Oceania Marina Baltics 2012- Not so much: Marina Cruise Review by Averagetraveler

Marina 3
Member Since 2012

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Oceania Marina Baltics 2012- Not so much

Sail Date: August 2012
Destination: Baltic Sea
Embarkation: Stockholm
Much hype, not so much substance. First the good - great cabin stewards and fantastic friendly staff - (not sure of officers - never saw them).

The itinerary was great, although one port was aborted (Visby) because of rough water - this was the only tender port.

The cabins were nice - bathtub a nice touch. Clean, good maintenance and very comfortable. Avoid the stern however as we were woken every morning by the dropping of anchor - so loud and so much vibration that we thought we were attached to the anchor.

And for the "not so much".
* FOOD * The dining certainly not what I would have expected given the all the promotion about finest dining at sea. The specialty restaurants were no better than the buffet. One would have thought the Italian restaurant could "do" pasta, but no better than bad cafeteria food. Steak in the Grand Dining Room was so tough we could not cut or chew it. The "memorable" quality of the food was that it was just not More great. On the up side, the portions were modest and in the buffets all food was served to guests avoiding waste and the spectacle of guests staggering to their tables with plates heaped with food - a frequent site on most cruises I've been on.

* ENTERTAINMENT* Entertainment was also a disappointment, given what had been advertised. We sat through 2 shows and stayed only because we felt it would be rude to walk out.
TV schedule was simply awful - most of the channels dedicated to Oceania promotion and those that were not played 3rd rate sit coms (two and a half men and two broke girls??) and over again. A few movies repeated at random. Some dark sci-fi stuff - no idea about what it was. No information about what was on when, so it you watch TV to decompress you will see the same stuff over and over again. Would be an idea to list TV schedule daily - but this could be embarrassing for the ship to do as it would illustrate how little thought went into this.

* SHORE EXCURSIONS* I feel so sad for people who book through cruise lines. Itineraries are ordinary, large groups are so not the way to see anything or be able to listen to a good guide. And EXPENSIVE .... please people, do a tiny bit of research and book local guides. For 2 people you can hire a private guide and a driver for less than the cost of a tour offered by the ship for a group of 40. Be adventurous - pick up a taxi on the pier or rent a car. Take public transit. Anything except joining a large gaggle where the most often heard phrase is "what did she/he say?".

* SHOPPING* Ship shops not great, and sales help in main shop so unwelcoming and bitter that I avoided shopping on board. Less

Published 09/01/12

Cabin review: B28128 Verandah Stateroom

AVOID THE STERN - especially levels 7, 8 and 9. We were in 8128. The noise and vibration from the anchor dropping and being raised was AWFUL!!! A jarring way to wake up every morning.

Read All Verandah Stateroom (B2) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

A very fun adventure for us! We took a taxi from the pier - the driver spoke no English and we speak no Polish. Didn't matter - in fact it was even more fun. For a very modest sum (70EU - which he would not take until the end of day) we were taken to some of his favorite places. We saw essentially the same itinerary as the tours organized by the ship but spent as much time as we wanted in each place. When needed he met up with other drivers for a bit of translation. He chose a meeting place for us in Gdansk, when he dropped up off he was worried we would not get to see the best sites so he parked and led us through some of the side streets to the main pedestrian area. We agreed to meet at 3 at one of the cathedrals and he was there waiting for us - running to meet us. We've done this several times on cruises. Isn't amazing that you can do this in Europe?? Where in North America would you hail a cab and have mutual trust that they were going to take good care of you and accept payment only at the end of day when you are safely back to where you want to be.
Read 55 Gdansk Reviews

Took boat tour around Helsinki (not booked through the cruise line). Good tour, reasonable cost (20 EU). Very walkable city - lots to see, architecture, churches museums.
Read 618 Helsinki Reviews

Another amazing port. Walked into the city, around the city, through parks and the neighborhoods. It is true that this city has some of the most spectacular Art Nouveau architecture. The best meal on the entire tour - Navat Club - Uzbek cuisine. If you go to Riga you MUST go to one of the 3 restaurants operated by this owner navatclub.lv
Read 46 Riga Reviews

No need to take a 6 hour bus trip to Berlin - if you want to see Berlin, go to Berlin. Take time to wander around this lovely fishing town. Fantastic lunch at Aqua Sol.

Booked private tour through Alla Tours. Check their site - it is all they claim. Wonderful. Please, please, please people. Don't book excursions through the ships - they will cost 3X and you will be in a gaggle. For the same price book a private guide and driver.

Staring point - Scandia Park was good hotel. A dreary 2 days, but a beautiful city. Wonderful parks, great walking.

Took shuttle into the old city. Started with "hop on-hop-off" bus, which was not amazing but a good way to get a sense of the general area. Did the short loop and then walked. Fantastic, historical, amazingly restored. Enjoyed - would have liked to spend more than a day here.
Read 701 Tallinn Reviews

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