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965 Baltic Sea Senior Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise primarily to see Mid Night Sun. And we were not disappointed! We were above the Arctic Circle for 5, 24 hr Sun days/Nights! 3 days were cloudy, one day partially sunny and one day was clear blue skies. The midnight sun ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily to see Mid Night Sun. And we were not disappointed! We were above the Arctic Circle for 5, 24 hr Sun days/Nights! 3 days were cloudy, one day partially sunny and one day was clear blue skies. The midnight sun on June 22 was very surreal and Princess had a midnight party on the top deck. All the other ports of call were very scenic. The Norwegian Fjords are awesome ! We really did not take any excursions from the ports as there was much to see right there ! At Geiranger and Lofotin Islands, we took some excursions offered by local bus tours but not any offered by Princess as they were too costly. The worst part of the cruise was lack of quality food options for vegetarians. There was only one choice for main dish every night and most of the time, it was not well prepared. Vegetarians can eat many Italian dishes ( cheese ravioli, pasta primavera, quiche and Indian dishes ). I do not understand why they add meat to salads and soups! I am glad at least the deserts have no meat! The Sanctuary was hardly used by people for whom it was intended. Make that space available to all. There were only 2 formal nights as against 3 advertised. There should have been enrichment lectures on Astrology (Midnight sun) and Geology as we were in the arctic circle , going thru the fjords and oil rigs in the North Sea. We enjoyed the cruise very much because of the choice of the poarts, fantastic scenery and Mid Night Sun! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise on recommendation from our travel agent. We flew to lovely Lisbon a few days beforehand, the joined the ship,looking very tiny berthed near some very large cruise ships. The welcome was decidedly perfunctory, and we ... Read More
We chose this cruise on recommendation from our travel agent. We flew to lovely Lisbon a few days beforehand, the joined the ship,looking very tiny berthed near some very large cruise ships. The welcome was decidedly perfunctory, and we found our way to our deck 4 cabin. It was pleasantly large, but definitely needed a good spring clean. The bed seemed hard and sagging, not a good start we felt. We liked the white marble bathroom and noted approvingly that the toiletries were quality Occitan. We explored briefly then went for a buffet lunch in the stern Verandah. It was a very ordinary buffet choice and we were astounded at the cost of the drinks on offer. We learned that many passengers had bought a drinks package, but as the wines were fairly mediocre in our opinion, we decided not to take up the package offer. It was lovely to note the teak decks , a small outdoor pool and hot tub, and plenty of deck lounge seating. We looked through the daily program, but it lacked variety or imagination, so we decided that a comfortable spot with a good book might be a good way to relax. Much ceremony was made of the sail away flag raising to the music of Vangelis’ 1492, used on other cruise lines we recalled. There was a comfortable lounge with busy coffee bar and a tiny library, but little else of note. It was a port intensive cruise with only one sea day, but we had visited all the ports previously, so did not read the excursion offers. In each port the ship laid on a shuttle bus to the centre of town , a useful service for those who wished to be independent . We were happy to wander, sample the local cuisine and bars in each port. We were right in our estimation... the bed was horribly saggy and worn, leaving us both with aching backs! Entertainment was decidedly limited, with a singing duo , but little else, with the exception of a lecturer with a sole topic. Dining was open seating, with varied menus and good service from the friendly Asian servers. It was not gourmet dining, but perfectly adequate. It would not be a ship we’d choose on future occasions, but it was an interesting experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Zuiderdam - The Ship Older ship, but renovated in 2017. Maintenance is never ending for ships. Each port day we observed, scraping, painting and power washing. And, yet, there still are areas of rust and wear. But, overall, the ... Read More
Zuiderdam - The Ship Older ship, but renovated in 2017. Maintenance is never ending for ships. Each port day we observed, scraping, painting and power washing. And, yet, there still are areas of rust and wear. But, overall, the ship was well maintained. Deck crew worked hard, long days. A few of the public rooms were too small for their intended purpose. For example: BB King lounge – The lounge was crowded every night. Arrive early to get a seat. Some of the BB King lounges on other HAL ships occupy an upper and lower level. The lounge on the Zuiderdam occupies one level. BillBoard On-Board – Dueling Piano’s – Again, this lounge was crowded every night, with standing room only remaining. Arrive early to get a seat or be prepared to stand. Staterooms – Our balcony stateroom number 4156 was meticulously maintained. The cabin stewards instinctively knew our daily routines, and were never intrusive. Each night we were amazed at the towel animals waiting on our bed. The room itself was spacious, with plenty of drawer space and storage for our suitcases under our queen-sized bed. Bathrooms and showers are equally spacious, in comparison to other cruise lines. Service – Generally speaking, service was excellent. The embarkation and debarkation process and shuttles were seamless. In ports where tendering was required, the process was well organized. There were always several tenders in operation, and the lines moved quickly. There was always a friendly face at reception. And, they were eager to assist with any problem. We needed to have our dining hours changed. Not only did the receptionist change the dining hours, she created a new key card, as well, to indicate the change. Most evenings we ate in the Main Dining Room. We never experienced any problems with service. We were always greeted with smiles. And, the waiters knew their menu. Furthermore, we never waited for bar service. On occasion, the table cleaning service was slow in the Lido Market. But, considering we had a full ship, it’s understandable. Food – As I mentioned, we dined primarily in the Main Restaurant. The menu was varied, and everyone at our table enjoyed the quality or quantity of food. One evening we dined in the Pinnacle Restaurant and were not impressed. Neither the food nor the service had that “wow” factor. The steaks were good, but no better than the main dining room. Some desserts were also served in the main dining room (crème brulee, for one). Furthermore, the waiters were very slow in cleaning the surrounding tables. For most of the meal we felt like we were sitting in a sea of dishes. No one appeared to be “in charge”. We enjoyed breakfast every morning at the Lido Market. There was always a great variety of food. The tea drinkers in our group were very happy with the assortment of teas; from herbal