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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: June 2016
Could be a Poor rating, but all problems or concerns were weather-related. However, cruise line seemed unprepared to handle despite having at least 3 days before returning to disembarkation port. Communication was poor, Guest Services was ... Read More
Could be a Poor rating, but all problems or concerns were weather-related. However, cruise line seemed unprepared to handle despite having at least 3 days before returning to disembarkation port. Communication was poor, Guest Services was overwhelmed with passengers wanting information, trying to change flights, trying to reschedule transfers, etc. Many more than normal had to walk off with luggage asap with hopes of making connections. Result: disembarkation of those people was a zoo with supervisory staff again in short supply and / or overwhelmed. 10th cruise with Royal Caribbean & was surprised & disappointed with the way things went down. I felt just as sorry for staff as I did for the distressed passengers. Cruise line really needs to confront what it could have done better. It surely wasn't their first such encounter with crummy weather, rough seas & delay. I understand at least one of the ship's shore excursions into St. Petersburg was a disaster due to weather, size of group, & lost time looking for 4 laggards. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Improvements Necessary 1. 18% gratuity at the bars is ridiculous; the service is no better than any other cruise that I’ve been on, and in some cases not as good. You even have to pay the 18% gratuity if you go up and buy your own ... Read More
Improvements Necessary 1. 18% gratuity at the bars is ridiculous; the service is no better than any other cruise that I’ve been on, and in some cases not as good. You even have to pay the 18% gratuity if you go up and buy your own drinks! 2. A major criticism is that the Windjammer buffet closes are 9pm; effectively this means that you must get there by 8.45pm. We like to eat later, nearer 10pm, and sometimes later; this meant we could only have snacks some evenings. If you’re eating in the restaurant you sit down to eat at 9.30pm; but you really need to be there by 9.20pm 3. Announcements cannot be understood; poor PA system and strong accents are main reasons; this was everyone’s view that we spoke with 4. I would rather eat off china than plastic plates; albeit they were close to china 5. Plates were occasionally cold and no hot ones available 6. The sauna is not hot enough; just like a warm room on the two occasions I visited 7. There were ‘sales’ in the main area each night; most of the merchandise appeared to be cheap market type stuff being sold at hugely inflated prices; however, they proved very popular with many cruisers 8. Alcohol prices are expensive; nearly $16 for a pint of continental lager and a small glass of Merlot 9. Occasionally the Windjammer buffet gets very, very busy and you cannot get a seat. This happened on two occasions during our cruise. To make it clear: you will get a seat eventually but you may have to scout around to get one Good Areas 1. Variety and standard of food is excellent 2. Cabin: shower, bed, and layout excellent 3. Ship is really well designed and easy to navigate despite its size 4. Well-appointed gymnasium with sauna (see above), steam room, and Jacuzzi 5. Free Ice Cream, soft drinks, and large containers of cold ice water that you would pay for on many cruises 6. No reserving of sun lounges allowed 7. Embarkation process was excellent and stress free 8. The stability of the ship is excellent; you wouldn’t know you were at sea most of the time 9. Jacuzzis/hot tubs – many of them and all are excellent; very warm and spacious 10. The running track is good: it isn’t really used for running/jogging: mostly walkers. It can get busy but you can go ‘off track’ and extend the distance easily Tips 1. Get your automatically deducted gratuity ($350 for two people on a 12 night cruise) removed if you don’t agree with it; we did, and it was easy and no questions asked Finally 2. I can’t comment on the evening entertainment as I didn’t see any 3. My wife and I really enjoyed the cruise overall and wouldn’t hesitate going with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
My wife and I became cruise addicts during our very first cruise back in March on-board the Thompson Celebration visiting various Caribbean islands. On the 28th June we boarded the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Navigator of the Seas. ... Read More
My wife and I became cruise addicts during our very first cruise back in March on-board the Thompson Celebration visiting various Caribbean islands. On the 28th June we boarded the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Navigator of the Seas. We soon became quite overwhelmed by the sheer size, obvious luxury and never ending features on-board. We enjoyed a 12 night Baltic cruise taking in firstly Oslo (Norway) Copenhagen (Denmark) Tallinn (Estonia) St Petersburg (Russia) Helsinki and finally Brugges (Belgium). Although my wife and I are very much newcomers to the exciting world of cruising the seas and ocean’s we understand quality and great service having traveled extensively. What made this cruise so very special was the never diminishing quality of service given from all members of the crew. The boarding formality’s taking less than 20 minutes we soon found ourselves like small children on Christmas morning excited and wide eyed as we toured the Navigators decks. Incredible, overwhelming and stylish don’t quite do justice to those first few hours spent exploring. We primarily took this cruise for the destinations as we both enjoy history and the Baltic is certainly awash with a very rich and varied choice offered during our 12 nights on-board. We went along to Daphne (Assistant Shore Excursions Manager) very informative talk on the many excursions offered by her team. Daphne took the guessing away for us, she guided us on which tours to take after listening to our wishes and making quite a few suggestions all of which we thankfully took. It would take pages upon pages to describe our destinations and the tours Daphne placed us onto. I won’t bore you only feel confident that if/when you take a cruise on-board the Navigator and meet Daphne you most certainly won’t feel disappointed. The food served relentlessly within the Windjammer we enjoyed daily. Giovanni's was excellent enjoyed on our last evening a most fitting finale to a never to be forgotten cruise. The main dining area taking up over 3 floors was a majestic dining experience combining an almost nostalgic ambiance with service on a par with a 5 star London hotel. The shows……oh wow, how can a few sentences ever describe the Ice show (incredible) the variety of the live nightly shows (west end quality entertainment) and the entertainers spread around the various bars and performing discreetly whilst dining. As you might have realized we enjoyed our 12 nights on-board, we feel confident enough to highly recommend the ship, the destinations (even though due to poor weather we missed visiting Brugge) and the way the entire crew make you feel at all times. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We sailed on Navigator Of The Seas to the Baltics. The ship itself is adequate and well laid out. The touch screen devices around the ship however were useful for finding our way around. We did find it difficult to find anywhere quiet to ... Read More
