1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Baltic Sea Cruises
  4. Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews
Cruise Ratings
3,614
1,868
1,163
557
375
Sail Date: July 2019
I choose MSC without going through the reviews and that was a big mistake. The only high standard other than the ship is the amazing staff which I believe that they are the most valuable asset. And if they they don’t take care of ... Read More
I choose MSC without going through the reviews and that was a big mistake. The only high standard other than the ship is the amazing staff which I believe that they are the most valuable asset. And if they they don’t take care of them they will loose them all. The food is not to the standard as in other cruises I’ve been to. The same food offered in the buffet as for n the dinner seating dining. Other cruises offer water, lemonade or ice tea without any charge during the dining seating. All other drinks are charged. But with MSC you have to buy your drinks. The food in general is not very tasty. From the 11 nights. Only few nights the dinner was tasty. The pasta and risotto was under cooked. The seafood, scallops risotto with one small piece which might be a starter but not main dish. They offered butter chicken which was tasty also. The ice cream and desserts was tasty. Which you can only get for free in the dining seating. In other places you should buy them. No soft ice cream machine. One small snack bar which offers complementary cakes and sandwiches. The buffet area is the only place you can get snacks from till 2am. In the buffet during lunch and dinner only water, tea and coffee is available without charge. The pizza is very nice. All the food offered is labelled. They offered roast turkey which was tasty. But most of the food offered needs to be improved in standard and quality. Salads and dressing was nice too. The daily show was boring. One or two nights were ok. The last show was a disaster and it was what was best as they say from what was presented during the previous nights. The animation team were very good and exciting. Again all the staff were so good. They worked so hard. Some did look tired but didn’t stop smiling to the guests. The excursion were over priced. I’d like to thank all the staff if it wasn’t for them it would have been a hell of a long journey. Definitely won’t cruise with MSC again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first trip with Seabourn and will be our last. Our previous cruises have all been with Cunard in its Grills Suites. Cunard has bigger ships so more people but has immeasurably better staff and food. The food on the Ovation ... Read More
This was our first trip with Seabourn and will be our last. Our previous cruises have all been with Cunard in its Grills Suites. Cunard has bigger ships so more people but has immeasurably better staff and food. The food on the Ovation was boring and bland. The dress code is not policed and many evenings gentlemen turned up to dinner in polo shirts. The shore excursions were expensive and sometimes involved long journeys presumably because Seabourn do not wish to pay more expensive docking fees. The pillows and mattress had the consistency of a marshmallow. Despite firm pillows being offered our steward could not find any which wasn't great. The one female hairdresser on board was awful and the service generally slow. My husband ordered roses for our anniversary and they turned up at 10pm that night. The entertainment was boring and very few enrichment talks compared to Cunard. We could seldom have breakfast in the restaurant as we were on excursions and it did not open until 8am. The Colonnade was like a zoo. Very very disappointing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I saved up to take my retired parents on their first cruise. The itinerary was good, the stateroom was beautiful and spacious but the dining was slow, on average it took 2 1/2 hours to serve a soup or salad, salmon or meat and veg ... Read More
I saved up to take my retired parents on their first cruise. The itinerary was good, the stateroom was beautiful and spacious but the dining was slow, on average it took 2 1/2 hours to serve a soup or salad, salmon or meat and veg and a cold pudding. We chose anytime dining which seemed to make the service slower. We tried going early /half time /later and always had to wait a long time for a table so we missed a lot of the entertainment too. The food was edible, like a bar meal or canteen catering but it wasn't delicious. However, the food on the last night was delicious and much different to the other nights which saddened me. The service overall was hit and miss. I would say that the staff were all overstretched. The guy cleaning the cabins had 19 to take care of and easily worked a 12 hour shift, there were hardly any waiters in the dining room which contributed to slow service - about 8 waiters per restaurant, the entertainment who were excellent, also had a triple shift - singing for over 3 hours throughout the night, which is a lot for a band. The ports and shore excursions were enjoyable. We visited Bruge, Copenhagen and Oslo. We couldn't dock at Skagen due to high winds. We had a lovely holiday but it certainly didn't have the cruise wow factor we expected for that price point. I feel quite cheated and I don't feel my parents got the real cruise experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This particular cruise checked all of the boxes for length, dates, ports and price. Having cruised over twenty times on Norwegian, Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean, I feel I have a pretty good frame of reference when it comes to ... Read More
This particular cruise checked all of the boxes for length, dates, ports and price. Having cruised over twenty times on Norwegian, Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean, I feel I have a pretty good frame of reference when it comes to making comparisons and following historical trends. That being said, I'll break my review down by topic so readers can skip what they like. EMBARKATION: We arrived in Copenhagen early in the a.m. on cruise day. We handed our luggage off to VALIZO after customs so we could explore the city without the burden of suitcases. They were happily waiting for us to arrive and provided outstanding, to-our-stateroom-door, service for a very reasonable price. We purchased a 24-hour pass for the Copenhagen public transport system (good for bus, metro, and train) and hopped on the Metro to the city center for a fun morning of shopping and exploring. After doing some homework, we learned we could catch bus 25 or 27 from Osterport Station directly to the Oceankaj cruise terminal. The bus stop was absolutely slammed with people. Bus after bus came and went - the driver shaking his head that he was full - and more and more people arrived with hopes of a ride. Even though a courteous line had formed early on, new arrivals just went to the front of the line and stood there like they'd been there all along. Many more buses came and went and none of us got on. After about an hour, we decided to grab a taxi for about $22. The cruise terminal was very poorly organized. There were groups of passengers walking every which way and clogging up whatever traffic flow existed. We finally made it to the check in counter. The family of four at the neighboring agent's station all stood across the whole counter with their elbows on it (only one person is actually required to do the check in), so we had to shout over the top of them to our agent and pass paperwork over their heads. This sort of behavior would set the tone for most of the cruise, so I won't dwell on the manners of fellow passengers. Just be prepared that courtesy is not the norm. Finally walked onto the ship. Not a greeter in sight! For each and every past cruise we have been met with a kind, "Welcome aboard!" greeting and a glass of champagne. For this cruise the gangway entrance was lined with little clumps of very grimy balloons. Woo-hoo!! Staterooms weren't quite ready, so we ordered a glass of wine and explored the ship. There were two or three dining area available, but they were full of passengers sitting at the [dining] tables and waiting for their rooms so we didn't have an opportunity to sit and eat. DECOR The ship public areas were clean and well staffed. The overall décor on the ship is rather subdued. Nothing spectacular or opulent. The dining rooms are small and cramped. The theater looked like a second rate high school auditorium, with acoustic ceiling tiles lined in LED light tubes to make squares. The atrium bar, the hub for the daily activities/games/etc. is just a giant, poor resolution, video screen with a good many spelling errors in its announcements. STATEROOM We had a Spa Balcony in a nice forward location. The room was clean and our room steward, Kepler, was efficient and very friendly. The balcony is smaller than we are used to having in the same category room and the guy in the room next door would just sit outside and sing very loudly a great deal of the time. Storage could have been better. The drawers are next to the carpeted floor and do not slide open and closed very easily. Even with the key card in the slot, the A/C never really got cool and it shuts off after a short while and you have to re-press the snowflake button. Water pressure in the shower just sucked. At full force and with the head at its most open angle, the water would