to British blends – caffeine and non-caffeine. Speaking of tea, afternoon tea was offered in the main dining room on sea days. Scones with jam and clotted cream were offered, as well as various tea cakes and sandwiches. Burgers and French fries were perfectly cooked to order at the Dive-Bar. A pager was provided with each order, so there wasn’t any waiting around in long lines. We didn’t eat in Canaletto, the Italian specialty restaurant that shares space in the Lido Market. The space, including tables, isn’t any different than the Lido Market. It didn’t make sense to pay to dine there. Additionally, the Italian food offered free in the Lido Market was excellent. Many a sea day was happily spent sipping a specialty coffee in the Exploration Café. It’s lofty (deck 10), far reaching views were spectacular. Entertainment – If you are expecting spectacular stage shows, HAL is not for you. Most nights, entertainment in the main show lounge consisted of singers, comedians, musicians, magicians, and dancers. Some, were well known entertainers, such as Darren Day. Only one show was poor – “Post Modern Jukebox”. While each person in the group was a good singer, the concept of giving oldies and standards a new twist fell flat. Besides the main show lounge, there’s BB Kings, Lincoln Center Stage and Billboard on Board. All draw large audiences. There’s dancing in the BB King Lounge, after the final BB King show of the evening. The Ocean Bar is the least busy lounge, except during happy hour. It’s a great spot, but there isn’t anything (no live music – except on formal evenings during happy hour) to attract people. During sea days, there was bingo, lectures, bridge, a galley tour, mahjong, chess, ballroom dancing, trivia games, book club, movies and computer classes. Most people downloaded the daily programs to their phones. Paid computer access was not required to enjoy this perk. HAL is the only cruise line that I know of that offers excursion guide services. This is different from the shore excursions desk. And, HAL understands that not all guests want to book shore excursions through them. The “EXC Guides” belong to the entertainment department, while Shore Excursions is a revenue department (selling shore excursions). The EXE Guides provide valuable information via live lectures about the ports of call to assist guests in their planning. It’s a great, free, service and it doesn’t interfere with the selling of shore excursions. Besides the lectures, the EXC guides have desk hours for questions relating to the itinerary and ports of call. Excursions: We generally do not book shore excursions with the ship. We prepare our own research, and make reservations before we embark on our cruise. Below is a brief description of our port visits: Bergen, Norway – Strolled into town from the ship. Rode the Funicular up to Mt. Florian. Wonderful views. For the more adventurous, walks, hikes and guided tours are offered. Recommend purchasing tickets on-line to avoid long lines. Although busy with tourists, we walked through the reconstructed old town buildings and outdoor markets. Aalesund, Norway – With the ship docked in town, everything in town is close. And, the first place to visit is the Tourist Cinema located inside a corner souvenir shop, at Lorkenesgata 1. It’s literally across the street from the cruise port. The film takes the visitor on a journey of history, and provides a bird’s eye view of the spectacular fjords. The show lasts 17 minutes. Also recommended is the HOHO bus, which travels to all the major attractions both in and out of the City. The entire tour takes about 80 minutes. The Aksla viewpoint, as well as the aquarium, are worth a Hop-Off. It is recommended that visitors use their credit card for the HOHO bus. Not only is it the best exchange rate, there’s a 10% discount on the price of the tour. Seydisfordur, Iceland – It’s a short walk into town. Be sure to visit the Blue Church. Walk up the stairs alongside the melting glacier. The Gufufoss (Steam Falls) is a short ride (30 minutes) from the town center. Akureyri, Iceland – With a short walk into town, be certain to visit “Into the Arctic” located at Strandgata 53. This exhibit provides excellent insight to life in the north. Akureyrarkirka Church – by Eyrarlandsveg is worth a visit. It was the grandest church in Iceland when it was built in 1940. Definitely the best ice cream in Iceland, visit Brynjuis Ice Cream – Adalstraeti 3. Lake Myvatin is worth a visit, located an hour from Akureyri. Isafjordur, Iceland – The ship tenders to shore. Despite this being a very small town, a few good museums are located here. Visit the Hevrsdagssafn – Museum of Everyday Life, located at Hafnarstraeti 5. It provides an inside look of life in Iceland. Reykjavik Iceland – The HoHo bus stops at the cruise terminal. It stops at all major sights in town. Don’t miss: “The Whales of Iceland” exhibition, located at Fiskislod 23-25, in the old harbor area. Best whale museum I’ve seen. Visit the Volcano House. View 2 documentary films about the most powerful volcanic eruptions over the last 40 years in Iceland, located at Tryggvagata 11. For an absolutely stunning view of the City, take an elevator to the top of the church tower of Hallgrimkirkja, located at Hallgrimstorg 1. A must is the Golden Circle Tour offered by Snaeland Travel. A private car and driver will meet you at the Cruise Ship Center. The following was visited on this tour: Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Hot Springs, the magnificent Gullfoss, Faxi waterfalls, including the fish ladder and the geothermal ovens at Laugavata Fontana to witness bread being baked. Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland – Ship tenders to the small town. Hired Shetland Taxi Company to provide us with a private car and Gordon, our guide, to showcase the island. Gordon, took us northwest to Wormadale Hill and as far south as Sumburgh Head Light House. We stopped at the Croft House Museum. Gordon proudly showed off the amazing hills and coastline of Shetland Island. If your interests lie in archeological sites, there are historic sites all over the island. But, the best, in my opinion, is Clickimin Broch, dating between 1,000 BC to 500 AD. Do not miss seeing the Shetland ponies or the puffins! Intergordon (Inverness) Scotland – We decided to visit the area on our own, and hired Robert, owner and operator, of ness-tours.co.uk. Robert helped us create a 5-hour personal itinerary, visiting Loch Ness, Inverness, Beauly, Black Isle and the surrounding countryside. Robert is a natural, confident, tour guide and great fun. Copenhagen, Denmark – The ship is docked outside of town. Don’t consider a taxi; it’s too expensive. Either take a Stromma HOHO bus, (the red busses all look identical, but they’re different companies), or the public bus and train. Stromma stops at the dock (OceanKaj) and visits all the major sites. During the summer, there are 3 different bus tours, Classic, Urban Green, and Colorful Copenhagen. All 3 tours costs 33 Euros. HOHO’s run every 30 minutes. However, be prepared to wait longer when traffic is heavy. Jump off at the Stroget to shop, eat and people watch. Don’t forget to visit the “Little Mermaid”. There’s always a crowd here, especially if the weather is nice. If you’ve never