426 Copenhagen Family Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise through my travel agent who booked a large group cruise with friends. This was my first NCL cruise and I was disappointed in the ship. It was very crowded and the buffet was horrendous. I am used to Royal Caribbean ... Read More
I chose this cruise through my travel agent who booked a large group cruise with friends. This was my first NCL cruise and I was disappointed in the ship. It was very crowded and the buffet was horrendous. I am used to Royal Caribbean whose ships are amazing. Other cruise lines don't use their space wisely like RCCL and have tiny public areas whereas RCCL has massive promenades with beautiful wide open public areas and beautiful multi-level lobbies. I have cruised RCCL, Carnival, Celebrity and now Norwegian and unfortunately Norwegian comes in last in ratings. Food in the dining rooms was not impressive at all. I found the food in the buffet better than in the dining rooms but the arrangement was horrible and you could barely move for the people. All of the complimentary restaurants had the same menu and the menu in the dining rooms was almost the same every night. The variety was horrible. Activities were VERY limited and very boring. On every other cruise I've been on the cruise directors are always very interactive with the guests in many activities such as deck parties, line dancing, etc. I never saw or heard from the cruise director unless we went to a show. There were no deck parties, no activities, nothing. There is a huge beautiful area on the back of the ship known as H2O which is a waste of space because there was not one activity back there. The Breakaway brochure and website advertised "dance the night away at H2O after a night at Bliss nightclub". We were looking very forward to activities at H2O but not ONE THING took place there. Very disappointing! My balcony room was VERY nice and immmaculate. My biggest complaint about cruise ships now (and they are all doing it) is how large public areas are walled off for elite guests only. The Haven looks like it encompasses a large Solarium pool area which is not available to "common" guests. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY ABSURD!! Stuff like this is why I am pulling away from cruising. This is not right. We were unable to dock in Sweden because of high winds which is understandable but I have been in this situation before and the other cruise lines always offered small perks for the disappointment such as a day of free internet usage, free drinks or free movies in the rooms. The Breakaway offered NOTHING. We even asked since we were out to sea could we have 30 minutes of free wifi and the answer was no. I have never experienced this on other cruise lines before. Also, it was announced that a new activity schedule was being printed once we knew we couldn't dock and this was a JOKE because there were NO activities other than the usual boring Bingo, etc. This is the FIRST time I have ever been bored to tears on a cruise and this was my 35th cruise. Every other cruise line has sail away parties with themed food of the port of call on the pool decks but the Breakaway had nothing, not even fun pool activities of any kind involving staff members. I am not impressed AT ALL with Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This cruise offered all of the ports we had been wanting to go to. We were with several family members and good friends which made it extra special. The ship was beautiful and spotless. Great service from all staff. This was the ... Read More
This cruise offered all of the ports we had been wanting to go to. We were with several family members and good friends which made it extra special. The ship was beautiful and spotless. Great service from all staff. This was the largest ship we have sailed on which made the Horizon dining area seem quite busy but I enjoyed many of the other dining options (Alfredo's Pizza, Sushi bar, International Cafe, dining rooms). For having so many people, the service still felt warm and personal which was great. Great entertainment and lots of variety. The one disappointment was not having a large walking/running deck that went all the way around the ship but everything else was great. The embarkation was the very best and quickest I have had on any ship on any cruise line. Super impressive and easy which was a great start to the trip. I have never before needed medical service on a ship. I didn't this time but two in our party did and it was efficient, affordable and so comforting to have, especially with some elderly travelers in our party. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We enjoyed our cruise on the beautiful Norwegian Breakaway immensely. We started in Copenhagen the day before and just did a canal cruise, Tivoli Gardens, and walked around. Copenhagen was somewhat crowded and we just looked forward to ... Read More
We enjoyed our cruise on the beautiful Norwegian Breakaway immensely. We started in Copenhagen the day before and just did a canal cruise, Tivoli Gardens, and walked around. Copenhagen was somewhat crowded and we just looked forward to getting on the ship. The day we embarked the clouds rolled in and it poured. The checkin process was very quick and smooth and we ran to the ship in the rain, but so glad to be on board! Let me say right away the crew and staff were excellent. Everyone tried so hard to keep the almost 4,000 passengers efficiently fed, entertained, in the know, and able to find their way here and there. The question and answer sessions with the ship department heads and captain and the ship port talks were always informative. The department heads even met with our Cruise Critic group one morning on a sea day. I have heard complaints about the food. Don't believe it. The food in all the dining areas we visited was superb. And such attention to detail and service by the wait staff! We had the Drink package and they were constantly asking us what we wanted to drink next. We did not do any specialty dining, because we found the food and entertainment in the Manhattan Room superb. We also ate in Taste and Savor and while the food was just as savory, we liked the atmosphere of the Manhattan Room. We especially enjoyed the night when we shared a table with two other couples and got to know them. Part of the fun of cruising is meeting new people and this ship certainly afforded that. Our favorite ports were Berlin (so much history but only one day there!) and St Petersburg. We also loved Tallin, but it was smaller, very crowded, and mostly was a town for walking, shopping, and eating. Having five ports in a row was tough on the body, but we got up early every day, looking forward to our adventures. Berlin was amazing. We want to go back there and spend time in the museums. We had a private tour with about 25 people and a good tour guide, but there is just SO MUCH to see there (Brandenburg gate, Jewish Holocaust Memorial, Alexanderplatz, the WALL,etc). The architecture is amazing. St Petersburg - WOW - I would like for the ship to add another day in port there. Two days was just not enough. We arranged a private tour for a Cruise Critic group of about 12 people. This worked out so well, as we were able to move quickly, and we were in a small van, not a large Megabus. We saw it all and our tour guide, being from there and young and smart, did an excellent job. BEST EXCURSIONS was the tour group. We were charged $230 per person, half of what the ship was charging and we saw all of the same sites, had two delicious lunches included, a hydrofoil ride included to Peterhof, all museum admissions included. It was a bargain! We were a little disappointed in the Helsinki port, as it was not architecturally or historically as interesting. We did a HOP ON HOP OFF bus, which was not worth the price. We could have just as well taken the metro around town. Stockholm was a joy. We had to ride an hour into town on the HOP ON HOP OFF bus, and then took the HOP ON HOP OFF boat to the Abba Museum, which was so much fun and interactive. We figured the VASA museum was crowded. This was a very good idea! We recorded songs interactively with Abba. FUN...the museum is in a nice area if you want lunch too. But we took the HOP ON HOP OFF bus back to the town by the castle and did the market, ate a reindeer burger, walked around some more, then boarded the HOP ON HOP OFF bus back to the ship. I would love to do another day in Stockholm. SO OUR suggestion is to skip Helsinki, add a Berlin, St Petersburg, and Stockholm (or Norway port), and make this a 12-day cruise! We met so many nice folks on the ship. There were many large groups from all over the world. A couple of groups were pushy and loud, but for the most part, people were courteous. I agree with another Cruise critic entry that the entertainment was not up to the usual standards. The theater was too small. We had heard the ROck the Ages show was raunchy and did not attend. This was NOT the type of crowd for a vulgar show. We loved BURN THE FLOOR. Amazing talent. While the FLYBOYS were talented, their show of 30s and 40s music did not appeal. We really loved the PIANO players and Arvin and Emily in the Atrium are the BEST! We loved the Beatles performer. All in all, good entertainment in the small areas, but the theatre acts were not up to par and we do not want to pay for entertainment like Cirque de Soleil on a ship. Take this cruise. We will return to NCL and the Breakaway as we loved the ship. The experience was very much worth the money. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Wanted to do a Baltic cruise and overall had a very good experience on the Breakaway, were in a Mini-Suite with large balcony, cabin was great, balcony (or the behavior of other passengers was a disappointment, see cabin comments), kids ... Read More
