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238 Baltic Sea Senior Cruise Reviews

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
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 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
Creds: I'm an 18-time cruiser, wife a 25-time cruiser, but our first on Princess. My first time flying to Europe to catch a boat; she did it once before. Complications for us, that relate to the cruise: Both retired, we figured ... Read More
Creds: I'm an 18-time cruiser, wife a 25-time cruiser, but our first on Princess. My first time flying to Europe to catch a boat; she did it once before. Complications for us, that relate to the cruise: Both retired, we figured it'd be dumb to fly over, cruise, fly right back. So, we self-planned a few days in London after our direct flight from Tampa; a "buffer"/safety night in Copenhagen before embarkation. At the other end, we did another half-day in Copenhagen before flying to Amsterdam, then training across the north coast (Ghent, Belgium was a magical, surprise revelation) to Paris for a few days before Chunneling back to London for our return flight. For the cruise, that meant that we were expecting travel stress (hotel-changing, train/air schedule worries, BA pilots' strike worries) with the 11-day cruise in the middle of it all to be our respite from stress. It pretty much did exactly that. Like all cruises, it was nice not to have to pack up every few days and move on. Regal Princess provided our comfortable moving hotel through the Baltic. The ship was very clean, very comfortable, possibly the most luxurious-feeling ship I've ever been on. We like included alternative venues for meals on a ship and Regal had a few. However, our best meal was the comp (with our booking) upscale steakhouse dinner. Of course, being a comp meal meant that the downside of it was that it was the very first meal we had on the ship - we had no choice - they were getting their commitment to us out of the way so they could make room for upsell diners who wouldn't reserve the first night. For whatever reason, our embarkation at Copenhagen was the fastest on record for either one of us. We did already have medallions for this cruise, which may have helped. (For the unfamiliar, Princess Medallion cruises provide a round RF medallion instead of a key card. Cabin doors, maitre-d's, and clerks can literally see you coming and who you are. Half the passengers wore them on the free neck-ribbons; we bought wrist bands. Apparently, those sci-fi movies with people swiping their wrists before entering someplace is now, and it's aboard Princess Medallion cruises. Aside from the sci-fi aspects, it was probably more convenient than a card. One aspect of the Medallion business is that Princess highly encouraged its use for many things: locating your cabin-mates, chatting, internet/intranet, games, casino, restaurant booking and so forth. But all these actions seemed to require downloading yet another app onto your phone to use and then trying to figure out how to make the app work like all the glitzy encouraging promotions make it look like. I had pre-purchased internet for the whole cruise, but "The Best Internet at Sea" only seemed to work ½ to ¾ of the time. If I'd get an internet cafe person's help, they'd race through what, to them, is a boring re-hash of simple steps, only to have my lack of a photographic memory apparently be my undoing. ("Turn this on, but that off, sign on, sign off, but it that's off, sign this off, see, simple?" I was able to locate my distant wife's position one time and never again. Neither of us were every able to get the chat thing to work. (Should mention that our last HAL cruise also had chat then would never work.) All that aside, the cruise was a fine one on a nice ship and provided the stress-free respite we needed in the middle of this European larger trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Second time on QM2 & first since a supposed re-furbishment. As always Cunard smugly bang on about their heritage with artefacts & pictures everywhere yet overall the Cunard experience whilst generally very good it's not ... Read More
Second time on QM2 & first since a supposed re-furbishment. As always Cunard smugly bang on about their heritage with artefacts & pictures everywhere yet overall the Cunard experience whilst generally very good it's not 'that' special. Cabin immaculate except that the wooden ornamental balcony railing had come adrift from its metal frame. As to be expected public areas including lounge & bar areas immaculate & rather grand - with one exception ( see later ). Britannia dining room staff utterly charming & food was fine but evening meals taken to the accompaniment of frequent screeching of babies or hyper-active infants not Cunard's fault of course, but why take babies on a cruise it's not a floating creche? The self-service café or Kings Court or whatever still has all the ambience of a 1960's Wimpy bar with many seats in a sort of corridor or in bay windows that have some sort of blue tint on them - weird. The Kings Grille always empty & on the sole occasion I ventured there to get a cheese burger it was tasteless (the burger that is). McDonalds could