experienced “Tivoli Gardens” make a point to visit. You won’t be disappointed. There are amusements, beautiful gardens, and, of course, restaurants. Aarhus, Denmark – It’s a nice stroll into town from the ship. Follow the footprints from the port into the City. With only six hours in port, there wasn’t enough time to visit the historic village of Den Gamle, since it opens at 10:00am. We visited Aarhus Domkirke, a beautiful gothic church from the 12th century. The latin quarter is definitely worth a visit. Nestled between modern buildings, with its shops and restaurants. The area dates back to the 14th century with its narrow, cobbled streets. There is a wonderful art museum in the heart of town, and is considered one of Europe’s largest art museums, and is the ONLY museum with an enclosed walkway around the top! Visit the Stroget, a unique pedestrian shopping street. Tallinn, Estonia – The ship docks a walkable distance from the old town center. Just follow the signs. FYI – The HOHO bus does not enter the old town, as it primarily pedestrian. Tallinn is an easy town to navigate, with so much history to see. For a map, stop at the Tallinn Information Center. A Tourist information Center is located at the dock, as well as in Old Town. There are organized walking tours, but one can feel confident navigating Old Town with a map. Visit Market Square, with the oldest, continually operating pharmacy. Must see: Alexander Nevsky Cathedral; St. Olav’s Church; St. Catherine’s Passage; Great Guild Hall. St Petersburg, Russia – The ship docks outside of town at an impressive, and relatively new, cruise ship terminal. DO NOT spend money on a ship’s tour. Hire an independent guide, BEFORE your arrival in St. Petersburg. I highly recommend St. Petersburg Guided Tours. They arrange the visa’s for the 2-days in port. Not only did we jump the lines in all museums, we visited areas too small for large bus tours, such as the Grotto at the Peterhof. For lunch, we ate at small local restaurants, experiencing local delicacies. Our guide, Valerie, was knowledgeable, personable, fun and spoke perfect English. She worked with us to create the “perfect” excursion. Her commentary made the history of this beautiful city come alive right before our eyes. The tour included 2-days with an English-speaking guide, private van – with driver (Alexander), entrance tickets, photo permission in all museums, and bottled water. We visited: The Peterhof; Peter & Paul Fortress; Hermitage; Savior on Spilt Blood; St Isaac’s Cathedral; Yusupov Palace, Catherine’s Palace. Furthermore, we did a vehicle tour down Nevsky Prospect, a famous shopping street in St. Petersburg. We chose not to shop. Helsinki, Finland – The ship docks outside of town. Take the HOHO from the cruise ship terminal. If not a Sunday, visit the Rock Church (actually built into rock). Stop for a coffee, or a meal at Market Hall. Walk the Esplanade. Visit St Nicholas and Uspenski Cathedrals. Helsinki is a very walkable City. Stockholm, Sweden – Ship docks outside of town. BEWARE – The ship will sell HOHO tickets at a premium. For less money, walk down to the ferry dock, (a city block away) and pick-up the HOHO there. Visit Gamla Stan (Old Town). Eat and shop in the many restored buildings of this area, which is pedestrian only. Witness the changing of the guard (about noon – Monday – Saturday) at the Royal Palace. Visit the Vasa Museum to view the war ship that sank on its maiden voyage. It was recovered in 1956 and restored. If you’re an Abba fan, there’s a museum celebrating this famous Swedish group. Visit City Hall (tours only) where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded annually. Rooms are gilded with gold. Warnemunde, Germany – A beautiful seaside town…charming is an appropriate description. Walk from the ship to the center of town. Stroll the promenade that’s always humming with activity (Alte Strom). Try a fish sandwich or a bratwurst. Visit the Heimatmuseum (Alexandrinstr 31) to learn about life in Warnemude during the early 20th century. Don’t go to Berlin. Stay in town, you’ll be happy you did. Kiel, Germany – Unless the HOHO bus system has improved, do not use it. The buses were not on time, and the narration was not synced with the bus stops. If you can get there – visit the U-995 U-boat museum. As far as I know, It’s only reachable by car. The Kiel Maritime Museum is also worth a visit, and is walkable from the Cruise terminal. Walk along Kiellinie, which offers spectacular water views. The viewing platform at the Kiel Canal is not walking distance from town. It can be reached on the HOHO bus, public transportation or taxi. Keep in mind that taxis are expensive. Skagen, Norway – No, they don’t make watches here. The ship docks within walking distance of town. Originally, we planned to take the bus to the Skagen Bunker Museum, a World War II museum, and Grenen. But the weather was incredibly beautiful, so we decided to remain in town, to experience the Skagen Music Festival. There were bands, as well as, individual musicians visiting from all over Europe. We sat outside a local café for hours, listening to music and people watching. What a great end to a fabulous cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I joined this HAL-branded cruise for 2 reasons. Firstly, to sightsee and enjoy the Norwegian Fjords and its culture. I am happy to achieve what I wish for and rated it a 9 out of 10. Secondly, the HAL experience onboard Nieuw Statendam ... Read More
I joined this HAL-branded cruise for 2 reasons. Firstly, to sightsee and enjoy the Norwegian Fjords and its culture. I am happy to achieve what I wish for and rated it a 9 out of 10. Secondly, the HAL experience onboard Nieuw Statendam (prior, I cruised with Zuiderdam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Koningsdam). This is the worst programming/events I encountered. The quality of the World Stage performance was below par (apart from renowned pianist Zhang and One-Step light & dance performance). There were 2 nights without performance. I was disappointed that the ship didn't engaged any local Nowergian performer throughout the 14 nights. t) Sea day has 1 track event rather than 2, on most ship. As such, sea-day was boring and subdued. I would like more enrichment programs on sea day. Like painting appreciation, pottery making, knitting, play a simple norwegian musical instrument Lido Market food quality and quantity were excellent BUT lack variety. Serving the same food 14 days in a row. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Although the Pearl is not one of the larger NCL ships, we chose this cruise for the Itinerary it offered to Scotland, Norway, Ireland, France, London, Belgium and Amsterdam. Embarkation went smoothly in Amsterdam as well as the day we ... Read More
