23 Copenhagen Fitness Cruise Reviews

Exceeded our expectations from embarkation to debarkation. Crews are very friendly and helpful. You don’t get hungry as lots of yummy foods on board and lots of sporting activities you can do on board to ensure you don’t get extra kg ... Read More
Exceeded our expectations from embarkation to debarkation. Crews are very friendly and helpful. You don’t get hungry as lots of yummy foods on board and lots of sporting activities you can do on board to ensure you don’t get extra kg while indulging with lots of good variety of foods. Medallion class made everything on board really easy. They have a very systematic system where everything really works very well. We have enjoyed all the activities on board, in particular, the shows daily. Our crew steward always ensure that our room is being looked after daily. Live TV updates is also very helpful for everyone as you will be informed on what’s happening on the ship, ports and shore excursions very important informations and tips. We will definitely cruise with Princess again and will recommend them to our friends and families. Keep up the good work and hope to see you again soon. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We flew from Sydney, Australia, to visit the Baltic region for the first time. We have cruised once before on NCL (Rome to Spain round-trip). We choose NCL usually because it offers a variety of entertainment and similar standard of ... Read More
We flew from Sydney, Australia, to visit the Baltic region for the first time. We have cruised once before on NCL (Rome to Spain round-trip). We choose NCL usually because it offers a variety of entertainment and similar standard of service that we like. We would be happy to travel again on this ship. Here are some observations. DINING Good: Variety of dining options. O'sheehans is often a favourite. We had 4 additional choices as part of our package. Le Bistro, Cagneys and Moderno are always winners (usually an add on). Needs tweaking: The garden cafe is good for all but close table seating made it difficult to move around when necessary. This can be managed by choosing to dine in Savor or Taste restaurants. Sometimes in the garden cafe, there were dishes that were cold by the time you sat down to eat at the table. For example, scrambled eggs, meat dishes that are meant to be hot, and Indian dishes. I imagine that could cause food to be wasted. I prefer hot food to be eaten at that same temperature. Specialty restaurants did not have this problem. Service: All good during our stay and in all areas of the ship. Entertainment: We love listening to live music. The Syd Norman Pour House had a band with a variety of vocalists that really worked hard to sing and engage the crowd. Definitely a winner for me to sing along with 70,80,90's music. The venue was often crowded. Burn the floor was a good show too. Any longer would have been repetitive. Their energy is amazing. Ancora was an opera/classical group of 4 that were simply fantastic. The range and quality of their voices was breathtaking. I didn't go to see the Cirque show. The additional cost was not the issue. I'm just not into the circus theme. There were other entertainment options too. I liked the interactive games on level 6 that engaged the audience. Nothing complicated, but amusing Room: We had a mini suite on deck 9 forward. While close to level 8 entertainment venue, we slept soundly. Fixtures and fittings are beginning to show some signs of age but, this did not impact on our comfort. Recommendations: Based on personal preference. More ping pong tables so that adults can play, not just the kids. Maybe more area in the gym for stretching, cooling etc in peak time. Also, a big thank you to Mario who was helpful in meeting the needs of the Cruise critic team when docking in Russia. Thanks to Tammy and Patrick (friendly cruise critic cruisers) too. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I would like to comment on the excellent experience we had with my wife at Viking Sky. Before leaving, we had apprehensions regarding entertainment on board and the age of the passengers. We are not young (58 and 46 years old) but we ... Read More
I would like to comment on the excellent experience we had with my wife at Viking Sky. Before leaving, we had apprehensions regarding entertainment on board and the age of the passengers. We are not young (58 and 46 years old) but we knew that the average age was higher. The truth is that although the average age is higher, it was very nice for us to be on the boat without children or teenagers, without a casino, without photographers, without sellers of trinkets. the shows were of quality, the conferences very interesting, the first level gym, the extraordinary spa, the fantastic living rooms to read, the swimming pools with sun loungers available, the exceptional food both in the buffet and in the restaurant, always, and I insist, always with tables available for dinner, breakfast and dinners. This is our 15th cruise and we have used MCS, Costa, Royal, Azamara, Princess and Celebrity, and from all of the above we can say that Viking has been our best experience and best quality price ratio. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was the cruise for us!! Four stops in a transatlantic package!! Ideal! It was our first experience on a larger ship and it was a worthwhile experience. The facilities were luxurious and the ropes course was sprine tingling! Our ... Read More
This was the cruise for us!! Four stops in a transatlantic package!! Ideal! It was our first experience on a larger ship and it was a worthwhile experience. The facilities were luxurious and the ropes course was sprine tingling! Our cabin was perfect for us, not fancy but it had everything we needed including a surprising amount of storage space and the entertainment was outstanding! Totally top shelf! Cirque, Burn the Floor, Rock of Ages, Helen Ward-Jackson, Justino Zuppo all fantastic! The food was very good with lots of variety and the service was courteous, friendly and prompt. A new addition was a lecturer who briefed us on each of the destinations and tied the trip into a theme of American Immigration. Finally!! He was wonderfully informative. That said, I don’t believe we will choose a large ship again. The theater was too small to seat even half of the guests so that not everyone could see the shows. There were long queues for nearly everything, The fitness center had lots of machines and they were adequate.The trainers were knowledgeable, professional and friendly but the workout room was entirely too small to accommodate the number of people who wanted to attend morning stretch and abs classes. Many people were turned away. We had to be sure to arrive 15 minutes early for class to claim a slice of the floor and a mat. We did like the fact that a fitness pass was offered which allowed us to attend as many classes as we chose to attend for one price but there was an overwhelming sense that additional charges were a theme. There was no longer a shower or sauna in the gym. The only saunas or steam rooms were available at an additional cost in the spa which was beautiful but expensive and not our vibe. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
A lot of good aspects were offset by them moving 1 of our rooms. We reserved 2 rooms that were close together and we specified that we did not want upgrades and wanted our rooms together. They did not notify us that they moved one room to ... Read More
A lot of good aspects were offset by them moving 1 of our rooms. We reserved 2 rooms that were close together and we specified that we did not want upgrades and wanted our rooms together. They did not notify us that they moved one room to th eopposite end of the boat. When we identified the error their response was that we signed an agreement stating they had the right to move us at their whim. They did not solve the issue. Much of The sports equipment was broken missing or inadequate. The basketballs were no longer round. There were no tees for the golf mat. The staff was fantastic in general with very few exceptions. The only complkmenrary beverages were water milk and juices. The buffet was great and they had a great selection with the minor exception. Of stale pancakes most mornings. We had lobster in the dining room one evening and it was good. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose the serenade because of the great destinations and with a 7 year old girl it felt like a convenient way to get around and see Scandinavia and Russia. Having said that we were very conscious that the ship itself was fairly old and ... Read More
We chose the serenade because of the great destinations and with a 7 year old girl it felt like a convenient way to get around and see Scandinavia and Russia. Having said that we were very conscious that the ship itself was fairly old and small and we’d read reviews about everything that has gone wrong from embarkation to food to the service. But we were so pleasantly surprised right through the programme. Getting on the ship was an absolute breeze. We were taken into lunch at the Windjammer and by the time we’d finished the rooms were ready. The rooms also was just about right and clean with a cozy balcony. It was serviced twice a day with my child’s bunker bed put down during the evening turn down service. Our daughter absolutely loved the kids club activities in the adventure ocean club (9 am to 12pm; 2pm to 5pm and 7pm to 10pm). So much so that she didn’t join us in a couple of ports. This gave us ample time to lounge around, check the 16 bars without having to worry about her. This was such a blessing and the team at adventure ocean where thorough professionals providing fun educational ways to keep the children engaged. The service also was really exceptional and personalised. We got the same table in the dining room. But also in Windjammer. The staff is from all over and friendly and ever willing to engage in conversations. The food was amazing all through and surprisingly we did not get bored although we didn’t do any of the speciality dining. The staff is particular about hiegene and everyone follows through with sanitised hands. No cases of Nora virus was reported on the ship which was the other thing we were worried about. The other impressive feat was the way a helicopter landed to fly someone out. It was just the most amazing sight. And the copter looked too large but we didn’t feel a thing when it landed or took off. And there wasn’t any fuss at all. Entertainment on the ship was also quite nice in the tropical theatre, in the centrum and the safari club. Some of the home grown productions are quite good. The team really makes an effort and it comes through. We didn’t do shore excursions with the exception of Russia for visa. In all other places we were offered a shuttle service into the city centre for 10 dollars. There was no hassle getting out or in whatsoever and no preference was given to people on the shore excursions as we had read. All in all without having to spend on any additionals the cruise turned out to be a lovely experience and we are considering more such cruises. We will in all probability sail on the royal Caribbean. The ship offers gorgeous views of the sea with glass everywhere. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have sailed on Norwegian numerous times in the past. On this cruise we purchased a balcony and studio cabin. Embarkation took about an hour. Both rooms Had scratches on the walls and dings and dents in the walls. The studio actually had ... Read More
We have sailed on Norwegian numerous times in the past. On this cruise we purchased a balcony and studio cabin. Embarkation took about an hour. Both rooms Had scratches on the walls and dings and dents in the walls. The studio actually had a pair of men’s dirty undergarments still in the closet. Mid cruise they removed and repoured are balcony floor for routine maintence that should have been done in drydock two weeks prior. This was done without notice and while we were on an excursion. This left our room and personal items full of dust. The food was below average and we couldn’t get refills even at the speciality restaurants. The cruise was far from relaxing due to music blaring in all areas from the manhattan room to the customer service desk. If you wanted to attend shows you had to pay to enter. This was a first for us. Entertainment used to be free with NCL. Overall this was a let down and Norwegian could do much better. We will be looking elsewhere in the future for our cruises. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We've cruised a few times but so far this is our new favourite. The only reason I gave 4 stars was because of the location of the casino, it was right smack in the middle of Deck 7 where all guests including children passed by, so you ... Read More
We've cruised a few times but so far this is our new favourite. The only reason I gave 4 stars was because of the location of the casino, it was right smack in the middle of Deck 7 where all guests including children passed by, so you inhaled the smoke and all, but I guess it had a strategic location and purpose by NCL. The shows were good especially Cirque Dreams, vocalist Karl Loxkey and the female violinist. Food was tasty and had a variety of selection. There were themed nights at the Garden Cafe, and the Grilled Night was the best! The Prime Rib special of the day at O'Sheehans Is a must try, tender and mouth watering, cooked to perfection! The Indian themed lunch at Moderno's was very flavourful and tasted authentic! The cruise director, Dan Dan was my favourite of all. He was quick, witty, smart, hilarious and very generous and attentive! He even rendered a duet with Karl Loxley at the Matinee Farewell Show. He was such a great singer! His staff was amazing! The Matinee Farewell Show by the way is not to be missed! There was so much things to do and see for the family. Lots of free demonstrations and health seminars during the last sea day. Crew were attentive to guests' needs. There was also Lounge and cabins for single cruisers. Overall it was a cruise to remember! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Another hit by NCL this time on the Getaway during the westbound crossing - Copenhagen to Miami - 14 nights with stops in Ponta Delgada (Azores) and Bermuda (2 day overnight). Bermuda was an added port after the originally scheduled ports ... Read More
Another hit by NCL this time on the Getaway during the westbound crossing - Copenhagen to Miami - 14 nights with stops in Ponta Delgada (Azores) and Bermuda (2 day overnight). Bermuda was an added port after the originally scheduled ports of St. Thomas and St Marteen were cancelled due to post hurricane damage. I was traveling solo meeting global friends onboard, I arrived at the terminal around 10am, At the port drop off, the bags are collected by deck number allowing for quicker delivery. The check-in was easy and the port team was knowledgeable of the process and could answer all questions. I boarded the Getaway by 11am, Meeting my friends at the Savor dining room for lunch where we were quickly seated. Luggage arrived by 2pm. The ship was in good shape - clean, comfortable, My balcony cabin - 13170, was convenient to the stairs, health club and sun decks. I traveled solo and found the cabin configuration to meet my expectations. My cabin steward was pleasant and greeted me each time we say each other, I am not a fussy traveler and found the attention to the cabin to meet my needs. The temperature control was working to increase/decrease air conditioning as needed. My neighbors were quiet as were the passageways, Dining: I had several upsale diners and purchased additional, My fare included the unlimited beverage package. My friends and I enjoyed dinner in all of the venues - Tropicana 1 time, Taste 1 time, Cagneys 3 times, Bistro 2 times, Tapenyaki 1 time, Moderno 1 time, La Cucina 1 time, Ocean Blue 1 time. We enjoyed all. The dining staff was friendly and greeted our table, The Tropicana Main Dining room can be crazy buzzy and appear chaotic at times the team delivered a great meal. Lunch at the RAW bar was phenomenal. Fitness: The Getaway offers an unlimited fitness class fee which I did purchase, The package allows for taking unlimited fitness classes as per the set schedule. The instructors were friendly and knowledgeable, If you are not able to keep to the schedule the fee is not for you. I attended classes twice per day, Classes are not offered on port days, Spa package: I did purchase the spa package. Not a good idea on this trip as the spa was crowded (very over crowded) as the weather was cool, cloudy and foggy. Most spa members took loungers and headed beds and stayed for all day, Some even took two loungers (for their hand bags) being totally rude to others who need, All entertainment is good and enjoyable, I have seen most of the shows before either on ship or on land. I highly recommend attending the shows which fit your schedule, On shore I did my own planning with friends and local outfitters choosing not to purchase ship excursions. Being a gay traveler I find the support of NCL with the offering of the daily meetings (Friends of Dorothy) to be a wonderful bonus., The attendance at the daily meetings were well attended allowing a place to gather before dinner and evenings entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
the family decided to go for baltic region this time and i think zuiderdam is the HAL ship that cruises to baltic. this ship is not unfamiliar to us. we have boarded this ship before to europe. it was not a bad ride... satisfactory to our ... Read More
the family decided to go for baltic region this time and i think zuiderdam is the HAL ship that cruises to baltic. this ship is not unfamiliar to us. we have boarded this ship before to europe. it was not a bad ride... satisfactory to our liking..majority of the staff were friendly and professional. our cabin server, formal dining waiters, bistro servers and most lido waiters and waitresses were deligent of their duties. however, we did not like the set up of the drinking glasses and coffee cups being ready at the table, because sometimes it mixes with the dirty utensils that passengers just damp on the table. i think they should change that set up. The food was satisfactory. the shows were acceptable but ABBA Rav was excellent and both house bands were excellent too. the location of our cabin was good. during the big current, you can feel the bad motion on the upper level of the ship, but in our cabin's location the movement was minimal.. 1 day to embarkation, i felt a flu like symptoms. and as we headed home on the plane, i felt so terrible and having sore throat. and finally when i got home, I went to the doctor and was diagnosed of a virus i contracted in my journey..I was bedridden for two days taking antibiotic and cold tylenol. Im ok on this 4th day.though im still a little oozzzie...... Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We choose this route because we wanted to visit the baltic and this was a perfect experience. The entertainment is fantastic the musicians are really good (all of them), dining experience is fantastic the only problem is when you want ... Read More
We choose this route because we wanted to visit the baltic and this was a perfect experience. The entertainment is fantastic the musicians are really good (all of them), dining experience is fantastic the only problem is when you want to have dinner because there hours which can be very busy. We took the St Petersbourgh shore excursion due to problems with visa, but they are very expensive so we rather walk or take the bus. Cleaning in the Windjammer could be better during lunch time. Very nice service in board, the barman were attentive and fast, the pool is nice but full of kids so we end up in the solarium (no kids). The ports of call were fantastic, and they give you enough time to visit without any problem. The only problem I found from shore excursions is they are very slow as some people are always complaining they have to walk. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
An excellent opportunity to relax combining high level tourism, living in a luxurious environment and simultaneously enjoying on board any activity you wanted to have immediate access to it ( theater, cinema, gym, swimming , ... Read More
An excellent opportunity to relax combining high level tourism, living in a luxurious environment and simultaneously enjoying on board any activity you wanted to have immediate access to it ( theater, cinema, gym, swimming , entertainment , etc) and excellent quality, variety and quantity of food all day plus variety of gourmet restaurants at reasonable price. On the other hand the cost of some of the excursions may be improved as well as the variety and quality of the entertainment (more and more resent movies, theater). Very important was the embarkation de-embarkation process which was very well organized very quick and with minimum effort of the passengers. The crew members were always available and ready to explain and assist, always with a smile. The Windjammer, you could always find a place, the food and the service excellent and the cooks eager to satisfy any request. This level should at least be maintained as such. At last , a bravo to Taor and Marcus, our waiters in the dining room and bravo to the management for an excellent job. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My husband's brother and his wife are seasoned cruisers and suggested we join them on Voyager. We have cruised three times before but never with Regent. It was fabulous. There was a computer technical hitch which meant we had to ... Read More
My husband's brother and his wife are seasoned cruisers and suggested we join them on Voyager. We have cruised three times before but never with Regent. It was fabulous. There was a computer technical hitch which meant we had to wait quite a while before embarkation but as we had enjoyed the previous day's independent tour of Copenhagen which included a wonderful river cruise and spitefully expensive beer, we were not concerned. Our pre-cruise hotel was lovely as was the breakfast. We were thrilled that our Concierge suite lived up to our expectations. The toiletries, bathroom, and the attention to detail provided by our maid were very much appreciated. Nothing was too much trouble and she was willing to attend to our requests promptly and efficiently. The bed was really comfortable. I rarely sleep well whilst away from home but there were no problems on this cruise. It was lovely and quiet (Deck 10). We did not order room service so cannot comment in that regard. As I am in my forties I did feel that I was one of the younger guests as the average age was about 65 and it was like cruising with my parents. But everyone was so lovely it didn't matter. Service in the restaurants and bars was excellent. The minute we sat down in the Voyager lounge to enjoy pre-dinner drinks the waiter appeared to take our order and offered delightful canapes. The food was excellent and could not be faulted. The service was good too. It was very clear that everything is geared towards American guests' expectations and the coffee, egg dishes and pancakes were flowing. Despite serving Twinings English Breakfast tea, the waiters couldn't quite get it right. Still, a small hiccup in the grand scheme of things. The standard of food and service in Compass Rose was excellent also. Service on some evenings was slow but well worth the wait. The steak and lobster in Prime 7 was amazing. In fact I could go so far as to say it was the best fillet steak I have ever had. We also enjoyed dining in Signatures. We were pampered throughout and it felt great. We visited Coffee Connection nearly everyday and the Barista was very accommodating. The choice of biscuits and snacks was varied and all tasted delicious. Excursions were well organised and the tour guides very knowledgeable. Very enjoyable. I think their brief was to keep talking...and they did! As most of the guests were of a certain age there was nothing too energetic and so each tour could be accessed by everyone. The shows were slightly disappointing and although each member of the entertainments team was very talented, the shows did not flow and were quite disjointed. We saw a couple but then didn't bother with any more... they were very 'samey' and 'predictable'. The acrobatic duo were incredibly supple and would contort into the most bizarre shapes and it made me feel quite sick. We didn't take part in any enrichment activities but made full use of the gym and jogging track. The weather was excellent throughout the cruise so we were able to sunbathe a little - which we did not expect to be able to do! Every member of staff with whom we came into contact was extremely polite and respectful. Before we went on this cruise, we were so confident that it was going to be wonderful we booked the 21 night cruise on Voyager from Singapore to Sydney in December and so are very much looking forward to sailing again with Regent. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Ship review: Room very comfortable (just the 2 of us) and had a balcony-a must. Service always good. Easy access to food at all hours-sometimes hectic in the cafeteria buffet, but fast, and if I don't have to cook it, I can be chill ... Read More
Ship review: Room very comfortable (just the 2 of us) and had a balcony-a must. Service always good. Easy access to food at all hours-sometimes hectic in the cafeteria buffet, but fast, and if I don't have to cook it, I can be chill and live with it. For several of the restaurants, if you wish to dine in them, you pay an additional charge. For 2 of the nicer restaurants (large cafeteria/buffet not included), there is no additional-just make sure you make your reservations at beginning of trip or on line. Good workout area- husband there every day. Not spa people, so cannot comment on that facility. Good major nightly entertainment, but M. wished they had more variety in entertainers like past NCL trips, using the bar rooms for smaller entertainment venues(have seen Second City, Shows based on Broadway hits,Motown groups, etc). Ports: Loved the ports (though I think most cruise lines go into these)-be sure to spend extra time in Copenhagen. We purchased the City Pass for one day (all transportation, $12), and the Copenhagen card for our full day ($56)- it was great (google it). In Germany, took train from W... into Rostock as we did not feel like a long ride to Berlin ($5-10 round trip using credit card-easy trip, and train station right off the boat) a beautiful town. Make sure you have some Euro for Germany, Tallin and Helsinki-we were dying for an ice cream in Rostock, but they wouldn't take US dollars and banks closed. Take a tour in Tallin as you don't want to miss anything-- it is an excellent medieval town. St Petersburg was incredible, and you have to do a tour-did 2day "Grand" tour with Alla and they did a very good job. We did a tour in Helsinki, but not a big town and you can just take their public transportation to main area and walk around. Stockholm closed for us due to bad weather and docking is apparently tricky-disappointing, but understandable. If the NCL tours do not have what you're looking for, or pricing you want, look at other touring groups (check out Cruise Critic for suggestions)-we used Alla at all ports, and they were wonderful. Bring an electrical adapter (for off the boat if you plan to stay extra days on either end) for your phone if you have one-did not find many outlets in the town (as in none) that would accept our plug, so had to buy one. Also, many of the port areas have free WI FI, so catch up on emails there. Note that if you are US military you might get hassled in St Petersburg-we met young army officer who was asked for military ID (he didnt know how they knew that)when returning to ship 1st day and was advised by US Embassy not to go back to Russia for 2nd day of his excursion Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Great itinerary! We loved the ship but most of all the ports were great! The food was fantastic. The steakhouse is the best we have ever had!!!! Amazing food and service. Our main table in Symphony was also great. Mariana was a ... Read More
Great itinerary! We loved the ship but most of all the ports were great! The food was fantastic. The steakhouse is the best we have ever had!!!! Amazing food and service. Our main table in Symphony was also great. Mariana was a fantastic server! She was so attentive, nice and efficient! The ship is very nice. It has a nice adult pool are and another nice pool for kids. Not too much to do for older teens who are not 18. I would have liked to see more live music later at night. It usually stopped around 11-ish The shows were very good. Even though the ship is very big, the layout is great and it was easy to get around . Nice walking deck. Nice gym too, Just the right number of sea days. The only thing I would change is more time in Stockholm, Sweden. We had perfect weather. Each post was fantastic. 1. Copenhagen- went a day early and it was great. Don't miss Tivoli Gardens. Go to the main marina and take a great canal tour. 2. Oslo, Norway - Amazing Vigeland sculpture park. You can do the hop on hop off bus. Great Cafes and beautiful walking areas 3. Berlin- We hired a Brewer's Berlin Tours. Jonathan was a fantastic tour guide. The bus was extremely comfortable and spacious. Went to incredible places and Jonathan was very knowledgeable! 4.Estonia- we took a taxi to the old city. Walked around and had lunch. 5. St Petersberg Russia- We hired Peter's Walk. They arranged the visas. They picked us up in a nice bus and had great 2 day tour. You can customize the tour based on your preference. Do not miss going to Ginza Restaurant in St Petersberg. Amazing food and view. Loved the canal rides. 6. Helsinki Finland- Wend to the outdoor market by taxi and then took a boat ride to a beautiful island 7. Stockholm Sweden- AMAZING bike ride with Stephan at Sweden Bikes. If you like bike riding do not miss it. Great way to see the city and country in a short time. Great bikes, very responsible, informative and so nice! We were also able to see the famous and beautiful Stockholm Synagogue. This day was the highlight of our trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This trip has been a dream of mine for many years, and it didn't disappoint. My husband and I have cruised only with Royal Caribbean and Holland America so we were looking at what was different with a critical eye. We were traveling ... Read More
This trip has been a dream of mine for many years, and it didn't disappoint. My husband and I have cruised only with Royal Caribbean and Holland America so we were looking at what was different with a critical eye. We were traveling with my sister and brother-in-law. We got to Copenhagen 3 days early, both to adjust to the time change (we failed - didn't sleep well until a few days into the cruise) but had a wonderful time enjoying this jewel of a city. We stayed at the Phoenix Hotel, perfect location, great staff, and very charming (read SMALL) rooms. I was sure to pack their little bottles of hair conditioner since I knew from previous posts that the ship doesn't provide this in our category. We also purchased the Copenhagen Card which got us unlimited public transportation and admissions to sights. Worth every penny. Cruise day - embarkation was a breeze, and we went straight to the buffet for lunch before exploring the ship. The ambience in the buffet is similar to a high school cafeteria, but the choices were good and everybody could find more than enough to try. One big suggestion for NCL in all their dining venues - please note which dishes are vegetarian, etc. other lines do that and it is expected by those who are vegetarian. Our stateroom was exactly what we chose, we were very pleasantly surprised though at the ingenious design of the 3 section bathroom. Great job! Our steward Frederick was lovely, always remembering us by name and bringing my husband extra blankets, etc. I will miss him. Other positive things we noted: we were not approached all the time by over -zealous bar waiters, we enjoyed the casual yet upscale Aqua dress code (we ate there often), a full ship that you never had to fight for a pool chair, outstanding entertainment, very personable Captain who personally came to talk to my sister at the staff question and answer session, wonderful cruise director who races throughout the ship, and very happy crew. The grill and ice cream was also a nice treat, but I wish were open longer hours. Downsides: the librarian was only in the library for an hour or so each day. Why have a library? And a major biggie - toilet seat covers in public rest rooms. I used the walking track on deck 13 and decks 7 often, the weather was spectacular. Always I saw maintenance being done on the ship, which was immaculate. We explored most of the ports on our own, except in St. Petersburg where we hired the Red October company to give a private tour to the 4 of us. It was pricey, but we were able to customize exactly what we wanted to see, the Great Chorale Synagogue is magnificent and not on any ship excursion. Another advantage of a small group-we waited in not one line to get into the sites where there were major lines. We did take the Hop on, Hop off bus in Stockholm from the ship as it guaranteed us a seat on the first bus and with a short time there, we wanted to maximize what we could see. Disembarkation was a breeze. We walked right off the ship handling our own luggage, got right in a cab, and were at the airport in half an hour. Given the right itinerary, I would sail NCL again anytime!   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Had sailed on Riviera, Marina's sister ship, last September in the Mediterranean. This cruise, which began in Copenhagen and visited Warnemunde, Germany (Berlin); Gdansk, Poland; Tallinn,Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, ... Read More
Had sailed on Riviera, Marina's sister ship, last September in the Mediterranean. This cruise, which began in Copenhagen and visited Warnemunde, Germany (Berlin); Gdansk, Poland; Tallinn,Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; and Stockholm, Sweden, appealed to us for its fascinating itinerary, and we knew from our previous experience that the ship would be superb. Although this is not within anyone's control, the weather was unbelievably beautiful every day - clear and sunny, calm seas. A total joy. About us and our expectations: we are not party cruisers, in fact, would hate a ship with that emphasis. We love reading, music, quiet reflection and conversation on the balcony, exercise walks around the deck, rejuvenating spa treatments, full-out touring during the day and a good meal and restful evening to prepare for the next day. We enjoy meeting friendly like-minded people who are mature and cultured. We didn't care about the casino or the lounge (though we did love listening to the charming and talented Romantica String Quartet from Belarus most evenings in the Grand Bar). In short, Marina's low-key ambiance, marvelous food, hospitable staff, refined (by this I do not mean stuffy, snooty or pretentious-- rather, gracious) fellow passengers, and beautiful appointments suited us just fine. Some reviewers have said that the shore excursions, hotels and airport transfers arranged through Oceania are overpriced -- we used them all and were pleased with the convenience and felt that we got good value. In St. Petersburg we did arrange