Wanted to do a Baltic cruise and overall had a very good experience on the Breakaway, were in a Mini-Suite with large balcony, cabin was great, balcony (or the behavior of other passengers was a disappointment, see cabin comments), kids also thoroughly enjoyed their activities and kids staff on the cruise. Food - Prepaid for 3 Specialty Meals, had these at Brazilian, Teppanyaki and Cirque Dreams; Brazilian probably a slightly underwhelming experience, if we were to do the same package again would probably try Cagney's instead, meat itself was good, however pace seemed to vary with no servers then every server then none again, and for the $30pp I think it was I'd say the food wasn't that much better than other options. Teppanyaki was a fun night with the kids, it's all about the show and our server was pretty entertaining, plenty of food and overall an Excellent meal. Cirque Dreams again a great night out, the show was best on the cruise, not sure why it doesn't fill up? Food was good but the entertainment was outstanding, definitely wouldn't hesitate to go again if we were on another cruise with Cirque. Dining Rooms, this was our first Freestyle experience on a cruise, have to say we missed getting to know the restaurant staff and the benefits you get when they understand your families habits/choices etc. I guess we could have gone to same table same restaurant each night to get some of this feel, however with first trying Manhattan, which we found too noisy, one night off the ship and 3 specialty meals half the cruise is gone already before you find a preferred dining spot, so didn't get this typical cruise interaction which we missed. The other disappointment with dining rooms was the food portions which were pretty small, we typically left and went past the buffet to grab something else to snack on, having said that on one night I did ask for a second entree and was given it without question. French restaurant - One night the kids wanted to go with friends/counselors for dinner so we tried to go to the French restaurant for a special meal, downside was without reservation they only had outside seating, while this would have been fine the smoke smell from casino up one floor wasn't conducive to us enjoying that so somewhat off-putting for meals. Buffet - Good selection however gets a bit crowded on mornings in port, so timing is critical otherwise you can find yourself walking around for 10 mins trying to find a table. Bars - Great service at all bars from staff, wait at the Martini bar was usually long, maybe because of complexity of drinks however also always seemed to be short on staff. Ice bar a novelty but not really a $100 odd worth for two adults and two kids... Ship overall was great, plenty of activities, elevators get a bit crowded at times but that's to be expected, we arrived before 12 for embarkation and were onboard in less than an hour, no delays on debarkation either. Ports were great, we self toured Warnemunde (didn't like the thought of the 6+ hours travel involved with Berlin), Tallin taxis were easy to get around, toured with SPG in St Petersburg who were great, taxi into Helsinki for $20 and caught train into Stockholm (follow the blue line from ship), and thoroughly enjoyed all the ports. As we'd read Immigration/debarkation for tours etc. is somewhat of a nightmare in Russia, so allow an 1-1/2+ hours for that process on the first day, however that was a minor inconvenience as we were prepared. Entertainment - Went to a few shows, enjoyed Cirque probably the most, especially with the kids. Burn the floor was well Choreographed and enjoyable, left the magic show after an hour, the talking in several languages, whilst I admire the talent, we felt distracted from and seemed to be padding for the show, I think after an hour we'd only seen 3 tricks! And we'd rate Rock of Ages as OK. Overall enjoyed the ship and activities, ports were great, kids were well catered for, felt Freestyle dining had it's positives and negatives, ship and cabins well appointed and staff overall great, will cruise with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I took my immediate family of 9 with me on a special family cruise to the Baltic. We indulged in the Haven for the first time and I must say, this is the only way to cruise. Expensive yes, but if you really want to be pampered this is ... Read More
I took my immediate family of 9 with me on a special family cruise to the Baltic. We indulged in the Haven for the first time and I must say, this is the only way to cruise. Expensive yes, but if you really want to be pampered this is the way to cruise on Norwegian. My wife and I took the Breakaway on the same itinerary two months prior with another couple. In that situation we stayed in the non-Haven mini-suites and got a very typical experience with Norwegian. Generally good ship, good ports, good entertainment, average dining, etc. In round two we went Haven and my wife and I are asking ourselves why we did not do this sooner. We booked 2 - two bedroom suites for 4 couples (our adult children and spouses) and and a two year old (our grandson) and the amount of room was just right (albeit the second bedroom a bit tight). The private dining room, bar, pool, sauna, hot tubs etc. made the whole trip civilized by comparison to the general experience had just two months prior. The service from butler to concierge, housekeeping, bar tenders, waiters, etc. are the best the ship has to offer and they did not miss a beat in making the experience memorable. On this cruise we laid back a bit on the excursions, since we went full bore on the June cruise. Instead of going to Berlin on a long 2 1/2 hour train ride each way we decided to go to Wismer (a small town about 1 hour from the port). We toured the area leaving the ship later and returning earlier, yet had a very nice time. In Helsinki we enjoyed the indoor ice park. Gave my grandson his first ride on a real dog sled and climbed around igloos. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We wanted to cruise the Baltic in August 2018 and looked for the most luxurious line. To start on a positive note, the suites were beautiful, clean and spacious. TV programming, including movies was excellent. Internet was fair, but ... Read More
We wanted to cruise the Baltic in August 2018 and looked for the most luxurious line. To start on a positive note, the suites were beautiful, clean and spacious. TV programming, including movies was excellent. Internet was fair, but only after purchasing the 'premium' version at some $ 150, the type of nickel-and-diming that we did not expect. Shore excursions were good, but very expensive. The cabins of most of our group members were very noisy and shaking, especially when the ship was moving. This is something we never experienced before (and we are seasoned cruise guests). This did impact our sleep negatively.. The handicapped facilities were so-so, no handrails on toilet. Food.. La Terrazza was fine, although the 'free' red wine was disappointing Spaccanapoli.. If we would come across pizza like that, we would walk away. Same for the burgers at the grill. Horrible. Indochine was fine, and so was Seishin ($ 40 per person additional) Also, frequently, restaurants were not able to seat us (we were a party of 12). At Seabourn, this never happened. Changes to menu items were usually not possible, let alone waiting staff remembering what guests liked (like, again, at Seabourn) Our cruise with Silversea was satisfactory, but not the best value for money. We will not return. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Mainly chose the cruise for St. Petersburg but the whole itinerary was amazing. Flew into Copenhagen a day prior and was able to walk around town and see the sites. Boarded the next day and boarding could not have been easier. We ... Read More
