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19 Copenhagen to Europe - All Cruise Reviews

We choose this cruise for the Itinerary, and our first chance to try Norwegian Cruise Lines, but maybe should have stayed on Holland America in the spring for this route. The ports of call were great and we liked the 10 day trip and met ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the Itinerary, and our first chance to try Norwegian Cruise Lines, but maybe should have stayed on Holland America in the spring for this route. The ports of call were great and we liked the 10 day trip and met nice people. Our four days in Copenhagen before embarkation worked out nicely and it is a pleasant, walkable city, although quite expensive (2 very ordinary fish & chip lunches cost us C$85 with one beer at Nyhavn). Embarkation was very smooth and the ship is quite lovely - not overly ostentatious but nice furniture, carpets, colours, etc. in good nick, and our stateroom was attractive with more than adequate storage, roomy bathroom, nice finishes. The closet was a little awkward to get into, but big enough. Staff was pleasant, although a lot seem to speak NO English. Dining room service was more than adequate - we never had any long waits or mixed up orders. The variety was good and we enjoyed the open seating. We felt the food was OK but way below exceptional. Many items seemed of low quality, like something you might grab from the frozen food section at home. The Tropicana room was HORRIBLE for noise (music). Expecting a nice dinner / dance environment, the sound volume really ruined the atmosphere. You could not even chat with dinner mates, except if the entertainers took a break. We liked Taste and Savour, but the buffet was disappointing even for breakfast, and o'Sheehans managed to blow it for every breakfast. Specialty restaurants - Tepenaki and Italian were very good. Much entertainment involved additional cost, like bingo cards, etc. and dance lessons were conducted in the TOO SMALL Tropicana room. Evening entertainment was mostly limited to Burn the Floor and the Million Dollar Quartet, which were both Excellent. WHO ever designed or permitted those SEATS in the theatre ? ? ? They were the MOST uncomfortable theatre seats I've ever sat in anywhere. Or they were installed incorrectly! The slope of the theatre was also very gradual and awkward. The Captain's Talk was enjoyable, but mostly we felt like we were not actually "hosted" by anyone. Silas (Cruise Director) was full of himself and hard to take. Debarkation went very well. It would be nice to have self-serve laundry. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The NCL GetAway is quite a large ship. 4000 passenger -- that's a lot of people!! Our Balcony Midship cabin was quiet and clean. Our cabin steward was kind and friendly. We loved our daily towel animals. Dining in the ... Read More
The NCL GetAway is quite a large ship. 4000 passenger -- that's a lot of people!! Our Balcony Midship cabin was quiet and clean. Our cabin steward was kind and friendly. We loved our daily towel animals. Dining in the Tropicana Dining room had the best food. Due to food allergies, I had to order my food 1 day in advance. Unfortunately, dining in specialty restaurants -- you had to be pre-order 1 day in advance as well. This was confusing when Guest Services tells you that you can't order in advance and to just tell the waiter (for Cirque of Dreams) when the Special Diet maitre de stated that pre-ordering was required at all restaurants. Unfortunately, the Cirque of Dreams food (Surf and Turf) was not the best. Our steak was rare whereas another guests steak was well done. Our salmon was overcooked, broccoli was inedible (due to being too spicy to eat). Who puts chili flakes on broccoli! A guest had to guzzle water to wash out what they ate. I'm surprised they didn't spit it out! The buffet would have been much better food. The Best of St. Petersburg two day shore excursion was very strenuous -- very early morning excursion (7 am) and lots of walking. The next At Sea day couldn't come any sooner to get some well needed rest. Unfortunately, it was disturbing and very offensive that the leading Jewelry Sales Associate(s) made fun of the Asian language when calling out the number of the winning ticket for their raffle. The staff thought is was funny and most customers just laughed when the Sales member said gobbly-gook in made up Chinese. Numbers were said correctly in Spanish and English. Raffles were conducted daily and I saw this occur almost every day. I don't condone and accept the heckling/ridiculing of cultures and have given NCL feedback on our experiences. For the most part, the Jewelry staff was kind and helpful, however, this bad behavior is concerning. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise because we prefer small groups, good food, great destinations and comfort. . .we have been on two cruises, both small boats with a little more than 100 passengers. Normally we travel on our own, unguided but well ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we prefer small groups, good food, great destinations and comfort. . .we have been on two cruises, both small boats with a little more than 100 passengers. Normally we travel on our own, unguided but well researched beforehand. We found the Orion to be everything we thought it would be. . .comfortable, great views, a wonderful room, smooth running and quiet too and the staff were exceptional. Billy, our room cleaner was pleasant, friendly and quite capable. The staff that served us were outstanding and the Captain and crew were charming and professional. Many of the places we visited were educational as well as being extremely attractive locales. Our breakfasts and lunches and tea time were top-notch. . .dinners less so. For example; an Oso Buco would have required a chainsaw to cut the meat. . .my Halibut was cooked to a fare-thee-well. . so dry it was inedible and my wife had a fish meal that was too salty to eat. . the menus on the other hand were comprehensive and offered a wide range of choices. As for our expeditions. . .our first trip around the Weather Islands in Sweden was one in which a lot of quite old people got very wet. . I know I didn’t come on the tour to be beat up by ocean swells in a Zodiac so I don’t understand the purpose of that particular expedition. In Olso we booked the trip to the Market and a cooking class where they were going to show us how to prepare Tapis. . .the market is closed on Mondays and your organizers should have known that. . our guide on the bus was almost completely incompetent, and the cooking involved chicken breasts and fruit desserts. . and while quite good was not what was promised. On the other hand, Vigeland and Linda, our guide, was outstanding. And on our last expedition day. . our All Day trip to Osa. . it had to be modified because your contact in Osa could not field 2 buses instead having to drop some off at one venue and go back and get more passengers. . so the all day became a partial day. And finally. . . .clearing Customs and Immigration in Bergen became an ordeal for those of us suffering from Arthritis when the leader misdirected us to the wrong side of a very long building in the rain. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Although a number of reviews have already covered this particular cruise - I'll add my opinions as well. Overall - I'd rate the cruise a C+ (average) for a number of reasons: Positives: 1. I enjoyed the ship, liked the ... Read More
Although a number of reviews have already covered this particular cruise - I'll add my opinions as well. Overall - I'd rate the cruise a C+ (average) for a number of reasons: Positives: 1. I enjoyed the ship, liked the overall size (although it is possible this contributed to some of the negatives listed below). I liked most of the bar and lounge areas, and really liked the Waterfront area / deck on Deck 8. 2. Inside stateroom was comfortable and just fine for this cruise. We spent so much time in port or around the decks, there really wasn't a reason to be in the room to much. 3. Plenty of deck space and pool space (if you could handle the cooler temperatures!) Waterslides and Ropes course were fun to go on as well. 4. Food was really good in most places. In particular, Ocean Blue was a specialty restaurant we dined at on the evening we departed St Petersburg. (One of the best meals we had!) The Garden Cafe buffet was good and had plenty of variety for breakfast and lunch. I wasn't impressed with Garden Cafe as much for dinner - and we generally tried to go to the main dining rooms Taste or Savor for dinner which were good although sometimes a bit slow in service time. 5. Show / Entertainment in general was good. We went to the Illusionarium one night for the dinner / Cirque du Soleil type show -- highly recommended!! I also enjoyed the dueling piano bar in Headliners, and some of the shows / events in the Atrium were enjoyable to watch (however - see my comment below re: the Atrium) 6. The ports make / break this cruise. St Petersburg and Stockholm were fantastic to visit! (Note - we used TJ tours for a 2-day program -- and they were fantastic! Highly recommended!!) As an added note - the docking in Nynasham Sweden rather than downtown Stockholm is a non-issue in my opinion. The cruise extended our port time by 2 hours allowing everyone time to travel back and forth between our docking point and downtown Stockholm Negatives: 1. Missed ports -- unfortunately - this creates an automatic downgrade of the cruise in my opinion. I get that we could not get into the small port of Warnemunde on the first day due to high winds (and the impact it had on a ship of our size trying to get into a small channel). But the larger problem is that we were unable to continue to Tallin, and instead had to continue circling the port for a full day. When we finally docked the next day, there was insufficient time to go to Berlin as we had to leave by 2pm in order to get to St Petersburg on time. Had we just missed Warnemunde (Berlin) on the first day, I would be more understanding, but the issue here is why Norwegian would schedule a 2nd embark / departure port which did not allow us to continue on to Tallin on the 1st day. Missing 1 port was bad enough, but missing 2 ports justifies an automatic downgrade of the cruise experience. 2. Atrium area -- conceptually, it is a great idea and a neat gathering place. In practice however, it becomes way too loud and too crowded for the types of events they want to hold there. On top of this, the guest services, shore excursion desks are in the same lobby area. In the evening, it was very difficult to have a conversation with anyone in the vicinity. 3. Getting back on the ship in Warnemunde -- not sure what happened but have never seen anything like this before. Seemed like most of the ships passengers (all 4000 of us) were stuck milling around outside of the ship and in crazy long lines. I ended up walking back to Warnemunde, grabbed a beer to go, and then walked back and sat in the shade for an hour until the lines started moving! 4. Smoke in the casino - should not be allowed. It drifts between levels 6, 7, and 8 of the ship which is a central area for indoor entertainment. I could nitpick a few more minor items here and there, but overall those were the biggest negatives. Considering how our cruise started, I think the Captain tried as best as possible to inform everyone of what was happening. The Captain also spent additional time during the Captain's talk on the final day of the cruise showing us diagrams of how it was not possible for our ship to dock in Warnemunde on the first day. (I don't doubt the decision at all - my beef is with Norwegian on why they would make Warnemunde a mandatory and 2nd embarkation stop if it is such a narrow docking channel) But in spite of an overall rough start, I think Norwegian recovered fairly well and were able to proceed with the rest of the cruise within reason. I'll cruise again with Norwegian as my experience with them is generally positive. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was my 5th NCL cruise (20+ overall). The ports of call (9 night itinerary) were excellent. The cruise departed and returned from Copenhagen with stops in Warnemunde (Germany), Tallin (Estonia), St Petersburg (Russia), Helsinki ... Read More
This was my 5th NCL cruise (20+ overall). The ports of call (9 night itinerary) were excellent. The cruise departed and returned from Copenhagen with stops in Warnemunde (Germany), Tallin (Estonia), St Petersburg (Russia), Helsinki (Finland) and Nynashamn (Sweden). THE SHIP: The Getaway is a massive ship and its sheer size is impressive. Embarkation took 20 minutes from bag drop-off to setting foot on the ship. Disembarkation was a breeze (well done NCL and the port of Copenhagen!). The interior, although modern, tends to be dark and could be more upmarket. A major issue I had was the terrible smell of smoke in the public areas, let alone the casino. The Atrium area spanning decks 6, 7 & 8 was noisy, overcrowded and smelt like stale cigarette smoke. This is an issue many NCL passengers have been complaining about since the debut of the NCL Epic, yet NCL insist on allowing smoking in the casino which opens up to many other public rooms. Give smokers their own smoking section that is blocked off from the rest of the ship. Not only does the smoking make the ship smell bad it is also a health risk. We stayed in an inside cabin. The cabin was a reasonable size but could do with more closet space. The bathroom and shower was large. Our cabin steward (Leo) was excellent. The room was always clean and tidy. The bed was comfortable with nice linen. The ship lacks an observation lounge and the views from the promenade deck are blocked by lifeboats. They do not have a heated pool or one that can be enclosed in inclement weather (unless you pay $180+ for a pass to the spa). THE FOOD AND RESTAURANTS: I was pleasantly surprised by the good quality of the food in the garden café (buffet restaurant). The staff in the garden café was by far the friendliest and most efficient compared to staff in other restaurants. Taste and Savor restaurants are not impressive in décor, look or feel. The food was ok. The Tropicana Room is beautiful but we found the food terrible (we ate here on the last night and it rates as the worst meal I’ve had on a cruise ship). I cannot judge this ship by one meal only, so overall I think the food was very good. Service in Taste, Savor and Tropicana Room was very slow. Our meals took so long that we never stayed for dessert, we could not bear the thought of waiting any longer. The staff on duty was very busy and did their best, but it seemed like the ship was understaffed. Cirque du Dreams – excellent food. Noodle bar – tasty food but it took extremely long to serve our order. I felt that beverages on the ship is insanely overpriced. ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES: Welcome show – boring and was a waste of time. It did not set the right tone for the excellent entertainment to come. There should be less talking and more entertaining! Burn the floor, Cirque du Dreams and Million Dollar Quartet = 10/10. Typical cruise ship activities such as the “Newlywed not so newlywed” etc. are fun, HOWEVER most are held in the atrium. This area is over crowed with not enough seating. It is noisy as the Atrium also houses customer service, shore excursions and the next cruise desks. The level above has a huge pub and it is also the main “thoroughfare” to get from one side to the other on the ship. Activities held her will be better if held in the theatre. Magician – if you really like magic you will find his 1st show a disappointment as some of the tricks he does I’ve seen done a kids parties (come on…. falling apart scissors for adults?). Having said this, he is an excellent showman and comedian. He is charismatic and lovable. If you can look past the basic magic he does, you will enjoy the show. He did two shows, the 2nd show was much better in terms of magic and he did an amazing mindreading trick. A huge disappointment is that many of the so called activities are talks on health and fitness only to find that they do this to sell products or services to you rather than it being an educational activity. It is all about making extra money for NCL. Other entertainment “activities” are game shows, unless you pay to participate there is no point to attend (e.g. Deal or no deal). The Cruise Director is excellent, friendly and clearly loves his job. Seeing him makes you feel happy. If you have cruised with NCL many times before, you may find like I did, they are mostly good at what they do BUT it is the same thing over and over again. It is like having a music track on reply. How many times can one get excited for a FABBA or Glow party? I’m starting to get bored with what NCL has to offer. PORTS OF CALL: We enjoyed all the ports. Getting on and off the ship was easy and quick except for St Petersburg. Be prepared to wait for up to 2 hours to be cleared through customs on day 1 in this beautiful city (the is border control and no fault of NCL). The excursions on the ship are expensive. We did our own walking tours in each city except for St Petersburg. We can highly recommend SPB Tours with whom we did the two day highlights of St Petersburg. This excursion was almost identical to the one offered by NCL but $200 per person cheaper. Double check your port for Sweden, sometimes the ship actually docks in Nynashamn which is an hour by train from Stockholm. The train trip is convenient, affordable and easy to do on your own, no need to take an expensive excursion. FINAL THOUGHTS: NCL is a good company to cruise with, but they need to “spice” things up for return passengers as we get bored of doing the same old things we did on other NCL cruises. The staff are really good at what they do, they are good people. NCL need to ensure they have more staff on duty in the main restaurants so that service times can improve. The only staff I encountered who were downright rude were the people manning the customer relations desk. I went there twice and both times the men who dealt with me were not friendly and they were rude. They made me feel like I’m an inconvenience to them instead of them being there to help and give me advice. NCL must stop advertising ports as one place although they know all too well the ship docks an hour or more from the advertised place… Warnemunde IS NOT Berlin and Nynashamn IS NOT Stockholm. No matter what the fine print says, just be open and honest. Many passengers complain about this as they felt mislead. I would recommend this cruise to others. Happy cruising! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose the Norweigan Getaway because it was going to the Baltic Capitals. We are a 65 year old couple and we walked a LOT but loved every minute. The cities were beautiful and the tours were great. We used an outside tour company than ... Read More
We chose the Norweigan Getaway because it was going to the Baltic Capitals. We are a 65 year old couple and we walked a LOT but loved every minute. The cities were beautiful and the tours were great. We used an outside tour company than those on the boat as they were cheaper and just as good. Our inside cabin was very nice and well kept, but on the lowest deck. And we have taken Norweigan before. We were put on the lowest deck (5) in a room for 3. So I hit my head twice badly on the twin bed on the wall and bled profusely the first time. We would have preferred being in a room for 2. This is also the first cruise where we heard the people in the room next to us snoring loudly. The boat was nice and we received free gratuities and $125.00 from Norweigan. The entertainment was ok, but you had to pay for the really good ones. The Million Dollar Quartet was awesome!! Too much skin on the ladies in the main shows. We loved the Getaway mini golf course, slides, climbing wall and especially the zip line and rope course. Cool! IF we had had children with us, they had a great children's play area with spurting water and animals, children's pool, etc. Very well equipped for kids. That all being said, next time we will choose a smaller boat, even without those amenities. To have 4,000 tourists on one boat not to mention crew was too many people. The main place to eat on the Lido deck was always crowded and crazy. Spa room was TOO expensive and all their services too much also. I would have paid up to $60 for a massage - not $88. Why not give half an hour for $44! You don't need to overcharge and more people would have one! No more evening chocolates on your bed as we had before, if you were on the 5th deck anyway! Service was still good but we've been on other cruises where all the staff were happier and spoke to you more besides "Hello'. Ship activities and games were kind of childish - best legs and the Newlyweds. Try more games like the Trivia. The musicians were awesome - Abba concert etc! Need more activities for men - like computer or iphone classes etc. Could have done without the LGBT meetings onboard. Amount of room on the ship for extra upgrades, cabanas, spas etc that weren't always used - or used by so few was a shame. All in all, we wouldn't go on this ship again unless we were offered a good balcony room for an inexpensive price to a destination we haven't already been. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I feel this ship is too large for this itinerary. With the exception of service in specialty dining, overall service aboard Getaway compared to previous NCL experiences is lackluster. Our cabin steward was rather disappointing. The ... Read More
I feel this ship is too large for this itinerary. With the exception of service in specialty dining, overall service aboard Getaway compared to previous NCL experiences is lackluster. Our cabin steward was rather disappointing. The crosswords in the Library were the same as those we took on a cruise 18 months ago. I very much disliked that Getaway does not have a proper Promenade deck. The jogging track is like walking in tiny circles and you have to run the smoker's gauntlet if walking on Deck 8/Waterfront. No electrical outlets anywhere near the bed? Odd for a ship so new. Latitudes Platinum services felt a joke. Here's your coupons. Here's your champagne (not even on ice!). We have met our obligation. You can use the concierge, but we won't tell you how. The concierge office should contact everyone who is eligible for the services personally. We experienced multiple accounting issues with regard to using Latitudes dining vouchers vs. UDP; they need a better system to track these things. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
First the good--room was very generous for a non-suite, the specialty restaurants (Cagney's, The Bistro, and La Cucina) were as good, or almost as good, as on other cruises, and some of the musical acts were quite good. The house ... Read More
First the good--room was very generous for a non-suite, the specialty restaurants (Cagney's, The Bistro, and La Cucina) were as good, or almost as good, as on other cruises, and some of the musical acts were quite good. The house show, Million Dollar Boys, was truly outstanding; the performers were great musicians. Isabel Commandeur was an excellent, Broadway-quality singer, and the duet group Raegar was very good and very strong singers. The cruise director, Andre, was very entertaining and friendly. Lastly, embarkation and disembarkation were as good as any we have experienced on more than five prior cruises. Now the not as good. Overall, we were disappointed with the enthusiasm of the service, particularly in the main dining rooms. With one exception, the wait staff was perfunctory. On other cruise lines, they were very friendly and warm. Also, the staff was not good as setting or keeping appointments. We reserved our specialty dinners on-line before our trip, but when we got on board, they had no record of them. When we re-booked them, we did not get reminder notices of the dates and times, as we did on every other cruise line. Two of us tried to book massages at the same time, but were told that could not be done. So they booked separate times, but when the second person got to her appointment, she was told that it had been at the same time as the first person's! The spa staff said they tried to call her, but she was in her cabin and did not get a call. Also, the masseuse told her she should replace her prescription medications with aroma therapy. A cruise ship masseuse should not be giving medical advice. We were also disappointed with the variety of entertainment, particularly the lack of comedians. There was one magician who did some comedy, but that was it. This is very unusual for a cruise. It was particularly disappointing because NCL promoted its stand-alone comedy club, Headliners, and indicating there were comedy shows. Instead, the magician performed there once or twice, but that was the entirety of the comedy offerings the whole cruise. We are also very unhappy with NCL's refusal to stop barraging us every day with solicitations for future cruises. We have gotten emails from them every day for months, although we changed our subscription preferences two months ago and have emailed our supposed cruise consultant three times with no reply. This lack of responsiveness is absolutely astounding, and convinced us not to cruise with Norwegian again even before we set sail. Overall, for the amount of money we spent on this cruise, we expected more than good. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this cruise because of the timing and the ports of call. I feel like Royal Caribbean was trying to nickel and dime us to death. You had to pay for a bottle of water! On other cruise lines that I've been on recently (Viking ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the timing and the ports of call. I feel like Royal Caribbean was trying to nickel and dime us to death. You had to pay for a bottle of water! On other cruise lines that I've been on recently (Viking and Oceania) they went out of their way to offer you complimentary water bottles as you exited the ship on excursions. Other cost cutting items, no shampoo or conditioner in the shower, in the Windjammer when you got your silverware there weren't any spoons, you had to go get a spoon at a different location. Courtesy shuttles into town you have to pay for (complimentary on Oceania). The ship was in need of some maintenance and repair. I saw areas of rust on the ship. The mirror in my bathroom had some damage on the edges. I noted the smell of sewage while walking down some of the hallways. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our first important Cruise, this is what we thought anyway, and it did not fulfill our expectations. Firstly it was for us to much time of navigation and little time to explore the port cities. In other words, the Shore Excursions ... Read More
This was our first important Cruise, this is what we thought anyway, and it did not fulfill our expectations. Firstly it was for us to much time of navigation and little time to explore the port cities. In other words, the Shore Excursions were two short, besides that the ones we made in Stockholm, Tallin and Saint Petersburg left very much to be desired. Mainly they were too short and the Tour Guides showed poor qualification and interest. Other than that, we found the Serenade of the Sea is very comfortable, well decorated and clean. The cabin has a good size and the service was good. In general the entire service onboard was excellent. Dining was fo us more than enough and well cooked. As previously mentioned on this survey the Ports and Shore excursions were for us insufficient. After traveling in the past 20 years all over the World this Crise was for us a test and we have learned from it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise for its ports of call, which did not disappoint us. The ship is a little dated, and probably in need of an update, but it was more about the destination. The cabin was fine, the windjammer cafe so very under resourced- ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its ports of call, which did not disappoint us. The ship is a little dated, and probably in need of an update, but it was more about the destination. The cabin was fine, the windjammer cafe so very under resourced- because of the cooler weather- most people stayed indoors- and with less room to make way for the fancier restaurants, (more revenue making exercise?)getting a table was a nightmare, very stressful event every morning, and they seemed to run out of basic items- no bananas for breakfast? the queues for tea and coffee just so unnecessary. we were a group of 4 and decided to go to the main restaurant for other meals- but there was always a queue there too, except for our dinner. All the staff were pleasant, as was the standard of food. However the windows were so dirty, a big disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise because of the ports that it was visiting during it's repositioning. Dining room & buffet food was average though they charge extra for steak and lobster. Other cruises we have been on usually offer them at ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports that it was visiting during it's repositioning. Dining room & buffet food was average though they charge extra for steak and lobster. Other cruises we have been on usually offer them at least once during your cruise at no extra cost. Specialty restaurants were good but some items on the menu were the same thing that you could get in the buffet or dining rooms at no charge? We enjoyed the 24 hour pub the most. Didn't feel like you were on a ship. I must say that the staff was the most friendly that we have ever had on a cruise. In the last 2 ports we were given hand outs with port information. I'm not sure why this wasn't available for all ports. This was our first time with Norwegian. Overall we were very happy with the cruise. We would certainly consider another sailing with them. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This review is actually for 3 B2B cruises on Serenade of the Seas (Aug 13 - Sep 13), Baltic, Norway, and 16 day TA (stops in Norway and Iceland). We had been on Serenade before, and although it isn't our favorite ship, we chose it ... Read More
