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958 Baltic Sea Senior Cruise Reviews

I prefer traveling alone and I sail Norwegian because of the studio cabins. I also have rewards with Norwegian because I have sailed them so many times. I have not had the opportunity to travel abroad since the 1960's and I wanted ... Read More
I prefer traveling alone and I sail Norwegian because of the studio cabins. I also have rewards with Norwegian because I have sailed them so many times. I have not had the opportunity to travel abroad since the 1960's and I wanted to be more adventurous so I chose this Northern Europe cruise, I was interested in the ports, the culture, the people, the history, the beauty, etc. If I were to do it over again, I would have done so much differently. I stayed in Copenhagen for four days pre-cruise. I bought the Copenhagen Card but lost money because I did not use it enough. I wish that I had bought the HOHO bus in Copenhagen. I stayed at First Hotel 27 and can recommend. Breakfast was excellent and so was wi fi. Staff was great and I loved the personal care items. Location was very good. Copenhagen is great. Beautiful City with lots to do but as you have heard, it is also expensive. For Germany, I did not want to deal with the trek to Berlin and went to Schwerin and Schwerin Castle. I was not disappointed. I was surprised at how beautiful Tallinn was. I took The Palace and Old City tour. I learned a lot but HOHO bus might be a good option depending. St. Petersburg was still very crowded with tourists. The Hermitage was still overcrowded and frantic. I wish that I had chosen the evening visit. Try to avoid using the cloakroom if possible because it is so hard to get your things when leaving. Things were so chaotic in the Hermitage that I took a fall. Peterhof was beautiful. Recommended. Another very pleasant surprise as I was not expecting it to be so beautiful. Helsinki was a peaceful and relaxed respite after St. Petersburg. While I took an excursion, this would be a good port for doing the HOHO bus or just walking. In Sweden, I took the Stockholm by Sea and Land excursion. Stockholm is beautiful and so interesting but then so were all the ports. Another port where the HOHO might be a good choice. I believe that it picks up and returns to the port. I ate at the Garden Cafe and 24/7 restaurant only. The food was just so so. It was a hit or a miss. However, if you had a miss, you could always go back trying to find a hit. Desserts were always delicious and coffee is always terrible. The Atrium was always too loud and noisy. NCL needs to move some of the entertainment to The Theater or somewhere else on the ship. I did enjoy the Abba Tribute. I also sent to the Farewell Show and Million Dollar Quartet. Both very good. I was upgraded to a large size Oceanview which had a bathtub but no coffee machine. While I liked the window, I often could not see out because of water and fog. Embarkation and Disembarkation went smoothly for me. Some staff was friendly and helpful while others were not. That has been the situation on all my cruises and I have learned to go with the flow. Weather was good to us. It was always in the 50's and overcast but only a few sprinkles now and then. Very comfortable with the right clothing. it was a wonderful learning experience but it was a very demanding and exhausting and intense voyage. Also, a very expensive cruise. I went way over budget and I still was frugal and cautious with my spending. If possible, try to avoid having to change planes at Heathrow which is a nightmare. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I have frequently sailed with Saga and much enjoyed the charm of her smaller ships, Pearl and Sapphire so it was, with some uncertainty, that we sailed on her new Ship Spirit of Discovery. As we approached her berth I wasn’t ... Read More
My wife and I have frequently sailed with Saga and much enjoyed the charm of her smaller ships, Pearl and Sapphire so it was, with some uncertainty, that we sailed on her new Ship Spirit of Discovery. As we approached her berth I wasn’t initially enthused by her look, but gradually, throughout our back to back cruise, she grew in stature and even majesty. With a bigger ship one wondered whether Saga would retain the warm community feel of her earlier vessels. They had. Immediately one boarded one saw the smiles of the staff and to be frequently greeted by name was astonishing. Cabins (ours was a Standard Cabin) are very comfortable with a pleasing balcony and pleasant sitting area. The one limitation is the gap between the end of the bed and the cabin wall/television which is fairly narrow. But you make it work. The bathroom is neat and compact with a very fine shower. Dining has always been a great delight aboard Saga ships. The new Grand Dining Room though large is separated into sections which, though part of a grand whole, appear as individual restaurant areas. The food is as always a delight. On the ship there are three speciality restaurants. Coast to Coast, a fish restaurant, produces outstanding dishes and the The Club Restaurant, a steak house, provides succulent and large steaks. There is an East to West restaurant, but my wife has some dietary difficulties thus we declined that experience, though told it is very good. My wife’s dietary limitations were always well catered for: she receives the dinner menu a day early to assist. Even the wine offered at lunch and dinner has slightly improved..... still some way to go. Public areas are a joy. The Living Room is at the centre of the ship, busy and a great place to have the free coffee. The Library is a delight but crowded, too crowded. It is close to the Craft rooms which are good to see, but enthusiastic Passengers mean that classes are still too big for the amenities. On Saga Ships the Britannia Lounge has always been very important. It is a splendid space but, during the day, it is hardly used and we found it quieter than the Library, just how we like it. All these public rooms have coffee facilities linked and bars. In addition there is the South Cape Bar, stylish and very busy before dinner. At the rear of the Ship that are terraces on every deck encouraging passengers to relax and be lazy, while the Lido area is a magnet for many with a reasonable size pool. A first for Saga is the Playhouse, seating approximately 450. Watched a film there with 11 other people! It does allow performers greater opportunity but seats can sometimes be at a premium. Entertainment quality is mixed. The permanent Company are more mature performers than on previous ships and it shows. The guest performers vary in quality: haven’t yet seen a successful Comedian/Magician. There seems to be a penchant for flashing lights and excessive noise. Some like it, but not my cup of tea. Give me the Classical Quartet which provides talent and pleasure. They were challenging and very musical. Activity on board seems less than on the older ships and some passengers missed the variety of competitions. The Excursion team do a great job, though the value for money aspect of some of the excursions needs consideration. We had an evening excursion in Copenhagen, same as an afternoon trip, but we did have some peanuts and a glass of “bubbly, but it cost £20 extra. A poor excursion. The great joy of travelling with Saga are the Staff and Officers, all of whom seem truly interested in your well being. It is a superb ship, but even so