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69 Baltic Sea Singles Cruise Reviews

MSC Prezioza Cruise Review: Our first and only try at MSC. This review is completely based on our honest review/opinion of our experience onboard MSC cruise line. Although we’ve been other lines, this is our first cruise with MSC. ... Read More
MSC Prezioza Cruise Review: Our first and only try at MSC. This review is completely based on our honest review/opinion of our experience onboard MSC cruise line. Although we’ve been other lines, this is our first cruise with MSC. The following is our experience of Pros and Cons during our trip to Hamburg, Germany, Le Havve, Southampton, England, Brugge, Belgium and Rotterdam, Netherlands. Pros: Coffee is excellent. Overall cleanliness of ship and bathrooms were good. Bed is firm but comfortable. Buffet food to open all day with assorted food selections. Some staff were helpful with our questions. Premium cocktails only if you’ve paid extra for the $900 premium package. They offer cheaper packages as well. Gym has a lot of exercise equipment. Frozen ice coffee is amazing. You get to choose an extra large plate/tray for any amount of food. Excursion desk was very helpful in rearranging our missed excursion trip. Some good bartenders. Cons: Constant multiple language announcements over the PA system that on average took 5-8 mins and during the morning hours of 8:30 am everyday as this was a European cruise. Limited (20 mins) time using treadmill. Machine shuts down automatically. Some users reset multiple times including us. No view of ocean when working out - only steel barrier. A bit frustrating - We needed to show passports on many occasions during boarding unlike others ships which is only one time when registering. We did not feel welcomed during the on-boarding process. No direction on where to go. Orientation to new guests was also disorganized. While walking onboard, some staff didn’t know where certain business were located. Some even told us to check the program so not so helpful with verbal directions. Only one restaurant assigned when booking so you’re stuck with only one restaurant but you can pay to dine at other restaurants onboard. Shower stall is extremely small. I’m 6 ft 225 lbs and could barely fit. Our room was a premium balcony cabin on deck 10 (middle of the ship). If you’re taller/heavier you need to consider this or possibly inquire about another floor or cabin. To wash my back, I needed to open the shower door to stretch and wash my back so the floor literally got wet. Very poor shower water pressure and only one trash can in balcony room. Pillows are dead, flat and very uncomfortable. Some bartenders made cocktails too sugary or weak. Need to explain carefully how you like your drink. If you’re going on all-day excursions on MSC, make sure you choose the second seat dining/dinner at 8:30 pm if not you’ll be eating at the buffet. We like kids but there were kids at all the bar rooms/lounges/clubs until late night. They shouldn’t have children hanging out at the bar. They should have a designated area for kids. We didn’t want to be a bar having a cocktails with kids around us. Other cruise lines we’ve experienced does not allow children near a bar let alone to sit at a bar. At the bar 8 pm one night having a cocktail and no music at all. Onboard entertainment is horrible in our opinion. Entertainment is more child-like. Wife and I were having cocktails at the bar and the music suddenly stopped because they were going on a break. Only one band on the Prezioza cruise line. We left one bar and decided to walk over to two other bars and again no music. Paid for premium alcohol package but on one occasion was told that the bartender was on break. When disembarking for excursions, MCS needs to have workers directing where customers need to go. On several occasions, there were no directions provided so some were lost for a few mins. Very disorganized process. We left 2 cocktails in our room and upon return at night, the very same two drinks were still in the room. For the first 3 days we had sheets on the bed but then for 2 days, no extra sheet under the blanket which would be typical in cruise lines hotels etc. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I chose this cruise because it went to Iceland and Greenland, plus Ireland and Scotland. My travel companion booked this cruise first and I decided to join her. I was very happy with the itinerary and booked a shore excursion in each port. ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it went to Iceland and Greenland, plus Ireland and Scotland. My travel companion booked this cruise first and I decided to join her. I was very happy with the itinerary and booked a shore excursion in each port. The shore excursions were very helpful in learning about the ports of call. I especially enjoyed the substitute stop in the Faroe Islands. The highlights of my shore excursions were Blarney Castle, Edinborough Castle and the Tattoo. Princess did a great job of getting us to and from the Tattoo. I was very happy to achieve Platinum level and enjoyed my 250 minutes of free internet service, a great way to stay in touch. I enjoyed my cabin with an ocean view window. My cabin steward Theresa was terrific, she did a great job of always attending to my cabin when I was out for meals. My meals in the dining room were excellent. I also enjoyed the buffet on level 9. I enjoyed the talks on the ports of call, found them very helpful. My embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. I would definitely cruise with Princess again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I'd heard that NCL was similar in quality of food and service as Celebrity, but I quickly found this not to be true. The timing was right and I wanted to visit Iceland and Norway, so I booked a guaranteed outside cabin. ... Read More
I'd heard that NCL was similar in quality of food and service as Celebrity, but I quickly found this not to be true. The timing was right and I wanted to visit Iceland and Norway, so I booked a guaranteed outside cabin. Southampton was not easy to get to from Scotland by public transport, and it wasn't my first choice for starting a cruise, now I've done it once, I'll avoid it in future. Embarkation was smooth for me, I did need a wheelchair to avoid standing in line, something which has become a challenge for me. The staff were really kind and helpful, so I was feeling very positive about the cruise. I enjoyed a nice lunch with wine in Windows, but I never saw this pair of waiters again. It was freestyle dining, so you could sit with different people every day. That was a nice touch, but the dishes on the menu were repeated almost every day. The flavours weren't strong and there were some odd combinations. If you like bland food, a rib eye steak option and bruschetta every day for dinner, then Windows or Garden are the place to be, but some of the desserts were very sweet and also lacking in flavour. I also like vegetarian food from time to time, but the dishes I chose were usually overcooked and not balanced. The vegetable sides were usually good, but my prime rib, although huge, was undercooked and cold and I needed horseradish to bring out the light flavour. I found out that the food is sourced from USA for this European cruise, so I guess the meat and fish were frozen. I missed the wonderful range of fresh berries, but I can recommend the pineapple and melon in Raffles! My cabin was close to the elevators and I had a direct line to Raffles, the buffet where I went for most breakfasts and lunches. I had to walk to the next set of lifts, go up 2 floors, then walk back and down 1 flight if stairs to reach Windows, so I didn't want to go to Windows often (I had the option to call for a wheelchair, but I was trying to get fitter without exhausting myself). I did try a speciality restaurant, Shogun. I was told the sushi was good - it was certainly a big portion! I'd been warned about the menu already, so selected the orange beef which was chewy and I couldn't taste or see any orange. The TV didn't always work in my cabin, I had problems with the WC too, but the shower was lovely. The bedroom was big for one person and it was kept clean by my steward, but I missed the cute towelling animals I'd seen on other cruises every night before bed. Spa usually a highlight, but disappointing on this ship, but I did appreciate the facial and the hot stones massage! The entertainment scheduling was bad, with most of the 'best' shows scheduled on days when we were late leaving port, so if you wanted to eat first, you missed the show. Being a morning person, I cannot comment on the late night entertainment. Some of the shows were fantastic, others mediocre. Something for most tastes and all family shows. I attended a Martini tasting which was excellent and a few of us guests wondered if this was the main focus of the cruise - alcohol - I did buy a basic drinks package, and enjoyed a few cocktails - the bar staff were always chatty, no matter which bar; my favourite was the Cafe because she was generous with the nutmeg on my Painkiller! I didn't visit the casino, but it seemed adequate. We only had 1 day suitable for swimming, (most days fine, but we did cruise north, so it wasnt warm enough for me) and I went for a look after the shore excursion. Of course, it was packed, so I missed out. Others enjoyed the pool regularly, or huddled close by in thick sweaters and coats on the colder days. We were very lucky with the weather on most of our shore excursions. It rained in Belfast, but the trip to the Antrim coast and Giants Causeway was beautiful and the rain did stop a few times. I also enjoyed Blarney Castle, but regret not spending some time in Cobh, so I will go back again. I had to pace myself due to recent illness, so I didn't take excursions every day. NCL does charge a lot for the excursions, but the guides are good and on one, we got a Gaelic coffee, on the Golden Circle tour, we got soup and salmon - I can recommend this beautiful tour with so much geology and history, but I'd advise to search for a local tour, it may be better value. I liked Njordfjord, but others didn't. It's a new cruise stop, so not too touristy compared to Geiranger. I enjoyed my walk to the replica Viking Ship. The views at both Norway locations are outstanding! I have a great video of the geyser! For Amsterdam, the journey by local bus and train was almost an hour in each direction. There were tours available either by bus or canal. For Bruges, the port is another ferry port, so very busy and quite a distance by public transport - I was tired that day, and the weather was overcast, so I stayed on board, along with a few people, but the entertainment offered didn't appeal to me so I read another book. I was travelling alone and joined the Solo group. It was quite well attended, and we were invited to join activities other than eating together. You could join in as much as you wanted. It was fun to meet people from other countries. I was surprised at how many countries we represented. Spanish is always helpful on a cruise, especially with the staff, but a lot of passengers also spoke that language and we had different European countries represented as well as Australians and Americans. I'd visit these areas again, but not with NCL. Spirit is being refurbished in January 2020, but until their staff are better trained, I wont be joining a NCL cruise. Most of the staff I met were new. I met one person who'd been with other cruise lines and had 10 years+ experience compared with most of the others with 1-3 months on their first cruise ship. His customer service was excellent, but some of the staff ignored you or pushed past to get into the elevators. I was not the only one disappointed in the food and service. I also know that other passengers enjoyed the cruise a lot more than me, and they will go back. Different people with different tastes - this one just didn't suit me. I also missed the formal nights. I'd been told there was a white party, so I had packed accordingly, but it was only on once, and began during the second show, a late night event, so I could have saved the space in my bag! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This particular cruise checked all of the boxes for length, dates, ports and price. Having cruised over twenty times on Norwegian, Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean, I feel I have a pretty good frame of reference when it comes to ... Read More
This particular cruise checked all of the boxes for length, dates, ports and price. Having cruised over twenty times on Norwegian, Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean, I feel I have a pretty good frame of reference when it comes to making comparisons and following historical trends. That being said, I'll break my review down by topic so readers can skip what they like. EMBARKATION: We arrived in Copenhagen early in the a.m. on cruise day. We handed our luggage off to VALIZO after customs so we could explore the city without the burden of suitcases. They were happily waiting for us to arrive and provided outstanding, to-our-stateroom-door, service for a very reasonable price. We purchased a 24-hour pass for the Copenhagen public transport system (good for bus, metro, and train) and hopped on the Metro to the city center for a fun morning of shopping and exploring. After doing some homework, we learned we could catch bus 25 or 27 from Osterport Station directly to the Oceankaj cruise terminal. The bus stop was absolutely slammed with people. Bus after bus came and went - the driver shaking his head that he was full - and more and more people arrived with hopes of a ride. Even though a courteous line had formed early on, new arrivals just went to the front of the line and stood there like they'd been there all along. Many more buses came and went and none of us got on. After about an hour, we decided to grab a taxi for about $22. The cruise terminal was very poorly organized. There were groups of passengers walking every which way and clogging up whatever traffic flow existed. We finally made it to the check in counter. The family of four at the neighboring agent's station all stood across the whole counter with their elbows on it (only one person is actually required to do the check in), so we had to shout over the top of them to our agent and pass paperwork over their heads. This sort of behavior would set the tone for most of the cruise, so I won't dwell on the manners of fellow passengers. Just be prepared that courtesy is not the norm. Finally walked onto the ship. Not a greeter in sight! For each and every past cruise we have been met with a kind, "Welcome aboard!" greeting and a glass of champagne. For this cruise the gangway entrance was lined with little clumps of very grimy balloons. Woo-hoo!! Staterooms weren't quite ready, so we ordered a glass of wine and explored the ship. There were two or three dining area available, but they were full of passengers sitting at the [dining] tables and waiting for their rooms so we didn't have an opportunity to sit and eat. DECOR The ship public areas were clean and well staffed. The overall décor on the ship is rather subdued. Nothing spectacular or opulent. The dining rooms are small and cramped. The theater looked like a second rate high school auditorium, with acoustic ceiling tiles lined in LED light tubes to make squares. The atrium bar, the hub for the daily activities/games/etc. is just a giant, poor resolution, video screen with a good many spelling errors in its announcements. STATEROOM We had a Spa Balcony in a nice forward location. The room was clean and our room steward, Kepler, was efficient and very friendly. The balcony is smaller than we are used to having in the same category room and the guy in the room next door would just sit outside and sing very loudly a great deal of the time. Storage could have been better. The drawers are next to the carpeted floor and do not slide open and closed very easily. Even with the key card in the slot, the A/C never really got cool and it shuts off after a short while and you have to re-press the snowflake button. Water pressure in the shower just sucked. At full force and with the head at its most open angle, the water would fall down next to the controls. Hugging the pipes was the only way to get a shower. We only got a towel animal after asking for one on the last night. No more chocolates on your pillow, folks. SPA We were psyched to have complimentary access to the Thermal Spa with our stateroom category. The spa is full of great amenities: Hot and Cold Ceramic loungers, a sauna, a steamroom, showers, padded deck chairs, etc. We went several times, but there was no "relaxation" in the equation. Each time, despite the numerous wall signs that say "QUIET AREA", there were passengers that were having loud conversations (trying to talk over the jets) and kids running and shouting. We passed several other passengers in the access hallway who were leaving because of the noise. Complaining to the staff was of no avail. Prices for treatments were quite high. Kepler came to us on day four with a cool coupon for $50 off of a treatment for port days, so we went right to the spa and tried to book something. There were zero available treatments for the remainder of the cruise. So much for the cool coupon. DINING The buffet gets a F- from me. Poor selection, cold and stale food, horrible organization and traffic patterns. Not enough seating for the size of the ship. I've been to a myriad of cruise ship buffets and this one is the singular worst. We ate in two of the complimentary dining rooms: Tropicana and Savor. Both were just "meh". Service was slow and food was never hot. Menus lack any imagination. We did enjoy our specialty dining experience. Ocean Blue was top-notch in every way. Le Bistro had a great menu and fabulous servers. Moderno has a unique dining experience with traveling servers with meat skewers - you get a red/green card to place on the table and they don't stop serving you until you flip it to red. Everything was delicious. Cagney's was just okay. We were seated in the direct sunlight (even with blinds down) so we could not actually see each other. Lobster bisque tasted burnt. All that being said, the "specialty dining" quality is what used to be complimentary on cruises for those who chose the main dining room. It is the sad truth that the cruising experience is all about the upcharges for the cruise company. A