an evening out with a local company, balletandopera.com, and attended a wonderful performance at the Mariinsky theater -- but the driver who took us there and brought us back was downright scary, raising thoughts of the fate of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed. There is a measure of quality control and accountability when you use the ship's vendors that reassures new cruisers like my husband and me. You know, for instance, that you won't miss the ship if your tour runs late. However, it must be said that in Helsinki the shuttle bus arrangements made by the ship were disastrous, resulting in confusion about the pickup point and a queue that required an hour's wait at least - a huge waste of time given the short time we had in that port. Wonderful service, lovely stateroom, beautiful veranda. One quibble - I know that maintenance has to be done during the voyage to keep the ship in the top shape that it is, but when our balcony had to be varnished and painted on Day 9 it was a pain - looking at something on shore I stepped in the fresh blue paint at the edge of the balcony and tracked a little onto the teak. I was sorry about this but on the other hand felt that I should not have had to worry about freely using the balcony we had paid so much for. Our criticisms, thus, are very minor. Overall, good value and a memorable experience. I actually spent some time writing detailed port reviews below but a technical glitch eliminated them all - so, suffice it to say that all were memorable in a good way. St. Petersburg was mixed but fascinating - the dark Russian soul and legacy of Soviet oppression still evident - we'd rate it a 4 but paradoxically it was a highlight of the trip, esp. an independent outing to the Kirov Ballet at the fabled Mariinsky Theater.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Well - to make it easy: you can pay more - and you get more... but I am always asking myself is there a need to have more and spend the money for another cruise for some comfort of one cruise only. With NCL I can afford balconies while ... Read More
Well - to make it easy: you can pay more - and you get more... but I am always asking myself is there a need to have more and spend the money for another cruise for some comfort of one cruise only. With NCL I can afford balconies while with the same budget I would only get lower categories. But you must accept some lower standards in the free food. Our cruise started in Copenhagen. A great embarkation port. Close to airport. Only problems when you are someone extremely "cheap" and loves to carry your bags 20 minutes to the next public transport an on weekends. But pre-/post-cruise could be a little more expensive than somewhere else as Copenhagen is not the cheapest city but beautiful and worth to see. Drop-off bags at curbside: no problem, check-in: no problem either. As we really have a great TA with great revenue with NCL and great contacts we got an upgrade from Balcony to Mini-Suite. The Mini-Suite was just (like the whole ship) from a time where maritime feeling decides. Great furnitures - enough space. Only problem was door to balcony and the drawers need to fixed for unintentional movements. Walkable closet and a seperate beauty table incl. hair dryer in the bathroom: wonderful! Only disadvantage: bath tub instead of shower - especially if you had sea movements and no handle to get in or out. Our cabin steward did a very good job and every special request we had was done asap. The ship itself had space and maritime feeling. Not like NORWEGIAN EPIC which reminds more to a floating casino mall... You had great lounges like Observation Lounge to look forward - not like NORWEGIAN STAR/DAWN only looking back! You had atriums which gives you the feeling how tall the ship is with glass elevators. Open deck: not so crowded that you have the feeling to be squeezed with others. Well... food... We did not die of hunger... but somehow variation and quality become worse and worse. Even when you pay extra like with the Musical bruch: Salmon as starter, salmon as entree... and the next days salmon salmon salmon... Compared to our last experience on NORWEGIAN JADE it was poorer: like Cesar's Salad: no options like anchovies or tabasco. It was plain and you can top chicken, shrimps or croutons. As they sold 2 for 1 you had also very "cheap" fellow-cruisers: no habit how to queue up and ignoring existing queues, pushing you away because they arrive and need space, early arrival before buffet was finished and starting to store desserts before coffee was served because they were afraid that when they finished their entree the desserts might be gone. I am willing to pay 20 or 25 USD to have a nicer atmosphere but such guests who obviously never participated to any better buffets before. Therefore PLEASE NO MORE 2 for 1-OFFERS!!! They still had surf and turf, but with two shrimps instead of a lobster tail. But they still have lobster. Lunch in the MDR: same every day! No general variation. The offer day by day: regional specialities for lunch and dinner: but if you get a waiter who does not know and they forgot to display you do not get it. But even the regional specialities: nothing upscale: things like Meat Loaf, Saussage, Wiener Schnitzel. Soups: as I am a soup lover and so I was quite disappointed that flavour was a word the chef in charge for soups did not know. They had days simple things like chicken broth were excellent and other days it tasted like water. Before you book Royal Caribbean or Carnival: they are not better either - but NCL lower their standards later than Royal Caribbean. We had two occassions to eat two dinners in Le Bistro and Moderno. Le Bistro unchanged so far (Latitudes Platin) and Moderno: not as good as on NORWEGIAN EPIC due to capacity reasons: buffet is smaller on NORWEGIAN SUN so something which we knew from NORWEGIAN EPIC was missing. Nevertheless: an experience you should not miss. A new experience was Las Ramblas Tapas-Restaurant... well I could not say that this reminded me very much to classical Spanish Tapas-Bars but it was a nice place to sit and listen music or to have a snack. It was the second time that we were drawn for the Hosted Dinner Table. No idea why they put us on a pure German speaking table. I had to learn that the HR Manager and the Staff Captain are not the same person and it was great to learn many many new things during this dinner. I can only recommend to go to the front desk and let them know that you are interested to join this event. It's complimentary and you get free drinks you normally have to pay and very nice company like us. It was our first time on NCL to join the Chef's Table. But honestly COMPARED to Princess and Carnival the 75.00 USD was a little poor since you get cooking books and food preparation in the galley! Furthermore the "best" was a veal chop while you get Lobster Thermidor on Princess! It was also a little sad: it was hold the night when we set sail in Torshavn and so we missed the passage between the islands as our separate dinner room was kept dark. We need to say it was still a great food and service experience we would not like to miss and therefore a reason to be first onboard on NORWEGIAN SPIRIT in January 2013 to book it. The coffee was an up and down and my fellow had his French Press and his own coffee with him. What was very good: Breakfast variation: you can choose in the MDR if you like la carte or buffet. And if you did not find anything in the menu you can just top by food from the buffet and vice versa. A "secret": Breakfast at Moderno: nearly the same standard like with the VIP breakfast in Il Adagio but no warm menu. Although the food could be better we accept that we had to "suffer" because of the great crew. We really did not expected anyone might be onboard whom we know but just 10 minutes after embarkation we heared already "Welcome back onobard - nice to have you back with us again!". There were so many good "friends" with the crew that they even could read our mind: like I did not get the same teabag I am used to have: someone who served us many times before came and asked what was wrong. I normally say: when you have a quota of 90 good / 10 bad - I can live with it. But with NCL you normally have 98 /2 but on this cruise it as 99.5 / 0.5!!! Maybe because of the ship's management: Richard Jarnicki whom we know from previous cruise and his entire team did really everything to accomodate us. The word "No" we have never heared. We can only say: we had no reasons to go home and tell people not to go NCL. We finally made it to "Shout" after we missed so many times on NORWEGIAN JADE. A great show - most of the songs I downloaded later as iTunes. "Rock it" we did not like, so we left after few minutes as it was too hard and too loud for us (Sorry: too young to be "EasyRider"-Generation"). Claire Maidin was nice but when she had an additional Matinee show we left also early as she started to repeat songs from her 1st show which we did not like. Rope artists are not my world but we stayed to see the crew farewell... Anyhow we were so busy that we had no more time see anything. Jaime was a great Cruise Director and really one who was available for their guests. The only thing I need to claim: if guests are using signal horns to disturb the performance it's no fun - it's a reason to send security. We went on cruises and we experienced also concierges whose body language let you know "Do not bother me when you are not a suite-guest and only Latitudes Platinum". But not David Contreras: he showed up after few days, asking how we were as he was wondering that we never showed up so far and told us one more time that he was there to assist us and we should not be shy and come. A great concierge. I think they could treat their Latitudes Platinum guests better: You get a letter what you kind of amneties you get. Like "fruit basket". Never delivered but a box of chocolate (Godiva but the cheapest selection!!!): Background: guests can walk to the Garden Cafe and grab their fruits. That was why they sent chocolate. Nightly chocolate was never available: reason run out - could not find any supermarket in Copenhagen to buy new one... 10 addtional minutes for internet and only once. Cheese and Wine for Gold and Platinum: service went not fast enough: so guests took away tray with cheese from waiter and deliver to their friends and family while eating from the tray. What was great: when you arrived back from your tours someone was always there to welcome you with warm and cold beverages or cakes and a hot/cold towel. Something we even did not get with Holland America with 100 F in Asia! We choosed the cruise because of the itinerary: Copenhagen, Denmark: as we knew Copenhagen well we arrived very late and spend Saturday in Karen Blixen Museum (Out of Africa) and Kronborg (Hamlet's to be or not to be). We missed an insigth of Louisiana as our US-friends had to see the airport because their bags were missed. But we were on vacation - so no stress. The dinner we met Danish friends. The day of embarkation we spend a little time in Malm' in Sweden before returning to Copenhagen to get on the ship. Bergen, Norway: 90% of the days of the year it is raining. So what? It was raining. We send our friends to Norway in a Nutshell BUT the tour offered by Fjordtours on boat (Naer'yfjord), train (Flaam-Railways) and bus (Stalheim) and sitting with the ship's tour 27 miles in a tunnel to miss the UNESCO World Heritage. We stayed the day in Bergen and went on Mt. Fl'yen and did some shopping. In the evening we left with our friends on Hurtigruten (Norwegian Coastal Line) Bergen to Aalesund. Aalesund, Norway: Hurtigruten was testing the acceptance of H'jrundfjord instead of Geirangerfjord for the next year. So we were lucky to go into the fjord what we missed with NCL: Aalesund itself: season was over and they did not go to Geirangerfjord - how sad! We returned by taxis who took us to Geirangerfjord in Hellesylt and Mt. Aksa back to our ship. Lerwick, Shetland Island, Scottland: we rented a car and drove ourselves to Jarshof to buy some gloves and hats. A calm day. Torshavn, Faroe Islands: the port with the lowest expectations! So I felt the right to cancel just in case the weather might be too bad. But the tour went that day. The tour operator arranged that we had a one-way and must not return with our boat the whole way back and so could see more and arranged that public bus would wait for us. We have not seen one bird on the bird cliff tour. But just the voyage on the public bus from Torshavn to Vestmanna was worth to see. It was calm because my 20 fellow-cruisers who followed me (it was a open public tour everyone could join and I did not want them to enroll etc...) were so surprised of the scenery that nobody said a word on the tour. Later once they saw the boat for the ship's tour and our boat it was the moment they liked to kill me. But our small Viking boat could enter grottos etc.. Same with the boat tour: nobody spokes... what should you say, when you have Kau'ai (Hawai'ian Island), Norwegian Fjords and Halong-Bay (Vietnam) at one single place. It was the biggest surprise for me and I definately want to come back and see it again but with birds. Reykjavik, Iceland: unfortunately I got the same morning a message that a very good friend passed away. So my attention to The Golden Circle tour was very limited. We booked a public tour. It was cheaper and was fine. Geysir, Guldenvoss, Thingstatte... all the essentials. We stayed the night in Reykjavik because we thought that Iceland was worth to see more. So the next day we did Perlan (Saga Museum), a helicopter ride and Blue Lagoon. While the day before tons of buses arrived we had only about 30 cars in front of the Blue Lagoon. Greenock, Scotland: So we had the luck to miss the 2 days at sea with 15 ft high waves. When we arrived the day earlier in Glasgow we informed the port agent and I need some time to arrange some flowers for the funeral. So the afternoon we went to Edinburgh to see the Royal Yacht Britannia and meet friends for dinner with typical Scottish food. The next day we followed our friends' recommendation to see the Loch Lomond area and had more scones for our US-friends. It was nice - but after Torshavn it was somehow a little weak... Everything was done by a rented car. Dublin, Ireland: Again we booked a private taxi tour for Glendalough and Powerscourt. Well Glendalough was not my world as I hate bunch of old stones (but same with Stonehenge, temples on Malta or Ostia Antica... but I liked Angkor Wat, Tulum, Leptis Magna or Ephesus...) The Powerscourt were worth the money and time. But best was the lunch our driver took us with for. Never had better corned-beef before and fun!!! One picture says more than thousands words: Here in the postings of the boards you find pictures of our voyage incl. information of the ports and events on board: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1713888 In summery: there were few little weak points but I would do this tour again and I would recommend all my best friends to go on this cruise again. You cannot get more for the price we paid! You can pay more and get more! But I prefer to go another cruise for this budget. I hope that someone from NCL read this too and take it as inspiration to become better with the food. I do not mind to pay a little more if I get a little higher standard with the food. But do not touch your crew: wonderful: can I adopt them for my home? Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We boarded at Copenhagen and this went very smoothly. Welcome on board was excellent. The ship was refurbished in 2010 and it still has that very good look about it both inside and outside. On this cruise we were advised that the crew ... Read More
We boarded at Copenhagen and this went very smoothly. Welcome on board was excellent. The ship was refurbished in 2010 and it still has that very good look about it both inside and outside. On this cruise we were advised that the crew of 900 were from 57 different countries with the Philippines being the highest provider of staff. The food was very good and varied in the Freestyle dining rooms and buffet restaurants. There were also a number of speciality restaurants including French, Italian and a Steak House. All staff were very pleasant and willing to please. The entertainment has improved significantly since our last experience of NCL cruises and the acts were very varied and enjoyable. The entertainments team worked very hard from morning till night and their role was significant in ensuring the cruise was enjoyable. Prices on board were a little high for certain items. A bottle of house wine was $22 plus an auto gratuity of 18%. The Photos studio took the opportunity to catch you everywhere but their prices were unrealistic for example a basic photo was $12.95 with a portrait rising to $19.95. All drinks were subject to an auto gratuity so half a litre of beer cost around $6.84 (incl gratuity). The basic price of the cruise is well worth the money however I felt that the daily charge per person of $12.00 to cover crew tips was excessive and it would be better if it was included in the price of the cruise as you could opt out of paying this daily charge, shown on your bill as a Service Charge. If you opted out obviously some of the crew were going to get a smaller gratuity!!. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable cruise with some very interesting ports of call. At all ports visited there were a number of other cruise ships visiting at the same time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
Most interesting cruise we have ever taken. Not a cruise for sea days....almost every day was a port of call, and as we had never been to any of the countries visited, it was very exciting. Boarded in Copenhagen after spending the ... Read More
