My husband and I recently returned from a wonderful cruise around the Baltic on the Marco Polo.
I had great reservations because of reviews I had read and almost made a decision to cancel the trip. How wrong I would have been so don’t take all the negative comments too seriously.
This trip provided great value for money. Sure, it’s not a five star ship but was more than adequate. I would suggest we had one of the smallest cabins on the ship, which I wouldn’t recommend – but even that worked out ok by only using the cabin to sleep and having the right attitude. In fact, we were located off the corridors and found cabin 249 was relatively quiet. (We did choose to sleep with earplugs though and these worked a treat).
The cities visited on this cruise were special indeed and surpassed our expectations. I had never thought of visiting Helsinki, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallin and certainly that I would get to St Petersburg in my lifetime. St Petersburg certainly stood out – the trips to the Hermitage Museum, and Church on Spilled Blood were well worth it.
The one disappointment was the trip to the Ballet – it did not present either ballet or this very special Russian tradition in the right way. It was a concert with very little lighting or scenery so would not encourage the non-balletomane to venture to another performance I would imagine.
I took advantage of some great craft classes on the cruise and the art classes looked amazing. Should have done at least one of those. They let us down with ballroom classes though – with only one scheduled. I wasn’t bored once on the cruise – probably because I needed a good break and spent hours doing my embroidery which gave me great pleasure. It also helped me through the only one rough day we had on the cruise. Stay focussed and it isn’t a problem!!
The entertainment was good (but we have experienced better on larger ships). I know that because we were in the cheaper section of the ship we may not have had the best stewards. My husband and I danced most nights away in Scott’s bar which was fun. The food was ok – but you need to choose carefully. I enjoyed all of mine – my husband made some wrong choices! But there is more than enough to eat. We chose to have a table for two, which we prefer to sharing with strangers – but for others that is the way to go. I wish I had taken heed of some earlier posts re tea and taken my own green tea – as I always had to ask. We chose to take out the drinks package which was expensive and encouraged us drink a little more than we would have otherwise. It was still value for money.
So if you take this cheaper cruise option, be ready for a special treat and accept that not everything will be perfect. We had a thoroughly enjoyable trip, made some new friends and saw some amazing cities in our beautiful world.
We went for the cheap option here. This cabin is tiny - the smallest we have ever had but as long as we stayed organise we were ok as we only slept there and came back to change for dinner. I think it was a lot quieter than many though - being off the long corridors and hidden away was good.