Mainly chose the cruise for St. Petersburg but the whole itinerary was amazing. Flew into Copenhagen a day prior and was able to walk around town and see the sites. Boarded the next day and boarding could not have been easier. We purchased the Ultimate Explorer excursion package and added on Best of Estonia and a Night of Russian Ballet. This turned out to be a good idea. Our first port was Warnemunde and a train ride into Berlin. Our guide was Heike and she was very good as were all of our tour guides. We saw the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Wall and checkpoint Charlie. It was a nice tour but we would have preferred a little more time in some areas such as the Brandenburg Gate and Wilhelm Church than the time we had at checkpoint Charlie which was mostly a cheesy photo opp. Wilhelm church turned out to be a very interesting jewel we found during a shopping stop. We had train problems on the return trip and were delayed almost three hours so we were glad to be on an NCL excursion. Then we had a day at sea. Our next port was Tallinn Estonia and our tour guide was Annie. She did a great job and we had the opportunity to hear her personal experiences during the occupation. We saw Estonia castle and the wall which was built between1200-1500. Lunch was included with their dark bread and the best piece of chicken I have had in my life. I’m not sure how they did this for a large crowd of almost 400 people. Here though, I would have preferred more time seeing the wall and its history. Next was St. Petersburg. Our tour guide here for two days was Julie and she was great. It’s hard to come up with words to describe what we saw. From the Church of Spilled Blood, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Hermitage, Catherine’s Palace, Swan Lake at the ballet, to the Winter Palace, it is wonderfully overwhelming. We saw Rembrandt’s Return of the Prodigal Son, the Peacock Clock, Michaelangelo’s sculpture, and the Jasper Stone. All of these items were removed during WWII to protect them except the Jasper Stone which was too big so the whole room was sandbagged. The palaces with all of the gold was absolutely amazing and has to be seen to believe. Everything we saw was amazing and linking it to the history was fascinating. This description is a minute part of what we saw. AMAZING!!!!!! Then we were off to Helsinki. Our guide was Matti and she did a great job. The outdoor theater where they get more than a thousand people to sing was beautiful and would have been nice to hear. We saw the city building where Trump and Putin met and Porvoo. After seeing all of this we wondered what Stockholm could have to offer. Turns out it was able to hold its own. Unfortunately, we had to dock at Nynashamn. This was disappointing because it would have been amazing to sail through the archipelago. Our guide was Eleonora and once again she did a great job. We had time at the Vasa museum to see the Vasa which sank on its maiden voyage and was fully recovered. We then had the opportunity to explore other parts of Stockholm and it’s an amazing city. We saw the reception hall in city hall with the 19 mm tiles in the gold room and the changing of the guard. On the way back to the boat we stopped high on the hill to get an overview of the city. Once again, not enough time and not enough words to describe all we saw. Another day at sea and then one last day in Copenhagen. We opted for the hop on hop off bus and it was a great idea except for the rain. Had to run down to see the little mermaid and then decided to grab a bite out of the rain. We ate at Jensens Boefhus and had a wonderful meal and service. We had wonderful weather the whole week until this final day but it was topped off with a double rainbow so I’ll keep complaints to a minimum. The next day we were off to the airport to head home. Oops. American Airlines changed our flight to one two hours earlier and only notified us via email which we did not see on the cruise. It was changed to a flight two hours earlier so we missed it. There is also no AA assistance there so we were scrambling to find and make a flight. Fortunately a lady from Aviator, Malene Botner, contacted AA and was able to get us a flight. It was going to get us in at midnight instead of 10 pm but no big deal. then when we landed in JFK, We received notification, the proper way in a text, that our Chicago to Pittsburgh flight was canceled and they had us booked home the next day. Fortunately there were some people there with some sense and we were able to rebook through Charlotte and get home that night. American has some serious manageman and systems problems. Overall, an amazing vacation. So I rated the entertainment as poor for a couple reasons. One, this is a mega ship. Every night the theater was packed because it was TOO SMALL. There were no balconies and to me seemed poorly planned which is disappointing because NCL has been in the business long enough to figure out flow problems. To me this was a design error. I’m not sure the capacity but I’m guessing 1000-1200 seats on a ship with 5000 passengers. BAD. Plus with the exception of the violinist and Burn the Floor, the entertainment quality was not there. It also seems they are trying to shock people with the entertainment we have seen on our last two cruises. Lots of f bombs without meaning. I’m not a prude but I found the crew spitting water fountains on a previous cruise to be much more entertaining than Rock of Ages or Priscilla. Also, the buffet ran out of coffee cups at breakfast and then started putting out paper cups. How does this happen? Not just one day either. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise because of the sailing dates and ports and had an amazing family holiday. This is a great way to see the many different destinations in the Baltic and we really enjoyed our time in every port. Except Stockholm, which ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the sailing dates and ports and had an amazing family holiday. This is a great way to see the many different destinations in the Baltic and we really enjoyed our time in every port. Except Stockholm, which was a 50-minute drive, the ports were close to the city so we were able to maximize our time in every place. We explored some destinations on our own (Tallinn, Warnemunde and Stockholm) and booked excursions for the others. We liked the Hop On Hop Of buses as an easy and convenient way to explore the cities without having to commit to guided tours. We didn't go to Berlin as we visited before and didn't really want to do the long journey into Berlin from Warnemunde on the first cruise day. I think a longer port stay is needed to see Berlin properly. (you can also board the ship here so that's an option on this cruise). Our cabin was spacious, modern and clean and our room attendant was super efficient and friendly. He made our daughter's bed every evening and changed it back into a living room sofa during the day which was great and very thoughtful. Really comfortable beds, big shower and good storage space for our family of three. We enjoyed breakfast and pre-dinner drinks in the Haven Lounge on most days, ate at the three main dining rooms, O'Sheehan's and Garden Cafe and all our meals were great. We had a specialty dining package which we used for the Le Bistro, the Cirque show dinner and La Cucina, which was our least favorite. We also tried the Noodle Bar which was ok. Not sure I would book the specialty dining package again as there were a lot of options available as part of the complimentary dining program. We really liked Rock of Ages and the Cirque dinner show, Burn the Floor was nice but not our favorite. Embarkation/disembarkation was super fast and convenient at every port and service overall was excellent throughout our stay. We did the Back of House tour on the last sea day and really enjoyed that too. Our daughter liked the Kids Club, rope park and mini golf and she had a great time in the Aqua Park as well. We used the gym on most days, which was very spacious with modern equipment. I had a massage in the Spa which was lovely, but didn't like the fact that the therapist tried to sell me all sorts of products after the treatment. We took the unlimited wifi package and that worked well throughout our stay. You can only connect one device at the time, but switching between them was pretty easy and straightforward. I can highly recommend this cruise for families with children, the ship caters well to all age groups and there is plenty to do for kids of most ages. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
There are many factors that will influence overall ratings: The ship, the food, the service, the destination visited/itinerary. These are all within the cruise line control. Weather, how smooth the ride was is much more subjective and ... Read More
There are many factors that will influence overall ratings: The ship, the food, the service, the destination visited/itinerary. These are all within the cruise line control. Weather, how smooth the ride was is much more subjective and can sometimes make an ok trip wonderful or the other way around. Being on the Disney Magic for 10 nights, on the once a year Norway-Iceland-Scotland cruise proved to be pretty magical. This was my 4th Disney Cruise (Bahamian and Caribbean before, on the 3 other ships) and this one was the best by a far margin - primarily due to the destinations visited but also the top notch service, excellent food, and great entertainment throughout Ship: The Magic is the oldest ship in the Disney fleet and at time, it will show as it is a bit more prone to maintenance issues and minor deficiencies than other ship. However, this is also a ship that is very special to Disney and they are taking great care of it. Common areas are in great shape and the Magic is overall is really nice mid-size ship. Its size allows you to get to know staff, other people on the ship and experience almost all areas - especially on such a long itinerary Cabin: Standard Disney cabin with Verandah. Verandah is oversized with a whitewall due to far AFT position. Other than a smell coming from the drain, this was a pleasant room: Comfortable bed, nice balcony, ample space, nice split bathroom with full bath/shower. Being far AFT, it is subject to some shaking - and I did find it to be a tad too much on a few occasions while cruising - (normal for these rooms to shake a bit when boat goes in reverse or turns around) Dining: Food quality was excellent at all main rotational dining restaurant. A bit disappointed though in the food one one of the night at Rapunzel Royal Table. Presentation and taste was great throughout. Main buffet (Cabanas) served really good quality food throughout the trip - but lacked a bit of variety. Very interesting options in the quick serve areas (eg: Gyros/schwarma), good pizzas from Pinocchio. Pretty good soft-serve ice cream too (better than what they have in the Caribbean, and it does actually have time to freeze!) Entertainment: This is Disney. Disney Dream show is a great finale. Kids Club has plenty of activities Shore excursions: Pretty decent in Kristiansand, Alesund, Stavanager and Reykjavik - although pricey. Less impressive in Invergordon. All in, would do it again in a heartbeat. Disney is a notch above the other cruise lines and on this cruise, they really went "all in". 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
