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4 Barcelona to Europe - Black Sea Cruise Reviews

Great time. This cruise was very port intensive...29 days and 20 post of call. Had to miss one port due to a storm but because of this we had to stay two days in Rome...no problem with that!! Over all cruise was great with no major ... Read More
Great time. This cruise was very port intensive...29 days and 20 post of call. Had to miss one port due to a storm but because of this we had to stay two days in Rome...no problem with that!! Over all cruise was great with no major problems. The staff is always wonderful. No problems with the staff in the dinning room and the food was always good. I do wish the entertainment was better but, it is a small ship with little room for big shows. This was our 4th time on the Prinsendam and will sail on her again. Love this ship, although, she does need a good deal of upgrading. Cabin and main areas need a lot of updating. This is an old ship and is really showing her age. Heard several guests had some major pluming problems. Although, we have never had any problems, we have heard that others have had the same pluming problems on every cruise. We have sailed with Holland America 10+ times. We have never had a problem that could not be fixed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I can't say enough about the Europe-Black Sea cruise we took on the Prinsendam in September/October, 2013. The small ship was absolutely fabulous: service, crew, ports of call, entertainment and food were outstanding. We have sailed ... Read More
I can't say enough about the Europe-Black Sea cruise we took on the Prinsendam in September/October, 2013. The small ship was absolutely fabulous: service, crew, ports of call, entertainment and food were outstanding. We have sailed on several of the Holland America cruise ships, and while all of them have been lovely, the Prinsendam is, without a doubt, truly special. They treated us like family and took care of our every need. Our cabin was a lovely ocean view room - very spacious and comfortable. From our cabin steward to the chef in the Cafeteria, to the cruise director to the Captain - every single one of them were exceptional. If you're looking for a small, cozy, intimate cruise, I would highly recommend the Holland America Prinsendam. The ports of call were especially lovely: France; La Specia/Cinque a Terra, Obla and Brindisi, Italy; The Greek Islands of Hydra, Mykonos, Rhodes and Lindos; Isanbul, Ephesus, and Meteora, Turkey; Kotor, Montenegro; Romania; Socchi, Russia and the Ukraine. What an amazing trip. We opted to take off on our own and rented cars and motor scooters in most of the ports and saw even more on our own than if we would have taken the ship's shore excursions, and much less expensive. If you're adventurous, I'd recommend spending some time on line investigating the different ports and then exploring on your own. In Kotor, do not pass up walking the 1600+ steps to the old fort - it's definitely worth the effort. Take the train in La Specia to Cinque a Terra and just stroll the small towns - beautiful. The only place that you might want to take a tour or hire a guide would be Ephesus, since there's so much history that unless you have a book or guide, you may miss a lot. I just can't say enough or recommend this trip highly enough - it was truly a cruise of a lifetime.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
I am driven to writing this review by the one written by another member who appears to have travelled on a very different ship to me, yet on exactly the same itinerary and exactly the same time and on a ship with the same name! That's ... Read More
I am driven to writing this review by the one written by another member who appears to have travelled on a very different ship to me, yet on exactly the same itinerary and exactly the same time and on a ship with the same name! That's a bit unfair, because I do agree with some of his statements. Yes, the food was pretty good in the Seven Continents restaurant, but if you were doing a back to back as I did it's a bit boring to be faced with exactly the same menu on the second leg! Where we fall out is in relation to the top deck cafe - the Lido. This has an ambiance akin to a motorway service station, has rotting floors, a leaking roof and, towards the end of the cruise by which time I think some crew had jumped ship in the Ukraine, continually short of cutlery and mugs. "Relax areas", may be adequate in cooler climes such as those when orford.len was on board, but woefully inadequate when the sun shone. Points of agreement: Cruise Director Kate had the voice of an angel and the entertainment team, all Eastern European, were excellent. Yes, one of the comedians was pretty poor, but the Welshman had some wonderful observational humour. The Classical duo on the first 75% of our trip were excellent and had a good following until the venue was changed to the cabaret area where, let's be honest, constant chatting and drinking are not a good mix with classical music! Embarkation for us at Barcelona was superb, although I'll add some adverse comments about flights later on! Back to disagreements now: one of the lecturers was dire - his talk on Churchill a great disappointment and largely a motley collection of "Churchill moments". We had read the reviews of Cruise and Maritime before booking and so our expectations were not high and therefore you could say that our expectations were met! We had sailed on Discovery 5 years earlier when she was a Grand Dame of cruisers, today she is better described as Grandma Quite what refurbishment took place in Genova this year, I'm not sure - many of the soft furnishings are tired, in places there is more paint than steel and the teak decks are in a poor way. She still has the advantage of looking like a ship. What attracted us was the itinerary and that did not disappoint in any way, although 3 days in Piraeus was too long (I suspect the ship's owner/manager is based there, so that may have influenced things a bit). What really disappointed and fell way below expectations was the poor organisation and customer service of CMV: flight details were really late in arriving and there was no debate/feedback about upgrades etc.. The outbound flight with Easyjet was pretty chaotic for CMV passengers as we were pre-allocated seats by CMV with partners not sitting together and no ability to change - although negotiation with the other travellers so affected resolved the situation when on board the plane. Passengers joining the cruise in Athens from Gatwick were in a far worse position as their flight had been re-timed at the last minute to arrive in the early hours of the morning following the day they were supposed to arrive - this meant that their cruise was in fact one day less than planned! This meant that the passengers leaving in Athens were also subject to that 12 hour delay. Our flight from Istanbul was also re-scheduled, just 36 hours before departure and this meant a lot of individual re-scheduling for those with connections from Gatwick. I just don't believe that CMV did not know about this beforehand - if they didn't, they should have. Finally, I have tried to make sure that my comments are not coloured by the fact that I came down with a really nasty tummy bug just 12 hours after leaving the ship! Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
I booked the Med Odyssey and Black Sea Discovery holiday through my travel agent. I was very disappointed with Cruise & Maritime. They said that the excursions booking forms would come arrive approx. 56 days before departure, mine ... Read More
I booked the Med Odyssey and Black Sea Discovery holiday through my travel agent. I was very disappointed with Cruise & Maritime. They said that the excursions booking forms would come arrive approx. 56 days before departure, mine arrived approx. 14 days. My tickets which arrived 6 days before departure had my name spelt wrong and no explanation as to why there was no return flight ticket. When I phoned them to get it all corrected I was told I had to go through my travel agent. The ship was in a bad state and the carpet in the corridor out side my cabin was mouldy, the roof in the Lido restaurant let the rain in. The entertainment was repeated for the second half of the cruise. It was a back to back cruise was the excuse from the ship management, they did change it slightly but the quizzes' in the evening was all the same questions. They didn't have a solo traveller get together because there was no day at sea but they had sat solo travellers together at dinner. Why they couldn't arrange it for an evening I don't know. When I questioned why it had cost me so much in single supplement and yet a lot of other passengers had buy one get one free offers, I was told that it was up to the travel agents what was charged. Very limited entertainment was organised. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013

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