We sailed on Navigator Of The Seas to the Baltics. The ship itself is adequate and well laid out. The touch screen devices around the ship however were useful for finding our way around. We did find it difficult to find anywhere quiet to sit and read as all the lounges had music playing in them at all times of the day and night. The 'library' was more of a games area and certainly not a comfortable place to sit. On sea days there was a distinct lack of sun beds. The service from the stateroom attendant was excellent so too was the restaurant service staff. The food was average however in comparison to what we've experienced on other cruise lines. The management on the ship is a joke and communication is poor. Even when you query something with guest services that you've heard on the tannoy, they have no idea. We also had issues with drinks being charged to our account, yet we had a drinks package and always ensured our choices were within the package. There were differences of opinion as to what was in the package depending on which bar you were in. Again more time taken up queuing at guest services only to be promised it would be sorted, but days later it was still occurring. Most of the announcements made by the captain were incomprehensible. Many passengers were commenting that they just couldn't understand what he was saying. Again, more visits to guest services to ascertain the information, but even they said they had difficulty understanding him. Our experience with RCI hadn't been the best but unfortunately this was set to get much much worse as the end of the cruise approached. Our last port of call was cancelled due to time having to be made up in order to get back to Southampton on schedule. We had experienced a delay in St Petersburg early on in the itinerary due to weather conditions making it unsafe to leave. These things happen and whilst disappointed not to be stopping at the last port, we fully understood the reason for it. Unfortunately poor communications resulted in passengers only being informed at the last minute that we would now be late getting back to Southampton. This resulted in many international passengers frantically try to rearrange transport for connecting flights and in many cases totally rearranging their flights altogether. People we spoke to in this situation said that guest services had been very unhelpful and only permitted them to make one phone call. In some cases, the prearranged transport organised via RCI had simply been cancelled and passengers were forced to make their own arrangements. Certainly not the relaxing last 2 days at sea they had hoped for. The communications for the day of disembarkation were all mixed up. The old schedules, which had been given out previously, were replaced with the new timings to allow for the delay getting back to Southampton. Someone in charge however had omitted to change the information for cabin vacation arrangements and meeting in the designated areas. Passengers were therefore following different instructions. Again, no one in authority seemed interested even when it was brought to their attention. Even when the Cruise Director was making an announcement it was clear they didn't have a clue what was going on. Passengers who were now congregating in the designated areas just shook their heads in disbelief at yet more ineptitude. As we began to dock in Southampton, RCI representatives in the designated areas were instructing passengers to form a line towards the gangway in readiness for disembarkation. The line on deck 4 was extending towards the casino and staff we sending families with small children into a smoking environment. Even when parents complained and refused to stay in there, staff did not appear to comprehend these concerns and in some cases stood arguing with passengers. When the exit doors were opened for disembarkation, passengers started to move forward towards the gangway. There were hundreds of people all on the 'self assist' option so everyone had luggage too and it was difficult to move easily. Staff then started to bring passengers through from other directions and decks, preventing those who were lining up from getting off. People in wheelchairs and mobility vehicles were tossed aside and no regard was given to the vulnerable passengers onboard. With no management of the crowd and more and more passengers being crammed into one area, the staff on the exit door then refused to let us off. Now they decided we must use a difference area to exit. No one could turn around let alone move to another area. My husband was assaulted by a member of staff because he was unable to move. One young lady began to have a panic attack yet staff did nothing to assist her. Passengers at the front near to the exit were trying to get the attention of staff, pleading with them to open the doors as they feared they would be crushed with the volume of passengers now moving forward. Staff refused and at one point forced the doors shut on an elderly lady and her husband in their attempt to pen us in and prevent us from leaving. This poor lady was screaming in pain. I'm certain if it hadn't been for her husband having to force the doors open to free her, we might not have made it off alive. Since my return I have contacted RCI who refuse to accept any responsibility for the debacle with disembarkation. Their response is to blame passengers for not doing as they were instructed. Passengers did exactly as they were instructed - the problem was RCI gave so many conflicting instructions, no one in authority took charge to rectify it soon enough. I've forwarded all the documents to them which detail the varying information given out to passengers. RCI say they have thoroughly investigated the matter but all this meant was that they'd spoken to the staff onboard! Hardly a thorough investigation. I call that a biased view. The assault on my husband appears to have been swept under the carpet whilst they concentrate their efforts on avoiding bad publicity than they do about establishing the facts. This was our first cruise with RCI and will most definitely be our last. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I looked forward to this cruise to visit countries not previously seen, especially the coastline of Norway, Denmark, Sweden and other Baltic countries. Previously, I had taken several Viking River cruises and I was enthusiastic about their ... Read More
I looked forward to this cruise to visit countries not previously seen, especially the coastline of Norway, Denmark, Sweden and other Baltic countries. Previously, I had taken several Viking River cruises and I was enthusiastic about their approach to cruising. Alas, the ocean cruise experience did not quite measure up to the standard I had expected of Viking based on my experience with the river cruises. Good points: the ship was comfortable and well-planned, with many nooks and crannies for privacy, if needed. I liked having books about the region interspersed in many places for browsing. The cruise director was outstanding. Mediocre: the food was adequate and, at times good (the specialty restaurants), however, the menu grew boring. In fact it deterred me from considering a longer cruise with Viking. Bad: the excursions director, by contrast to the cruise director, was not strong on public relations skills. When I made a comment about disappointment with one of the short excursion guides, he appeared to show no interest (in great contrast with my experience on the Viking river cruises, where there was a good effort made to improve the excursions). So, all in all, I would not give Viking Ocean cruises the highest rating. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
It was an awesome cruise! certainly one of the best vacations we took. It combined the luxurious spoils of this great ship with very very interesting visits at the ports of call. The outcome was a week full of art, culture, history, beauty ... Read More
It was an awesome cruise! certainly one of the best vacations we took. It combined the luxurious spoils of this great ship with very very interesting visits at the ports of call. The outcome was a week full of art, culture, history, beauty and relaxation far beyond any expectations we had in advance. first - the ship. Serenade of the seas is a gem. it's big but not intimidating. it has everything you could think of and than some: indoors and outdoors pools, climbing wall, huge gym, half a dozen restaurants, Broadway style theater, disco, bars ... the list is endless. our cabin was spacious and well equipped. entertainment was provided literally around the clock, and it came in all shapes and forms: from classic violinist to rock band, acrobatic performances to towel folding lessons. amazing. food was fine and diverse, but the best part of it was the service. it was so attentive, so personal - especially in the main dining hall, that we couldn't wait for the next meal - not for the food but for the service! the shore excursions were extremely interesting, specially St. Petersburg, arguably one of the most beautiful and culture-rich cities in the world. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2016
This cruise was amazing from beginning to end. The Viking air was very helpful. We had wanted a direct flight to Iceland and they were able to accommodate us. All the were well organized,most of the flights were with Icelandic Air. We did ... Read More
This cruise was amazing from beginning to end. The Viking air was very helpful. We had wanted a direct flight to Iceland and they were able to accommodate us. All the were well organized,most of the flights were with Icelandic Air. We did Iceland pre sail and loved it. The tours in each city were excellent both fun and educational. The scenery on this cruise is beyond words. When I awoke in Flam to the most tranquil picturesque scene I have ever seen I was speechless . The dining rooms were very neat and tidy and the food was to die for!!! We had so much fun in the dining room. The waiting staff became a daily source of entertainment. We would have great conversations and the "wine fairy" was never too far away. The rooms were well appointed and very comfortable. Our home away from home. I cannot say enough about this adventure . It was a trip of a life time and Viking cruises were the ones that made it happen. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We had never been to Scandinavia so although we had been to Berlin, Helsinki and St. Petersburg on previous Viking river trips, we decided that this cruise would offer many new places to visit. The ship was beautiful and sparkling ... Read More
We had never been to Scandinavia so although we had been to Berlin, Helsinki and St. Petersburg on previous Viking river trips, we decided that this cruise would offer many new places to visit. The ship was beautiful and sparkling clean. The size was perfect with only 900 people aboard we never felt overwhelmed by a crowd. Our cabin was spacious and well laid out with plenty of storage space. And the maid service was excellent and very friendly. We thoroughly enjoyed the dining aboard. The prepared items at breakfast and lunch were multitudinous and you could order up favorites like eggs Benedict or omelets to order. We enjoyed the main dining room so much that we passed on the opportunity to try the optional dining rooms. Perhaps that was a mistake? The daily briefings by the cruise director were entertaining and informative. As on all our previous Viking cruises the service was impeccable and friendly and all were English-fluent. The shore excursions were led by knowledgeable and excellent guides. And I was continuously amazed by the skills of the bus drivers! Yes, we would definitely go again; we are thinking about Greece for next year. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I am a solo traveler, so I have a few pet peeves that I will address last. First and foremost......the housekeeping crew is amazing! They work non-stop keeping this ship spotless. The excursion staff are very helpful and friendly - always ... Read More
I am a solo traveler, so I have a few pet peeves that I will address last. First and foremost......the housekeeping crew is amazing! They work non-stop keeping this ship spotless. The excursion staff are very helpful and friendly - always willing to try and accommodate your wishes. Most of the included tours are either walking tours with head sets or motor coach tours with on off stops, which are some times inadequate for getting a good cultural experience. Most of the ports are easily explored on one's own, other than the large cities such as Copenhagen. Download a 'good' map of the cities before you take off on your own - the maps from the ship are poor. The kitchen crews do a wonderful job of preparing for the 900+ guest with menus changing daily. The 'World Café' is a buffet style eatery that is always well stocked and clean. The 'Restaurant' is an 'order from the menu' dining room that does not take reservations, but there is always seating available due to it's size. The specialty restaurant's, Manfredies and the Chef's Table are via reservation only, so make them early - they go quickly. Manfredies was good with above average service, but the Chef's Table was excellent for food and service. The entertainment productions are very good, but get to the theater early, seats fill quickly. The hydo-pool and steam sauna in the spa area are fabulous, don't forget to take advantage of this free experience. Now for the 'pet peeves'.....as a solo female traveler, I often felt overlooked or ignored by wait staff......constantly flagging down someone for water, juice, coffee, etc. There are no 'social' functions for those who are independent traveler to meet other solo travelers....everything is couple oriented. Also, on the day of disembarkation, if you leave the ship before the café opens, expect to get nothing more than a cold, left over pastry and a cup of coffee. And, be prepared to be dropped at the airport with no assistance, unless you need a wheelchair. Overall, I had a fabulous time because I met several nice couples and a few ladies who were traveling together. This trip is a great experience given all of the countries one gets to see. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
