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Sail Date: August 2012
My mother has always wanted to go on a cruise, particularly after watching a tv show set on the MS Deutschland (she's German, my dad's Maltese, so I'm split down the middle!). I was never that enthusiastic, but I decided to ... Read More
My mother has always wanted to go on a cruise, particularly after watching a tv show set on the MS Deutschland (she's German, my dad's Maltese, so I'm split down the middle!). I was never that enthusiastic, but I decided to make her happy this years, and I honestly was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Also, we live in Malta, so getting on board was simply a matter of driving down to the harbour and getting on - although be warned - there's a long line for passport control and to get the board card which you use to buy anything and as a key card, so you might want to board a couple of hours later than the travel agent advises. The cruise itself, though, AMAZING. Of course, my mother and I are both fluent in German, so we understood everything, all the announcements, all the signs, etc. However I don't agree with whoever said non-Germans were not welcomed. Every week there's a group of between 100-200 Maltese on board the Mein Schiff, they have their own tour leader aboard, and they seemed happy whenever we chatted with them. Why do so many Maltese go on the Mein Schiff cruises? I suspect the reason is the all-inclusive concept, which was one of my reasons for choosing the cruise - to give an example, it's not just the usual pizza/pasta/burgers that are free (and being Germans, some sausage too), but two huge restaurants with varieties of dining, and a snack bar, a pizza place, a tapas bar. Talking about the buffet alone, you had so many varieties of food, whether meat and potatoes, salads, pasta, etc. My highlight was a Wok station where you could choose noodles/rice, different fresh meats (duck, beef, etc) or fish, veg, sauces, and the chefs would stir-fry it there and then. And the breakfasts! OMG, the breakfasts. Oh dear. I must stop writing about food, but just let me mention that on the last day at sea there was a champagne and caviar breakfast. Yes, as part of the inclusive breakfast. For those who prefer to get their nutrients in liquid fashion, all the bars were fee-free, except for some items, clearly marked on the menu, which you had to pay extra for. My mum and I worked our way through a whole list of cocktails, with or without alcohol, all without shelling out an extra penny. Our balcony cabin was comfortable and clean, and every evening Fedel, our cabin attendant left a choccy on our beds! I do have some niggles - yes, Germans do have a habit of racing to any dining area 2 minutes before opening time and then occupying their seats until the restaurant closes. And Maltese in large groups can be pretty loud and obnoxious. The only thing that really bothered me and I couldn't shrug off that easily were the children. So many children packing the relatively small pool day in day out. And even as I complain, I remember my last day when I was feeling a bit low and three preteen German kids gave me a ship newsletter they had prepared during their stay - so, I guess they weren't so bad, either. I wasn't too happy with the excursions organized by our local agency - they showed the typical Maltese obsession with packing as many sights and visits into one trip so as to feel we got value for money. All I got out of it was tendinitis of my Achilles heel tendon (my most hated tendon, now) which I'm still feeling now. I do agree with another reviewer that the tendering was a bit of a pain in the neck, but what can you do? I would recommend this to anyone who feels like a holiday where they can be pampered for a few days! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We are a family of 4, been cruising for several years now. Was our first time on mein schiff 6 and definetely the last. The advertisments for this cruise show smiling people having a good time but none such person was in sight on this ... Read More
We are a family of 4, been cruising for several years now. Was our first time on mein schiff 6 and definetely the last. The advertisments for this cruise show smiling people having a good time but none such person was in sight on this cruise. In all our travel we have never experienced anything like that. During the whole week we were treated like rubbish by other passengers. Our son was even physically abused by an old man in the pool. He pushed him under the water and smashed him to the wall of the pool. All of this happened because a 10yr old boy splashed some water while swimming. By the way the man was over 1m away. When reported we were told that the man was pissed off. As if it is acceptable to physically and verbally abuse children. Cruise personnel were helpful and polite. Food choice was good. Hygiene excellent. Balcony cabin was small for 4 persons. Was always clean and ready. No entertainment during the day which made days at sea boring. Shore excursions were taken with maltese rep. Most passengers we met were selfless and arrogant, so to all people who would like a nice relaxing holiday for the family don't even try to consider going on a Mein schiff. Mein schiff is catered for german people only and not for any other nationality. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Our cruise was with TUI, Marella Explorer 2. We sailed out of Naples 2nd May 2019. We have cruised 14 times before with many different companies and ships however, we feel that Tui Marella Explorer 2 is the worst ship and cruise that we ... Read More
Our cruise was with TUI, Marella Explorer 2. We sailed out of Naples 2nd May 2019. We have cruised 14 times before with many different companies and ships however, we feel that Tui Marella Explorer 2 is the worst ship and cruise that we have ever been on. We have cruised with Thomson 3 times and have always enjoyed the ships, food, very friendly staff and happy atmosphere on board. We feel that Tui have lost the plot, the ship was shabby, not because the staff didn't clean but because the company have done a very poor job of refitting and maintaining the ship. The food was very poor, limited choice at buffet and sub standard menus in dining rooms, they obviously have cut the staff to a minimum and it showed in the service and the way the staff enacted with customers. I feel the staff did their very best under the circumstances but I can only describe the atmosphere as being unhappy and the ship was soulless, the whole ship had a sad feeling not what anyone wants on a holiday. If this had been the first cruise we had ever taken we would never have cruised again. The shows were boring, certainly not up up Thomson's excellent standard. the limited daytime entertainment was nothing short of embarrassing. There were no toiletries in the cabin apart from one container of shower gel in the shower. On arriving at Naples Airport were had to walk about a quarter of a mile with all our luggage to get to the coach park, lots of elderly people were really struggling, no help was offered from Tui staff. The whole cruise was basic and penny pinching and we will never travel with them again or recommend them to friends or family. We traveled with 6 friends all experienced cruisers and we are all of the same opinion. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Starting in Barcelona we did not have air fare or hotel the night before. Good ship, but dreadful service. The cabin is OK, not too big. There is a More than 500 (!!!) bad mannered children on the ship - horrible! Unfortunately ... Read More
Starting in Barcelona we did not have air fare or hotel the night before. Good ship, but dreadful service. The cabin is OK, not too big. There is a More than 500 (!!!) bad mannered children on the ship - horrible! Unfortunately there was not a chance to relx because there were to many children in every corner of the ship. We used the balcony of our cabin to enjoy a bit. Food was very poor in the "Atlantik" restaurants, it may be better in the speciality restaurants where you have to pay additional. The "pre-paid-restaurants" are all very full, often you have to wait half an hour to get in. In Speciality restaurants was always enough space but they are quite expensive. Included wine from the tap is not drinkable, there are some good wines in Außenalster-Bar, but not in the restaurants. Staff is very often not ablke to talk english or german. When ordering anything in a restaurant you have to point in the menu what you like, otherwise you will not get what you said because youl will be misunderstood. Entertainment is OK. There is a theatre and a shooping mall. Pool seems to be big, but isnt´t because only 1,30 m deep and screaming children wherever you are. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Status of cabins was comparatively excellent, as well as their cleanliness. In larger diners, presentation of food was repetitive and one of the family caught a stomach bug. In other restaurants the fare was much better and recommendable. ... Read More