Although the Pearl is not one of the larger NCL ships, we chose this cruise for the Itinerary it offered to Scotland, Norway, Ireland, France, London, Belgium and Amsterdam. Embarkation went smoothly in Amsterdam as well as the day we ended our cruise in Amsterdam. Our ship was very clean, having been refurbished in 2017. We had a Mini Suite on Deck 11 and was pretty nice and roomy for us, considering we usually get Balcony cabins. Our cabin steward was from Indonesia. Dedy was very friendly and helpful to us the whole cruise. The entertainment was outstanding, with at least 11 different shows in the theatre of our 14 day trip. The lounges were great, and we enjoyed the Spinnaker Lounge allot. There were plenty of activities offered during the cruise. Dining and services were pretty good, although some food was not as good as others, we found plenty of venues to eat at, and we mixed it up, having eaten in 5 Specialty Restaurants and the rest in the Main Dining and O'Sheihans and Garden Buffett. Takes at least 90 minutes though. We found the whole staff of the ship very friendly and helpful. The only rudeness we noticed came from ship passengers. I think their expectations are too much and they should research a ship well before choosing a cruise and ship. All of our shore excursions were great! We especially loved our Flam and Geiranger, Norway Fjords scenery. Totally beautiful! We have sailed on the larger NCL ships, Epic and Breakaway before, and enjoyed them. But in our opinion, the Pearl was outstanding for us and we enjoyed our 14 day cruise of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This ship is beautiful and always spotless.We have been on about 95 cruises, many different cruise lines and ships .I usually do not write reviews, but after reading a scathing review by someone who was on this ship for 3 months in Feb. ... Read More
This ship is beautiful and always spotless.We have been on about 95 cruises, many different cruise lines and ships .I usually do not write reviews, but after reading a scathing review by someone who was on this ship for 3 months in Feb. 2019, I felt a few points should be mentioned. This person complained about everything, especially the staff, we had some issues but, we ALWAYS treat people with respect and never talk down to anyone. We departed the Viking Sun 5 days ago, I find it difficult to believe we were on the same ship. One morning we had breakfast in the Restaurant and the service for us was very slow. We kept getting coffee and danish but no entree until I spoke "nicely" to the head waiter(Tony), he immediately went into the kitchen to get our food.Tony kept apologizing and said this should never happen. Later that afternoon we went back to our room and on our table was a bottle of sparkling wine and 4 delicious chocolate covered strawberries.There was also a card apologizing for the bad breakfast service.Later at dinner I saw Tony again and shook his hand and thanked him, we always had great service after that. The food on this ship is not excellent all the time but, all the staff is, from the servers to the ladies in Guest services. This cruse is actually called Homelands and was 14 days.We loved our Penthouse veranda, and all the beautiful public spaces, this ship is a pleasure to sail on. I just wish we had more than 1 sea day.Cruise director Corrine Bach is a greatly talented person and also very nice. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This cruise was chosen for its itinerary. The ship is a fancy barge where you pay extra for anything you may need. We were expected to pay for a glass of tap water in the formal restaurant. They do not provided any facial tissues in the ... Read More
This cruise was chosen for its itinerary. The ship is a fancy barge where you pay extra for anything you may need. We were expected to pay for a glass of tap water in the formal restaurant. They do not provided any facial tissues in the balcony stateroom. They allow open smoking in several areas inside the ship which permeayes the showroom and other bars! There are over 21 points for improvement with this cruise company. The entertainment us cheap, appears unrehearsed and karaoke like most nights. Embarkmemt required showing proof you were a real person I've 3 times and queuING each time. If you are a first timer cruiser this cruise may be good for you as you would not know how low a standard MSC is. Of course you may like to pay to have open dining but other crise companies have all the above plus more included in their offer Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
From the beginning of the embarkation to the end I would have to say that we were sorry that we chose Costa. No communication had been given to us for getting to the ship from the airport. The phone number we were given was not in service. ... Read More
From the beginning of the embarkation to the end I would have to say that we were sorry that we chose Costa. No communication had been given to us for getting to the ship from the airport. The phone number we were given was not in service. We worked it out with a taxi at the beginning and end of the cruise at the cost of €100 each way. The itinerary was what we wanted and the tours were well done but for the language barrier. English was at the bottom of their priority list and messages were read after at least 4 other languages first. No one spoke English with less than a severe accent and making it difficulties follow. The crew was sour and rarely smiled. Our safety drill was a series of lining us up at the muster station. Pushed into rows of three, shoulder to shoulder I resented being touched by these serious crew members. Don’t touch me! Tell me. Oh yes, you can’t speak English. The food was mediocre at best. I’ve never lost weight on a cruise before. Communication and manners were lacking almost always. There were no substitutions in the dining room and vegetables were lacking. Any other cruise we’ve been on offer alternatives every day. The buffet was also lacking taste, variety, and tender meat choices. The same menus were offered every day. We could not have butter unless we asked for it and waited for someone to get it from the kitchen. Coffee was offered with breakfast and after that we had to pay for it at the bar. They actually have a drink pkg for coffee juice and water. Most of all, the waiters pushing past you with trays or reaching across you to serve or remove dishes was so rude. Whether you had to step aside for them as they rushed by or get shoved out of line as they filled the clean cup tray, the waiters were rude. Even in the dining room our orders were mixed up and waiters could not seem to serve plates in a mannerly way. They still reached across our faces to serve others. The entertainment was mediocre at best except for one singer and 3 acrobats. The dancers were not nearly what we have seen on any other cruise. Their poor synchronization accompanied poor routines. I guess what frustrated us most was the inattention to the English speaking guests with brief announcements which we did not understand. As well, the tour guides who could speak good English were few with a lack of ability to converse with us. Speaking of inattentive behaviour on the part of the crew, we were mainly ignored with little or no eye contact. The sour looks on most of the employees’ faces indicated a poor work climate perhaps and poor morale amongst staff. Wait staff never helped in any way but to clear dishes at the buffet. No smiles, no good morning, no ability to understand what you might be asking for, such as “Do you have hot cereal this morning, porridge, oatmeal, cream of wheat?” Our room steward was sweet and did his best with a stale-smelling stateroom. The pillows seemed to need washing and the carpets required a good shampoo. (So