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7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This is my 27 cruise. My third on HAL. We chose this cruise for the great itinerary and Koningsdam being a fairly new ship. The experience was wonderful. The quality of the food and selection were some of the best we have had. There ... Read More
This is my 27 cruise. My third on HAL. We chose this cruise for the great itinerary and Koningsdam being a fairly new ship. The experience was wonderful. The quality of the food and selection were some of the best we have had. There are several dining options. We had "anytime dining" and never had to wait for a table in the main dining room. The lines in the Lido Buffet for breakfast and lunch moved quickly. Having a pizza custom made at "NYC Pizza & Deli" made for a great late night snack. Cabins are slightly smaller than other HAL ships. We had a "family stateroom" which was plenty of room for the two of us. Entertainment was Hit or Miss. The ships singers and dancers were good. Some of the quest performers were just okay. HAL is trying to give more of a contemporary twist with the new stage and format. If one likes classical music Lincoln Center Stage Live put on wonderful performances. BB King live was pop and Jazz music. There were enough music venues for anyone's taste. The staff and crew were as always very friendly and went out of there way to make our experience extra special. It is obvious the HAL executives are looking to attract a younger demographic with this new class of ship. This new Pinnacle Class is going to be competition for Celebrity. We would definitely consider taking another cruise on the Koningsdam. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise caught or eye due to the back to back cruise that followed it. (refer to other review) Both cruises were visiting ports where we had never been before, so it was a great opportunity to see amazing cities with time to relax in ... Read More
This cruise caught or eye due to the back to back cruise that followed it. (refer to other review) Both cruises were visiting ports where we had never been before, so it was a great opportunity to see amazing cities with time to relax in between. Upon checking in for the cruise, we were greeted with the disappointing news that we would not be leaving that night for Germany due to bad weather at the destination port. This was the first of three ports we were unable to visit on this cruise, due to bad weather conditions. This was the first time that Norwegian had sailed a Baltic cruise this late in September, and although cool and sometimes quite cold, the weather and storms we were told was very unseasonal. No matter the situation, you cannot blame the cruise line for the weather, and the captain always stated that the safety and comfort of the passengers and crew was his first priority. Other passengers were meant to board the ship in Germany and as I was not one of them, you will have to read their reviews of their experiences. The cruise lines have berths booked at each of these ports, but nearly all of the berths are at freight terminals, as they are the only wharf that can handle the large cruise ships. Subsequently the ports want the ships in and out on time no matter what the conditions. We spent the first night and day of the cruise in port at Copenhagen. As we had already had a couple of days exploring the city, we stayed on the ship and had a good look around and getting our bearings. The ship is very well appointed, with spacious cabins and very friendly and helpful staff. Our first port was Tallin in Estonia. We were greeted with 60 knot winds and horizontal rain. We bravely walked off the ship and ventured up to the old town for a bit of sightseeing. Despite the weather we enjoyed ourselves and made the most of it. That night the captain informed everyone that our next port, St Petersburg had closed the gates to the port as they were expecting a one metre storm surge. So we spent another day in Tallin, which was just glorious, blue skies and sunshine so we did the bus tour around the new part of the city. We left for St Petersburg that night and were the first ship through the port gates early the next morning. We then had two days there so everyone could do their various excursions. Because we were a day behind schedule we missed the next port Helsinki and we could not cruise to Stockholm in time to meet our port booking, so we had a couple of sea days. We had booked excursions through NCL for most of the ports we missed, but all of the costs were refunded as well as the port fees. I would recommend this as it saves a lot of stress and hassle. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
In August, 2018, we first cruised along the coast of Croatia on Le Lyrial. It was fabulous-great weather, beautiful scenery with clear bright skies and turquoise waters. Our choice to do the Laperouse cruise was in part due to coordinating ... Read More
In August, 2018, we first cruised along the coast of Croatia on Le Lyrial. It was fabulous-great weather, beautiful scenery with clear bright skies and turquoise waters. Our choice to do the Laperouse cruise was in part due to coordinating it with the end of the Croatian cruise on Le Lyrial. We had a wonderful week in between the two cruises in Portugal before embarking on Le Laperouse. The interesting feature of Le Laperouse was its attention to live Jazz during the cruise, the intimate size of the ship and the service we received. On both ships we were treated with a great deal of personal care. Our cabin stewards were attentive and thorough. The dining choices were quite varied and the menus were delicious. Our wine stewards were quite helpful with pairing delicious tastes to complement our meals. We very much enjoy meeting with other English speaking guests and having lively discussions with them. The Captain and the cruise directors are very good at organizing get together sessions-both formal and informal. We had a very informative group discussion with the French guest journalist on Le Laprouse, Ms. Christian Makarian. It was a much appreciated chance to listen to viewpoints from all over the world concerning global affairs. We only wish it could have been longer! Our dinners at the Captain's table are always the highlight of our cruises. Thank you for allowing us the priviilege to dine with them. It is wonderful to share conversation about informative and cultural experiences with the Captains and his guests. It is the best! We also enjoy the time the Captain's Bridge is available for touring. We are big fans of seeing the intricacies that it takes to operate your ships. In closing we would like to express our appreciation to all the ship's staff that complete the making of our trips with Ponant so enlightening. We look forward to many more to come. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