Status of cabins was comparatively excellent, as well as their cleanliness. In larger diners, presentation of food was repetitive and one of the family caught a stomach bug. In other restaurants the fare was much better and recommendable. There was only a duo and a group presenting the same music on different ship levels and this was somewhat mediocre. All inclusive aspect was very positive. Bus on one of the excursions did not have air-conditioning working and this was eventually replaced. Some uncontrolled children in the pools, as well as persons who drank too much marred the expected relaxation atmosphere. Worst experience was use of the warped steps of the main pool where a family member slipped and was quite bruised. This was not a one-off incident as other persons were observed sipping from the same steps, however administration exonerated themselves by stating that they observed Health & Safety precautions although in my opinion better maintenance was wanting. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2011
We embarked on Mein Schiff on 7 th August from Malta to East Mediterranean. We had an inside cabin(quad) since we were travelling with children. Cabin size was adequate though on other cruise liners a cabin of the same category was larger. ... Read More
We embarked on Mein Schiff on 7 th August from Malta to East Mediterranean. We had an inside cabin(quad) since we were travelling with children. Cabin size was adequate though on other cruise liners a cabin of the same category was larger. We were very disappointed with the quality of food. We were expecting the same dining experience that we had on other cruise liners. The fish restaurant was very good but you have to book and it is almost fully booked. Regards activities, almost nothing is organized. No animation or games by the pool,no table tennis tournaments. Since we spent 2 days at sea because we didn't disembark at Mykonos because the sea was a bit rough, it got very boring. Also the ship is not very stable.It moves a lot with the least sea swell. Entertainment in the theatre was quite ok but it was not provided everyday. If someone asks me if I would go on a Mein Schiff cruise again, the answer would be a definately NO. The only thing which is better on Mein Schiff which you don't find on other ships is that most drinks including cocktails are inclusive. In fact, for a non drinker like me, it was the only thing that kept us from being totally disappointed. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
It was my first cruise ever. I joined (as a single female) two relatives for whom it was a life time event. Destination was Norway which - despite hesitations - convinced me to pay the exorbitant price for a single cabin. I usually ... Read More
It was my first cruise ever. I joined (as a single female) two relatives for whom it was a life time event. Destination was Norway which - despite hesitations - convinced me to pay the exorbitant price for a single cabin. I usually travel on my own and in the past I have always connected to my fellow tour members - male or female. Not so on this cruise - the advertisements for this cruise show attractive, middle aged people smiling and having a good time - none such person was in sight on this cruise. It was a ship full of old and unsmiling people. Don't get me wrong - I am that agegroup myself but there is a difference in being old and acting old. Wanting to see bits of Norway - I had booked myself on a tour every day we were in port and the tours were great but already on my first tour I sadly realised that only the guides had an iota of personality. In all my time of travel I have never experienced anything like that. I am not sure if it is a German trait (mind you I am German myself but perhaps I have lived abroad too long) or if it is just a "cruising mentality" but it has put me off cruises for good. Some good things: - The cruise personnel was excellent - waiters, actors, reception, general - My single cabin was superb - spacious and clean - Tours were great - my favourite two were "Walk with Huskys" and "Quadbiking" - Specialty restaurants were a great plus, especially with the Gourmet package on offer Would I recommend it - generally no but perhaps I am not their target market. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Pros: 1) staff (except for reception) were excellent - very helpful and polite 2) food choice and standard (and hygiene) were excellent 3) choice of entertainment was very good 4) embarkation process was handled efficiently ... Read More
Pros: 1) staff (except for reception) were excellent - very helpful and polite 2) food choice and standard (and hygiene) were excellent 3) choice of entertainment was very good 4) embarkation process was handled efficiently and quickly Cons: 1) reception had difficulty understanding problems and requests 2) room was very noisy all cruise - it was a disabled inside cabin with a pillar in the middle, and this carried up the engine noise all the time, and was worse at night when the ship was moving 3) painting was being done while people were sunbathing (along with other maintenance) 4) luggage had to be out at midnight, even though our transfer was not until the following evening, which was a big hassle - we paid for a room to us and for some bizarre reason we were given the room next door (???) so had to switch one room down 5) we embarked late on Friy night and so did not have a proper muster drill - basically we were told to look at the back of the door in our cabin to see where to go Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I've decided to try this cruise line for the first time, after I have been on numerous cruises with Costa, MSC, Royal Carribean and Holland America. I speak good German, therefore the fact, that it is oriented towards German market, ... Read More
I've decided to try this cruise line for the first time, after I have been on numerous cruises with Costa, MSC, Royal Carribean and Holland America. I speak good German, therefore the fact, that it is oriented towards German market, didn't stop me, since at the time frame I had available, this was the most attractive option. There have been several questions about TUI and AIDA, if it is appropriate for somebody, who does not speak German. I would say, no. Everything is in German language, only some safety announcements are made also in English. My husband does not speak german, therefore we have missed some of the shows, we couldn't participate in any of the activities and we could not take any excursions. So for a non-german speaking guests options are limited. The main negative issue was our cabin. It was cabin number 10096, and it was located next to a pantry room. There was a lot of noise - starting from 6 AM or earlier and finishing at 11 PM or later. It was really loud - we didn't need an alarm clock, since they woke us up every day at 6 AM. We couldn't change the room - we were informed on the first day that there are no possibilities for that, since the ship is full. Fortunatelly, we usually wake up early and we do not spend a lot of time in the cabin, so we didn't let this fact to ruin our vacation. But, I think that such a cabin should not even be offered to guests, or they should invest in some extra isolation. It was really disturbing and it didn't stop the whole day. I've been on 20 cruises until now, and something like that never happened before, eventhough I usually book an internal guarantee cabin. Food was good, also oriented towards german taste, but for us that is acceptable. We also tried Surf & Turf restaurant, and the steak was excellent. We really liked the wellness district, and we spent a lot of time there. There was always possible to find a free spot and was really comfortable. Embarkation and disembarkation went very well, in comparison to other cruise lines. I've celebrated my birthday during the cruise and received a small gift and birthday card in my cabin. The personnel is mostly very friendly, especially the non-german part of the staff. We only visited few of the shows, where there was mostly singing and dancing, but were quite dissapointed with the quality of performers. We had a great time anyway, but I am not sure if I would cruise with this cruise line again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We choose the cruise because of the itinerary - United Arab Emirates plus Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. To be fair the ship - Mein Schiff 4 - is beautiful. The staterooms are well appointed, the dining - no matter which restaurant you ... Read More
We choose the cruise because of the itinerary - United Arab Emirates plus Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. To be fair the ship - Mein Schiff 4 - is beautiful. The staterooms are well appointed, the dining - no matter which restaurant you choose is not to be faulted and the all inclusive concept very nice. With the exception of the wines served in the all incl. restaurants that are not of good quality. But you can circumnavigate that by ordering your much better wine at the all incl. bars and then just take them with you to your restaurant table. As long as you don't go during school vacation time when kids are running riot all over the ship at all hours - as we experienced during a Mein Schiff cruise in January 2018, it is quite pleasant. During sea days it is heard to find a sun lounger as all are reserved and the crew doesn't bother to free the loungers even if there is nobody there half the time. Very German (and I am one myself). I can't say anything about the shore excursions because we dislike travelling in groups and always organize all our shore excursions ourselves. Really horrible is that Mein Schiff has a very strange smoking policy. Our stateroom had a balcony and we were really looking forward to using it to read and relax. No such joy as smoking is allowed on the balconies and we had the misfortune of having heavy smokers living to the right and the left of us. We could not even leave the door open as smoke wafted into the stateroom. Disgusting! Upon complaing we were told that Mein Schiff's policy is that all passengers should "feel free to pursue their personal preferences". We find that this is absolutely not acceptable and had we known this before we booked we certainly would not have booked Mein Schiff and we never again will. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We enjoyed every day of our cruise. Food was excellent and service in all restaurants was great and crew was very helpful and friendly. Even thow we were an English speaking passengers. Ship is very clean and well organized. Bit ... Read More
We enjoyed every day of our cruise. Food was excellent and service in all restaurants was great and crew was very helpful and friendly. Even thow we were an English speaking passengers. Ship is very clean and well organized. Bit disappointed that the show are compliantly in German. Yes we knew that and been told, but since there was a good number of English speaking passengers I suggest that English will be included in the shows, at least 25 % of the show. In this was English speaking passengers feel part of the show and not as second class. Feeling excluded it's not a very nice feeling. We will be travelling with Mein schiff Herts again next September as we are very happy with the service. Only the entertainment which we were disappointing. We hope and wish that something will be done in this regard. It's great to feel part of the family on board. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Single traveler on 'Canary Islands And Madeira' cruise with 'Mein Schiff 1' from Las Palmas. I chose this cruise to experience the brand new ship and 'TUI Cruises'. Embarkation - This was done very quickly. ... Read More
Single traveler on 'Canary Islands And Madeira' cruise with 'Mein Schiff 1' from Las Palmas. I chose this cruise to experience the brand new ship and 'TUI Cruises'. Embarkation - This was done very quickly. The baggage already waited in front of my stateroom when I boarded the ship after my excursion to the city, that was about 4 hours after CheckIn. Security Drill - Cruise guests tightly pushed in a bar way too small for so many people, the elderly had to wait standing for long, and though everyone was registered at the entrance, a crew member started to call everyone after another by name, which then turned out to be a joke. The security movie from the stateroom TV was shown, and a life vest demonstration by a crew member, but few guests could see that due to the crowd. Smoking on balconies is considered to be a security risk, but on 'Mein Schiff 1' smoking on balconies was allowed explicitly, even ash trays were provided. The Ship - Just a half a year old 'Mein Schiff 1', which means 'My Ship 1', features many venues named after locations in Hamburg, where the cruise line is headquartered. Overall appearance was quite Hanseatic, with decent colors, modest decoration, restrain and understatement. Orientation was made very simple for the cruise guests due to signs pointing to bow, stern, port and starboard sides of the ship. Elevators were usually available very quickly and equipped with close door buttons. The sports hall above the 'Anckelmannsplatz' buffet restaurant was well audible when guests were dining, noisy banging and tramping. Tobacco smoke caused by too many smokers on board flew around at outdoor bars on deck and to my balcony nearly constantly. While 'TUI Cruises' promotes itself with words like 'Wohlfühl', feel-good, and 'Gesund', healthy, it was hard to gasp a clear sea breeze. My balcony was actually unusable therefore. Free sun loungers were always available, even on the sea days. There was no storm during the cruise, thus the ship always sailed very stable. Crew And Staff - They were always friendly and spoke German language astonishingly often and quite good. I maybe met the stateroom stewards at any time, but did not have had a chance to talk to them personally. That was though not necessary however at all, since they did a good job without being noticed. No intrusive promotion of shopping and spa offers, also not in written form. Dining - The choice and selection in the 'Anckelmannsplatz' buffet restaurant - I don't go to restaurants with service at the table on board - appeared limited to me in the area of the warm kitchen, in addition, some foodstuffs were offered on days in a row or even daily. Potatoes were served nearly always unpeeled, but tasted very good. Cruise guests could select food on their own at the 'WOK-Station' for individual preparation. The pantry staff did use plenty of salt and created conspicuously runny sauces. Choice from the cold kitchen with salads, cheese and Brötchen for example, German dough rolls, was good. Especially the 'Artisan' bread was very tasty. For breakfast, the same foodstuff was offered every morning. The pastries section also was a little bit limited, sometimes, pieces of fancy cakes did not have had a flooring, the pieces fell apart while being transferred to the plate by the guests. 'Bruno Gelato' was offered together with toppings in the buffet restaurant and on the pool deck, it was among the most delicious things offered on board. Some food had proper labels, including allergy notices, some things were not labeled at all. Dining obviously should fulfill German taste, needs and demand, there was less variation and very less local food from the cruise region being offered. Despite the limitations, everything I tried tasted good or even very good. Included in the cruise fare were nearly all beverages, some more expensive alcoholic drinks on surcharge. Guests could fill their glasses with soft drinks, vine and beer, or their cups with different beverages from the coffee machines on their own; the hot chocolate was very good. The dress code was casual, but long pants were required in the evening. The Guests - They were from German speaking countries only, and throughout of a higher average age. Few but very agile kids, some people with rollators and in wheel chairs. Board language was German, with some very few security related announcements in English as well. Shore Excursions - This is something I usually organize on my own. Disembarkation and Embarkation at ports of call was quickly without long waiting. The ship was always very punctual. Entertainment - Sometimes, life music was played at the pool, there were also some pool parties and daily evening shows in the theater and the small stage called 'Schaubühne'. A paint school was offering courses. Shopping - A shopping mall over 2 decks offered many things, clothes, souvenirs and typical duty free goods. The art gallery exhibited paints and photographs. Internet - Many different internet packages were offered at reasonable prices. The speed was good, the connection interrupted and reconnected seconds later sometimes. Land based LTE internet access was available when the ship cruised in coastal areas, and in ports anyway. Disembarkation - That went absolutely without problems or waiting. The baggage was easy to find in the terminal, but could also be brought from the ship by the cruise guests on their own until 09:00am. Thank you 'TUI Cruises', for this cruise on 'Mein Schiff 1'! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This review is about our tansatlantic cruise on the MEIN SCHIFF 3: General: TUI cruises has a fleet of 6 ships called "Mein Schiff" and offers premium all inclusive service, which means that beverages are included and that ... Read More