did our soap dispenser in the bathroom) Another warning is that the added 15% per day is a required fee. They do not regard it as a tip. In fact, they told us that we were free to tip individuals but we could not withhold any of the 15% per day charge for our severely poor service in the dining room. Speaking of money I’d like to say how angry I was at not being able to get an accounting of my charges. I had to have my husband with me because all room charges were put on his account only (even though we signed equal status for charges.) I was the one who booked the cruise, arranged for the tours, paid for our two watches that we bought, all on my Visa not my husband’s. When I asked them to change the accounting they told me that it could not be changed because of the system. All charges and payments would be under the man’s name in a cabin. Really, is this 1950? All said, our itinerary was ideal and the tours worth the money even without good tour guides. There was a lot of written information on each port to follow along. Within the opulence of this ship a number of disappointments seized us and threatened our joy of going to see the land of my heritage. But Norway out-performed this costa ship with its grandeur and awe inspiring beauty. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We wanted to select this specific itinerary to go to Wales, Belfast, Rejkavik, Norwegian Fjords and Bruges. The ship was too small to smoothly sail the North Sea between Ireland and Iceland, so in our 12 foot seas (I know, that's not ... Read More
We wanted to select this specific itinerary to go to Wales, Belfast, Rejkavik, Norwegian Fjords and Bruges. The ship was too small to smoothly sail the North Sea between Ireland and Iceland, so in our 12 foot seas (I know, that's not very big) there were lots of barf bags being used. But that was only 1 day out of 14 so everyone forgot it. We loved the greenery of Ireland and Wales, plus their unique histories. Iceland has a stark beauty that's not to be missed. But Norway is the creme'-de-la-creme' if you are looking for majestic beauty! The Flam train coursed thru green mountains surrounded by waterfalls and was truly breathtaking! It is touted as the Most Beautiful Train Ride in Europe, and we believe it. It is a definite Bucket List for any adventurer. But Bruges, Belgium was the Piece'-de-Resistance'. This little village is perhaps the most charming and quaint location in Europe. The ship is a bit old, but we knew that going in and were not bothered by it. The itinerary is what drove us to select this cruise. The staff were all wonderful and the entertainment was actually second to none. It was all very good. We'd love to do this same cruise again, and I can recommend it strongly. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Having been a loyal customer of another cruise line, but having recently enjoyed the Viking River Cruise experience, we gambled and took our 1st cruise with Viking Ocean. What a GREAT Decision. Viking ticks all the boxes for us. No ... Read More
Having been a loyal customer of another cruise line, but having recently enjoyed the Viking River Cruise experience, we gambled and took our 1st cruise with Viking Ocean. What a GREAT Decision. Viking ticks all the boxes for us. No photographers chasing us around the ship, no formal nights and no wasted ship space for a gambling area. The smaller ship with fewer guests was a welcome change and the enrichment lectures exceeded our expectations. Lots of space on the Sky for just sitting alone and taking in the view. The quality of the interior of the ship was just 1st class! Regarding the food, the lunches and dinners were well done (the breakfast were so similar that I would call this an area for improvement). The Sparkling Wine & Glasses delivered to our room on our 25th Anniversary was a surprise! With the exception of one photography tour in Iceland, all the shore excursions were well enjoyed by my wife and I. Although the cost of the cruise sounded high initially, when you factor in all the included excursions, alcohol at lunch/dinner, free bottled water, and all the other extras, we felt this cost was probably equal to or less than our past cruise line. All in all, we WILL cruise with Viking again and may find it difficult to go back to our cruise line of the past.... Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because it seemed like good value for money and was visiting some ports not previously visited. We boarded Costa Majestica in Genoa and from then their organisational skills or non organisational skills became evident. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it seemed like good value for money and was visiting some ports not previously visited. We boarded Costa Majestica in Genoa and from then their organisational skills or non organisational skills became evident. It took at least 4 hours to get on the ship with no regard for the elderly or disabled. The cruise was 28 days from Genoa to Stockholm. Most of the crew were not very friendly, the food was ok but always cold in the Buffet. Getting on and off the ship at most ports was a nightmare long ques along the ships passage ways or when coming back to the ship stretching hundreds of yards with people trying to push to the front which nearly caused some serious fights because of no crew supervision. Again with no regard for the elderly or disabled. Most of the shows and entertainment were in Italian ( which I suppose we should have known, an Italian ship leaving from Genoa). A lot of pre good excursions were cancelled because of the lack of English guides with some people having trouble getting their money back on some tours. We were also told by Costa that when filling in their feed back form only 9 or 10 score will be accepted for questions on the form or it will be discarded, Never agin will I sail. Costa. If anyone from Costa would like to contact me I would welcome it because no Costa represventive on the ship cared very much Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We were excited about visiting several countries we had never been to, including Russia. Really did not consider the onboard entertainment; but it was super! The only real issue was excursions. We booked two through NCL and two on our ... Read More
We were excited about visiting several countries we had never been to, including Russia. Really did not consider the onboard entertainment; but it was super! The only real issue was excursions. We booked two through NCL and two on our on. the two we booked were phenomenal, but both the Hop on Hop off in Finland and the guided excursion in Gdansk had issues. To NCL's credit they refunded part of our payment in both cases. Our cabin was very nice, but the cabin steward must have been new. He was very nice, but left things out of place when he cleaned. The bar and restaurant staff were exceptional. A little disappointed in the food in La Bistro and Moderno, but pleased everywhere else. The gym was too warm and we did most of our excersize on the promonade deck even thouigh it was very cool and windy mast days. Overall my wife and I really enjoyed the Pearl and the iternary was once in a lifetime for us. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Ports and value were good. Only Klaipeda was not worth a stop. Ship was old but well kept. Most outstanding was the staff: friendly yet professional. Made for a family atmosphere. Our cabin steward was helpful and went out of his ... Read More