It was a great cruise and we really wanted to see Norway. The food was better then we expected. We tried all three dinning rooms and we felt the Italian was the best. The ports and the tours was interesting and educational. The service in ... Read More
It was a great cruise and we really wanted to see Norway. The food was better then we expected. We tried all three dinning rooms and we felt the Italian was the best. The ports and the tours was interesting and educational. The service in the dinning rooms and the cabin stewards was above expectation. We were so impressed we are looking forward to our next ocean cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and we did not have to stand in hallways as you do on larger ships. We enjoyed the choice of places to eat and that you could eat around the pool or in small areas around the ship. The cabin was large and the bathroom was larger than most ships. Viking does a great job with entertainment and making our cruise one of the most enjoyable ones we have gone on in a long time. We are looking forward to our next one. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My first time on Discovery and most enjoyable, the cities were exceptional and lucky with the weather. I was lucky to discover an art class on the first sea day as I attended a lecture which was very entertaining about Pirate Radio and ... Read More
My first time on Discovery and most enjoyable, the cities were exceptional and lucky with the weather. I was lucky to discover an art class on the first sea day as I attended a lecture which was very entertaining about Pirate Radio and Interviews with some Graffitti information, well worth the time. i found myself attending the class with a Robin who was an excellent teacher and very patient. I now have an artistic ability I never knew about. Bar 11 was super in the evenings an oasis on board to enjoy a drink with a great view and excellent staff. The Entertainment in the evenings was much the usual with themed shows and quality speciality acts, all very good. just a warning there are no toiletries in the cabins so take plenty, however the cleaning staff were top draw. I believe that Marella will make changes but hopefully not too many. There was a charge for Shuttle Buses but all excursions were good value. St Petersburg is stunning and Aarhus was special but of course visiting so many cities its difficult to be critical. Docking in Copenhagen was a way out of the city which meant you couldn't walk to the city, but as it was raining not a bad thing, dock in Oslo was great. All in all I hope to return. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
This was the 3rd long'ish (>10 days) cruise we've gone to Europe via the Disney Magic, and it was once again, one of the best vacations we've ever had. So many reasons . . . I will miss many.. We love the ship, as it ... Read More
This was the 3rd long'ish (>10 days) cruise we've gone to Europe via the Disney Magic, and it was once again, one of the best vacations we've ever had. So many reasons . . . I will miss many.. We love the ship, as it is just the right size for us and we booked very early, snagging one of the least expensive (white metal) veranda's in the stern of Deck 7 at a pretty reasonable price considering. And yes, we do the place-holder's on every cruise to lock in an extra 10% discount. The embarkation in Copenhagen was ok, as they chose a dock with a sufficient indoor facility for processing .. . . much different than the "magic" at Port Canevaral, but still adequate. The food service is just right as my wife has many allergies, and I like to experiment a bit. We like the late seating as the pace of the evening works well for us (we don't drink or nightclub much). The shows were fantastic and we even were able to meet two of the fantastic performers (Eddie Brandt and Lisa Karlin) who were super-talented and actually, very nice people! Our son loves the kids, now teen, clubs and he is considering the idea of being a Youth Activities Counselor after college (loans permitting). We see him at dinner and he accompanies us to some (but not all) of the shore trips. We don't do Disney excursions because a) they are expensive, and b) more so, because they are set up for the lowest-common-denominator of traveler (kids, disabled, uneducated) and we like to do a little research and explore on our own. That being said, the choice of ports on this North Sea adventure was fantastic -- 3 little cities in Norway (Kristiansand, Stavenger, and Alesunc); incredible Rekyjavyk Iceland; and way underrated Invergordon - gateway to Scotland's Eastern Highlands. I am still struggling to determine what there actually was to do in Kristiansand, but Stavanger has some terrific museums and shops and even was having a big athletic and concert weekend when we visited. I would spend 2+ days there easy. Alesund was picture-postcard pretty (although it rained hard when we were there). The Hop-on/Hop-off bus was a good choice. Iceland is exploding with tourism the past few years and I can see why. Incredible natural sights - volcano's, geological rifts, geysir's, hot springs; really nice people and an incredible culture of sheep, unique horses, good food, and hospitality. I want to go back. I had done a 2-week intensive tour of Scotland on my owne 25+ years ago, but the day in Invergordon was an unexpected treat. Instead of going south to see Inverness (a great little city) or west to see the famous Loch Ness, etc., we went north by hired taxi to see Dunrobin Castle (amazing) and toured through the charming town of Dornoch, but ended up buying most of our souvenirs at McCrae's in Invergordon where the owner and staff couldn't have been nicer (and the prices were very fair!). Finishing up with a 1/2 day in Dover to see the Castle and downtown was well worth it for the history and the vistas, as we delayed our trip back up to London.and enjoyed another few days in Britain. What a great trip. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Several friends had taken this Baltic cruise and raves about it. Chose Silver Spirit because it could dock in downtown St Petersburg (instead of naval marine terminal out of town). Embarking in Stockholm was a breeze, but luggage ... Read More
