To be clear, we chose Norwegian because of the port stops and because the timing of this cruise allowed us to take it with another family. Overall, we had a great time with our friends, liked the port stops (except Russia), but the Norwegian part of the experience was disappointing. In the past, we have cruised with Disney (2), Princess (1), and Carnival (1).
1. The ports and excursions were generally good, but expensive.
2. Bar services were very good (few lines, good drinks). Sugarcane Mojito Bar was excellent.
3. The few on-board entertainment / shows were very good (Burn the Floor and Cirque Dreams & Steam, Sid Norman’s nightly rock entertainment).
4. Food was good, but best food was at restaurants where an extra cover charge was paid ($30+ per person).
5. Laundry service ($20 per bag) was a great service to offer.
6. My son enjoyed the 13-17 kids club. Activities were plenty and well-structured.
Did not like…
1. The ship was not ‘full’ (we were told) but it felt crowded everywhere we went, especially on at-sea days. We found it difficult to find seats in the lounges & common areas; seating at the Garden Grill / buffet was terrible; lines at guest services were almost always 20-30 people deep; had to wait for an elliptical machine in the fitness area; waited 20 minutes in the internet café and walked away; no-cover restaurants had a wait unless you had reservations.
2. Did not like the "Free Style" dining option. They advertised 5-10 minute waits but, in reality, it was 30-45 minutes. If you did not make a reservation at least the day before, you will wait.
3. The pre-booking process did not support groups. We were not allowed to book an 18 & 14 year old in a room together. We could not link our reservation with that of our friends. Room or balconies do not connect. This created a lot of inconvenience when it came to booking things as a family or with our friends.
4. Lack of entertainment options and general poor timing of the entertainment. There was maybe one option for entertainment in the evening. No nightly movies available anywhere on the ship. Most entertainment options were something you had to pay for, or were geared towards selling you something. We were absolutely bored in the mornings and afternoons.
5. St. Petersburg Russia stop was a missed opportunity. If you did not book an expensive excursion with the Cruise Line, and you did not have a special Visa, you could not spend time at the port. The Visa issue was NOT communicated during booking and in all of the conversations my wife had with the agent.
Copenhagen was an awesome city to visit. We did a segway tour and explored the old town and nyhavn which were great
We took a train into Berlin. Berlin is a great city to visit but a 3-hour train ride each way combined with 95 degree temperatures, made the visit difficult.
Gransk was a surprisingly great stop and turned out to be one of the best stops for us. Wish we could have spent more time there!View All 60 Gdansk Old Town Reviews
Best excursion of the cruise for us. Not only did we visit Porvoo, but also visited a Horse Farm in a quant town nearby.View All 55 Old Town Porvoo Reviews
Be aware - if you did not book an excursion with the Cruise Line, you could not visit St. Pete without a special Visa.View All 210 Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood Reviews
Be aware - if you did not book an excursion with the Cruise Line, you could not visit St. Pete without a special Visa.