25 Hamburg Senior Cruise Reviews

Queen Victoria is a wonderful ship offering excellent entertainment options and an amazing dining experience. It does have some problems, as does every ship I've sailed on, but overall I think you'll enjoy your experience. ... Read More
Queen Victoria is a wonderful ship offering excellent entertainment options and an amazing dining experience. It does have some problems, as does every ship I've sailed on, but overall I think you'll enjoy your experience. First of all, it is not a young person's cruise. The average passenger on my cruise was 70+ years old. If you have trouble with elderly people walking very slowly in front of you and stopping suddenly for no apparent reason, you may be frustrated at times. At the height of the summer cruise season for families, there were hardly any children on board. Secondly, It is largely a British clientele, which I found charming. The average cruiser was well educated and well mannered. No line jumpers of chair hogs, which was refreshing. I could strike up a conversation with almost anyone I met and found most of them interesting. However, if you want to shoot the breeze about NASCAR, baseball and the NFL, you may be disappointed. Check-in was smooth on the dock, but scattered and unprofessional on board. No one met us in the lobby. There was no sign telling us where to go. We were boarded on the open deck three and had to find our own way inside. Even inside, no one greeted us or offered to help us find our cabin, lunch, etc.. We had to ask! Talk about a bad first impression. It got better after that. We had a suite and were dining in the Queens Grill. Our butler met us at the door (Suite 7050), took our alcohol orders for the in-room bar, showed us how to work everything in the room and walked us to the elevators to show us how to access the private Queen's Grill dining room. She was amazing throughout the cruise. She set up a cocktail reception in our room for a half dozen guests (the complimentary appetizer platter was huge and delicious). Lourdes took care of last minute laundry requests and kept our suite spotless. She also restocked the bar any time we were running low. The suite has a boxy crowded configuration which made the room seem much smaller than it was. There were plenty of electrical outlets with both American and British sockets. We had no problem keeping two cell phones, two tablets and two fitbits charged. The love seat is fine. There is adequate storage space and the butler stowed our empty luggage so we wouldn't have to worry about it. TIP: Don't remove your stateroom luggage tags. You'll need them to find your luggage at disembarkation! The balcony was large enough for a table and three chairs plus two loungers. The bed was very comfortable, however they do not use typical American sheets, on board, but rather European duvets. Very comfortable, but not what I'm used to. The bathroom was functional, with a private toilet room and a private room for showering and bathing, The tub was jetted and offered a very relaxing bath with bubbles. The towels were not soft at all, The teri cloth material made for the worst towels I've experienced in 25 cruises. The suite's bar was stocked with loads of teas, coffee and cookies. My wife and I each chose a brand of alcohol. I requested Crown Royal, even though it was not on the list offered by Cunard. The butler made it happen! The fridge was stocked with Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, 7-Up, tonic nd soda water, Carlsberg Beer and plenty of water, Again, our butler replenished our bar twice a day! We dined in the Queen's Grill, which is the best dining experience on the seas, in my opinion. The menus are very similar to those in the Princess Grill and Britania Dining Room. The difference is we were invited to order off the menu at every meal, and the dining staff did their best to accommodate us. Among the items I ordered off the menu were: Caviar, shrimp cocktail, Dover sole, chateaubriand, lobster, veal parmasean, fettuccine Alfredo, pistaccio ice cream, french onion soup and several different salads. Basically, the sky's the limit, if they have the ingredients on board, The tables are close together. My wife and I were seated at a table for two, but conversed easily and often with diners at nearby tables. When we wanted privcy, we were left alone. However, we all became instant friends. Here's a tip: Be the first to say hello to someone and do it early in the cruise! Coincidentally, one gentleman, at a six-top next to us, turned out to be a Cruise Critic member I had conversed with on line! He and his wife were positively charming! I found the entertainment on board to be excellent. The big production shows were good, but not amazing, Headliners like the magician and acrobatic dance team were marvelous. And it seemed on any given night there were six or more venues offering music and fun. I've never experienced such a wide variey of musical enterrtainment on any ship I've sailed. It truly was a highlight of th cruise.And it meant fewer crowds. We never had a problem finding a table or a seat in the showroom for the late shows. The only bummer was the Grills Lounge never had live entertainment. The enrichment activities were a disappointment. Cunard offers wine tasting seminars on its web site. High end wine seminars. However, after pre-booking a very expensive tasting, we got on board to learn the wine seminars were canceled. In fact our sommelier told us they han't done the high end wine tastings in six months. Cunard refused to credit the money from my canceled wine tasting to my shipboard account and told me I'd have to try to get refunded when I returned home. VERY POOR CUSTOMER SEVICE on that! Tip: Do NOT PRE-ORDER WINE TASTINGS! There were 3 speakers on board. One was a retired fighter pilot, who offered some fun anecdotes about his flying career. The other two sounded so boring, I cannot even remember them. I believe one woman was discussing the film career of an actor I've never heard of. We did not use Cunard for shore excursions. We booked everything independently. I suggest you consider private independent shore excursions as well. Remember, every group tour moves as fast as its slowest member. Everyone else has to wait on the slow poke. You may only have one shot to visit some of these ports. Do you relly want to wait on that last person? Additionally, Cunard builds profit into its excursions. The independent tours are almost always cheaper. Cruise Critic has an excellent section devoted to independent tours. Disembarkation for this cruise was difficult, because we got off in Kiel. It is an hour+ drive to Hamburg from there. It's pricey and difficult to reach the airport in time to make flights to the USA. Many people opted to spend an extra day in Hamburg. Don't take the negative aspects of my review as an indication I was disappointed. I was not. I will definitely cruise Cunard again if I can find the right itinerary. And I will definitely book Queens Grille for the dining experience. These reviews are supposed to help future cruisers prepare, I hope I have! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I choose MSC without going through the reviews and that was a big mistake. The only high standard other than the ship is the amazing staff which I believe that they are the most valuable asset. And if they they don’t take care of ... Read More
I choose MSC without going through the reviews and that was a big mistake. The only high standard other than the ship is the amazing staff which I believe that they are the most valuable asset. And if they they don’t take care of them they will loose them all. The food is not to the standard as in other cruises I’ve been to. The same food offered in the buffet as for n the dinner seating dining. Other cruises offer water, lemonade or ice tea without any charge during the dining seating. All other drinks are charged. But with MSC you have to buy your drinks. The food in general is not very tasty. From the 11 nights. Only few nights the dinner was tasty. The pasta and risotto was under cooked. The seafood, scallops risotto with one small piece which might be a starter but not main dish. They offered butter chicken which was tasty also. The ice cream and desserts was tasty. Which you can only get for free in the dining seating. In other places you should buy them. No soft ice cream machine. One small snack bar which offers complementary cakes and sandwiches. The buffet area is the only place you can get snacks from till 2am. In the buffet during lunch and dinner only water, tea and coffee is available without charge. The pizza is very nice. All the food offered is labelled. They offered roast turkey which was tasty. But most of the food offered needs to be improved in standard and quality. Salads and dressing was nice too. The daily show was boring. One or two nights were ok. The last show was a disaster and it was what was best as they say from what was presented during the previous nights. The animation team were very good and exciting. Again all the staff were so good. They worked so hard. Some did look tired but didn’t stop smiling to the guests. The excursion were over priced. I’d like to thank all the staff if it wasn’t for them it would have been a hell of a long journey. Definitely won’t cruise with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This cruise was chosen for its itinerary. The ship is a fancy barge where you pay extra for anything you may need. We were expected to pay for a glass of tap water in the formal restaurant. They do not provided any facial tissues in the ... Read More
This cruise was chosen for its itinerary. The ship is a fancy barge where you pay extra for anything you may need. We were expected to pay for a glass of tap water in the formal restaurant. They do not provided any facial tissues in the balcony stateroom. They allow open smoking in several areas inside the ship which permeayes the showroom and other bars! There are over 21 points for improvement with this cruise company. The entertainment us cheap, appears unrehearsed and karaoke like most nights. Embarkmemt required showing proof you were a real person I've 3 times and queuING each time. If you are a first timer cruiser this cruise may be good for you as you would not know how low a standard MSC is. Of course you may like to pay to have open dining but other crise companies have all the above plus more included in their offer Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our 4th cruise and first with NCL. We enjoyed our trip and saw many wonderful and scenic ports in Norway. Our cruise left from Hamburg, Germany. They have a smaller cruise port there but we were through the line and on the boat ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise and first with NCL. We enjoyed our trip and saw many wonderful and scenic ports in Norway. Our cruise left from Hamburg, Germany. They have a smaller cruise port there but we were through the line and on the boat in an acceptable and well-organized manner. The Jade is a stylishly remodeled ship holding a little over 2,000 passengers. Our interior cabin was well-designed and we especially liked the larger shower in comparison to other cruise lines we have traveled with in the past. I was a little nervous about the cruise before we left as many of the reviews of this ship and NCL have tended to be on the negative side. Our experience was wonderful. The Freestyle platform allowed us to eat when and where we wanted. The food was pretty good. Some dishes were excellent and others were average. My biggest concern with foos was the lack of bold flavors. Dishes marked spicy were rather banal in my opinion. We did really love the wide variety of dining options. We were always able to find seating when we used the buffet. The entertainment was good but a bit inconsistent. Some of the solo acts were average. The main singers and dancers were very excellent and talented. The crew was a bit more reserved than we had experienced with other lines. We did eventually find some crew members who were more friendly and willing to engage with us. Excursions were well organized. We had to tender 3 times. Each time we were off the ship quickly. The quality was wonderful and we had good guides and experiences. I have read disparaging reviews about NCL always hounding people to spend money. We did not experience that. We felt that they always would ask you if wanted something like, for example, bottled water at a meal (for a cost). However, we would say no and they did not pressure us further. We never felt badgered to spend additional money on the cruise. We would travel with NCL again if there was an itinerary we liked. We felt we definitely received good value for fare. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We have sailed on most major cruise lines, but this was our first Norwegian cruise. Overall we were very impressed. The food was the best ever and the crew was always accommodating and friendly. I was impressed by how well everything ... Read More
We have sailed on most major cruise lines, but this was our first Norwegian cruise. Overall we were very impressed. The food was the best ever and the crew was always accommodating and friendly. I was impressed by how well everything was organized. The excursions,embarking and disembarking as well. When returning to the ship from excursions we were always greeted by hot chocolate,l juice and a hot towel. We tried three of the specialty restaurants and they were excellent. The food in the main dining rooms and buffet was excellent so we didn't really need to eat in the specialty restaurant. I must say the Treppanaki restaurant was a special treat. All of the shore excursions were excellent and a good value. This is the first time we have tried an inside cabin and we really didn't miss not having a window. We didn't spend much time in our cabin as there was so much to do. We were also very impressed with the condition of the ship. It was in beautiful shape. Just like it was brand new. Overall this was an excellent cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose the Jade for the itinerary to Norway and the North Cape. We have cruised with NCL and other cruise lines many times. Cutbacks in the regular Dining Rooms was very evident. Food selection and service was poor. Thank goodness for ... Read More
We chose the Jade for the itinerary to Norway and the North Cape. We have cruised with NCL and other cruise lines many times. Cutbacks in the regular Dining Rooms was very evident. Food selection and service was poor. Thank goodness for Cagney's Steakhouse and the Italian specialty Restaurants. The Pub (O'Sheehan's) was an excellent lunch eatery with good service. Entertainment was good and had a nice variety. Casino was adequate in size and games. The Fitness Center was a good variety of equipment and trainer was well involved Shore Excursions was priced very high. The stores had a average selection and were over priced. NCL is even charging a $7.95 room service charge for each occasion used. Latitudes program benefits have been decreased as well. NCL built their reputation with us as a cost/value cruise line in the past. This is not evident today based on our last two cruises with you. NCL can do much better as experienced in the past. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
The following events were my experience with the MSC Ship: 1. When you embark the ship you were instructed to follow a long queue to take photos, even you said you are not willing to do so and you were not allowed to leave. You have to ... Read More
The following events were my experience with the MSC Ship: 1. When you embark the ship you were instructed to follow a long queue to take photos, even you said you are not willing to do so and you were not allowed to leave. You have to wait for others photo taking, it was more than 10 minutes; 2. The restaurant waiter firstly refused to offer free iced water, when you asked the senior staff for reason, they were then willing to offer both hot and iced water free of charge. However, you had to wait for half an hour before the water was given to you. But on the other day, the waiter again refused to offer free iced water, I told him my previous experience in this request. Then the waiter went off and did not bring any water during the whole dining period. In this regard, we gave up the dining at the designated restaurant in the 9 remaining nights; 3. The ship only provided 2 tenders to transfer passengers ashore & returning ship on 23 May 2018. We stood on a long queue (more than 500 persons) waiting for the tender to return the ship. We took more than 1.5 hours at the pier under the windy and rainy conditions. I complainted to the staff-in-charge and requested more tenders to come. No response from the staff, his answer was telling us to wait patiently. When the tender arrived the ship you still had to wait on the tender because there was only one security check, we waited for another hour before embarking the ship, a total of 2.5 hours used to return the ship by tenders under severe windy and rainy conditions; 4. We never took photos but we received a charge of Euro 29.99. After clarification, the photo shop staff just simply replied an error without telling us who's error and why? One photo costed Euro 29.99, only stupid fool would pay for it; and 5. Our experience on this cruise was very poor and considered that the MSC staff were only eagerly to pick money from their guests without providing a minimum standard of service. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Spring is a great time to cruise the northern area, and we hit it just right by sailing from Hamburg on May 12, 2018. The cruise started on May 10 in Southampton with a boatload of folks from Australia doing the "Three Queens", ... Read More
Spring is a great time to cruise the northern area, and we hit it just right by sailing from Hamburg on May 12, 2018. The cruise started on May 10 in Southampton with a boatload of folks from Australia doing the "Three Queens", and picked up passengers from The States, Canada and Germany itself in Hamburg. My friend and I had two of the new solo cabins on Deck 2. Until now, there had been no passenger cabins on that deck, and we found it necessary to get help from a ship's officer to locate ours. Just pass the wall of slot machines in the casino and enter an alcove with a large white door that had nothing to indicate there were now cabins in there. Open said door, and there is a hallway with nine ocean view solo that had just been added. A great three quarter size bed - no mere twin here! A three drawer dresser as well as bedside drawers and the good sized closet gave all the space a solo traveler could use. There was an electric kettle, china and silver, and all the bits and pieces needed for a cuppa tea or coffee. The bathroom was compact and had the cloth shower curtain that no one especially loves, but it was well arranged and had plenty of shelf areas for cosmetics. Best of all, our huge windows matched those in the dining room in size and shape. What more could you ask for ? We had booked many of our excursions with the ship, and a two day independent with ALLA Tours for our St. Petersburg visit. We had a day at sea to settle in, followed by our visit to Copenhagen. The Tivoli & Harbour Cruise was not quite up to our expectations. We were dropped at Tivoli with instructions "enjoy yourself" and meet in two hours to make the canal boat connection. We arrived at the boat after two other groups had already boarded and taken the majority of the seats....not much of a scenic cruise over shoulders and past heads of those near the windows. We had a few minutes to view the Little Mermaid, and back to the ship. Our Stockholm day included the Vasa museum which is always interesting, and a city tour on the bus. Tallinn offered "Rags to Riches" with visits to parts of the city where both categories of natives had once dwelt. Nice stops with plenty of photo ops overlooking the towers of the city. We arrived in St. Petersburg early in the morning, and met our ALLA tour bus at 0830 after clearing Russian customs. They had booked our needed visas, and we had no problem with moving through the arrival area. I had been in St. Petersburg many years before, and found this a marvelous company. Our hostess spoke perfedt English, and we had those ear pieces that allowed you to follow your guide easily. The tour covered every possible cathedral and palace the city had to offer, and a grand lunch was included. Our 16 passenger Mercedes bus was comfortable, and our driver was always ready to assist as you got on and off. We returned to the ship in time for dinner, and were met the next morning at 0730 for another full day of touring. A ride on the subway was one of the most interesting times. The subway passes under the Neva River, and returning to the surface on the fast moving escalator took a full three minutes. Amazing! My friend's watch kept tract of steps, and we learned we had walked five miles each day without actually realizing we had done so. The royal wedding of Prince Henry and Meghan took place while we were docked, but a special dinner was set up for Saturday (19 May) evening with a souvenir menu that had a beautiful photo of the couple and a list of all the Royals who had sailed Cunard since l861. Replays of the wedding were run on ship's television several times. Our next port was Kiel, but the excursion titled Castles and Boats never stopped in the city for a look around. We drove quite a way to look at a few schloss buildings (no entry) and then had a little boat ride around several small lakes that had nothing to offer. This was another disappointing tour that cost $97.00 for very little. The final stop was at the far north end of Denmark in the city of Skagen. The locals were very welcoming of cruise passengers, and the tour covered an outdoor museum and a trip to the far spit of land by a tractor pulled "sandworm". Really a fun day this time. Next day was "at sea" and we docked in Southampton on 24 May. A transfer to Heathrow had been prepaid, and all went perfectly. It had been a good cruise, with weather you could not have ordered to be any more perfect....warm and sunny most of the time but never chilly or too hot. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The good * getting on the ship - fast and easy. The bad * service onboard was terrible - had to wave down staff to get their attention * the food was below average * most of the staff could not speak english - bar staff, ... Read More
The good * getting on the ship - fast and easy. The bad * service onboard was terrible - had to wave down staff to get their attention * the food was below average * most of the staff could not speak english - bar staff, restaurant staff, etc.Made it very difficult to communicate a drink or food order * the entertainment was bad * many, many hard sell tactics to get you to buy their drink and other packages * had to pay for american (regular) coffee after dinner * kids were allowed to run around on dance floors and smash into people dancing. Staff was notified multiple times but would do nothing about it. We have been on more than 25 cruises for over 6 different cruise lines and this was by far the worst cruise we have ever been on. So, be warned that if this was a typical MSC cruise, you will encounter a number of issues that detract from the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
A different cruise, working along the coast from Hamburg to Lisbon. Even with two weeks, our time in each port was not enough—except in Antwerp and Bordeaux, where we had two days. The food was first class. However, with a cruise like ... Read More
A different cruise, working along the coast from Hamburg to Lisbon. Even with two weeks, our time in each port was not enough—except in Antwerp and Bordeaux, where we had two days. The food was first class. However, with a cruise like this I would have offered more menu items typical of the region being visited at each port. For example, the three ports along the Spanish coast have many wonderful food offerings, each typical of the culture. Most of the excursion guides were excellent; knowledge of the history, culture, and daily life. It is the nature of the beast, but after showing us an interesting neighborhood, they would say "look around; but you have 15 minutes before we move on." We were particularly impressed by visits to commercial markets—the one in Coruña was fabulous. That visit was followed by a visit to a nice tapas bar, where we had the local wine and freshly-prepared tapas. The crew was amazing—after one day we felt like family. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise mainly for its itinerary, since it was the only one of its type being offered by an cruise line including hamburg; food was the best we ever had on any cruise; menu different each day; choice of 3 complimentary ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly for its itinerary, since it was the only one of its type being offered by an cruise line including hamburg; food was the best we ever had on any cruise; menu different each day; choice of 3 complimentary restaurants; very courteous staff and always helpful; a few minor glitches and we were immediatlely compensated, including money and a free specialty dinner; let me repeat , these were minor problems and never expected anything back; entertainment was even better than expected;having cruised on numerous cruise lines, including many river cruises, yes, Viking , I would still go with the ncl jade;great itinerary and tours also; we always get an inside room which was adequate for us, since we only sleep there; would definitel go on ncl again, but I wish they had more perks for prior ncl cruisers, like us; I guess I am to use to my rccl and celebrity perks over the past years; Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Service great on the Jade. Food was good however they have cut back a bit on the menus in specialty restaurants. What they have is still very good. Entertainment was ok but the "Showtime Band" was excellent & best Ive ever ... Read More
Service great on the Jade. Food was good however they have cut back a bit on the menus in specialty restaurants. What they have is still very good. Entertainment was ok but the "Showtime Band" was excellent & best Ive ever seen on a cruise ship. The Iconcierge app was not well managed on this ship as it is on the larger ones. Frequently info there was incomplete or incorrect. The ship itself is very nice after the refurbishment! Fitness center was very good with equipment up to date. My wife enjoyed the spa. The casino was empty most of the time. We were most impressed by the consistent level of service. You can tell NCL must have processes in place to treat and reward their people well by the way the EE's treat the customers and the fact that many employees return to new contracts over & over. They just need someone to take ownership of the IConsierge app if they are going to sell it. It only had 3 ports listed for the whole 12 day trip & nobody in excursions could explain it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Our cruise from Hamburg to Copenhagen was our second with Azamara and represented superb 'value for money'. We had a suite on the 8th deck which was spacious, clean and very comfortable with friendly Butler service from Croox. ... Read More
Our cruise from Hamburg to Copenhagen was our second with Azamara and represented superb 'value for money'. We had a suite on the 8th deck which was spacious, clean and very comfortable with friendly Butler service from Croox. The food was first class in all restaurants with friendly efficient service from the staff. The 'speciality' restaurants, Prime C & Aqualina (which we were entitled to use without 'supplement' as we were in a suite) were as good as any first class haute cuisine restaurant. We did not use many of the facilities on board - the WiFi (we had a free allowance as occupants of a suite) and the internet was 'patchy' but we were in the Norwegian fjords where reception is difficult. The shows were very good for such a small ship (700) as was the 'Azamazing evening' which was a Grieg concert in Bergen. We went of two of the ships tours (Flam Railway & North Cape - both well worthwhile) but they were very expensive. In a number of places we chose to 'do our own thing' which was much more cost effective. The Captain and the Cruise Director were 'first class' and many passengers would no doubt go on this ship just because of them - their interaction was amusing and the Captain showed excellent leadership by involving himself with his staff and the passengers - even on one occasion seeing people onto the tenders and saying farewell on the gangway at the end of this cruise leg in Copenhagen. All in all we were most pleased with the whole cruise and will undoubtedly travel with Azamara again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We booked this cruise for a wedding anniversary. 6 months in advance we booked the cruise. On advise of Neckermann Cruises we also booked all our excursions on line a few days later, what gave us on some excursions discounts up to 35%. ... Read More
We booked this cruise for a wedding anniversary. 6 months in advance we booked the cruise. On advise of Neckermann Cruises we also booked all our excursions on line a few days later, what gave us on some excursions discounts up to 35%. We choose English for all excursions. When arriving it was well organized and we got on board: impressive and a very nice clean cabin with balcony that was much bigger than we expected: a big hotel room. On the bed there was a latter that we had to go to the excursion desk. On our last excursion in Bergen there was no English available and we couldn't even take the same in another Language. They cancelled this excursion and we had to book an new excursion. 2 days later we received again a letter for a problem with an excursion on which we had initially a reduction of 22%.. English was not available but we could change it to French. We had to sign a paper but that was at full price. Luckily I had print of all our excursion with the price we paid with me. I told them that I wanted at least the same deduction as the original one. Apparently that was impossible to book in their system !!! After some discussion we had a price that was only a few euro more expensive then the original one. We felt that this wouldn't be the last excursion that would be cancelled so we went to the hospitality desk and explained the problem. They called the excursion responsible and told he that it was normal they cancelled the initial excursion (with price discount) and booked a new one (without price discount). We said we did not agree because WE made no error. Reaction: If we didn't accept their proposal they would cancel ALL our excursions. THAT WAS A THREAT !!! When we received again a letter that the excursion in English was cancelled we said that we would not join another non-English speaking excursion. Their reaction: we booked it so we had to do another excursion. After some words they cancelled the excursion. The last day -1 of the cruise on board there was a meeting for English speaking people on the procedure with luggage on how to leave the ship. There were about 20! people. The Costa guide asked as a first question if we were all satisfied. I think she regrets that asked that question: After about 10 minutes she stopped the negative answers on her question (we said nothing) and she told us not to judge the cruise based on the excursions... Apparently there was on the first day a welcome meeting in English, that no-one present was aware of but that we have seen for other languages when we passed through the saloons. They had forgotten to notify the +/- 100 English speaking passengers on board. In that welcome meeting they would ask that all english speaking people would only choose the same 1 excursion per day, because of lack of English speaking people. INCREDIBLE! When we were on excursions with multiple languages on 1 bus/boat they first spoke the other langauge. The English speaking heard something like: The building that was on your right was... ) = Always to late. Another example was in Bergen where the guide did an explanation in French in a street. She told them they could walk around an to be back in 20 minutes. Then she explained it in English some 15 minutes and we could walk around and had to be back in... 5 minutes. It was always like that... Annoying. On board the performers were really Italian and Spanish oriented: They sung many Italian songs unknown for us while the Italians were having the time of their life. The HI-5 Band was the only band that played international known songs all the time. The saloon where they played was of course always overcrowded. These was our favorite band of course. The other performers was singing there texts in phonetically English! It often looked like a Karaoke show... The buffets and a la carte restaurant were very satisfying. !!! We strongly advise not to book this cruise if you are not Italian, Spanish, French or German speaking !!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Chose this cruise as we were sailing to the North Cape and through the Norwegian fiords. Beautiful scenery and surprisingly good weather. Food in specialty restaurants excellent and staff very attentive and friendly. Very good choice of ... Read More