teach Cunard a thing or two. Food from the café was never ever hot enough, so much so I played safe & stuck to cold meats etc. Given that class division is so obvious on the ship I doubt whether those in Princess or Queens Grille class would ever risk soiling their Gucci loafers in such a place. A certain aspect of the posh Commodore/commode Club was a disgrace. In several places the wood edging to the window apertures had split, come adrift & hanging loose. The inside of the toilet door adjacent to the library was covered in rust. It seems the QM2 is long overdue for it's next mild re-furb. Theatre entertainment was obviously on a low budget e.g. a shrieking girl singer & a so so conjuror/comedian - all a bit village hall I fear. BUT...a guitar concert was a joy as was a talk in the picture gallery. Good selection of day time activities too. Places visited were second time around so need to be ripped-off by over-priced excursions. Took lots of my own photographs including a photograph of a photograph taken with the captain - $35 for one print ! - no way Cunard. However enough good points to be looking forward to next booked Cunard cruise but NOT on QM2. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We choose this cruise for the uniqueness of the destination, the Baltic Countries. a great experience on the cruise but couple of things left us angry and wanting 1) Seafood Paella being served was a highlight as we love seafood and ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the uniqueness of the destination, the Baltic Countries. a great experience on the cruise but couple of things left us angry and wanting 1) Seafood Paella being served was a highlight as we love seafood and Paella, we know Halal is not offered but the paella had PORK sausages even though pork was not mentioned on the menu description. With the number of Muslims cruising with NCL, I would think they would at least be clear about that. live cooking omelets in the breakfast saw spatulas being used to turn ham filled and normal eggs, The Indian Dishes , in the garden Cafe had beef and pork dishes along with the vegetarian choices, which sort of says NCL does not care about the sensitivities of this segment of the market. The pullman beds were left out for the duration of the cruise and not closed daily which would have made the day time cabin use pleasant. Value for money, being specific an 1 year old infant being charged full 3rd person cost is not value for money in anyway as there is nothing infant friendly available or provided by the cruise line, Freestyle for adults is definitely a great way to cruise and value for money, but NCL has to look into the Muslim cruising market by making sure pork is properly marked and the utensils not used, at least by the crew handling the food, in an interchangeable manner, may be even take some pointers from other cruise line on how to avoid the same, like Carnival. We had 8 seniors in the group, for who there was no on board activity, that they could enjoy, These avoidable incidents would have enhanced the good experience Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We flew from Sydney, Australia, to visit the Baltic region for the first time. We have cruised once before on NCL (Rome to Spain round-trip). We choose NCL usually because it offers a variety of entertainment and similar standard of ... Read More
We flew from Sydney, Australia, to visit the Baltic region for the first time. We have cruised once before on NCL (Rome to Spain round-trip). We choose NCL usually because it offers a variety of entertainment and similar standard of service that we like. We would be happy to travel again on this ship. Here are some observations. DINING Good: Variety of dining options. O'sheehans is often a favourite. We had 4 additional choices as part of our package. Le Bistro, Cagneys and Moderno are always winners (usually an add on). Needs tweaking: The garden cafe is good for all but close table seating made it difficult to move around when necessary. This can be managed by choosing to dine in Savor or Taste restaurants. Sometimes in the garden cafe, there were dishes that were cold by the time you sat down to eat at the table. For example, scrambled eggs, meat dishes that are meant to be hot, and Indian dishes. I imagine that could cause food to be wasted. I prefer hot food to be eaten at that same temperature. Specialty restaurants did not have this problem. Service: All good during our stay and in all areas of the ship. Entertainment: We love listening to live music. The Syd Norman Pour House had a band with a variety of vocalists that really worked hard to sing and engage the crowd. Definitely a winner for me to sing along with 70,80,90's music. The venue was often crowded. Burn the floor was a good show too. Any longer would have been repetitive. Their energy is amazing. Ancora was an opera/classical group of 4 that were simply fantastic. The range and quality of their voices was breathtaking. I didn't go to see the Cirque show. The additional cost was not the issue. I'm just not into the circus theme. There were other entertainment options too. I liked the interactive games on level 6 that engaged the audience. Nothing complicated, but amusing Room: We had a mini suite on deck 9 forward. While close to level 8 entertainment venue, we slept soundly. Fixtures and fittings are beginning to show some signs of age but, this did not impact on our comfort. Recommendations: Based on personal preference. More ping pong tables so that adults can play, not just the kids. Maybe more area in the gym for stretching, cooling etc in peak time. Also, a big thank you to Mario who was helpful in meeting the needs of the Cruise critic team when docking in Russia. Thanks to Tammy and Patrick (friendly cruise critic cruisers) too. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Mostly went on this cruise for the wonderful ports we stopped in. Embarkation and leaving the ship were quick and easy. The ship was fine. The average age of the ship was very old (older than i thought and I expected the crowd to be ... Read More
Mostly went on this cruise for the wonderful ports we stopped in. Embarkation and leaving the ship were quick and easy. The ship was fine. The average age of the ship was very old (older than i thought and I expected the crowd to be old). This was fine for us as we are not the type to stay out late partying - but almost nobody showed up to parties or events. The shows were also tailored for the older crowd. The ship was our biggest so we expected entertainment to be awesome - the lead male and female singers were great but there was only one comedian the entire trip and we were unimpressed with the entertainment overall. There is not a ton to do on the ship - basketball and ping pong are outside and the wind makes them almost impossible. If you are not doing trivia, at a bar, or playing bingo, there is alot of time for hot tubs. The adults only section of pool and hot tubs were the biggest I've seen and we loved them - but they did not have access to watch the movie if you are excited about that. There were also a variety of lectures prior to the port stops. Dining was fine - very comparable to other cruise ships and companies. The service, however, was EXCELLENT. The best dining room service we have had in about 6/7 cruises. We did not try any specialty dining for the first time. Ports were great - some very small towns such as Oslo had little to do but were enjoyable. Russia did not disappoint - be sure to book excursions before hand in order to get off the ship. HOWEVER, the cruises sometimes imply or otherwise make it seem as if you can only get off the ship if you have an excursion booked through them directly. This is NOT the case. While the Royal Caribbean cruises had more time (about an hour before and a bit after) in Russia, we completed our full two day tour. I recommend SPB for small groups - the cruise had large buses with up to 45 people. Many places such as the Hermitage and Peterhof are packed and it is very disorganized in the museums so having a small group with SPB of only about 15 made things MUCH easier. Highly recommend the Ice Bar in Helskini - there are several (such as Stockholm) but Helsinki is far superior with a large indoor facility. Love the trip - once in a lifetime. PS there are not a ton of kids on this trip - we loved it. however, if we had kids there was not alot for them to do and not enough kids to get anything done Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise because it was offered by Viking, was a smaller ship, stayed overnight in the beginning and ending ports and visited ports in Scandinavia while excluding Russia. We did not wish to fuel the Russian economy. We had ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was offered by Viking, was a smaller ship, stayed overnight in the beginning and ending ports and visited ports in Scandinavia while excluding Russia. We did not wish to fuel the Russian economy. We had been on one Viking River Cruise so were inclined toward Viking for our first ocean cruise. Our cruise was only 11 nights but apparently the cruise continued to other ports such as Stockholm and St. Petersberg. Three weeks would have been too long for us. I had researched the ports and believed guidebooks and Viking when they described how close the dock was to town. In some cases such as Bergen, Aalborg and Stavanger it really was easy to walk into town. In others we needed a shuttle which Viking sometimes provided or taxis. In 3 ports we were beat out of the prime dock location by another ship but only once did we need to use tenders. We were really on our own in Oslo, Viking should have had shuttles there. The included excursions in Eidfjord, Stavanger and Oslo were enjoyable as well as the optional tour we took of Copenhagen. We are experienced travelers and prefered to tour on our own when possible. Guides in Oslo and Copenhagen were excellent. Sailing the fjords and visiting Bergen & Oslo were the most enjoyable locations. The main reasons we chose a cruise for this region of Europe was ease of accessing the fjords, various ports and finding food someone with Celiac disease could safely eat. We had one lunch in Oslo in a restaurant I had researched from home and that offered gluten-free options. The restaurants on the Viking Sky seemed quite good, especially the food in Manfredi's however the Restaurant or main dining room was a beautiful and reliable choice for dinner. I appreciated that the only additional costs we encountered were laundry, a spa service and an additional tip for our room steward. We may take another cruise in future but I really enjoyed our Viking River Cruise more than the ocean cruise. If they had tables for 2 on the river that would be perfect. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
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
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
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
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
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 completed our 15 nights Northern Europe cruise which set sail from Southampton Port on 30 April 2019. There were 6 of us, my husband and I and 2 other couples. After booking the cruise, I had cold feet when I read the many negative ... Read More
We completed our 15 nights Northern Europe cruise which set sail from Southampton Port on 30 April 2019. There were 6 of us, my husband and I and 2 other couples. After booking the cruise, I had cold feet when I read the many negative reviews on Cruise Critic. So I switched from a balcony room to an interior as I was not going to pay for a poor experience. However the whole cruise turned out to be unexpectedly good. Embarkation started at 3 pm despite some passengers saying you could get a queue ticket when you arrive at Southampton. We were there at 11.30 am and checked in our luggage before walking out to Ikea for lunch. When we returned, embarkation had already started and we had to join a queue which took almost 30 minutes to clear. Once on board, we headed to the activation machines to link our credit card to our cruise card. There was hardly any queue at the counter throughout our stay, which was good as we could have our queries attended to quickly. All the counter staff speak English and were quite polite. The muster drill was quite well organised. We headed to the theatre where there was a staff briefing everyone. After that, we were lead to our muster station. About 5 days before we disembarked, there was a talk about disembarkation in the theatre. Again the speaker was very clear when she briefed us. Just 2 days before we disembarked at Southampton, some officials from the British immigration came on board to have a "face to face" interview with us. Our passports were stamped and we could walk off the ship on day of disembarkation as we opted for self assisted disembarkation. I was quite worried we wouldn't be able to disembark in time to meet our driver but all ended all. Speaking of entertainment, I must say it was lack lustre. Having so many nationalities on board it must have been difficult to plan any entertainment. The ship is actually a shuttle ship as people embarked and disembarked at various ports. This was not too bad as there was no jam when we embarked and disembarked at Southamption. The ship did not berth at La Coruna because of bad weather but made a stop instead at Vigo. The change in schedule was handled very well and an announcement was made throughout the ship, including our rooms. Notices were also sent to m our cabin quickly. Very professional. We booked a Bella experience which was the most basic experience. No room service unless you pay for it. There was also no body lotion in the bathroom. But we had a kettle and tea and coffee making facilities in the room and that was a big bonus as we did not have to top up our drinking bottles every night. Another bonus was that breakfast and lunch were served in the main dining room everyday, whether it's a sea day or port day. In other cruise lines, there were breakfast and lunch in the main dining room only on sea days. Though no free drinks were served in the main dining room except during breakfast, it was not a big problem because we could order a bottle of plain water or go up to the buffet restaurant after our meal. The menu in the main dining room changed everyday, except for breakfast, and it was well presented. The buffet restaurant also had a wide variety of food but the menu didn't change very much. Pizzas were good and they were very generous with the fruits although no berries were served. I am quite a fussy eater and am happy to say I am happy with the food served. I didn't take any shore excursions from the ship so cannot comment about it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The cruise started with the sun, but that's about the only day it was with us... Every day, when arriving in a port, people would say : "yesterday was nice and warm, but today... rain and very cold"! We even had some snow in ... Read More
