We chose this Baltic cruise because we liked the 10 day itinerary, with only 2 sea days and starting and ending in Copenhagen.
We thought our balcony room was in excellent condition, with fresh paint, nice bedding and carpeting and a sofa bed in good condition. In the public areas everything had been redone with blue and teal furnishings, and it all looked nice. The ship is older with not a lot of razzmatazz but we knew this ahead of time. The entertainment was mediocre at best-we liked the Billboard piano hits the best, the BBKing music was always too loud to enjoy, and the main stage events were mostly acceptable if unexciting.
We enjoyed an American Test Kitchen event and went to a wine tasting. Other than that we did not pursue any onboard activities. We like the open promenade on deck 3 for walking around the outside of the ship.
The food in the main dining room was just average, with a couple of good meals mixed with some rather poor options. We had two meals in the Pinnalce Grill with one halibut dinner and one steak dinner that were good but nothing especially memorable. The Cannaletto was the highlight-both our dinners there were delicious and the service was excellent. The lido breakfast and lunch were both nice. Overall I think the food is cruise ship average.
Given the reputation for service on HAL we were disappointed. Our room steward twice left dirty dishes/bottles in the room. The wait staff often rushed us, hurrying us to take our orders. The wine steward was slow, and complained about having to check for our open bottle in the dining room
At the Pinnacle Grill they twice sat us at terrible tables (which we requested to be changed) even though good tables were very much available.
We reserved 6 pm dining over a year earlier but they gave us 8pm dining. We asked to be switched to open dining on the first night in the dining room and they said they would do that. Each time we went to the main dining room they said we had an 8 pm reservation and we had to explain the situation again.
Overall, I recommend this cruise for the itinerary, and for those who are not concerned about having a new ship with lots of entertainment options, but will be content with pleasant cabins and a low key atmoshphere.
6th floor balcony room with fresh paint, nice bedding, clean carpet and sofa bed, lots of storage space, goood size bathroom, two chairs on balcony
excellent place to tour on your own, and stay overnight before and after cruise. Loved Tivoli at night
great to walk to town on your own and explore by yourself for a few hours
Did a tour with SPB tours-fantastic. do the Faberge evening tour as an extra-well worth it
Took a taxi directly to Vasa (great transport option) and toured with their guide, watched movie, wonderful to see, walked back to town across the bridge -easy and quick, went to changing of the guard, and Gamla Stan, taxi back to port
took shuttle bus to town, very convenient and economical.
Great Town to explore on your own. Go to the Church of the Rock, can walk there through the main sights
took the HAL Bus to Lubeck-pricey but the only convenient time option,
Highly recommend Lubeck for an old German Town with beautiful architecture and easy to walk around on your own
SPB Berlin-the 3 hour bus ride did not feel too long, and if you want a tour of Berlin, this full day excursion is the way to go