Most interesting cruise we have ever taken. Not a cruise for sea days....almost every day was a port of call, and as we had never been to any of the countries visited, it was very exciting. Boarded in Copenhagen after spending the night at the "Admiral" hotel. Very nice and close to the port.....( short cab ride ) ..... Ship was immaculate, and the staff very friendly. Weather was unpredictablem and we had an equal amount of rainy and sunny days....temps were cool for June, mostly in the low 60's. St Petersburg was the highlight. We contracted with a local Russian tour agency ( SPB Tours ) and it was fantastic. We saw musch more than the Princess tours offered at half the price. They were on time, responsive to our requets, and I can't say enough about the experience. Our guide, Eugene, was fantastic.....our small group of 11 was whisked around for two days in a Mercedes van, avoiding traffic and never waiting to see all the sites. Especially loved the subway experience that brought us face to face with all the images of the Communist era in the Soviet Union. ( One complaint about Princess....they tried to make everyone believe that they may be left on board if not tied to an official Princess tour....this is NOT TRUE ) .... as long as you book with a local agency authorized to come to the pier, you do not need a VISA or an authorization from princess. ) Tallin was our second favorite port......Beautiful mid evil city and beautiful smiling people.....Loved it. No tour required....easy walking throughout the city. One scary event on board occurred on the night of June 22/23..... Woke up in the middle of the night to the ship listing heavily to the port side. I literally had to walk up hill to close the balcony doors and keep out the rain and wind. We remained like this for a couple of hours. In the morning, it was the talk of all the passengers, but no statement was made by the crew. "I feel they should have offered an explanation"....in the end I approached an officer and was told we encountered Hurricane force winds that caused the ship to list.......it was pretty scary ......They should have posted something on the TV so as no to alarm passengers....it was clearly unusual and discomforting. Lastly, aside from the listing experience, it was an amazing adventure, and one I would recommend to all.......Be sure and say hi to Marina and Goce in the Crooners lounge if you take this trip. They were Awesome! Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
Been on Emerald Princess 3 times. My review is not of the ship. There are many one can see. In general. We've extremely enjoyed the ship. Would definitely select the ship again Spent 2days in Cophengan. Stayed at the Isbens ... Read More
Been on Emerald Princess 3 times. My review is not of the ship. There are many one can see. In general. We've extremely enjoyed the ship. Would definitely select the ship again Spent 2days in Cophengan. Stayed at the Isbens Hotel. See review in Trip Advisor. Highly recommend. As others have indicated. This city is expensive. Soft drinks are $5.00; McDonalds meal for two is $25.00. No refills. A good meal for two is around $100.00. So be prepared. Great city to walk. Get good mape at the airport. Exchange monies at local banks in the city. Better rates in city. We used taxis. From airport to Hotel. 261 krones. Then taxi to ship terminal. 181 krones. Taxi from terminal to airport. 281 krones. Taxis take credit cards. Get the CPH card. If you use it 3 times...it more pays for itself. Read the Rick Steves book.....great leads on what to see and save monies Highly recommend having good light weight hooded jacked. Plus umbral.....one fore each person We didn't need any heavy jackets. We took them but, did't use Stockholm.....Get up early to see the trip thru the channel and the numerous islands. See the Vasa ship......Not in port long enough to any shopping. Tours take up most of the time. Recommend seeing the Vasa ship....then tour on your own Helsinki.....took ships tour. Rock Church, Nobel awards building, old market.....All there was in time. Again sort time in port St. Petersburg......We took private tour with Denrus......What others have said about this tour group is true. They are fantastic. They handed us a large packet with maps, DVD, tour out line in detail, etc. The issues of using other then a ships tour have faded. Our group was first off the ship. Only 24 in the group. We saw all what you read in the Complete St. Petersburg tour. It was the cruise highlight. The two days there .... With the small group allowed us to see more then the larger tour group. Smaller bus moved faster from spot to spot. Spend as much as you can for a tour. Best monies spent Buy your stacking dolls on ship. Found the quality and prices better Good buy on vodka. Also fur items.....need to know what you are buying Tallinn....We walk off the ship and tour by ourselves. Easy walk. Best shopping is just off the ship. There must be 50. Vendors there. Better prices ...then you'll find in town. Cash speaker...you can negotiate on items...... Warnemunde....bad weather....we did not get to port Aarhus......Another walking .... Self. Tour. We took a visit to the old village...great time spent. Again look at Rick Steves book for pointers Oslo.....took ships tour to ski jump + Viking ships......this is a must..limited time for any shopping. There was a building outside the ship for buying items and getting back vat taxes on purchases. In all cities people spoke very good English........ Weather can be rain, over cast, and at times in low 60's. We did have some days with sun. Never uused the Ships pool.....no time. Day at sea. Spent resting and enjoyed I could write more.......truly enjoyed Oslo.....took ships tour. Again limited in time...saw the ski jump....wow.....a must...saw the other Viking ships another must as part of the tour. Limited in time to do any shopping. just before end of tour some of the group asked to be let off in town.... Approx. 15 minute back to ship Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
As an experienced cruiser (this was my eighth cruise with my family), I know what I like and what I don't like. And what I thought I didn't like was Royal Caribbean, with its enormous ships and ridiculous and (in my opinion) ... Read More
As an experienced cruiser (this was my eighth cruise with my family), I know what I like and what I don't like. And what I thought I didn't like was Royal Caribbean, with its enormous ships and ridiculous and (in my opinion) useless features like rock walls. When my mother told me she'd found a five-day cruise to the Norwegian fjords that exactly followed our annual family vacation to Sweden on the Vision of the Seas, however, I was prepared to overlook it. I'd never been to Norway, but I found the idea of seeing the fjords from a boat intriguing. After driving to Copenhagen from southern Sweden across the Oresund bridge, we returned our rental car and spent the night in the Hilton Airport Hotel. We have stayed there on several occasions and highly recommend it. Our main reason for choosing it is its convenience to the airport--you can literally walk from Terminal 3 to the lobby via a covered walkway, and access trains, the Metro station, and a parking garage through the same walkway. We also got a good deal that included breakfast in the hotel's buffet, which has pretty good food, much of it Scandinavian. Our room was nice and very comfortable, with modern furniture and design, but we didn't have much of a view (except for the train tracks and the Copenhagen suburbs). We like the Hilton, but it is impersonal compared to smaller, locally owned hotels. After breakfast, we took a taxi to the pier. There was no permanent terminal, just a very large tent set up next to the ship. However, embarkation was very smooth. Security was no problem, and the wait was very short. We had booked an inside stateroom, which we are used to. Even inside staterooms, however, vary greatly in the size, layout and decor. Our cabin onboard the Vision of the Seas was by far the smallest and ugliest we have ever stayed in. The decor was almost completely off-white and an ugly shade of green. It was very small (though the photograph on Royal Caribbean's website makes it look bigger). The bathroom was also very small and plain. However, we were pleasantly surprised by the rest of the ship. The decor is very nice. There are a lot of windows, which was perfect for this highly scenic itinerary. Much of the decor had a Mexican theme (I think the ship did Mexican itineraries before coming to Norway), which was a bit of a contrast to the world outside, but not in an unpleasant or confusing way. The ship was quite pretty. The top deck of the ship had the rock wall, and the Viking Crown Lounge. The rock wall has several paths up at different skill levels but even the easiest is very challenging; don't try it unless you're quite athletic. The Viking Crown Lounge is an observation lounge; almost every ship I've been on has something similar. However, unlike, say, the Crow's Nest Lounge on Holland America ships, the Viking Crown is located not at the front of the ship but in the middle, towards the aft. This means that the views are no better than from other parts of the ship, except for being higher. The lounge itself was nicely decorated but there were so many other areas that we didn't spend much time there. Deck 10, the next deck, had the Adventure Ocean youth program, including an excellent teen club with a dance floor, soda bar, and television with video games like Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Dance Dance Revolution. The ping pong tables were next to Adventure Ocean indoors, rather than out in the cold, which was nice. The middle part of the deck had a jogging track with views of the pool below. This deck often got cold and windy, and was closed off at night and sometimes during the day. This is a good safety measure; however, the crew does not check to see if anyone is already out there before they do this, and on the first night, I was stranded! I had to take the stairs down to the pool and step over the rope. The fitness center is also on this deck, with the usual equipment. It is a good-sized gym but nothing special. Deck 9 has the Windjammer Cafe (the buffet), the main "family" pool, the Solarium, and the spa. The Solarium is one of the nicest areas on the ship and was always very nice and peaceful. There was a 24-hour grill serving food like burgers and pizza. The spa was also nice, but not particularly better than the spa on any other ships. I won a free massage in the raffle on the first day, and it was very nice and relaxing. Deck 8 was all cabins, except for the repeat passengers lounge and the future cruise consultant office. Deck 7 was also an accommodation deck, except for the card room and the library, which was nice, with lots of seating, but small compared to those on other ships. Deck 6 was one of the main entertainment decks on the ship. It has the shops, the upper level of the theater, and three lounges: the Some Enchanted Evening Lounge, the Showboat Lounge, and the Schooner Bar. The latter was our favorite area on the ship. It is creatively decorated with features like masts that look like they belong on a sailboat. The Some Enchanted Evening Lounge was where the captain's party was held; it is sort of a small show lounge. The Showboat, contrary to the name, is not a venue for shows. In the evening, they have activities like trivia. Deck 5 has the lower level of the Masquerade Theater, the casino, and the Aquarius dining room. The lower decks are all cabins. As there were many European and Scandinavian passengers onboard, signs and announcements were in several languages. Dining was a big disappointment. The food was poor quality and there was very little selection, either in the dining room or the Windjammer Cafe. I don't believe there was an alternative restaurant, and if there was, we didn't eat there. Some of the activities we participated in included juggling lessons from a pro juggler who performed on the ship. Entertainment was nothing to write home about. One night they switched the planned performance with the show planned for the next night without notice, which disappointed some who missed that show. In Geiranger, we took a shore excursion: a guided hike up a fjord, with the opportunity to go behind a waterfall. It was very good. Food (waffles) was included at a small farm. Altogether, we were pleasantly surprised by our experience on the Vision of the Seas. I would recommend our cruise to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
I learned about Cruise Critic on the Journey, and this is my first review.  I've sailed on 16 cruises previously, including 5 cruise lines Azamara was our 6th.Let me say first we loved Azamara the people are very friendly, and the ... Read More
I learned about Cruise Critic on the Journey, and this is my first review.  I've sailed on 16 cruises previously, including 5 cruise lines Azamara was our 6th.Let me say first we loved Azamara the people are very friendly, and the crew goes out of the way to rectify any complaints.  There are lots of little touches to make the cruise memorable ie hot chocolate, bouillon, and yes, hot wine (chef's personal recipe and WONDERFUL), at the gangway upon return to the ship; an American coffee/expresso machine to avoid nasty shipboard coffee, soft pretzels, a dinner buffet at the pool deck! They even issued a mid-cruise critique specifically for the ship managers so they could identify/resolved problem areas quickly.  The itinerary was unique (our reason for the cruise), and we love small ships.  My reason for the review is that I understand Azamara is categorized as a "deluxe" cruise ship.  My question is why?  I've cruised several of the mass consumer lines (Princess, Celebrity, Royal Carribean) on multiple cruises each, as well as luxury lines Regent and Silverseas.  Azamara is positioning itself between these two markets so I expected an "upgrade" in some things, but not to the luxury level. In 12 days I didn't see anything that would put it in that category, except possibly more attention to passenger issues, but frankly, it's more like a return to what cruising "used" to be before all the lines got excited about 2000+ passenger ships, and the overall quality in all lines went down.  Is that alone enough to qualify as deluxe?  Or is it just claiming it's a small ship with friendly people?  Is that enough?Examples:a.  I still had to pay for water, soda, and even some non-alcoholic coffee drinks (at the coffee bar).  This I really expected to be included as part of my "deluxe" cruise.b.  The ship automatically charges your bill for tipping (at 18%).  So why do they then have another line on every bill for "additional tip?"  We questioned that, and they said it's primarily for people who patronize the same bar waiters and want to leave something special.  To me it's TACKY.  It suggests that passengers "forget" they've already paid for tipping and pay more; however, if I want to give someone a special tip, I don't need a line on a bill to remind me (and we did give a few select people additional tips at the end of the cruise).  Worse, we had great service from a restaurant waiter one evening UNTIL we didn't put a tip on the additional tip line after ordering 2 bottles of wine when we paid at the end of dinner.  We had liked him and requested his table the next night, but he pointedly ignored us!  I believe that proves my point.  And we raised the issue with the ship, and at least the bar/restaurant manage seemed to understand.  But obviously this is a corporate issue.c.  Each stateroom has a "butler."  Really?  Seemed like they changed the name, with no difference in service.  In fact, I didn't see my "butler" for the first 2 days of the cruise, yet they promote butlers as unpacking for you! (Not that I would want that).  He also failed to resupply our inroom refrigerator twice (we only used it 3x).  Having said that, our "butler" was generally responsive to our requests, but no more so than the "cabin steward" of old.  d.  I've experienced true butler service on both Princess (mass consumer) and Regent (luxury).  In BOTH cases we received appetizers every evening before meals whether or not we asked for them, or we were in our stateroom.  Azamara publishes these appetizers as part of my "deluxe" cruise and presumably I've paid for them, yet while they were available, they asked you EVERY DAY to fill out a form requesting the appetizer, AND required you to commit to being in your room for at least 30 minutes because you had to be there to receive it!!  In short, it's an obvious ploy to claim a service that's rarely rendered because most passengers prefer to be on shore excursions, or playing bingo, trivia, listening to music, losing money in the casino, etc things that the ship should encourage since a passenger in a stateroom is rarely expending money.  So, either they need to commit to providing the appetizers, or eliminate them.  The current way it's offered, with all the qualifications, makes it more offensive than pleasing.  Obviously another corporate issue.e.  The cabin size is outrageous for a "deluxe" cruise.  It's the smallest I've had on ANY ship, and the bathroom can barely hold one person at a time.  The shower is more triangle-shaped, and unless you're a small person, it can be difficult to maneuver in.  But we adapt, and that's the ship.  So in my husband's and my opinion, this is "just" a small Celebrity ship, which has a different name to separate it because of the smaller size.  It's fun, friendly, and definitely worth cruising.  The special touches make an impression.  But just know when you take it that perhaps it's not as "deluxe" as you might expect. Read Less
Sail Date June 2009

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