The cruise started with the sun, but that's about the only day it was with us... Every day, when arriving in a port, people would say : "yesterday was nice and warm, but today... rain and very cold"! We even had some snow in St-Petersburg! Temperature, we can not predict nor change, so that is why we had our hats, gloves, good shoes, rain coats and many layers. Good for us! The Regal is a beautiful ship, food was wonderful and personnel were very nice, smilling and helpful. Our cabin (mid balcony on Riviera deck ) was perfect and well located. The itinerary and length of cruise were great. The Medaillon was not as expected... but one day... it will! Here are a few of the problems we encountered: it could not open our cabin door nor retreive me (with Compass app) if in my pocket! Our tablet (Samsung Tab S2) could not run some of the apps (we were told we needed a smart phone!). Internet was slow! very slow, not the "fastest internet at sea". It was fast only after 11PM! And, since the TV works with the internet system, when it is down, the TV doesn't work either. At least twice during the cruise, we were told by the waiters that we need to sign the invoice because the system was not working. My husband could not login into his account, because the system doesn't recognize the accent in his name! We were lucky mine worked, to check our onboard account and excursions. But we did find a few good things: we both had the beverage package and we could order 2 drinks with one medaillon, without showing both. On every floor, there are big screens with Medaillon apps, so we can find our way or what is going on or find our friend (of the medaillon is not in a pocket)... And the worst problem : if you loose your medaillon and someone finds it, he can walk to a screen with Compass app, log in with the medaillon, find your cabin and go to your cabin... the medaillon will unlock the door and he is in! WOW! ... So beside the temperature and the medaillon, we had a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise because we had been on this ship before and wanted to visit the Norwegian Fjords. Overall we were pleased with the cruise and the destination didn't disappoint. The areas of disappointment for us were the quality ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had been on this ship before and wanted to visit the Norwegian Fjords. Overall we were pleased with the cruise and the destination didn't disappoint. The areas of disappointment for us were the quality and choice of food in the restaurant. After just a couple of days it became apparent that the menu doesn't really change that much, particularly the starters and sweets. Boring would be the only word to describe them. If this was a restaurant in my local town, I would not be visiting it! If we're to travel on this ship again, we would consider eating in the café where the choice of food on offer is far better, particularly the sweets. The other area of disappointment was the entertainment, specifically the shows put on by the ships own staff. This is not a criticism of their skills, which were very good but more the fact that the shows were the same or very similar to those we had seen on a cruise on this ship approximately 9 months earlier. Celebrity should also review their presentation of the emergency drill given on the first day. The cartoon/film is both puerile and childish. You could visibly watch people being turned off and not paying attention, and you certainly don't want to watch this in "Michael's Bar" which was overcrowded with far too many people in a small area. This resulted in people overheating and wanting to leave the presentation early. This was the same on the previous cruise on this ship. Its clear that Celebrity take no notice off feedback, as this same criticism was made to the ships crew last year. It's a shame to bring up these criticisms, as overall its a lovely ship with a good crew. Are you listening Celebrity? Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The Itinerary is great and you will see spectacular scenery in Norway. Unfortunately, with any cruise you can't control the weather which is really important if you want to see the Northern Lights. We were glad we were able to see the ... Read More
The Itinerary is great and you will see spectacular scenery in Norway. Unfortunately, with any cruise you can't control the weather which is really important if you want to see the Northern Lights. We were glad we were able to see the Northern Lights but somewhat disappointed in the color and brightness due to most of the nights being cloudy. Also, cameras really pickup more color than the naked eye so having a camera that is capable of taking pictures of the Northern Lights is critical. Viking Sky does a good job of providing guest hints on how to take good pictures of the Northern Lights. We had a stress free embarkation in Bergen Norway. Very convenient location within walking distance of several hotels and attractions which made it nice since it was an overnight stay on the Ship in Bergen. The ship is gorgeous and mostly well maintained. They do a really good job of keeping the common areas clean. But be aware of the ice that can accumulate on the outside decks. It seems that Viking could have put a barrier around the ice which would have really improved the situation. This was mostly an issue at night when people would go to the decks and couldn't see the ice. I really like having the Self-service launderette. Our stateroom attendants were very friendly and did a great job taking care of our stateroom. The capability for Viking to notify guest, who wanted to be alerted no matter what time of the night, that Northern Lights were visible from the ship was fantastic. It did really add a special touch to the cruise. There were more movies and shows available on the TV then expected. The dining staff did a good job and were very friendly. I really like that the World Cafe for the most part served the same food that the Restaurant did so if guest didn't want to dress for dinner they had they same food options. Viking could expand some of the options such as bread and cookies so that each meal isn't the same the entire cruise. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of options but each lunch and dinner had the exact same bread everyday. I liked the availability of the specialty food buffets that were served on the pool deck that provided added flexibility and variety for dining options. We really enjoyed our dinners in The Chef's Table and Manfredi's. The included wine was mostly good except we really didn't enjoy the German red wine they had several meals. The included excursion for the most part were rather boring and didn't do much other than drive around and I think Viking could do a better job of describing the tours so guest will have a better idea of what to expect. For example, the tour in Bergen explanation of the excursion should reflect the actual excursion making it clear that it doesn't stop at the King Haakon’s Hall, the Rosenkrantz Tower or the Fish Market. We did really enjoy the included excursion in Tromso where we visited the Northern Light Planetarium. We enjoyed the warm drinks (especially the Baileys and Hot Chocolate) when returning to ship from our excursions. For the most part, Viking Sky did a good job of getting guest on and off the ship. The second day in Bergen was the only port that the line was extremely long when returning from our excursion. Disembarkation was extremely smooth. Do not expect taxi's to be readily available at the Tilbury port. Transportation should be planned prior to disembarkation. We rented a car from Enterprise which picked us up at the port. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I really wanted to see the Northern Lights and this was the perfect cruise. We saw the Northern Lights on several occasions . Overall this cruise gets a 4 - - the staff and crew were awesome, the packaged tours were lame and the ... Read More
I really wanted to see the Northern Lights and this was the perfect cruise. We saw the Northern Lights on several occasions . Overall this cruise gets a 4 - - the staff and crew were awesome, the packaged tours were lame and the speakers were a mixed bag. Take note that these cruises are mostly old people. Just thought I would mention it in case you, the reader, is under 60 and considering. PROS - Really nice ship with excellent amenities and a well-trained crew. The food was nice and well presented. We were kept well informed and thoroughly enjoyed the ports of call. The Northern Lights are a hit or miss phenomenon and we had one night on the ship that was amazing. It made the trip all worth it for me. The entertainment is mostly small musical groups / singers and they were great. Because it is older cruisers the bars were never crowded after 10pm, so it was easy to get a seat and service. Highly recommend booking your own tours. We booked three tours with local operators and those tours were a much better value than the ship's tours. We sailed above the Arctic Circle and the scenery was awesome. CONS - The two packaged tours we did were really lame. We paid to go on the ship's tour to see the Northern Lights and were surprised they didn't cancel because of the clouds. They assured us they had a clear area. Turns out we just went a couple miles from the ship and all stood around in the snow looking at clouds. Most independent tours cancelled. We paid for the reindeer ride, but there was no snow so you couldn't do it - -again they didn't cancel. The speakers were a mixed bag. One speaker was awesome and another read his slides in a boring monotone. How do you get a job on a ship with such poor speaking skills? Mystery to me. This didn't spoil the cruise. I had read some books prior to going. Overall - - I would highly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We wished to experience the high Arctic, and we love Norway from previous cruises. Northern Lights have long been on the desired list. Almost as an afterthought we signed on to the Churchill’s England pre-cruise tour, and it proved to ... Read More
We wished to experience the high Arctic, and we love Norway from previous cruises. Northern Lights have long been on the desired list. Almost as an afterthought we signed on to the Churchill’s England pre-cruise tour, and it proved to be one of the best aspects. We saw the elusive northern lights twice, pretty but not spectacular, and the trip would have been almost as good without them. London in January isn’t for tourists seeking green lawns, sunny skies and shirtsleeve temperatures, but it wasn’t awful; mostly 40s F, rain off and on, and the most pleasant aspect was lack of summer vacation hordes. The hotel, Royal Horse Guards is perfectly fine, and in a superb Central London location. The guide, Don Brown, was with us the entire time, and of many fine Viking guides over several years and 5 cruises, he was absolutely the best! The tour sites; Churchill War Room, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Blenheim Palace, and Bletchley Park, could not have been more fascinating. Transfer to Tilbury to begin the cruise was effortless. The first couple of days in the North Sea were quite expectedly adventurous, and not for faint hearted or weak mid-sectioned amateur sailors. Lots of Vikings stayed in staterooms, and many who appeared were quite pale and subdued. Luckily, we haven’t ever become seasick. Between Stavanger and Bodo we entered the Norwegian Inside Passage and the rest of the cruise was like a quiet lake. The onboard experience was mostly up to Viking’s very high standard. Food was superb. Entertainment was better than average, particularly guest pianist/singer Tom Seals. Staff built snowmen on the rear deck; a fun photo-op! Some shore tours could have been better planned on this inaugural cruise. There was quite a lot of uncomfortable bus riding in the dark. Luckily we brought clothing suitable to the Arctic; had we not, some tours would have been miserable. Our best shore tours were a family visit near Tromsø although the tour description did not mention outdoor fun and thus we were notprepared clothing-wise. Sami reindeer camp near Alta -22F, the Ice Hotel near Alta, cathedral concerts in Bodo and Tromsø, and husky dogsled riding were also great. A 19th Century Island village near Bodo was also interesting and fun. The Alta museum offered spectacular views and interesting displays. We did get the feeling that with Viking’s recent rapid expansion, possibly some shortcuts are being taken, and that attention to service and plannning detail might have slipped a bit. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The ship was suppose to go to places I wanted to see, but three ports were cancelled and we stayed on the ship extra days. We were suppose to go to five ports but only went to two, Estonia and Russia. Port calls in Germany, Finland and ... Read More
The ship was suppose to go to places I wanted to see, but three ports were cancelled and we stayed on the ship extra days. We were suppose to go to five ports but only went to two, Estonia and Russia. Port calls in Germany, Finland and Sweden were cancelled. Bad weather was cited for the reason but there had to be other reasons since we bypassed Helsinki even thought the storms had passed days earlier. The shipboard entertainment was so-so. It was mostly solo acts, such as a single singer, violinist etc. My wife and I left some shows early since they were boring. I knew in advance beer ($8.30 a bottle) and soft drinks ($5.00) would be expensive so it was not a surprise. I just didn't drink as much as I would have liked. Still the food was great, the cabins were great, the service was great and we had a very good time but regret not seeing what we paid for. For old people, such as my wife and I, it was a relaxing vacation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We were on several cruises before and we try to cruise with Norwegian Cruislines. We had a nice Cabin with a balcony on the 11th floor. Our Room attendant was very good and it looks like he always knew the right time to service the ... Read More
We were on several cruises before and we try to cruise with Norwegian Cruislines. We had a nice Cabin with a balcony on the 11th floor. Our Room attendant was very good and it looks like he always knew the right time to service the cabin. We booked in advance our dinners and shows so we did not have to stand in line to get our table... The Garden Cafe - All-Day- Buffet looks like a war zone ... hard to find a table for our party and it feels like going to the market with many people doing the same thing... We did all we could to avoid going there... We had our Breakfasts at the Savor Restaurant and when we did not have the special dining dinners we used the 3 restaurants Taste, Savor and the Manhattan room. We were happy to have our a-la-carte breakfast and the dinners. We enjoyed and loved Cagney's Steak House 3 times and twice La Cuccina Italian restaurant. The entertainment was fine but the Theater and other venues were not as we had on the other ships... Overall it was OK. We were disappointed being so close to Stockholm, Sweden but did not make it... We had plans and we arranged a nice tour with our friends living in Stockholm which left us disappointed. Instead we had 2 Sea Days... We've did cruise with the Norwegian Spirit and were very happy... We hope to be back on the NCL Spirit next year. On behalf of my family & friends, I wish to thank everyone on the Norwegian Breakaway team for their attention and good service... Thank you for having us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We took an Athens-Rome Mediterranean cruise on Marina in 2017. Loved the ship and the experience. We purchased this cruise on board. Nautica is much smaller than Marina but is dated and lacks the feeling of space and luxury of Marina. ... Read More
We took an Athens-Rome Mediterranean cruise on Marina in 2017. Loved the ship and the experience. We purchased this cruise on board. Nautica is much smaller than Marina but is dated and lacks the feeling of space and luxury of Marina. Embarkation at Stockholm was quick but there was no welcome cocktail. Our room (B2) on deck 6 was adequate. The bathroom was tiny and had only a shower protected by a cheap shower curtain (no bathtub as on Marina). Storage space was adequate. Our room was cleaned spotlessly every day. One person commented that a verandah is unnecessary on cruises to northern climates and during cooler seasons, and I agree, even though we had spectacular weather (Europe had its warmest weather on record). Our stateroom was near the rear elevator (closer to the restaurants) which was convenient. Nautica has only two specialty restaurants, so we were only allowed two such meals on a 12-day cruise (no surcharge). Oddly, each time we went, there were many empty tables. It should be noted that Nautica and the other three smaller (older) ships are being "reimagined" over the next year or two and the design looks attractive. Try to hold off until the ships are done. The interiors of Nautica are dated and frumpy. For example, on Marina there were real Picasso and Miro prints, and some delightful avant-garde works of art. On Nautica, the art looked like it came from a neighbourhood art show. Yes, this is a "first world" problem, but Oceania are among the most expensive cruises on the market. PA announcements were appropriate and brief and the cruise director was excellent on them. I was also impressed by the performers. The shows were appropriately scaled and tasteful, like a nightclub rather than Vegas. On Oceania, apart from a promotional package (cabin credit, 6 excursions/cabin, etc.) everything is extra. The wine lists are extensive and extremely expensive, starting generally at US$50 (one or two bottles) and shooting up from there. There is a 7-bottle wine package for US$350.00 and the choices were decent, but I did some research and found the majority of them cost in the range of US$10-20. Huge markup. Oceania permits bringing alcohol on board, as long as it is consumed in your cabin (there is a $25.00 corkage fee if you want to bring your bottle into a restaurant). Excursions are ridiculously expensive. Imagine 30 people paying US$300 each to board a bus for a day excursion. Typical. In St Petersburg, Russia, we went on one such excursion but were allowed only to get out of the bus at certain stops to take exterior pictures. The Hermitage, which we were looking forward to as a highlight, was too brief (actually only about 2.5 hours viewing) and of course it was massively overcrowded, which is not Oceania's fault. Tour guides were generally good, except in one case we signed up for a tour of modern Scandinavian architectural landmarks in Copenhagen but the tour was a disaster because the guide was subbed in at the last minute (with apologies) and had no time to prepare, so she showed us a few buildings near where she lived and in central Copenhagen then reverted to a tour of historic buildings because the time allotment was not used up. You would think these tours would all be pre-planned so anyone with some background could step in. We were also promised a tour of a "design factory" but were taken to a retail outlet instead which lasted about 10 minutes. Having said that, the food really is, with minor exception, the best of the cruise lines. One day the head chef made his rounds in the restaurant and I had a suggestion, which he implemented. The median age of the guests on oceania is probably about 70, and the food selections especially in the buffet area were appropriate. There were a few theme days, but most guests didn't seem to take advantage. Compared to Marina, Nautica's staff were a little too relaxed and familiar for my taste. Service can be personal but it should be deferential and non-intrusive. This is trivial, but one waiter asked me as a joke if I wanted ground pepper in my dessert, which was a bit of sarcasm over always having to offer ground pepper. We laughed but I had never experienced that on Marina. There is a merit/reward system for staff, and some of them seemed a little over-anxious about making an impression. My main complaint is with their marketing and sales. Oceania spends a lot of time trying to induce people to book on board, but the actual discounts are only about 5% for cruises that may be a year or more away. They also try to pressure you with the threat of "price increases" and are not flexible dealing with repeat customers. (Our travel agent enquired about how much an upcoming price increase would be, which was refused. That's not respectful of a customer who is looking at laying out $10-$20,000.00 per cabin and up.) Their online published prices are also misleading; when we enquired about a future cruise, they quoted the price for a stateroom two levels higher than the one we specified; when our travel agent enquired we were told it was for the "extra" package that was previously complementary. These cruises generally fill up and I don't see why they need to engage in high-pressure tactics. They tout their "loyalty" programme a great deal but benefits don't really accrue until you are over 10 cruises, and even then it might amount to free laundry. We each got a lapel pin worth about $5.00 and a free cocktail at a Captain's reception for our second cruise (22 cruise days total). The rest is window-dressing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018

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