Sail Date August 2018
This is our secund cruise with MSC Preziosa. This time we cruised to Baltic. The tour of the cities is magical. My family was most thrilled with St. Petersburg and Tallin. Definitive recommendation for a mandatory visit. You will not ... Read More
This is our secund cruise with MSC Preziosa. This time we cruised to Baltic. The tour of the cities is magical. My family was most thrilled with St. Petersburg and Tallin. Definitive recommendation for a mandatory visit. You will not see this kind of beauty anywhere. Do not forget to book a trip to Petersurg in advance because you do not pay an additional 15%, and you have to consider that many people need a visa to enter the city at all (if you do not have a trip you can not go out of the ship). Do not get caught in Tallinn with transportation - center is very close and you can walk all around. Note to those who come from the Mediterranean. Do not forget the warm clothes !!! There is a big difference in temperatures. We went with 36 degrees of Celzius and landed in Copenhagen at 16 !!! For us the gluten free food was excellent (although last year at Meraviglia much better). They have homemade pasta that is really great. Cakes are not something (just biscuit with cream and always the same. Ice cream perfect ! They have a good gluten free bar with a educated waiter. . For breakfast be careful!!!- you must warn the waiter for contamination (they dont know it). Music was terrible. I did not go to the theater for the first time because they are very similar every year. The kids enjoyed it. If I sumarize: good gluten free food and beauty of the Baltic - I recommend it !!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Very nice ship with great food and variety of specialty restaurants. Excellent entertainment. Cabin was very nice (mini suite). Booked again on it for a Jan 19 cruise in cabin C 427. The ship is also easy to get around without ... Read More
Very nice ship with great food and variety of specialty restaurants. Excellent entertainment. Cabin was very nice (mini suite). Booked again on it for a Jan 19 cruise in cabin C 427. The ship is also easy to get around without getting lost. The pizza was the best I've had on any ship, and I could actually get popcorn for watching the movie under the stars. Overall Princess is definitely out favorite cruise line. Our next cruise in Jan, 2020 will be our fifth on Princess and I'm sure there will be many more to come. Embarkation is by far the best with the Regal Princess that we have ever had on the 25 cruises we've been on. It makes so much sense to get the the terminal and get right on the ship with out having to wait for ever in the terminal and then the long lines etc. I wish all ships / cruise lines would do this. I truly believe it makes it better for the passengers as well as the crew Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We boarded the cruise ship in Copenhagen and overall it was a great cruise. As always Princess's embarkation and disembarkation was quick and seamless. All events like muster and the captains welcome party was very well coordinated. ... Read More
We boarded the cruise ship in Copenhagen and overall it was a great cruise. As always Princess's embarkation and disembarkation was quick and seamless. All events like muster and the captains welcome party was very well coordinated. However due to the number of people onboard, it can get very crowded and uncomfortable in the Promenade deck especially with the stalls set up its really feels like a flea market! I have concerns over cross contamination on the ship. The satinisers at the Horizon is at the entrance and unmanned and many cruisers just walk in without sanitising their hands. Also i have grave issue of cruisers refilling their water bottles at the water dispensers inspite there being a sign there discouraging cruisers from doing so. No one seems to care. Some bottles are reused mineral water bottles and the spout are inserted to the mouthpiece and its really gross. If the water in the cabins are drinkable then Princess should do away with allowing cruisers to refill their water bottles. Another issue we faced was the hard sell by the dining staff. Everday we are pressurised to dine at the specialty restaurants or purchase lemoncello. Its unpleasant. Overall we had a good cruise and i will cruise with Princess again but maybe with a smaller ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was my second time on a Baltic Cruise and my 2nd time to all ports of call. Even though not new, I really enjoyed this cruise. It was my first time on this ship and only my third time with Royal Caribbean. As with any cruise there ... Read More
This was my second time on a Baltic Cruise and my 2nd time to all ports of call. Even though not new, I really enjoyed this cruise. It was my first time on this ship and only my third time with Royal Caribbean. As with any cruise there were some negatives. Primarily on the up selling and nickel and dime game RC has become. But otherwise I enjoyed the trip very much. Copenhagen is an easy port to use, embarkation was done well and easily. Sea days were relaxing. I enjoyed being on a smaller sized ship. Nothing ever felt crowded and there were always seats and very few lines for anything. The ship is decorated well and bright. The only time things felt busy were breakfast at the windjameer. Especially on sea days. We had a 3rd level inside cabin. No issues at all. It was quite and cool. We experienced great weather on this trip that we were able to enjoy the outdoor areas. The room attendant was great and so was the wait staff. As expected the food in the MDR was good to very good every night. I find this to be the case for European cruises over Caribbean cruises. Windjammer food was good most of the time as well. The cities you see on the Baltics are great. There is so much to see especially in Stockholm and St. Petersberg. Which we have more time there. Estonia a long port day in old town is enough, as well as Helsinki. Make sure you enjoy the departure from Stockholm, some of the most scenic cruising I ever seen. I did not do much on the entertainment side, but what I saw that was offered was good. Activities were not a ton, but it is a smaller ship. The art auctions were LONG though. They give a 10:45 registration but don't start until 11:30-11:45. WAY too long and not enjoyable at all for that long. I hated bingo being electronic and also that they charge for a bingo pen. As typical on a European cruise the casino was never very busy but the staff was good. I was with a larger group so we took shore excursions at all ports. I think they were all very good and did a good job for the time they have. For St. Petersberg is always good to have the longest possible tour given the visa restrictions. Overall, I could not have asked for a better cruise. Copenhagen was easy to disembark from too. And make sure to stay a few days prior or after there as well. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our 3rd NCL cruise having previously cruised on the Jade and Spirit. We were apprehensive going on a larger ship but boy we were not disappointed. The size caters for all the passengers and there is plenty of space to find your ... Read More