Ports and value were good. Only Klaipeda was not worth a stop. Ship was old but well kept. Most outstanding was the staff: friendly yet professional. Made for a family atmosphere. Our cabin steward was helpful and went out of his way to bring me ice every night for my twisted He kept the cabin clean and orderly at all times. The food court was not of our liking as everything was súper spicy. Most of all, there was never free tables which resulted in us looking around for a place to sit while our food wad getting Cold. Lots of people complained and were upset about this. Indigo was our favorite venue: good food, excellent service, friendly staff. Two outstanding performances were the Classical Musicians and the couple of aerobatic act. The band was very good Staff at bar on deck 6 was terrific and space was very relaxing. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
What an absolute mess of an entire trip. Norwegian really really dropped the ball on this one. This was our 2nd time on that boat and the second trip was nothing like the 1st. The boat was right off of dry dock, all new staff, no one ... Read More
What an absolute mess of an entire trip. Norwegian really really dropped the ball on this one. This was our 2nd time on that boat and the second trip was nothing like the 1st. The boat was right off of dry dock, all new staff, no one knew what they were doing, never even met our room steward. No customer service to call, lines were hours long to get anything answered. Syd Norman nice addition with syd Norman band very entertaining. Burn the floor and million dollar quartet nice entertainment Dueling piano entertaining at first but played same songs over again No smoking in casino should be implemented. Smoke permeates bistro, makes whole 6th floor unusable Food in buffet was commonly cold, chicken over cooked. Indian food was not as wonderful as it was on the bliss. Specialty restaurants were exceptional - Brazilian, steak, Italian, raw bar. Missed 2 ports, one due to leaving 4hrs late and the other from what we hear was due to Norwegian passing it off as weather but it wasn't. The tendering was an absolute nightmare. Took hours to get off. Some ports you'd literally have 2hrs before having to come back and stand in another line for 90 mins to get a tender. HOT MESS. We are likely done with NCL after this one. First trip on Getaway in the Baltics was great, Bliss thru the Canal was wonderful, this was all unacceptable and they offered no refund for missed ports nor compensation for missed tours not refunded on the missed ports. Bad. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We have not been to Scandinavia or the Baltic countries so we really enjoyed the cruise and the ports of call. We ate in the Restaurant most nights where they had a good selection of dishes including a featured destination selection. We ... Read More
We have not been to Scandinavia or the Baltic countries so we really enjoyed the cruise and the ports of call. We ate in the Restaurant most nights where they had a good selection of dishes including a featured destination selection. We also ate at Manfredi’s two nights and throughly enjoyed the experience. We did not spend a lot of time in our room, but found it to be very comfortable. My wife especially liked the heated floor in the bathroom. We found the staff to be especially competent and it was amazing how quickly they got to know you by name. The common areas were conducive to sitting and talking or playing a game and there was almost always some type of entertainment going on. The included excursions provided a good insight into the ports of call and there was a good selection of optional excursions if you wanted additional experiences. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We had wanted to visit the Baltics for quite a while and especially wanted to visit Russia. The ports we visited, the service we received on board, the tour guides, everything, on the whole, was all excellent! I recommend this cruise to ... Read More
We had wanted to visit the Baltics for quite a while and especially wanted to visit Russia. The ports we visited, the service we received on board, the tour guides, everything, on the whole, was all excellent! I recommend this cruise to anyone who enjoys visiting new lands and meeting friendly people. Our only disappointment was not being able to visit the Viking Village in Norway because of the limitsd number of people who are allowed to go. The highlight was visiting St. Peterburge. We took the canal cruise and visited two churches. The Church of the Spillex Blood is a work of art! Absolutely amazing! Another highlight was the Vassa Museum in Stockholm ! Well worth the visit. Even though the weather was a bit cool the first couple of days (while our hometown zweltdrec in oppressive heat) it was great for our excursions! When we asked Albert, our Stewart, about getting us some tea at night he accommodated us but making sure we had a pot of hot water and tea ever evening during the cruise. We should often sit out on the de k of our room, enjoy the sites as we sailed by amazing landscapes and enjoyed our hot tea before bedtime. Felicia, our housekeeper, and Albert were absolutely wonderful! They always welcomed us back with a warm smile and greeting when we returned from our excursions. Our Room was kept immaculately clean. Our bed was turned down every night with the tray of hot water, cups and tea ready for us to enjoyed. Thank you Viking for this trip of a lifetime. So many memories! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We had gone on a viking river cruise and loved it. I also liked the idea of less passengers, smaller ships, no children, and the many included amenities like excursions in every port, free Wi-Fi, no extra charge for the specialty ... Read More
We had gone on a viking river cruise and loved it. I also liked the idea of less passengers, smaller ships, no children, and the many included amenities like excursions in every port, free Wi-Fi, no extra charge for the specialty restaurant s, and the included beverage package. The heated bathroom floor was an unexpected bonus. Our room service was excellent and so we're the help desk staff and the shore excursions staff. All of the guides for our excursions, both included and extra were very knowledgeable and gave us a great tour. The intertainment, lectures, food on board ship, and service was perfect! I would definitely recommend Viking Ocean to anyone. Especially people who want a calm serene cruising experience without the crowds that often are on the large ship Cruise lines. I will definitely cruise with Biking again. Hands down, the best cruise we have been on ever. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because neither one of us had been to Scandinavia. We love Viking because it is really focused on learning and experiencing and amazing service. From the first moment on you are always greeted with a smile and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because neither one of us had been to Scandinavia. We love Viking because it is really focused on learning and experiencing and amazing service. From the first moment on you are always greeted with a smile and greeting. Scandinavia is beyond beautiful. Each country different and the tours were wonderful. Having 2 full days in Russia was perfect to try to really experience it. The talks on board were so interesting and enhanced our trip. One was a specialist in Russian art including Fabrege eggs. The other in history. His talk on WW 2 was fascinating. You never feel crowds on board. Love how you can go to any restaurant without an additional charge, and there is always someone close by to answer questions or help you. Afternoon tea was delightful, ship was beautiful! Our fridge had complementary sodas ( I requested only Diet Coke) and snacks restocked every day. Can hardly wait for my next adventure with Viking! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Liked the look of the cruise itinerary, and departing from Newcastle is more convenient and an easier port to get to than other ports. Booked an executive suite which are supposedly the best cabins on board and are on deck 10. Bad ... Read More
Liked the look of the cruise itinerary, and departing from Newcastle is more convenient and an easier port to get to than other ports. Booked an executive suite which are supposedly the best cabins on board and are on deck 10. Bad decision. Must say the cabin is spacious and well furnished BUT the inescapable element is constant noise from the deck above. We noticed it initially during the first day, noise of furniture being moved and scraped along the deck. The first night we were woke at 5am, then at 1.30am second night. It appears the deck was being cleaned which needed furniture to be moved. Formally complained in writing, no one responded and had a third night of disturbed sleep. Altogether had to complain 3 times to the “hotel manager”, not impressed at all with the response. The cruise was spoiled by the noise as it is a constant irritant when in the cabin, even during the day. A number of other issues occurred such as on embarkation we were told there was an IT problem which meant long queues while dropping off luggage in the car park and within the terminal building. Luggage was not unloaded on time from the ship after disembarkation, again huge queues in the car park whilst fork lift trucks were coming and going delivering suitcases. The food generally in the restaurants is adequate, not of a high quality. Got the feeling that some of the crew were very inexperienced, and required further training. Overall, it is downmarket, it was a bad experience and will not be going anywhere near a Marella ship again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I can see why Caribbean cruises are so popular now that we’ve sailed in north/west Europe. Mid May, and sea days were cold, windy and often foggy. Only people brave enough to go out were mostly those wearing parkas and the smokers. We ... Read More
I can see why Caribbean cruises are so popular now that we’ve sailed in north/west Europe. Mid May, and sea days were cold, windy and often foggy. Only people brave enough to go out were mostly those wearing parkas and the smokers. We did think there were too many smoking areas. Our first Indy of the Seas sailing. Two seniors. Even with everyone mostly inside, the shop did not seem over crowded. Food was adequate. Although in the main dining room their pasta dishes were not very good. Regular steaks off the menu were thin, tough and grisly. Other than that, we were happy with the food. We had the 6pm seating. Desserts were great. And the food from the coffee area on the promenade was sometimes better than MDR. We were in a promenade window cabin, 8th floor. Noise was not really an issue. Other than occasional party below, the room was very quiet. Even with a connecting door, there was no noise from bordering cabins. Great staff overall. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise as it was a place that we had not been to before and we really did want to see the fjords. Embarkation and disembarkation all went very smoothly. Viking lived up to its usual high standards with impeccable service, ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a place that we had not been to before and we really did want to see the fjords. Embarkation and disembarkation all went very smoothly. Viking lived up to its usual high standards with impeccable service, great excursions and wonderful food. I required vegetarian food which was prepared for me by the excellent team of chefs. The only thing that wasn't very good was the weather but Viking can hardly be blamed for that! The shows were very good. The Viking Sky is a great ship with so much space. You hardly realise that there are nine hundred passengers on board. There is always somewhere to sit quietly and relax. A definite plus was having someone to lead a religious service on a Sunday. I cannot rate the crew highly enough - totally dedicated and competent. They cannot do enough for the passengers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We recently returned from a cruise on Norwegian Pearl, May 11 - 25, 2019 from Amsterdam to Scotland, Norway, Northern Ireland, Le Havre France, Tilbury England and Zeebrugge and returning to Amsterdam.This was our 7th cruise on NCL. We ... Read More
We recently returned from a cruise on Norwegian Pearl, May 11 - 25, 2019 from Amsterdam to Scotland, Norway, Northern Ireland, Le Havre France, Tilbury England and Zeebrugge and returning to Amsterdam.This was our 7th cruise on NCL. We choose it for the itinerary. I had been wondering why Norwegian has been slipping so much in cruise line reviews and was curious to see if there have been changes. The two I found were in the food quality, particularly meat, poor entertainment and price gouging. The cruise started with us being held back in the port and again onboard from our cabins while our ship underwent deep cleaning due to an outbreak of norovirus on the previous cruise and a decontamination being required. The library and games room were closed for much of the cruise. We were not aware on any illness while on our cruise, so the efforts seem to have paid off. Service in the main dining room, the Summer Palace, was spotty. Sometimes good, other times poor. However the major change I detected was in the quality of the meat. We went to the La Cucina one night and were advised that the steak was the special. It was not good, rather mushy and tasteless. Another evening we went to Cagneys. Even though the dining room was empty they tried to seat us at the worst table in the place. My husbands Porterhouse was good, mine was grissoly and fatty. I did not enjoy it and was most disappointed. Prime rib in the dining room was tough.Other meats and fish were o.k. Entertainment: There were a couple of great performers, but generally not up to the usual standards of previous cruises: Two separate couples performed on two nights and they were outstanding. The dancers did a great show but the rest of the entertainers were lack luster.One magician was so bad that I actually left, something I have never done before. Our hour of free internet service required a $4 US hook up free. Not free NCL! Doing your homework before the cruise can cut your excursion costs in half. Generally