Chose this cruise as we were sailing to the North Cape and through the Norwegian fiords. Beautiful scenery and surprisingly good weather. Food in specialty restaurants excellent and staff very attentive and friendly. Very good choice of excursions and very knowledgable tour guides. Our one disappointment was the Great Outdoors on this ship was closed for the duration of the cruise. When we enquired as to why we were told that essential maintenance had to take place. This had obviously been planned long before as the ship had taken on contractors to do this maintenance. Perhaps passengers should have been made aware of this before or on the first day. Strangely we were allowed to use this facility on the first day. Maybe the Great Outdoors being open would have helped alleviate the problem of finding a seat and table at breakfast. Also could something not be done to speed up the process of embarkation. It took almost two hours to get through check-in, but no time at all for disembarkation. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Better cruise than before, we were previously on Divina last year, MSC has pluses & minus's Plus Big clean ship, shows not bad, upgraded to Balcony very nice big room, MSC upgraded us both as we are Diamond+ on RCI, with ... Read More
Better cruise than before, we were previously on Divina last year, MSC has pluses & minus's Plus Big clean ship, shows not bad, upgraded to Balcony very nice big room, MSC upgraded us both as we are Diamond+ on RCI, with some nice touches added as a black card holder. Minus Food, buffet is manic, cant find a seat, food selection limited (compared to Princess or NCL. Main meals ok but small, limited vegetables', no additions I did ask for asparagus but no luck, the waiter are lost if you ask for more?? No coffee or water at dinner. Shows do not have live music or a band, All announcements in 6 languages which gets very tedious All mens toilets have no urinal only a single bowl this makes for long waits, MSC must be the only line offering no urinasl (Why). Outdoor movie screen is to small, to low, and not showing any films, that cleaver. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Sailed on Splendida before and liked the two cruises back to back out of Hamburg. Service was amazing in the Yatch Club. Sailed the Norwegian fiords 15 days then to Iceland for 11 days, could have stayed longer. The Yatch club made ... Read More
Sailed on Splendida before and liked the two cruises back to back out of Hamburg. Service was amazing in the Yatch Club. Sailed the Norwegian fiords 15 days then to Iceland for 11 days, could have stayed longer. The Yatch club made excursion very easy as you were escorted off and back by staff therefore bypassing all the queues. The only negative for us was that as we are Australian we only speak one language English whereas everyone else spoke several languages but not much English, still was not a ships problem. Food was really good, loved the crayfish. Would have liked food from the regions but understand with a ship that size it's not possible. Alcohol was included in the Yatch club but would have been nice to be able to have free alcohol in other areas of the ship as it doesn't really matter where you have a drink if it's included in your package. Looking forward to 2018 on the DIvina out of Miami 35 day cruise finishing in Genoa Italy. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We were on the post-remastering cruise for the QM2, boarding in Hamburg immediately after the dry dock. We love the QM2 and love the experience of transatlantic crossings. This was our 20th cruise and our 6th time on Cunard. ... Read More
We were on the post-remastering cruise for the QM2, boarding in Hamburg immediately after the dry dock. We love the QM2 and love the experience of transatlantic crossings. This was our 20th cruise and our 6th time on Cunard. Re-Mastered Ocean Liner: The re-mastering was largely a success. The cabins have a more modern and subdued color scheme. New carpets throughout the ship, most with classy designs. The old problem of spongy holes in the carpets seems to have been fixed. The new furniture and design in the Carpathia Lounge and Kings Court are all beautiful and inviting. We did not like the changes in the atrium lobby so much as it now looks like a tired hotel lobby from the 70s. Food: We were in Princess Grill for the first time and enjoyed the food very much. It was old-fashioned cruise line cuisine done very well. We had lunch and dinner one time each in the new Verandah restaurant, enjoyed both meals, and recommend the experience for a little splurge. Verandah's cuisine is quite modern and inventive, much like fine dining in a major world city. But while the King's Court design had been re-mastered, the food had not been and was pretty much the same as before and as in the buffet on all Cunard ships. In fact I think Cunard has standardized it across the line. Kings Court food was so mediocre that we tried it only once and never went back. Service: Adequate. All bar and drinks staff did a great job. Abelardo, the sommelier in Princess Grill was outstanding. Unfortunately we had the worst cabin steward of all of our cruise experiences. Day after day, things would be not quite right and communications were poor. Service in Princess Grill (other than Abelardo) was just OK, not close to a luxury level. Note that the pillow menu is no longer available in Princess Grill cabins, even though Cunard's PR info claims that it is a benefit at the Princess level. And note that it is no longer possible to order off-menu in Princess Grill. Queens Grill yes, but not possible in Princess. Entertainment: Loved, loved, loved the jazz performances in the Chart Room, our favorite room on board. Enjoyed the guest performances by the Overtones and the Beatles tribute band. But the big shows ("Rhythm of the Night") were the same-old same-old fare on all cruise ships, not our cup of tea, and we did not stay. Internet: Extremely slow, much slower than other cruise lines. We roamed the ship trying to find a WIFI hot spot that was truly "hot." The best we found was only mediocre, and it was impossible to deal with files that were at all large. The service was completely turned off at midnight on the last night, so those of us with remaining minutes lost them, and I was unable to conduct vital business to make arrangements for our arrival in New York. Customers were pissed off. Embarkation in Hamburg: Again I reiterate that we love the QM2, love crossings, and we have booked another. But I feel obligated to warn people about the terrible job Cunard does at embarkations. We had a substantial delay in Hamburg, and since we have also experiences big delays in New York, Los Angeles, and Cape Town (the worst, 3 hours!), it now feels like a clean sweep. Once again, systems were not ready, hundreds of people arrived with no place to sit, no refreshments, no organization. The lines were huge and chaotic and Cunard sent only one staff person out to manage the hundreds of passengers. No announcements, no explanations of what was wrong. We have never ever experienced anything like this on the other 7 or 8 lines we have cruised and where you pretty much step out of your taxi and walk on board the ship. This chaos and delay seems to be a trademark of the Cunard experience. Staying on Board in Southampton: As we were in transit and the weather in Southampton was grey and rainy (big surprise!), we decided to stay on board. The process was a total disaster and breakdown. First we received no written information on what we should do, apparently an oversight of our cabin steward or housekeeping. The concierge assured us that all we needed to do was get our passports stamped by UK immigration officials on board and recommended that we wait until most passengers had disembarked. So at 10:30 we went to the immigration guy who stamped our passports. Then a second immigration official insisted that we exit the ship and pushed us toward the Cunard staff who were scanning key cards for those leaving. The second official told us that we could immediately re-board. Over our protests, we followed along like good soldiers and were forced to make a complete exit down to the Southampton dock where Cunard was throwing a champagne party for travel agents to promote the re-mastered ship. We went completely through the layers of security to re-board the ship, only to be confronted again by the same immigration official who told us that we could not re-board. I reminded her that she had told us 15 minutes earlier that we could re-board, but she seemed to have amnesia. The Cunard staff did not know what to do, and it was chaotic as there were now several disabled passengers who wanted to stay on board, but who were being forced to exit. Cunard staff did manage to herd us into a holding pen in champagne lounge (alas, no bubbly available, not even any water), and our unhappy group were told that Cunard had no idea how long we would be jailed there. A number of us made a very vocal protest, and eventually Cunard staff went around the lounge and wrote down our names and cabin numbers, and once that was complete, allowed us to re-enter the rest of the ship. So while embarkation and the Southampton debacle were unacceptable, we will be returning to Cunard and the QM2, mostly because we love the ship. We wish that we could love certain parts of the experience. Cunard seems to devote resources to marketing and PR (champagne parties for travel agents, glossy brochures full of handsome models), but often has only mediocre follow through with its actual delivery. But in spite of this, we will be back. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Chose this cruise because they cancelled the earlier Victoria sailing and we wanted to cruise back to the states just having completed a Costa cruise. We were celebrating our 60th Anniversary/and 80th birthdays. Because there was a lapse ... Read More
Chose this cruise because they cancelled the earlier Victoria sailing and we wanted to cruise back to the states just having completed a Costa cruise. We were celebrating our 60th Anniversary/and 80th birthdays. Because there was a lapse in time between Costa and joining QM2 we drove to Italy and "killed time" there before joining the Hamburg departure. QM2 had just completed being remastered [refitted/upgraded/new engines/etc.] in Hamburg. It was to spend the two days to Southampton as a trial run. All was perfect on the trial run. Embarkation was the pits. Surprising since Cunard typically has its act together. For people like us, traveling overseas for over three months with a lot of luggage and being allowed 2 ea. 70 lb. suitcase flying business class the apparently new (?) weight restriction by Cunard on suitcases was a problem. Regardless of which category, you are restricted to 44lbs. maximum weight per individual bag! The "threat" in the notice that if you exceed that weight, you will have to meet the weight limit (getting on/off) before they will touch your bag! The aforementioned is not consistent with what they have posted on the Internet. Bottom line here is to insure you meet whatever the requirement is. (Rather than be stressed or have to deal with the bureaucracy, we bought two suitcases [on sale] and activated the two duffle bags we had in reserve in the four suitcases we started with...and yes, we had two had carry too.) The cabin was freshly painted with new carpeting. Cabin steward was exceptional. Cabin was Ok considering we weren't traveling an upper class. Had a nice balcony. The bathroom was miniscule. Dining room was fine. Their alternative dining was excellent! Every three days they "changed" the menu in the non "fine-dining" alternative dining room to cater to a different cuisine at a reasonable extra charge. The "fine dining" alternative was a bit pricey but worth it. We typically ate breakfast and lunch in their Lido (buffet) which was recently renovated. They did a good job. You have to check out all the different serving stations. It is a plus. Service was excellent. Seating was better than usual but still not always able to fined. The ship had 4 formals. On non-formal nights men in jackets/tie optional. The formal nights were disappointing!!! Travelers ado not adhere to the dress code and the ship doesn't enforce the dress code. This trend is apparent on other cruise lines (like Costa and Princess). Entertainment was overall excellent. Seating is mostly raised so views are OK. Shopping on board was less than thrilling. Lots of special sales to reduce inventory. Disembarking: was at the Brooklyn terminal. You are given colored luggage tags based on what you advised your schedule. I had arranged a limo from the Internet to take us to JFK to get a car; canceled it and used transportation through the Shore Excursion. (Thought it would be "safer" but either way is fine). For planning you were told allow two hours from leaving the ship to get to whatever transportation. The good news is that your luggage is in the terminal in groups corresponding to the color; the bad news is that the ship's porters are apparently color blind since our luggage wasn't in the correct "color pile" it was supposed to be. It turns out that the luggage is first brought ashore by color; having completed then it is brought ashore by numbered decks. Our missing piece, properly tagged, was with the wrong group ((deck 6). Having gotten our luggage and slowly got through customs/immigration finding the limo was a bit of a challenge since there was no one holding a placard w/our name...but found where the ships arranged JFK limos were and off we went. Note that there are porters in the terminal. The ship also offers white glove service which is shipping your luggage to wherever at a cost but you don't have to lug it anyplace. FYI the nearest car rental is Avis in Brooklyn at a place it is said difficult to find, which is why we opted for JFK since also we'd be returning the car to an airport (Newark). Bottom line: Cunard is (I believe) the only cruise line offering transatlantic crossings all year long as opposed to the other lines only when repositioning. For that reason it is worth the cost (although the cost is more pricey than others). Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I would like to make a complaint of my last cruise with MSC. In October 2013, I made a cruise in the Mediterranean in the ship Lirica. I reserved a balcony and this trip was great. I had a beautiful view from my balcony. I was so ... Read More
I would like to make a complaint of my last cruise with MSC. In October 2013, I made a cruise in the Mediterranean in the ship Lirica. I reserved a balcony and this trip was great. I had a beautiful view from my balcony. I was so pleased with MSC that I decided to make another cruise with the same company. So I reserved the cruise from Hamburg in the ship called Splendida. And I made this trip this September. This time I also reserved a cabin with balcony, but unfortunately they gave me a balcony that had in front a life boat and the mechanism they use to unboard passengers at the ports. The result was that I couldn't see anything at all. I didn't have the beautiful views of the other trip in Lirica. I went immediately to the bureau of Customer Service of the ship and they told me that they were very sorry but that the ship was full and that they couldn't change me to other cabin. So I had to stay the 11 days of the cruise the same way as if I had been in a cabin without balcony. I think that in cases like this you have to compensate the passenger in a cabin with that limitation and not charge the same price as the balconies with a normal view. As i am retired and I am not rich, and you know very well that cruises are expensive, (and cabin with balconies more), I have to save money to afford this cruise. After my first trip I was a great fan of MSC and recommended it, but now I feel betrayed and deceived. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The cruise staretd with a long queue. 45 minutes at the railway station for the shuttle bus. one hour at the checkin desk. Befor the ship started there was only one small snack counter for refreshments. the shows were very everage ... Read More
The cruise staretd with a long queue. 45 minutes at the railway station for the shuttle bus. one hour at the checkin desk. Befor the ship started there was only one small snack counter for refreshments. the shows were very everage and the theater totally overcrowed. the staterooms and bathrooms were relatively spacious. Cleaing service was everage. No folded towels in the evening or they even forgot to make up the room for the night. No music entertainment during the day. the highlight for every day was the resident painter to give instructions for € 39 p.hour. Because of bad weather the highlight of the trip the North Cap had to be cancelled. so far so good. However the next day stop Alta was only 250 km away from the North Cap so some people took a car the see the cap. why did the crew not offer Bustrips even with extra paymant to the North Cap? we stayed at Alta for 19 hours so plenty of time to make the trip in a bus. shame. the passengers were very old and very German!!!! We will not use Tui cruse or Mein Schiff again Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We flew to Hamberg via Dusseldorf, (many stairs switching planes) took a cab from Airport, ($20.00) to The SIde Hotel (Great Service and pool that was one of the best I've seen) We bought a 3 day pass for public transport for 39 ... Read More
