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We chose this cruise because of the itinerary (Baltic) and because we wanted a no hassle holiday where we could simply join the ship in Southampton without the need for any air travel, and this proved to be a great decision as we have never boarded a ship faster in our lives ... very organised and impressive ... as was our departure 13 days later. Everyone's cabins (staterooms) were ready at 1 pm and as I'm sure everyone who has a balcony cabin does, we opened our door (with a mighty struggle) and ventured out. We were delighted with the position of our cabin (stern, on the corner above one of the round windows) but the door handle and lock were so rusty (lumps of rust just painted over) we had to report it faulty in case we got ourselves locked in or out. This was seen to promptly but it was something that should have been reported and sorted months before if the steward had been doing his jobs properly. This "lack of maintenance" experience set the tone for the rest of the cruise in many ways, but as I said, we wanted a no hassle holiday so turned a blind eye to a lot. In fact, on our first night in the Sapphire Dining room (table 615) it annoyed me that there were splash marks on the back rest of the spare dining room chair next to me, but I didn't mention it to the waiter, as it was so obvious, I expected the marks to be wiped off at the first opportunity. Twelve nights later the marks were still there and I fully expect they are still there now. One thing my husband didn't turn a blind eye to however was the thick coating of dust on the lid of the grand piano (as you come out of the casino) so when he noticed folk were starting to draw on it, on impulse he wrote "clean me" across it and watched as a nearby officer sprang into action. On the plus side, we came across some very pleasant dining staff (Ricki and Sharon, among others) and the food was really good in all venues. I was very impressed at the effort the catering department had gone to, to serve up some very traditional British food. We tried each of the speciality restaurants (except Izumi) even eating at the "Chefs Table" one night, and were not disappointed. In the mornings, as on most ships, there was the usual scrum for a table in the buffet restaurant, but we were always cheered up by one very colourful "washy-washy" guy who always managed to greet everyone with a smile and dance. Sorry I can't give him a name-check as I couldn't read his badge properly 'cos he was always on the go limbo-ing, moon-walking, etc. The resident "big band" was excellent and the other entertainment was good,(comedy, juggling, magic, hypnotist, comedy-classical musicians, and we especially enjoyed the vocalist Laura Broad.) Unfortunately I can't comment on Darren Day's shows as his performances coincided with our pre-booked Chef's Table experience. We went on ships tours at every port and all were over-priced, too short (especially the Hermitage in St. Petersburg) but interesting, but we've come to expect that from all ship's tours, so no surprise there, but at least we had the security of knowing we wouldn't be left behind if anything happened to make us late back. We were a bit aggrieved in Oslo though when far more tours had been booked than Oslo had buses, so we had to be dropped off while the bus went off to collect another group and then we'd to hang around in the rain until the bus could spare time to come back for us, and so on throughout the day. On the down side, it's true what others say about on a cruise people are pestering you to spend money all the time, and this time was no exception. Even when you do as you're asked and pre-pay your tips in full, near the end we found an envelope from our steward asking us to give him an additional tip. Sometimes these small things are like the straw that broke the camel's back and make you really wonder if it's time to think about a different form of holiday in the future.

The Final Straw?

Navigator of the Seas Cruise Review by justhappytobehere

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary (Baltic) and because we wanted a no hassle holiday where we could simply join the ship in Southampton without the need for any air travel, and this proved to be a great decision as we have never boarded a ship faster in our lives ... very organised and impressive ... as was our departure 13 days later.

Everyone's cabins (staterooms) were ready at 1 pm and as I'm sure everyone who has a balcony cabin does, we opened our door (with a mighty struggle) and ventured out. We were delighted with the position of our cabin (stern, on the corner above one of the round windows) but the door handle and lock were so rusty (lumps of rust just painted over) we had to report it faulty in case we got ourselves locked in or out. This was seen to promptly but it was something that should have been reported and sorted months before if the steward had been doing his jobs properly. This "lack of maintenance" experience set the tone for the rest of the cruise in many ways, but as I said, we wanted a no hassle holiday so turned a blind eye to a lot. In fact, on our first night in the Sapphire Dining room (table 615) it annoyed me that there were splash marks on the back rest of the spare dining room chair next to me, but I didn't mention it to the waiter, as it was so obvious, I expected the marks to be wiped off at the first opportunity. Twelve nights later the marks were still there and I fully expect they are still there now. One thing my husband didn't turn a blind eye to however was the thick coating of dust on the lid of the grand piano (as you come out of the casino) so when he noticed folk were starting to draw on it, on impulse he wrote "clean me" across it and watched as a nearby officer sprang into action.

On the plus side, we came across some very pleasant dining staff (Ricki and Sharon, among others) and the food was really good in all venues. I was very impressed at the effort the catering department had gone to, to serve up some very traditional British food. We tried each of the speciality restaurants (except Izumi) even eating at the "Chefs Table" one night, and were not disappointed. In the mornings, as on most ships, there was the usual scrum for a table in the buffet restaurant, but we were always cheered up by one very colourful "washy-washy" guy who always managed to greet everyone with a smile and dance. Sorry I can't give him a name-check as I couldn't read his badge properly 'cos he was always on the go limbo-ing, moon-walking, etc.

The resident "big band" was excellent and the other entertainment was good,(comedy, juggling, magic, hypnotist, comedy-classical musicians, and we especially enjoyed the vocalist Laura Broad.) Unfortunately I can't comment on Darren Day's shows as his performances coincided with our pre-booked Chef's Table experience.

We went on ships tours at every port and all were over-priced, too short (especially the Hermitage in St. Petersburg) but interesting, but we've come to expect that from all ship's tours, so no surprise there, but at least we had the security of knowing we wouldn't be left behind if anything happened to make us late back. We were a bit aggrieved in Oslo though when far more tours had been booked than Oslo had buses, so we had to be dropped off while the bus went off to collect another group and then we'd to hang around in the rain until the bus could spare time to come back for us, and so on throughout the day.

On the down side, it's true what others say about on a cruise people are pestering you to spend money all the time, and this time was no exception. Even when you do as you're asked and pre-pay your tips in full, near the end we found an envelope from our steward asking us to give him an additional tip. Sometimes these small things are like the straw that broke the camel's back and make you really wonder if it's time to think about a different form of holiday in the future.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 8690
Comfy and very quiet. Plenty wardrobe and drawer space. Triangular balcony as on back corner of ship, but you got great views to both side and back. Lots of rust on balcony door handle and lock as well as on blue and white rails round back of ship. Hairdryer good but it's plug was cracked. Safe temperamental.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews