We chose this cruise for its ports in the Baltic, and also to try out Oceania which has been inundating us with brochures (which eventually worked, I guess:) Much about the ship and cruise suited us. We wanted a smallish ship that did not have big family groups and children for this cruise and that was the case. On the other hand there were some younger couples on board so it was not a totally retired people cruise. We don't care about shows, which was good because their entertainment in general was pretty weak. We do like good food, and on the whole the experience lived up to the line's reputation there. We had very good meals in Jacques and one in Toscana. Our first in Toscana I received a lobster that was seriously overcooked, which made me hesitate about ordering it anywhere again. Polo was good, but not as good as it should be. The food in Polo could use more seasoning. The Main Dinning room on the whole was better than average but there were some nights when I had difficulty finding a main course I wanted to eat, and some of the options were odd--like a lobster and sweetbreads dish, as if anyone wants to eat brains with lobster. I asked the waiter how many had ordered it and out of 26 people that night only 2 had and 1 had asked that they skip the sweetbreads. You would think with stats like that they would change the menu, no? Our stateroom was spacious enough, although I question the 282 sq foot claim. The bed was very comfortable with excellent linens. The walk in shower is tiny, as many reviews indicate, but at least it has water temp control. The shower in the tub does not and the water temp comes and goes, which is potentially dangerous. When we complained we were told no one had ever mentioned this before, which is hard to believe. I doubt it was just our shower on our cruise. This will happen if there is no third knob on a shower to maintain the temp. The water pressure also was variable. The housekeeping was good, although they kept forgetting one item. It was a little annoying to have to leave notes every day with reminders to replenish X or leave Y. I have read reviews that complain about the service but I did not experience that. There is a lot of staff on this ship, and our experience was they were all attentive, friendly, and with few exceptions spoke acceptable English. Unlike some other ships we have been on, the dining staff seemed adequate for the task and did not seem to have too many tables to handle. I do suspect that large tables suffered a bit in service due to all the food having to be delivered at the same time, but actually there were not too many tables with more than 6 people anyway. We were in concierge and the biggest difference between that and regular veranda is that you can get hot food with room service breakfast, which with early excursions and sightseeing departures is valuable. Except on the last morning there was no hot food for breakfast. Which no one informed us about. So we got the cold items we had ordered--some toast. Very odd and very annoying. Like no one thought to stick on a pastry since we were not going to eat otherwise? In general there could be better communication. The cruise director insisted that every Currents informed us of whether we needed our passport, but the first one after Russia did not. The Currents with info on Lithuania only mentioned their local currency and neglected to add that everywhere takes the euro. Little things like that would be nice to know. We had very cold, windy and often rainy weather the whole cruise, so most people did not enjoy the pool deck area. Not the cruise line's fault. However there was very little to do otherwise. Arranged activities are quite spare. There is a gorgeous library if you are so inclined, the nicest and biggest one I have seen on any ship. A delightful place. The concierge lounge was used by my husband more than me. The concierge was pretty useless, and not customer oriented, which is peculiar considering her job. She also would leave to go to meetings but not ask in anyone present needed something before she did. So she would not be there during the times indicated on occasion. Since she is somewhat superfluous and you get better service by dealing directly with the dinner reservation people, it is not too much of a problem as long as you know not to rely on her. We did not use the excursions. We took an onboard credit instead (a variety of perks were offered when we booked; free excursions, a drink package, or an OBC). The excursions were very highly priced even for cruises and we were able to book a private tour guide and driver in St. Petersburg for 3 days for the cost of one of their excursions for 2 people. I recommend anyone going to Russia to book privately. It will save you a lot of money. There is no need to book excursions in Talin, Riga (nice town), Helsinki (use hop on hop off if you want to get around). Just walk around and most of what is interesting is right there. As others have said the wine and all drinks are pricey. We used our OBC for wine and enjoyed some very nice ones, but the cost was high. Wi-fi was spotty. It seemed better at sea than in port. We managed, but it was hardly state of the art. It was also slow, which may be why it is now included. I am sure customers were livid when they paid by the minute and the system was so sluggish. I had read comments that this ship is more class conscious than most and I think I agree. Notice how only concierge and above could get hot breakfasts in their rooms. There were a variety of little ways this kind of thing showed up. This cruise ended in Copenhagen. Be aware that the line for taxis was very, very long and anyone planning to use a taxi to go to the airport should have lots of time before their flight. Otherwise you should pay for the ship's airport transportation. Be aware that in port you can use the 4th floor ramp to exit and enter the ship and avoid the stairs to the 5th level entry that they expect you to use. You can leave at the final stop that way too, which is much easier if you have a roller bag with you. One final note. You feel this ship move. We like that, but anyone who is used to mega-ships that have to hit really rough waters to cause sea sickness will want to prepare for this. Also, the rear of the ship vibrated just from the engine more than one would expect so keep that in mind when booking cabins. We were right near the back elevators and it was not bad there, but further to the rear I think it might be if you are sensitive to that.

Overall good, but a few negatives

Marina Cruise Review by writerteacher

21 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2017
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Concierge Level
We chose this cruise for its ports in the Baltic, and also to try out Oceania which has been inundating us with brochures (which eventually worked, I guess:) Much about the ship and cruise suited us. We wanted a smallish ship that did not have big family groups and children for this cruise and that was the case. On the other hand there were some younger couples on board so it was not a totally retired people cruise.

We don't care about shows, which was good because their entertainment in general was pretty weak. We do like good food, and on the whole the experience lived up to the line's reputation there. We had very good meals in Jacques and one in Toscana. Our first in Toscana I received a lobster that was seriously overcooked, which made me hesitate about ordering it anywhere again. Polo was good, but not as good as it should be. The food in Polo could use more seasoning.

The Main Dinning room on the whole was better than average but there were some nights when I had difficulty finding a main course I wanted to eat, and some of the options were odd--like a lobster and sweetbreads dish, as if anyone wants to eat brains with lobster. I asked the waiter how many had ordered it and out of 26 people that night only 2 had and 1 had asked that they skip the sweetbreads. You would think with stats like that they would change the menu, no?

Our stateroom was spacious enough, although I question the 282 sq foot claim. The bed was very comfortable with excellent linens. The walk in shower is tiny, as many reviews indicate, but at least it has water temp control. The shower in the tub does not and the water temp comes and goes, which is potentially dangerous. When we complained we were told no one had ever mentioned this before, which is hard to believe. I doubt it was just our shower on our cruise. This will happen if there is no third knob on a shower to maintain the temp. The water pressure also was variable.

The housekeeping was good, although they kept forgetting one item. It was a little annoying to have to leave notes every day with reminders to replenish X or leave Y.

I have read reviews that complain about the service but I did not experience that. There is a lot of staff on this ship, and our experience was they were all attentive, friendly, and with few exceptions spoke acceptable English. Unlike some other ships we have been on, the dining staff seemed adequate for the task and did not seem to have too many tables to handle. I do suspect that large tables suffered a bit in service due to all the food having to be delivered at the same time, but actually there were not too many tables with more than 6 people anyway.

We were in concierge and the biggest difference between that and regular veranda is that you can get hot food with room service breakfast, which with early excursions and sightseeing departures is valuable. Except on the last morning there was no hot food for breakfast. Which no one informed us about. So we got the cold items we had ordered--some toast. Very odd and very annoying. Like no one thought to stick on a pastry since we were not going to eat otherwise?

In general there could be better communication. The cruise director insisted that every Currents informed us of whether we needed our passport, but the first one after Russia did not. The Currents with info on Lithuania only mentioned their local currency and neglected to add that everywhere takes the euro. Little things like that would be nice to know.

We had very cold, windy and often rainy weather the whole cruise, so most people did not enjoy the pool deck area. Not the cruise line's fault. However there was very little to do otherwise. Arranged activities are quite spare. There is a gorgeous library if you are so inclined, the nicest and biggest one I have seen on any ship. A delightful place.

The concierge lounge was used by my husband more than me. The concierge was pretty useless, and not customer oriented, which is peculiar considering her job. She also would leave to go to meetings but not ask in anyone present needed something before she did. So she would not be there during the times indicated on occasion. Since she is somewhat superfluous and you get better service by dealing directly with the dinner reservation people, it is not too much of a problem as long as you know not to rely on her.

We did not use the excursions. We took an onboard credit instead (a variety of perks were offered when we booked; free excursions, a drink package, or an OBC). The excursions were very highly priced even for cruises and we were able to book a private tour guide and driver in St. Petersburg for 3 days for the cost of one of their excursions for 2 people. I recommend anyone going to Russia to book privately. It will save you a lot of money. There is no need to book excursions in Talin, Riga (nice town), Helsinki (use hop on hop off if you want to get around). Just walk around and most of what is interesting is right there.

As others have said the wine and all drinks are pricey. We used our OBC for wine and enjoyed some very nice ones, but the cost was high.

Wi-fi was spotty. It seemed better at sea than in port. We managed, but it was hardly state of the art. It was also slow, which may be why it is now included. I am sure customers were livid when they paid by the minute and the system was so sluggish.

I had read comments that this ship is more class conscious than most and I think I agree. Notice how only concierge and above could get hot breakfasts in their rooms. There were a variety of little ways this kind of thing showed up.

This cruise ended in Copenhagen. Be aware that the line for taxis was very, very long and anyone planning to use a taxi to go to the airport should have lots of time before their flight. Otherwise you should pay for the ship's airport transportation.

Be aware that in port you can use the 4th floor ramp to exit and enter the ship and avoid the stairs to the 5th level entry that they expect you to use. You can leave at the final stop that way too, which is much easier if you have a roller bag with you.

One final note. You feel this ship move. We like that, but anyone who is used to mega-ships that have to hit really rough waters to cause sea sickness will want to prepare for this. Also, the rear of the ship vibrated just from the engine more than one would expect so keep that in mind when booking cabins. We were right near the back elevators and it was not bad there, but further to the rear I think it might be if you are sensitive to that.
writerteacher’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Concierge Level
Cabin A1
Laid out like most cruise ship cabins, but with a little more room all around. Big closet but awkwardly placed close to side of bed. We did not benefit from the early embarkation but did use the benny of some free pressing and also enjoyed the free bottle of champagne. Could use more outlets or even a few usb ports for charging up electronics. The desk mirror has "make up" lighting which is helpful since you also have to use the hair dryer there. Our room had a big umbrella and a tote bag and nice Bulgari amenities (these last two may be a concierge benefit) See review about the showers.
Deck 12 Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews