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32 Europe - British Isles & Western Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise ever - a 'gift' for our wedding anniversary. We were put in cabin B344, an inner one. Although we personally found the temperature to be a bit warm (as we like to sleep in cool temperatures), most ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever - a 'gift' for our wedding anniversary. We were put in cabin B344, an inner one. Although we personally found the temperature to be a bit warm (as we like to sleep in cool temperatures), most would find the 23C all-round room temp to be very cozy. The cabin was certainly big enough for two of us and the queen bed quite ample. We had 2 nights of gale force 8 winds and slept like babies; the most we knew of it was a gentle rocking of the bed and an announcement by the ship the next morning. My wife walks with a stick and we found crew to be very attentive. She was whisked into the ship almost immediately for embarkation, avoiding any crowds or lines of passengers, and we were set into the buffet room to enjoy lunch while the rest of the ship embarked. The same was true of disembarkation - off the ship before the rest of the passengers and out into a flagged-down taxi before the rest arrived. The buffet rooms were lovely - clean and spacious with tons of tables and waiters everywhere waiting to get you another drink or take away your tray the moment you were finished. No table was too far away from a window to not enjoy the view. The food itself was great - we're not into fine dining, we just eat food - and there was plenty of variety for all tastes and lots of it. Everything from cold cuts and rolls, little nibbles, to several main dishes and sides. The desserts were to die for! And it really was 24-hours a day, though you may find yourself switching from one side of the dining room to the other, depending on the time of day. (Little ones had their own tea time at 4-6pm, so they could go to daycare when adults wanted to enjoy themselves.) There were tons of little areas around the ship where you could sit and have a drink (or 10) and we never had to wait more than a couple of minutes for a waiter to take our order and deliver a delicious cocktail. There were a large number of heated pools and wonderful whirlpools -easy to get in and out of - and these all had bar areas and seating around them as well as counters serving fast foods, ice creams, etc. We had signed for low-impact activities, a couple of tour buses, and they had quite a few to chose from and quite a few grey heads and people with mobility problems on them. Again, first on/first off, lots of attendants helping on and off the bus as well as into/out of attractions. We certainly couldn't fault the customer service if we tried. And the excursions were great as well with knowledgeable tour guides. We were so happy with our experience we signed up for another cruise - a 10-night one, on the same ship - on our second day. We did, however, book a balcony cabin. We would personally recommend an inner cabin if you don't plan on doing much besides sleeping it it, but if you like to get away from the crowd, you may wish at least a cabin with a window. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was our first cruise. The previous year we have booked a 3 week cruise in eastern Med, but my wife was taken seriously ill for months so we had to cancel. We were both very apprehensive, I was desperate to switch off and ... Read More
This was our first cruise. The previous year we have booked a 3 week cruise in eastern Med, but my wife was taken seriously ill for months so we had to cancel. We were both very apprehensive, I was desperate to switch off and relax/unwind. My wife with all her aches and pains just wanted to know she would be comfortable, especially as we had to take a wheelchair (collapsible) and use it at times. Drove to Southampton, lovely lady took our keys and parked our car, porter carried our bag, I wheeled my wife, we were on the boat in around 15 minutes. I was stunned - speechless. Zero hassle. Very very friendly staff at shore (P&O please take note they were great !). Sat in the chair on the balcony, just honestly could not believe we were actually there. Trekked/Wheeled around the boat, no issues at all getting around, just the corridors where the rooms are were difficult to squeeze down with a wheelchair and meeting a trolley laden with towels (regular occurrence) but there's always a way around that. Food in the evening very good. We swapped to the early sitting (once we found we could do that). Wine started at £15 a bottle and tasted good. Service in restaurant generally very good. Orangery (buffet restaurant) very large, very busy, not so many staff - so did not go there much as we preferred a more quiet time. Crows Nest bar deck 13 at front of ship was lovely, I'd sit in the leather chair, enjoy a beer, watch the sea. Bliss ! Oh, and the breakfast in the Medina restaurant really was excellent each morning. We were in the other main restaurant for the evening meal (cannot remember name). Room was fine, a little bit cramped, but OK. Wife would prefer the mini-suite but if we booked that it would have been a whole heap more. Bed very comfy. Chap who maintained rooms (Sachin) very helpful. Bathroom surprisingly good (I was not really expecting much there). Boat sailed at night, which was lovely as it helped you sleep, the gentle slight rock as the boat sailed. Wife thought bought looked a bit tired - but it is going in for a refit in Nov 2014. I could see what she meant, but to me it was not an issue, I was just enjoying myself. Did our own thing at Zebrrugge, got the complimentary coach (wheelchair friendly) to the train station, then 6 euros each for a return to Brugges which was just 20 mins away. Then as we had the wheelchair we got a taxi from the station into the marketplace which was around 7.50 euros (I gave a tenner). What a truly lovely place, never thought it would be this good. I you have never been before, pop it on your list of things to do - you would not be disappointed ! Trip back to the boat was just as easy as the trip there. The one coach which was wheelchair friendly offered to be there at the station at an agreed time ! Sailed back to Southampton. Found out we had to be out of our cabins by about 8am (ish), people getting us off from the shore team were stupendous again, and were with us right up to the car as my wife was being wheeled around. We didn't actually go to any of the events in the evenings, so I cannot say anything to that. Driving home, past the ship, was fairly sad. Would have like to stay a lot longer. By the time we got home, I was determined to book next cruise. Found the perfect one, Canaries in January, but the balcony cabins and suites all gone. Gutted. There is only one other company which goes from Southampton in the good old English winter, and it doesn't look like they have any room either (only allow 6 people with wheelchairs - even though collapsible - and wife can walk a bit). So, there you go. I'm hooked, wife thinks they are fine. I want to book at least 2 a year now - so got to get a few extra jobs ! Especially if we have to book the mini suite type thing !! Anything negative ? Well there always going to be a few niggles in life. Both in the main restaurant for dinner, and the other for breakfast, if you ask for something out of the ordinary - or at the wrong time (glass of orange say at end of Breakfast) the waiters seemed to think that I'd asked them to walk on water as they had such a look of shock on their faces. Happened a couple of times for things. Waiters up in the Orangery were not exactly a happy bunch, but I get the feeling there were not enough staff there (funnily the main restaurants seemed to be over-staffed !). For new first time people like us, we were totally lost, with the amount of things you had to find out about.Our cabin had been prepared for another couple who had gotten upgraded to the mini-suite, so the format of our cabin was wrong, and the welcome pack and evening bookings were all addressed to them - no mention of us. Sachin fixed the room though, and I found the other people cruising on the boat so friendly and helpful we soon learnt the ropes ! Oh, and on day 2 we seemed to park up in the middle of no-where for a whole day with a bunch of tankers and container ships ? Odd ? How am I going to wait until April when more ships become available for the Canaries ??? Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We were first time cruisers and due to a medical my mobility is a little slow (use a walkng aid) and rules out any flying This cruise was advised by travel agency. We live very close to Southampton and our son drove us to check in. ... Read More
We were first time cruisers and due to a medical my mobility is a little slow (use a walkng aid) and rules out any flying This cruise was advised by travel agency. We live very close to Southampton and our son drove us to check in. Within minutes our bags were taken from us and due to mobility was amazed, taken straight to checkin desk and within 15 minutes we were standing in our cabin C431 a twin with shower and balcony. We decided to leave the unpacking till after we had a walk around the ship. What a lady, Ventura had just come back from having her refit. Atrium was bright and airy. Onboard shops were easy to find, walk around and noone jumped on you as soon as you entered the shop ( one of my pet hates. We found most of the places for Dining, the Orangery was already very busy. We had booked with the knowledge we would be given a dining time and table on reaching our cabin. We were on MDR 2nd sitting in Saffron. And so we set sail. We missed the sail away party as we were unpacking. Our cabin was spacious and we had everything we needed. Our cabin steward Winston, was fantastic once we had told him we were first time cruisers. Our nights on board were 2 Black tie. 2 smart casual and 3 casual. We loved the thought of getting dressed for dinner. The meals were very good, waiters very experienced and helpful. We had no issues with the food and rarely ate lunch as we either on an excursion or had a light snack in the Orangery. Eating in the orangery was a little ruff as the few times we ate there reminded us of school caffateria. We ate in the White room one evening, and both the food and the staff were lovely. We had pre-booked 3 excursions as the last one was full, but we were told via the excursion team, we had seats for the Flam railway. Our ports of call in the Norwegian Fjords were Stavanger. Flam, Olden and Bergen. What wonderful sights, to stand on the pier without a coat on to looking up to snow capped Mountains. Excursion were very good. One or two "Eek" moments on the coach going up the mountain on very narrow roads, I swear at one point some of the coach was hanging over a 70mtre drop. On the whole we really enjoyed our excursions. The entertainment was fair as I had been expecting full scenery, lighting and Broadway show so I was a little disappointed with the shows, however we saw the Chapman Brothers twice, only one we liked. There were children on the cruise and most were very polite and courteous, mind u is till cannot understand young, fit children who take the lift to go up or down one floor!!! Overall we were very impressed with the service. Staff very very friendly and helpful. We enjoyed it so much we have recently returned from a 14 night Baltic cruise on the Aurora, but that's another tale. Well done all the staff on Ventura for its them that make or break a cruise Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
General Overview As first time cruisers we did not really know what to expect. My husband is a part-time wheelchair user, able to walk short distances, so we were a little concerned about embarkation and how he would get around the ... Read More
General Overview As first time cruisers we did not really know what to expect. My husband is a part-time wheelchair user, able to walk short distances, so we were a little concerned about embarkation and how he would get around the ship. On arrival at the Terminal we were immediately greeted with aides, whose job it was to make our transition aboard as easy and stress free as possible. They were wonderful, putting us at ease and taking all the worry out of boarding in such circumstances. I hope this will reassure anyone considering cruising who might also be either partially or totally dependent on a wheelchair. We also noticed that some passengers had motorised disability scooters. Of course, whichever type you use, it must be able to fit into your cabin, as you are not permitted to leave any such vehicles in the corridors, for obvious health and safety reasons. We had a deluxe balcony cabin which was very roomy and the folded up wheelchair did not encroach on our space in the least. We were not too lucky with the weather, but that is something beyond anyone's control and the experiences we had and the wonderful ambience of the ship more than made up for that. On our first night out the sea was a little rough and I have to admit to being seasick, but the administration of travel sickness tablets remedied that within 24 hours. Next time (and I hope there will be a next time) I will take them prior to boarding as a precautionary measure. Dining Our allocated dining room was the Oriental, first sitting at 6.30 pm. Can I offer a word of advice when booking your cruise to select a large table, seating at least 6 or 8? In this way, you will be seated with a group of people who will become your friends. We were very fortunate to be seated with 2 other couples who were total strangers to us, but with whom we developed a strong friendship. The dining experience on Oriana was superlative -- the choice of food, the excellent service from all of the restaurant staff and the little "extras" such as the singing of "Happy Birthday" by the waiters only added to our enjoyment. The food is of such high quality that I also suggest taking some clothing along which has a bit of "give" in the waist! (There are, however, excellent gym facilities on board should you prefer that option!) We particularly enjoyed the Room Service facility and utilised it on several occasions, most especially for breakfast, where we were able to enjoy it at our leisure in our cabin. The Peninsular Restaurant offers open seating for breakfast, which we visited a couple of times. The choice and quality of fare in all of the food outlets can only be described as exceptional. Entertainment The range of entertainment on board was limitless. The Theatre Royal offered such diverse acts as ventriloquists, vocalists and pianists, as well as the in-house theatre group which entertained us with a variety of performance genres -- our favourites being tributes to Abba and Queen. We were also occasional visitors to the Casino where we were taught the principles of Black Jack and Roulette in a very interesting workshop one afternoon. The stakes in the casino are usually quite low, but we did manage to come out with some winnings nevertheless, despite being total novices! There are numerous other entertainments on board, ranging from Bridge to Quizzes, there is something for everyone, whether you decide to use the facilities or not. Our cabin We had a deluxe balcony cabin on B deck. As previously mentioned, apart from one day, the weather was not really warm enough to utilise it to its full extent, but our cabin was roomy and comfortable. The compact bathroom was kept fully stocked with beautifully laundered white cotton towels, and came with a complimentary supply of toiletries. The beds were amazingly comfortable; the bedding of soft Egyptian cotton. The cabin steward did a magnificent job of keeping it clean and tidy, and turned the beds down each night, leaving a delightful little chocolate on the pillows. It was these little extra touches that made the holiday so unforgettable. There is a TV and fridge in the cabin for your convenience and shipboard messages are relayed through the speaker system, as well as on the TV channel devoted to the bridge, on which essential details such as weather conditions and current placement on the globe can be tracked. Services It would appear that "Service" is the watch word for every single member of staff on the Oriana, as indeed I am sure it also applies to all the other ships in the P & O fleet. Whatever you are doing, the staff are always meticulously polite and eager to meet your every need. I have never been called "Madam" so many times (but in the most fitting circumstances!) Many of the staff obviously work behind the scenes, but their efforts are nevertheless apparent --the invisible cleaners, the staff who work in the kitchens, laundry and engine rooms all played their part. We could not find any negative points to comment on as far as all the previously mentioned areas are concerned, but if I must pinpoint one irritation it must be the difficulty encountered on many occasions when traversing the raised areas of the corridors of the ship. These are the metal ridges or lips along which the watertight doors close. We found them to be high enough to bring the wheelchair to a halt when the front wheels hit them, forcing us to have to "lift" the front wheels over the obstructions. The fact that we had to do this so many times resulted in some damage to the said wheels, which fortunately will be repaired under the insurance, but this is something to be aware of. If these areas could be made more wheelchair friendly, then this single point of contention would be resolved. Ports of call Our ports of call were La Coruna, Casablanca, Gibraltar, Cadiz and Lisbon. At all of the ports we were able to go ashore as the staff were so helpful getting the wheelchair down the gangway and helping my husband to disembark and embark on his return to the ship. We had a particularly entertaining day in Casablanca where we took a Petit Taxi, driver by Mushtak, on a whistle stop tour of the city (and some!) visiting off the beaten track sights, including an authentic Berber Pharmacy (Mustak's words) - sure the pharmacist must have been one of Mustak's relatives! Great day all round. We found various levels of accessability in the other ports we visited, mainly due to the "friendliness" of the pavements and kerbs towards the wheelchair. We found Lisbon to be particularly bad for wheelchair users. We enjoyed our cruise very much and will certainly look to repeating this experience, probably with P and O again, as their staff were absolutely brilliant. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
My mother and I just returned from an fabulous cruise on the Eurodam to Scotland and Norway. Overall, the Eurodam was perfect on almost all accounts and since I agonized over various ships prior to booking, I was extremely pleased with my ... Read More
My mother and I just returned from an fabulous cruise on the Eurodam to Scotland and Norway. Overall, the Eurodam was perfect on almost all accounts and since I agonized over various ships prior to booking, I was extremely pleased with my choice. My apologies for being lengthy. My deciding points for booking included the itinerary (had to include Scotland), size of ship (stability, activities, services) Cruise Critic reviews and indoor pool - since we would be in northern Europe and weather would be cool. THE BEST PART - THE CREW AND STAFF WERE OUTSTANDING IN EVERY WAY! I was worried about mom getting around and feeling comfortable which was unfounded. Every time up or down the gangway was made easy by the staff who were always right there. At the two tendering ports they had her on and off the tender with not a moments hesitation - even the one time it was choppy there was never a problem. Every single staff member was pleasant (o.k. not the internet woman - but whatever, one curt crew out of 900 does not matter a whit!). In the Lido, they were great finding a place for mom's rollator and bringing her beverages while I went out to get food. One time I was in the Neptune lounge for a few minutes and mom was in the cabin down the hallway - she was a bit disoriented and our cabin steward came to let me know she was looking for me. I would welcome the opportunity to travel on the Eurodam again. Though it does not have the same stunning interior beauty as the current Queen Elizabeth ship we sailed on last year, it was a wonderful way to cruise and I am ready to go back. FYI - as we stepped on the elevator for disembarkation - we shared it with the Captain as he was also disembarking until September - and was excited about welcoming a new baby to his family in the coming weeks. He was so nice and what a pleasant surprise for our final elevator ride. THE WORST PART - Amsterdam transfer and embarkation. My mom is in her 80's and was very active until a few medical issues over the last two years. She can walk short distances with her "rollator" (length of the ship at most). We had wonderful wheelchair assistance from the airport to the HAL meet and greet. From there it was a fairly long walk to the gathering place to wait for our transfer. Additionally, once we arrived at the gathering spot - there were at least 6 -8 "travel staff" there however, only 1 of the staff could actually check us in and she was busy writing out a charge slip for a last minute transfer - made a mistake, had to re-do it and then had to write one for the other person in the same cabin. It was tedious and long wait while the other 6 "staff" stood around and talked to each other. I can be patient, but it was silly and inefficient. When they were ready to transfer - there was no assistance to the bus and the lead staff took off at a swift pace and was around the corner and gone before we practically got going. It was frustrating and a lengthy walk. At the bus, no reserved seats for handicapped - a kind couple in the front offered us their seats. At the port there was a lot of confusion - whether to take our own luggage, or leave it, where to go , where to wait - there was no staff and no signage for Holland America in sight. Brilliance of the Seas was also in port - and they seemed a fair bit better organized. We were there by about 8:30 am and check-in began at 11:30 am. At least I knew this would be the case since I booked an overnight flight. It was a small check-in area for so many people and since we were in a deluxe verandah suite we were in the first group. Once we had our wheelchair assistance from Youdee (one of the Lido crew) and headed to the ship our vacation finally began and Holland America excelled from this point on. CABIN - Outstanding is the only way to describe it. Huge with a dressing area and large bathroom. Really looks just like the photos on the HAL website. We were right next to the Penthouse suite and could see their deck and hot tub from our verandah. Ari and JoJo our cabin stewards were excellent! Loved the free laundry and pressing - what a great perk (but we still brought way too much stuff!) Great binoculars are supplied in the suites - perfect for this cruise. Silly fun - the towel animals really are nice - a little smile each night before bed. Clock!! I loved the clock in the cabin and that it was automatically changed each time we had a time change. A small thing that was awesome! THE NEPTUNE LOUNGE - I am questioning how I can ever cruise again without it. Cathy and Nickolai were our fabulous concierges. Always pleasant, friendly, helpful and wonderful. If you need anything, they can help you get it - no matter how small. We never had to go to the front desk for anything. The Neptune Lounge was a wonderful, quiet place away from the crowds. We had our breakfast in the Neptune every day - it was an extended continental breakfast - the fresh fruit was outstanding and the oatmeal shots were equally as delicious. I do not drink coffee, but the fancy coffee machine was pretty cool! Great selection of teas. I heard breakfast in the Pinnacle was great, though I am not in need of anything more than the lounge offered and my mom often slept late so it was perfect. Quite different from the Lido