Being a newbie and having never cruised before, we got the royal treatment, family trip with three senior adult women who booked in an inside cabin, sisters had previously cruised so they were more skilled and knew what to expect. A short ... Read More
Being a newbie and having never cruised before, we got the royal treatment, family trip with three senior adult women who booked in an inside cabin, sisters had previously cruised so they were more skilled and knew what to expect. A short time before sailing we were offered an upgrade email upsell list of possibilities and quickly took the family suite for a little over $200 each, doubling our space, closets, and adding a bathtub. We were all excited and impressed! HUGE 400+ sq. feet, Wonderful room, floor to ceiling windows on one side of the double cabin, concierge, butler, and room attendant, sweetest people, doing whatever they could for us. Flower arrangement, space, drawers, coffee maker espresso, etc. royal treatment! Room 10128, near the pool area, front of the ship, close to elevators too, really nice. Our room was in excellent condition, beds, furniture, carpet, bathroom, everything like brand new.
Always coming back finding food in the room, fresh cut fruit, cookies, cheese and crackers, fruit bowl, canapés, chocolate covered strawberries, sandwiches, on and on, and we are three women virtually always on a diet, so the scale in the bathroom was helpful to keep track while we also enjoyed the snacks and the attention that comes with being in suite. Maybe because of the suite, though honestly there wasn't anything I could complain about, not one thing, personnel staff, cruise director, Cruise Next Director Paloma, they were all helpful and excellent. We bought the $250 deposit and they gave us another $250 toward another cruise, thus insuring you make an additional two cruises...which is a no brainer anyway!
We purchased a 3 meal dining package, spa pass for the whole cruise, and 100 minute internet. Loved them all though would likely not do spa on busy cruises with many stops, due to time and busy schedule it was wasteful to us. Though we loved the folks in the spa, wonderful manager with great personality, and never felt pressured to buy anything, even pictures taken here and there, we waved away with a smile and no one ever put any pressure on us. Internet worked well and any problem was quickly and generously resolved by our internet steward.
Special dining Meals were out of sight wonderful, and loved Versailles other wise, took only one meal at the Main street ? Café buffet, Loved Cagney's, LOVED Le Bistro and Teppanyani was ok. My favorite and best meal on the ship was Cagney's and Le Bistro, though honestly we loved Versailles and ate there most other times in evening. As suite holders we had breakfast and lunch at times in Cagney's. Aqua was ok, as was the Irish Pub place in the center atrium, food the same in both dining rooms, (Aqua and Versailles), though Aqua had lower ceilings and personnel seemed different, not as happy. And by this time we loved Versailles. Overall I totally enjoyed the evening meal dining, funny at home I have large lunches and rarely eat in the evening so it was a real treat to dine and be waited on. Don't drink much at all, though I do enjoy mimosa from time to time, and they offered them for $5.25 each morning from 800-1200 noon, so I had a few of those and rolled off the boat once with a slight buzz. smile!
My sister knows what she is doing with poker and said she won about $800 bucks on the ship, poker machines....my mother gambled some, and was a winner also. I pay nickel or quarter one at time..HA! Anyway FYI it can be done!
We went to a few evening shows and enjoyed them though if tired we skipped them. I am an avid walker and kept up with my steps using my fitbit and updating the dashboard using ship internet, as though I was home. The promenade on level 7 is grand place to walk and I am not sure how many miles I did around that ship though honestly likely between shore moves and laps, 5-7.5 miles a day. I kept it to about 13000 to 15000 steps a day. Zoom! That was me that just passed. There were regular walkers each day morning and evening. I did not get to the solo mixers though hope to next time and also did not know that cruise critic has mixers til today so I'll be looking into that, though we did meet some really sweet couples from Scotland, who were on our St Pete Alla Tour and another from Flowery Branch, Georgia, Quebec City, Canada. Also I did not get to the yoga or exercise classes in fitness center, so on next cruise as tie allows, will do that next cruise.
Tallin Estonia, sisters did a tour that they loved, I walked into town solo and thoroughly enjoyed walking around, visiting an old church, taking pictures, enjoying the day. Lovely old town, and love the idea that they had sung their way to freedom! Sweet, non violent. Wonderful
Berlin, Germany- we decided due to the distance not to do that and took the train to Rostock, walked around the downtown shopping area, sis lost her credit cards, so we hung around while that got sorted, buying candies, marzipan at a special shop, groovy! though again lovely area.
St Petersburg- Here we had previously booked a ALLA tour and it wasn't cheap $300 for two full days, though we had Svetlana and she was amazing, Hermitage, Peteroff, river tour, Church of the blood, it was a full 7 hours both days, great driver, she is really, wonderful, if you decide to go with ALLA, try to get Svetlana. A remarkable young woman, it is rare to see someone who has found there true calling. It feels good just beng in her presence. On request they even took us to a regular grocery store and we were able to purchase a few vodka bottles for friends at home, which they really appreciated. Amazing days, and full. Hats off to ALLA ST. Petersburg Svetlana!!!. (Stockholm ALLA was a slight disappointment in comparison.)
Helsinki, Finland- Hop on Hop off and got down at Hard rock Café and had a couple of drinks and huge nacho platter, YUM!
Stockholm, Sweden- Arriving to Stockholm and watching early morning from the top side, front of the ship, there were about a dozen of us all quiet and taking pictures as to not disturb the peace and quiet of our arrival. Each side of the ship passing fairly closely to cabins, retreats, compounds, all the homes on all the small islands of the Archipelago becoming more and more dense with population as we get closer to Stockholm. Located on many islands again ALLA tour and it was ok, enjoyed Vasa tour inside the museum. Loved the yachts and amazing to observe the way they live in an geographically interesting place like this.
The weather was amazing...we weren't sure how it might be, though it was really nice. Second week in September.
Stayed a few hours in Copenhagen, after checking at airport via metro returned to old town and visited Nyhavn, enjoyed photos, lunch and ice cream there.
Gained only 6 pounds and it is already gone and now I have already booked two more NCL cruises, one in June 2016 out of Copenhagen Norway cruise on the Star again and the other a fire sale, Mediterranean cruise on the Spirit in 3 weeks, Oct 24th. Read Less