went as a family to the Baltics for a fortnight and got back yesterday.
I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to embark and disembark and despite the 5 hour drive to Southampton certainly feel a lot less tired than when I have flown to destinations
I liked the cabin and was surprised at how we fit everything in easily for our family of 3. We had a balcony and that was lovely, I am not sure we could cruise again without one!
The sailing was very calm and we did not experience any seasickness.
The service from our cabin attendant was excellent and we were also impressed with the moonlight sonata restaurant and the ocean view café. We also enjoyed Café al Bacio on a few occasions but struggled to get a seat here whenever we visited. We ate in the Tuscan Grille one evening and they only charged us for the adults, the food here was excellent but we did not feel the need to go back as the food in the restaurants that were included in the price were great anyway. We did try to eat in the Qsine restaurant on the last formal night as a treat but it was fully booked so if you want to do this worth booking in advance I would say, especially on the formal nights.
As a family we all enjoyed the entertainment and found Sue Denning the entertainment host very friendly and excellent at her role. My only criticism here would be that we heard some of the same jokes from 3 of the acts! (not sure what can be done about this though!)
I used the spa on the first day in St petersburgh as we had some time on the ship and was temped by an offer of an hours massage of 99 dollars (yes it is very expensive and this was a reduced price!) I found the massage really painful despite telling the masseuse and was actually bruised on my legs the next day so didn't rush back! There is also an 18% service charge which is added to all the prices which I felt was a bit much.
We loved the destinations, especially St Petersburgh, Brugge and Copenhagen. We only booked the ships tour in St Petersburgh and yes it was expensive but as a first time visitor to Russia and being a bit nervous about this I was glad we did as it was so well organised and our guide Yana was excellent with a great sense of humour.
My son used the kids club a few times but seemed happier to spend time with us, He is looking forward to when he is a little older and can go in the 'teenagers club' as he was the oldest in his group at the club.
All in all we had a fantastic holiday and are now 'cruise converts', would definitely recommend to families especially those who do not like flying! Cruising from Southampton was really easy and we are looking at where our next destination will be!
We did not travel into Berlin as we felt it was too long on the coach with a child so stayed in Warnemunde and had a lovely day walking along the beach, looking around the pretty town and playing in the park. We tried currywurst which was really nice too.
We walked from the ship into Tallin which was easy and had a walk around in the pouring rain! Went to a museum called Keik in the Kok (the name gave my 11 yr old boy a lot of laughs!) it was a great museum and I would recommend a visit here
Not as impressed with Helsinki, didn't fancy the ice bar and wasn't sure what to do so went to the fun fair Linnenmaki which was a short taxi ride away, this was a good day out and the views from the big wheel were excellent
We did our own thing here and went on a HOPO bus and boat combined ticket which we really enjoyed and was good value for money
Really enjoyed Copenhagen, lots to do and see, went on a sightseeing boat tour and walked along the main shopping street, prices at Pandora shop very good but the lego shop was more expensive than at home, great displays of lego though!
We did not take a guided tour but paid for the ships transportation which was nearly £100 for the 3 of us, it was well organised but I think it would have been better to get together with others and organise a taxi. We loved Brugge, especially the canal boat trip we went on and the chocolate shops!
As aboveView All 114 Amber Room Reviews
Great tour with our guide Yana- highly recommendedView All 226 Catherine Palace Reviews
As aboveView All 210 Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood Reviews
As aboveView All 114 Peter & Paul Fortress Reviews