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9 Baltic Sea Holiday Cruise Reviews

just returned from the New Year cruise on Q Victoria and had a fantastic time. We were in Amsterdam on New Years Eve and the ship remained on UK time throughout the voyage so that we could enjoy the Magnificent fireworks in Amsterdam at ... Read More
just returned from the New Year cruise on Q Victoria and had a fantastic time. We were in Amsterdam on New Years Eve and the ship remained on UK time throughout the voyage so that we could enjoy the Magnificent fireworks in Amsterdam at midnight Dutch time before coming inside to celebrate all over again on UK time ... A great idea! We were on 2nd sitting in Britannia and the food was excellent the whole time - possibly the best we have experienced since the QE2 days. Entertainment, however wasn't quite as good -the 4Tunes were superb and did a great job on NYE, but an ageing David Copperfield (not the illusionist unfortunately ... The other one) was pretty poor and the Cunard singers and dancers were just average. Sally Sagoe is pitiful and her morning show is torture to watch ... Not a patch on some of the other Entertainment Directors we have seen on Cunard. Having said that, we still had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Yes, we loved it! Mostly down to the fabulous Entertainment team on board the Thomson spirit, I advise you all to book now. They never put a foot wrong, doing two main shows every evening, plays during the afternoon, larking around the ... Read More
Yes, we loved it! Mostly down to the fabulous Entertainment team on board the Thomson spirit, I advise you all to book now. They never put a foot wrong, doing two main shows every evening, plays during the afternoon, larking around the pool AND doing a cabaret late into the night, I really could not fault them. The whole experience was made enjoyable not just by them but also the friendly staff, the great food AND the best cruise director we have ever had on ANY of the cruise lines that we have been on. I would also like to say that the Destination service team were brilliant, organising the trips, especially St Petersburg where about a thousand people went on a range of different excursions. Other destinations included: Warnemunde, Helsinki, Tallinn,Stockholm and Kalundborg ( for Copenhagen ) We should also have gone to the Kiel Canal and Riga but owing to a strike by traffic unions we were diverted to Aalborg in Denmark. (Although You can't blame Thomsons for that!) There were quite a few unhappy people on the ship because it meant an extra day at sea but Aalborg made up for it. The other reviews mentioned the tired looking ship and sure it did have some threadbare carpets and the sound system in the cinema has seen better days but I did hear a rumour that the ship is going for a re-fit at the end of the year (don't quote me on that) But don't let that put you off, a Thomson cruise is simply the best   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
My wife and I, plus two friends have had a wonderful cruise on the Thomson Spirit. We sailed out of Newcastle on the Fjords & Glaciers cruise. This was the first time we have we have sailed with Thomson and hopefully it will not be ... Read More
My wife and I, plus two friends have had a wonderful cruise on the Thomson Spirit. We sailed out of Newcastle on the Fjords & Glaciers cruise. This was the first time we have we have sailed with Thomson and hopefully it will not be the last. OK, the ship is starting to show it's age but the whole crew keep it spotless and what ever the time of day they always greet you with a smile. We had an outside cabin (356) on deck 4. The cabin was spacious with 2 bunks, and plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. It was kept very clean by Nika and Jonathan who looked after us and did a nice turn down service at night. The food and dining was excellent ( I actually put on 6 lbs!!) and were served by our two waiters, Ludi & Jose who made us most welcome with their patter and always with a smile. The entertainment team lead by Richard put on a first class show every night. The dancing and singing would not go amiss on any of the West End theatres. The guest entertainer was Bernie Flint from Opportunity Knocks fame. Well, he had the audience in stitches with his stories and jokes! He proved to be a very versatile entertainer. In summing up the Thomson Spirit gave us a worthwhile experience of cruising on a small friendly ship' Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
When it comes down to value for money my wife and I have always rated P & O very highly - first class standards of comfort, cleanliness, fine dining, entertainment, all round customer care - and these elements were all present and ... Read More