the cruise line uses a local provider and at least doubles the cost. You can find everything on the internet and by reading Cruise Critic reviews. Edinburgh. The cruise line was offering return bus fares to town for $21 US, but we were happy to take a locally offered bus fares for only 4 pounds directly from the pier. So basically NCL charge 5 times the local fare. We were able to tour Edinburgh on our own, going to Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood House on foot, but we are fairly mobile seniors. Invergordon. We rented a car from Ken's Garage: morag.bremner@peugeotmail.co. a local provider. They delivered an almost brand new car to a location near the port. The cost for a standard shift car was $123 CAD. We toured the countryside including charming Dornoch and amazing Dunrobin castle on our own. Flam: we prebooked the Flam Railway trip which does sell out. Two minutes walk from the pier. There's not much else to do there, so best to prebook the rail trip rather than NCL prices. Bergen: easily toured on our own, can walk to the funicular for the trip up the mountain to enjoy the view. Several museums were closed because it was Wednesday Geiranger: walk off the ship onto a bus for a tour of the local scenery. No need to book with the cruise line, you can prebook with Panorama Bus: https://www.geirangerfjord.no/panoramic-bus-geiranger-2 Belfast: we took a very quick bus tour through town and down to the Giants Causeway. We had ample time to see the causeway, however the back of a bus is not the best way to enjoy the scenic coastal drive back to Belfast. Next time I would rent a car or go with a group in a van. https://irishtourtickets.com/ Dublin: We took a taxi from the ship to Dublin Castle and Trinity College. Lots of taxis at the dock. Though it was advertised as an overnight in Dublin, the cruise actually left at 2 am, so we did not get the expected two days in Dublin. Bait and switch. Le Havre: Cruise line tour to Rouen was a disappointment. We ran through the cathedral and town. A five hour tour included 3 hours travelling on the bus and two quick hours in town. We needed more time in the city, but they rushed back. Tilbury: we spent the day with friends, but I could see it was a very long walk to the train station to go to London. I did not see any buses going to the train. Zeebrugge: Bruges is amazing and you can do a self guided tour. Best to have a plan ahead of time so you know where to go once in town. The Church of the Holy Blood was closed at lunch time for an hour and a half. There are buses just outside the port that make runs into Bruges and back during the day. You can prebook on Viatour else buy your ticket there. Using the tram to get to the rail station did not seem like a good option, there were lines for the tram but they did not seem to run often. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Chose this cruise as we were interested in visiting the ports in Scotland, Ireland and Norway in particular. Had great weather and smooth seas for the whole cruise which made it so much more enjoyable. The highlight of our cruise was ... Read More
Chose this cruise as we were interested in visiting the ports in Scotland, Ireland and Norway in particular. Had great weather and smooth seas for the whole cruise which made it so much more enjoyable. The highlight of our cruise was without doubt the ports in Norway (Bergen, Flam and Geiranger). The scenery was absolutely amazing. We have sailed with NCL on many occasions and now enjoy Platinum Plus benefits which is an added bonus. As usual, the service provided by the crew was exceptional and the food in the main dining room was of a very good standard. Of the specialty restaurants, Le Bistro & Cagneys were the standouts. The entertainment overall was not as good as on previous cruises. That is not to say that there weren’t some good shows but we aren’t that keen on magicians/mentalist type performances. One area we feel NCL could lift their performance is in providing more detailed information on the ports to be visited in a timely manner. Not everyone does an excursion in every port and so it would be good to have this information to be able to plan what you want to do in advance. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I have never travelled NCL and it was a great destination and very cheap last minute price. But for the poor management, disorganization, virus outbreak and lack of basic safety measures and most of all the lack of honest report of ... Read More
I have never travelled NCL and it was a great destination and very cheap last minute price. But for the poor management, disorganization, virus outbreak and lack of basic safety measures and most of all the lack of honest report of embarkation condition and time it will take and port and shuttle condition upfront. It makes us lost our preplanned land tours and wait in line for hours for cargo port shuttle transportation schedules that does not match cruiseship embarkation time. It is no longer as cheap and a good deal as it seems.Many things regarding this shipp can only be simply put in a nutshell as if it is either at the beginning of a cruise staff training test run or the employees are so mad about the management that they strive to achieve perfect imperfections as a retaliation to work on a ship they have contract. some simple exaples are 1.5 hours into beginning of main breakfast hours. one side of the main hotwater and coffee machine is locked up. everywhere is either running out of soup bowls or plate. with management stand by busy chatting among themselves and employee standing around. Service desk often can not even be reached by phone and lines in front of the service desk will take easily half an hour many days of the week. The ship claims to have certain currency exchange and either it is closed, in time conflict with your shoretime or meal time or has no currency to exchanged. No water is served till the end of the meal Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We are a retired couple, who wanted to try cruising for the first time and were pleasantly surprised. We are not interested in too much formality and didn’t want to be overly organised. We found that we could pick and choose what suited ... Read More
We are a retired couple, who wanted to try cruising for the first time and were pleasantly surprised. We are not interested in too much formality and didn’t want to be overly organised. We found that we could pick and choose what suited us. That said we found everything was very well organised. The crew were welcoming and friendly but not intrusive. We had a mini-suite M423, which was well equipped with a large sofa, comfortable bed and pillows, two TV’s, fridge, bath/shower with good hot water and a balcony. The cost of the 11 night cruise was a little over $6000AU for two - excellent value for money. The Medallion facility was great and made it very easy to pay for extras and log in and out. We also thought that extras, like drinks and beverages, were reasonably priced. The port visits were just right for us and gave us a good taste of the major Baltic cities. Overall, we highly recommended this cruise and this ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019

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