breakfast - I went up to take pictures off the stern one morning and was amazed at all the people, how loud it was and a bit chaotic. We would also have lunch in the Neptune as there were wonderful mini egg-salad, tuna, roast beef, bites daily. It was also a wonderful place to chat with others and find out about fellow cruisers. By the evening of the suite farewell cocktail party in the Silk Den we were really regretting not doing the B2B cruise to the Baltic. REMBRANDT DINING ROOM - The food on whole was outstanding! I had a sirloin from the "offered every night" portion of the menu on the first night and it was perfectly cooked, tender and tasty! So much so that my table partners ordered it other nights. We had a table for 6 in the second seating - 8:00 pm. Our table-mates were wonderful. Very nice, well traveled and great conversationalists. It was fun each night to chat and share stories. Mom was not able to be as outgoing and involved in all the conversations as before she became ill, however they were very nice to her. Ebenhezer and Chairul were our wait staff - always pleasant and gave good direction on meal selection. A shout out to our new dining staff friend Made Mona - he would always stop by and say hi to mom and make sure she was o.k. Loved the second seating for time wise, but frustrated that so many evening activities seem planned around the early seating and/or the on your own dining. There were many activities that started and 9:00 pm or 9:30 and we were lucky to get out of the dining room by 9:45 each night. I would probably go with on your own dining the next time because of this though I really enjoy having the same table nightly. We did eat in Canaletto one night and found it very filling. The entrees were o.k. (I think the dining room does it better), but the antipasto is excellent and the ambiance was a nice change of pace. PORTS - We were here early in the season - so not too crowded - though there were often 2 or more ships in each port (we were usually there first and seemed to have the better docking space). Newcastle on Tyne - did not get off the ship - rested up instead. S. Queensferry for Edinburgh - tender port - nice little village quite a drive to Edinburgh. Lots to do around Edinburgh - easy to do many things on your own. Invergordon for Inverness - Loved Inverness. It's about 1 hour drive from port to Loch Ness - lots of driving around this area to see things - beautiful greenery. Alesound Norway - dock right in town. Looks just like the pictures you see of the town. Very easy to do things in port and get around. Norwegians all seem to speak wonderful English. Geiranger Norway - very short tender ride to port - calm waters. Amazing Fjord. Great tourist center with many sightseeing options. There is a local hop-on bus to go up the mountain. Lots of outdoorsy stuff to do here. Busy port Beautiful waterfalls - 7 sisters. Flam - dock right in town. Nice sightseeing center. Very easy to get around. Bergen - secure and working port - there were free shuttle buses into town provided by the city. Did not get off the ship for various reasons but could watch everything from our verandah and there were shuttle busses coming and going constantly. Kristiansand - small city - cute port. Took the tram/train to the shopping district. Great area. Fun shops, neat buildings. Oslo - Dock right in town - next to a medieval fort - very cool! hop-on/hop-off bus comes right to the dock. O.K. tour but with 4 other ships in town and short stay - it was hectic. Copenhagen - beautiful city!!! FYI - the fjord to Geiranger is the most beautiful of them all...by the time you get to Oslo - the fjords are a bit of a letdown. Also, the architecture in Norway and Denmark is just beautiful Be sure to take time to look at the carvings on the buildings. SHORE EXCURSIONS - We only did 2 excursions with the ship - Edinburgh panorama and Copenhagen. Edinburgh was well worth it since it was a long drive from port to Edinburgh. The guide was wonderful and we had more stops then I anticipated. Since we were there on Diamond Jubilee Day - it was nice to be at Holyrood House Palace and pick up souvenirs in the shop there. Copenhagen was similarly good. We would have done more excursions, however they were quite pricey - especially since we were going to Norway. I commend Ian the Travel Director who gave wonderful overviews of the ports and was available daily for individual questions. He was very personable and a wealth of knowledge and not pushing the ship shore excursions. Since my mom has difficulty getting around and had to see some specific things that did not seem to be on the shore ex. in Inverness, he recommended taking one of the taxis in port - though a bit pricey (turned out to be 200 GBP for 5 1/2 hours - it was less than half of what a private car with the cruise line would