there is a list of oddities. No washing line in Cabin Bathrooms. I think this is being addressed. The Fridge in the Cabin is ridiculous and noisy. A delightful television but on a 19 day cruise we had programmes for only about 7 days (and we were sailing relatively close to U.K.). Post the Captain’s Cocktail Parties the Grand Dining Room is overwhelmed and has problems coping with seating. Throughout the ship there are wonderful and many varied chairs and settees, but I do wonder whether anyone sat on them before purchase. One needs to be 6ft 3 ins to be comfortable in most. The disembarkation process was more chaotic than usual. Too many people were herded into the Britannia Lounge to await disembarkation....... with not enough seating. For many regular Saga passengers some comment that now they have to walk further. True, the Ship seems larger but the additional distances are not great. I love the Ship and the experiences. Counting the days to our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because of the stop at St. Petersburg. We also booked a two day excursion through Princess and were very satisfied with the experience. The start at Copenhagen and later a stop at Tallin and Warnemunde/Rostok (we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the stop at St. Petersburg. We also booked a two day excursion through Princess and were very satisfied with the experience. The start at Copenhagen and later a stop at Tallin and Warnemunde/Rostok (we didn't go to Berlin) were new to us. The other countries, Sweden, Norway and Finland we had visited before but enjoyed going back again. We have traveled Princess for 6 trips all over the world and they are a good solid cruise line. The overall experience on the Regal was good if you subtract the introduction of the Medallion program. No matter what you read, this program is in it's infancy and very buggy. In our opinion, of course. The problem is that the marketing department touts all that the program can do but when you as a passenger are trying to use the various apps - it can be extremely frustrating. Why? because other than getting you into your room and on and off the ship it only works as advertised 50% of the time (at best). We and our 7 companions on this cruise all ran into similar problems. If you are not technologically sophisticated, forget it, as it stands, the Medallion program will drive you nuts. OK enough on that topic. The staff on Princess are top notch! And this cruise is no exception - from our cabin attendant to the dinning room staff to bartenders, etc. all make you fell pampered and appreciated. Even staff that have no direct relationship to you make a point of saying hello. Entertainers were great and every evening we had something to do that was fun. Food - this is a bit dicey because my wife and I don't eat meat, chicken, turkey, etc. We do eat seafood, some eggs and cheese. So my comments are based on our experience as semi-vegetarians. In general the vegetarian options in the dinning rooms are carb heavy and very light on acceptable protein. So if you are like us, plan on spending time at the Horizon Court where you have a wide selection of excellent vegetarian friendly choices. In closing you can't go wrong with Princess but at this point we suggest going in with no expectations for the "Medalion" program and be pleasantly surprised if things have improved by the time you sail. We have another trip booked in the Mediterranean in 2020 so we'll report back then. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Only supposed to be 1 night at sea but due to weather we had 2 consecutive days and could not go outside. Ship could not visit Gdańsk. Been with Viking river cruises before And delighted with professionalism of the staff. Visited ... Read More
Only supposed to be 1 night at sea but due to weather we had 2 consecutive days and could not go outside. Ship could not visit Gdańsk. Been with Viking river cruises before And delighted with professionalism of the staff. Visited places we wanted Togo Outstanding staff and food with a variety of restaurants to choose from. Our favourite was the world cafe. No rigid seating in any restaurant and plenty of tables for two.the drinks flowed at dinner and lunch too. Beautiful floating palaces. The evening entertainment was of a high standard and varied.matthew singing during the evening in the explorer lounge was excellent too. The enhancement programme was rather high brow for our tastes, however. Excursions were well arranged with no queuing to get on and off. Included excursions were orientation tours of each city. There was a large variety of additional excursions but we considered these expensive and only did ones in St Petersburg. Viking is an outstanding company but you do need to be aware that customers are predominantly Americans. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Friends who had travelled on many cruise lines before suggested that Viking was now one of the top - so well worth considering if we wanted to cruise. The entire cruise and the staff who looked after us were superb. The ship never ... Read More
Friends who had travelled on many cruise lines before suggested that Viking was now one of the top - so well worth considering if we wanted to cruise. The entire cruise and the staff who looked after us were superb. The ship never seems crowded / no queuing in the restaurants. A thoroughly enjoyable experience. More expensive than some other cruise lines but you only get what you pay for! The shore excursion guides were very knowledgeable but I did wish on occasions that we had been given more time to explore the various places by ourselves as in Nice and Monaco Perhaps not to have combined both places in one tour would have given us the additional time we should have liked to look around that particular place. The food on board was superb. Excellent choices and everything so perfectly presented whether at the buffet or service at the table. The wines offered as part of the all inclusive are of extremely good quality - so much better than one might have anticipated as a freebie! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is our fifth cruise. In general we are very satisfied with the cruising experience. We’ve done NCL, Princess Cruise and Celebrity before. MSC is definitely different from the “American” lines. The check in was straight ... Read More
This is our fifth cruise. In general we are very satisfied with the cruising experience. We’ve done NCL, Princess Cruise and Celebrity before. MSC is definitely different from the “American” lines. The check in was straight forward. No major problems. To get in and out of the ship, the staff scans your sea pass card at a machine and authorize. Quite simple. They say kind people are the best kind of people. And we couldn’t agree more. The staff on Meraviglia was one of the best we’ve ever come across. Always smiling, always warm, always happy (and eager) to help. From the moment we got down at Kiel station, to the moment we got back there – every member of the staff went out of the way to help us. What we found unique on this ship was the main staffs spoke 6 major languages – French, Italian, English, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese. The first night, the food was acceptable to very good comparing to other cruises that we have taken before. The staffs were warm, quite quick with service. The dining room is all on one level 5 and the cafeteria Market Place is located on 14 th floor. The first show as the world of hand was a magician who made animal shapes with his hands, he was very good. Since this is a European ship and the smoke is allowed in some places dedicated in the ship as the bar and casino. The activities were quite expensive as €35 for a F1 simulation car for 30 minutes, €25 for 4 people for 10 pin bowling for 30 minutes, €9 for flight simulation. Cirque du soleil was also on the ship, tickets varied from €15 with a drink and €45 with a dinner. Our cabin had the balcony. We therefore were so enjoyed watching the sea as the ship was moving. The Market Place/cafeteria was a mesh for finding tables. We had to share with strangers as no table available for us sometime. Our cruise plan also included dinner at the Olivo D’Oro restaurant every night, table 733 near the veranda, where we could peacefully sit around a table, and enjoy a dining experience while having conversations with friends and watching the wave as the ship moving. However we found unreasonable as the soft drink including water were charged to the room when we were in the restaurants. It was free in the Market Place/cafeteria. We saw our room attendant twice every day. Room was left in excellent condition. The shopping offers were reasonable enough with cocktail offerings. The price of the excursions were quite high due the high cost of living in Norway comparing to the North American one. As mentioned before this is our fifth cruise and we came back with a fond memory and grateful. Thank MSC Meraviglia for providing us with memories of a lifetime! Two families Nguyen from Montreal and Toronto September 2019 Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We cruise at least once a year and had been with NCL before, albeit a smaller ship last time. Embarking was fine, although we had to wait at the airport for sometime before the transport arrived. Having been with NCL and having bronze ... Read More
We cruise at least once a year and had been with NCL before, albeit a smaller ship last time. Embarking was fine, although we had to wait at the airport for sometime before the transport arrived. Having been with NCL and having bronze rewards we were supposed to have priority boarding, this didn't happen, not that we were that bothered about that. Our stateroom was lovely and kept very clean by our steward. We had a balcony and I would do that again. We opted for the all inclusive drinks package and gratuities were included so this was a fairly expensive cruise. Unfortunately there appears to be a hard sell all the time with NCL, which can be annoying. The included restaurants were good but the food in the buffet restaurant was always tepid, probably because of the number of people. There was always something going on quizzes etc, so plenty to do but it was disappointing that the casino area stank of smoke and you very often had to walk through that area. The excursions were fine but quite expensive, especially in St Petersburg. We were not able to get into Gothenburg because of the weather and I fully support that decision as safety comes first. However, the captain managed to get clearance for the ship to go to Copenhagen earlier so that guests could visit the city if they wished to. Fantastic we thought. Unfortunately when we got there it was utter chaos, no shuttles people wandering around phoning for taxis and not knowing quite what to do. There was a local bus stop and ticket machine which we managed to figure out how to use and then we all queued for the bus. We did manage to eventually get into the city and walk to the little mermaid. We then went to get the bus back only to find the last bus finished at 7pm. This wasn't NCLs fault but I was very disappointed that there was a total lack of information for people and we were left to figure it out for ourselves. I would have thought when they knew we were going to go to the port early then a few phone calls could have been made to organise shuttles. We wouldn't have minded paying for this. Having been with another cruise line (Viking) and a similar thing happened where we were not able to get to the place we were supposed to, they organised coaches to take us there and compensated us with credit towards another cruise with them, which we didn't expect as we still got to do the excursion and our lunch was provided in a hotel as we were away from the boat all day. NCL did refund our excursions cost but this was paid in dollars not back on the credit card, which means you lose some of it when getting it changed to your currency. NCL offered nothing in the way of compensation for missing one of the ports, which as there wasn't many made a big impact on the cruise. If we had been offered something towards another cruise we probably would go with them again, but it seems they are not interested in doing that unlike Viking, despite the latitudes reward scheme. Summing up, I think I wouldn't go for such a large ship as there were no quiet areas, unlike their other ship the Jewel that we went on before, also the hard sell was more evident this time. The floor on which the casino was situated smelt of smoke all the time. The positives were that there was always good entertainment and the staff were lovely. The stateroom was really good and spacious. There were lots of restaurants to choose from but I was surprised how many were dedicated to the 'additional cost' category. I would chose another cruise line over NCL just because of their lack of after sales customer relationship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
a one week Baltic cruise fit our schedule and we wanted to sail on a newer ship.They did an excellent job handling 4500 guests We are regular cruisers on several US lines. after reading reviews of this ship I was somewhat cautious. It ... Read More
a one week Baltic cruise fit our schedule and we wanted to sail on a newer ship.They did an excellent job handling 4500 guests We are regular cruisers on several US lines. after reading reviews of this ship I was somewhat cautious. It turns out that the experience was great. MSC is extremely organized, both getting on and off the ships as well as their excursions, theater reservations, and meal times. While not our favorite dining experience you can find plenty to satisfy. They have some excellant Gelato, chocolate, and British pub locations we tried, all good. The overall entertainment was the best we have encountered. The Cirque du soleil and theater presentaions were great. Also a very friendly crew. Beautiful newer ship. We met people from all over the world, but they did not overwelm you with foreign language announcements. Would not hesitate to sail with MSC again. This ship is heading to Miami. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this Cruise because of the port destinations. I had never been on a cruise and this exceeded all of my expectations. All of the staff and crew that I encountered were very friendly and helpful my cabin Steward was excellent. The ... Read More
I chose this Cruise because of the port destinations. I had never been on a cruise and this exceeded all of my expectations. All of the staff and crew that I encountered were very friendly and helpful my cabin Steward was excellent. The food was great the entertainment was out of this world. There were a few things I thought could have been better explained... Like it showed we were going to be in Reykjavik Iceland for 3 days in reality we got there one night were there a whole day and left at 1 a.m. so we were really only there for one day. There we're 2 sea days coming & going to Iceland. Then it was usually pretty difficult getting from the port into the town and you're not told of that. But overall this was one of the best experiences of my life and at the end of the cruise I bought 4 gift cards to cruise again. So Bravo to the crew of the spirit. As you see I said great value for my money even though I went as a single person I had to pay double the cabin price but I still thought it was worth it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose the cruise because of the variety of excellent ports of call. It was our first Viking cruise, and we were very impressed by the beauty of the ship, the attention to detail, the variety of food choices and restaurants, and caring ... Read More
We chose the cruise because of the variety of excellent ports of call. It was our first Viking cruise, and we were very impressed by the beauty of the ship, the attention to detail, the variety of food choices and restaurants, and caring staff. Every port was different, and every one worth visiting. We were impressed by the quality of excursions offered, whether included or extra. Each was led by a knowledgeable tour leader, and both informative and enjoyable. The lectures were all excellent, and the speakers knowledgeable about the varied subjects. We enjoyed The Explorer’s Lounge...a perfect place to relax before dinner or enjoy the sunset. Our room was comfortable and very well maintained by our excellent and caring cabin steward.. we never wanted for anything. We enjoyed the restaurants, the variety of food, and the ability to decide where and when we would have our meals. We chose to extend our vacation..both before and after the cruise. Both hotels we stayed in were very good, as were the Viking representatives in the hotel lobby. Well done, Viking! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This trip was highly recommended by family and friends who had already been on this trip. It was everything they said it would be and more! The overall experience was world class exceptional! The visit to 8 countries and 11 ports ... Read More
This trip was highly recommended by family and friends who had already been on this trip. It was everything they said it would be and more! The overall experience was world class exceptional! The visit to 8 countries and 11 ports was amazing. The tours were done by educated, experienced, well- spoken tour guides who provided a wealth of information. They gave us a glimpse of life for each country visited. There was a lot of fast paced walking so this trip is not for those with ambulatory issues. We loved every port and country we went to. The Viking ship, Sea, was the perfect size to get in and out of all the ports and waterways. It was beautiful and had much to offer. Our room was spacious, newly updated, great amenities and very comfortable. The food was world class. The variety of restaurant choices was perfect and each venue had great choices. The staff were very personable, funny, provided for every need. Allen and Dickie, our cabin stewards were exceptional at their job. They were very personable, respected our routine and privacy and provided what we needed. The entire shipboard staff were exceptional. I highly recommend using Viking Air to arrange flights. Perfect flight arrangements. Everything was well coordinated and organized from Viking. The trip was very costly but worth it! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Desire to visit the Northern Europe countries. We have visited many parts of the world but never the Northern Europe area. Being older the cruise was an excellent way to travel. Do not have to constantly pack and repack your belonging ... Read More
Desire to visit the Northern Europe countries. We have visited many parts of the world but never the Northern Europe area. Being older the cruise was an excellent way to travel. Do not have to constantly pack and repack your belonging as you move from site to site. The excursions at each of the ports gave you the opportunity to see many different sites. The local guides were very good and gave you all kinds of local information. The service on the ship was outstanding. Variation of food was very good and the multiple restaurants gave you the opportunity to choose what you wanted to eat. Only problem encountered was the airplane return trip. United Airlines had a 5 hour delay at the Amsterdam airport switch that was handled extremely poorly. It will be a long time before I ever choose to fly with United Airlines. All other services and problems were handled very well by Viking 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
Our travel agent chose the company and we chose to cruise in order to visit countries we had not visited before. Also we are senior citizens and wanted a quiet cruise, and a freestyle cruise. At ther airport, representatives of NCL met us ... Read More
Our travel agent chose the company and we chose to cruise in order to visit countries we had not visited before. Also we are senior citizens and wanted a quiet cruise, and a freestyle cruise. At ther airport, representatives of NCL met us and transfer to the ship and embarkation went smoothly. The cabin was super and the cabin attendant, Mr. Farid, did an excellent job throughout the cruise. The food was excellent, in the buffet and in the other restaurants. It was even better than what we expected. Crew members as well as support personal were helpful and always smiling. We did not watch any show, so I do not have any comment about entertainment. We did not play at the casinos and did not participate in outdoors activities either. We did 2 excursions in Saint Petersburg, guides were competent and funny. On the negative side, your beverage plan ought to be more flexible. My wife does not drink alcohol and I would have had to buy two packages. You will agree that 200$ per day is a lot of booze for a single individual, I do not drink that much. We appreciated the daily leaflet, it answered many questions. It was nice to have a French-speaking representative, Mrs Dionne, on board. We will definitely go again on a crise with NCL but we cannot make any commitment right now. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Never thought we would do another Baltic cruise but as my wife is Polish there was never a question. We took full advantage of our Platinum benefits getting five on this particular cruise. Having flights, transfers and excursions booked ... Read More
Never thought we would do another Baltic cruise but as my wife is Polish there was never a question. We took full advantage of our Platinum benefits getting five on this particular cruise. Having flights, transfers and excursions booked through NCL made most everything go nice and easy. A few bumps however did occur. First we landed on the day of the Gay Pride Parade which was no fault of the cruise line, unfortunately the normally 25 minute ride from the airport took two and a half hours. As mentioned in another review getting back on board in Gdansk took quite some time, as I recall both gangways were open but all of the cruise excursion buses seem to all get back at the same time. Another problem seemed to be with the passengers themselves. As with our previous cruise four years ago I can honestly say that we have never seen so many rude people or experienced a total lack of manners from fellow travelers. I even observed one lady verbally abuse one of the crew members for attempting to spray hand sanitizer, which is done at every entrance to all dining areas, as she felt she was being accused of being dirty. This complete lack of manners is totally unacceptable and was reported to the Director of Food and Beverage. Excursion to Berlin was great and we had one of the best guides ever. Russia was as impressive as always and we did a repeat visit to the Hermitage. Room steward was most polite and attentive, cabin always nice and clean. Didn't go to any shows however we really enjoyed all of our meals especially at Cagney's Steak House. Hardest part of the entire trip was going through Customs at JFK which took over two hours of being in line after line. 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
The Norwegian Spirit was our first Norwegian cruise. My husband and I usually cruise with Princess or Celebrity. When I saw this wonderful itinerary for the Baltic with so many ports, we decided to book it. When we arrived on the ... Read More
The Norwegian Spirit was our first Norwegian cruise. My husband and I usually cruise with Princess or Celebrity. When I saw this wonderful itinerary for the Baltic with so many ports, we decided to book it. When we arrived on the ship we were taken aback how dated it was. The decor, colors and public restrooms were all very very dated. The spa was decorated with Egyptian style decor. Having sailed on some of the newer ships, this is the worst ship we have ever been on. In speaking with the staff and other passengers, it is supposed to go into dry dock in January 2020. CABIN: We had a balcony room on the 10th floor and the main problem was the toilet not flushing, The bathroom was extremely dated and very tight. Having sliding doors on the shower and toilet area gives you less space. Our main problem with this room was the toilet not flushing. I had to call guest services no less than 6 times. The plumbing was a major issue. On a cruise that was a total of 16 days, the first 12 days we had to guess whether the toilet would flush or not! Finally they sent a plumber over to change a part. Then the toilet would not stop flushing for 3 or 4 times until it finally stopped. Very frustrating. The "balcony" was small and the floor was dirty. Staterooms are small on ships and other than the bathroom toilet fiasco, the room was average. BTW: trying to get a wake up call was impossible. They said it was not working. Trying to call someone about the toilet was also very frustrating because no one answers the phone. TELEVISION: Absolutely terrible. Norwegian Cruise advertisements constant on numerous stations. Cruise Directors usually have a show that updates everyone on upcoming and past activities. This cruise had the worst tv show by far. Plus the stations were limited or would scramble. Sometimes they had BBC, always had MSNBC and a few movies that were rotated in French, English and Spanish. On past cruises they have movies in the theater and on tv. Lots of choices for entertainment on board....not this cruise. I had to get on my phone at shore to see what was going on in the world. ENTERTAINMENT: We were not impressed with the entertainment on this cruise EXCEPT the Illusionist was excellent. The show Elements was really good though.It incorporated dancers and the Illusionist and acrobats who had previously performed. All the other entertainment was not up to par with other cruises we have been on. The singer at Henry's Pub was excellent. The live band in Galaxy and the Jazz band were all very good. The Theater shows at night were just ok other than the Illusionist. FOOD: The buffet was less than average based on other cruises. Very limited variety. The rice was always very dry. Meats over cooked and dry. Other cruises we would see a variety of cheeses and crackers, specialty items; designated area for pizza and burgers. The pizza looked like it was dry and just came out of a microwave. Breakfast was the same every single day. Poor variety and quality. We ate at all of the Specialty Restaurants and they were decent. Definitely Cagney's Steakhouse and Le Bistro were better choices than the dining rooms or the buffet. The Teppanyaki place was average. The prices for specialty dining are higher than on other cruises we have been on. If you are a foodie, you will be greatly disappointed. BARS: The bartender staff on this cruise was very attentive and it was always easy to order drinks. ACTIVITIES: This cruise had only one sea day and we were at a port nearly every day. Thus most people were too tired to get really involved in cruise activities. We went to the karaoke hour early on the cruise and there were 2 people. Bingo had to be cancelled several times because there were not enough people playing. The variety of "activities" was limited due to the port itinerary. SPA: I had a manicure/pedicure and was quoted $110. Once I got the bill I was told they made a mistake and it was actually $118. PLUS THEY CHARGE AN 18% AUTOMATIC GRATUITY on services. So I had to pay $138 for a mani/pedi. They also want to sell you products. The spa was really unattractive as well. I was not impressed with the prices, the service or the ambience of the spa. EXCURSIONS I wish they gave us more info in advance. Like you can pay for a shuttle to town at some ports. We bought excursions for every port. Some of the tour guides were excellent...some absolutely horrible. In Copenhagen we had a Guide whose native language was Spanish. No one could understand her. She really did not tell us anything about the area. That was a total waste of money. On several of the excursions we never were given time to shop or be on our own. Other cruisers told us they were frustrated with their excursions as well. LAUNDRY: There are no laundry facilities for the passengers on this ship. It is very expensive to have them do your laundry and it is charged by a per item fee. OVERALL: The Norwegian Spirit is an older ship in need of updating. Other cruisers told us they have been on many Norwegian cruises and the ships were great. Everyone basically agreed that we were not on this cruise for the ship. We were on it for the 15 day experience with one sea day to interesting ports. Overall experience for us was slightly below average. I would not cruise on the Norwegian Spirit again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose to go with Viking based the recommendations from friends. We are not typically cruiseship people; however, the limited number of passengers (900) appealed to us. We were not disappointed. The Viking Sun is a floating ... Read More
We chose to go with Viking based the recommendations from friends. We are not typically cruiseship people; however, the limited number of passengers (900) appealed to us. We were not disappointed. The Viking Sun is a floating masterpiece of design and function. We booked a Penthouse Veranda Suite on Deck 6. I would book the same type of room on a lower level as the rough seas one whole day made it difficult to maneuver in the room. We had exceptional housekeepers. Both women were friendly and helpful for the entire experience. No need to twist a towel into an animal shape. The bar on the bow of the ship on the 7th Floor was wonderful. The view was always peaceful. The service was exceptional. We would also say that prices for alcoholic drinks were more than reasonable. We heard many people talking about other cruise lines and their exorbitant prices for drinks. We ate most of our meals in the buffet. The food was delicious, creative, gourmet worthy. We enjoyed having so many choices at each meal. We ate twice at Manifred's which was excellent. We dined once at the Chef's Table. We think that the space should feature a specific cuisine and not the "strange" combination of items that we experienced one evening. As for the excursions, I would concur with other Viking passengers: some of the excursions were merely large tour buses driving around congested streets. One glaring problem is that the excursions are NOT handicap accessible. There are no accommodations for getting off the ship and into a tour bus or van. In one instance, a gentleman in a wheelchair was lifted into the bus by the guide as NO Viking personnel were on hand to help him on or off the bus. The disembarkation ramps or steps were sometimes difficult for able bodied passengers. In addition, there are some very long treks from the ship to ground transportation. All of this information should be clear to people before they book the cruise. We felt that the paid excursions offered a much better experience than the included ones. With the price of a Viking cruise, we had hoped that some of the included excursions would be more interesting. We did not partake of any of the entertainment venues. We did listen to the guitar player in the upper level bar. We were bored out of our minds by the 10th day with his limited repertoire. We listened to the two-piece ensemble and were not impressed. We also did not use the spa or the "outdoor" pool. Well, no one used the outdoor pool; however, we did have 2 days of good weather and an open ceiling. We were surprised by the limited shopping on the ship, especially the Nordic store. I never saw anyone in the jewelry store except for our one day at sea. As for the library, that is a humorous label for the collection of books on the ship. Don't expect to find anything in a logical order by title, author or genre. Transportation to and from the airports was handled brilliantly on both ends. We will most likely do another Viking cruise in the near future. We truly had an elegant time in a casual atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Exceeded our expectations from embarkation to debarkation. Crews are very friendly and helpful. You don’t get hungry as lots of yummy foods on board and lots of sporting activities you can do on board to ensure you don’t get extra kg ... Read More
Exceeded our expectations from embarkation to debarkation. Crews are very friendly and helpful. You don’t get hungry as lots of yummy foods on board and lots of sporting activities you can do on board to ensure you don’t get extra kg while indulging with lots of good variety of foods. Medallion class made everything on board really easy. They have a very systematic system where everything really works very well. We have enjoyed all the activities on board, in particular, the shows daily. Our crew steward always ensure that our room is being looked after daily. Live TV updates is also very helpful for everyone as you will be informed on what’s happening on the ship, ports and shore excursions very important informations and tips. We will definitely cruise with Princess again and will recommend them to our friends and families. Keep up the good work and hope to see you again soon. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our first cruise experience and we definitely feel we made the best choice with Viking. We couldn’t identify one thing about our cruise (and pre and post land tours) that wasn’t top rate. Every detail was perfect from the ... Read More
This was our first cruise experience and we definitely feel we made the best choice with Viking. We couldn’t identify one thing about our cruise (and pre and post land tours) that wasn’t top rate. Every detail was perfect from the service, transfers, food, cabin and amenities. We were met at the airport by our Viking contact and taken immediately to our hotel in Oslo for a two day tour. We were then escorted on our train connection to Bergen to board the ship. After the cruise we stayed in London for a five day tour focusing on the life of Winston Churchill, which was great. Our hotel was centrally located and we were able to wash to all the sites in London- we even were able to check out the Brexit demonstrations. There were so many comfortable spaces on the ship, it felt like we were on our own personal cruise. There was never a line for any of the restaurants, the service was excellent and very friendly and personal- and the food was delicious and beautifully prepared. We enjoyed a variety of entertainment venues as well as taking advantage of the gym and spa- one of the best massages I’ve ever had. Every staff member on the ship from the top down was friendly and professional- many of the waiters knew our names from the first day. We enjoyed the included shore excursions in every port. There was plenty of time to explore on your own as well. We were so impressed that have already booked two more Viking cruises! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The service on the ship was of the highest order. The cabin was very nice and had lots of room for for a two week cruise. While fancy dining is not our highest priority we did find the other choices for meals were more than adequate for ... Read More
The service on the ship was of the highest order. The cabin was very nice and had lots of room for for a two week cruise. While fancy dining is not our highest priority we did find the other choices for meals were more than adequate for our tastes. We really enjoyed the magician, he was top notch. The other entertainment was of professional quality. There were more than enough activities to choose from. You could not do everything available. We enjoyed the variety of excursions available and were able to get on all the ones we wanted except one, but the alternate excursion was very nice. I am amazed at the level of service of all the employees on the ship and the booking office. Our only complaint was we paid the extra $50 to call the plane reservation service to negotiate the plane flight from Phoenix to Bergen. They were not very accommodating and wound up with plane delays and changing flight plans 3 times during our flight because we were delayed taking off from Phoenix due to bad weather in Newark, our first connection. Yes, the delay was weather caused but our wish was to fly direct to London first not Newark. The delay caused us to be without our luggage for 6 days. The guest service did preform a miracle to retrieve the bags when we had lost the luggage tags. We are not big on cruises, but for people who like this sort of thing I would definitely recommend Viking for their over all great service from start to finish. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife and I have cruised many times in the past. we usually cruise with some friends who decided that we all should cruise the Baltic for our annual cruise in 2019. They chose Viking Ocean cruises, due in no small part to the excellent ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised many times in the past. we usually cruise with some friends who decided that we all should cruise the Baltic for our annual cruise in 2019. They chose Viking Ocean cruises, due in no small part to the excellent reputation of which they had read and the fact that what could be better than to take a Scandinavian ship to cruise the Baltic. At the outset, we were shocked to find that the entire cruise needed to be paid at least one year before the cruise. That has never been our experience in sailing with multiple lines and future patrons need to be aware of this requirement. The ship is beautiful.The public rooms are wonderful especially the Explorer Lounge. Our cabin was quite roomy and the bathrooms excellent. special kudos for a lovely shower without having to step over a tub.I found the heated floors in the bathroom to be a nice touch. The spa area is spectacular and if going to a spa with virtually everything-hot tub, small therapy pool, sauna and ice room is your thing, this is your ship The company touts its multiple channels of communication available to those who are scheduled, but that is primarily limited to receiving one way announcements from them, done well, but not to any dialogue or getting personal support for questions which arise and may not be answered in their stock announcements.Poor communication seems to be common on these cruises. For example,special meals opportunities, lobster tail and steak, special buffets, at the grill were never announced well and one learned to look for these each day by dropping by the grill itself or asking of the crew in a restaurant or bar. The ships plan is good but when the special meals take place in the grill area there is inadequate seating for the number of cruisers wishing to partake in the meal. The seating in the cinema is wholly inadequate for the number of passengers. Quite a few performances occurred with many passengers standing in the back to observe the show. The back two side areas were totally inadequate both for seeing the show and hearing it.The need to get to the venue 30 minutes before shows began was difficult for those of us who tended to to eat dinner at about 7 to 7:30. I was quite disappointed to discover that we did not receive services comparable to what we had received ion either Oceania or Azamara in spite of the fact that the per night per person cost to sail with Viking was considerably more than either of the other two. My concern with the cabin service is that when I wished ice, I had to go to housekeeping, when I wished lime I had to go to room service and when I wished to change my complimentary liquor and the amount of tonic I needed to speak to the drink steward.This in my view is rather poor considering the price of the cruise and the plaudits from other cruisers. Viking offers one free shore excursion at each port.The walking tours we took, 4, were excellent, but those in a bus were not worth the time spent at all. I was quite disappointed in the meals in the Restaurant ,in the Chef's special restaurant both times and at Manfredi both times. To be fair, one night the prime rib served at the restaurant was amongst the best I have ever had. The waffle at the Explorer Lounge was exceptional. On at least 4 occasions the cookies offered with the buffet were stale. the wines with meals were acceptable if unremarkable. One could upgrade wine selection and liquor for an extra daily per person charge. The speakers/lectures seemed excellent, for those we could make, but we missed the largest number as they were scheduled during dinner hour or just prior to dinner hour. Getting on, on the day of sailing from Bergen, and off the ship in Stockholm, with our luggage, were superbly handled even though we left the ship at 6 am to make our plane. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was the best cruise we have ever been on! Our first experience with Viking was a horrible river cruise. We were very hesitant to go on another Viking cruise. However, this Viking ocean cruise was the best cruise ever! We have already ... Read More
This was the best cruise we have ever been on! Our first experience with Viking was a horrible river cruise. We were very hesitant to go on another Viking cruise. However, this Viking ocean cruise was the best cruise ever! We have already signed up for another one in 2020!! The ship was always spotless even with all the rain we encountered, every crew member was always extremely courteous and professional, the food was exceptional and wait staff were highly trained, every organizational skill was flawless from the docking procedures, evacuation drill, getting passengers to shore excursions, or even daily announcements. The Explorer desk people were very helpful and professional no matter what our inquiries were about. We had 2 days before the cruise, arranged by Viking. The arrangements were wonderful. A very enjoyable hotel, location, and accommodations. We can not say enough positive things about this Viking Jupiter and all of its crew! We are excited for our next Viking cruise in 2020! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Everything (ship amenities, food, shore excursions, service people, entrainment) on the Viking Jupitor was absolutely great and wonderful. The biggest concern I had going on this cruise was eating the food as I am gluten free. The was ... Read More
Everything (ship amenities, food, shore excursions, service people, entrainment) on the Viking Jupitor was absolutely great and wonderful. The biggest concern I had going on this cruise was eating the food as I am gluten free. The was all labeled and I did not have a problem feeling ill. The restaurant supervisor was excellent and went out of his way to make sure I was happy with the food. On the second day at dinner, I asked if they had gluten free brownies and sure enough couple of days later, i had gluten free brownies with ice cream for desert. On the shore excursion tours, the tour guides were very knowledgeable and provided excellent tours. Having the wireless earphones was great. You didn't have to crowd around the tour guide to hear. You could hear the tour guide 20 feet away. Heather Clancy was an excellent cruise director and Javier Rodriguez did a great job telling us about the shore excursions. We liked the ports of Norway the best, then Stockholm. St Petersburg was good, but is was so crowed with tourists. We really liked the St Petersburg Ballet. Great wonderful cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Embarkation - went quickly and smoothly, we had no problem with the alcohol we were brining on board at all - a box of wine, several bottles of wine and many mall bottles of gin, rum and port. At ports we had no problem bringing tonics ... Read More
Embarkation - went quickly and smoothly, we had no problem with the alcohol we were brining on board at all - a box of wine, several bottles of wine and many mall bottles of gin, rum and port. At ports we had no problem bringing tonics and coke on board as our mixers. We have never sailed Cunard before, previously only sailing on more casual cruise ships, so were somewhat apprehensive about the dress code. Dress Code - The apprehension was missplaced completely. In the two week cruise there were 3 ball nights, and we knew the ladies and gents dress codes for them. Apart from that, if you were going to eat in the main Brittania restaurant men had to wear trousers, jacket and shirt (no tie necessary) and ladies normal smart going out clothes. If you wanted to wear jeans and t-shirt and stay completely casual, you could eat in the Lido buffet and drink in the Golden Lion pub, but could not go to the ball room, other bars, the main Brittania restaurant or the theatre. Some nights we stayed completely casual. Staff customer service - staff always had a smile and a 'good morning/afternoon/evening' whenever they walked past you or dealt with you. We had an enquiry at embarkation when a case was missing. The customer service team where friendly and helpful, finding the case within 10 minutes. Our cabin steward was friendly and welcoming, keeping our cabin immaculate and was always able to bring additional towels or other items we wanted without delay. Other facilities - there was access to several lauderies on the ship, and these were free!! This included the washing powder as well. The laundry included washers, dryers, washing sink, iron and ironing board. An invaluable resource on a cruise of 14 nights. State of the ship - the ship was kept spotless and any faults seemed to be sorted quickly - there was some water ingress in the ceiling of the central buffet area in the Lido. When in port the ship looked stunning and traditional in comparison to other cruise ships. The decor of the ship is art deco, with lovely wood panelled interiors and themed art work for each stair well. Food - there was excellent choice in the Lido buffet most of the time, ranging from early breakfast, main breakfast, snacks, lunch, afternoon tea, early main tea, later main tea, to later evening snacks (till 1.30am). There was shortages of some items, such as the clotted cream for the afternoon tea, hot chocolate drinks, earl grey teabags etc during the last few days - The main Brittania restaurant, we were on early sitting at 6.00pm, also had at least 4 - 6 choices for starter, main and dessert. On one occasion my daughter and I could not decide which dessert we wanted, and then asked if we could order two each - no problem at all. You left the restaurant feeling pleasently full but not stuffed. - There were snack options during the day available in the Cafe Carinthia. Lunch and dinner were also available in the Golden Lion Pub, we enjoyed Friday fish and chips at lunch time here. Waiter served afternoon tea was available on sea days in the Queends Room, this is not to be missed as the sandwich and cake selection is extremely appetising. We also use the Lido grill, deck 9 stern, at lunch time for fish, burgers and chips etc. - We did not try any of the paid restaurants and were not grills passengers. Room Service - On some mornings, and one evening, we chose to have breakfast and dinner in our cabin. It was such a treat being able to be served just what you wanted for breakfast rather than get up and queue up. The evening menu was not as varied, burgers and pizzas mainly. The room service menu was included in the cruise and not an additional extra, which was very good. Drinks - the bars and deck bars were all welcoming and very good, and we did treat ourselves to an occasional glass of wine with dinner, cocktail at sail away, or cider/beer in the evening or day time. The only issue, is that with the value of the pound to the dollar the cost of drinks is very expensive, especially if you are from the north east of England! If we had not brought our own wine, gins, rums and ports on board, plus mixers, it would have been a somewhat dry cruise! Entertainment - the theatre was exceptional, with proper theatre tiered seating, boxes and an exceptional theatre orchestra!! The ships crew were good (but not exceptional) in the two shows we saw them do. We also saw The Opera Boys both times they performed, they were brilliant. We say a violinist once, she was excellent. There was also a pianist/commedian, Jon Courtenay for the last nights of the cruise who was extremely good. The ball room/Queens Room was a bit of a let down as it was almost like a corridor between the front and back of the ship to one side separating the seating, and there was not enough seating for the passengers who wanted to enjoy the dancing most evenings. There was a ball room orchestra as well, who were also excellent. We did attend some dancing classes during the day and put our steps into practice in the evening when we could. There are some very serious dancers on board, so it did make it a bit awkward for novice dancers if they felt they were getting in the way. Other entertainment we enjoyed was the band Next Steps, both on sailaway celebrations and at the Yacht Club. Also, most evenings, we attended, and enjoyed, quizes in the Garden Lounge and later in the Golden Lion pub - we even won the Husband and Wife quiz in the Golden Lion. As you wandered around the ship in the evening there were other muscians and ensembles to enjoy listening to, such as pianist Andy Law in the Golden Lion, who could play/sing anything. Sea days - My daughter and husband thoroughly enjoyed the talks by Robin Scagett, about astronomy, space and time - my daughter, as a primary teacher she took a lot away from those talks. My daughter and I both enjoyed the inspiring John Peters talk and question/answer session. There was another speaker throughout the cruise, but we did not attend his talks. I went to the beginners bridge classes with Chris Jarosz, which was pitched at the right level. I attended on my own and that was a slight problem as many others attended as a couple, but Chris found solutions to this. I certainly hope to continue to learn bridge. Otherwise, I loved the afternoon social craft group in the Garden Lounge. I did also treat myself to an afternoon in the spa pool, warm loungers and steam rooms but I did not have any spa treatments. My husband attended the ships choir, who gave a wonderful performance on the last sea day. He made many friends through this group. I would say that all but one of the passengers we encountered, or met through groups, were lovely, engaging and warm people and came from all over the world. Aside from what we did, there was a wealth of activities to enjoy on sea days, outside there was a full bowling green and other outdoor sports, plus two swimming pools and 4 bubble pools. Indoors, there were card tables, board games, puzzles and puzzle tables, and a two story library that gave out daily quizes, cross words and sudoko. If you just wanted to relax, there were lots of indoor and outdoor quite areas to relax, read and sleep. Disembarkation - we were going to take our own luggage off, but a very experienced cruiser said to put it out, and explained that at the port luggage was arranged by deck number. She said that you could take yourself off at your own convenience rather than follow the instructions if you wanted to make an early get away - we had a long drive back up north, so got off at 9.00am, and collected our luggage very easily ready for the pre booked taxi back to collect our car from the hotel. Overall, we would definately cruise with Cunard again. A thoroughly enjoyable cruise with excellent choice of activities, ports that we wanted to visit and the chance to meet some fantastic people. Our party only did one shore excursion, my daughter and our friend did the segway in Copenhagen and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was $99, which I could have booked on my own for about $79, but not for the times that were best for our days plans. As my daughter and our friend were novice cruisers we felt better leaving them in the care of the excursion team. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019

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