I wanted to go to St. Petersburg without the hustle of getting a visa so I decided to take a cruise. We got a cabin with a window and it was fine. We had a fine dining package which was average. The buffet was above average; it offered a ... Read More
I wanted to go to St. Petersburg without the hustle of getting a visa so I decided to take a cruise. We got a cabin with a window and it was fine. We had a fine dining package which was average. The buffet was above average; it offered a very wide variety of dishes and had a different theme every night. the coffee was bad. We enjoyed the shows and there were a lot of activities. Unfortunately, the ship broke down while in Stockholm, resulting in a 9.5 hour delay that caused me to miss two flights home. I could have taken this in stride but Norwegian's response to this mishap was totally unacceptable and certainly did not engender any goodwill. Not only was the internet very very slow but the Management severely limited free internet access for rebooking of flights and hotels. They also refused to cover full incremental costs of rebooking and hotel. Disembarkation was not managed at all. There was a lot of pushing, shoving and shouting among passengers -- not an orderly queue. It was a totally different scene when we got off the ship. We were immediately met by someone who asked for our flight time and since it was in three hours, we were directed to jump the queue and go straight to the taxi. I will not join Norwegian again. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Hi All, I have been cruising since 2009 at least once or twice a year and all have been with Carnival until this year. We went with NCL since we chose a destination that Carnival does not sail. The itenarary was great and can't ... Read More
Hi All, I have been cruising since 2009 at least once or twice a year and all have been with Carnival until this year. We went with NCL since we chose a destination that Carnival does not sail. The itenarary was great and can't complain for the most part about the excursions. However, I was not impressed with the ship, food, or staff. 1. During the booking process we requested an egg crate for the sleeper sofa. This was not provided and when we requested one they had no more to provide. The ship should keep one egg crate for each sleeper sofa, because those things are awful!!! I paid way too much to not sleep well. 2. Food - very bland in comparison to Carnival. This was the first cruise I've come home from weighing less than when I left. Maybe that's a good thing. The most disturbing part for me was the lack of concern for those of us with allergies. I have a shellfish allergy and advised this during my booking, but my reservation was marked that I was lactose intolerant. 3. Spa - love the Thermal Spa offer. Totally worth the price right up until they dumped so many chemicals in that you could hardly breathe, eyes were burning, and it bleached my brand new bathing suit. There is a sign that says there is a risk of fabric discoloration. I could accept that if it happened the first time we went in. However, it was on the 4th visit that it happened. The spa made no attempt to rectify the situation either. 4. Ultimate Beverage Package - would be a great value if we had been on the ship more often and were Pepsi drinkers. The package does not include bottles of water, specialty coffees, or Red Bull. Despite the fact that all of these drinks were less than $15. Out of our 9 days on the ship we only had 2 days at sea to really get any good use of the package. 5. Excursions- These were great, but keep in mind when they say Level 1 there is a lot more walking than indicated. Wish they would have explained this better as I feel my mother did not have a good experience. She has walking difficulties which is why we choose the Level 1 activities. It wasn't until we were on the excursion that we found out there was a significant amount of walking in some places. Europe is not very handicap friendly from what we saw. Oh, and the Hermitage at Night excursion we would have taken had the description of it made it clear that only cruisers would be in the museum during the visit. Better descriptions make all the difference. Last, but certainly not least, the day the ship broke down. Fortunately, this happened in Stockholm and not in St. Petersburg. This was not a travel issue for me because we had padded an extra day in Copenhagen. We did miss out on our extra day of exploring Copenhagen, but at least we didn't have the travel arrangement hot mess that others did. Some friends of ours were not so lucky and we heard many other stories of people who were not able to get home in a timely manner. I don't feel NCL was very forthcoming with details of the delay which caused many to be delayed in getting home. My friends actually rebooked their flight twice. They were told they would be able to disembark in Stockholm, but were later told they could not. This misinformation caused them to be delayed 3 days in Copenhagen before they were able to get home. Overall, the ports of call were great and as much as I wish it had been a Carnival ship it was a great trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
Over the past 12 months, this was our third cruise with NCL. Although the itinerary and destinations were great, the service onboard was terrible. At the end of our journey, the ship experienced "technical difficulties with the ... Read More
Over the past 12 months, this was our third cruise with NCL. Although the itinerary and destinations were great, the service onboard was terrible. At the end of our journey, the ship experienced "technical difficulties with the engine" while docked in Stockholm. We were then informed that our ship would arrive late in Copenhagen (10 hours behind schedule) on July 4th. As a result we missed our flight to Canada, no support was offered from NCL staff in regards to booking or indemnities. We are hopeful that our travel insurance will cover part of the 4100$ my husband and I had to spend to return home. NCL offered up to 250$ for a one night stay in Copenhagen and up to 300$ for flight change fees. Due to a shortage in rooms available in Copenhagen, we had to sleep 4 people in one bedroom with 2 twin beds at 370$ a night! On top of that, the only flight that could bring us home to Canada before the following weekend was through Ataturk Istanbul (only 4 days after the attack). Nonetheless we understand that unplanned event like these happen but the way it was mismanaged by NCL is what disappoints us the most. During our last 2 sea days, we felt anxious, stressed and helpless with our situation and it ruined an otherwise great vacation. The staff was in no way compassionate or good communicators. Good costumer service is always expected from travelers, NCL (Star) was not able to deliver that. Ship is functional and has a mix of dated rooms/décor and redone areas. Not luxurious or anything but good for the price. Food/dining was okay. I would definitely recommend a cruise on the Baltic Sea but with another company! We will continue cruising but are done with NCL for now. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
Luggage didn't get to ship for almost 4 days -- TripMate came through for me and paid my bill onboard at the shop. Ship is gorgeous -- Viking is unbeatable in service and value. Have also and will continue to make river and ship ... Read More
Luggage didn't get to ship for almost 4 days -- TripMate came through for me and paid my bill onboard at the shop. Ship is gorgeous -- Viking is unbeatable in service and value. Have also and will continue to make river and ship cruises also. Thank you for your attention to details -- included tours; excellent tour guides; lovely "extra" restaurants at no extra charges; good entertainment; attentive crew; lovely cabin (might arrange differently so that closet is not right against one of the beds -- we had beds separated, so that might have been part of it.); Disappointed that our Berlin tour of 12 hrs. was taken up by transportation -- only 3 hrs. in that great city. Dining was excellent; emb and disembarkation went smoothly, except for "snafu" in Heathrow -- about 40 of us had delayed luggage! Appreciated adjustment of cost of tour in St. Petersburg, due to rough waters and many large ships going in/out of the channel. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
50th birthday pressie for hubby. Ship is gorgeous and immaculate, Cabins are superb, balcony a little on the small size. Food - bit samey, not very warm, got "told off" by one of the many staff standing around for eating a ... Read More
50th birthday pressie for hubby. Ship is gorgeous and immaculate, Cabins are superb, balcony a little on the small size. Food - bit samey, not very warm, got "told off" by one of the many staff standing around for eating a chip from my plate whilst walking to my table !! Meat was fatty or tough, chicken dishes were dry but pork was very nice. Puddings weren't great, no taste, rock hard bases and soggy pastry. Staff are either over zealous in clearing the tables before you've finished your meal, I lost count of the times we came back with our main only for the table to be cleared even though my bag and coat were on the chair !! This happened most days, came back twice to find someone else at the table. Tables aren't laid out very well with a lot of high bistro type tables that were set for four. We had a couple just plonk themselves down on our table but then had to eat whilst holding a plate in the air as there wasn't enough room to put it down. Trips are expensive for what they are, lots of extras on the ship to pay out for, ie decent coffee and coke plus all alcohol unless you paid an extra $49 per person per day. Embarkation was excellent, definitely had it organised and was so quick. Security staff on board were quite rude when getting on and off the ship though. Disembarkation was the same.. perfect. The ports were ok, especially Stockholm. I don't agree with gratuities being set and at $14.99 per person per day I think expensive. Moviescreen around the pool was difficult to watch in the day due to the sun shining on it. Lots of maintenance going on ie emptying the pool and painting it, also painting around the sunbeds, so wet paint and very smelly. Decks very slippy due to the rain which wasn't always mopped up, I slipped several times so not good for the elderly. It needs one of the large glass roofs that slide back. I don't think we will be going again with Princess or to the Baltics Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We liked the itinerary and number of countries visited. We had wanted a totally different cruise that included Riga, and a port in Poland with Costa, but just before booking, Costa changed their itinerary and dropped a port we had wanted. ... Read More
We liked the itinerary and number of countries visited. We had wanted a totally different cruise that included Riga, and a port in Poland with Costa, but just before booking, Costa changed their itinerary and dropped a port we had wanted. While the Regal cruise did not go to Riga, it did sail to Oslo, which is not always included. Any cruise had to include 2 port days in St. Petersburg, which this did. The one drawback to this itinerary was docking in Stockholm at Nynashamm, nearly an hour away. As we are fairly independent in port, we didn't have much choice but to take one of the ships excursions. As we began the booking process, we were able to get some on board credits and a good price on balconies, which it was nice to have. The food in main dining room was excellent as was the service. The women in our group also enjoyed the Afternoon High Tea. Our cabin was located near one of the self service laundromats, no issue with noise, but it was handy for checking on and nabbing the empty washer or dryer. I am not a frequent cruiser and did not take this cruise for a rich on board experience. We are budget travelers for the most part and the first 3 days seemed very heavy handed on up selling darn near everything, and they were not always forthcoming about additional cost without very direct questions. I thought their prices for Internet were high, but we found port opportunities to catch up. We didn't buy drink packages as you would have to consume a minimum of 6 a day to break even. Ala carte wine and drink prices were essentially what we would pay at home in a restaurant, so that is what we did. I thought the highly touted on board messaging app to be useless for communicating with others. Maybe we weren't doing it right, but there was no way we could find to have it alert you that you had a text from someone on board! Who stares at their phone all the time? We attended 2 ship shows which were well done, but even more I enjoyed 2 folk dancing shows in port in Norway and Russia. Also there was a very good lecture on Nesting dolls and lacquer boxes, educating us about the things to look for in an authentic item. They offered a class for painting your own nesting dolls which included the dolls for about $30. My sister and niece enjoyed this as well as a movie on the top deck. Dinners were very enjoyable and we loved our servers and the excellent food. We used SPB Tours in St. Petersburg, comparably priced to ships excursions, but in small group and van designed for 16 people. Free wifi on board, bottled water, headsets, and a great guide. I though in general the ships excursions were priced high. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We arrived on the Viking Star with high expectations, and were quite disappointed with our experience. Although we have been on several other ocean and river cruises, this was our first time sailing on a Viking ship. We were attracted to ... Read More
