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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Silver Wind is in for a full refit in twelve months time. This is probably twelve months too late. Looking tired, the ship is saved by its excellent crew. There was nothing intrinsically wrong with the cruise, probably still a good 4.5 ... Read More
Silver Wind is in for a full refit in twelve months time. This is probably twelve months too late. Looking tired, the ship is saved by its excellent crew. There was nothing intrinsically wrong with the cruise, probably still a good 4.5 star experience. But that is not how Silverseas is marketed. Fellow travellers were discussing looking elsewhere. Food was good but not exceptional. Furnishings slightly raggedy around the edges. Again, nothing disastorous but not the kind of attention to detail you would expect from say Four Seasons which is the type of place Silverseas clientele typically frequent. Casino crew were downright miserable, servicing a worn room with an unfathomable set of slots. Silverseas still check all the right boxes, but the fear is that the new owners are destroying the brand by their cutting of costs. Silver Wind needs sorting out and quickly. This overdue refit can only damage the brand. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Wow what an amazing family holiday! This was our first RCCL Cruise & we will definitely be booking again. Absolutely everything was hassle free & brilliantly organised. We ranged in ages from 76 to 7 & everyone had a blast. ... Read More
Wow what an amazing family holiday! This was our first RCCL Cruise & we will definitely be booking again. Absolutely everything was hassle free & brilliantly organised. We ranged in ages from 76 to 7 & everyone had a blast. Our cabins were lovely & clean with connecting doors. The children adored this & loved the bible that flipped out of the ceiling. The food in the dining room & buffet was exceptional quality & the choice was awesome. There was one day when it was busy & we waited ten minutes to enter. This was no problem & we were happy to wait for a table. The attention to hand hygiene was great as I was worried about this. We also are at Izumi & this was INCREDIBLE. The staff ship wide were amazing. The sorts staff were great. Our girls tried every activity they could - loved the flow rider, the trampolines, the swimming, shuffleboard, bingo, ice skating, the shows, laser tag and all the silly napkin folding and crafting classes. I would recommend this cruise to anyone travelling as an extended family who wanted something for everyone. You won’t be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Booked this cruise as had a money off certificate from the last RCI cruise. Embarkation took 10 minutes, we must have lucked out and arrived at the perfect time (1pm) Overall really enjoyed the cruise. Ship was clean with lovely ... Read More
Booked this cruise as had a money off certificate from the last RCI cruise. Embarkation took 10 minutes, we must have lucked out and arrived at the perfect time (1pm) Overall really enjoyed the cruise. Ship was clean with lovely decor. Stateroom was a good size (Balcony room) and the attendant did his thing every day very well. Dining. Food in the MDR was OK but nothing special, buffet was good with loads of different options. Had a choppes grill which was superb, highly recommend. Also the pizza at Sorrentos was absolutely delicious! We saw several of the shows (theatre and Ice) and they were all amazing. All the staff were really nice and friendly, but the bar staff seemed very busy in the evenings and they could do with more bar staff IMO My 2 gripes were that the ship felt a bit too busy/crowded at times, and that in the casino they literally want to screw you out of every last penny. The blackjack has the worst rules of any casino in the world coupled with 6/5 payoffs for a blackjack, which is an insult basically. Anyway if you are not a casino lover you will have a great time on Indy, but as we are gamblers my next cruise will be with NCL. Im sure they will be just as stingy but I feel I need to vote with my feet, Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Chosen as a quick get away for half term with our young children. Embarkation was not the usual standard RCI provide at the pier. We were travelling in a suite and got moved from suite line to regular line and ended up waiting an age. The ... Read More
Chosen as a quick get away for half term with our young children. Embarkation was not the usual standard RCI provide at the pier. We were travelling in a suite and got moved from suite line to regular line and ended up waiting an age. The ships makeover has done her good. The activities for the children were brilliant and they loved exploring. Even though there were over 1000 children onboard it didn’t feel like it. They never really had to wait too long to get on their chosen activity. We were travelling in a JS, room 1106. One of the new cabins placed up by the spa. The room was lovely and quite spacious for four of us. However I would advise if looking to book this cabin for a sunny cruise the balcony may be an issue. Whilst a great size with table and chairs and two loungers as it was previously part of the spa the balcony is protected by glass all round with only the middle section being removed for you to see out. This prevents the sun coming through and I would imagine on hot days would make the balcony very hot. Main dining room and service was exceptional. Never ventured to windjammer. Izumi experience was brilliant and would highly recommend. The only negative we had was that we felt the staff (save our dining room staff) didn’t seem as happy/content as previous RCI cruises. Whether this was because it was only a 4 night cruise or for other reasons we couldn’t tell. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Food exceeded my expectations in term of quality, and was some of the hottest MDR food I’ve ever eaten. Windjammer was impressive and only in embarkation lunch was overcrowded ( we had a very relaxed lunch that day in the dining room ... Read More
Food exceeded my expectations in term of quality, and was some of the hottest MDR food I’ve ever eaten. Windjammer was impressive and only in embarkation lunch was overcrowded ( we had a very relaxed lunch that day in the dining room instead) Realised the big ticket attractions such as flow rider and sky pad are not for us. Pool screen was awful quality, made live action films look like cartoons. Entertainment team lacked any enthusiasm for their role ... ever heard so much monotonous delivery of activities! Really enjoyed the ice show and the 80s tribute band, but the Once Upon A time production show was awful, band drowned out the vocals half the time but that might not have been a bad thing. Loved the Coca Cola freestyle machines but seems there is only one location now on the Royal Promenade. Our first Royal cruise and can safely say it wasn’t our favourite... nothing Royal did wrong (entertainment staff aside the rest of the crew were cheery and efficient) but it’s just not the best fit for us. I’d read reviews saying the ship was now overcrowded but we always found somewhere to sit, eat, relax etc. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We recently did the 12 day cruise from Norway to Iceland on the Viking Sky. We usually cruise with Regent so we curious to see how the Viking Ocean Cruises compared to Regent. Everything about this cruise exceeded our expectations and in ... Read More