note to anyone from NCL who might be listening: Put a sign up indicating the line for those "WITH RESERVATIONS". Each restaurant hostess seemed to be clueless as to what to do with people. They barked out orders to "just get in line", so if you had a reservation, you still had to wait for those without them to be seated ahead of you. HUH??? DRINK PACKAGE We got the Ultimate Drink Package as one of our complimentary amenities. A word of caution, it is not a "free" perk. You have to pay a pretty large gratuity up front to even get the package (same with the Dining Package - 20%?). After the fact, we did the math to figure we really did not get anything for free. We are moderate drinkers, so 2-3 drinks per day each. You are limited to any drink under $15. Anything above you have to pay the difference. There were very few glasses of wine that fell within that free range. There were many familiar selections that cost $14 per glass that I could buy the whole bottle at home for $7.99. I'm not arguing that servers should not get a gratuity. I do question whether they actually receive what I pay up front. I'd rather tip in person for good service. PORTS OF CALL All of the ports were great and leaving the ship was well organized. We did Berlin By Train and Leisure Time. Lots and lots of walking and (as noted in the tour description) the train is NOT air conditioned. Unfortunately, our train broke down. It was 98 degrees F in Germany. We sat for a LONG time in the heat (not allowed to leave the train for safety reasons) and waited for another engine to come and push us into a station and then waited some more for another to tow us to Berlin. The NCL team did extend our time approximately 2 1/2 hours so that we would get the full tour and all of our free time. That meant the ship had to wait for us to get back. When we returned, we were greeted by a line of officers apologizing for the trouble (where were they on Embarkation Day??). I was absolutely SHOCKED when all 600+ of us were then allowed to re-board the ship WITHOUT going through ANY security scanners or having our packages inspected. I'm sure this was done in the sake of expedience, but I really didn't appreciate the captain and crew potentially sacrificing the safety of its passengers for something that saved 30 minutes time. Luckily, nothing happened as a result. Had something terrible occurred because of a passenger bringing something back they should not have, it would have been through sheer negligence. Best of St. Petersburg and Leisure Time was great. We took it because we were bamboozled by the cruise line that you have to use their excursions to get off the ship in Russia. I should have done more research, because we paid too much through NCL and got less than through private operators. We planned to stay on the ship for Day #2 of Russia because the time of departure was changed from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. I'm sure that messed up some folks who made Day #2 private excursion plans. We did Best of Gdansk in Poland (great tour), Stockholm On Your Own (basically a bus ticket from the port to town - 45 min. away), and HOHO bus in Helsinki. A note of warning about the Shore Excursions credits. I learned from previous experience that you have to book them in advance via TELEPHONE, and not using the online reservation system, in order to receive your Latitudes discount and $50 per port credit. I did that for all of my excursions way in advance and the Norwegian rep on the phone quoted me the total price, including Latitudes discount and port credit. However, when I got on board and had participated in two excursions already, I noticed on my account that I had received the $50 credit but not the Latitudes discount. When I went to the SE desk, I was told you have to SHOW your room card to the SE desk to receive the Latitudes discount. I have never had to do that before, as my Latitude status was always built into my account. Anyhoo….I did what they said and they then applied the discount. So, make sure you check yours. I found it all to be weird. I wonder how many people let that slip by their notice? Hmmmmm….. ON BOARD ENTERTAINMENT The bars were fun and always full of people. I was excited for the Ice Bar, but we didn't go when we found out it was another pricey upcharge. Burn The Floor was amateurish and boring. Million Dollar Quartet was definitely a highlight. The four guys were oozing talent and the narration was well acted. Could have lived without the chick singing Priscilla's role, tho. LOL Passengers were always actively engaged in the game shows, bingo, trivia, etc. that took place in the Atrium. It's always loud there, which amps up the fun-factor but degrades the experience of those trying to have a conversation at Guest Services or eat a nice meal at Le Bistro outdoors. On a positive note, I won quite a bit at slots in the Casino!! I always test out the machines on cruise ships to find that one machine that's a little loose with the payout. No one anywhere around me was winning squat. ONE BIG NEGATIVE What's with the VIBE beach club taking up the ENTIRE forward part of the ship??? This isn't a beach cruise and it's not really even an outdoorsy cruise (weather most evenings was chilly). The VIBE tix were $200 per person. If you didn't purchase, you couldn't even stand on an open deck forward to enjoy the sea. C'mon!!! OTHER Due to a mild medical emergency, I had to use the ship's medical facility. A brief consult with the doc, a blood test, a tube of OTC Cortisol cream, a pack of OTC Allegra = $925. No insurance is accepted. You have to pay up front and then submit with your own insurance. DISEMBARKATION We had an NCL transfer to the airport. Lots of pushing and shoving by passengers stressed about making flights, but otherwise fine. IN SUMMARY We had a good time DESPITE the failures of NCL and the general demeanor of our fellow passengers. Cruising has become another Walt Disney World where you pay for a ticket to get in and then pay a lot more to get a true quality experience. Many of the "little things" that used to be included are a thing of the past. (Remember the waiters dancing and singing, the midnight buffet, the "grand" buffet with all of the carvings, towel animals, flaming Cherries Jubilee??.....SIGH) All of the nickel-and-diming truly degrades the experience. NCL used to be our favorite. Going to jump ship over to Celebrity for the next one. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was my best experience with NCL but, as on previous cruises, the full time assault on your senses with the myriad methods of selling is offensive and pervasive. The cruise itself was wonderful with an excellent crew and wonderful ... Read More
This was my best experience with NCL but, as on previous cruises, the full time assault on your senses with the myriad methods of selling is offensive and pervasive. The cruise itself was wonderful with an excellent crew and wonderful food as long as you stay away from the assaultive passengers in the Garden Cafe. The ports were of great interest for me and I bought more excursions than I usually do but I would say that they were disorganized and clumsy. I heard many comments from fellow guests wondering if this was the first time they were organizing these events. The food was wonderful and Chef Bennet was personable and very helpful with my dietary requirements. If he had a restaurant I’d be there every day. Miroslav, Barnabe and Mylene stood out as excellent ships ambassadors. Maybe the ship is just too big. I’ll try a smaller one next time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I had a voucher PLUS I like the solo cabin option. However, the solo lounge director staff was unable to get us to know once another.. Still nice to have our own place for coffee, etc. I never had to wait too long at the ... Read More
I had a voucher PLUS I like the solo cabin option. However, the solo lounge director staff was unable to get us to know once another.. Still nice to have our own place for coffee, etc. I never had to wait too long at the complimentary restaurants. However, at Taste and Savour the service was very slow and many of the staff appeared to have a language issue. NCL need to make sure each waitstaff has a good understanding of English. Also, when I asked someone for something and it was NOT in there service area, instead of getting it, they passed the request along to someone else which caused taking additional time. Several time I had to ask the manager to provide menus as no one claimed responsibility as our waitstaff!!!! Speciality restaurant service was excellent. I had three excellent massages. But please cut the hard sell. So off-putting.The LGBT meet and greet in the Sunset Bar was well attended and bar staff friendly. Even the cruise director stopped by to introduce himself. I avoided NCL shore excursions. Very expensive and more intimate to find your own tour guides,especially in St. Petersburg. I only took SPB tour as many of the ports could be seen on your own with a local map. Disembarkation was a disaster. Took much too long. Just get off the ship early and do not wait until you tag color is called. I would book NCL again but only on a smaller ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 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
I chose this cruise 3 weeks before the sail date, I just happened to see an email with the itinerary, which was great. NCL does offer great itineraries, but these very large ships are not for me. NCL took my money without making a ... Read More
I chose this cruise 3 weeks before the sail date, I just happened to see an email with the itinerary, which was great. NCL does offer great itineraries, but these very large ships are not for me. NCL took my money without making a reservation for me. Took days to clear up and resulted in my credit card company suspecting fraud on my account and then insisting that I get a new card with a new number. A very stressful start. I traveled alone for the first time and NCL provided a solo travelers meeting place daily along with reservations for dinner if you wanted to dine with the group, which was very nice. The cruise director was the best I have ever seen on my 14 cruises, very friendly entertaining, spontaneous and funny. BURN THE FLOOR was great ( saw it 2x), so was MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET. NCL needs to improve its service in the dining rooms, seemed like most of the wait staff had no idea what they were doing. Long waits for the food most days. The food is mediocre compared to other cruise lines. It was very hard to get a table att the buffet, We missed 2 ports, very disappointing, but I did get my shore excursion money back. Most of the excursions were good, Bergen on Foot very disappointing. Scotland had to wait over an hour for tenders to get back to the ship. Poor planning on NCL part, having all the excursions end at the same time. Large ships like the Getaway are not for me. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was my fourth Norwegian Cruise. Good points: 1. Itinerary awesome! Norway, Iceland and Scotland leaving from Copenhagen (I stayed here for 3 nights prior to cruise) 2. Food good (hey I don’t have to cook or wash dishes ... Read More
This was my fourth Norwegian Cruise. Good points: 1. Itinerary awesome! Norway, Iceland and Scotland leaving from Copenhagen (I stayed here for 3 nights prior to cruise) 2. Food good (hey I don’t have to cook or wash dishes plus I’m not a fussy eater) 3. I stayed in the Studio cabins (for solo travellers) and we have our own lounge area with own bar and bartender (scheduled between 5-7 pm) plus our own social director. 4. I did see some entertainment. Not bad. Vincent (the cruise director) and Nicolas (one of the entertainers who came onboard) were good as a duo one night in the Headliners. I recommend seeing Million Dollar Quartet which was excellent! Albeit the music was too loud ( ), Syd Norman’s House band was very good. Bad points: 1. We left Copenhagen 5 hours late so the next day the captain decided to cancel the first port of call of Haugesund, Norway. We got a refundable port charges but didn’t think the non-refundable $50.00 each cabin was good enough. Should have been maybe a bit more and each person. Also we missed Invergordon because captain said it was the weather. I had a private tour here but with luck I got a full refund. Some people felt there was nothing wrong with the weather but I’ll have to take captain word for safety reasons, I think. So I feel we kind of got gipped anyway. At least we should not have missed the first port. 2. The tendering was awful both ports of Geiranger and New Haven (for Edinburgh). I missed my private tour in Geiranger by 15 minutes (in this case those tours won’t give full refund but they were nice enough to give me 50% back). I told Guest Services (I know they won’t care because wasn’t ships tour). I told them I tried to book the tendering on the TV and couldn’t find where (I found out later it was under entertainment, the daily newsletter was vague on how to find it on the TV menu). I went right away next morning went to Box Office to book and was told earliest was tender #5 and that I would be there by noon (that’s when my tour left). Guest Services said others booked on TV. I wasn’t happy with that response and said “well I guess I’m not so techno savvy, eh?” He booked me on #2 tender for New Haven. Didn’t have a private tour in Edinburgh but took a heck of a long time to get tendered as I waited for over an hour in the theatre then it took 25 minutes to get to the port. 3. We solos have our own activities person. I think someone needed to train her better because all she did was get us together for a quick meeting then dinner. We met in another lounge instead of our studio lounge like other ships. The poor bartender (scheduled from 5-7 at the studio lounge) was there alone every evening. A few people here and there got drinks. The activities director did bingo one evening (I won). I kind of felt sorry for her. Maybe I should have trained her. 4. With 4,000 people yep it does feel crowded at times especially at the buffet. Most mornings I’d grab my breakfast and head to our lounge area. I liked my cruise but at the same time this tendering business kind of spoiled it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Embarked in Warnemunde, embarkation was fine. Went to the rooms, was room 10241,aft balcony. Large balcony however the engines shook so much, I couldn’t sleep half of the 10 nights. Then, the food. Half of it was inedible, the other ... Read More
Embarked in Warnemunde, embarkation was fine. Went to the rooms, was room 10241,aft balcony. Large balcony however the engines shook so much, I couldn’t sleep half of the 10 nights. Then, the food. Half of it was inedible, the other half was disgusting. I ate salad and salad the whole cruise. There was lack of diversity in food. No prepared sandwich, no omelet station, the burgers were stale, all the food was so gross, I was popping tums and zantac the whole time. The staff, came out with a roast beef that they couldn’t even cut into with a chef knife. Everyone on the ship was complaining on how hard it was, and then i found the same meat cut up in the dining room. NO one speaks English, no one helps, the shows are laughable and the rooms are tiny. We booked a excursion for handicap and they showed up 1 hour late. One of the ports they didn't put a ramp for wheelchair and it was impossible for handicaps. I would never go on this cruise line again. I cruised on here 8 years ago on a Caribbean itinerary and it was great. I don’t know what happened but it took a turn to the worse. Heed the warnings in this review, this cruise is for EURO traveler, unless you are VERY adventurous traveler and don’t care about customer focus. I have been on over 50 cruises this one ranks number #50 on worse. No sympathy or compassion towards their customer Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
There’s no point beating about the bush. Booking my first cruise filled me with dread; at one stroke I was destroying my credibility as an independent traveller. 15 years and 40 cruises later, I admit I couldn’t have been more wrong. ... Read More
There’s no point beating about the bush. Booking my first cruise filled me with dread; at one stroke I was destroying my credibility as an independent traveller. 15 years and 40 cruises later, I admit I couldn’t have been more wrong. Sea travel has opened up a new world of exploration and last week I repeated my first ever cruise, but this time with Cunard. Would the grand histories of the Baltic ports be matched by the royal splendours of Queen Victoria? THE PORTS Every city on the Baltic itinerary is steeped in history and if palaces, galleries and cathedrals are your thing then this cruise does not disappoint. And if, like me, you appreciate Scandinavian art and design, the ports have some wonderful specialist shops and art studios as well. Be prepared for eye watering prices, however. A cup of coffee and a pastry in Copenhagen for £9 is one thing, but £925 for a cake slice is quite another, albeit an exquisite one designed by Georg Jensen. St Petersburg remains the highlight destination and these days there is more of an effort to make visitors feel welcome: immigration formalities have been streamlined and stern faces replaced with occasional smiles. This is one port where organised excursions are the only way to enjoy the city’s palaces and museums because independent sightseeing is impossible without a visa. I started with a four-hour walking tour, led by a witty and knowledgeable guide who was as happy to be quizzed about Salisbury as she was to rib Putin. One of many highlights was the Church on Spilled Blood with its onion domes reaching to the sky, still beautiful despite a major programme of renovations. Stockholm’s royal palaces are as good a starting point as any for understanding the city’s history but there is so much more. The Museum of Modern Art on the island of Skeppsholmen is worth a visit, its gardens home to colourful and zany sculptures. Although there is a shuttle bus service available, I found it as quick to take the riverside walk past the Film Museum and enter Stockholm via the warren of narrow streets in the Old Town. Of the other ports, Tallinn is compact and the easiest to explore on foot. My starting point was the 13th century cobblestoned main square where I enjoyed a coffee in warm sunshine. From there I walked up to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, an orthodox and gloriously ornate cathedral funded by public donations. Kiel on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast was less impressive. It is twinned with Coventry but has not been as successful in rebuilding after the devastations of war. The Rathaus, or Town Hall, with its ornate interior survived the bombing but Kiel is one place where the best plan might be to book an excursion. THE SHIP Ask loyal Cunarders which is their favourite ship and the answer more often than not is Queen Victoria. I can see why. My cabin was spacious and the public areas luxuriously comfortable, with deep sofas and armchairs waiting to help relieve tired legs after busy days ashore. The dark wood veneers, deep pile carpets in golds and creams, and art deco marble tiling all recall a golden era for passenger ships. The elegant Queens Room on Deck 2 is a popular haunt, not only for afternoon cream teas served by waiters in white gloves but also because it is a ballroom where every evening there is dancing to live music. Cunard dance hosts offer to partner single guests and during the day there are classes led by a professional dance couple. Guests Jane and Robert from Harlow in Essex are keen dancers and the ship’s ballroom was one of the reasons they booked the cruise. “The setting is beautiful,” Jane told me. “We love dancing and enjoyed our times in the Queens Room – but more opportunities for sequence dancing would have been nice.” The handsome two-storey library is well-stocked and the two librarians impressed me with their courtesy and knowledge. At the Purser’s Desk, international receptionists like Lisa from Berlin, Martin from Vienna and Charles from Cambridge were fine ambassadors for Cunard, cheerfully responding to my questions and often providing me with additional maps before going ashore. I cannot think of any area where service was less than excellent. On deck and in the bars, stewards were attentive however busy they were and in the Chart Room ($4.83 for an Illy cappuccino), waiters Julito, Martina and Rolando made every visit special thanks to their professionalism. It was the same in the Britannia Restaurant with waiters Gede and KC delivering faultless service at our table, and Cyril offering expert wine advice. The House wines were good although $14 for a glass of red made my eyes water! The galleys prepare around 5000 meals a day and standards are high. My beef sirloin and pork medallions were first rate, piping hot and full of flavour, and the fish was also excellent, whether the roasted monkfish or the grilled turbot. When I asked for chips, they were delivered immediately. For desserts, and knowing that coffee and chocolates or petit fours would follow, I generally restricted myself to the ice creams. Yes, there were disappointments but they were remedied quickly. My roast turkey one evening was lukewarm and Gede handled the matter without fuss, apologising and returning promptly with a hot replacement meal. There was a wide range of activities to choose from on sea days, from bridge and watercolour art classes to port presentations and talks from guest speakers, all of them well attended. Captain Tomás Connery was seen around the ship every day – always a good sign - and at midday updated us with navigational details. In the evenings, The Royal Court Theatre Company presented music and dance shows to packed houses and there were guest artists too. My favourites were Roy G Hemmings who spent ten years as a singer with The Drifters and Jon Courtenay, an energetic pianist comic. Perhaps because of the Baltic itinerary, there was an international dimension to the cruise. The majority of passengers were British but there were several other nationalities as well – mainly Australians, Americans, Germans, French and Dutch . . . and one South Korean. Does such a mixture have a major influence on menus? Not according to Jackie Bott, the ship’s Hotel General Manager (HGM). “People generally come to Cunard because it’s Cunard,” she told me. “Our international guests tell us that they don’t want to be served with their local dishes. They want to taste British food.” Nancy and John Keisman, guests from Brandon in Mississippi, took the same view. “We loved this cruise,” said John. “Not only for the ports with their different cultures but also for the opportunity to enjoy some great British food - Yorkshire pudding was new to us but we kinda liked it!” Nevertheless some of the food did reflect Continental tastes. The variety of bread and pastries served at breakfast in the Lido restaurant on Deck 9 is one example, with white, black, rye and brown breads, along with bagels and croissants, available each morning. WORTH BOOKING? The Baltic itinerary features throughout the Cunard 2019/2020 brochure and, although I have now done it twice, I would happily do it a third time because each port offers such a diverse range of history and culture. But the real star of this cruise was Queen Victoria and I can’t wait to return on board. HGM Jackie Bott unwittingly summed up the ship’s success when she told me what appealed most about her work in leading a department of 800 officers and crew. “Passengers think it must be the chance to see the world that is the best part of the job, but ports are secondary to people and in any case I’ve visited most ports more than once. People are far more interesting and complex and they are central to everything we do at Cunard.” No surprise, then, that Queen Victoria delivered such a successful cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I Wanted to try MSC and see what i thought,I had done 5 cruises on them but not for 7 years. sadly you cannot carry over your points so from BLACK i was NOW SILVER. PRE CRUISE. I Flew on RYANAIR from STANSTED AIRPORT to HAMBURG got ... Read More
I Wanted to try MSC and see what i thought,I had done 5 cruises on them but not for 7 years. sadly you cannot carry over your points so from BLACK i was NOW SILVER. PRE CRUISE. I Flew on RYANAIR from STANSTED AIRPORT to HAMBURG got train to HAMBURG and found my hotel very close the station. I had to walk up stairs to get to the RECEPTION to check in and get KEYS then a lift to the 4th floor anmd walk up to 5th floor. A good size room with heat working i shared a toilet. After retired as it had been a long day. FRIDAY 26th APRIL. After BREAKFAST with was good but hard to find a free table as there was lot of people there. I found JUICE,CEREALS,MEATS AND CHEESES and FRIED EGG. A ROLL AND CHOCOLATE SPREAD. Then left the KEYS and went to LANDSBRUCKEN and walked along the PROM found some ship models and walked to the CRUISE and MARITIME MUSEUM. I always love going there even though i had done it before. Saw lots of models to buy and went in lift to 9th floor and saw thousands of models. Then got train back and had a GERMAN SAUSAGE. Then got ferry to see "BALMORAL" CRUISESHIP THERE and walked yup the many steps to get a great view of the ship. Eventually she left and then went back to get something to eat. EMBARKATION DAY. After BREAKFAST much quieter today i left HOTEL to get a ticket for the SHUTTLE to the SHIP they charged it to my onboard account. After a super fast check in i boarded the SHIP and as CABINS were not ready till 2pm i went to have a BUFFET LUNCH. Then the CABINS WERE READY and was happy ton find a large inside cabin with COFFEE MAKING FACILITIES. I put my small case in so had to wait for it to arrive. Lifeboat drill was 1715Hrs So had cakes in the buffet for afternoon tea. I picked up my LIFEJACKET and went down to the CASINO. I showed my CRUISE CARD and managed to find somewhere to sit. They showed up how to put the LIFEJACKET on then it was over it was hard work walking up 5 flights to get back to my cabin. Then dinner was at the LOBSTER RESTAURANT 1st sitting which i like and sat with TIM AND ANDY another couple and another couple later. THE Food was good a lot of choice i had free bottled water as i had booked through an american agent. Then i went to the SHOW at 2115 After going up on deck to see the ship leave. It was called 70's FEVEWR SHOW 2 ladies singing 70's songs i like some of their songs but a lot of people walked out. I saw them on the bus and they were so nervous doing this new show. I now went to the LOGO SHOP with the PREZIOSA models which were gone! they said they had sold out but managed to the one in the window. Next day they were there why would he lie to me? I like a cigar butb even though she is a big ship she had no CIGAR ROOM I went on deck it wad very cold and noticed it said NO CIGARS? where are we supposed to smoke them then? NO coffee in cabin despite asking for it but had ice in bucket. AT SEA. I went tom the LOBSTER RESTAURANT and asked to sit with other but the other 4 people spoke german and very little english! We wait for 30 mins to take out order and had to waive out menu's atb the waiters! Got JUICE and asked for SWISS MUESLI it was ordinary muesli with milk and yoghart (NOT THE SAME) and EGGS BENEDICT WHICH WAS GOOD and hard toast. LE HAVRE. I got up at 0545Hrs to see the ship arrive in LE HAVRE,Then had BREAKFAST in the BUFFET plenty of room and found a much better SWISS MUESLI,FRIED EGG,BACON,SAUSAGE,BEANS and BLACK PUDDING. Then the ship was cleared so i could leave. As i had not booked and excursion and the shuttle bus was 6 EURO and last one was 1800 i Walked to the STATION it took 40 mins the queue at ticket office was so slow in missed the train to PARIS and had to wait 2 hours for the next one. The toilets were out of order too. I Had a CREDIT CARD but as the ship wanted to charge 250 euro i had only a 200£ limit i could not use it on the ship so i had to get 220 euro out of the ATM. It took 2 hours to get to PARIS got a ticket for the METRO went to the EIFFEL TOWER and MONTMARTRE a lot of walking there and it had changed a lot.I missed the 1723 Train but mins and gor 1749 instead it was rush hour but got a seat ok. When i got to LE HAVRE i walked to far and had to go back ended up at cross channel port had to go back and only got on the ship with 10 mins before i gangway went up! All the food wasc finished apart from slices of pizza i wanted cake but said not till 2200 lady got me 2 plates of cakes and watched the ship sail. Saw a much better show with singers and dancers. DISEMBARKATION. I woke up at 0445Hrs to make sure i saw us arrive in SOUTHAMPTON I got MY PARMA FLAG OUT and hope STEVEN SAW ME and the flag as we passed by. Had another nice BUFFET BREAKFAST but no BLACK PUDDING. As i had only a case i could leave the ship at 0730Hrs i also could not find my t shirt and asked my CABIN STEWARD where it was he found it under my pillow he never even said sorry i never gave him a tip. I walked off the ship and got the 0900 train to LONDON. WHAT I THOUGHT of CRUISE. I liked the food Service was poor in parts show were pretty good. But did'nt like credit card charge,logo shop,cabin n steward not the best and smoking was a bit strange. So not asure if i would go on MSC AGAIN. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Chose this cruise to see fall colors, especially in Quebec but due global warming previous fall temperatures had been too high for tree color to develop. We were disappointed that color change was delayed but we were not disappointed in ... Read More
Chose this cruise to see fall colors, especially in Quebec but due global warming previous fall temperatures had been too high for tree color to develop. We were disappointed that color change was delayed but we were not disappointed in our experience on Viking. We had wonderful service, superb food and a well-run Cruise. We especially enjoyed our three evenings at the The Chef’s Table with three different internal menus along with wine pairings. We did no purchase the premium spirits package and thus received the house selections of wine but they were all superb and nicely paired with each course. We also enjoyed lovely meals in the Restaurant and were able to request to be seated in our favorite waiter’s section. We enjoyed the classical trio from Serbia, made up of violin, cello and flute. The port enrichment talks were extremely helpful and we never missed the ship historians’ talks. We even attended a delightfully entertaining cooking class presentation by the ship’s head chef. He should have his own TV show on the Food Channel! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was my very first cruise!! I absolutely loved it. I went on the Breakaway for a 9 day Scandinavian cruise. From start to finish it was fantastic. The food, entertainment, activities and my cabin was everything I expected it would ... Read More
This was my very first cruise!! I absolutely loved it. I went on the Breakaway for a 9 day Scandinavian cruise. From start to finish it was fantastic. The food, entertainment, activities and my cabin was everything I expected it would be. The shore excursions were excellent. They were very well organized. I was a solo traveler on this trip and I couldnt have been happier. Every night in the solo traveler lounge, I met up with other solo's and went out to dinner, and then went out afterwards to listen to live music. The entertainment staff was outstanding. I ended up going to 2 of the shows, Rock of Ages and Cirque Dreans. Both of these shows were fantastic. The food was above and beyond what I was expecting. I ended up going to a couple of the specialty restaurants as well. OUTSTANDING!!! I would highly recommend Norwegian to anyone. I can't wait for my next trip Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I chose Norwegian Cruise Line because several websites said they are the best for Solo Travellers. I liked the idea of the Studio Lounge for occupants of the studio cabins. I did the Baltic Capitals cruise 5th - 14th Sepember, 2018. I ... Read More
I chose Norwegian Cruise Line because several websites said they are the best for Solo Travellers. I liked the idea of the Studio Lounge for occupants of the studio cabins. I did the Baltic Capitals cruise 5th - 14th Sepember, 2018. I was delighted with my choice, and will definitely book one of these cabins again in the future. The Studio Lounge was a friendly place. It was easy to strike up a conversation with others over a cup of coffee. Every evening there was a meet up for solo travellers who wished to attend. Bennie, the staff member who organised these meet ups, was great at putting people at their ease, and Alex, the barman on duty at the meetups, was equally good with people. I was amazed when he greeted me by name when he met me elsewhere on the ship. After the meetup Bennie asked us who'd like to go to dinner as a group, then she rang the restaurant to book, and came with us until we were seated at our table. On the last evening she dined with us. For me, the only part of travelling alone that I dislike is being forced to dine alone every evening, and with Norwegian I was sure of good company at dinner. One slight problem was that towards the end of the cruise the closing spring on one of the doors to the Studio Lounge became weak, so that the door didn't automatically shut and anyone could come in without a keycard. I felt this was a security issue. I mentioned it on my evaluation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I needed a break so short notice I booked the week prior to leaving. The whole process effortless and on arrival at Southampton this was further established as a very well run operation. I was a little concerned over travelling solo but ... Read More
I needed a break so short notice I booked the week prior to leaving. The whole process effortless and on arrival at Southampton this was further established as a very well run operation. I was a little concerned over travelling solo but apart from paying the extra to travel alone there honestly was nothing to worry about. My balcony cabin was perfect 9 steps from the terrace pool bar and restaurant from Riviera deck with easy access to Lido and above. Why kickstart well this cruise is the first real break in 2 years, have thrown myself in to work and given little back. So I purchased the drinks package in my case great value, great brands Tarquins Gin and Doom Bar Ale are a pre requisite for fun. The food excellent, Peninsula Restaurant and the waiting team Emmanuel Table 44 too good to be forgotten. Entertainment well hence the four from five rating it was enhanced by the presence of the Osmond's but the headliners although talented seemed to lack the soul they were trying to portray. Back to travelling solo I made some great friends and we all certainly were men not without hats! Itenary six days of great weather, only one wet day it would have been great if more entertainment were available on wet days. The Gym pool sauna and steams in the Oasis were fantastic and being surrounded by genuinely lovey people made the recipe for a great week. Book again? Yes Recommend? Yes Sparrowhawk on my Balcony? Yes Thank you Azura Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was my third cruise with Oceania. Having been on the Marina my first reaction when I entered the cabin was “ it has shrunk”. The shower was tiny. As a solo traveller I have no idea how a couple would cope. The ship was tired. But ... Read More
This was my third cruise with Oceania. Having been on the Marina my first reaction when I entered the cabin was “ it has shrunk”. The shower was tiny. As a solo traveller I have no idea how a couple would cope. The ship was tired. But while on board Oceania announced their revamp. For the first time the shows actually contained some music from the 50 and 60. The last show was amazing. I was amazed to hear that a Florida had decided to can it. I hope they don’t go back to Broadway and Frank Sinantra (more my mothers era). Another positive was a focus on the solo travellers. I have asked before why Oceania don’t value their solo travellers only to be told the economic model is two people per cabin not one. This time they hosted 4 events for us and we were very grateful. John the cruise director was very friendly and efficient. Very focused on the US guests but they are the majority I suppose. Captain Max was also amazing with his talks and updates. He made us feel included and his talks were funny and educational. Great to have the free shuttles in port for those organising their own shore activities. The dress code was very casual. John kept asking people to comply with code but many ignored it. I did see a specialty restaurant turn away a guest dressed in track pants and joggers once. On the negative side, the food in the terrace cafe left a lot to be desired. Breakfast was just what one would expect. The other meal times were very ordinary. The Grand dining room was ok but after 20 days one was just eating much the same. The polo grill and Tuscany were top. The Ambassador was very abrupt. Maybe it was her culture. However previous cruise Ambassadors were more helpful. Her attitude was “ look in the books and handout and when u have decided come back. Otherwise don’t waste my time”. The internet is very poor. One connection per cabin. My travel companions had to have one person log off before the other one could use it!!! I had to keep logging off and on devices. Let’s hope this is included in Oceania Next!!! The beverage package is very expensive for what one gets. We went to a couple of wine tastings. The last one we paid $50 to drink what was included in our beverage package!!! Activities were limited but they flew in from US two bridge masters as they had about 300 people playing bridge. If u did not play trivia or bridge there was not much else to do on sea days but rest ( maybe that is an idea). Finally I must say how wonderful all the staff are. From the Captain to the dr and nurse ( very rough seas resulted in a visit to the dr) through to the cabin staff. No one said goodbye as we left the ship. Well with over 80% of return guests I guess that is not important. The trip has made me rethink if I should not explore some other lines ( have only been on Holland America) Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I chose this cruise for the itinerary because it lets you see all the capitals of so many different countries all in 9 days. Also, they offer solo cabins for the single cruiser of which I am one. They said there is no single supplement but ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary because it lets you see all the capitals of so many different countries all in 9 days. Also, they offer solo cabins for the single cruiser of which I am one. They said there is no single supplement but call it what you will, I did not pay the single traveller price but almost the full travel price of 2 people. Cruise lines are really missing "the boat" on single travellers. The food was very good and they have a lot of selection. There is a myriad of different restaurants - Italian, Sushi, steak, seafood, asian noodle bar- and cuisines to choose from and so many bars that I don't know if I ever saw them all- though I did my best LOL. They had a lot of slides for kids, and rock walls, somthing to do with ropes, bowling, movies, a plethora of different musical venues, broadway shows, and lots of activities to keep you busy if you want to do it. (I would have liked to have seen Netflix on all the televisions in the rooms and you can watch what you want to watch when you want to watch it. As it is, the selection on tv is minimal and sometimes a show would end and then there was absolutely nothing on till the next show started). Everyone made me feel comfortable being a solo traveler with one exception. My first full day at sea I went to the savor dining room and told them 1 diner. She looked at me with a perplexed expression so I quickly added on, a table that seats 2 is fine or I will share a table. She told me no one was sharing right now and she waved her finger in the air (my personal favorite) and said there is nothing she can do to help me and walked away. I was awestruck and stood there with my mouth open. Can't I eat by myself in this dining room? She hurt my heart with her words and I was so saddened I almost cried. A couple days later I was eatting in this same room with 2 people I had met aboard ship when the assistant matre de' came by to ask how everything was. I told him this story and asked if single people were not allowed to eat here and he said no she should have never treated me that way and took my room number. I thought surely he would send a bottle of wine to my stateroom as a sorry you were treated this way gesture. But no, no bottle of wine, he didn't even offer to buy me a glass of wine. Very disappointing that. Besides this one glitch I had a wonderful cruise. The ports were fantastic. Cobblestone streets, breathtaking architecture, outdoor markets, cathedrals.... It would have been nice to spend 2 days in a different port that ST Petersburg Russia because in Russia you cannot get off the boat and walk around by yourself. You have to be on a excursion through either the boat or a professional company- unless you have a Russian Visa which costs $300 and takes 6 months to get. I like to get off the ship and walk around on my own so this was disappointing. All in all a great cruise and can't wait till my next one! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Cruised with HAL before and found them good, same service etc on this cruise. I didn’t book the drinks package and found it was cheaper to pay as you go especially as the cruise had happy hour a few times each day. (Buy one and get ... Read More
Cruised with HAL before and found them good, same service etc on this cruise. I didn’t book the drinks package and found it was cheaper to pay as you go especially as the cruise had happy hour a few times each day. (Buy one and get another for 2$) The entertainment was good from the main dancers and singers but the comedian was awful. The group ‘Five o’clock somewhere’ where good singers but didn’t really like their quirky act. The B.B. kings were great but it was the same show each night I enjoyed the Lincoln centre stage The billboard on board see,ed to be popular but I only went on one occasion The trivia was good fun and good way to meet people The food in the dining room was a little cold on some occasions Overall the food was excellent I didn’t go on any of the HAL excursions Tallin This is an easy city to do on your own - it has a free walking tour from the main tourist office at Niguliste at noon for 2 hours, although the town is pretty compact so you could easily walk about on your own. It is about 5/10 minute walk from terminal The small train that goes around the city does not have commentary St. Petersburg I completed a 2 day tour with SPB who were half the price of HAL with the same itinerary. The hermitage was packed and very uncomfortable to tour. Helsinki This is a large city, you are given a map by the tourist office on arrival, if you ask them to show you were your location and follow the sea this will take you to senate square etc. About another half hour walking will take you to the rock church and sibilieus monument. There is a shuttle bus service for about £10 Euro return. Stockholm I did the hop on hop off bus tour which was good, you could equally do the hop on hop off boat tour which will take you to the same sights or just take the ferry to all the sights which would be slightly cheaper. I went to Glama Stan to see the palace etc. Rostock The ship supplied a shuttle bus to this small town for free, easy to get around to see the huge clock in the main church. Kiel I did a free walking tour from the port at 0930 for 2 hours this was by Maggie and very good, it is also a small town and easy to get around, only about 5 minute walk to centre of town Copenhagen I got air luggage to take my case to the airport £15 Euro and then caught the number 27 bus into the little mermaid then walked into town. There is a bus number 11 takes you around all the sights but this an easy city to manage on foot. Went to Rosenberg castle to see the changing of the guard at 1130 hours I booked a city pass ticket for public transport for 80 DEK which got me the train from central station to the airport as well, you can buy this ticket from outside the terminal but I got it online. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose to disembark from amsterdam because its inexpensive to fly there from most places in the world, and amsterdam itself is such a beautiful city to visit. the crew staff in general are extremely helpful and friendly, it really ... Read More
We chose to disembark from amsterdam because its inexpensive to fly there from most places in the world, and amsterdam itself is such a beautiful city to visit. the crew staff in general are extremely helpful and friendly, it really gave a good general feeling to chit chat and have a good relationship with the crew members. The only unfriendly ones are security staff, they have obviously not been told to have courteous or welcoming behavior. This feeling was mutual for everyone else on ship as well. The fact that we had to pay an extra fee of about 400 dollars/ per person, to get soft drinks and water during time on the ship was one of the companies sneaky ways of squeezing some more cash out of you. among other extra charges such as the gratuity charge every day per guest. The food options and timings were pretty good, there was a good range of different and same breakfast options everyday, same for lunch, and the dinner always had 2-3 new dishes everyday, which was great. The fact that we aren't allowed to explore in St. Petersberg without a visa to Russia was a huge pain, especially since it is the port where we are at for longest time ( 2 Days) . You are not allowed to explore St. Petersberg unless you are part of a shore excursion and you must stay with the group, unless of course you were prepared with a visa to Russia of course. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Booked mainly as it left from Dover, It could not have been easier to embark, cabin all ready and staff lovely. Nothing was too much trouble from any member of staff, and although our itinerary was unavoidably changed everything was done ... Read More