We flew to Hamberg via Dusseldorf, (many stairs switching planes) took a cab from Airport, ($20.00) to The SIde Hotel (Great Service and pool that was one of the best I've seen) We bought a 3 day pass for public transport for 39 euros, as parking is 30 eruo/day anywhere. the bus and underground system is great plus can take the fairy tours. Hamburg was great we were able use our Credit Cards, that had chips, most places. Boarding was quick and our cabin was ready at 1pm with bag awaiting us Service on ship was great, The Sea was good most days and we only missed on port due to weather, ( Captin kept us away from a bad storm) and the trip was great. The food was good and is some what down from the past We had one problem we ordered Lobster from Chops,in the main dinning room, they were not good, for our Annv. sent an E-mail to Royal ccl and recieved a prompt refund plus. The Internet and TV Did not work Well after Iceland. TV was just Bad The Entertainment was great fun and they did all the could. Note: the form does show the places we stopped Oslo : day3 Kristandsand, Norway: day4 The Shetland islands, Scothland :day5 The Faroe Islands,Denmark: Day 5 SEA day 6 & 7 Reykajvik,Iceland Day 8 & 9 Sea Days 10 thru 13 St John, Newfoundland, Ca we could not go in due to weather Day14 sea day 15 &16 the New Jersery port is under construction and a little bet of a problem (work in progress) , Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We left NY on August 5 from JFK and took Air France to Hamburg via Paris CDG Airport. We stayed one day in Hamburg at Holiday Inn Express St. Pauli which is very close to Hamburg historical Port and other city attractions. We boarded the ... Read More
We left NY on August 5 from JFK and took Air France to Hamburg via Paris CDG Airport. We stayed one day in Hamburg at Holiday Inn Express St. Pauli which is very close to Hamburg historical Port and other city attractions. We boarded the ship from Hamburg, embarkation was fairly smooth the port was not crowded; it took us less than 30 minutes to board the ship. This is our 4th cruise on QM 2, still impressed by her elegance. We went to our balcony cabin on Deck 8 which is very spacious. The cabin 8058 balcony was partially obstructed by the life boats, lacks privacy as maintenance works done on the boats on and off. We went to King’s court for a bite to eat. On our return to our cabin, luggage was promptly delivered by ship staff. Our room stewardess very sweet Filipino lady Jeanette greeted us with a warm welcome. We went around the ship familiarize various facilities spread throughout the ship. At 5 PM we went to King’s court on Deck 7 for drill. We took a shower, dressed semi formally with a jacket tie for me and dress for Sharon. The ship had 5 formal night where Tuxedo or Jacket and tie for men and dress for ladies required. Our dining table was in Britannia Deck 3. Our waiter Rose was another fantastic Filipino lady. She knew my dietary requirements even before I sat on my chair. Tour able was # 336 and we met our tablemates, from Florida, Dallas Texas. The service in the Britannia dining was excellent. We enjoyed our table mates company very much we were frequently among the last tables to leave at our early seating, so we were not looking for quick dinner. Britannia offered a wide selection for dinner including a Canyon Ranch Spa selection with low calorie for the diet conscious as well as several vegetarian offerings indicated with a “V”. Then we went to a variety show at the Royal Theater. Sharon unpacked the luggage and put away all our clothes while I was whiling away on the ship finding my ways to Queens’s room and club G32 which were at the very back of the ship behind the dining room on Deck 3 one has go through a maze to find them. This is the only ship on high seas equipped with planetarium “Illumination” in the forward section on Deck 3 behind Royal Court Theater, which is also a lecture hall and movie theater. While walking between Deck 2-3 passage ways, there are rows of tables along the windows with variety of board games and jigsaw puzzles, or offered a place to watch the ocean streaming by. On Deck 8 the QM2 library is well stocked with 8000 books on various subjects from, biography, travel, mystery, fictions. I got 3 books written by Alex Rutherford on Moghul Empire, Humayun, Akbar and Jahangir. The ship has to wait for the low tide before her funnel can clear the bridges. The sail away occurred almost at mid night was unbelievable with the bright lights of Hamburg receding on the back ground. Queen Mary slowly glided on the Thebe River like a black Swan on a Pond. Then she passed under the various low Bridges her funnel was so close, look like she was almost touching the bridge. Every day between 3:30 and 4:30, a formal white glove tea is served with fresh warm scones, little sandwiches, and pastries while Big band era was playing. Every evening is a special time on QM2; we had 5 formal nights, 5 semi-formal nights (equally formal) and 3 smart causal nights. After dinner we went for little dancing and headed toward Royal Court Theater for evening shows. Every day we had different performances, some by Cunard Dancers and other performers from outside. All the shows were of 4 star qualities. Cunard big production show “Viva Italia” was great; “Apassionata” was quite good. At the end of each show we went to Queens Ball room where some times Cunard Orchestra played Big Band Era Music and other days other band played popular Music. One day we had Black and white Ball, another night we had Ascot Ball where ladies wore different fashionable hats, men wore Tux and some wore ascot and top hats. All in all it was fun to dance through the night. We called off our night around 11:30 PM. In the morning we had room service around 7 AM consisted of Danish, juice, cup of coffee or tea. On the sea days we walked 1-2 miles on the Promenade Deck (7). Three round the ship =1.1 mile The Planetarium had some great shows and we were sorry we only had time for two of them. A small grumble concerned the too frequent attendance of the photographers. Perhaps those who want to pay $25 for each photograph of every special evening and gangplank arrival could make a special arrangement, while the rest of us won't need to keep saying 'No, thank you'. Furthermore, with such an advance in digital photography available today, passengers should be in a position to view their photographs in their cabin TV monitors rather printing all the photographs and shredding the unwanted prints thus wasting all those papers and inks. To sum up, it really was one of the best ships we have sailed on; it was so elegant with excellent service throughout and the delight was in the details. We can hardly wait to book another cruise. Disembarkation due to high tide QM2 has to wait for the low tide to sail into the harbor. She was docked at 10 AM. We disembarked at 11:15 took a Taxi to Hamburg to catch our Amsterdam flight. KLM flight got delayed due to mechanical problem of the plane. We missed our connecting flight to NY. KLM booked us the first flight on Tuesday and also arranged accommodation at IBIS near the airport which is a descent airport hotel.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This, our first cruise, had been booked and eagerly anticipated since September 2010. What a magnificent ship,unbelievably huge, clean and white. We arrived at Hamburg dock to be shuffled with masses of people, through what seemed like a ... Read More
This, our first cruise, had been booked and eagerly anticipated since September 2010. What a magnificent ship,unbelievably huge, clean and white. We arrived at Hamburg dock to be shuffled with masses of people, through what seemed like a temporary storage shed-the only clue that this was a special Inaugural Cruise being a few pathetic blue balloons, an 'Oom-pah' band, and a foretaste of the money grabbing photographers, who in the midst of this melee, tried taking pictures of everyone against a false backdrop--not designed to keep you calm! Eventually we managed to clamber aboard, only to be told to wait in a lower floor bar area, while the staff finished getting the rooms ready!!!! Eventually, an hour and a half later, we were directed to the lifts and found our room. Our room was somewhat narrow, bur long and opened out onto a good sized balcony at the back of the ship. The stateroom facilities were faultless, the bed extremely comfortable, and, when you worked out where it all was, plenty of storage room for all our belongings. Our stateroom attendant and her staff introduced themselves and were excellent throughout our cruise. We were quite overwhelmed by the size and magnificence of the ship, and by what was on offer. We then went up on deck and watched for the next two hours as 'Silhouette' steamed up the Elbe and out to the North Sea, preceded by a fire-boat spraying fountains of water, and many people in Hamburg who lined the banks for many miles to see such a magnificent and somewhat awe inspiring sight. But that was IT--oh, apart from a row of bunting that was strung along the ship from stem to stern!! Where were the bands on the quayside, maybe the odd firework, but there was nothing. The Silhouette left Hamburg with a whimper and not the magnificent 'bang' that I had expected! The Dining Room, the Grand Cuvee, served excellent food, and depending on where you sat, the service too was excellent, so much so that we cancelled a 'Speciality Dining' reservation that we had made. The theatre was quite magnificent, the envy of many a town hall, as were the shows, especially the final night. We attended many talks and lectures in the smaller theatre, and I especially enjoyed the History of Art lectures given by Armando. I also attended the art classes, and was delighted with the progress I made during the week. I had a manicure at the spa, a lovely experience, and the fitness room, adjacent to that, was very well equipped, although the 7.30 yoga classes were too early for me ( I was on holiday!). The pools and hot tubs looked very inviting and were well used in the calmer waters of the Med. There were other delights that we didn't really have time to explore, the Hideaway, the Library. the Casino, and the 'high-end shopping. For the price of a Bvlgari watch, I could take another cruise! We spent much time in 'El Bacio' for coffee and light snacks, and some of the top deck bars for cocktails. And of course, we loved our Captain Demetrius's daily position updates and quips--of course to us he is 'Captain...Out'!! So what was wrong about this cruise. I tried booking packages and excursions and spa treatments online. It was very, very difficult although I ultimately succeeded in ordering a beverage package, a spa treatment and two tours online. Never succeeded with the dining packages! Eventually, after much badgering and expensive phone calls on my part,I managed to get online acknowledgement that I had paid for these, (despite the money having been taken from my account, several days earlier!). On the first rough night at sea, I woke to a bad smell that seemed to emanate from the AC. It did not dissipate, but did not get worse, so I reported it next day. Something must have been done, because it did not happen again. I was asked if there was anything they could do for me--actually I would have preferred it if a compensatory offer had been forthcoming--I am not used to demanding this kind of thing, but I know that 'speciality dinners' were offered to another couple who had a 'gripe'! But our main problem was with Customer Relations and Shore Excursions. Due to a misunderstanding we were charged $4.50 for a bottle of water standing by the TV in our room. Having replaced it,(We had a Premium Beverage Package that include bottled water!) we wanted the money refunded, and it took them 4 days and repeated visits and phone calls, to get them to take it off our bill. Finally by about 10.00 pm on our last night, that item had been removed. As for Shore Excursion-my advice is don't book through Celebrity-do some personal research and do-it-yourself. They cancelled, very belatedly, the tour that I had arranged and paid for, to Barcelona.Despite being refunded the money, we were hugely disappointed, but having paid 13 Euros each, just to catch a shuttle bus from one side of the port to the other, we bought Hop-on Hop-off bus tickets and had two tours around Barcelona in an open topped bus. I also organised that we would take an organised trip and transfer to Rome, as we were staying there for a couple of days. The guide was a very nice, but disorganised lady, who, by the time we arrived outside St Peters Basilica, first of all had us all trudging into St Peters Square for a 'loo-break' and then trudging back to where the coach had dropped us, to pick up audio sets and a male guide whose english was difficult to comprehend, and then back again into the square-, where, because we did NOT have 'Skip the Line' tickets, we had to stand for half an hour in temperatures of 30+ degrees, queueing to get into the Basilica. Then straight onto the Colosseum, where there was still much hanging about, and very steep stairs to climb that I could not manage due to an operation on a knee. The lady guide took me to the exit where I waited for the rest to finish the tour. We had paid nearly £100.00 each for this tour, and the least I expected was no waiting in lines to get in--that is WHY you are willing to pay premium prices--so I do wonder who has pocketed our money--Celebrity or the Tour company in Rome. The following day we had already arranged a limited group tour of the Colosseum and the Forum through Viatours for £34.00 each. We had an excellent guide, no waiting in any lines, group of 10, were privileged to see the underground area, and the third floor, for those who could climb!! And her descriptions of the history in the Forum brought the whole thing to life. Now that was value for money! So all in all would we cruise again--yes, I think so. We are looking at another Celebrity Cruise, and we, much like the company, have learnt lessons that we would apply to future cruises. It would pay the company to learn how to say 'Sorry' occasionally--it takes the sting out of difficult situations. Our stateroom attendant was mortified that I had not woken her at 3.00am when I smelt a bad smell-she was sorry -on behalf of the ship!!But maybe that is an american 'thing'-possibly for them, saying sorry admits liability and someone will sue!! I wouldn't suggest that anyone builds up the idea of going on an inaugural cruise--in our experience you'll be mightily disappointed. But you will love the ship, and you will miss her when you leave her. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
My journey started at Heathrow Airport, where I met up with several couples going on the same cruise (recognising the red Viking labels on their luggage).We soon got talking and had lots of things which we were all looking forward to ... Read More
My journey started at Heathrow Airport, where I met up with several couples going on the same cruise (recognising the red Viking labels on their luggage).We soon got talking and had lots of things which we were all looking forward to seeing and doing. Our flight over to Europe went in next to no time and we were met by the courier who greeted us warmly and then went on to the hotel for the evening (A1 Hotel) Day two was by coach and then walking to the Berlin Wall (Check Point Charlie) and the Brandenburg Gate (most interesting and informative as to what really went on during the last War 1939-1945. On joining the Viking Schuamann, our Stateroom was well furnished and spick and span, with an American couple in the opposite room who we paled up with After a lovely evening dinner In fact all the meals were excellent and nothing was too much trouble for the waiters and kitchen staff. Just ask and believe me you will get..All 5 star cruising. Our visits to Potsdam, Magenberg and Passau , all extremely interesting and the guides on the coach were helpful and informative. Wittenberg and Torgen (historic landmarks where Luther posted his 93 theses) and the Meissen Factory tour where we had a making and painting of the fine porcelain made there. Dresden - Visitinm the Castle and the Green Vault where the Saxon Monarch Crown Jewels are housed. Clinbing up to the Rock Towers with wonderful views of the River Elbe. On into the Czech Republic and Prague (City of 100 Spires). I did not want the tour to end, But unfortunately good things do have to come to an end, SO I am saving up to go with Viking again in the very near future. Well done Viking. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011

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