We recently did the 12 day cruise from Norway to Iceland on the Viking Sky. We usually cruise with Regent so we curious to see how the Viking Ocean Cruises compared to Regent. Everything about this cruise exceeded our expectations and in fact, we booked another Viking cruise while on the ship. Ship - Everything is clean from the decor to the housekeeping. Everything sparkles! Service - Beyond incredible. Everyone from the housekeeping staff (who always remembered our names from day 1) to the restaurant staff and coffee bar. There was never more than 30 seconds in the buffet, when someone did not ask if we needed anything or were cleaning up dishes. They all had a smile on their faces and really seemed like they enjoyed their jobs. Food - Buffet - first, we usually avoid buffets, but after eating at the Viking Sky's buffet the first time, we were regulars for breakfast and the occasional dinner. The food was amazing. Fresh and hot...always. Restaurant - Again, outstanding food. Wish they had a little more poultry options, but still great. Manifredi's Italian - Not sure how we will ever eat Italian at home again. This was by far the best Italian food that we have ever had. The bread is delicious. We did not try the other restaurants. Room - We stayed in 4104 which was just towards the aft. We loved the location of our room. It was quiet and always one of the first to be made up. Everything was perfect in the room, though a bit tight. Two people cannot pass each other around the bed. The bathroom was perfection, especially the no fog mirrors and heated floor. The bed was very comfortable. The storage space was perfect for a 12 day cruise. We had plenty of room to store all of our things in the room and bathroom. Entertainment - We loved it. Cute shows with great singers. We were never bored. Over and above - this is where we were most impressed. - Our flight home was very late in the day. Viking did not kick us off the ship. Instead, they arranged for a late departure from the ship and then transported us to the city center. They arranged for our luggage to be stored while they provided us with a nice lunch at the opera house and time to walk around the city. Then they transported us to the airport. It didn't stop there. They escorted us into the airport with our luggage until we checked in! Wow! We cannot wait for our next Viking cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We are a young-ish couple who mainly do independent travel so this was only our second cruise but we loved it. I travel a lot but have never been to many of the countries we docked in so this was exciting and all were really interesting. I ... Read More
We are a young-ish couple who mainly do independent travel so this was only our second cruise but we loved it. I travel a lot but have never been to many of the countries we docked in so this was exciting and all were really interesting. I also work a lot so wanted a little bit of rest and comfort. This was definitely a comfortable, elegant ship, but I would say the itinerary is a little hectic, wish there were more sea days in between. I didn't do too many activities on sea days just opted to rest. But Balloon drop night and champagne waterfall night were very nice. The nightly band in the main ship Atrium with a Filipina singer, I think their name was Evolution, was VERY, very good and they worked really hard - played for hours all night long. Ship of almost 4000 though never felt crowded - skews on older side, I would guess a third Americans or Canadians, a third Europeans/Latin/Russian, and a third Asian (primarily Chinese and Japanese). Running down some other ship notes and some pros and cons: I thought the rest of the entertainment were really fun - esp the Broadway quality shows. Good selection of new movies on the TV. Also able to watch port/enrichment lectures and some of the audience participation shows from your cabin TV. The low key Outrigger bar with made-to-order fresh juices (extra cost) was great as was their bar staff and the patrons there. Fitness center was spacious, but I always got lost trying to find the right way to get there. Liked laundry on every floor and free zumba morning class. I wish they gave you a complete list and full information on ALL the dining options and what any costs were, but I feel like I had to ask and do all the research myself. Anyway, we mainly ate in the dining rooms - sometimes at assigned table, sometimes at "any time dining" table, and I found the food fantastic. We always tried to ask for a table by the window. Tried one specialty restaurant - Sabatini's - which exceeded expectations. Filling, delicious courses. A first class dining experience! We also tried the casual Alfredo's (included) for a made-to-order, fresh pizza one time - so good. We sampled the buffet a few times and they often had large variety and also lots of international dishes. My partner had specialty coffee at the 24 hour International Cafe every day. Room service was SO lovely! Wish they would expand more of the menu options. Usually at least once on the cruise they will have a fish and chips pub lunch (included) -that was good to change it up a bit - and a Crab Shack (extra cost, but we didn't try it) and an afternoon tea service with sandwiches and scones, etc (didn't try but looked nice). Cons: The new Ocean medallion technology was convenient (opening cabin door automatically, getting on/off ship) but the apps were a pain to log in and didn't work all the time. I also figure they are tracking our movements all the time with the medallion but what can you do. Would have done the spa but they stopped essentially offering day passes. Service in general was typical - some were really exceptional, some were just ok. Couldn't utilize much of the outdoor deck spaces/outdoor movies, etc because weather in Baltic really unpredictable and chilly. Would probably opt for June/July if I could do it over. But for me, the highlight was really getting to visit the various cities and I truly enjoyed them all - there was rain in the forecast constantly but in the end, it didn't really come to fruition, Tallinn was the only one that had some rain. Copenhagen it threatened to rain the whole time but it didn't, although that meant we didn't do a bike tour around but did the HOHO bus which worked out perfectly. Most people boarded and left the ship in Copenhagen, but we embarked/disembarked in St. Petersburg (we have visas) so we didn't really have a "welcome" per se and no real lines, but it was interesting to see a new, totally different crowd on the ship. You could also embark in Germany or Oslo I think. I didn't really end up using the cruise excursions - we booked an independent excursion in Warnemunde. Again, all ports were great. I would advise bringing/reading Rick Steve's guide book on these ports - it has maps too, etc. And always write down the name of the port you are docked in if you end up taking an uber, taxi or public transportation