Booked mainly as it left from Dover, It could not have been easier to embark, cabin all ready and staff lovely. Nothing was too much trouble from any member of staff, and although our itinerary was unavoidably changed everything was done to make our cruise memorable. Shore tours were, in the main, excellent and just around the right length and certainly just as described. Dining was a pleasure with tables not too close, staff attentive and the evening menu varied. The Breakfast & Lunch buffet was very good plus there was an a la carte choice as well. Only downfall [for me] was the evening entertainment, it lacked a lot, but the evening of entertainment from the crew - excellent. Throughout the cruise we were always kept well informed of the days itinerary and shore visits very well organised. Have already booked two more cruises - from Dover of course with very helpful booking from the staff at Fred Olsen offices. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We have sailed on Norwegian numerous times in the past. On this cruise we purchased a balcony and studio cabin. Embarkation took about an hour. Both rooms Had scratches on the walls and dings and dents in the walls. The studio actually had ... Read More
We have sailed on Norwegian numerous times in the past. On this cruise we purchased a balcony and studio cabin. Embarkation took about an hour. Both rooms Had scratches on the walls and dings and dents in the walls. The studio actually had a pair of men’s dirty undergarments still in the closet. Mid cruise they removed and repoured are balcony floor for routine maintence that should have been done in drydock two weeks prior. This was done without notice and while we were on an excursion. This left our room and personal items full of dust. The food was below average and we couldn’t get refills even at the speciality restaurants. The cruise was far from relaxing due to music blaring in all areas from the manhattan room to the customer service desk. If you wanted to attend shows you had to pay to enter. This was a first for us. Entertainment used to be free with NCL. Overall this was a let down and Norwegian could do much better. We will be looking elsewhere in the future for our cruises. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Overall cruise experience was really nice. Embarkation went without issue and staff going around to give drinks as t was hit the day we were embarking. Very professional Service from all crew staff in all front. They are always there to ... Read More
Overall cruise experience was really nice. Embarkation went without issue and staff going around to give drinks as t was hit the day we were embarking. Very professional Service from all crew staff in all front. They are always there to make sure we are comfortable and satisfied. Our room were always clean & organized. The stuffed towel animals are always a nice welcome when you come back to the room.Variety of food offerings is also good. However, consistency of food and quality of food can be better on the complementary restaurants. I expect better food quality from Manhattan, Savour & Taste. Out of 5 meat dishes I ordered only 1 of them was acceptable. Pesto Pasta wa the same. It’s better to get the pasta dish from the pasta station in the Garden Cafe cuz they heat it up for you. Maybe you can have bubble tea in the future and ramen offerings since you have the noodle bar. The entertainment team was always very energetic especially Adriano, Shirley & Romeo. Roberto the entertainment director is also very professional. Guest service manager should smile more like the rest of the team. We took 1 shore excursion to check out & we were disappointed. Driver was good but the guide was not. She doesn’t know a lot of local and general information regarding Sweden. I will rethink the shore excursion next time especially the ones we took privately the rest of cruise was really good & cheaper. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The cruise got off to a bit of an inauspicious start when for whatever reason there was a big delay in dropping our bags off outside the port terminal before checking in, almost an hour queued to drop the bag off. After that checking in ... Read More
The cruise got off to a bit of an inauspicious start when for whatever reason there was a big delay in dropping our bags off outside the port terminal before checking in, almost an hour queued to drop the bag off. After that checking in was fine, usual process of waiting in the port terminal until your number was called. The boat was lovely, looked great. It was my first time on Discovery and it didn't disappoint. Well laid out, lots of seated areas. The Broadway show lounge was spacious and had plenty of leg room. The food in the main dining room got progressively better as the cruise went on, it started off not too great but there were some cracking dishes over the course of the two weeks. The menu was varied enough to keep me happy each meal time, I preferred the main dining room to the buffet as I found that a bit too cramped and busy. The staff on reception and destination services were attentive and quickly dealt with any queries I had. Bar 11 was a fantastic quiet spot during sea days to sit and read a book, however it didn't serve drinks until 5pm although it was easy enough to go to Deck 9 and take one back up. I found there was enough on during the sea days to keep me occupied and the evening entertainment, for the most part, was great although there were a couple of shows which missed the mark. I had booked a solo outside cabin which was spacious and had a large window that let in plenty of light. There was plenty of storage space between the wardrobe and drawers. Tea and coffee were always well stocked by the room staff. Only downside in the room was that the bed was a double bed with two single mattresses put together and they often moved apart during the night and I'd wake up finding myself sleeping in a bit of a dip! I went on an excursion through the ship at every port as being a solo traveller I wasn't confident enough to wander around the towns without a) getting lost b) being late, and c) knowing what I was looking at. Most of the excursions were as described however a couple of them were a bit misleading (Carslberg brewery tour is of a museum of the old brewery rather than the new one) and we missed seeing a couple of things in St Petersburg which was disappointing. Overall though I really enjoyed the tours. However there were some negatives. -The service was incredibly slow at times, I think they had taken on new staff who were being trained up. One evening a table of 5 of us waited 50 minutes until our starters arrived (fortunately the company at the table was good!) -The main pool was out of action for 13 of the 14 days which is incredibly inexcusable. -The boat had engine trouble which meant we had to leave Gothenburg early and arrived in Tallinn late so we had less time than originally planned in Tallinn. -Every morning at 8am there was incredibly loud clattering above the room. I never found out what it was but some of us think it's possibly crew moving deckchairs. I'd recommend a cabin a bit further down toward the middle of the boat. -One of the main atrium lifts broke leaving only one lift that went up to Bar 11 on the top deck, so if you wanted or needed to use it there was often a long wait. Overall it was a good cruise with a couple of disappointments. It wouldn't put me off cruising with Marella again but has made me a little apprehensive. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
booked in january to see what the refurb looked like and to try a shorter cruise,, couple days away!!! full of hens and stag chasing around the ship, drunk on top deck, loud... ordering rounds of drinks at the bar for around 15 people at a ... Read More
booked in january to see what the refurb looked like and to try a shorter cruise,, couple days away!!! full of hens and stag chasing around the ship, drunk on top deck, loud... ordering rounds of drinks at the bar for around 15 people at a time.. couldnt get to the bars, not enough staff, service terrible, food warm in fine dining restaurants... long waits to be seated although time slot booked.. one man came out shouting he had waited over an hour and the service was disgraceful... at times i agreed!!! if your going to cruise.. book yourself a 5 day + break where i am sure you will get the service and quality that RC are typically used to delivering.. certainly wouldnt recommend 2 day tasters... was a waste of money and not a pleasant experience!! we also had a cabin on deck 7 which i though had been refurb.. very old fasioned ,. def needs a makeover! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018

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