This was our 3rd NCL cruise having previously cruised on the Jade and Spirit. We were apprehensive going on a larger ship but boy we were not disappointed. The size caters for all the passengers and there is plenty of space to find your own peace and quiet if required. We travelled with a 15 year old who stated it was the best ship experience he had ever had. Getting to the port from Copenhagen by train was hard work. Once out of the train station we waited an hour for a bus that did not arrive, we then started walking towards the port and then stopped at another bus stop. If you are going to get off at Ostoport and it is peak season I suggest you take a taxi (approx 10 minutes)and save yourself all the aggravation. Note the buses only take cash, no cards. Embarkation was fast and easy as was the process at all the ports. The ship layout is very good. As expected the pool area;s get very busy. We used the H2Ospice bar at the back of the ship which although is adult only there was always plenty of deck space and seats. The bar managed by John is very good and was the place we hung out watching the sun set. Our teenager loved the slides and the genral facilities The entertainment is very good although we chose not to see a show, the bars and singers were 1st class, especially the male vocalist in the whiskey bare. We tried all 3 complimentary restaurants and they were by far the best we have exdperienced on NCL cruises. Can get busy but we never waitied longer than a couple of minutes for a table. We paid extra for Cagneys, Blue Ocean and the Italian. We had 2 nights in Cagneys and the first experience was very good but the 2nd visit was very disappointing. Poor service ruined the evening. We were offered to attend another restaurant so we chose the italian which was fantasic. A special thank you to Ruben and his team for an excellent meal and service. The ports were very good, we enjoyed Warnenunde and spenttime on the beech and shopping as well as taking the teenager on a fast speed boat. Estonia was very busy as there was 4 cruise ships in at the same time. My advice would be to stay on the ship and get off at diner time once all the grounds have died down. It is a short walk into the town which is worth a visit. St Petersburg disembarkation is long and we spent 40 minutes waiting to get through passport control, well worth the wait. We booked the city highlight tour with TJ tours, so much cheaper than booking with the cruise. Out tour guide Victoria was exceptionally, we got in all the palaces before the crowds and her knowledge was excellent. We walked into Helsinki no need to book a tour as you can walk into the city within 15 minutes. The markets are very good and reasonable. Stockolm was an hours train ride away but worth the effort. We walked to the station following the painted lines to the train station. Buy your tickets from the machine on the platform but be aware that you can only purchase 1 ticket at a time. If you purchase them from the shop they charge you more. Stockolm is a wonderful city, perhaps the most scenic of all the cities on the tour. Definatly worth a visit to the palace and watching the changing of the guards. We would definalty travel on the breakaway again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Overall our experience on the Breakaway was positive, my main complaint would be the short time we spent in some ports or the long distances back to the ship – Stockholm is an issue because they dock in Nynashamn; Berlin (if you choose ... Read More
Overall our experience on the Breakaway was positive, my main complaint would be the short time we spent in some ports or the long distances back to the ship – Stockholm is an issue because they dock in Nynashamn; Berlin (if you choose to go into the city) is a 3 hour trip and we had an early departure in Helsinki. I felt we were always rushed to get back to the ship. We did not go on any NCL organized excursions. Having read previous reviews regarding dining madness on the Breakaway with people grabbing food left, right and center I was somewhat concerned before boarding the ship but I must say our dining experience was uneventful and nothing like the craziness others have described. We mostly ate at the Garden Café buffet but did eat at Savor several times (if you go early, before it is busy, you can avoid the cold food issue others have mentioned). Savor was ok (same menu as Manhattan's and Taste), one of the three meals was very good the other two middling. The buffet food was typical of mass feeding quality but the variety was good. Each night had a theme (i.e. Russian night, American night etc) but the standard fare was always available. Seating can be troublesome at the Garden Café if you go when it is busy. We had a mini suite which is not a suite at all, but simply a room with three beds and a slightly larger bathroom than the average cabin and a small balcony. The room was quiet however (we were on deck 12) and the porter kept it clean; sitting on the balcony was nice. Other than sleeping time we were rarely in the room so it served its purpose. We boarded the ship in Copenhagen having spent several days in the city to help adjust to the time change. We had no issues taking a bus to the port from the city – it takes you right to the ship. We also took the bus back to the airport following the cruise – it was simple (1 change) and you can buy tickets at a machine close to the bus stop (and I would buy tickets because we were checked for valid tickets at some point on the bus ride). Copenhagen is a beautiful city and we just loved it – it is expensive however with 25% sales tax and when converting to Canadian dollars was always a shock ($11.50 for an Ice Coffee, $32.00 for a veggie burger). We stayed in an AirBNB. Embarkation and disembarkment went smoothly. Berlin: Having recently read that Trip Advisor ranked a bike tour of Berlin as the 2nd best rated adventure worldwide we booked a bike tour of the city. Having done this now though I probably would not recommend this for cruisers, the trip to the city in a bus was about 3 hours, it then took about 30 -40 minutes to get to the bike place - the tour including lunch was about 3.5 hours then back on the subway to the bus then the bus ride back to the ship. That is at least 7 hours of travelling for a 3.5 hour tour - the tour was fun but we really zoomed around with stops including the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie (or the more appropriately named Snapchat Charlie now), the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and the Brandenburg Gate. I do like bike tours in general however, beats sitting in a bus and you can't cover enough ground walking. Tallin Estonia is a picturesque small town. We walked off the ship and found a free walking tour by the tourist office in the main square that leaves that departed around noon. I would recommend a guided tour to provide the background to the sites. After the tour we walked around a bit on our own then went back to the ship. The weather was fantastic and the crowds not too bad. St Petersburg. We booked a deluxe tour with Denrus Tours - there were only seven of us on the tour and we saw a lot. Our guide was very knowledgeable and personable and the driver did a great job of getting us through traffic. The tour was very well organized. Going through immigration in St Petersburg is slow on the first day and the ship let those on the NCL excursions go first, but we departed the ship at around 8:30 and met our guide around 9. The Faberge museum was probably the highlight, we rushed through the Hermitage and several churches (I think the guide wanted to get home early on the first day – the tour was supposed to end at 5 but we were back on the ship at 4 having rushed through 2 churches spending about 10 minutes in each.) The food provided on the first day was poor but better on the 2nd. I was surprised to see the European style of many buildings and the spotless art-gallery like subway. In Helsinki we took a bus into town, wondered around the market square a bit (really just a touristy bunch of stalls) then took the ferry to the Suomenlinna fortress island where we walked for a few hours and had a nice luch. The fortress was reasonably interesting and a nice change from walking city streets. We felt rushed in Helsinki however because we had an early departure and had to be back at the ship around 4:00. Stockholm: Because the Breakaway docks in Nynashamn we took the train into the city from our port (about 1 hour including walking time to the train – the path is well marked). Not nearly enough time at this port – there is a lot to see in Stockholm and we were very rushed. It is unfortunate that the ship does not dock in the city; we saw a German cruise ship docked right by the old town. We once again did a free walking tour, it was ok but not great and we explored the old Town mostly on our own. It was recommended that we leave Stockholm on 3:40 train (I believe) to give us plenty of time to get back to the ship if the train was delayed. I would have liked to have stayed a 2nd day here (rather than what seemed like ½ a day). The ship’s onboard entertainment was ok, Burn the Floor had pretty good dancers but a standard dance show and nothing unique or outstanding. The Cirque Jungle Fantasy was good but the performance is only 45 minutes (not including dinner). I have already seen Rock of Ages in Toronto but went to see it again – I thought the performance was good (but not for everyone). There was an untalented magician with an uninspiring show whose last trick failed (he went out with a whimper rather than a bang). The expectation on the ship seems to be that you are there for the ports of call, not to swim. There are limited swimming pools (you can find an adults only section called H2O but this is not strictly enforced). The pools are busy on at-sea days but no one was pushy. The hot tubs seemed underused. The gym had plenty of treadmills and elliptical's and some weight machines. We took a class - it was tough but not worth the money for a 30 minute class (plus you did not get the body fat test etc that was promised). I used the daily roaming plan with my phone which cost $12.00 a day (Canadian). This provided us with adequate coverage and I set up my phone as a hotspot so the kids could use my data and we did not need to pay roaming for all. You have to be careful if you leave the roaming on while you are at sea however because your phone might connect to a satellite instead and this is very expensive (onboard roaming is not available through the phone company). Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This cruise ship is huge! Our teenagers with their friends really enjoyed it. We were 10 in our group and met more. So many restaurants to choose. We love Manhattan because of live music every night. That night when Arvin and Emily were ... Read More