back - there can be several diff ports in some of the cities. Another good read on a trip like this - with a mix of humor, culture, and history - is The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia by Michael Booth. Highlights in each port: Tallinn (12pm free walking tour Old Town, Nevsky cathedral, viewpoints in Old Town, try Old Hansa almonds and freshly squeezed pomegranate juice from the carts, Telleskivi aka Creative City - esp F Hoone restaurant). Warnemunde (Friends of Dave tour with their fun and friendly guide, brewery lunch, seeing the charming towns in Rostock/Wismar, beer near sand castle in Warnemunde, and the breathtaking beauty of Schwerin castle garden - I felt like I was in a fairy tale - totally unexpected surprise for me). Oslo (port time there was short so we didn't have time for the viking museums - but Vigeland Sculpture Park a must, Opera house both outside and inside, stroll down Karl Johan gate, pic in front of Nobel Museum and fish lunch by the harbor before walking right to the ship. And the sail away - don't miss it! View from Regal Princess sailing in or out of Oslo and the tiny "fjords" - spectacular!). Copenhagen (Christianhavn is nice place to walk around and different than the "main" island, the Freetown Christiania is a VERY interesting community and a bit of a walk but for me was worth it to see - others may opt for Tivoli Gardens instead. Nyhavn a must of course and then catch Little Mermaid on way back to ship. Didn't have time but the glimpses of the gardens and some of the palaces looked really lovely.) Nynashamn (Stockholm is an hour away so maybe an excursion is worth looking into but we took the train - ship provided a shuttle to the station which is 5 mins away for about $5. Get a map and the day card - can be used for the train, the tram, the ferries, etc. This was one of my favorite ports - Gamla Stan a must. Vasa museum. Some like the Abba museum - although we didn't go. Lunch at Gondolen was interesting. Enjoy a fika break. Walk around City Hall - where the Nobel Prize banquet is held every year). Helsinki (easily walkable city, Market Square - beware the seagulls!, Cathedrals, try moose and reindeer, Lappi restaurant opens at 4pm very unique place, Rock Church a must, Loyly sauna is fairly close to ship - don't have to sauna but can still enjoy the views, wine, terrace and relax). St. Petersburg of course is amazing but since we spent several days there, would be too long to talk about here, and can't speak to the excursions. Anyway, as you can see I had a great time on this cruise and personally would recommend it to others Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband I were on MSC Preziosa for the 11-night Northern Europe cruise (May 26 - June 6). We picked this cruise because of the itinerary which included Hamburg, cities in Scotland and Iceland. The ship interior was beautiful and the ... Read More
My husband I were on MSC Preziosa for the 11-night Northern Europe cruise (May 26 - June 6). We picked this cruise because of the itinerary which included Hamburg, cities in Scotland and Iceland. The ship interior was beautiful and the public area was clean. This was our first cruise with MSC. We have cruised over 10 times with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian. We were disappointed by MSC food quality and overall service. It is unlikely I will book another MSC cruise again. FOOD Breakfast -- The breakfast selection was pretty much the same everyday. Coffee is too weak everyday. Pastry quality and selection were good. Plenty of fruit Dinner -- We picked the 1st seating option in the dining room. I would rate the entree quality from poor to just OK. The food presented often did not match the descriptions on the menu. Occasionally, there would be a good entree and/or desserts. I was most surprised by the poor pasta entrees since MSC is an Italian cruise line! SERVICE The ship appeared to have the most confusing beverage policy. For example, we had the non-alcoholic beverage package. We could get free bottled water in dinning rooms but not at the buffet or different bars. I could get a free cup of tea but not coffee after dinner. We were charged Euro 3 to 5 each time. Different staff members had different explanations. Many passengers were confused and argued with servers about this. Our cabin service was below par. It took several days to get face cloths and a missing mug. The room to room phone message system does not work. We were traveling with another couple and there was no way to leave them a phone message. We called the guest service and was told that the message system on the phone does not work. ENTERTAINMENT The in-house group of singers and dancers was quite good. However, it could get repetitive night after night. On the last full day of cruise, it had a piano concerto performance by Maestro Mauro Bertolino in the afternoon. It was great!!!! TV and COMMUNICATION The in-house TV offered little useful information except I could review my room charges online. It does not even show the temperature of the port of call. There was only one English speaking station (BBC). I bought the standard Internet package. It was working fine until the last week. EXCURSIONS We booked our own private tours. The ships offered many excursion options but appeared to be overpriced Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We picked this cruise for the itinerary because it went above the Arctic circle along with Flam and Geiranger. Soon after we boarded the ship on May 25th we were informed via a piece of paper stuffed in the “welcome package” that our ... Read More
We picked this cruise for the itinerary because it went above the Arctic circle along with Flam and Geiranger. Soon after we boarded the ship on May 25th we were informed via a piece of paper stuffed in the “welcome package” that our itinerary had changed. We were no longer going to Flam or Geiranger due to tenders not working. Ship Condition - showing major wear. Windows in dining room were cracked. A lot of rust around door frames in bathroom, bath tub, and out on balcony. Outdated decor. Food - overall we liked the food. We enjoyed the Dive in grill, pizza place, lido salad bar, and dining room(breakfast and dinners). Service - the crew is wonderful both in dining room and cabin stewards. Officers were aloof and not friendly. The Captain, guest relations, and Seattle office have made it very clear that HA is well within its rights to change ports at anytime. Absolutely no compensation not even a small gesture has been offered after numerous people have complained. Room - sadly we booked a guarantee and were placed over the Ocean Bar. So every night we heard music until 11:30 pm. Internet package was expensive and limited internet at times. Should not be charged when we can’t get service until 6:00 pm or later as we sail out of a Fjord. Entertainment - enjoyed the Lincoln Center Stage venue and BBC movies, other entertainment was just ok(magician, comedian, sax player) We will not be cruising HA again. The issues on this cruise and HA’s response says it all for us. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Note, this May 25, 2019 HA Rotterdam sailing (May 25 to June 8, 2019), was a 14 day Norway cruise, not 21 days. We booked this to see the fjords, scenery, certain tours, and go beyond the Arctic Circle to the most northerly point in ... Read More
Note, this May 25, 2019 HA Rotterdam sailing (May 25 to June 8, 2019), was a 14 day Norway cruise, not 21 days. We booked this to see the fjords, scenery, certain tours, and go beyond the Arctic Circle to the most northerly point in Europe. There were two key port downgrades due to tender maintenance issues...completely within HA control, and either an example of poor maintenance or an inadequate PM (Preventative Maintenance) Program. Neither of the substitute ports (Skjolden or Hellesylt) offered anything like the originally planned excursions that Flam and Geiranger offered. Flam and Geiranger were prime ports due to their excursions, and losing these ports was a major disappointment, all within HA control. There was very poor communications issues with port changes. Nothing when checking in, nothing from the room steward when handed the excursion tickets, about the missing ports / excursions. We had to call Guest Services as to why we were missing excursion tickets, and the communication was matter of fact that due to tender issues, had to change the two ports...lack of empathy or apology. The Captain's approach to dealing with the issue was very negative. I met with the Captain on behalf of a group of 25 Cruise Critics members re the port changes, expressing disappointment and asking for fare reduction, and instead of empathy, the Captain said that he would not tolerate any potential growing unrest, and that if the Cruise Critic group met again, that under Maritime Law I would be put off the ship at the next port. The Cruise Critic group was taking no unrest actions. The Captain's approach was an unbelievably negative experience. Other ship issues: Safety concerns associated with the drill and lifeboat changes / positions. When everyone was lined up at their life boat position, there was only about a metre of space to the railing, with people trying to walk by. If everyone was wearing their bulky life jackets, there would have been no space. We view that the life boat drill without wearing life jackets is not realistic and is an inadequate drill. Frequent toilet not flushing issues. Frequent Sat TV not working. General ship condition - rust, some cracked windows. No laundry room, with excuse of 'hygiene'. If that is real, then every laundry mat in the world should close. We suspect that the real reason is that the washers and dryers break and need regular maintenance. Food and food service was very good. Room steward service was very good. We outlined these issues to the HA President, and requested certain financial consideration. While HA indicated that they would follow-up on the issues that we raised, HA only offered a dinner at the Pinnacle Grill, on a next cruise...wholly inadequate. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
First experience with NCL. Had a bad experience with customer service between booking and sailing. As a first-timer I would have expected more from a company in the service industry to try and build rapport to make me a repeat customer, ... Read More
First experience with NCL. Had a bad experience with customer service between booking and sailing. As a first-timer I would have expected more from a company in the service industry to try and build rapport to make me a repeat customer, but that will not happen. There was a tremendous price drop with nothing to make up for it. Embarkation was frustrating because the key cards they issued in the terminal did not work and we had to wait over an hour for guest services to issue a new one. Disembarkation was super easy, walk off with your own luggage. Ship was fine, some floor plans were a bit confusing. Activities on board could have been scheduled better, but a decent variety of options. Food was ok. Buffet was always very crowded and hard to find seats. Dining room meals took a long time. I liked the casual nature of the ship. Itinerary was wonderful. Amsterdam-Berlin-Gdansk-Klaipeda-Helsinki-St. Petersburg-Tallinn-Stockholm-Riga-Copenhagen-Amsterdam. It was exhausting to have so many ports in a row without sea days, but it was worth it. DO NOT book a St. Petersburg excursion with the cruiseline. There are many companies that you can use that qualify you for the visa-free entry that are much more affordable and use smaller groups for an all around better experience. Most of the ports are easy to do yourself. I highly recommend Rick Steve's Scandinavian & Northern European Cruise Ports book for information about the ports, transportation, and walking tours to do yourself. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Ports and value were good. Only Klaipeda was not worth a stop. Ship was old but well kept. Most outstanding was the staff: friendly yet professional. Made for a family atmosphere. Our cabin steward was helpful and went out of his ... Read More
Ports and value were good. Only Klaipeda was not worth a stop. Ship was old but well kept. Most outstanding was the staff: friendly yet professional. Made for a family atmosphere. Our cabin steward was helpful and went out of his way to bring me ice every night for my twisted He kept the cabin clean and orderly at all times. The food court was not of our liking as everything was súper spicy. Most of all, there was never free tables which resulted in us looking around for a place to sit while our food wad getting Cold. Lots of people complained and were upset about this. Indigo was our favorite venue: good food, excellent service, friendly staff. Two outstanding performances were the Classical Musicians and the couple of aerobatic act. The band was very good Staff at bar on deck 6 was terrific and space was very relaxing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We took this cruise to see a number of interesting ports/countries that we likely would never have seen any other way. Our mini-suite was spacious, with good layout and ample storage for 3-4 for the 2 week cruise. Our steward kept the ... Read More
We took this cruise to see a number of interesting ports/countries that we likely would never have seen any other way. Our mini-suite was spacious, with good layout and ample storage for 3-4 for the 2 week cruise. Our steward kept the cabin clean, we saw him daily, and he was responsive to our requests. We dined at all of the restaurants on board, except for La Cucina. Outside of certain specialty restaurants(Cagney's and Le Bistro), the food quality was merely adequate. Outside of the buffet and O'Sheehan's, all of our meals took between 1 1/2 and 2 hours to complete. Service tended to be cheerful, but slow. This made us gravitate toward the buffet more as the cruise progressed. (Also, when you taste something disappointing at the buffet, it's easy to set it aside and try something else.) We found the afternoon snacks at the Great Outdoors on the back deck to be fresher and more flavorful than the regular buffet.(Don't know if the chef staff was different, but the quality seemed better.) We found the performers in the shows to be skilled, but not particularly exciting. (The Elvis impersonator was very entertaining.) Despite the relative lack of youngsters on this trip, the cruise staff did a good job of keeping our teens occupied till late at night. The adults(late 40's) found enough diversions on board to fill out our sea days.