fall down next to the controls. Hugging the pipes was the only way to get a shower. We only got a towel animal after asking for one on the last night. No more chocolates on your pillow, folks. SPA We were psyched to have complimentary access to the Thermal Spa with our stateroom category. The spa is full of great amenities: Hot and Cold Ceramic loungers, a sauna, a steamroom, showers, padded deck chairs, etc. We went several times, but there was no "relaxation" in the equation. Each time, despite the numerous wall signs that say "QUIET AREA", there were passengers that were having loud conversations (trying to talk over the jets) and kids running and shouting. We passed several other passengers in the access hallway who were leaving because of the noise. Complaining to the staff was of no avail. Prices for treatments were quite high. Kepler came to us on day four with a cool coupon for $50 off of a treatment for port days, so we went right to the spa and tried to book something. There were zero available treatments for the remainder of the cruise. So much for the cool coupon. DINING The buffet gets a F- from me. Poor selection, cold and stale food, horrible organization and traffic patterns. Not enough seating for the size of the ship. I've been to a myriad of cruise ship buffets and this one is the singular worst. We ate in two of the complimentary dining rooms: Tropicana and Savor. Both were just "meh". Service was slow and food was never hot. Menus lack any imagination. We did enjoy our specialty dining experience. Ocean Blue was top-notch in every way. Le Bistro had a great menu and fabulous servers. Moderno has a unique dining experience with traveling servers with meat skewers - you get a red/green card to place on the table and they don't stop serving you until you flip it to red. Everything was delicious. Cagney's was just okay. We were seated in the direct sunlight (even with blinds down) so we could not actually see each other. Lobster bisque tasted burnt. All that being said, the "specialty dining" quality is what used to be complimentary on cruises for those who chose the main dining room. It is the sad truth that the cruising experience is all about the upcharges for the cruise company. A note to anyone from NCL who might be listening: Put a sign up indicating the line for those "WITH RESERVATIONS". Each restaurant hostess seemed to be clueless as to what to do with people. They barked out orders to "just get in line", so if you had a reservation, you still had to wait for those without them to be seated ahead of you. HUH??? DRINK PACKAGE We got the Ultimate Drink Package as one of our complimentary amenities. A word of caution, it is not a "free" perk. You have to pay a pretty large gratuity up front to even get the package (same with the Dining Package - 20%?). After the fact, we did the math to figure we really did not get anything for free. We are moderate drinkers, so 2-3 drinks per day each. You are limited to any drink under $15. Anything above you have to pay the difference. There were very few glasses of wine that fell within that free range. There were many familiar selections that cost $14 per glass that I could buy the whole bottle at home for $7.99. I'm not arguing that servers should not get a gratuity. I do question whether they actually receive what I pay up front. I'd rather tip in person for good service. PORTS OF CALL All of the ports were great and leaving the ship was well organized. We did Berlin By Train and Leisure Time. Lots and lots of walking and (as noted in the tour description) the train is NOT air conditioned. Unfortunately, our train broke down. It was 98 degrees F in Germany. We sat for a LONG time in the heat (not allowed to leave the train for safety reasons) and waited for another engine to come and push us into a station and then waited some more for another to tow us to Berlin. The NCL team did extend our time approximately 2 1/2 hours so that we would get the full tour and all of our free time. That meant the ship had to wait for us to get back. When we returned, we were greeted by a line of officers apologizing for the trouble (where were they on Embarkation Day??). I was absolutely SHOCKED when all 600+ of us were then allowed to re-board the ship WITHOUT going through ANY security scanners or having our packages inspected. I'm sure this was done in the sake of expedience, but I really didn't appreciate the captain and crew potentially sacrificing the safety of its passengers for something that saved 30 minutes time. Luckily, nothing happened as a result. Had something terrible occurred because of a passenger bringing something back they should not have, it would have been through sheer negligence. Best of St. Petersburg and Leisure Time was great. We took it because we were bamboozled by the cruise line that you have to use their excursions to get off the ship in Russia. I should have done more research, because we paid too much through NCL and got less than through private operators. We planned to stay on the ship for Day #2 of Russia because the time of departure was changed from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. I'm sure that messed up some folks who made Day #2 private excursion plans. We did Best of Gdansk in Poland (great tour), Stockholm On Your Own (basically a bus ticket from the port to town - 45 min. away), and HOHO bus in Helsinki. A note of warning about the Shore Excursions credits. I learned from previous experience that you have to book them in advance via TELEPHONE, and not using the online reservation system, in order to receive your Latitudes discount and $50 per port credit. I did that for all of my excursions way in advance and the Norwegian rep on the phone quoted me the total price, including Latitudes discount and port credit. However, when I got on board and had participated in two excursions already, I noticed on my account that I had received the $50 credit but not the Latitudes discount. When I went to the SE desk, I was told you have to SHOW your room card to the SE desk to receive the Latitudes discount. I have never had to do that before, as my Latitude status was always built into my account. Anyhoo….I did what they said and they then applied the discount. So, make sure you check yours. I found it all to be weird. I wonder how many people let that slip by their notice? Hmmmmm….. ON BOARD ENTERTAINMENT The bars were fun and always full of people. I was excited for the Ice Bar, but we didn't go when we found out it was another pricey upcharge. Burn The Floor was amateurish and boring. Million Dollar Quartet was definitely a highlight. The four guys were oozing talent and the narration was well acted. Could have lived without the chick singing Priscilla's role, tho. LOL Passengers were always actively engaged in the game shows, bingo, trivia, etc. that took place in the Atrium. It's always loud there, which amps up the fun-factor but degrades the experience of those trying to have a conversation at Guest Services or eat a nice meal at Le Bistro outdoors. On a positive note, I won quite a bit at slots in the Casino!! I always test out the machines on cruise ships to find that one machine that's a little loose with the payout. No one anywhere around me was winning squat. ONE BIG NEGATIVE What's with the VIBE beach club taking up the ENTIRE forward part of the ship??? This isn't a beach cruise and it's not really even an outdoorsy cruise (weather most evenings was chilly). The VIBE tix were $200 per person. If you didn't purchase, you couldn't even stand on an open deck forward to enjoy the sea. C'mon!!! OTHER Due to a mild medical emergency, I had to use the ship's medical facility. A brief consult with the doc, a blood test, a tube of OTC Cortisol cream, a pack of OTC Allegra = $925. No insurance is accepted. You have to pay up front and then submit with your own insurance. DISEMBARKATION We had an NCL transfer to the airport. Lots of pushing and shoving by passengers stressed about making flights, but otherwise fine. IN SUMMARY We had a good time DESPITE the failures of NCL and the general demeanor of our fellow passengers. Cruising has become another Walt Disney World where you pay for a ticket to get in and then pay a lot more to get a true quality experience. Many of the "little things" that used to be included are a thing of the past. (Remember the waiters dancing and singing, the midnight buffet, the "grand" buffet with all of the carvings, towel animals, flaming Cherries Jubilee??.....SIGH) All of the nickel-and-diming truly degrades the experience. NCL used to be our favorite. Going to jump ship over to Celebrity for the next one. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted a cruise with interesting destinations and the Baltic/Russia itinerary was perfect as the ports themselves were mostly significant and interesting which meant that there was no need to book an expensive tour. We visited all the ... Read More