This cruise ship is huge! Our teenagers with their friends really enjoyed it. We were 10 in our group and met more. So many restaurants to choose. We love Manhattan because of live music every night. That night when Arvin and Emily were performing, we can't stop dancing. The dance floor were packed when she sang "Dancing Queen". That was unforgettable, the best night so far. This couple is an asset to this place, they have a very powerful voices. Their talent is on top. We miss them already. The excursions are good except in Stockholm where it was very short and on a hurry because we were at Nynashamn. We don't have enough time to explore much. At least we visited Vasa and Abba museum, a dream come true. St. Petersburg is the best so far. An excellent experience. The food everywhere is great. So many entertainment in this ship. We've been cruising for how many years, but this has the most entertainment that I've experienced. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I am a cruiser who had traveled to many locations. I had traveled with Royal Caribbean 3 times already & decided to try out Norwegian based on their Baltic/Russia itinerary. I was on board Norwegian Breakaway with my family of 4. The ... Read More
I am a cruiser who had traveled to many locations. I had traveled with Royal Caribbean 3 times already & decided to try out Norwegian based on their Baltic/Russia itinerary. I was on board Norwegian Breakaway with my family of 4. The moment we arrived for check in we were split based off of our room numbers. They have a odd & even section based on your deck number. We had deck 9 & 10. Wasn’t expecting to be separated from my family the moment we arrived. Shortly after we performed a extremely unorganized safety drill. We we all placed in the main lobby for quite a long time. Welcoming show for the evening was underwhelming. Nothing exciting but meeting the staff in the theater. Entertainment on board was disappointing. You had to make reservations for shows. Never experienced that before. The music all around the ship was extremely repetitive. The same singers with same songs by the pool & in the lobby for 9 days. The layout of the entire ship & the entertainment decks are very flawed. Each deck was blocked off for the ships revenue or the Haven members. It was not possible to walk around an entire exterior deck without being denied access. The flow was very choppy. Additionally, the non accessible heli-pad was dissappointing. The pool decks were standard. Smoking section was located directly infront of the main pool. For non smokers this is bothersome. The Garden Cafè was very different layout from many other cruises. It is a very long hallway of buffet food with people going in every direction. It can get very crowded. The variety of food was lacking especially for vegetarians. The desserts were served in frustrating cabinets that needed to be lifted. This caused many messy accidents. The staff did a good job clearing dirty plates. Shore excursions were extremely pricey. Did my homework prior to sailing and booked cheaper liscensed tours. WiFi was good. Got 250 complimentary minutes. Disembarking for Russia was a hot mess. Put us all in the theater & gave priority to excursions booked with Norwegian to exit first. Lines for guest services in the lobby were way too long. Overall my experience on Norwegian Breakeay was standard. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We have wanted to do this trip for many years. We waited until our daughters were 15 & 12 and we also traveled with my parents 83 & 79. Everything was perfect from our room steward to the many restaurants options,entertainment, ... Read More
We have wanted to do this trip for many years. We waited until our daughters were 15 & 12 and we also traveled with my parents 83 & 79. Everything was perfect from our room steward to the many restaurants options,entertainment, bartenders & staff! We ate in Cagneys twice(our favorite), Moderno once and La Cucina once as well as Savor, Taste and the Manhattan dining room. It was great having music and a dance floor there. The shows were fantastic as well. We really enjoyed Burnin up the floor, the dueling pianos and the rock bands at Sid Normans. We loved the various ports, the beauty and architecture. Other than Stockholm, (NCL excursion)we booked private tours on our own which were terrific. Our daughters loved the combination of the tours and learning about these fabulous countries and then going back and having fun on this terrific ship with the watersides and activities. We got lucky with the weather, it was perfect! The staff was the friendliest we have had in the past and fellow cruisers were so polite and engaging. It was a perfect mix of people from all over the world and various ages. We love NCL and this was our favorite ship and itinerary. We would definitely do this cruise again although it is fun trying different things and not sure we can top this experience again. We stayed in Copenhagen for 3 nights(Marriott) before boarding the ship which was awesome as well. The embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly considering the size of the ship and number of passengers. It was seamless. Our daughters haven’t stopped talking about the trip since we’ve been home:) Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise as an interesting trip to Europe with the convenience of cruising. We traveled with our 2 children, 10 and 13. This review will focus on the ship itself as my full trip report including ports of call can be found here: ... Read More
We chose this cruise as an interesting trip to Europe with the convenience of cruising. We traveled with our 2 children, 10 and 13. This review will focus on the ship itself as my full trip report including ports of call can be found here: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2663008 Embarking in Copenhagen: We took a city bus to the terminal. As we arrived early we were able to get boarding group 1, and were on the ship by 11:30. Luggage arrived by afternoon. We enjoyed exploring the ship, ate lunch in the buffet. Stateroom: We were in 5774 which is a large family stateroom with window, midship. It is very convenient to all facilities/venues on 6/7/8 and also to the disembarkation deck. The room was extremely spacious, had lots of storage, a double sink and a bathtub. It had a large window with a ledge you could sit on. Plenty of room under bed for suitcases. Couch that folds out plus upper pulldown berth as well as large bed with curtain to divide into 2 cabin sections. Perfect size! Very clean, plenty of towels. We had some trouble with the toilet Dining: we had 3 specialty dinners included for 2 of us and then we bought a package for the kids. The kids enjoyed eating dinner at the buffet while we adults would normally eat elsewhere. For specialty meals, we went to: -Moderno. Good Brazilian steakhouse. It has a great salad bar, meat was quite good -Teppanyaki. Good show of cooking food, everything tasted good -Cagneys. Good upscale steakhouses atmosphere, good food, great dessert. Service was so-so Other meals: -Shanghai noodle bar. Pretty good, not up to the standard of Asian food we are used to in CA, but we went there twice -sushi bar: excellent sushi, very well priced -O’sheahans: ok -taste/savor (main) ok, slow service Breakfast: Garden buffet: madhouse, we avoided when possible Moderno breakfast buffet: tranquil, slightly smaller selection but quite comprehensive We didn’t go to any sitdowns for breakfast Activities: We were not on the ship much, and when we were we were too tired to do much -Escape the big top (escape room/puzzle challenge). Not widely advertised, sign up at guest services on the first day. Lots of fun -rock of ages: great 80s rock music and cast. Definitely not for anyone who isn’t interested in 80s rock music, or who is sensitive to some crassness -bowl at the moon dueling piano bar: lots of fun -casino: I played some slots, won $20 -shopping: good selection. We didn’t buy anything on the ship -art auction: interesting pieces on display, not something we participated in -mini golf: cute little course, played a couple of times. -bowling: played once, pricey -pool: main pool lots of kids. Parents did not seem to supervise much. There was a bored looking lifeguard, she did not enforce any pool rules. Did not look at adult pool Shore excursions: see my trip report. Favorites were Tallin and St Petersburg, plus Copenhagen where we spent a few days. We only did 1 NCL excursion and did not care for it. Kids activities: 10 y/o would not try kids club. 13 y/o spent a lot of time at teen club when we were on board Disembarking: did “self assist” since we were so close to disembarkation deck. Easy. We were not ready to put out our cases the night before Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our third cruise and our first with NCL — we’re never going back. Carnival truly is the Walmart of cruising... We chose this cruise simply because we liked the itinerary. We would have never visited Tallinn or Warnemünde ... Read More