(trivia, games, etc.) As we expected, this cruise wasn't much of a "party". We were glad. We only participated in one NCL excursion. For most of the ports,we used private tour guides, and I think we had better experiences for doing so. One of the best things about this trip-NO Tenders!!! Overall, the cruise/ship were what we expected. We encountered no issues that would prevent us from scheduling another cruise on the Pearl. If you require great food all the time to be happy, this ship may not be for you. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the wonderful array of Baltic sea ports and excursions. While the stops exceeded expectations in almost every case, the shabby condition of the ship and the indifferent food and service left us with a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the wonderful array of Baltic sea ports and excursions. While the stops exceeded expectations in almost every case, the shabby condition of the ship and the indifferent food and service left us with a negative feeling. Food service - even in the specialty restaurants - was always rushed. We repeatedly had to ask that service be slowed down and that not all items be served at one time. In the main dining room, food choices were lackluster, and food was rarely served hot. In Le Bistro, I was served tepid French Onion Soup; a request for a warmer portion resulted in another lukewarm offering. Cagney's steakhouse served excellent filet mignon, sauced well, but the waitstaff was completely unable to order/serve cocktails correctly. A request for a vodka martini, "up" with olives, was met with a neat vodka, no garnish. My request for a list of after-dinner drinks resulted in a menu of all Mojitos. The servers really pushed and rushed us through that meal. The buffet was terrible - food was rarely labeled, and when it was, labels were difficult to read. The food quality was substandard, and seldom more than "warmish". Shore excursions were, for the most part, excellent, with well-qualified guides. The great exception: Copenhagen. This is a congested city, and the "tour" featured the back of the bus in front of us, crawling through traffic. The guide repeatedly walked off and left guests, failing to return to the agreed-upon "meeting spot", resulting in delays. She also, after 3 hours, was unable to direct guests to a bathroom. Ultimately, guests demanded to be taken back to the ship, some hiring taxis when the guide refused. The cabin was decent, and our cabin service was excellent. The bathroom, however, was so cramped that there wasn't room in there to change your mind, let alone anything else. The toilet space was designed for a child of 10; other guests told us they could not even use their cabin bathroom, but were forced to use public toilets. I'm 5'10", and my knees hit the wall every time. We've traveled on 4 other cruise lines, and never had such a cramped space. Finally, the overall condition of the ship gives the feeling of "shopworn". The lobby and bar furniture had upholstery which was worn and frayed at the corners and edges of cushions. The sofa in our cabin was also worn and shabby. We asked to have the balcony chair replaced, as the fabric had been shredded where it joined the frame - which was covered by a towel when we arrived. We had sailed on this ship on an Alaskan cruise some years ago; the intervening years have not been kind to this faded gem. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We’re a young couple from the UK who have cruised before but not with Norwegian – we chose Norwegian for the itinerary. Summary of our experience – the majority of staff were rude and non-English speaking, hygiene was awful ... Read More
We’re a young couple from the UK who have cruised before but not with Norwegian – we chose Norwegian for the itinerary. Summary of our experience – the majority of staff were rude and non-English speaking, hygiene was awful amongst staff making it inevitable that the majority of guests would get sick (turning the ship into a Zombie apocalypse), the food was tasteless, lacked in variety and was often inedible, dietary requirements were not taken seriously (if you are vegetarian you will be fed meat) and if you complain about anything you’re argued with, treated like a criminal and made to feel very uncomfortable for the rest of your holiday. Needless to say we will not be cruising with Norwegian again. Now onto the good, the bad and the ugly: Ship – the ship is a bit dated and the rooms are in need of modernisation. The atmosphere is very casual and relaxed with little dress codes. With a cold itinerary, I would have expected an undercover pool area but there was not, meaning there is little to do when the weather is bad, unless you’re interested in the knitting club… The windows were not cleaned (which I have experienced on past cruises) so guests are unable to see outside clearly. Staff were rude, argumentative and most did not speak good enough English (to the point where they'd take a plate of food away which I told them I had not finished with). Demographics – most guests are elderly and in retirement, from a mixture of countries. I’d say the majority are from the USA. We were surprised that a lot of guests were rude (barging past, making unnecessary comments) which we have not experienced on past cruises. Main dining rooms – we thought flexible dining times would be a good idea, but in reality there were long queues and a rushed, poor dining experience. The food was very hit and miss, sometimes very nice but 50% of the time it would be tasteless and we’d end up going to the buffet afterwards! Although when we complained about the food, the maitre’d would let us customise the menu the evening before if there were things we would like different or changed. Buffet – the food was mostly tasteless, often inedible and had a lack of variety. The only nice thing was the Indian dishes. The traffic light colour signs in the buffet were incorrect every day, even after we informed the chef and maitre'd of this. Their response was the signs are "guidelines" and so those marked vegetarian and vegan could in fact contain meat and dairy. Coleslaw that was marked green (meaning no meat or dairy) in fact had chicken in which I had to spit out. Potato skins that were marked green had mincemeat on top, mixed in with beans. The list goes on. I was also told by the first person I asked that the coloured signs are to be ignored, that they are meant for the staff and mean hot and cold… The staff would use the same tongs to move around the meat dishes and vegetarian dishes – when I confronted one member of staff about it (whilst he was rearranging the vegetarian pizza with the meat pizza tongs) he did not know what the colour signs meant and continued to mix and match. The maitre'd argued with me in the middle of the buffet area, making me feel humiliated and extremely uncomfortable when visiting the buffet again. I felt like a criminal, when all I pointed out was the wrong colour signs and the need to be confident I was not eating meat again. Being vegetarian was not taken seriously so