We wanted a cruise with interesting destinations and the Baltic/Russia itinerary was perfect as the ports themselves were mostly significant and interesting which meant that there was no need to book an expensive tour. We visited all the major capital cities. The ship was a mind boggling experience for the first couple of days. The sheer size of it ( although today that would not be a large ship). Dining....The Sapphire dining rooms provided a very pleasant experience. We chose My Time Dining. The service from all staff was excellent.. Menu choices were varied and the quality superb most of the time although desserts could have been a little more imaginative and were not always tasty. Windjammer...again there was a mind numbing array of choice and all tasty. The views from all parts good and ample seating even when busy. There was never any queuing other than if you wanted something freshly prepared. We have a few criticisms...no fruit juices were available unless you had a drinks package, only squashes/cordials. There was not enough choice of healthy/vegetarian type dishes, interesting salads etc. Maybe instead of the unhealthy sweeteners offered, you could offer honey/ healthy sweeteners. The music on the piped system was terrible, intrusive, often loud and screechy, not at all suited to dining or the older ages of most of the clientele. We agreed with the head waiter that as he was unable to change the music he would turn it down, but we still had to complain when this was not done. Entertainment.....some of the evening shows were superb, some okay, the seating was excellent. As for the entertainment around the ship, Perry Grant was the best thing RC had, so entertaining, funny, original, he was a great success all round. Activities.... Daytime activities could be much improved. Often there were several things on at 10 am but obviously I could not do them all! Why oh why does the table tennis have to be on the outside deck? If you've never played it in the wind, here is your chance! Ridiculous. You cannot please everyone with daytime activities, but we felt there were too many simple, childlike attempts at quizzes, games etc and not enough exciting activities where one could learn something or see a demonstration, ice carving or something. All in all, they obviously cater for the 'masses' and not the more discerning traveller. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise due to the locations and our previous experience of Royal Caribbean. Our embarkation was good only taking about 15 mins to check in, clear security and step aboard the ship. The ship has benefitted from some ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the locations and our previous experience of Royal Caribbean. Our embarkation was good only taking about 15 mins to check in, clear security and step aboard the ship. The ship has benefitted from some recent refurbishment but areas are looking a little tired and in need of some minor maintenance. Dining was reasonably good with the quality in the Windjammer buffet of a decent standard although a little repetitive after a few days. The main dining room we used on Deck 3 was again of decent standard although the standard of service was a little mixed. The best waiter by a mile was Dody who I could not fault. We sampled most of the bars on the ship and found the R bar to be slightly quieter than the others. Christine was excellent offering quality cocktails and suggestions of drinks to try. The Promenade café was ok for coffee and snacks but finding a seat was a bit of a lottery as was seating in most of the bars. The entertainment was a huge disappointment with the quality of the performers poor apart from a few. The ships orchestra and ice dance troop however were very good. The only way to sum up the entertainment director was he was a complete waste of space. The ship in general was ok but I think it will find it hard to compete with the newer ships that are now on offer. The Captain was very good at putting people to sleep with his daily midday announcements. St Petersburg was a highlight and we used Alla Tours for our excursions for two days who were excellent and cheaper than the options the ship could offer. Overall we enjoyed our cruise but I think this was due to the fact we met some good friends whilst on board (thanks to them and the Key Lime Pie episode !!!!!!) Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This is an extensive review...Bear with me, but this is our honest opinion and our personal view. Firstly, to put this cruise into context it will have been our 17th. We have enjoyed 3 previous cruises with 'Thompson', all of ... Read More
This is an extensive review...Bear with me, but this is our honest opinion and our personal view. Firstly, to put this cruise into context it will have been our 17th. We have enjoyed 3 previous cruises with 'Thompson', all of which have been fine and we thought good value for money. This was why we booked with their new branding 'Marella' and we were looking forward to going on the Explorer. The advertising and videos looked fine, and the Baltic was an area we had not cruised in but had been to independently previously. The port itinerary was great, Copenhagen, Warnemunde, Stockholm, St Petersburg, Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, Klaipeda, and Fredericia. We had visited Tallinn and Riga both previously. The cruise did what it said on the tin, and destinations were not disappointing with no problems visiting the ports. All through the cruise, we were blessed with sunny weather and mainly calm seas. From this aspect, the voyage went well. Embarkation was good, as it was at the ports, and at the end of our cruise; well organised by the ship and no issues. Same in Russia, where good advice was given by destination services on procedure etc. There was enough time to organise and plan your own trips/activities if you had not booked ship ones, and what excursions we did take were reasonable and good. One issue which a number of people raised was the point that Marella no longer provides port maps in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint and help the planet. Fine, but a lot of people were not happy accessing an online map version on the ship, and some are not IT savvy, so its a cheap cost-cutting exercise in our view. You can in most places get a 'hard copy' map from the cruise terminals at the ports you visit for free anyway. In Stockholm, we went to the ABBA museum and a walk around the old town. Probably as cheap to do this with the cruise ship excursion than independently. In St Petersburg, it was, as always busy but the Panoramic Tour we did with the ship excursion was very good. Our trip to the Ballet was also good. The second day we visited the Yusopov Palace and had a canal trip. It was somewhat chaotic due to road closures ( not Marella's fault ), and our guide was somewhat confused and our experience of Yousopof was marred by rude staff. The disembarkation from our canal cruise via an unstable and unsecured gangway was downright dangerous and a major health and safety issue, which we reported to Marella, and which they need to take up with the operator before someone is injured or worse. A number of passengers were phased by this incident on our trip. Those were the only organised trips we took, apart from a shuttle to enter Helsinki which Marella charged £5.00 return for. I am not sure if in the past with Thompson these were free. They are not now. However, now to comment on the onboard experience., the good and not so good. Let's start by saying the staff were polite and good-natured, and worked incredibly hard. Any queries we had were dealt with promptly but we had a number of issues. ( See cabin report ). From getting on the ship the hard sell started. I was asked almost straight away if I wanted a premium drinks package. We don't drink much, so it was of little use to us. The all-inclusive was fine, as there is no shortage of the stuff either !. I drink mainly wine, and the white, red and rose were perfectly acceptable, but cocktails are invariable too sweet ( depends on taste though ) and lacking in alcoholic 'punch'. Spirits were not of great quality. I suppose our biggest disappointment was food and service in the dining room. We felt that the quality of the ingredients had gone down from previous 'Thompson' cruises, and some of the meals over salty ( again, personal taste ). There was certainly less choice on the evening menu, and some of the meats were fatty ( lamb ) and poorly presented with bland and repetitive vegetables. The Latitude 53 dining room was very hit and miss. The evening meal was 3 courses, fine for us, but a few people were not happy, The Market Buffet was essentially the same with little change. There were no specific theme nights, a feature we have found on other cruises. The Italian option Vista was quite good, and the Tapas evening restaurant OK. The major issue was service, so much so we complained and met the catering manager. In Latitude 53 we waited one evening 3/4 of an hour to obtain our starters and the next evening 1hr before receiving our main course, and we were not alone. A gentleman at the next table waited with us, only to be served cold soup after the wait. My wife is on medication before meals and needs to eat within a reasonable time after taking it, and such a long delay made her feel ill. Often the dishes were presented lukewarm. The catering services manager responded quickly and admitted there was a 'communication problem'. He offered us a complimentary meal in a premium restaurant, which was nice, but not the object of our exercise !. We did try both the steak restaurant and the oriental one and they were both good and worth the extra money. Over and above communication however, there seems to be a cost cutting exercise in staffing. The same issue was evident in the bars, where there was a lack of waiting on staff and it could take quite a while to order drinks from the bar areas. It got to such