Boarding: boarding in Kiel took hours. I’m new to cruising, but it seemed rather disorganized with little possibility for seating. The terminal in Kiel was an uncomfortable , utilitarian facility. None of the screens were working, Costa Personnel were walking around with signs to tell people which groups were boarding.
Ship’s decor: the ship has a musical “theme” which is so tasteless and kitschy and dated. One can see that the ship isn’t the newest. There are plenty of signs of wear and tear. The Casino takes up a lot of square meters so I suppose it is a big money maker for the ship.
Cabin: we booked two premium balcony cabins. The balcony was fine, two chairs and a little table. It was a relief to be able to escape the never ending noise of the ship. Except that our cabin on deck 6 was right over a bar. So at 10 pm when we were ready to go to sleep because of a busy day in port, the music in the bar was so loud that our cabin was shaking and one could literally sing along with the songs if one was so inclined. But we just wanted to sleep! Only possible with earplugs for all 10 days!!!
6347 DO NOT BOOK THIS ROOM! There is a bar just below which makes sleeping a challenge. and obviously nothing can be done about the noise. loud until 1 AM
Cushions on sofa stained.
Plenty of closet space.
The town is beautiful!
A fantastic castle
Nice little town that was totally destroyed in WWII. Luckily there was a folk festival the day we arrived, otherwise, even visiting the museums (all texts in Latvian, only a few in German or English) the 10 hours we were there was more than adequate. Don't miss the WW II museum in the Memelburg. a really excellent museum and there were English texts.
I'm sure Tallinn is amazing, but we only had 5 hours to explore with 3 large cruise ships, so everything was totally overfilled. I would like to return in the Fall or Spring. Never in the summer because one small town can hardly absorb 10,000 plus people storming its market place all at once.
We've been to Stockholm before, so we chose to walk around on our own. Best Tip: hit the Gamla Stan (old town) early in the morning, in the afternoon it is totally full with tourists as the cruise ships make their tours there in the afternoon.
Tip #2: Public toilets are hard to find and when you do you have to pay (10SKR), BUT most don't take change, so you have to use a credit card or buy a ticket at the cash register (as was the case at the palace), buying something doesn't qualify you for a free toilet ticket, even in restaurants. The bathrooms are Unisex, so there are half as many toilets as you would normally have! At tourist sites, the lines are LONG! So if you have bladder issues, pack your Depends, because you will have to hold it for a long time before you ever make it to the WC.
Hop on Hop off bus was adequate. Not stormed by tourists, so that was nice.