I would avoid Norwegian if you have any dietary requirements. Premium dining package / restaurants – we paid for a premium dining package for 5 restaurants yet only visited 1, La Cucina. We could not use the package at any of the other restaurants, as they did not cater for vegetarians. Teppanyaki does cater for vegetarians but we were told they would have to cook our food in the kitchen area, removing the “live” dining experience and making it pointless. La Cucina was an awful experience and not edible (much worse than the buffet food). When we spoke to reception we could not change the dining package to something else, as we had already visited La Cucina and the bill had been charged to our room, even though I did not eat anything and complained about the food. I was even told by reception to go to the steakhouse and eat nothing, so that my partner could "enjoy the meats", which we could not believe!! Hygiene – The hygiene standards were poor, which we were surprised about due to a virus outbreak reported on the cruise ship during April and May. Hygiene was awful amongst staff, making it inevitable that guests would get sick. Staff would not cover their mouths when they coughed and thus spread germs over the buffet areas. Of course you could not bring this to anyone’s attention as they would (pretend?) to not understand you, argue and treat you like a criminal. Entertainment – the theatre performances were excellent, I loved each one. The majority of performers were external and brought onto the ship for the night. The Russian folklore show was great. We’re glad we didn’t plan to see a folklore show in St Petersburg! Ports – the terminal locations specified on the NCL website were incorrect, and customer services kept providing us with different terminal locations throughout the booking process. Docking at different locations ruined our planned itinerary (Poland, Lithuania and Finland were all wrong). We were not informed of the Visa requirements for Russia when making the booking, even though we specified we were on a tight budget and called to find out all possible costs. This was a huge unexpected expense we were unhappy about. Make sure you check Visa requirements prior to booking, as Visas for Russia cost us hundreds of pounds! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We did mostly eat at the World Cafe (amazing sushi and crab legs), we did also enjoy Manfrettis and the Restaurant a few times. We also did use room service. The food was wonderful. No complaints. I cannot eat gluten and I was ... Read More
We did mostly eat at the World Cafe (amazing sushi and crab legs), we did also enjoy Manfrettis and the Restaurant a few times. We also did use room service. The food was wonderful. No complaints. I cannot eat gluten and I was completely taken care of. I felt safe and appreciated the extra care they went to. Our room was a delight. The bed was comfy and for us we felt spoiled with having the room cleaned twice a day. We were very glad that we chose to do a lot of our excursions with other companies. There were far fewer people and it cost less. Best example: Use All Tours in St. Petersberg. They were amazing. We also booked our own Rodne Tour for Pulpit Rock at less cost for the exact same trip. Because there were so many ports, in the end it was just a bit exhausting. If we do a cruise again, it would be one with fewer places to visit. We found every single person who worked at Viking to be friendly, helpful, and kind. If, like us, you do enjoy quality spirits, I strongly suggest purchasing a few bottles at the Stockholm Airport Duty free store. It was less expensive than at home and far cheaper than any other place we stopped. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This cruise was round trip from Amsterdam and one of our favorite itineraries. It was easy to get to pier on your own and in the city center which allowed easy access to pre and post cruise time exploring the city. We stayed at the ... Read More
This cruise was round trip from Amsterdam and one of our favorite itineraries. It was easy to get to pier on your own and in the city center which allowed easy access to pre and post cruise time exploring the city. We stayed at the Airport Sheraton which had convenient train access to the city for around 5.5 euros. Nice hotel - great accommodations and very quiet. We checked in and headed to explore the city as soon as we arrived. Also took the train to Central station which was within walking distance (even with luggage) to the passenger cruise terminal. The ship was great and size was ideal! The staff was very friendly and willing to go the extra mile. Bartenders were fantastic! Remembering your orders from day to day and making you feel special! Hostesses at the complimentary and specialty dining rooms were very pleasant and always tried to accommodate your request of seating locations, etc. Buffet was a bit crowded in the mornings, but typical of port days. Ports of call were the best part of this trip. Every port was interesting, the tour guides were exceptional. We booked our excursions through the ship as we had a package with the excursion credit. Best tours were in Poland and St. Petersburg, Russia. "Hermitage in the Evening" excursion was our favorite tour - the museum was closed for part of our tour, so the crowds were gone. However, all ports had wonderful museums! We did Hop on/Hop off in several of the cities and with our previous research were able to maximize the places to explore with the red bus. Specialty restaurants were very good and the service was wonderful. We enjoyed all of the venues offered and enjoyed the variety. Used the spa and as usual, they have the strong sales pitch at the end of any treatment. Very much dislike this as it detracts from the expensive services they provide. Entertainment variety was great. Always enjoy the different artists they bring on the ship on the longer cruises...as the productions shows are repeated throughout the fleet. We have traveled with NCL before, but this ship, passengers and the crew seemed to be in sync with us. Crew seems to be a cut above! We met so many interesting and wonderful people on this trip. NCL does a wonderful job at embarkation & disembarkation - they seem to have a system that reduces the chaos of busiest days. Would highly recommend this ship & this itinerary! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We had previously cruised with NCL. Consequently the cruise did meet our expectations but did not necessarily exceed those expectations. The staff throughout the ship were wonderful; entertainment and activities were very good; however, ... Read More