This review is about our tansatlantic cruise on the MEIN SCHIFF 3: General: TUI cruises has a fleet of 6 ships called "Mein Schiff" and offers premium all inclusive service, which means that beverages are included and that there's no service charge. The language on board is German. As English is definitely underrepresented, it is not advisable for non German-speaking people to go on a cruise with Mein Schiff. Embarkation and disembarkation worked perfectly - it was relaxed, fast and without any complaints. Cabins: I had the feeling that cabins are a little bit smaller than on American cruise ships, but the facilities are pretty much the same. One asset is the Nespresso machine every cabin has. Officially one capsule per day and guest is included but our experience was that the capsules where filled up twice a day without any additional cost. The glass bottle with mineral stones that can be filled at the water dispensers nearby the elevator is a great idea. Unfortunately there is no mini bar at the cabin, so we where not able to chill the beverages we brought onboard or purchased on deck. So we regularly had to order a bucket of ice. Btw, there are no regulations about bringing alcohol aboard for consumption on the cabin, so we brought several bottles of wine and had no problems about that. The cabin was cleaned up twice a day but the towels weren't changed everyday, although we threw them on the floor. Pool and pool deck: This pool is great!! It is 25 meters long and surrounded by foamed mats to lie on. Two bars are in striking distance to the pool. The indoor pool is comparatively small but there are lounge beds in this area if you want to relax and calm down. The noise around the outdoor pool can get pretty much sometimes (especially when the DJ is playing or when soccer fans are singing fan songs at the pool bar - and that happened really often, mostly in the morning). As Germans like to reserve their chairs, it can get really hard to find one - especially from morning to about 3 pm. No Go: There is a stand serviced by an employee where you can get towels in exchange for your towel card, but you only get ONE towel at a time. Entertainment and activities: Focusing on health and sports, there is a huge offer on fitness activities. There is an always crowded gym with cardio and weights equipment and a separate room for courses like jumping fitness. You can also join a daily spinning course on the basketball field, a running group at every shore excursion day and a wide range on fitness related shore excursions. Besides, the basketball field turns into a cinema on some nights, and there are two outdoor bars that are open every night. One of them is on the back of the ship and the atmosphere there was always very comfortable and relaxed. We only visited one show at the theater, the variety did not really please us. The casino isn't a casino, it is more a small room with three or four gambling machines and one table - good for us, because we aren't into gambling. There is also a small disco which was also always full. Food, beverages and service: Service could definitely be better. While the bar tenders and waiters in the specialty restaurants were friendly and accommodating, the cabin stewarts were a little bit sloppy and the waiters in the main restaurant were often uncoordinated and inattentive. The food was really excellent! The portions at the à la carte restaurant are relatively small, so you can have several courses without being overeaten. The restaurant is divided into a classic and a Mediterranean floor, both offered excellent dishes every night. The buffet restaurant has a separated part (called GOSCH) that is specialized on fish and seafood but where you can also order specialties at additional cost. For just 20 Euro each, we had a giant portion of snow crab legs which were remarkable. There is a ice cream and waffles stand by the pool, which was also included and always visited very well during our cruise. There are three specialty restaurants that are not covered by all inclusive, two of them are highly recommendable. Surf & Turf steak restaurant offers a exclusive variety of steaks from all over the world and the ambience at the terrace is great. Hanami is an Asian restaurant under the patronage of a German master chef. Richards is a classic fine dining restaurant - the dishes were good but uninspired and not worth the money. Although beverages are included, variety and quality were excellent and serving size was generous. By the pool, beer is often available for self-service. Ports and shore excursions: As there is a focus on sports on the ship, you can join a running team at every stop and there are many sportive shore excursions you can book. Shore excursions in general are well organized and most of them are accompanied by a member of the shore excursions team. To be sure you get the excursions you want, you should book them well in advance. Two weeks prior to embarkation, most of them were already fully booked. I would definitely go on a Mein Schiff cruise again, because value for money is unbeatable. My only wish would be that staff is more service oriented and the guests behave better. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Myself, hubby and our dear friends decided to trial our sea legs on a cruise to the Western Med. Looking through the Tui catalogue found us becoming more and more confused on where to go, how long to go for and which ship. Eventually we ... Read More
Myself, hubby and our dear friends decided to trial our sea legs on a cruise to the Western Med. Looking through the Tui catalogue found us becoming more and more confused on where to go, how long to go for and which ship. Eventually we decided on The Treasures of the Western Med as we all wanted to do Sorrento (which unfortunately the sea was too rough to get us to port via Tender so we missed it). This did mean we had an unscheduled stop to Naples which was enjoyed with a glass of Pimms on deck - we didnt disembark here as it looked uninviting. The Majesty is an older ship and we were told she was a bit tired but provided everything we needed. Within the first 5 minutes of being in the cabin i hit my leg on the wooden framed bed as there was very little room available in the room. I found out later our friend had experienced the same bruise - both obviously in a hurry to look out of the porthole window. We went for an outside cabin but not a balcony as we did not feel the extra cost was warranted. The staff on the ship were very strict on washing hands and sanitiser which we were very impressed at as we obviously dont ever want to get sick while out in the open waves. All the staff were helpful, friendly and funny - even those who spoke very little English made every effort to be welcoming and friendly. The food was amazing, the shows were very good and the evening entertainment was great in the bars aswell as the main showroom. Some nights there was a struggle to find a seat but that is evidencing how good the entertainment team was. We went all out in the evenings and wore our best bib and tucker - not everyone did but that is the beauty of having the cruise that you want and not caring what others do - if you want to dress up then do it but if you are happy to be neat and tidy then that is good too. Some people went to the buffet for all their meals as the food there was immense and no special dress code applied. Something for everyone! Drinks package was a cheap option for us and we drank what we wanted, when we wanted and how much we wanted - GREAT! The excursions were not particularly great but it appeared that was ore about not a lot being available in the areas. Boarding and preparing to leave was easy and uncomplicated, the Tui reps were great and made all transfers very easy to deal with. The only thing that could have been improved was the excursions - value for money they are not! We loved it so much we booked again with P&O to have a flavour of another provider. This was for a shorter cruise (a taster) as i dont like the idea of accruing more costs on my holiday, i like knowing i have paid for everything already and no one is going to want to hit my debit card with extras. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Embarking Mein Schiff 2 very efficiently and smoothly. Balkony stateroom spacious,.Dinner in a very relaxed atmosphere as there was no need to book in advance and no formal dress required. It was possible to choose between tables that ... Read More