When it comes down to value for money my wife and I have always rated P & O very highly - first class standards of comfort, cleanliness, fine dining, entertainment, all round customer care - and these elements were all present and fully met our expectations on our latest cruise to the Norwegian fjords - 28th June, 2013 - 7 nights. The check in and boarding procedure in Southampton was very well organised and it took us no more than 20 minutes from handing over the car to the meet and greet parking company (worth every penny it cost) to boarding the ship. Just in time for a light lunch in the buffet as we waited for the cabins to become available at 2pm. Greeted at the cabin by our steward, and found a welcoming bottle of champagne - a good way to start our holiday! The first night's sleep was interrupted as a medical emergency aboard required passenger to be evacuated by helicopter to a hospital ashore. A special announcement was made by the Captain at around 3.30am, apologising for disturbing everyone, and advising all passengers that this would be taking place - for safety reasons everyone was asked to stay in their cabins and NOT to go out on the balconies before or during the arrival of the helicopter and subsequent evacuation of the passenger. Unfortunately the Captain had to make two further broadcasts to request those passengers who had ignored his instructions to get off their balconies and to go back inside their cabins! It always amazes us how many people one comes across on cruises who do not have a good word to say for almost any aspect of the ship, its facilities, staff, food quality and choice, entertainment, excursions, etc and, unfortunately, it seems more of these feel driven to share these views, during and after the event, than do people who have thoroughly enjoyed their cruise. It might perhaps be more understandable if these were first time cruisers who had no idea that ships do move in rough weather, that there would be a lot of other passengers also wishing to share, use and enjoy the facilities and who simply find the experience is not for them and not something they would repeat. Strangely however, most of these unhappy people are regular cruisers, as they are only too prepared to tell anyone and everyone who will listen or who happen to be within earshot - if things are so bad we sometimes wonder why they keep coming back for more? We are happy cruisers and decided to post this, our first, review to redress the balance a bit perhaps. We have heard moans that the staff are hostile and rude - not so, every crew member we encountered was friendly, anxious to please and more than happy to go out of their way to assist in any way possible. Perhaps this has something to do with how one treats them - saying please when you ask for something, and thank you when receiving service - a simple smile, saying good morning or just Hi, how are you today? .. and treating those who are serving you with respect works for us. In a recent review of the Azura, we read prior to embarkation that Cabin D214 (the one we were booked in) was noisy with banging and creaking and that sleep was impossible - really? We did not notice anything other than the occasional slight creaking that one gets on any ship, in fact it was a very quiet cabin and sleeping was not a problem. The Ports of Call: Bergen - free shuttle from ship to town centre, famous old wooden houses, delightful port area. Fish market a "must", and the funicular ride to the top of the mountain overlooking the city is well worth taking; two other cruise ships in town that day though did make the queues for this rather long. Andalsnes - The Scenic Train trip to Bjorli from Andalsnes is spectacular and we can recommend this. Olden - Mainly trips going to see the Glacier - there were a number of excursions where one could actually walk on the glacier or, for those wishing just to see the beautiful countryside sights the open-top bus available from the quayside is to be recommended. Not much else to see or do in Olden so an excursion of some sort is a good idea. Stavanger - Nice town centre with charming old wooden buildings - an easy walk from the Quay so no need for shuttles, etc. Overall the cruise was great, fantastic scenery in the fjords, calm seas and reasonable weather. Consistently good, the food was the best we have experienced on any P & O ship, and service in the Peninsular Restaurant was very good. The Glass House offers great value wines by the glass or bottle as well as excellent food at a low cover charge. Entertainment was well up to standard with a hard-working, talented ship's theatre company and a couple of comedy shows by Roy Walker which were great fun. Guest speaker David Shute, a former BBC producer, very interesting. With the usual broad spectrum