We had previously cruised with NCL. Consequently the cruise did meet our expectations but did not necessarily exceed those expectations. The staff throughout the ship were wonderful; entertainment and activities were very good; however, food was average. The food in the specialty restaurants was quite good and I would submit well worth the additional charges. Shore excursions were egregiously expensive and save and except for one or two excursions, the excursions were not very informative. While I understand that it is difficult to provide an overview of a city within 3 to 4 hours, I feel it is important to have the excursions provide some substantive content and allow passengers the opportunity to disembark from the coach and actually experience the city, e.g. a museum and actually see the landmarks. Some of the excursions were simply drive by without any real opportunity to see the landmark that had been pointed out. There was also essentially no time set aside for shopping or free time. Internet usage was also very expensive; it was essential for me to have access to the internet as I was still working on the cruise. Notwithstanding the aforesaid, we would cruise with NCL again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Have previously sailed on the Norwegian Spirit. In comparison I found the Pearl was disappointing in a number of areas. Daily information sheets were great but activities on offer less so. The main restaurant dining was a veritable ... Read More
Have previously sailed on the Norwegian Spirit. In comparison I found the Pearl was disappointing in a number of areas. Daily information sheets were great but activities on offer less so. The main restaurant dining was a veritable nightmare with difficulty in finding seats. Overspill areas meant having to carry hot food some distance from where it was served. Food selection was uninspiring. Salad without tomatoes, cooked meat without potatoes!! Fruit juice so diluted it was undrinkable and water that was warm because no ice was available. Asking for a speciality coffee in the Atrium caused major confusion when key card wouldn't be accepted. It took 2 visits to guest services and 2 visits to Atrium bar to get it right. Cabin steward was friendly and attentive as were most of the bar staff but a couple of guest services staff were less welcoming. The shore excursion organised with NCL had far too many for one tour guide to cope with especially as he was trying to talk, without a microphone, to almost 50 people. He didn't even carry an identifying board so people could see where he was!! Privately arranged shore excursions were much better organised and significantly cheaper. On the plus side, embarkation and disembarkation was very well organised and speedy. Have my experiences on the Pearl put me off travelling with NCL in the future, certainly not. Freestyle all inclusive cruising suits me but why is the minibar not included in the package? I enjoyed the cruise because I met some interesting fellow travellers and how else would you visit so many interesting destinations. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We were excited about visiting several countries we had never been to, including Russia. Really did not consider the onboard entertainment; but it was super! The only real issue was excursions. We booked two through NCL and two on our ... Read More
We were excited about visiting several countries we had never been to, including Russia. Really did not consider the onboard entertainment; but it was super! The only real issue was excursions. We booked two through NCL and two on our on. the two we booked were phenomenal, but both the Hop on Hop off in Finland and the guided excursion in Gdansk had issues. To NCL's credit they refunded part of our payment in both cases. Our cabin was very nice, but the cabin steward must have been new. He was very nice, but left things out of place when he cleaned. The bar and restaurant staff were exceptional. A little disappointed in the food in La Bistro and Moderno, but pleased everywhere else. The gym was too warm and we did most of our excersize on the promonade deck even thouigh it was very cool and windy mast days. Overall my wife and I really enjoyed the Pearl and the iternary was once in a lifetime for us. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We went on this cruise for the variety and number of ports. We're trying to see 100 countries before we get to be 100, up to sixty three (63) so far! entertainment was very good. Some shore excursions were excellent, some not so. we ... Read More
We went on this cruise for the variety and number of ports. We're trying to see 100 countries before we get to be 100, up to sixty three (63) so far! entertainment was very good. Some shore excursions were excellent, some not so. we always look for a quiet place to relax and read, while the library is nice it's usually crowded and so we used the spinnaker lounge until the activities crew came in, a nice facility. the ships layout left me wondering who would design a ship that you cannot traverse stem to stern both starboard and port of deck seven? design of the summer palace restaurant was beautiful... But having to use stairs to enter was dumb!! who puts the not smoke free casino adjacent to the theater without expecting smoke to waft into the theater? who designs a bathroom with a water closet so tight you can barely change your mind in it? but it was a beautiful room!! why does senior crew not provide an indication of the daily temperature range for those planning an excursion? put it on the tv or better in the daily paper. how difficult is it to provide such simple info? who charges their crew $15.00 a month rent for their room... Shared with two or three other crew members? who manages a ship where the elevators are controlled during "peak times" to the point where fourth, fifth and sixth floor passengers cannot use them... "you'll need to use the stairs." i feel certain the over crowding could be managed better, stagger the excursion times, stagger the restaurant hours or make them longer, do something!! who designs a movie area in the busy guest relations area of the ship? who designs theater seating so tight you feel as if you're on the toilet in your cabin? i figured out who designs these things... No, no not the architect. i believe it's norwegian cruise lines in an attempt to create as much revenue as possible! They even have a TV channel named "REVENUE." The crew members are the saving grace of this ship... Everyone we encountered was fantastic, helpful, and understanding. but most of them seemed dismayed on the operations of the elevators. There's more but i think i got most of it out... Larry Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We did a Baltic Capitals Cruise on the MSC Meraviglia with our 24 months old. The experience was amazing for the three of us. The ship is decorated with taste - in fact it was the most beautiful ship we’ve been on. The buffet food is ... Read More
We did a Baltic Capitals Cruise on the MSC Meraviglia with our 24 months old. The experience was amazing for the three of us. The ship is decorated with taste - in fact it was the most beautiful ship we’ve been on. The buffet food is amazing: lots of tasty options all day long and the best pizza at sea! The evening seated dinner is also great - although there is a limited option to choose from. Nice staff, clean spaces, enough things to do on board. There’s a baby care program for under 3s but we didn’t use it, although we made use of the baby room which had plenty of toys and was really clean. The only thing we didn’t like was that they had the TV on all the time - and even when we were in the baby room alone they couldn’t turn it off - we went to the baby room to play, if I wanted my son to watch TV I would stay in our room. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This whole cruise experience was awful in so many ways. 1. Cleanliness: In the hallway outside our cabin it constantly smelled like sewage. Our toilet malfunctioned several times, threatening to overflow into the bathroom floor. ... Read More
This whole cruise experience was awful in so many ways. 1. Cleanliness: In the hallway outside our cabin it constantly smelled like sewage. Our toilet malfunctioned several times, threatening to overflow into the bathroom floor. The white towels and bath mat had coin-size brown stains on them. Carpets are filthy and stained, dining linen does not appear to be changed, and we encountered crusty dirty plates, bowls and cutlery in the “clean” stacks at the buffet more than once. The whole ship is peeling at the edges and needs a refresh. 2. Staff: Our cabin steward was lovely but beyond that, the chances of finding any remotely pleasant staff were bleak. Bar staff were rude. Harried customer service desk staff were openly disinterested in helping anyone. Our dining room server seemed depressed. 3. Food: They were constantly out of so many things, including their advertised “special” beers and wines. We were served frozen entrees for dinner that seemed to have been barely microwaved. The coffee station was never open on time in the morning, although staff were going behind the ropes and helping themselves. The one day we ate the sit-down breakfast, we waited 30 minutes to order before we gave up and just had the specialty buffet breakfast in the same room. There was something so bad in what I ate there that I went back to the cabin and threw up immediately (into the toilet that was constantly backing up). The lack of proper food service hygiene and failure to manage the chaos at the buffet created by lack of lines, direction, etc was appalling. 4. Cash Grabs: They up-sell EVERYTHING ... there are an incredible number of non-included food items like the late night pizza and burger bar, room service, or coffee outside of breakfast times. The internet is overpriced and incredibly slow - don’t bother. 5. “Mandatory” Gratuities: We tried to settle our cash account on the second last day and were told it was “impossible” except at the wildly inconvenient time of 6:30 am on the last day. At that time, we lined up for half an hour before being sent around to 4 different places because we had requested the gratuities be removed due to our less than acceptable cruise experience. Everywhere we went we were told it was “impossible”. These “mandatory” gratuities of €10/day per person were not disclosed up front. They are not in the fine print on your booking, but are buried in a faint hyperlink in the terms (so if you printed it out you can’t even see it). The Costa manager refused to remove these charges and was quite aggressive/bullying towards us about it, although any other major cruise line will allow passengers to remove it given it’s not a legally enforceable charge. It seemed really slimy to bury the misleading “mandatory” charges info in a hyperlink and then claim we had agreed to it. Costa tries to get around the law by calling it a “hotel service charge”. Haha, right. Only they are not a hotel; they are a marine vessel. Be aware that your “gratuities” DO NOT go to staff, but into Costa’s coffers. It’s an offensive practice that’s bad for crew and customers alike. Costa, be better. Don’t try to avoid paying your corporate taxes, or to provide a fair living wage and benefits to employees with these kind of murky loopholes. If this is really mandatory and is really used to pay staff, then your company should have no problem being honest and transparent about it and include it as part of the initial cruise price right up front and in the open. This was my third Costa cruise. I enjoyed the first two. Clearly things have deteriorated significantly since Carnival took over and I will never cruise with Costa again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We booked this short cruise for a weekend away as we are fairly local to the port, cruise RCCL three times previous (never from uk port). It was pretty clear that there were lots of first timers and hen/stag dos onboard which were ... Read More
We booked this short cruise for a weekend away as we are fairly local to the port, cruise RCCL three times previous (never from uk port). It was pretty clear that there were lots of first timers and hen/stag dos onboard which were intent on partying which resulted in some serious mad behaviour, didn’t bother us but things like people throwing up from drinking too much on deck could put a lot of people off! the ship rectify had a huge upgrade which has put things like skypad, escape room and laser tag onboard, all great but virtually impossible to do everything on a 3 day cruise. We also found the schedule/opening times of the various activities bizarre, things were often shut or not open for large proportions of the day or only open for short periods or open at odd times which made it very difficult to get to experience everything. Due to this issue when we stayed onboard one day we were sometimes struggling to find something to do because things just were not opening I.e the climbing wall we never saw open? Evening entertainment was good but again, at times things clashed in the schedule which didn’t really work, and only one ice show in three days? Strainge. We also noticed lack of inerraction with the entertainment team, they often seemed quite aloof and we only saw and heard the cruise director once, we don’t even know his name. I’m not sure if RCCL are becoming more reliant on the ships facilities instead of providing other types of entertainment but we’ve now decided RCCL is sadly no longer for us. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Having cruised with rccl many times and other cruise lines, this cruise has made me question ever booking with rccl again. It’s become very similar to the reasons why we don’t travel with p&o which is a shame. Main issues: - ... Read More
Having cruised with rccl many times and other cruise lines, this cruise has made me question ever booking with rccl again. It’s become very similar to the reasons why we don’t travel with p&o which is a shame. Main issues: - staff generally unhappy. Miss the American service from 5+ years ago where they couldn’t do enough for you. With the staff on here everything was to much trouble. - have turned into a company where they are constantly looking to upsell to you. Perks or small gestures for returning to them, such as little gifts in your room have disappeared. - all the little things add up to disappointment. Can’t get lemon slices in your drinks, room curtains were old and had holes in them so light came through, constantly rammed in the windjammer, massive queues constantly to guest services, booked anytime dining and couldn’t get in for a meal at 6.30am, 5% charge for casino spends, the amazing if daytime activities has dramatically reduced, waited for room service for some toast for 90 minutes. The service and attitude of staff has changed dramatically and for that reason we won’t be booking again. Princess are much better!! Don’t waste your money!!! Read Less

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