professional, and the fact that all gratuities were paid centrally was more comfortable, as we come from a culture where wages are fair and tipping is only applicable if the service is exceptional. Disembarkation was brilliant, taking us 10 minutes from we were called till we were in a taxi. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My family was excited for months to cruise. The suite we had was very nice and clean along with a beautiful balcony. Everything from that point on went down hill. There were so many people on the ship you felt like sardines. The ship was ... Read More
My family was excited for months to cruise. The suite we had was very nice and clean along with a beautiful balcony. Everything from that point on went down hill. There were so many people on the ship you felt like sardines. The ship was big and kids activities were nice but you had to wait on line for a couple of hours to do the ropes course, rock wall and some of the slides. The food to say the least was sup par we pretty much ate indian food everyday, eggs bendect were soggy, French toast we tried twice both times not cooked thru, once my daughter got a raw hamberger, barely any seafood, Restaurant service was soooooo SLOW. Only 2 shows that we liked the rest were not entertaining, one time we were asked to leave a show as there were not enough seats crazy isn't it for all the money that we spend they did not have enough entertainment to go around. My son, daughter and Mother in law all got sick and 2 of them had to be quarenteened for 24 hours. They got food poisoning from the ship and this is the best they blamed it on us and were pretty rude about it. I contacted headquarters when I came back to the states only to find out that customer service was not any better twice I wrote to them only receiving an automated response with NO solutions. One of the Worst Cruise lines we have ever taken AVOID AT ALL COST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are a family of 2 adults and 2 teens. We have cruised many times with Royal Carribean and had Junior suites and up, so for this cruise we booked inter connecting balcony cabins on Deck 9. I had read many reviews about MSC and The ... Read More
We are a family of 2 adults and 2 teens. We have cruised many times with Royal Carribean and had Junior suites and up, so for this cruise we booked inter connecting balcony cabins on Deck 9. I had read many reviews about MSC and The Preziosa, and have to say was a little bit concerned about all the negative reviews about service and food. We had booked the Fantastica package that came with drinks up to a value of €10 per drink for the adults and soda and soft serve ice cream for the teens. We flew from Dublin to Hamburg with Ryanair and arrived on time. We took a taxi from outside the airport to the Renaissance Hotel. Hamburg is a beautiful city with lots to see and do. A couple of things we did was eat ice cream by the lake, visit Minatur wunderland and the Hamburg Dungeon (English speaking guide on Saturday & Sunday @ 10am). We took a taxi from the hotel to the Steinwerder terminal. We arrived at about 12.30 and after giving our luggage to the porters we entered the terminal and were given a number 4 ticket and told to wait till it was called. 4 was called after about 20 minutes, so we joined the que to check in. At the desk they verify your passport and documents and give you your sea pass card. We then went through security and proceeded onto the ship. When we got on the ship our photos were taken. In total from arriving to ship took about 45 minutes. Now on the ship in the atrium, staff were welcoming you on board and saying if you want food the restaurant on deck 5 or the buffet on 14. Up to 14 we go, come out of the lift and are greeted at the entrance to the buffet by 2 staff, 1 with anti bacterial spray and the other guy saying 4 of you, let me find you a table (Wow). We are sat at a window and the girls went and explored the buffet, while I kept the table. On the table is a button for bar service, so I had to press it and along came a waiter who got me some drinks. (I’m impressed with this so called bad service and rude staff) I must say the buffet restaurant is big and plenty of choice. I had read that the pizza was good, It is delicious and fresh. So after we eat, it was time to explore the ship, and then find our cabin. We had Cabin’s 9126 & 9124, interconnecting balconies. I noticed that we had early (6pm) seating in the Golden lobster restaurant, so I went to see if we could change to the later @ 8.30pm. No problem, but it is a shared table with other English speaking guests. Now the last time we did a shared table did not work out well, my kids were age 6 & 8 and the others were 3 generations of the same family aged from 87 to 43. Well I have to say we thoroughly enjoyed our table mates, The service was fine, nothing special, or nothing bad. The choice & quality of food was not great in my opinion, but to be honest it didn’t really matter as we were having great conversation at the table. We went to 1 show called the Mask, which was ok. We eat Breakfast and lunch in the buffet, food was perfect, however coffee was weak, but just press that button or go to the bar and get a fresh cappuccino included in the drinks package. The weather was not great so the indoor pool was packed. There is a pool and bar at the back of the ship that would be nice on a warm sunny day. We were only on board for 3 days but we all really enjoyed our first MSC experience. I did miss the not been able to walk around the ship on a lower deck close to the water. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were a group of 10 people (8 adults and 2 children) celebrating my parent's 50 Anniversary and thought the cruise would be the perfect holiday for everyone to bond and spend quality time. We live in Dubai hence we approached ... Read More