This review is actually for 3 B2B cruises on Serenade of the Seas (Aug 13 - Sep 13), Baltic, Norway, and 16 day TA (stops in Norway and Iceland). We had been on Serenade before, and although it isn't our favorite ship, we chose it for the itineraries. Anyone doing B2B cruises should be aware that you get repeated menus and entertainment. Embarking in Copenhagen started off with RC not being able to find our reservation. We had to wait quite awhile as they researched it, had to print our seapass cards, etc, etc. Got on board and our seapass didn't work at all. And then our internet code wasn't valid. We are Diamond members and none of our benefits were loaded on our seapass card. So after several trips to Guest Services (long lines!), we finally got settled. My husband likes everything in order before he can relax. We thought that MOST of the public areas of the ship were quite clean except all the windows were very dirty. I realize you can't keep the outside clean when sailing, but this dirt was on the inside. Park Café needed a good cleaning, there was always food on the floor and window sills. In our cabin, the sofa was old and soiled. Cabinetry was well worn, balcony dirty. There's good storage, but hangars are too wide for the closet, and the hangars have to hang at an angle. As for the staff, we liked the cruise director and activities staff. They worked very hard. Our room attendant was the worst we have ever had. I could write a long review on just our encounters with her. We had to ask for soap, tissues, two washcloths, ice, and robes. She gave us those things begrudgingly, or so it seemed to me. I asked if there was additional padding for the bed, and she rolled up our mattress pad, put the entire thing under my side of the bed (hubby had no mattress pad under his sheet), and then she laid pillows on top of that, and then the sheet over that. My side was at least a foot higher than his. I thought it was a "snotty" response to a simple request. She never introduced herself, never called us by name until the 28th day, always unhappy, complained of back pain and being tired. I avoided her as much as possible; she just made me feel uncomfortable. The shops were constantly having those "junk" sales. And they had tables set up in the small hallways outside the shops, which was a terrible bottle-neck when everyone was trying to get to the theater. You just could not get through. So annoying. Most of the wait staff in the MDR we encountered were very good, except Leslie, who was our head waiter on the 3rd cruise. Sour disposition, never looked at you, repeatedly ignored requests. But we always had great dinner companions, so that made up for it. The food was a mixed bag, some very good, some awful. Hubby sent his back more than once because it was cold. The MDR is very crowded. I got so tired of waiters bumping my chair, causing me to spill my drink. Annoying!! The windjammer is never my favorite on any ship. Too much curry!! But I loved the fruit and salad bar. And great bread choices, too. The only milk cartons they had were the "sippy cup" type for kids with the straw. Hard to pour on cereal. Food in Park Café was not very good in my opinion, and the staff was just plain lazy. We went there for breakfast one morning at about 9:30, there was no coffee, no orange juice, no hot water, and the only thing available to eat was pre-made "mcmuffin" type sandwiches. Two manager type employees were just standing by the coffee pots chatting, and I had to ask them to move so I could get a cup (then no coffee). Gal behind the counter was not a happy camper. I asked her if she liked working on the ship, and she shrugged her shoulders. Main pool was closed most of the time. Weather was cooler, so I could understand. So they let all the kids in the Solarium. Was supposed to be limited hrs for kids, but they never enforced it. And they let kids in diapers in the solarium pool, too. They basically took over the entire solarium and hot tub. Cruises 2 and 3 had less children, so not as big a problem. On the first cruise there were so many kids all over the ship. The MDR was just a zoo with children running around, climbing on chairs, causing a lot of disruption. And windjammer was total chaos. When we were in our cabin, we could hear children crying, and running up and down the halls on our deck, and decks above and below us until early morning hours. I adore children, but there seemed to be a total lack of discipline on this ship. Entertainment was a mixed bag. Absolutely loved the pianist, the violin player, the comediennes, and the flute player. Loved having their repeat performances in the afternoons on sea days. Just fantastic. The mime and the juggler were entertaining, too. Production shows weren't that good, I've seen better at high school performances. We skipped these repetitive shows (and others that were repeated) on cruises 2 and 3, so really got short-changed on the entertainment. We had to go to performances at least 1/2 hour to an hour early, or we wouldn't get a seat. Everyone went to the headliner shows, and many people were turned away. Once we had to stand the entire performance as there were no seats. We booked our shore excursions through the ship and they all were great. Expensive, tho. My only complaint is they way they distributed the bus numbers in the theater was very, very unorganized. All three cruises had a majority of very elderly and disabled people, and they had to walk down the stairs to the front of the theater to get their stickers. Very difficult for many of them. There were a lot of extremely obese people on our excursions. They had trouble getting on and off the bus, and could not get around without assistance. I'm not sure why they would sign up for a tour that clearly states it was not "accessible", or there were 750 steps, and must be able to walk more than a mile over cobblestones. But there were always several on the bus, and it did delay us several times. This probably sounds insensitive, and it's not meant to be. RC just needs to make sure that people are able to participate on the tours they choose. Casino is still a smoking area. And on port days, when they are refueling, that's where they tell people to go to smoke. I could smell smoke in other areas of the ship many times. RC, please make casinos non-smoking. Your "cover-up" spray smells worse than the smoke. There were some enrichment seminars on sea days and the ones we attended were excellent. Especially liked the ones about the Vikings and the northern lights. TV has very, very limited offerings, and shows are just repeated over and over. Movies were repeated on each cruise. Imagine showing "Angry Birds" for the kids on the outdoor screen by the pool on a sea day when we are above the arctic circle. It was cold and the wind was just howling. Good grief. Our diamond status got us very little benefit except for the evening happy hour, which really was nice. But no gifts or amenities at all. No priority boarding or disembarking, no exclusive breakfast or coffee throughout the day. These are all being eliminated -- apparently. We did get $10 off laundry, but only after asking when we saw we were billed incorrectly. They also charged us for drinks during happy hour. We complained at guest services, they said they would reimburse, but never did. Being diamond would not be a reason to book RC in the future. They staff was constantly doing drills on the TA cruise. Apparently they had a big inspection coming up when in port in Boston. Finally, we loved the itinerary, loved every port, our favorite being Geiranger, Norway. Disappointed that they chose to eliminate Stockholm at the last minute. Supposedly because of weather. We will not sail on Serenade again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We took Serenade of the Seas to Scandinavia and Russia. The ports of call were places I had been hoping to see for quite some time, and the towns were charming - especially Tallinn. The ship's worker bee staff seemed very pleasant and ... Read More
We took Serenade of the Seas to Scandinavia and Russia. The ports of call were places I had been hoping to see for quite some time, and the towns were charming - especially Tallinn. The ship's worker bee staff seemed very pleasant and cheerful.......customer service desk not so much. Our room attendant called us by our names immediately and did an excellent job keeping the stateroom clean. We had dinner at the early seating in the main dining room, and all waiters and assistants were quite attentive and very efficient. Windjammer was crazy as always, but we learned to go at off times or as soon as they opened the doors to avoid the pushing, rude fellow passengers. Those fellow passengers are my main complaint, and I think Royal Caribbean could do a couple things to make it more enjoyable for everyone. Send out an instruction sheet via email or travel agents which tell the rules for being a good passenger. This includes waiting your turn in line and not barging through as though you are the only person trying to get somewhere. Staff seemed proud of the fact that there were guests from 55 different countries on board, but I think everyone just needs a reminder about what waiting in line means. Also, the shore excursions were nice, but at $149 - $179 per excursion it was a shame to not be able to hear the guide on the bus above the roar of all the people carrying on private conversations. Have a sign at the shore excursion desk with rules for considerate travel for all to read. I know the guides had much info to pass along, but who knew what they were saying over all the inconsiderate voices drowning them out. Also, if the guides cannot keep the passengers quiet so those of us who want to listen can hear, at least tell them to use a microphone on the bus. A tiny Russian girl with a little voice and a lot of knowledge to share could not do so due to conversations going on in 9 different languages. Very disappointing to pay that kind of vacation money and not get the benefit of a good tour due to rude, inconsiderate fellow guests who think only of themselves! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our first sailing with Windstar and we were looking forward to the "Luxury" experiences that they advertise. We were sorely disappointed. We are seasoned travelers. This was our eleventh sea-going cruise and we have ... Read More
This was our first sailing with Windstar and we were looking forward to the "Luxury" experiences that they advertise. We were sorely disappointed. We are seasoned travelers. This was our eleventh sea-going cruise and we have sailed with other luxury lines, so we know that our expectations were not out of line. We sailed with Crystal twice, and Seabourn four times and never were disappointed. We sprang for one of their more expensive suites - came to over twelve thousand dollars, so naturally our expectations were high. We did like the itinerary - Northern Europe. Sailed from Copenhagen with stops in Northern Germany on the Baltic Sea, then to the North Sea with stops in Amsterdam and Belgium. The shore excursions were very enjoyable, though pricey. The problems were with the service. The staff that deals with the public could not adequately speak or understand English. We have never encountered this before. It was close to impossible to understand some of the waiters. It was very difficult to make our needs and wishes known, to the reception desk, to our steward. Some specific mishaps: a non-existent wake-up call; extremely hard pillows, when I asked for down pillows was given more of the hard ones, asked a second time, same results - ended up sleeping without a pillow for the next six nights; minibar not refilled, then filled sporadically, but charged us as if it had been restocked; whirlpools closed more often than open, info book in room stated they were open until 11pm, were locked at 9pm. Food was only average. Twice I had lamb chops, both times they were tough and flavorless. You could not hear the announcements in the room. I called reception, they said to go our into the hallway if I wanted to hear them. No clock in the bedroom. Safe was located on the very top shelf in the closet at the very back. I had to climb on a chair to be able to open and close it. The door to our patio did not seal well, heard a whistling wind and felt a draft all night. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This is my first review that I have put on here that I was not blown away by the cruise. This cruise on the Eurodam was very lacking considering this was my 6th one with HAL 3rd on the Eurodam. To start the services with the room ... Read More
This is my first review that I have put on here that I was not blown away by the cruise. This cruise on the Eurodam was very lacking considering this was my 6th one with HAL 3rd on the Eurodam. To start the services with the room services were lacking, this trip. We had times were are room was not cleaned in an orderly fashion at all. This was something we had never experienced before with HAL, and one day asking our room steward when would he be available to clean our room he replied that he was too busy and we would have to call the front desk to get it cleaned. It seems that the whole staff is rushed these days. Another incident was the whole cruise the staff seemed much more focused on people staying on the ship longer, always talking about the next cruise coming up and not focusing on the here and now. Embarakation was nice and easy, the room was set up when we got there. We did try different dining options and found them very mixed. First the good. The Pinnacle Grill was fantastic, wonderful food and outstanding service wish I had eaten there the whole cruise. The Dining Room steward was also very good as well as was the food. The service in the Tamrid was also very good, however the food leaves something to be desired. Which last and least is the Caneltto, the food which is supposed to be Italian, was more like Italian food that you would get out of a cheap Italian place at home or a frozen dinner take your pic. The lido was like everything buffet it was ok. The ports were very nice and enjoyed them all. Overall, I had a good time on the Eurodam, but defiantly in my opinion it was not up to previous cruises. In some respects I took a cruise in January on the Carnival Conquest and gave them higher stars, for a cheaper no frills cruise! Holland America I expect more out of you!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This cruise was scheduled to depart Bergen, Norway on August 9 but mechanical problems with the ship on the previous voyage delayed and almost curtailed the cruise we were scheduled to take. Two days before the sail date, we received a ... Read More
This cruise was scheduled to depart Bergen, Norway on August 9 but mechanical problems with the ship on the previous voyage delayed and almost curtailed the cruise we were scheduled to take. Two days before the sail date, we received a notice that there were problems and we would "most likely" be able to depart from Copenhagen on August 11. In fairness, we were given the option to cancel our trip with a full refund or continue with a $500 shipboard credit and 30% off another cruise. Knowing Vikings excellent reputation and attention to detail, we took the risk. The effort to accommodate about 600 passengers and arrange excursions in Norway and Denmark on short notice was impressive. We were told that once we reached our French port of Le Havre, all would go as previously planned. However, this is where everything fell apart. All shore excursions were planned many months in advance so should have been seamlessly executed. First stop - Lisbon, Portugal. Excursion listed as "easy" for passengers was a grueling, hilly and 4 1/2 hours of walking with a 20 minute break. Many passengers chose to return to the ship half way through. When complaints were made, we were told that the excursion was listed as "demanding" on Viking's computers but listed as "easy" on passenger itinerary. And it went on that way for most of the trip. How smart does one have to be to see that 5-7 daily excursions listed to depart 15 minutes apart from the same exit will be a problem? We were told about a third of the passengers cancelled their trip. What would Viking have done with an additional 300 passengers in the same situation? Surprisingly poor planning especially since this part of the plan was in place months before the sail date. Beyond that, the staff was excellent, couldn't be more attentive. Food was excellent. Rooms well maintained. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I'm going to break this up into sections and tackle the good and bad in each. Rooms Perfect: clean and good sized with serviceable furnishings. A lot of other reviews criticize the size of the balconies, but we were in a ... Read More
I'm going to break this up into sections and tackle the good and bad in each. Rooms Perfect: clean and good sized with serviceable furnishings. A lot of other reviews criticize the size of the balconies, but we were in a standard room and the balcony was great. Two chairs, side table, fresh air -- what's to complain about. The bathroom was completely serviceable, too. Small, but efficient. If anything, the closet was too large; I pack lightly and didn't need that much space -- more drawers would have been appreciated, however. Peter, our room attendant, was great. He seemed to work 24 hours a day and if I had my hands full, he would open my door for me. The towels in the bathroom can be a bit scratchy, but the bed and pillows were amazing. There were no robes, which was kind of disappointing with a balcony, but I picked up some blankets from the attendant and we used those on breezy mornings and nights. Also, loved having coffee delivered in the morning -- a great wake-up call. Food: awful. I repeat, awful. If Alfredo's wasn't on board, I probably would have revolted. The Horizon Buffet was terrible. It's basically three aisles and -- on our cruise -- one entire aisle was devoted to Asian cuisine for all three meals. The bread baskets and fruit bowls were frequently empty (and, in the case of the fruit bowls, I'm guessing a petri dish of germs). The omelet station was hidden, and finding it was no great bonus, as they screwed up my order every single time. At lunch, the best bet was the taco bar, which was not outstanding, but at least it was palatable. For dinner, the winner was the cheese tray (couldn't they have that at lunch, too?) and the pasta (which is pretty hard to screw up). Also, as other cruisers have mentioned, no one was gently enforcing hand washing or sanitizing on the way in to the buffet. It was occasionally truly gross. The anytime dining room wasn't truly anytime, until after 7:30 p.m., but they were accommodating the evening we arrived before that time. The servers were fine, but the food was really pedestrian. The best night was Italian night, but it's pretty hard to screw up pasta. The appetizers were generally the best things in the dining rooms and the most inventive. Again, thankfully there was Alfredo's. We probably ate there once a day. If the menu had been slightly larger, we probably would have ate there twice a day. The maître d was too haughty for the experience, but the waiters -- especially Pavlo -- were very responsive. We even toyed with the idea of paying for one of the specialty dining rooms, but -- to be honest -- the menus were not terribly appealing. The ship: the most poorly designed floating hotel. Ever. I read about the 6th floor, but I thought, "Wow, it can't be that bad." It is. You can not get anywhere on the 6th floor, and yet that's where a number of dining and activities are held. The Piazza is fine, but when your only option of getting from the 6th floor to the 7th floor is the spiral staircase, you grow weary of the selfie stick crowd taking their umpteenth selfie on the steps. Don't even ask about the staircase to nowhere midshipt on the 7th floor. Also -- and this isn't a big deal -- disembarkation is different on each day and in each port. They could include these details in the nightly Princess Patter, so you could at least attempt to head down the correct staircase. The bars: two -- possibly three -- thumbs up. Big shout out to the Wheelhouse and Nitish and Stanka. Best service. Ever. Chilled wine glasses, music every night -- if only there was a view. Crooners has a far better view, but far less attentive servers (and no crooning, oddly enough). The Outrigger Bar staff was also very good and they took care of you in the morning, too, if you took breakfast outside of the masses of the Horizon Court. Entertainment: good music all around. Between Orpheum and Rhapsody, you couldn't ask for more. The standards, international tunes and jazz from Orpheum -- awesome and friendly singer and wildly talented pianist -- were great. The fun and extroverted guys from Rhapsody made any venue were they were a party. Activities: mixed bag. The Regal Princess might really want to consider staffing the walking/running track and/or better marking the direction and uses. Again, the number of selfie stick yielding fools aimlessly wandering around was a detriment to a simple mile around the deck. The workout space was small, and -- oddly -- not connected with the spa. There was very little weight space and the open studio was frequently used for sit-down seminars on sea days -- you know, the days you want to, and have the time to, work out. The chilled towels were nice, but how about a water cooler? Ports: why we took the trip. I don't know how else we could have hit as many unique places. The only thorn: Gothenburg -- why on earth did we stop in Gothenburg? Dear Princess, please skip Gothenburg and add a night in Warnemunde or St. Petersburg. Amen and thank you. Guests: 50/50 Our ship was very heavily weighted toward Asian patrons and they just don't have the same societal norms. I know Princess can't manage their guests, but almost every other cruiser of every other nationality seemed fed up by the end of the cruise, due to the shoving, line jumping and general disregard for fellow cruisers. Not a lot of kids and the ones there were enjoying their pursuits. Even though our ship was sold out, you rarely felt crowded (okay, Horizon Buffet). Princess has provided a lot of space options for people to enjoy. Overall: good value for what you got. Pretty much. One final grip: the entire aft sundeck is given over to smokers. On the plus side, it was a quieter crowd. On the negative side, it's a large space wasted on a declining demographic. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We embarked Copenhagen and did Scandinavia and Russia. The Ship: The ship is in great condition as you'd expect given its young age. Room size was adequate, we had a balcony stateroom which had space for a bed and a couple of ... Read More