of other entertainments and the added bonus of Lions rugby and Wimbledon Tennis on the TV's in Brodies and on the outdoor screen on Deck 15, there was plenty to keep us occupied. As usual, the bar prices were sensible and without service charges - wish the other cruise lines like Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, etc would follow this example. Disembarkation was well organised in groups and ran right on plan for timing - it was all really easy and we were in our car and leaving the port within 15 minutes of our designated disembarkation time. In summary, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, "You can please some of the people some of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” Despite having a huge range of different requirements to meet for age groups, mobility, dietary requirements, entertainment preferences and expectations we think Azura and P & O very successfully manage to please most of the people, most of the time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
So disappointed on this trip, we were visiting 7 countries I had never been to before knowing the scenery and the cities would be fantastic I was excited then it all fell to bits. the ports of call we were supposed to make never happened ... Read More
So disappointed on this trip, we were visiting 7 countries I had never been to before knowing the scenery and the cities would be fantastic I was excited then it all fell to bits. the ports of call we were supposed to make never happened instead of sailing into the heart of the cities we were docked in the industrial port areas and 6 times out of 7 we had to pay for transfer buses or thomsons laid on a shuttle service to take us to the city centres only to find all the other cruise lines had berthed in the perfect location. Many complained of this and we were told that because we were a smaller ship we had to give way to the larger ships, the crew told us thomsons wouldn't pay the docking fees. This aside the trip was great although the Baltic is well named as it is Baltic so take a jacket lol. The Spirit is a bit dated and a bit small but as clean as can possibly be. the staff are brilliant in all areas. I had a cabin on deck 4 it was not as described when I booked it, I was told it was spacious it was in fact tiny, we only slept in it but in even a slight sea swell made this impossible as the ship rocked so much and you had to hold on to stop you falling out the smallest of single beds also you had to endeavour the constant droning and vibration of the ships engines 24/7.Lets go through the excursions :- 1. Oslo - well worth the visit and organised trips worth the money and the only city the ship docked in 2. Gothenburg - nice place but you could make your own way around 3. Stockholm - Stunning place we paid for a trip to Vasa museum but you can pay as you go 4.St Petersburg - Organised trip a must lots to see 5. Helsinki - beautiful make you own way very small but a must see 6. Tallinn - Fantastic place make your own way here 7. Warnemunde - This was supposed to be for Berlin we berthed 15km away 6 hour bus trip to Berlin and back 12 hour day no thanks. Ship laid on shuttle bus to warnemunde Great little town beautiful beaches and harbour 8. Kalundborg - For Copenhagen 1 1/2 hour bus trip but nice place but as with Sweden and Norway Denmark is very very expensive We had 4 days at sea on this cruise and unfortunately the Spirit is not big enough to keep you entertained for it all Ok enough of the downside the good bits were the food was excellent, staff cant do enough for you and the nightly entertainment was 2nd to none. Hope this helps you overall it was a good holiday but I wont be back on the Spirit or its sister ship the Celebration as they are too small. I'll give you a tip there is only 3 places to eat, the lido which is buffet style, the sirocco restaurant which you pay for and the compass rose restaurant which is great, the tip is slip your waiter a tip and he will keep you the same table every night and let you in the back door of the dining room and thus avoid huge queues well worth it :-) but all 3 are excellent Raffles bar and High spirits bar have great staff too. Hope you all have a great trip Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
I booked this cruise originally with SHIPS MONTHLY MAGAZINE as a group cruise. But due to not enough numbers we did it on own at their reduced price but without organiser or bridge visits or free excursions. GETTING TO PORT Cruise left ... Read More
I booked this cruise originally with SHIPS MONTHLY MAGAZINE as a group cruise. But due to not enough numbers we did it on own at their reduced price but without organiser or bridge visits or free excursions. GETTING TO PORT Cruise left from NEWCASTLE so went from LONDON KINGS CROSS to NEWCASTLE, i went down a day early to meet someone(but they never turned up) i stayed in MORPETH. The following day i got train MORPETH to NEWCASTLE. the PORT was quite a way from NEWCASTLE. The PORTLINK bus run by FRED OLSEN was 15 each way!! not going to pay that!(sure it used to be FREE!) I asked about a taxi but they said 18! so i got the METRO to NORTH SHIELDS for 1!! and a bus to near the port. EMBARKATION I got there at 1330 and met mike who i was sharing the cabin with, he got there at 1100. He had number 10 ticket while mine was 246. Then i checked in which took 10mins got my ticket and waited to be called. Mike went about 40mins before me. Was not asked for a card to use onboard(a bit strange i thought!) BOARDING I showed my card and was told where my cabin was on ATLANTIC DECK. CABIN As i managed to get an upgrade from inside cabin to outside it was a much larger cabin. 1 single bed and another (a sort of sofa bed made up to another bed.) 1 chair, small tv, 2 portholes and a good sized bathroom with shower.The picture i saw of inside cabin looked really close together. I 1st went on this ship as the "GOLDEN PRINCESS" in 1996 from HAWAII to TAHITI and had cabin 338m an inside i shared but it was quite large, it was now called 4140 and managed to look inside it at the end of the cruise. RESTAURANTS There were 3 restaurants, we were given 4 SEASONS restaurant the largest one. this is the only one really apart from the buffet one. MENU'S were quite good choice and wine list quite good i ordered a carafe of ROSE some days at 5.95 not bad. The waiters all did a really good job. very efficient and never had to wait long for courses to arrive. we had 6 on our table including ours. Both of the others were from DURHAM and were really nice and on so well with them.For breakfast there was a buffet or you could order from the menu, i liked this idea as i could get my favourite "SWISS MUESLI" there. Lunch was the same MENU or a buffet. ENTERTAINMENT Went to all of the shows and they were very good. The dancers were so good as were the comedians.not greatly happy about the size of the showlounge as it was not that large. we usually went down about 5mins before the start and ended up on the side(not a bad view but need to get there early for a good front row seat) PORTS OF CALL 1st was OSLO in norway we only booked excursions in ST PETERSBURG(RUSSIA) as we were docked right in town and just had a walk out to the OPERA HOUSE which looked a bit like SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE i thought. 2nd port was supposed to be HALMSTAD in SWEDEN it would have been a 1st call by BOUDICCA but due to rough seas and the channel was very narrow, The captain decided to miss it out. we never got another port and just seem to go slow to the next port arriving at the same time as in the itinarary. 3rd port was TURKU in FINLAND i had never been here so was interested what it was like. we were docked way from the town so we had a FREE! shuttle bus to take us into town.(unlike HALMSTAD where we were going to be charged 5!! for the shuttle bus!) I read a ship "KRISTINA REGINA" was here as a HOTEL/MUSEUM as the "BORE" so i was determined to go and see her. It sure was a long walk but we made it and went aboard to take a few pictures. Only when we boarded the shuttle bus back we realised that where the "BORE" was moored was very close the the ship. 4TH PORT was HELSINKI in FINLAND a place i have been before, again we were docked a way from town and were charged 5 for the shuttle bus(but never asked to show our tickets!) We walked around the harbour, sadly it was raining so not great walking weather. after walking around the harbour and taking a few pictures got the shuttle bus to the ship. 5TH PORT was ST PETERSBURG(RUSSIA) This was the highlight of the cruise despite being here 8years ago on the "SUN BAY 1" so long ago could not even remember what i saw, i remember booking the "SWAN LAKE BALLET" and it being cancelled as not enough people were interested and doing the FOLKLORIC show including the COSSACK DANCING. This time we booked an independant tour rather than the much more expensive ships tours. I found out about this from others on the roll call on CRUISE CRITIC and my FRIEND who had just done the same tour. It was $300 each for 2 days including admission and lunches which was a great price! i was a bit worried as we had no visa and FRED OLSEN made a point in telling us if we had no visa we would not get into RUSSIA. But as my friend just walked through customs i was hoping for the best. We met 2 of the others on our tour and another 2 outside the customs so there was 6 of us altogether. It was a mini bus which was good, we saw everything, ALLA TOURS are such a good company we had a great time. 6TH PORT