We wanted a cruise with interesting destinations and the Baltic/Russia itinerary was perfect as the ports themselves were mostly significant and interesting which meant that there was no need to book an expensive tour. We visited all the major capital cities.
The ship was a mind boggling experience for the first couple of days. The sheer size of it ( although today that would not be a large ship).
Dining....The Sapphire dining rooms provided a very pleasant experience. We chose My Time Dining. The service from all staff was excellent..
Menu choices were varied and the quality superb most of the time although desserts could have been a little more imaginative and were not always tasty.
Windjammer...again there was a mind numbing array of choice and all tasty. The views from all parts good and ample seating even when busy. There was never any queuing other than if you wanted something freshly prepared.
We have a few criticisms...no fruit juices were available unless you had a drinks package, only squashes/cordials. There was not enough choice of healthy/vegetarian type dishes, interesting salads etc. Maybe instead of the unhealthy sweeteners offered, you could offer honey/ healthy sweeteners.
The music on the piped system was terrible, intrusive, often loud and screechy, not at all suited to dining or the older ages of most of the clientele. We agreed with the head waiter that as he was unable to change the music he would turn it down, but we still had to complain when this was not done.
Entertainment.....some of the evening shows were superb, some okay, the seating was excellent. As for the entertainment around the ship, Perry Grant was the best thing RC had, so entertaining, funny, original, he was a great success all round.
Activities.... Daytime activities could be much improved. Often there were several things on at 10 am but obviously I could not do them all! Why oh why does the table tennis have to be on the outside deck? If you've never played it in the wind, here is your chance! Ridiculous.
You cannot please everyone with daytime activities, but we felt there were too many simple, childlike attempts at quizzes, games etc and not enough exciting activities where one could learn something or see a demonstration, ice carving or something. All in all, they obviously cater for the 'masses' and not the more discerning traveller.
We had an inside but overlooking the Royal Promenade. There was no noise that could be said to be disturbing as most entertainment there finished around midnight.
The facilities of the cabin were good, fairly spacious storage, aircon/heating efficient, water pressure in shower very good and a roomy bathroom.
There was a safe, tv, phone, plenty of lights. It is pity there was not a second European socket though.