Embarking Mein Schiff 2 very efficiently and smoothly. Balkony stateroom spacious,.Dinner in a very relaxed atmosphere as there was no need to book in advance and no formal dress required. It was possible to choose between tables that seated 6 or only 2 people. The food itself was of very good quality consisted usually of a four course menu. We booked the cruise as we had ways wanted to pass through the Suez Canal. That really was the highlight. Astonishing to realize the different landscape right and left of the canal. We did not book any excursions but organized the tours privately. The negotiations with the taxi drivers was a bit tedious but the reward was a reasonable price. Alexandria eg can easily explored by the old neglected tram. but exciting. The only negative point to mention was the luggage reglement as it was only 20 kg for the flight home instead of 30 for the flight out. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Tui Cruises/ Mein Schiff - The hidden gem of cruising. Have you ever come across a ship with spectacular calligraphy on a dark blue hull, and asked yourself the question; What is that? -Well, that is what this review is all about. My ... Read More
Tui Cruises/ Mein Schiff - The hidden gem of cruising. Have you ever come across a ship with spectacular calligraphy on a dark blue hull, and asked yourself the question; What is that? -Well, that is what this review is all about. My wife really wanted to visit the Gulf States. So being a cruisoholic I had to find us a cruise in the region. Normally one can find great deals on cheaper cruise lines, but this time Tui was able to compete, so I didn't want to miss the opportunity to satisfy my own curiosity. As it turned out I got thoroughly rewarded. This cruise line has a feel-good concept where a lot of things are included as supposed to the case of most other cruise lines. This includes most drinks, ice-creams and cakes and the fabulous spa with not less than four saunas. One of the saunas is the largest one at sea. Little things around you gives you the feeling that you are cruising a bit up market from the largest cruise lines, like bath robes, slippers, coffee machines and mineral rocks for your water in your cabin. There is no goofy billing- the advertised price is what you pay, no hidden charges, service fees or baksheesh like on American or Italian cruise lines. You can even bring your children along for free. We normally enjoy the ships with relaxed service and atmosphere the best, and I must say that Mein Schiff goes beyond everything in this aspect. Even if the crew usually is doing very well on other cruise lines, trying cruises was like experiencing a new dimension of cruising that was very pleasant indeed. Embarkation The embarkation process in Port Rashid (Dubai) was the best ever. There just was noone else there to check in just after lunch time. Everything got taken care of easily and without any fuss. They didn't even ask for a credit card. After that we just walked on-board, just the way it should be. The ship Mein Schiff 2 is the old (Celebrity) Mercury, renovated 2011. It gives the impression of a fresh and modern ship, but it lacks many of the state of the art features that you meet on new ships. Tui Cruises vessels are (re-) built with the company's wellness accept in mind, and it really works. The cabins, the kids club and the plentiful bars are like on most cruise ships. The restaurants make the vessel stand out of the crowd, in diversity, quality and atmosphere. The same goes for the sensational spa area where we spent every afternoon. Here I really need to put out a major warning that relates to the possibility of culture shocks. The first time we went into the spa area we entered through the gent and ladies dressing rooms to meet up on the other side. So far nothing weird. We were dressed in our bathing suits as usual. Suddenly it appears to us that we were the only people warning anything at all. All the rest of the guests were totally naked. Of course we had to skip the swim suits, even if it was a weird. It took a little while to get used to, even for us Scandinavians. The kids club Our experience over the years when it comes the cruising with kids is that facilities and programs are less important than the number of children on board at the given time. It is therefore difficult to compare different ships I in this aspect. Our cruise had very few kids, so our kids were attended by their own crew member who entertained them in English. I don't know how it would have worked out if there would have been many more kids on board, but there was always plenty children's staff, and they seemed to care very well for the needs of every child. In addition to the kids club there are video games in the public areas that got the kids totally hooked. Restaurants Antlantik is the main restaurant, it has the same fuss-free and pleasant service as any other establishment on board. If you don't want a five-course-dinner then you can pick the bits and pieces that you prefer, but even so it will take time. It you have limited time it is not the best option, but a great place if you want to make your dinner a whole night event with great food and drinks. Ankelmannsplatz is the buffet-restaurant, and a great one. It has special zones like healthy choice, kids' buffet, oriental wok station and an ice cream bar. Cliff 24-is a 24h grill located where the buffet-restaurant meets the pool side. GOSCH Sylt is a wonderful sea food restaurant that became a favourite. La vela -the bistro is another favourite with pasta dishes, salads and pizzas. Richard's -exquisite cuisine, Surf & turf -steak house and Blaue Welt Bar – sushi are not included in the cruise fare. We were so happy with the rest that we didn't bother to visit them. Ports Cruisers have different priorities with their cruising. You have the foodies, those who insist on the greatest ships, the gamblers and so on. If you're all in for the ports the Gulf may not be the best place to go. The different cruise companies typically do the same routes. Khor Fakkan We went walking around Khor Fakkan, but couldn't find much of interest. There is a bazaar, a beach and a fish market. Muscat The capital of Oman is an interesting place to discouver, but it's spooky, because it's empty. There are very few people around. Abu Dhabi This place has so much to offer, so you have to choose if you're only here for a day. Since we live in a harsh climate we choose to go to the beach. It's clean safe and nice. The shuttle bus takes you down town, and the beach is only a few blocks away. Entertainment This is the weak side of Mein Schiff. Most cruise lines we've cruised with are offering better shows and activities. The musical entertainment tends to aim at retired Germans. If you are not very familiar with German culture then you might as well skip the comedy shows all together. My wife said;I can understand the words that they say, but I don't get the point. It certainly isn't funny. Without the language you will obviously miss out on the edutainment etc. if you are into that sort of things. One person who managed to entertain the passengers very well was the captain. He held an Q & A session that quickly turned into an incredibly advanced technical seminar. The audience was remarkably knowledgeable, and critical when it came to technical and environmental issues. The captain also spent a lot of time with the passengers in the public areas. I actually managed to get lunch together with him all by myself in the buffet-restaurant one day. This may sound incredible, but it's typical for the general impression that the crew really wanted to know how we as passengers were doing, and how we wanted things. The big issue- the German language This is of course what keeps most cruisers from even considering cruise lines specializing in attracting cruisers from a specific region. But let's look at the alternatives; Many cruisers detest the Italian cruise lines because of multiple language announcements. Others are put off the American cruise lines since their PA-systems disturb even more with their commercial adds. On mein schiff we enjoyed the most peaceful cruise ever. So what if you don't understand any German at all?- Even better I would say! Unless you are an incurable control freak you will have the time of your life. The German crew, a small minority of the crew all together, speak English very well. Most of the rest speak English but not German, or they speak English better any way. In no time we became celebrities on board speaking English. We felt so well taken care off, it was fantastic. Needless to say, I've booked my next Tui cruise on Mein Schiff 2 already. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2012
Our German cousins asked us to cruise with them to Norway. We let them do all the planning and they chose Mein Schiff 2 sailing out of Kiel. We arrived 4 days early and stayed at the Nordic Astor hotel in Kiel. It's a nice clean hotel ... Read More
Our German cousins asked us to cruise with them to Norway. We let them do all the planning and they chose Mein Schiff 2 sailing out of Kiel. We arrived 4 days early and stayed at the Nordic Astor hotel in Kiel. It's a nice clean hotel with a great buffet breakfast on the top floor with a wonderful view of Kiel. Two days prior to our cruise, my wife who speaks fluent German called TUI Cruises to inquire about the Norway harbor pilots strike, and she called again the morning of our cruise. TUI told her not to be concerned because they would helicopter harbor pilots to our ship and we would definitely be visiting Norway. There is only German spoken or written on the ship and so all announcements are made in German. The first night the captain tells us that when we wake up in the morning, if we see land we will be in Norway..we do see land probably 5 miles away and about 8am the captain says NO Norway, we are going to Scotland. I recommend none Germans to stay away from TUI Cruises. They only want Germans, they confiscated our passports and told us we could have them back once we were back to Kiel. We were questioned twice about why we were on a German cruise ship. The ship itself is wonderful and you can still see some of the old Celebrity Mercury touches. Since English is the language of the crew, we had no problems speaking with crew members, in fact they started seeking us out, some said how nice to talk English with friendly folks. Many commented on how stern and unfriendly the Germans could be. The food was outstanding, probably some of the best we've had. One interesting tidbit, I couldn't read the German menu, but since English is the language of the crew, their menu order forms were printed in English, so they would give me a copy and then I knew what to order. There was no charge for drinks, beer, or wine. In fact beer and wine taps were available for passengers use. I am sorry that TUI Cruises doesn't want none Germans on their ship, I'm even more sorry that RCL who has a 50% interest in TUI condones this. Our ports on this cruise were Orkney Island, ship was at dock and Orkney Island is simply beautiful. Invergordon at which the ship was docked was starting point for a tour to Loch Ness, no we didn't see Nessy Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We picked this cruise for a few reasons. The dates were perfect, the price was good and who doesn't want two weeks in the Caribbean. Was slightly concerned as I have food allergies, but I have to say, the chef was amazing. He made ... Read More
We picked this cruise for a few reasons. The dates were perfect, the price was good and who doesn't want two weeks in the Caribbean. Was slightly concerned as I have food allergies, but I have to say, the chef was amazing. He made sure that everything I ate was safe for me to do so. 10/10 definitely, even had my own bread made for me.. can't thank him enough. Really excellent embarkation and disembarking experience. Quick and easy. The Ship was not to large and had the right mixture of areas including, bars, restaurants, shops and entertainment areas. The entertainment crew were friendly and mixed with everyone. They worked really hard with the shows and Briana especially has an amazing voice. The ports were mostly ok, but 1 or 2 left much to be desired. Went for a walk in ST Kitts to be told by two police that we shouldn't walk that way as it wasn't a safe area !!! To turn around and go back to the shops. ST Maarten was lovely as was Aruba. One port had shops in port but outside nothing due to the recent cyclones, which they haven't recovered from as yet. But obviously not their fault, but maybe Tui should rethink sone ports of call. The Captain was approachable and made sure we all knew what was happening in an entertaining way. We really enjoyed our holiday overall thank you for an amazing two weeks Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My wife and I chose this cruise based on Main Schiff reputation for excellence and because of the ports we would be visiting and the excursions available. I think the ports of call are great, and Main Schiff has a strength in being port ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise based on Main Schiff reputation for excellence and because of the ports we would be visiting and the excursions available. I think the ports of call are great, and Main Schiff has a strength in being port heavy for travelers who like to maximize time exploring countries like me. There was good onboarding and offboarding during ports of call, organized and efficient. We would go back just to see some of the crew that waited on us they were so wonderful. We took mostly tours from independent operators as we got off the ship ... I loved all the different public rooms. So many places to gather and socialize. Service was excellent and the crew aimed to please. Nice! This was a great experience and would be lucky if we do it again. Gorgeous ship, great food, excellent service . Thank You !!! Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I have read all the previous reviews and felt I had to make comment. I travelled with my mother and two teenage sons and we had a fantastic time. The boat was spotlessly clean and the staff were continually making sure it was ship shape. ... Read More
I have read all the previous reviews and felt I had to make comment. I travelled with my mother and two teenage sons and we had a fantastic time. The boat was spotlessly clean and the staff were continually making sure it was ship shape. We had an aft cabin which was fantastic, two sun beds, table and chairs. The staff were lovely and nothing was too much bother for them. The food in the restaurant was lovely and service excellent. Granted the excursions were a little on the expensive side but they ran as smooth as clockwork and absolutely no queuing or hitches, Some of the tour guides were an absolute scream and made the trips. The evening entertainment in the show lounge was excellent, so professional coupled with waiters continually meeting your every need, who could ask for more.I would have no hesitation in booking another Tui discovery cruise and I have recommended it to friends who have already booked for next year. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
The fact that it was a German-speaking cruise and we have very little German did not matter since all crew speak English. Safety announcements are also in English. This was our first-ever cruise and we were truly amazed at the quality of ... Read More
The fact that it was a German-speaking cruise and we have very little German did not matter since all crew speak English. Safety announcements are also in English. This was our first-ever cruise and we were truly amazed at the quality of everything. Staff: The crew are well selected, well trained, friendly, and clearly happy in their jobs. Food: The main Atlantik restaurant is first class. Excellent quality food amazingly well prepared. The buffet is very good indeed too. The 24-hour burger bar was disappointing. We also tried the "fine dining" restaurant, Richards, and found it pretentious – a mismatched array of fruits, flowers and herbs prettying every dish – and over-priced. We ate far better in the Atlantik. Bars: Excellent choice of ambiance and a very full range of drinks, alcoholic and not. Service sometimes slow to get going in the evening. The X-Lounge (suite passengers only) was superb, but shut at 7pm – a real negative. Entertainment: Not all of the musicians seemed sufficiently experienced and/or talented. The shows in the theatre seemed of a very high standard but of course the comedy was lost on us. Accommodation: We had a junior suite, a very comfortable room of good size, with all facilities, cleaned twice per day. Cabin temperature fully adjustable. The furnished, spacious and secluded balcony was superb. Negatives: The wifi kept locking us out. This was quickly sorted by the staff each time but was a recurring nuisance. We were entitled to priority check-in and needed it (reduced mobility), but had to breach a barrier to get it. It wasn't available at all during the cruise at visited ports. We felt a little misled about this. Ideas for TUI: - Sell a day pass to the X-Lounge and keep it open longer. It's an under-used facility. Quiet is good but we were often on our own with the staff. - Make deck plans clearer. We kept finding our way was blocked (by the theatre etc.) - Designate at least one non-smoking outside area. We both developed coughs and the ship's doctor advised keeping the balcony door open as much as possible as the A/C is deliberately kept very dry to reduce virus infection etc. That sea air worked a treat. Some areas of the ship were stiflingly hot. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Just back from an atlantic crossing that we truly enjoyed. But please bear in mind that this has been my first cruise so I have no other point of reference. Mein Schiff 4 All of TUI cruises ships are named "Mein Schiff" and ... Read More
Just back from an atlantic crossing that we truly enjoyed. But please bear in mind that this has been my first cruise so I have no other point of reference. Mein Schiff 4 All of TUI cruises ships are named "Mein Schiff" and number 4 is the second newbuilt in the fleet. Since entering service in May 2015 the ship has been kept in top condition. The design is modern and pleasing to the eye. The dresscode is casual and there are no formal nights. "Premium All-Inclusive" TUI follows a concept were drinks and gratuities are included in the fare. This includes not only water or sodas but beer, wine, liqueur and cocktails. Alcohol at the bars is usually from household names in Germany and not no name alternatives. Of course you can pay for higher quality exclusive wines and liqueur, which are offered for reasonable prices, or choose one of the for pay specialty restaurants. But for us it makes for a more relaxing experience when you need not think about money when ordering a drink and presenting your card or signing receipts all the time. Junior suite and associated perks Junior suites are roughly 1.5x the size of a standard balcony stateroom at 26 m2 plus a balcony of 8 m2. We liked that all of the suite felt spacious, including the bathroom and the veranda. On top of that extra space suite pax get a couple of perks, some of which we liked a lot: - priority counter at embarkation, bypassing the queue. There has been no difference regarding disembarkation - access to the X-lounge & X-sundeck, see below - a complimentary mini-bar which is restocked twice a day plus unlimited capsules for your personal nespresso machine - free unlimited Wi-Fi, quite nice considering the current price of online packages aboard Mein Schiff - reception with the Captain and a number of officers on the first evening The X-lounge features both an indoor and outdoor area, facing to the bow of Mein Schiff 4. A concierge is there to help you including booking excursions and you'll find freshly printed german newspapers right on time for breakfast. Service is charming and unobtrusive, though not flawless. A nice buffet with snacks on small plates & fresh fruits is available all during the day, including complimentary caviar and champagne (Pommery). The lounge opens for breakfast which is available from 7 to 10 am. While most of it is buffet style your omelett, eggs benedict etc. will be served. The X-lounge used to close at 7 pm but a dinner option with four courses has been introduced just a couple of month ago which we often chose if we had no reservation for one of the specialty restaurants. You choose the main course which is served at your table whereas starters, soup and desserts are buffet style. Passenger information system & WiFi The on board information system can be accessed once you connect to the ships WiFi network. This web based system is free of charge so all your devices from smartphones to notebooks are good to go without downloading any apps. You get the same information as on the TV in your stateroom but we found it far easier to use via browser. Booked excursions, account balance etc. are password protected. Signal quality is good throughout the ship including outside areas and even our suites balcony. Good handover between access points without the need for a new login. BUT logging into the internet is cumbersome and has you clicking through five screens even if your browser fills in your credentials. That would be ok if afterwards you could surf for as long as you'd like. However, there is a forced logout roughly every 45 minutes with you having to repeat this process over and over again. This occurs at fixed times so it may happen just a few minutes after logging in that you are kicked out again. It is terribly annoying. Food & drinks According to my wife (I drink tea only) the machine made "coffee" in the self serving restaurant Anckelmannsplatz as well as the 24h cafeteria does not deserve its name. A different type of machine at the bakery station ("Backstation") brews a drinkable alternative. Good coffee is available in the serviced restaurants and bars, but the best has been served in the X-lounge. She did not try the for pay coffee lounge. We rate the quality of the food and of the service at the three serviced restaurants as (very) good but not excellent. The food in the buffet style restaurant was good as well but we found it to loud and did not like the atmosphere. The quality of the food is notably better in the for pay restaurants. This holds true for the service as well, to a large part probably due to a better staff-ratio. - "Richard's feines Essen" is a gourmet style restaurant. While service was impeccable and food great we prefer a more down to earth atmosphere. - Despite being advertised as japanese "Hanami" does offer dishes not only from Japan but a mix of asian cuisine. We thought that some of the dishes were tuned too much towards a german/western taste. Sushi was excellent though. - We liked the "Surf & Turf" steakhouse best with its diverse meat offerings on display for you to choose from, the perfectly done steaks and other dishes as well as the excellent service. The atmosphere created by the whole team made it so much more enjoyable to eat there. Please note that some of the hot starters are nearly enough for a main course. If you sample just one of the for pay restaurants, we strongly recommend you visit Surf & Turf. Weather permitting we found the outside tables to be an additional plus. There is a gourmet package available for 75 Euro per person to sample each of the specialty restaurants. Included are a four course dinner in both the Surf & Turf and the Hanami and a six course meal at Richard's. Signature dishes in each of the restaurants demand an extra fee, ie. Shabu Shabu in Hanami and Wagyu beef at the steakhouse. Drinks are not included in any of the specialty restaurants. We do not drink wine but liked the cocktails. The included alcohol for example Jim Bean or Johnnie Walker are usually household names in Germany. High quality liqueur is available and reasonably priced like 4 to 6 Euro for a good single malt scotch (4 cl). Have a look at the different bars as there are some whiskys available which are not included on the standard bar menus and not all venues carry the same bottles. Spa & pools There are several saunas with different temperatures available, some of which feature big one way mirrors for a great view. Use of them is free of charge. The relaxing area is facing to the bow and has outside loungers as well. This being a predominantly german ship you should be aware that people are naked in the mixed saunas and some like to tan in the nude while relaxing outside, too. Massages have been a mixed bag. Both my wife and I had three massages each and both of us like them to be done as close to medical standards as possible as opposed to just a caressing with annoying spherical music in the background. She can recommend Gernot, who did a good one and seems to have taken a comprehensive education to give medical massages. Another one of hers was ok and one not so good. For me it has been two ok ones and one miss. We did not try the gym, courses or beauty parlor. The longest pool at sea is great for swimming laps at off times but can be crowded during the day. On sea days it can be challenging to find free outside deckchairs unless you arrive early, especially when looking for ones in the shade, but you could always find a place in one of the two hot tubs without them getting crowded. There is a smaller indoor pool which we did not use. On-board activities - Sushi workshop: a lot of work had already been done for you. All ingredients had already been cut and were beautifully layed out and you were guided through the process of assembling your own california roll, maki roll and two nigiri. The presentation has been a little lacklustre and not much information was given on top of the necessary instructions. - Cocktail workshop: contrary to the sushi one this was very good and entertaining thanks to Mehmet and Edim. It is aimed at beginners though. - Whisky tasting: with proper nosing glasses, dark chocolate and water the tables had been set up well for seven single malt whiskys covering most of the Scottish whisky regions. We would have liked more peated ones in the sample, but were clearly part of the minority as reactions to the Lagavulin showed. This tasting is aimed at participants who are new to the world of whisky but Julia has been an enthusiastic presenter and it was a very entertaining crowd. Recommended. Entertainment The Klanghaus, advertised as the only concert hall at sea, is a really nice venue. I listened to a piano trio there and the sound is very good indeed. The main act during this cruise was solo pianist Joja Wendt who performed for one evening. His show in the main theater was quite entertaining and he did a good job of working with the audience, but he included many popular pieces and would be the wrong choice if you mainly wanted to listen to classical piano pieces only. The only other show we saw in the theater has been the crew show which we liked a lot. More seasoned travellers mentioned that the number of acts used to be higher on past cruises but that did not spoil things for us. Cruise director Stephan Zimmermann did a tremendous job as a host. Itinerary We had chosen this Atlantic crossing from Mallorca via Gibraltar and the Canary Islands to the carribean specifically to include a lot of sea days and for us this has been the right decision. The choice of ports (Domenica, St. Kitts / Nevis, St. Maarten, Tortola) were interesting to us but this being our first time to the carribean everything was new and exciting anyway. Excursions Being lazy we did not venture on our own and had booked excursions at all ports. We feel that on average they were neither cheap nor a rip-off but bear in mind that we did not research local guides and tour operators and thus cannot judge prices in comparison. All in all we were satisfied with the tours with the exception of the tour by cable car to the top of Mt. Teide on Tenerifa. Upon approaching the valley station we were told that it could not operate due to wind conditions. That would have been ok if it just happened. But later we learned that this information had already been available at the time our trip was about to start. The main reason for choosing that trip forfeited before we got rolling we would have liked to be given the chance to decide for something different than an artificially elongated bus ride trying to make up for the time usually spent on Mt. Teide. Not only us but a lot of the participants of this trip complained and it seems the fare of the cable car tickets got reimbursed to at least all who did. Fellow travellers on our Atlantic crossing started with toodlers but the majority of guests were 50+. There were only a small number of kids aboard for a ship of this size all of which seemed to be younger than six years as there were no school holidays in Germany. I can't judge whether TUI cruises is especially LGBT friendly, but there have been a number of gay and lesbian couples on board. Most of the travelers being germans acted true to the cliché and on average weren’t overly outgoing types. To wrap things up: Is it worth the money? Would we recommend it for someone who does not speak german? TUI markets Mein Schiff as premium but not luxury and in our view this is exactly what you get, with the X-lounge and the specialty restaurants being above average. We would expect service to have fewer glitches, better food in the buffet restaurant and generally some more bells and whistles on a true luxury cruise. Having said that, we truly loved our time aboard and think that it is worth its price. The same holds true for our junior suite with its included perks, which we found very nice indeed. The Mein Schiff fleet caters almost exclusively to cruisers who speak german. We have not seen any information in english with just two exceptions during our cruise. The first one being english language subtitles in the emergency drill video and the second one an announcement via PA for a crew drill. However, you would not expect information in english to be available everywhere when travelling in Germany on your own either. I suppose your experience on board would be similar in a way. The staff usually speak english as a second language at least and with some of them it is better than their german. Many germans can speak at least some english, too, and are happy to practice when being approached. But do not expect to find someone to exchange witty remarks with easily. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Outstanding cruise... we booked the junior suite, huge room, balcony and bathroom, free mini-bar and gifts almost every night (chocolate, lotions, herbal teas, etc.). Access to the X-lounge, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks fully ... Read More
Outstanding cruise... we booked the junior suite, huge room, balcony and bathroom, free mini-bar and gifts almost every night (chocolate, lotions, herbal teas, etc.). Access to the X-lounge, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks fully covered. Great restaurants, Palatial gym, super shows... Staff was really friendly and helpful... The ships are German so the primary language is German. However all the staff speak English and safety announcements are made in both German and English. There were several English, Italian and French speakers on the cruise and we had no problems understanding the crew... Also, no room service - but there is a bistro open 24/7. Basically, the best cruise we've ever had. We liked it so much we are going back on another cruise next year... I recommend this cruise line to anyone, don't worry about the German language... Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Since we live in Malta and the cruise was a Malta to Malta one, the holiday started early in the day. We boarded the ship in the morning and could easily go round the ship while it was still uncrowded. Cabins and luggages were ready in ... Read More
Since we live in Malta and the cruise was a Malta to Malta one, the holiday started early in the day. We boarded the ship in the morning and could easily go round the ship while it was still uncrowded. Cabins and luggages were ready in the afternoon but in the meantime, we enjoyed the nice food and drinks. The cruise is 'all inclusive' and therefore it was very comfortable and all barmen around the ship were nice and helpful. At first we were a bit reluctant sailing on an all-German ship since we are English speaking and no knowledge of German. However, this was not much of a setback because many of the crew speak English and we were very welcome when dining at a restaurant, with the waiter handing us the menu in English. Every bar we went to was an English list of drinks indicating which were inclusive and which were not so this added to us being relaxed. The only thing that we could not follow were announcements because these were not spoken in English. However, we were told that should there be an emergency, the announcement would be relayed in English. We greatly enjoyed the fact that it is a freestyle dining and food in both the inclusive restaurants and the buffet were of very good quality. The entertainment was mostly in German, and attended only the ones including dancing (no language) and singing (mainly in English), and these were of a very good standard. Cabin are spacious which was very welcome and services by all staff is of good quality and standard. The excursions were organised by our travel agent in Malta and were conducted in English so, again, no language barrier there. Both embarkation and disembarkation were orderly conducted and this added to excellent rating of the company. All in all, the cruise, although dearer than other cruises Malta to Malta, was comfortable and outstanding Read Less
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