was COPENHAGEN in DENMARK. We were docked in LANGALINE a good place a ittle way from town, but i had been here before. We walked around in NYHAVN and came back to ship for LUNCH. Later i went off again to the supermarket to get some BEERS. I wanted to see if they took them of me(they did not, even though i told them it was beer! despite them always saying they take ALCOHOL off you and keep it till the last day of the cruise I HAVE NEVER HAD ANY TAKEN! in 53 cruises!!! TIPS These were added to your account at 2 for WAITER and the same for CABIN STEWARD. personally i like this idea it saves trying to get cash to put in envelopes. ALL IN ALL I really enjoyed this cruise we really had the best time and met a lot of really nice people. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Wonderful experience overall. Staff were lovely, approachable and present, but discrete. Embarkation / disembarkation was seamless. The cabin was small, the bathroom and shower area very small. Elevators easy to obtain and ... Read More
Wonderful experience overall. Staff were lovely, approachable and present, but discrete. Embarkation / disembarkation was seamless. The cabin was small, the bathroom and shower area very small. Elevators easy to obtain and moving around the ship is easy. You hardly feel there are 650 passengers on board and it is easy to mingle and meet people. We chose to dress up everynight, but dressy casual is sufficient. Loved the open dining policy - it really meant not having to look at a watch! The open wine served (although is limited to a glass) is rarely enforced, very nice wines. Food is amazing and often a hard choice on what to select! Or do as I did and eat 2 desserts every night - the velvety cappuccino is wonderful! We throughly enjoyed the Prime C restaurant. The open pool bar has great hamburgers and tacos and the coffee at the Italian cafe is divine, as well as the afternoon nibbles! The lovely THICK mattress poolside coupled with the warm pool made it hard to leave the pool everyday! HIGHLY recommend this cruise line. A nice size ship, without feeling lost. Facilites and food excellent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We are a Belgian couple who travelled with another Belgian couple from Copenhagen to Sint-Petersburg on the Costa Atlantica. We had a very nice holiday. Our inside cabin (without view) was comfortable and large with many space to ... Read More
We are a Belgian couple who travelled with another Belgian couple from Copenhagen to Sint-Petersburg on the Costa Atlantica. We had a very nice holiday. Our inside cabin (without view) was comfortable and large with many space to stock luggage and belongings. The weather was not so good, and we missed form time to time a balcon to sit on. Costa Atlantica has many many rooms with a balcony. Next time we surely would choose therefor; it is worth the higher price. The ship offers Italian kitchen, which we really like. The quality of the food is very good, with 2 seatings in the evening and very friendly personnel. At night (until 1 p.m.!!) they keep on serving pizza's on deck 9 and a dessert buffet on deeck 3. Very nice! We enjoyed our holiday and got good value for money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
We were very apprehensive as we flew from Buffalo to Washington DC then to Frankfurt Germany and finally to Basel, Switzerland to board The River Symphony from Grand Circle Travel. However, all our tension eased as they promptly delivered ... Read More
We were very apprehensive as we flew from Buffalo to Washington DC then to Frankfurt Germany and finally to Basel, Switzerland to board The River Symphony from Grand Circle Travel. However, all our tension eased as they promptly delivered our luggage to the room that would be our home for the next week. We loved floating north on the Rhine viewing the countryside and towns from our room or on the deck (although chilly. Our directors were top-notch, the food was first class (every meal and what choices, our cabin was spotless....My husband was especially impressed that we had the choice of joining the tours offered or just staying on board or walking to town on his own if his arthritis was bothering him. All in all, we can not say enough about this wonderful trip and all the ports--Kayersburg, Riquewihr, Baden-Baden, Strasbourg, Speyer, Heidelberg, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brussels, Brugge....all with their wonderful Christmas markets. I know I forgot some but we have many very fond memories of this trip! (We purchased the post-extension to the trip and traveled by bus from Ansterdam to Brussels and train to Brugge) We are now looking at the Danube! Hopefully soon. Read Less
Sail Date November 2008

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