This was our third cruise and our first with NCL — we’re never going back. Carnival truly is the Walmart of cruising... We chose this cruise simply because we liked the itinerary. We would have never visited Tallinn or Warnemünde had we not done this cruise. We also wanted to avoid the rowdy crowds on the Caribbean cruises (and succeeded). The fact that we would be sailing on the relatively new Breakaway was an added bonus. Booking and Packages We booked the cruise with one of NCL’s advisors. It was as easy as doing it on the website with the added bonus of having an extremely knowledgeable employee guiding you through the process. NCL’s website is not great and we found ourselves reaching out to him for questions. We were offered to pick two out of five packages. You will too. I highly, highly recommend the Unlimited Beverage Package (UBP). The only drinks included on the standard fare are water, iced tea, and lemonade WHILE DINING ONLY. The UBP gets you any beverage under $15 (soda AND booze) whenever you want. AND IT’S FREE (usually). Second on my list is the Unlimited Dining Package. This gets you a certain number of complete meals (ours was 3) at any of the Specialty Restaurants -which would normally cost you quite a bit- for free. Boarding We arrived at noon at the Copenhagen port (sailing time 5:00). We hadn’t planned how to get there so we ended up taking taxis, which was very expensive. Book transportation ahead of time, especially if you’re a big group (4+). At noon the terminal was almost empty, so check-in and boarding was extremely easy. Our bags were tagged and we went through metal scanners. It was a hot day so waiters were at the ready with cold water. A nice touch. We breezed through security and boarded the ship. This is one of the Breakaway’s weak points. We were a little disappointed by the entrance. I don’t remember much from our Disney Wonder cruise in 2008, but I do remember boarding. As soon as we were on the Wonder’s beautiful atrium, our arrival -like everybody else’s- was announced. It made you feel a lot more special. Boarding the Breakaway was nowhere near as exciting. We walked onto the crowded Deck 4 (lowest accessible deck) which was small and dim. Our staterooms were still not available (understandable, given it was still early). Regardless, an underwhelming boarding experience. The Ship There are, however, two things the Breakaway excels at - food and entertainment. On every single meal we were absolutely wowed by the variety, quality, and taste of dishes. Garden Cafe is the buffet. It’s huge but quite repetitive (doesn’t differ much from day to day unlike the dining rooms). It will be packed at all times. The three main dining rooms (MDRs) have the same exact menu on a given day. This is totally fine by me because the menu is ABSOLUTELY AWESOME. It’s a three course menu with an appetizer, an entree, and dessert. All three rotate daily but there’s a section of “classic entrees” (spaghetti, NY strip steak, lasagna, etc.) in case you’re not feeling the “daily specials”. If you’re not in the mood for the formality of the MDRs (as informal as they are — go Freestyle Cruising!) there’s O’Sheehan’s (24/7 Irish-American comfort food) and Shanghai Noodle Bar (I’ll let you figure that one out). The three MDRs and these two are complimentary. Then there’s the Specialty Restaurants. These are either a la carte or have a cover charge, but OH SO WORTH IT. You can go to a few for free if you get the Unlimited Dining Package. We had jumbo shrimp at Teppanyaki (Benihana’s at sea), filet mignon at Cagney’s Steakhouse, and escargots at Le Bistro — without leaving the ship! Everything we had was excellent. I cannot stress this enough. Then there’s entertainment. Again, top-notch, world class, whatever you want to call it. We went to two complimentary shows; Burn the Floor and Rock of Ages. At both we were wowed by the quality of the cast, musicians, and sound. Loud and crisp. This momentum and energy carries over to the “informal” entertainment, like at the Syd Norman’s bar and the Headliners comedy club. Ports of Call This itinerary is not for those looking for a Caribbean alternative. You will be stopping at very historic towns, most dating back to the 15th century. Tours are highly recommended if you want to understand what you’re looking at. Avoid Norwegian’s tours as they’re a lot more expensive than individual companies and offer pretty much the same. Here’s where I get to mention one of Norwegian’s (or maybe just this ship’s) faults. Disembarkation is extremely chaotic. At almost every port, the boat docked right on time and we saw people getting off just ten minutes later. However, the announcement that the ship had been “cleared for disembarkation” came no sooner than half an hour after arriving. As a result, people rushed down all at once, packing the already small Deck 4. Quite unpleasant. Another flaw with Norwegian (or maybe just the Breakaway at the time of my cruise) is the crew. The friendliness of the people you deal with (waiters, guest services, etc.) can be hit-or-miss. For example, our chef at Teppanyaki was amazing and we had an awesome time with his. Our cabin steward was awesome and friendly, too. But our experience with the crew was mostly negative, especially at everything complimentary. Don’t be surprised if you get terse, one word answers to your questions and no smiles. I’m not saying I don’t understand them. The lowest raking crew works 8 months contracts nonstop. Maybe if NCL rotates them more often it would be better? Anyway, we had an awesome time and most of the time struggled to believe we were on a ship. Even the cruise-haters in a group were enchanted. NCL has won me over. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our second time on Zuiderdam, and the dry dock has definitely freshened its appearance. We did a 10 day Baltic cruise during the height of a record setting heat wave, but the ship was always cool and comfortable and in top ... Read More
This was our second time on Zuiderdam, and the dry dock has definitely freshened its appearance. We did a 10 day Baltic cruise during the height of a record setting heat wave, but the ship was always cool and comfortable and in top condition. The Good: Very comfortable suite with great bed, nice veranda furniture, spacious dual sink. Music walk concept provided a variety of music by excellent performers. Specialty dining was very good. Staff at every level was first rate and helpful. Shore excursions were well run with interesting itineraries. Bar drinks were reasonably priced. Shops were well stocked with some designer items (Nautica, Tommy Bahama). The bad (or less than perfect): Main Dining room food was inconsistent from very good to so-so, and there were a few instances of overcooked entrees. Breakfast servings were not always as hot as they should be. Lido actually did a better breakfast, especially the omelet bar. The cabin had a great Samsung 50in TV but very little to watch, either live or on demand. Internet service was so slow as to be almost worthless. Bottled water was overpriced. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Researching cruises for 10 family members, SilverSeas was forward to us by AmEx with a wonderful rep. We started with 3 days in Iceland coming from NYC and LA for a stop over (a good move, hit Messin for dinner), two full days in ... Read More
Researching cruises for 10 family members, SilverSeas was forward to us by AmEx with a wonderful rep. We started with 3 days in Iceland coming from NYC and LA for a stop over (a good move, hit Messin for dinner), two full days in Copenhagen (Marv and Ben- a excellent restaurant). Getting to the pier by taxi was easy and quick from center of town, on and off the boat was too easy and welcoming. Rooms were amazing large with service (butler and housekeeping), that did everything you didn't think of. The fish was sensational from breakfast to lunch to dinner. The Japanese restaurant, Kaiseki is a good lunch place, reservations needed for dinner. You be pleasantly surprised eating at La Terrazza for a touch of Italy with a bottle of Pipoli Aglianico Del Vulture (another find). The Sorrento style pizzas on the pool deck was addicting, especially with the wine service (Chenin Blanc from South Africa was a wonderful learn). For us, Kayaking in Geiranger fjord was an experience that one wanted to last longer and if you can, a must do.. The services & crew were all caring, always putting the vacation experience first, something hard to find. We are thinking about SilverSeas again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our second Princess cruise. We had enjoyed our first one and the itinerary on this one was perfect. We didn't want too many days at sea so only 3 sea days and lots of interesting cities was perfect for us. Luckily this time ... Read More