We were a group of 10 people (8 adults and 2 children) celebrating my parent's 50 Anniversary and thought the cruise would be the perfect holiday for everyone to bond and spend quality time. We live in Dubai hence we approached Imagine Cruising (The authorised agent for the UAE) for our bookings. We finalized 3 Balcony rooms next to each other and were pretty excited about the arrangements. We paid approx USD 6300 for a family of four for the 9 day full board cruise. On embarking we realised that there were people who had booked directly from NCL who got great deals on beverages, alcohol, speciality restaurants which we were never made aware of by imagine cruising. One of the things that really irritated us was the fact that on arrival the cabin had two bottles of water - One still and one sparkling. Being travelers and been to our share of hotels, usually bottles kept out meant complimentary, however we were told later that sparkling bottle costed USD 6 odd and since the bottle was big and didn't fit in the mini bar it was kept out. When we argued with the guest services that there was no mention of the charges, their reply was "well, it doesn't say that it is free either" WOW!! That's when the distrust started with the cruiseliner...Imagine straight off in the first 15 mins of people embarking the cruiseliner makes approx USD 9 per cabin for the water consumed by unassuming people. Around the fifth day we became aware of a charge called gratuity fee which is USD 15 per person per day. For a family of 4 it came to USD 540 which was never communicated by Imagine cruising to us. We started freaking out coz we had budgets for our trip and this was serious curveball. We are happy to pay gratuity if we are told about these expenses and we raised it with the guest services. It took them 2 days to reverse the fees and we were stressed for 2 days as 3 families were going to get hit with approx USD 1300. We were charged for mini bar consumption which we debated and was reversed. People go on holidays to forget stress but we had it in abundance on this cruise. Everyday we didn't know if we would get a seat at any of the complimentary restaurants, wait time was 40 mins. Garden Cafe Buffet is where we ate our Breakfast/lunch and dinner for about 5 days. O'sheehan's would have a special for the day which would be served till 9pm only and then regular food would be served again with no change in the menu. We didn't understand the concept of having 3 complimentary restaurants with the same menu for 9 days! You basically are finding ways to push people to go for the speciality restaurants out of sheer boredom! A lot of the arcade games across the ship were money making machines, people playing were getting frustrated losing their money. Being travelers we understand that you are docking at lesser known countries like Poland, Estonia to increase their tourism and generating revenue but Poland as a port can be missed entirely as the scenic tour wasn't great. Estonia was a pleasant surprise and St Petersburg was bustling. For some reason when docking at St. Petersburg all gambling activities on the ship ceased leaving us very little to do in the evening time. Good things on the cruise was the food across the restaurants we ate in. The service was good and staff was friendly and helpful. Very good layout of the ship allowed people of different age groups to do their own thing. All in all we could have had a much better and relaxed experience had all the money related problems not been there. I don't think we will sail with NCL again as I don't trust them to be transparent in their dealings, charges and overall approach to customer service. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We flew onto Copenhagen the day before the cruise making our way to the ship on our own. This cruise went to many places in northern and Eastern Europe in the former Soviet block. We enjoy visiting historic and UNESCO sites and St. ... Read More
We flew onto Copenhagen the day before the cruise making our way to the ship on our own. This cruise went to many places in northern and Eastern Europe in the former Soviet block. We enjoy visiting historic and UNESCO sites and St. Petersburg’s palaces and churches and the Peterhof Palace and gardens were wonderfully beautiful on a grand scale. In the evening we enjoyed a variety of traditional Russian folk dance and song complete with an intermission that included pastries and champagne in a beautiful private palace. In Finland we toured the city and drove into the countryside to visit a classic old village and then off to a vineyard at an old farm for a wonderful luncheon and in Estonia we toured a lovely mid-evil town from the 1600’s that survived WW2. In Germany we visited Rostock which was heavily bombed during the war because of the submarine and aircraft manufacturing that existed. Today it’s the home of large shipyards which build cruise ships among other vessels. After touring the cathedral which houses a calendar clock made in the 1420’s and still operating with its original works we drove to the Schwerin Castle. In Stockholm the Vasa Museum and a walk through the old city were spectacular. The Vasa was a 17th century wooden sailing ship with two gun decks that was unstable and had sunk during its maiden voyage in front of the royal palace in 1628. Because the water in the Baltic has such a low salinity level the ship remained nearly completely intact. The visit to Oslo was too short but the sail away through the fjord was beautiful. We had previously visited Oslo so this time we only took a boat cruise around the area. The city itself is beautiful in there are sculptures everywhere the most impressive being in the Vigeland Sculpture Park where hundreds of lifelike granite sculptures depict every stage of human emotion. At the conclusion of the cruise everything during the disembarkation went extremely smoothly and efficiently. Our bags were delivered directly to the airport where we retrieved them for our flight home. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click