Several friends had taken this Baltic cruise and raves about it. Chose Silver Spirit because it could dock in downtown St Petersburg (instead of naval marine terminal out of town). Embarking in Stockholm was a breeze, but luggage delivery was strange. Two bags quickly came to cabin, but a hour later two were still missing. Went looking and found both in the hall - one near our cabin, the other several cabins away. No crew doing anything with them. Dining was generally very good. However, almost every time we asked for red wine, we were handed the wine list instead of being offer complimentary house offerings. We did buy premium wines, but left with feeling wait staff was trained to push paid wine over included wines (which were often very good). A cheap touch that mared otherwise fine dining. Aside from the wine thing, the wait staff was terrific. Cabin was excellent, well-appointed, and very comfortable. Butler and cabin attendant were superb. Shore excursions were OK. I think they failed to meet extraordinarily high expectations set by things our friends had said about their trips. Glad to have seen the Hermitage, but found being in there with mobs of people too much. Literally found some rooms so packed it was hard to breathe. I guess that’s they way that place is, but it was a miserable experience. Shore excursion staff not much help - lacked options - to help us change during the cruise. Their knowledge of the excursions seemed to be limited to what was printed in the books we were given. Expected greater knowledge. If we were do this again, might be inclined to arrange shore tours on my own via A&K or some similar outside group. That said - Nadia and Daria in St. Petersburg and Andrei in Tallinn were excellent guides. Disembarking went very smoothly. I realize flipping the ship in a few hours for new passengers is an all-hands-on-deck job, I might suggest allocating a few staff to offer coffee or drinks to passengers sitting in lounges for a couple of hours between the time we had to be out of our cabins and leaving the ship. Would I go again? Not likely to repeat any cruise I’ve taken. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We really enjoyed this cruise, our first Viking Ocean Cruise. It was nice not to have photographers, daily advertisements in our cabin and no gambling. Beautiful ship and excellent staff and the food was wonderful. Overall the premium ... Read More
We really enjoyed this cruise, our first Viking Ocean Cruise. It was nice not to have photographers, daily advertisements in our cabin and no gambling. Beautiful ship and excellent staff and the food was wonderful. Overall the premium excursions were excellent. I hope that the ‘included’ excursions improve to the quality that Viking River Cruises has provided for many years. Often these excursions were too short and we drove past sights but couldn’t go in to see and hear the history inside the buildings. On one day we did two different excursions which included a major cathedral. On the first one we drove through the parking lot and on the second one the bus parked and we walked around the cathedral and to the view point but never went inside. On the excursion to North Cape we didn’t even have a tour guide for the hour and a half drive (each way) that we could have received a lot of history of what we were passing and other details that make tours most interesting. I hope this improves. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Wanted to try a new Cruise line. Embarking close to our location. “All Inclusive” drink package excludes many items, hard to know what’s included. Tiny library lacking any press, hardly any books etc. Restaurants (included ... Read More
Wanted to try a new Cruise line. Embarking close to our location. “All Inclusive” drink package excludes many items, hard to know what’s included. Tiny library lacking any press, hardly any books etc. Restaurants (included in the price ) are trying to sell lobster and steak for x-tra 19-22 €. Sahara and Oasis bistros: except for fresh fruit are not worth a visit. Aurea “privileges” include access to an area on deck 16, which is not wheel- chair accessible. Charge for room service food items! Your Choice dining hours prevent diners from attending earlier shows. 22 PM shows are too late for many. Impossible to get even an over-the-counter pain killer from the medical facility without a € 100 medical examination. Pain killers available on board only while at sea. Except for a few kind employees, we have encountered inexperience and nonchalance. We can hardly wait to get off this ship! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Viking cruise line lived up their reputation as being extremely fabulous!! Great ambiance! Great staff- so eager to please! Wonderful food! Informative tours! Viking does it right!!!! We took advantage of every included ... Read More
Viking cruise line lived up their reputation as being extremely fabulous!! Great ambiance! Great staff- so eager to please! Wonderful food! Informative tours! Viking does it right!!!! We took advantage of every included excursion! It would have been nice if they were more than just a couple stops for photo ops though! We especially enjoyed many of the waiters in The Restaurant! They were so polite and eager to please! The food was very good and menu selections were very adequate!! We loved Manfredi’s and the Italian restaurant! Nice to have variety! The ship was very beautiful! It was kept impeccably clean by the very hard working cleaning staff! Our room steward was so friendly and always considerate and polite! We so enjoyed our first ocean cruise and have booked two more! We have and will continue to recommend the Viking cruise line the family and friends! It is a pricey cruise line but so much is included- which helps!! Giving sizable price breaks/incentives to repeat customers would be very appreciated! We flew SAS- as arranged by Viking! NEVER AGAIN!! Horrible flight home!!! They lost our luggage for 6 days!!! Many we spoke with shared our concerns! They agreed and advised - avoid SAS!!!!! Read Less

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