This was our second Princess cruise. We had enjoyed our first one and the itinerary on this one was perfect. We didn't want too many days at sea so only 3 sea days and lots of interesting cities was perfect for us. Luckily this time it stuck to the itinerary (last time we didn't make it into a port due to weather) so we got to visit everywhere we wanted (except Berlin but that was our decision). Dining - Symphony was our favourite restaurant. Lovely food and excellent service. We didn't go on a formal night as we had found this too pompous on our previous cruise, but on other nights this was perfect for us. We also used the Horizon food court a lot. It had a wide range of food to suit all the different nationalities of passengers. The food was good but the service was very poor, definitely not American standard of service. They were quick to remove plates (in fact too quick, before others on the table had finished) but trying to get a drink seemed a step too far for most of the waiters. Apart from breakfast when tea, coffee and orange juice are offered, no one seemed to want to take a drinks order. Not sure if this was due to us being on the soft drinks package or if its the new system where they have to take your card. In fact this new system didn't seem to go down well anywhere on the ship. Last year (on the Royal Princess) we had stickers on our cards to show we had the drinks package, so only had to flash our cards to be served a drink. This year they had to take all the cards from us, swipe them and wait to see if they worked before starting to pour any drinks. Definitely not an improved system! Entertainment - excellent (much better than last year), especially the singers and dancers who put on several fantastic shows. Beatlemaniacs was our family favourite as they were enjoyable across the ages. We went to see them on their second night in the Piazza but it was packed! There was standing room only on decks 5, 6 and 7. We also loved the Movies under the Stars and some of the smaller activities on sea days e.g. family quizzes and behind the scenes theatre tour. The live band outside and daytime music concerts on the screens were too loud and there was no escaping them if you wanted to sunbathe by the pool (there is an adults only area which would be quieter but we couldn't use it with our sons). Cabin - we had an inner statesroom which was small but well designed to give plenty of storage space for a family of four. It includes the basics like a fridge, safe and hairdryer. The bathroom is tiny though, like on an aeroplane (plus shower). We like being in the middle of the ship, only one deck below the pools and Horizon Court. I didn't mind not having a window as this helped with sleep. The cabin was kept clean and the upper bunks were stored away efficiently during the day and taken down at night whenever we were out of the cabin. Children - our sons loved the kids clubs. They could drop in and out whenever they wanted to take part in specific activities and they made lots of new friends there. The Teen Club was especially good for our 16 year old and a special mention for Don who was fantastic with the young people. The Teen Club is one of the main reasons we choose Princess Cruises - they have a brilliant area where they have an enjoyable time safely while also getting their independence in the evenings. Itinerary (in brief) - the main reason we chose this cruise, the ship visited lots of places we had been wanting to go to for years. Scandinavia can be very expensive to visit, especially for accommodation and food, so a cruise is the perfect way to get a taste of each country (and decide which you would like to return to). My favourite was definitely Oslo - a safe and enjoyable city for wandering around. I loved the port area Aker Brygge which reminded me a bit of Sydney - cafes and shops on the harbour front, and a short walk round to the Opera House. We took the hop on hop off bus around the city and enjoyed the commentary which was more than just the usual sites (also included some Viking stories and information on culture, food etc). The rest of my family loved Stockholm but I found it a pain having to take the Princess coach to get to the city (which was expensive for a simple coach ride) and not enough time to do all we wanted (we did part of the bus tour and the Nobel Museum). St Petersburg is obviously a highlight of the trip. This was the only Princess tour we did which was very expensive but we had a fantastic tour guide who we learned so much from. You need a good tour guide to get the most out of a visit to the Hermitage as there is so much to take in, it really was spectacular.We also enjoyed the traditional lunch. Helsinki was a nice day out but nothing special after St. Petersburg. Tallinn was very pretty and an easy walk from the ship. Lovely to explore the narrow streets by foot. Unfortunately it poured down while we were there but we still loved it. It was the most reasonably priced place so stock up on your souvenirs here. Germany was a disappointment. I really wanted to visit Berlin but the port is too far away and after reading all the reviews we decided not to spend most of the day on a train to get there (from what our fellow passengers said, we made the right decision). We will have to go there ourselves another time. Instead we took a train to Rostock but other than the astronomical clock it was not worth the visit. We enjoyed wandering around Warnemunde instead - there is a nice beach and little cafes near the ship. Copenhagen is a good city to start and finish in. It is easy to get around (I would recommend adding the river cruise onto your hop on hop off bus ticket) and the transfers from and to the airport worked out really well. There are not many flights to Scotland though so our Easyjet experience was the worst part of the holiday (delays and rude staff). In summary then, a fantastic cruise with a great itinerary. Lots of experiences our family witll remember for a lifetime. Definitely recommend. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
BUFFET: An awesome quantity, with enough variety for people with dietary restrictions, although it would have been better had they labelled which dishes were gluten free. I only wish the food had been hot - I never found anything ... Read More
BUFFET: An awesome quantity, with enough variety for people with dietary restrictions, although it would have been better had they labelled which dishes were gluten free. I only wish the food had been hot - I never found anything (including coffee) better than lukewarm, which dropped to cold by the time I found a table in busy times. Staff were helpful, efficient and plentiful. Loved the fresh oatmeal, crepes and waffles at breakfast. Bread was generally stale - found mould on one hamburger bun. RESTAURANTS: Le Bistro: good French/international food; parody of French service. Manhattan: very noisy live music, uninteresting food. Moderna: excellent Brazilian BBQ, great service. La Cucina: good Italian food, but served cold, and in a hurry. KIDS: Our 9-year-old went to Kids Club a few times, but didn't enjoy it enough to stay, or return. Our 12-year-old (1 week short of 13) is in high school, but was refused entry to the teen club. He went to the Kids Club once, but didn't want to return. (They let such older kids check themselves out, but only after a minimum stay of 2 hours, which made him reluctant to start.) Royal Caribbean let him in to theirs more than a year previously, and he loved it. In consequence neither of our boys met any other kids they wanted to spend time with, which was a big pity. CREDIT, ADMINISTRATION: I would have liked to have given my kids some credit towards games, but there was no way to do this without giving them unlimited access to my credit card. NICKEL AND DIMING: Thanks to Australian consumer-protection laws, gratuities were all included for us. Staff were good at explaining where there would be extra charges. We didn't need a drinks package for the kids - we got juices and lemonade whenever we wanted them; perhaps they were charged to our adult drinks package. There are still some hidden and excessive charges: room service is complementary (large type), but actually there is a $8 "convenience fee" (very small type); over-priced transfers and shore excursions. MOBILE PHONE USE: I was on a Vodafone international roaming plan, which gave me full mobile data use in all ports ($5/day) other than St Petersburg (where I had to turn mobile roaming off, to avoid $1/MB charges). This was essential because we only used an organised excursion in St Petersburg, and needed to look up public transport and access Google Maps. Happily the ship's mobile phone base stations didn't do data roaming (not sure whether this was them or Vodafone), which meant I could leave my phone on and get data whenever we were close enough to a shore base station, and not otherwise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018

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