We embarked Copenhagen and did Scandinavia and Russia. The Ship: The ship is in great condition as you'd expect given its young age. Room size was adequate, we had a balcony stateroom which had space for a bed and a couple of chairs (no settee). Bathroom had a shower (no bath) and was small, not a problem for us as we aren't large people - so comfortable enough. Surprisingly dressing gowns need to be requested and aren't there automatically, but do arrive quickly upon request. My biggest gripe about the ship is the layout, I really can't understand how this was ever approved. We were on there for 11 nights and by the end we still hadn't worked out how o get around easily, there were numerous occasions where we'd just hit a dead end on some stairs or corridor, then have to walk somewhere else to find a way up to the next level. We did a lot of walking due to the unhelpful layout which did get a bit tiresome, not just physically, but also mentally as you had to really think about your route from A to B. On a plus side, the outdoor pools are heated, and were never crowded. Cabin staff were very good, though we didn't get any towel animals. Food: Plenty of variety, all good quality, I'm sure you'll be happy. Only gripes about the food are the following: no grapefruit for about 9 of the 11 cruise nights, any time you ordered a mixed fruit dish it would inevitably be a bowl of different types of melon (was there a fruit shortage? - did they get a really good deal on a whole lot of melon??? I now hate melon!). At the informal dining (Horizons Court) you can't help yourself to orange juice in the mornings. You have to wait for a waiter to pour you some into a tiny glass. I didn't feel like I had the access to the level of orange juice that I required - ever other cruise I've been on has just let people help themselves. Btw... orange juice was all that was on offer juice-wise. Horizons Court itself is a bit like the rest of the ship, very spread out, and it takes a while to walk past all the serving stations in order to understand your options for food. Other than that it was very good. Formal dining was good, the waiters weren't too over the top so didn't feel uncomfortable. We did anytime dining, and most of the time were able to dine any time, occasionally we had to wait if we wanted our own table, but not for very long. Waiter's were hit or average, some extremely good, one was a bit sarcastic, e.g. asking if I'd like pepper on my dessert. It also seemed odd to me that some of them would hand you the menu, leave you to choose what you want, but when they come back, you had to listen to them list everything on the menu and any specials - why not do this when they first give me the menu? By the time they return I know what I want and don't feel like a lecture, as I've just read the entire menu and am unlikely to change my mind - plus no point telling me about certain dishes when I really don't like that type of food. The breakfast in cabin options were very disappointing. Non-alcoholic drink options were limited, if you like tea and coffee you'll be very happy as a lot of variety. If you like juice, smoothies, coconut water, etc, then expect to be disappointed. Casino: I normally play a fair bit of poker when I cruise, but they have no poker dealer in the casino, instead you play against the other players by use of an individual electronic screen at the poker table. I didn't bother playing as I do a lot of online poker at home but when I'm playing in a physical casino I expect a dealer to be there to dictate the proceedings and keep everyone in line. Also, it was only ever cash games, no tournaments. Entertainment Plenty of recent releases to watch. The shows were very good - other lines were just some good dancers doing some good karaoke, but on this ship they obviously spent the money - the sets and actor\singing quality were brilliant. Comedians were good too. On board activities: Pretty dull, in fact worst I've ever know of the three cruises I've been on. Most were just talks followed by someone trying to sell you something you don't want and don't need at an inflated price. I'm glad this trip had a lot of port calls! I went to the art auction but left in disgust at the way they rigged the entire thing to disadvantage the bidders - essentially, they remove your annonominity (sorry for spelling!!) by getting you to indicate what you're interested in, they then check every ones bidding number to know who is sitting where, and when something comes up that you showed an interest in, a sales person will run (literally) over and sit next to you and cajole you into bidding. They also give the impression that every item is selling (by talking very quickly and incoherently) even when no one bids on it (why do we have to applaud a non-sale?). They also get you to pre-bid if they can, which basically is a way of them setting too high a reserve price, and then selling slightly below the reserve price when some silly person puts in an offer before the auction starts. This is not a good deal you are getting - it means they have a culture of setting too high a reserve as evidenced by a willingness to sell 10% below. Shopping They have got a fair few shops on board, and whenever they can will put you off buying on-land, either by telling you a story about how someone got stung for $10k on their credit card (yer right!), or by how any expensive item you buy on land is worthless without a certificate of authenticity (what a gimmick!). I don't know if it was a coincidence, but we always seemed to arrive at the best shopping places on the one day of the week when most of the shops were closed - make of that what you will. Ports Most Scandinavian ports were fairly quiet, clean, and not much going on. St Petersburg was as good as you'd hope, though clearing immigration was a nightmare, a riot all most broke out after the port police started advising people to push in front of people who had already being queuing for an hour. Princess' attitude was that it wasn't their responsibility. Overall: I enjoyed this cruise, I usually use my reviews to point out the best and worst aspects, so although I've written a few negative things, don't let it put you off too much, a lot went right, and we mostly had a good time. Still prefer Celebrity though! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015

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