We arrived on the Viking Star with high expectations, and were quite disappointed with our experience. Although we have been on several other ocean and river cruises, this was our first time sailing on a Viking ship. We were attracted to this cruise because of the itinerary in the Baltic, called Viking Homelands, which was outstanding, but there were other aspects of the trip which were not up to par. To simplify my comments, I will outline the "pros" and "cons" of our trip, from our perspective. PROS: - Interesting and unique itinerary (Viking Homelands) - Very nice stateroom, with an amazing bathroom - All balcony rooms - Complimentary wine and beer with lunch and dinner - Wonderful, pleasant, helpful staff (with just a couple of exceptions) - Free WIFI - Excellent choice of in-room movies - Smooth embarkation and disembarkation procedure - Tastefully decorated ship - Very smooth sailing ship, even through extreme storms - Nice touches, such as courtesy Mimosas at 6 a.m. while sailing into Flam. CONS: - Mediocre food, except for the Specialty Restaurants. We were very disappointed that the food was not better, as this is a very important aspect of our holidays. - Boring atmosphere on board the ship due to type of entertainment (we enjoyed the guitarist and pianist who played solo, but the classical trio did not provide the more up-tempo ambiance we enjoy...some jazz or blues would have been more lively). To be honest, we did not attend the nightly musical productions, as the performers, who certainly did their best to entertain, were not of the highest calibre. The saying "The sidewalks certainly rolled up early", certainly applied on the Viking Star. - We are very casual folks, and dislike "formal" nights, but we were surprised to see to what extent that many passengers dressed down for dinner - the amount of VERY casual wear in the dining rooms, including the specialty dining rooms was shocking - and I'm talking about sweat pants, blue jeans and running shoes!!! - Many of the included shore excursions were so-so, and a waste of the valuable time we had in each port. The two "paid" excursions we did were very good, but very expensive. - The price of the cruise itself is very expensive, and I would not consider it to be of good value. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
My husband and I took Alla tours in July 2016 while on a cruise in the Baltics with Regal Princess. Our guide Natalia in St. Petersburg was very helpful and hard working. Corrine in Tallinn and Holly in Stockholm were very knowledgeable. ... Read More
My husband and I took Alla tours in July 2016 while on a cruise in the Baltics with Regal Princess. Our guide Natalia in St. Petersburg was very helpful and hard working. Corrine in Tallinn and Holly in Stockholm were very knowledgeable. If I have to make one constructive criticism would be that the restaurants where we had lunch in Saint Petersburg were very nice but the food and service could be much improved. We would definitely recommend Alla tours. We spent a day and half in Copenhagen before the cruise. Highly recommend the canal tour in Copenhagen. The embarkation on the ship went very smoothly. Princess Regal is magnificent. The dinning experience on the ship was uneven. The entertainment was average nothing special. Al in all it was a great vacation. One more thing my husband was very upset that ESPN did not cover European Soccer championship. We are definitely considering taking another cruise with the Prices line in the future Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Chose this cruise line because of the ports (7 in all) we would visit. Not disappointed. Best cruise I have taken thus far. Whatever good you have heard about Princess is true. Best dining ever including the main dining rooms, good ... Read More
Chose this cruise line because of the ports (7 in all) we would visit. Not disappointed. Best cruise I have taken thus far. Whatever good you have heard about Princess is true. Best dining ever including the main dining rooms, good size cabin, excellent staff and especially the cruise director and her team. Even the Horizon Court and Horizon Bistro (buffets) were excellent. Enough seating, wait staff brings you your juice, water, and coffee to the table, tons and I means tons of activities and entertainment to chose from. There were all ages on this ship ranging from families with young children, teenagers, young adults, couples of all ages, and seniors. Lots of wonderful families from Australia. Cannot say enough good things about this vacation. The Sanctuary, which is extra - $20. for a half day) was well worth it on one of our sea days. They deliver free food to your lounge chair as well as come around with scones,etc during the regularly scheduled tea time (3:30 pm). Very quiet area for reading, relaxation, and just looking out at the sea. There are also other areas on the ship on decks 16-17 that offer quiet areas for lounging weather permitting. Gave this ship and itinerary 10/10. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
My husband and I planned this cruise of the Baltic capitals to celebrate our tenth anniversary. We cruise for the itinerary. We chose the Norwegian Star for both the price (which wasn't cheap, but cheaper than some other options) ... Read More
My husband and I planned this cruise of the Baltic capitals to celebrate our tenth anniversary. We cruise for the itinerary. We chose the Norwegian Star for both the price (which wasn't cheap, but cheaper than some other options) and for the ports (Wärenmunde/Berlin, Tallin, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Stockholm). The embarkation process was very smooth. We didn't have to wait in any lines and were able to board the ship as soon as we checked in. We had an inside stateroom. It felt slightly smaller than our inside staterooms on Carnival, but it was fine, and the shower was a little larger than normal. We don't spend very much time in our stateroom, anyway. We had downloaded the Norwegian iConcierge app. Unfortunately, it was not very helpful. The activities listed were often wrong, it did not show restaurant menus liked it claimed to do, and it had no way to set up your own schedule. A feature in which you could have liked activities or added them to your own planner would have been nice. Overall, it was a waste of space on our phones. Overall, the food was not up to snuff with the two other cruises we had taken with Carnival. The quality of ingredients was not as high in the main dining room. The one night with decent food was the overnight in St. Petersburg. They served the higher quality ingredients on the night when fewer people were on board. We did not go to any of the specialty restaurants. After spending $183 a night/person on this cruise, we did not feel that we should have to spend extra money to get good food. (Also, don't eat the lasagna in Versailles. It tasted like it had been made in bulk, frozen, and reheated.) If you do book this cruise, don't waste your money on the evening Russian folkloric show. One of the best parts of the cruise was that the Star brought in its own that performed in the Stardust Theater the same evening. It was amazing and already included in the cruise price. We did not book any excursions with NCL as they were so pricey. We used SPB Tours in St. Petersburg and Germany. The rest of the ports are easy to do on your own. (Frankly, we could have probably done Germany on our own, as well.) Our one complaint about the itinerary was Helsinki. The ship got into port so early (7am), that nothing was really open and transit was limited. We ended up walking into town. We are fit and healthy and could do it, but it was a long walk (around 50 minutes). We were able to get to Suomenlinna on the ferry that early, but none of the museums were open yet, so we walked the island first. It also annoyed me that at a port so far from the city center, NCL did not offer a shuttle into town. The kicker was at the end of the cruise. The had engine problems that caused us to have to leave Stockholm more than 10 hours late. We pulled back into port 9 hours late. While many of the staff on the boat was good with helping to deal with the delay, the NCL headquarters in Miami was not. Many people had to reschedule flights and try to book hotel rooms in a city that was packed full. NCL offered only $300 in rebooking fees and up to $250 in a one night hotel stay. Copenhagen is expensive. We paid almost $200 a night for the hotel we booked months in advance before everything was sold out. I heard stories from people who had to spend thousands of dollars trying to get home. (We were already planning on staying an extra day, so we lost out on sightseeing, but did not have to rebook anything.) Plus, Miami was very slow in getting information to people. When we disembarked, the crowds were ridiculous. It was already after 5 o'clock, so people were starting to get hungry and thirsty. We had to wait in line for an hour and a half to get a cab. Apparently there was a free shuttle to city center, but we (nor anyone around us in line) knew anything about it. People were tired, hungry, and annoyed. The LEAST NCL could have done was come around with water for the people waiting in line. In general, the crew was great and the itinerary was fantastic, which is why we cruise in the first place. However, what had been a good vacation (despite the food), ended on a very sour note. While I understand that maintenance issues happen, I felt that the corporate office should have done more for its customers. I am not sure if I will cruise Norwegian again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Good cruise despite the engine problem. Would go again. My cabin was fine for one person. It was quiet, nothing worn out or broken. Steward did a good job of cleaning each morning. Dining at the specialty restaurants was ... Read More
Good cruise despite the engine problem. Would go again. My cabin was fine for one person. It was quiet, nothing worn out or broken. Steward did a good job of cleaning each morning. Dining at the specialty restaurants was superb. Well worth the money to purchase the packages of specialty dining. Didn't expect the Marketplace buffet to be for gourmets, but it was more than adequate. It was a great place to sit, read and watch the scenery when at nights when it wasn't crowd - better than the library. The crew was professional and polite. They were gracious and helpful always, or at least to me they were. The entertainment on this ship is better than any other cruise I've been on. They had specialty acts with Russian folkdancers, aerial gymnasts, Tango dancers from Argentina, a "Four Tenors" group from Spain on top the amazing "house" performers who did the Broadway-type shows. There is also a lot of dancing on this ship. The band Exotique's music is well suited for ballroom dancing. The ports on this itinerary was a good selection for those interested in art, history, and architecture. They were all winners. Embarkation was a breeze. Disembarkation was complicated by the fact that the original plan had to be scrapped to let those with connecting flights out first. I wait an hour before I got out even though I was an Easy-Off. But it was OK, I didn't mind. I would go with this ship and its crew and captain again in the future. Read Less
34 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I would avoid sailing on the NCL Star. The hotel director is terrible. He is rude to passengers and crew in public areas. The food was poor...uncooked eggs, buffet food was always cold and often there were no sugar free or gluten free ... Read More
I would avoid sailing on the NCL Star. The hotel director is terrible. He is rude to passengers and crew in public areas. The food was poor...uncooked eggs, buffet food was always cold and often there were no sugar free or gluten free items. The photographers were rude and aggressive. The meals were poor. I had a waiter that refused to serve me a Caesar salad. I was in a power struggle and finally just walked out of the dining room. There was a sign at guest services saying the ship was full but after complaining for four days I was moved to a quieter cabin. The accounting department continued to hound me for more money for my cash deposit. I had sailed on the NCL Spirit prior to this voyage and the special diet waiter on the NCL Spirit was excellent. The special services waiter on this ship was rude, demanding and pushy. The seats in the theatre were poor. Many of them were broken and the upholstery condition of the seats was disgusting. The bthroom in my first cabin had a terrible smell coming from the drain. The toilet would back up. The cabin steward was unable to rid the smell although he scrubbed and scrubbed to clean the bathroom. Several of the public washrooms were not in service as well as a number of the elevators were not operational. The seating in my cabin as well as the drapes were heavily soiled. I did not sit on the sofa in my cabin because it was so dirty. The buffet was a joke. The food was poor. Meat was tough and often undercooked On our voyage there was engine problems and we were 10 hours late leaving Stockholm. This resulted in our arrival back to Copenhagen being late. They advised us that the ship would arrive at 3 pm instead of 7 am. As a result several passengers were unable to make their flights home. They did make computers and telephone service however I had to wait for over 10 hours in line to access one of the three phones and seven computers they made available for a ship with a passenger count of approximately 2100 on that voyage. For those passengers who did not book their flights through NCL there was no assistance offered. We all had to deal with cancelling and rebooking. My out of pocket expenses were over $2000 and we received a letter from the captain advising that NCL would compensate up to $250 for one night accomodation in Copenhagen and up to $300 for airline booking fees. We arrived in Copenhagen on July 4 and there were several people who were unable to get a last minute flight for several days. During the last day of the voyage the guest services manager, captain and hotel director were no where to be seen. It was mass chaos. To make things worse we did not arrive at 3 pm but it was after 5 pm before I was off the ship. As a result of the additional two hour delay there were passengers who were unable to make their rescheduled flights. The answer passengers were given with regards to most questions was that we would have to take up the problems with Miami. This was the worst cruise I have ever taken. I do understand that mechanical issues happen. Several people asked to disembark in Stockholm and all were refused. Had we been able to disembark most people would not have the problem with rebooking flights and trying to find a hotel room in Copenhagen when virtually all the city's hotels were booked. The Copenhagen Jazz festival was being hosted when we arrived in Copenhagen. There were several passengers who were collecting names and address of passengers for a possible class action suit. If you plan to go on a cruise for a good time NCL is not the cruise line to book within days the management team had no idea of how to deal with this situation. Rather than being visible during this mess they had very junior crew with minimal customer service skills. Thanks NCL for a cruise I will never forget...and he told ten friends, who told ten friends....should NCL own up to the fact that they are responsible for passengers having to spend more than $550 and reimburse us plus compensation for hardship i would say thank you. In any event I will update the situation here. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We chose this cruise as we had been on the same cruise and ship a couple of years ago, and having had our first child, and first grandson for both sets of grandparents, we wanted to celebrate by doing a family cruise. The Garden Villa is ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had been on the same cruise and ship a couple of years ago, and having had our first child, and first grandson for both sets of grandparents, we wanted to celebrate by doing a family cruise. The Garden Villa is unique in providing a suite with 3 bedrooms, and was ideal for this purpose. The itinerary is really good, especially the stops in St Petersburg and Tallinn. Unfortunately, 2 problems arose: Firstly, we booked and paid for the premium drinks and dine around package but these were not provided, and we are having to take legal action to recover the money paid. Secondly, and the reason why I would advise anyone who reads this not to travel with NCL, is that the ship broke down in Stockholm and was around 10 hours late back to Copenhagen, which unfortunately meant we were to miss our flights. This should not have been a problem, but NCL's solution was to provide customers with an hours 'free' internet access in the middle of the Baltic with no connectivity. They provided no assistance in rescheduling flights, and most alarmingly, despite knowing there was no accommodation available in Copenhagen due to a Jazz festival, and no flights out that night, thought it quite reasonable to dump a family with a 6 mth old baby on the dock side with nowhere to stay and no means of getting home. There were others worse off - people whose medication had run out, a lady in a wheel chair on oxygen who had collapsed due to the stress etc (they offered her a taxi to the airport for a price of $120, and suggested she slept on a bench in the airport until her rescheduled flight 2 days later). NCL refused to acknowledge our complaints or concerns, and it took 4 months to get most of the out of pocket expenses and service charges refunded (despite a promise of 2 weeks), and took repeated letters and emails. This was to be a cruise of a lifetime for our new family, but is now one that I can't even bring myself to look at photos from as the whole experience was so stressful and unpleasant. NCL could have rearranged flights and accommodation for its passengers given it is a global travel company with land based offices, but instead treated passengers with contempt. You may be lucky and have a cruise without problems, but do you really want to risk travelling with NCL when this is how it treats you? Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Chose this cruise because it worked well for coordinating schedules. The itinerary was good: Really enjoyed each port. Would have liked more time in Helsinki and Stockholm, but got a decent overview of both cities. This was our first ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it worked well for coordinating schedules. The itinerary was good: Really enjoyed each port. Would have liked more time in Helsinki and Stockholm, but got a decent overview of both cities. This was our first experience with "Free Style" cruising and I am not a fan. The food on the specialty restaurants was good. Service in those restaurants was good. The other restaurant choices were not good and service was rushed and waiters did an average job. I'd compare the non-specialty restaurants to a meal at someplace like Golden Corral or Ruby Tuesdays: Not exactly what I would have expected on a cruise ship. We did not utilize any of the shore excursions offered through the Cruise Line, instead opting to use Alla Tours. (I'll write a separate review on a different site for them). One last item: We're currently sitting in Stockholm over 4.5 hours late for our departure with a mechanical on the ship. The last update we heard on that was 4 hours ago when we were told we'd be leaving in 2 hours. Mechanical issues happen, but the lack of updates is frustrating. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
First, It was very disappointing to find out before my cruise that the price of my cabin was lower that what I paid for more than 800 US dollars plus extras like the wine package. Customer service just gave me an upgrade to a cabin with ... Read More
First, It was very disappointing to find out before my cruise that the price of my cabin was lower that what I paid for more than 800 US dollars plus extras like the wine package. Customer service just gave me an upgrade to a cabin with bigger window. :-( The food was not extraordinary at all as other had commented for this ship, in fact sometimes the food was better (or looked better) at the Market Café Buffet that in the Versailles Main Dinning Room. It is said that the O'Sheehan's Bar a& Grill restaurant was always open but in fact there were times, around 11am and 5pm, that we were told the kitchen was changing shift and it was going to be close for 30min. We even waited more that that in some occasion and not drinks were even offered. One friend took the liberty to ask a waiter for a cup a coffee and he was rude replying that we had to wait for few minutes. So, it is a lie that it is always open. The two slides in the main swimming pool were not functioning, we were told they were broken and they never work in the 9 days of our cruise. I wonder how a simple thing can not be fix by the magnitude of the ship, but later there was a mechanical problem with the ship, so I guess this talks by itself of the "maintenance on the ship" . The ship suffered a mechanical problem at the Stockholm port that delayed its departure for more than 8 hours, we were talk that the arrival time to the Copenhagen port was going to be 3pm the next day but at the end we docked around 5pm. Due to this a lot of people lost flights, excursions, etc. It was a complete chaos the day at sea that you can even enjoy it. By the time we reached the Copenhagen port (5pm), it was a completely chaos, lack of organization and communication. The captain never gave any announcement anymore, not even when we docked at Copenhagen. The staff was given misdirection and people were angry, mad and frustrated with their service. In my case, due to this delay, my own excursion in Copenhagen was missed and the NCL company of course does not cover this, neither rushing into the airport for my flight and the expensive cab due to the high demand. In my opinion, this company/cruise/ship does not deserve to be sailed again, there were too many negative things than positive so i would not sail with this company in a future neither i would recommend it. Read Less

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