have cost. Our driver Les was just wonderful. Also, in Flam, Ian gave us the low-down on the Flamsbana train - it is very close to the ship and $70/person direct from the train vs. almost double that to do the ship excursion (we missed out on jam and waffles, but that was o.k. with us). THERAPY POOL/SUITE - Not sure I would do this again. I did enjoy it, but in the end, not sure it is really worth the extra $199 for two people for the duration of the cruise. Also - interestingly, on our tour of the spa, in the heated lounger section, the staff made a note to tell us that of the 5 loungers, 1 was kept cool for people with high blood pressure, etc. About halfway through the cruise, after a fellow cruiser laughed when I mentioned the "cool one" she got the staff to admit (though it took a while) that it was actually broken. One of the steam rooms was also broken. Those are things that should be fixed and they should be forthcoming about. ACTIVITIES - they always seemed to have a nice variety of things to do, unfortunately we did not have the opportunity to participate as I would have liked. We spent a lot of time relaxing. I love the separate screening room and the culinary arts center. Others we chatted with loved the trivia and one of our Neptune Lounge friends actually won $10,000 on the slot machines!!!! EVENING SHOWS - very enjoyable. I am a sucker for a production show and really thought the Eurodam singers and dancers were quite talented. The only downside was the cheesey costumes they had to wear and all the wigs were silly. Seats always seemed plentiful and overall, very enjoyable. The guest artists were very entertaining as well - though Cruise Director JC always said they were incredible and outstanding and amazing I did not think they were as good as what we had on the Queen Elizabeth last year. The Crew Show started out a bit slow - the show coincided with Philippine Independence Day which made it special. To be fair the crew is not given much time to plan and rehearse these things - since they all have other duties on the ship. The talent portion of the crew show turned up a diamond in the rough. There were 6 acts that had gone through qualifying on the crew decks. Each seemed better then the next (props to concierge Nickolai for a fun and energetic dance number) which seemed to build to a great display of bottle juggling, etc. by one of the bartenders. the crowd loved it and I felt bad for the next shy crew member to walk out on the stage. He apologized for not playing an instrument and then the wrong background music began - finally he started - reading the words from a tiny slip of paper - I cringed - and then this beautiful voice flowed. He sang You Raise Me Up - and I must say it was amazing. A huge standing ovation awaited him and the title of Eurodam's Got Talent winner - though he had already left to go back to work before receiving his award. It was truly a special ending to the evening. Note for anyone leaving out of Copenhagen airport - we had requested wheelchair assistance when we booked the flights, however, the ticket agent said it was only a short distance to the gate - my mom was right in front of the ticket counter sitting on her "rollator" as the agent said this. She encouraged us to just walk there. BEWARE - it is an extremely long walk - especially since the elevator was at one end of the building and security at the other end (she failed to mention that). After security it was the shopping areas and then I could not find wheelchair assistance. Mom is a real trooper and luckily we had plenty of time to stop often and rest. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Hello. We have just come back from a short cruise on the Marco Polo. This is our second cruise on the Marco Polo. The Long term parking and check-in at Tilbury is really quick and easy.The staff very helpful with all aspects of the ... Read More
Hello. We have just come back from a short cruise on the Marco Polo. This is our second cruise on the Marco Polo. The Long term parking and check-in at Tilbury is really quick and easy.The staff very helpful with all aspects of the boarding process.The ship is small,but has every thing you require.The food is very good and the drinks are of a reasonable price.The cabins are teat and tidy and kept clean as is the whole ship.The entertainment is limited but is ok.The shore excursions will very well done, no problems.The access for wheal chair user's is not as good as the more modern ships, but you can still get around. The disembarking was one of the quickest we have seen,well organised.We would recommend the Marco Polo to the seasoned cruise traveller. Graham & Julie Gilbert Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
My husband and I did the 10-Day Norwegian Fjord Cruise on the Hurtigruten MS FRAM, and had a wonderful time! The ship, with a passenger capacity of 315 had just 166 passengers, so there were never any crowds or lines to do anything. I use ... Read More
My husband and I did the 10-Day Norwegian Fjord Cruise on the Hurtigruten MS FRAM, and had a wonderful time! The ship, with a passenger capacity of 315 had just 166 passengers, so there were never any crowds or lines to do anything. I use a wheelchair for mobility. The FRAM handicap cabins are very well suited for someone in a wheelchair, with grab bars over the beds (two single beds), plenty of room in the bathroom with plenty of grab bars, a shower seat, and an automatic door in and out of the cabin. The rest of the ship, with the exception of the uppermost outside deck, is accessible, and there is a toilet on deck four -- the main deck where the main dining room, coffee shop, customer service desk, and meeting rooms are located. Other reviews of Hurtigruten cruises complained about the food. We found the food to be of exceptional quality. Yes, it is Norwegian -- meaning there are lots of fish dishes, fish served in a variety of ways, for every meal. And potatoes, usually plain boiled, but also prepared in other creative ways. There are lots of vegetables, salads, fruits, cheeses, and lovely whole-grain breads and rolls,soups, and desserts. Most of the meals were buffet style -- think "smorgasbord" and maybe you'll appreciate more the way they're served. Norwegians seem to really like the buffet style, and we heard no complaints about the food at all. During the course of 10 days we had lamb, beef, reindeer, fowl, fish, shrimp (and prawns), and all sorts of side accompanying dishes and never felt "bored", or unhappy with our selections. Most sit-down served meals were dinners, including a lovely Captain's Dinner with filet mignon as the centerpiece. If you need to be entertained 24/7, then this cruise is not for you. There are no formal "shows", or movies, or activities. In the evening there was a pianist, and some passengers did sing-alongs and a bit of dancing, but that was about it. There was one night when the crew entertained, as well. Otherwise, the entertainment is the spectacular scenery on every side of the ship, the fjords of western Norway. If you need "shopping guides" then this cruise is not for you. There are shore lectures -- which actually talk about the history and geography of the ports you'll visit, and describe some of the sites you might see, whether you take ship tours or go off on your own. But no "hard sells" for anything. If you need food 24/7, then this cruise is not for you. They have 3 meals a day, and there is plenty of food to be had at each meal (and we did take away some fruit and desserts to snack on later in our cabin), but otherwise there is no other food service. If you need alcohol 24/7, then this cruise is not for you. There is a full-service bar, which starts serving alcohol at 3 p.m. Otherwise there is free coffee and tea available all the time, and soft drinks and bottled water for sale. You CAN bring alcohol on board, but only for consumption in your cabin. There is no "hard sell" for drinks, either. The server circulates, but usually we had to call her to the table, rather than having her at our elbow, wanting to know if we wanted something. If you have children, then this cruise is not for you. There are no special children's programs, babysitters, or services for children. I did see a couple of high chairs...but there were no children on this cruise at all. One a couple of port days (I stayed on the ship for the entire cruise) there were some families allowed on board -- families of crew members who lived at those ports, but they left the ship when the ship moved to the next port. The passengers were mainly folks ages 45 and older, quiet, sedate, refined. Mostly British, some Norwegian, some French, a few of us Americans, and a smattering of other nationalities. The language on board is English, and since there was a large contingent of French, everything "formal" was also announced in French. Because there were so few of us, everyone seemed to find a few folks with whom they were compatible, and spent lots of time together, chatting, and sometimes going off on excursions together. All the crew were pleasant, eager to be helpful, friendly, and went out of their way to help with whatever anyone seemed to need. While on the cruise the volcano erupted, closing airports. Many of the people on the ship were "stranded", but the cruise line worked feverishly for those passengers who had booked air travel with them, to be sure they were somehow accommodated. We had booked our own air, and even we were asked if we needed assistance (we didn't). We LOVED our cruise, and hope to cruise again with Hurtigruten, soon! Read Less
Sail Date April 2010

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