a state that we often ate in the Market Place Buffet where we were able to serve ourselves and eat in time for the first show in the evening which we liked to go to. That said, entertainment in the theatre was varied, and unfortunately, again not as good as on our other cruises. The entertainers were enthusiastic even if at times the quality was lacking. The theatre has good sight lines and is comfortable. The acts engaged were OK. A comedy duo and singer. We had an individual comedy entertainer ( forgot his name ) who we did not enjoy. The musician in the venues were Ok, apart from the piano player who was an expert at being out of tune. Sea days dragged ( there were not many, and we normally like them ). However, the activities were not well organised. No, I don't want to learn how to fold a towel or napkin. There were no talks or lectures as we have had on other cruises, only the destinations talk by the crew who were out to hard sell excursions. Such a shame as the lack of activity was commented on by more than ourselves. The gym was busy though and I got time to read two books !. The onboard cinema was a great idea if they had put more films on and not used it most of the day to flog acupuncture treatments and consultations with the onboard acupuncturist. There was such a lot we could have learned about the Baltic, and it was an opportunity missed. So of all the Thompson 'Marella' ships this has been the most disappointing in the entertainment offerings, surprising as Thompson were widely praised for their cruise ship entertainment in the past. The usual hard sell from the cruise ship shops was evident, but that happens everywhere. They were even trying to flog Bridge Tours at just under £10.00 !!. Did we enjoy the Baltic, yes the ports were fine and the trip went very smoothly As we said the staff were fine, but in our view, the management need to take a long hard look at the training and support they give and the quality of what they are delivering. Standards have undoubtedly dropped as prices have risen. It's a competitive market and people will not pay good money for 3rd rate cruise experiences. Would we cruise Marella again ??? I doubt it if this is what they are offering. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
First, sorry for such a long review.... This was our first NCL cruise and we chose it because of the itinerary. We have sailed quite a bit previously on Carnival, Celebrity and Princess. The ports we visited were excellent. ... Read More
First, sorry for such a long review.... This was our first NCL cruise and we chose it because of the itinerary. We have sailed quite a bit previously on Carnival, Celebrity and Princess. The ports we visited were excellent. Warnemünde/Rostock, Tallinn, St Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm. As with most cruises, there were good, bad, average, exceptional throughout the 9 days. The ship sailed near or at capacity, 4000+, and for the most part it always felt crowded and lines everywhere, with the exception of a few times at dinner around 7-7:30pm in Savor, Taste and Tropicana. We were new to making reservations for nearly everything in advance but were tipped off and did so several weeks prior to departing. Unfortunately twice we arrived at specialty dinners only to be told we had no reservations and they were completely sold out nothing could be done about it. Following a rather brief and somewhat rude conversation the first time, I returned minutes later with confirmation of our reservation on my iPad. Miraculously a table appeared and all was suddenly good and we’re sorry for the computer error. The first was at Teppanyaki (very rude), the second was at Cirque Dreams where they were very accommodating and apologetic. The final bad experience was at our excursion. Our tickets said to meet at 7:15pm for an evening show in St Petersburg. We exited the ship and arrived at the busses. No signs or direction for which bus and the only workers were sitting and chatting with each other. We finally found our bus after getting help from a security guard. We started to check in and a woman from either NCL or the bus company not sure which began to berate us and threatened the bus was just about to depart without us. I checked my watch and we were right on time, but decided not to engage her and just get on the bus, which by the way did not depart for another 10 min or so. We try not to let a couple of bad individuals be the face of an entire company. So much for the bad. We did enjoy the anytime very casual dining format. The many dining choices, and most of the time the food was very good. We loved Moderno and Cirque Dreams and Steam was not to be missed. Be sure to book floor seats and sit close to the stage. Burn the floor was a mixed review, my wife loved it, I thought it was just ok. Nearly every worker who came into contact with us were excellent and friendly. We had a balcony room on deck 11. It was rather small compared to other cruise lines but otherwise sufficient. We met our cabin steward the first day and only saw him once or twice more passing in the hallway. He did a good job with our cabin each day. We did have a coffee maker in the cabin with a selection of coffees and tea’s. We didn’t like having to make so many reservations in advance to be sure we didn’t miss out on things or dining times. Be sure to keep your confirmations in case there are any problems. Their internet plans are pretty expensive and only work for one device at a time. Meaning two people cannot be online at the same time. Reaching a live person at customer service prior to the cruise at times was frustrating with waits up to 30 min at times. At the end of the day, none of the bad things were enough to ruin our cruise only minor nuisances. The ship was clean, and modern. Embarkation was pretty easy and not too long, maybe 30 min. Disembarkation was pretty orderly and went as they stated. Port embark and disembark was good except for day one in St Petersburg which had some long lines. Day two was very quick since they had all of your info already. In trying to be fair, we are going to give NCL’s shortcomings a pass try them again in the future. Not judging an entire fleet and company based on one ship and one experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Picked this cruise for the ports. Embarkation was a disaster, long lines and staff that was not trained which made the process even longer. Traveled with a family group of eleven that spanned three generations. The ship was fun, ... Read More
Picked this cruise for the ports. Embarkation was a disaster, long lines and staff that was not trained which made the process even longer. Traveled with a family group of eleven that spanned three generations. The ship was fun, clean and lots to do for all ages. Entertainment was good for everyone. One drawback was only two pools and four hot tubs. The pools were ok, but if this ship is in a warm weather destination, not enough pools. Guessing the hot tubs were full as the weather is cool. We went to three shows which were very good, similar to what you would get in Vegas. Bar service was good, but the food service. Food in the buffets was poor to average, humongous crowds and generally cool to cold by the time you ate. Food in the specialty restaurants was unbelievably slow, often cool to cold and lacked any quality. I would say Olive Garden and a cheap steak house were much better than the "specialty" dining options on board. If you dine in the specialty restaurants, plan on at least two hours and bring your own drinks as they are very slow and often wrong. Ship was clean, room was fine. They did a good job getting you off and on at the ports although communication was very poor, you had to seek out the information. The people at guest services were generally not helpful, nor interested in providing meaningful service. I had intended on putting money down on a future cruise, but the food and service changed my mind. I'll shop around for another cruise line for my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We booked a Haven room on the Norwegian Getaway for our Baltic Sea trip. The Haven is the luxury level on some Norwegian ships. Our room was a Family Villa - two bedrooms, which was perfect for my wife and I and our adult daughter. ... Read More
We booked a Haven room on the Norwegian Getaway for our Baltic Sea trip. The Haven is the luxury level on some Norwegian ships. Our room was a Family Villa - two bedrooms, which was perfect for my wife and I and our adult daughter. First the good: beautiful room, lots of storage, very attractive. The Haven has a restricted access pool and sun area, as well as its own dining room and concierge services. The servers and bartenders are very good in the Haven. I think the best get promoted here. The ship made all stops on time and the entertainment on board was decent, though always extremely crowded. If you are in to casino play, there is a huge casino on board, well-used. The bad: We should have figured out that family villas would mean lots of kids. We thought that sailing during the school year and the extra cost of the Haven would restrict the number of young kids. We were wrong! Crying children, tantrums, running around the dining room spoiled pretty well every meal in the Haven dining room. This dining room is undersized for the 320 people in the Haven area, and the dining room is consequently crowded. You can almost always count on waiting for a table, and the noise level was always so high that meals there were uncomfortable. We compensated by eating elsewhere most of the time. The concierge staff in the Haven were generally unhelpful unless the service you were requested brought in more money to the company. Probably the worst concierge staff we have experienced in our dozen or so cruises. They were very good at saying no. The ship itself has about 4000 cruisers and a lack of facilities for this many. All entertainment venues were overcrowded and we had to always arrive 20 minutes of so early to get a seat, except in the large theatre, which has sufficient seating, but is quite unattractive. The venue we missed most on this boat is a nice, quiet piano bar where we could dance to pleasant piano songs. In summary: The Haven rooms and facilities are quite outstanding, except for the dining room. The servers, bar staff and room stewards are outstanding, though we were disappointed with the concierge staff and the butler was OK, but not great. The specialty restaurants are decent but not great. The ship's venues are crowded and loud. We will probably not return to the Haven on Norwegian. We were the wrong people for this ship. We'll return to the luxury lines we have enjoyed in the past. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Dining was the biggest disappointment. Garden Café Buffet was disorganized and poorly laid out, food was cold and tasteless. Dessert selection small and flavorless. Moderno breakfast buffet had a nice selection but ice cold. Taste, Savor ... Read More
Dining was the biggest disappointment. Garden Café Buffet was disorganized and poorly laid out, food was cold and tasteless. Dessert selection small and flavorless. Moderno breakfast buffet had a nice selection but ice cold. Taste, Savor and Tropicana all have the same menu and nothing to write home about. Service was slow with a few exceptions (Zimik our Tropicana waitress was most excellent). Food here too was subpar compared to other cruise ships. We let the Asst. Maître D Isaac Dobson know our feeling one evening and gave him our room number but no effort was made to follow up. We spoke with a few other passengers who agreed the complimentary offering weren't great but said the specialty restaurants were pretty good. O'Shenigans was okay with good service. Bar service and drinks were outstanding (Vinnie and Darwin at the Sunset Bar were most excellent). Casino smoke was a little annoying. Theater shows are not every night. However, the Million Dollar Quartet and Burn the Floor were both worthwhile. There is no movie theater. State room was average size, nice big bathroom but the balcony was tiny (Rm 8748). Some noise from the theater until 11pm. Embarkation was pretty slow but it is a big ship. Disembarkation was smooth, taxi wait not awful. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We had a relaxing time on Norwegian Spirit. Great itinerary. Good restaurants and service staff. Our cabin was comfortable and clean although dated and the toilet had a smell that wasn’t pleasant no matter how often it was cleaned. ... Read More
We had a relaxing time on Norwegian Spirit. Great itinerary. Good restaurants and service staff. Our cabin was comfortable and clean although dated and the toilet had a smell that wasn’t pleasant no matter how often it was cleaned. Buffet was fine but not happy wth pushy people who don’t know how to queue and while the food was usually ok it was all very salty. I preferred the dining rooms. I was surprised that there was no gluten free range. I found the shore excursions very expensive. We did our own for half what they charged. I was disappointed that they didn’t offer any free exercise classes. I did a few stretch classes but the instructor wasn’t very good. I appreciated the care that bar, dining and cabin staff displayed. They were always pleasant and their jobs can’t be easy. Don’t know that I would travel on this ship again. It is quiet old and dated. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
ITINERARY is the reason to pick Holland America Line. However, we both came home sneezing and coughing because of the airco in the cabin that is placed right over the bed and cannot be shut off. This was also the case two years ago ... Read More
ITINERARY is the reason to pick Holland America Line. However, we both came home sneezing and coughing because of the airco in the cabin that is placed right over the bed and cannot be shut off. This was also the case two years ago when we also sailed with Zuiderdam but we figured this major problem would have been solved after the ship had been refurbished. But NO. We were certainly not the only people complaining about this problem and I would never book such a ship again. Service, food choice had also declined in two years. The menu was cut down, no more surf and turf, or baked Alaska. I do not mind paying for lobster ($20) but the quality was poor, lobster was small, hard and tasteless. Other dishes failed to impress as was the case earlier. Now the service has always been excellent, but also here they started dropping the ball, almost constantly. Three times our wine got lost and most dinner they were unable to serve us wine with first course, which is really a shame. Also on deck nine staff sometimes unfriendly, and hardly willing to serve. A great let down! We are going again with HAL in September on Koningsdam and on New Statendam service was better and the airco could be shut off, we always take veranda cabin to get in fresh air. Cabin staff was fine and we like the older look of Zuiderdam too but they really must get their act together and stop counting pennies. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I joined this HAL-branded cruise for 2 reasons. Firstly, to sightsee and enjoy the Norwegian Fjords and its culture. I am happy to achieve what I wish for and rated it a 9 out of 10. Secondly, the HAL experience onboard Nieuw Statendam ... Read More
I joined this HAL-branded cruise for 2 reasons. Firstly, to sightsee and enjoy the Norwegian Fjords and its culture. I am happy to achieve what I wish for and rated it a 9 out of 10. Secondly, the HAL experience onboard Nieuw Statendam (prior, I cruised with Zuiderdam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Koningsdam). This is the worst programming/events I encountered. The quality of the World Stage performance was below par (apart from renowned pianist Zhang and One-Step light & dance performance). There were 2 nights without performance. I was disappointed that the ship didn't engaged any local Nowergian performer throughout the 14 nights. t) Sea day has 1 track event rather than 2, on most ship. As such, sea-day was boring and subdued. I would like more enrichment programs on sea day. Like painting appreciation, pottery making, knitting, play a simple norwegian musical instrument Lido Market food quality and quantity were excellent BUT lack variety. Serving the same food 14 days in a row. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
If your primary interest in cruising is to make short visits to a variety of sites without having to unpack or worry about checking in/out, arrange transport between cities, etc. , then the Nieuw Statendam is the ship for you. If you also ... Read More
If your primary interest in cruising is to make short visits to a variety of sites without having to unpack or worry about checking in/out, arrange transport between cities, etc. , then the Nieuw Statendam is the ship for you. If you also see cruising to foreign lands as an opportunity to learn through onboard lectures and enjoy yourself, then this is not the ship for you. We did a 14-day cruise to Norway that included five sea days. I anticipated having presentations by speakers who might discuss the local traditions, legends, politics, or other potential Nordic topics. Not so on this ship. The EXC guide presented memorized generic lectures with photos on each port and very few other topics. Most lectures were 30 - 40 minutes in length and usually covered two ports at a time. The EXC guide arrived and started promptly on time and as soon as she finished went into hiding in the crew spaces, i.e., no deviation from the script, no questions, etc. Other than the three music venues, HAL has done away with all entertainment other than a few guest artists (singers, comics, etc.). In the first seven days, we had a great opera singer who performed two evenings, one comedian who performed once, one adequate guitarist who performed once and one evening when the guitarist and comedian shared the stage. The first night, there was an EXC lecture and one night there was no entertainment, not even a movie in the mainstage. There were movies each evening poolside. We were fortunate to obtain a reasonably priced upgrade to a Neptune Suite which made the cruise much more comfortable. The room, although not as large as on older HAL ships was very well laid out with a great bathroom. There were at least six electrical outlets with North American 110 and USB jacks in each. The Neptune Lounge concierges, Paulo and Kirsten, provided great service when requested. Club Orange is HAL’s effort to catch up with the completion in providing a distinctive suite experience. It is a somewhat feeble attempt in that the menu is identical to the MDR with an additional item on some days. Our original excellent chef was moved to Sel de Mer near the end of the cruise and his loss was obvious to the tenor of the restaurant. Not only was he a wonderful and meticulous chef, he also took time to come out and talk with the clientele when time permitted. The new chef maintained a low profile. Service by the staff onboard was typical of HAL and other lines - excellent with a smiling and helpful team. Navigation officers must have been present since we travelled safely between ports, but were invisible, only to be seen when tendering. With the exception of the friendly and visible chief security officer, hotel officers remained behind the scenes unless they were hurriedly going from one place to another trying to avoid interaction with guests. Rust. I mention this since some reviewers believe it is an indication of ship condition. We noted rust in several places on our veranda and other locations, so those who don’t like rust should avoid this eight month old ship. To us, the ship was quite well maintained with many subtle front-facing and behind the scenes improvements from the Koningsdam on which we cruised eight months ago. We will likely return to HAL for a great itinerary, but can’t imagine any other reason. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
With 4 cruises behind us and having visited many countries we decided we would like to visit Northern Europe. MSC was the cheapest option as Royal Caribbean and Norweigan were a lot more expensive so we decided to try this option, we ... Read More
With 4 cruises behind us and having visited many countries we decided we would like to visit Northern Europe. MSC was the cheapest option as Royal Caribbean and Norweigan were a lot more expensive so we decided to try this option, we were not very pleased with a few things, the ship is very new so this itself was fabulous however as the saying goes "you get what you pay for".. We spoke with many others on board from various parts of the world and we all felt that once on board the ship it seemed to be like "we have your money so entertain yourself".. from past experience on RCC and Thompson (TUI) ships there was always music or entertainment by the poolside and especially on the days at sea, on this very large ship there was no music to be heard and no cruise director to be found to participate in games etc. the only time we saw this lady was at the beginning and end of each show in the evening times. The marketplace in particular is a dangerous zone and needs a "huge restructure" as there is no queueing system in place and easily knocked off your feet in a heartbeat. some nationalities in particular have no manners in this area or at the lifts around this area and we saw elderly people almost run-down.... :-( this includes some workers in the marketplace as well as customers. we spoke with some waiters in the Panorama dining area and they agreed about the Buffet area and said that many people had mentioned it but nothing was done.. very sad to see this ongoing problem is not being rectified considering this is an expensive holiday for each family and MSC don't seem to be happy to take on board people's comments. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Chose this cruise because of the itinerary and all the stops it had to offer. The experiences in these wonderful ports were almost ruined because of the poor customer service provided by this ship. A special mention however goes to our ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the itinerary and all the stops it had to offer. The experiences in these wonderful ports were almost ruined because of the poor customer service provided by this ship. A special mention however goes to our cabin steward, Victor, who took great care of us and Reuben's staff at the Java Café who tended exceptionally well to our every drinking need! The embarkation process in Amsterdam was the worst we've encountered in over 12 cruises, making everyone wait in a large room like a bunch of cattle. There were 5 couples in total traveling in our group; the Pearl staff offered nothing to accommodate our group especially on sea days and seemed put-out that we would ask for somewhere to hang out as a group. Food was subpar, even in the specialty restaurants. Getting off the ship at ports was poorly organized as was the process for shore excursions resulting in a chaotic mess at most stops. The worst stop by far was the Tilbury port. If not booked on a ship shore excursion there was no offer of advice or help maneuvering the area - the long lines at the shuttle bus to the train stations could have been averted if the ship offered tickets for sale as they did for other ports; the train tickets to London likewise could have been offered for presale as a service to their passengers. The Pearl did NOTHING despite, we were told, a request from the locals to provide this presale service. It took over 3 hours to get off the ship and to the train station, so any plans we had for London were abandoned. We were fortunate to grab one of London's black cabs - our driver Steve saved the day with a 2 hour tour of London and his entertaining commentary. As Platinum level rewards members, my husband and I experienced no special acknowledgement. Despite what NCL advertises, there is no concierge service and, once again, the desk services team seemed surprised/put out that we expected it. We most likely will be taking our business elsewhere for our next cruise Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Full disclosure-this is about number 40 cruise for us over about 30 years of cruising. First, let me tell you all of the GOOD things about the cruise. 1. The food was universally very good. We have cruised on some of the best (and ... Read More
Full disclosure-this is about number 40 cruise for us over about 30 years of cruising. First, let me tell you all of the GOOD things about the cruise. 1. The food was universally very good. We have cruised on some of the best (and worst) and overall the food on the NCL Getaway is very good and in some restaurants just excellent. The best restaurant on-board hands down is Le Bistro. Cagney's is a close second. La Cucino's is just ok. Pretty boring and just ok Italian. The best (no additional charge place) on the ship is O'Sheehan's. It is fun, great service, great food and always open. It is a great alternative for breakfast. The staff is universally good. Dining rooms: Savour is the best. Taste is the worst--poor management and nasty front staff ruin the dining room experience at Taste. The Tropicana is also good and fun with live music. The buffet was just a mess for us. We had a very large tour group from Asia on-board that dominated the buffet whenever it was open. After a couple of attempts we just gave up on getting close to the food or having a place to sit. As mentioned O'Sheehan's was a great alternative. 2. The ship was just overhauled so it is bright and clean. In general a very nice ship. They made a couple of huge errors in design mentioned below. 3. The bars (and there is one every 50 feet) are all nice, well-staffed, and fun. 4. The dinner/circus act is fun and the folks are incredibly talented. Illusionarium I think is the name of the separate dining and performance area. Do not miss this act and dinner. You will have to arrange it in advance of your trip. Ok, now for the BAD stuff with the ship. 1. The internet does not work. Not even a little bit. For those of us who have to work even while on a ship it is a disaster. The manager, to his credit, knows that it is really bad. It is impossible to work or even search on the internet. It is the worst experience for us since the implementation of internet on ships. It is a deal-killer for us as I have to have internet capability. I was refunded all of my cost but that does not solve the issue. 2. The ship's excursion staff is the worst we ever encountered. They are just lost with no management or oversight. Rude, incompetent, and sullen is the best i can do. We heard endless complaints about the staff and the quality of the trips offered by the ship. They fouled up the only ship arranged excursion we purchased. Ultimately we ended up canceling because of the staff errors. It was to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Although we scheduled our trip months in advance (along with this one excursion) when we got on-board they told us that our trip was full and that instead of a 130pm departure we were booked on a 6am departure....huh? Again, no coordination and no one to talk to about the issues. 3. The entertainment is high school level. Sorry, but if you expect anything in the way of entertainment do not look to this ship. The Burn the Floor group is painful. The bands on board were loud. Loud because that was all they could do. Compared to other ships the Getaway has to do better than the folks we had on board. 4. The casino. My suggestion is do not go near it. Over 14 days we saw no one....not a soul...win anything on the slots. We talked to folks who were using the casino and to a person they said exactly what i am telling you. The payout for the slots has to be hideous. I asked what the payout percentage was and they refused to discuss it. That has to tell you something. Walk through it or just donate your money to them and save time. 5. Maybe the poorest design on any ship we have been on is the band/performance/public area on the 6th floor which opens to the 7th floor. It is dead in the center of the 6th floor. It is a horrible place to stick bands as it is just deafening and you cannot get away from it. The sound is ramped-up to an uncomfortable level. It is like a garage band in your neighbors garage that you can hear all over the neighborhood. HInts: 1. In Bergen do a hop on hop off and wander on your own. 2. In Reykjavik walk from the ship and take a taxi downtown. It is about the same price as the mess they have with the bus transports. It is faster and way less hassle. 3. Go to Vitar (or any other trip planner for the stops) and get a private provider for wherever you want to go. It is cheaper, better planned, and a lot less hassle than fighting with hundreds of others who will push you out of the way to be first on a cruise ship bus. 4. Do not believe the provided by the cruise director or others about needing to use the ship provided excursions. You can rent a taxi or private tour for the same or less than you pay to be one of two hundred on a ship excursion. 5. Edinburgh and Copenhagen on your own or on a hop on hop off. Both cities are just wonderful and you cannot get lost. 6. Departing Copenhagen. Stay at the airport area and take the train to the city center. You cannot get lost and it is cheap, clean, and fun. The Marriott AC (the totally weird hotel design) close to the train and the airport is perfect. You can walk to the train station in five minutes. 7. The Tivoli in Copenhagen is worth every penny. A zillion cute restaurants, wonderful gardens, and a fun place to spend a few hours. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife and I, and another couple booked 2 MSC European cruises about a year in advance. The first, on the MSC Orchestra, sailed from Hamburg on June 5th and visited ports in Scotland and Ireland. This was our first experience with MSC. ... Read More
My wife and I, and another couple booked 2 MSC European cruises about a year in advance. The first, on the MSC Orchestra, sailed from Hamburg on June 5th and visited ports in Scotland and Ireland. This was our first experience with MSC. Overall, this was a lower priced cruise, and the lesson learned is you get what you pay for (unless it's on the drink package, then you may not even get that). When we bought the cruise, we also purchased the Deluxe drink package that was supposedly the best and it included the most expensive drinks. Since then, MSC has redefined their drink packages and our Deluxe had been renamed Premium which covers drinks costing up to 10 Euros. They also changed the prices of some of the best spirits to be 11 Euros or more effectively moving the best quality drinks out of our package into the new Premium Plus category - hence my 'Bait & Switch' title. We tried to explain the situation to the bar staff and also complained to customer service, but to no avail. On rum drinks, the best we could get was 8 yr old Bicardi's rather than the Zacappa 23 that we'd paid for. I cannot fault the bar staff, this was a recent corporate/management decision. The honest course of action would have been to honor the original package parameters. My only recourse is to warn other cruisers that if you buy an MSC package ahead of time, don't be surprised if it's downgraded by the time you sail. One of the highlights of the cruise was the excellent staff members who do the actual work on the ships. The bartender in the wine bar, Louis from Peru, was an absolute professional. He is personable, extremely knowledgeable, multilingual, a natural leader for the rest of the staff, and an awesome singer & magician. The rest of the staff Sri, Pascky, Akash and Ace all provided excellent customer service and are valuable assets to MSC. I am unimpressed with the leadership and management on MSC. The officers, while being polite to customers, were aloof and sometimes rude to the workers. In one instance, I watched a group of 4 officers hold an impromptu business discussion that went on for more than 5 minutes about 4 feet in front of the singer who was trying to entertain the people in the wine bar. The dining room staff worked hard to make it a good experience. Olvin, our principal table waiter was great. The food variety and quality was fine, but not up the standards we've seen on other cruise lines. There was no problem getting enough to eat, but the budget aspect of the cruise was evident in the very thin cuts of meat and limited wine selection available in the dining room. There was no sommelier or wine steward. Self disembarkation in Hamburg was a good experience and strongly recommended if available. Some ports don't allow it. We got off before the rush and caught a cab out front to the airport - easy. We would never book another MSC cruise. The price was lower, but the way they cut corners and redefine services erodes the experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were booked in a concierge level cabin and it was kind of a disappointment. The bathroom was quite small and was tight on storage. Our cabin steward was not the friendliest and hardly spoke to us. The only benefit we had of the ... Read More
We were booked in a concierge level cabin and it was kind of a disappointment. The bathroom was quite small and was tight on storage. Our cabin steward was not the friendliest and hardly spoke to us. The only benefit we had of the concierge level was the use of laundry facilities. Internet was sketchy much of the time and we had even purchased a $299 internet package. We found a lot of the staff to be not always considerate of the passengers - frequently we had them walk across right in front of us, without as much as an excuse me. Breakfast and lunch were like on any cruise we’ve been on and dinners were very good, especially in the speciality restaurants. The Grand dining room was also good, but some nights the menu was hard to find something appealing. We did shore excursions in every port and most were very good. A couple of them made us very aware that the guide can make or break a tour. Sometimes the departures seemed a bit unorganized. Overall the ship seemed a bit tired and could use some updating. The passengers overall weren’t as friendly as on other cruises. The alcohol packages were ridiculously expensive. A cooking class was a highlight of the cruise. Our disembarkation experience was less than stellar. We left the ship with our assigned group and when we went to get our luggage, one piece was missing. We asked for help and they didn’t seem to know what to do. After a frantic 45 minutes of looking a lady came in with the luggage that she had taken without verifying that it was hers. It seems like there could be some way to prevent this from happening. Overall, I doubt we sail with Oceania again. For the money we had a much, much better experience with Viking Ocean. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Initially I chose this cruise for two reasons, the itinerary around the Baltic and the 3 day stay in St. Petersburg. Additionally having been on two prior cruises with Oceania I was once again attracted to the cuisine as well as the level ... Read More
Initially I chose this cruise for two reasons, the itinerary around the Baltic and the 3 day stay in St. Petersburg. Additionally having been on two prior cruises with Oceania I was once again attracted to the cuisine as well as the level of service offered in concierge and generally throughout the ship. I was very disappointed in the food this time ( with a couple of exceptions in the speciality restaurants) I felt the quality had declined and the menus seemed tired and needed some fresh input from a culinary standpoint. Essentially what I had on my first cruise was now the same over a 10 year period. Of note are the “scrambled eggs” they were more like scrambled soup. The bacon, ham, sausage, cold meats etc. were poor quality and the fruit was tasteless. Additionally the wait staff were poorly informed as to what some dishes actually were. I purchased the full beverage package and so did my wife, it is convenient and I like convenience, the wine by the glass is generally good so no complaints in that regard. However competing for a decent drink during the daily “Happy Hour” was virtually impossible and impossible to get a seat. The crowd takes over the Martini Lounge like a gas station running out of gas and the person who paid for a full beverage package ends up subsidizing the rest with drinks from the “well” The system of “Happy Hour” needs to be revamped to accommodate those paying full price. Many drinks were not delivered correctly and not with the liquor of my choice. The wait staff did their level best to keep up with the hoards of cheap well drinkers who ordered 2-3 drinks prior to the cutoff time and sat there for another hour. It should be noted that Oceania is registered in the Marshall Islands and that the labor law rights of those working this ship are virtually non existent (so I doubt that management gets many complaints for fear of dismissal) It has been noted by several people that the $16.00 per day per person in gratuities does not trickle down to the staff as a whole and that is just another way for Oceania to improve their bottom line at the expense of the hard working crew. I felt that many of the crew seemed to feel they were like indentured servants working for less than when gratuities were handed In cash to those deserving it. It does not make for an ideal environment for many of these hard working people who otherwise have no options from the countries they come from. Oceania is the only cruise line registered on the Marshall Islands and for good reason.They can avoid taxes, safety as well as labor regulations and justice. Think twice before you decide on this company. The third time was not a charm and the country club atmosphere has definitely disappeared in exchange for the look and feel of a Holiday Inn in need of an overhaul. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Picked this cruse experience due to a special Travelzoo deal that included flight, $85 onboard credit, $58 special dining credit and one bottle of red wine. Itinerary - wonderful, all the ports were worth visited again. Dining - ... Read More
Picked this cruse experience due to a special Travelzoo deal that included flight, $85 onboard credit, $58 special dining credit and one bottle of red wine. Itinerary - wonderful, all the ports were worth visited again. Dining - food was not great, compared to the Celebrity cruise that I took before. In general the sit down dinner dishes ( especially fish) were not prepared well and not impressive. Entertainment - not great, mostly signing and not that entertaining. Service - not as good as Celebrity. Especially the Symphony dining room waiters were kind of rude. Cabin - not bad, 3 of us stayed in a balcony suite and still lots of room Shore Excursion - before the cruise, we kept receiving emails that we have to book St. Petersburg excursion with Princess in order to avoid Russian visa. However that's not the case. We booked excursion with TJ travel and the process was very smooth. The port custom didn't even check if we booked local excursion at all, just checked our passport. Internet service - AWFUL ! Paid $75 for internet because kept receiving email that Princess internet connection is "fastest at sea like landline". However could not even open a picture... went to the Internet cafe, the manager's attitude was terrible and said that I should "read the internet contract because the internet only works well at Caribbean...". I replied that if the internet only works at Caribbean why did Princess advertise the service on the Baltic Sea Cruise and kept sending emails, I also asked the manager to show me where the statement is on the contract, and he couldn't find it. I have been on cruse before and understand the internet speed will be slow. However for $75 I couldn't even open a file or a picture, and the fact that Princess kept posting and emailing false advertisement is not acceptable. Overall, I would recommend this Baltic Sea route, but just not with Princess Cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Wife picked the cruise to celebrate our 25th, because we did Alaska last year and loved the scenery. We expected to see more of the same and we were not disappointed. Norway was gorgeous, even with some showers and cooler weather. ... Read More
Wife picked the cruise to celebrate our 25th, because we did Alaska last year and loved the scenery. We expected to see more of the same and we were not disappointed. Norway was gorgeous, even with some showers and cooler weather. Spent first two nights in London at Hilton Tower Bridge, then used a private transfer with twelve transfers which was very reasonable against the cost of large group transfers. Embarkation in Southampton was a breeze - wish Florida ports could be that efficient. We arrived around noon and were on board within 20 minutes. The ship was fine considering her age. For all the complaints, I saw a lot more passengers that need work more than the ship did. We did the safety drill at 4:30 and were shortly on our way out of the port. We had MTD and being accustomed to getting a nice table for 2 with a view on our last 3 cruises, we were surprised to find the tables for two all on the inside areas of the restaurant. Our assigned table was right by a serving station and since there were hardly anyone there yet, I asked for a change - we were moved over one table. Service was extremely slow and turned out it was the assistant waiters first cruise and she actually gave us the best dining room service all week. When we left, I requested a change for the rest of the week, and was told, not a problem. Next night, we arrived we were taken to the same table by the serving station - now I know why people drink more on a cruise. We went to the casino the first night - it was the cashier's first cruise too and kept apologizing when we wanted to break down some large bills and after when we collected our winnings - yep, we both won on the slots and was the first cruise we came out ahead from the casino. Tried to get a drink at the Schooner bar on the way to the show, but was very over crowded and seemed that way for the rest of the cruise. Entertainment at the show was terrible - this is me being polite. Was actually the worst first night entertainment that we ever experienced. The comedian was hardly funny, the singers and dancers were so-so, the cruise director boring. I am not overly picky, and neither is my wife, but I have to say this set a tone for the cruise with regards to entertainment. My wife and I are in our 50's but we felt like it was geared towards thIte more senior of senior citizens demographics. Says a lot when we enjoyed the screening of Bohemian Rhapsody one night more than the entertainment shows. That being said, when it came to the Ice Show - it was spectacular. We saw it on the last sea day and the seas were a little rough and for those skaters to perform the way they did it was amazing. Also it seemed like they kept the best comedian until the going away show - he was skilful, funny and engaged at least 70% of the audience. I have to say the CD was probably one of the worst we have had - I think he has spent too long on the ship and is maybe coming the end of his run. Had running inside jokes with his activities director on what they called the morning show. He was not engaging when we occasionally ran into him by ourselves, however as soon as their were 10 or more people around he changed. He absolutely ruined the street parties by his screeching - apparently someone once told him, he could sing....he can;t. The port/shopping excursion manager should be sent off to another ship that isn't part of Royal's family. I hope someone sends a tape of her presentation on that first sea day to corporate. She came across totally disinterested in everything but herself. It was plain horrible. Then I got to hear her lovely voice again as we sailed into Geiranger - it was like nails on the chalkboard. "I want to have everyone look to the left - there is a farm, Norwegian's build farms along their fjords" was one of her highlights. Bar staff were hit and miss - in Windjammer - bad, in Casino, Pool Bar great. Rest of staff were very polite and wanting to help with anything. This is what I expected from Royal Caribbean. Our cabin was an aft cabin on deck 7 - it was fine even with the obstruction of the structure on the back of the ship. Nice to still be able to sit out on the balcony and enjoy a glass of wine in the evenings. Our cabin steward Neville was fantastic and kept everything tip top. His excellent service was highlighted by the fact he was not feeling well and we had a substitute to cover for him - she barely got the bed made and threw two towels in the bathroom. With our experiences in the dining room disappointing, we ate a lot at Windjammer - what can I say, it is buffet food, but they try. One section always served what was being featured on the main menu, so we could still try it without suffering from the slowness of the wait staff. We did do breakfast one day in the main dining room and it was fine, but that is where the Windjammer actually excelled. The ports we visited were great - always did our own tours and not the ships. Loved Geiranger, Olden, Molde, Alesund and Stavanger. Bergen was okay and maybe the rain put me off, but it seemed to be like any other big city. Debarkation was a little chaotic - instead of self assist this time, as we scheduled a pick up around 8:30, we decided to go out as normal.. When our number was called to leave the ship, our bags didn't show up for another 30 minutes - had a crush of people wandering around looking for bags where our number was set up , but they seemed to be putting the bags anywhere. Apparently the number 24 comes after the number 32 for the employees pulling the bags off the ship. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We booked this cruise to meet with friends with whom we had a lovely time and met some other very nice people. There were also some very rude people on board but that seems to be the case these days. The cabin was adequate and the cabin ... Read More
We booked this cruise to meet with friends with whom we had a lovely time and met some other very nice people. There were also some very rude people on board but that seems to be the case these days. The cabin was adequate and the cabin steward did a good job and dealt with our needs. Service in the main dining room was a little slow at times, especially at breakfast, however the food was acceptable. Unfortunately we were unable to attend the shows as the timing could not be fitted around our dining time (Mytime). We did however manage to see the ice show which was fabulous. We didn't do any cruise excursions we had visited most of the ports previously. Not sure if we would use RCL again we much prefer Celebrity or P & O as was disappointed with the Ship a little sad in places. Read Less
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

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise