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606 Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews

The cruise was supposed to go to Amsterdam, Norway, Iceland and Ireland. When we first boarded the ship they informed us the first port was canceled. We had no time or internet to cancel our excursion so we were out that money. The port ... Read More
The cruise was supposed to go to Amsterdam, Norway, Iceland and Ireland. When we first boarded the ship they informed us the first port was canceled. We had no time or internet to cancel our excursion so we were out that money. The port they substituted was canceled as well we did stop in Norway than we were informed Iceland was canceled and two more Norway ports were substituted. The next day we found out the port we docked in was closed for the season, you couldn’t even get coffee. One more Norway port than the next substituted port was Greenock Scotland we were ready to dock and than turned around and was told we were not docking. Riots broke out. 3 days at sea missed ports and toilets stopped working. Food was cafeteria class, entertainment not as expected, a juggler, magician We did stop at the two scheduled ports. Norwegian offered a 25% discount on a future cruise. No compensation for this cruise. I don’t plan on booking with them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chosen cruise as a good way to see Scandinavia. Disappointed as extra days at sea and missed 3 ports and 2 alternative ports given in 14 days.Missed one of the highlights and draw cards, Iceland ! Extra sea day trapped with expensive ... Read More
Chosen cruise as a good way to see Scandinavia. Disappointed as extra days at sea and missed 3 ports and 2 alternative ports given in 14 days.Missed one of the highlights and draw cards, Iceland ! Extra sea day trapped with expensive internet and business to do! Poor, crowded, noisy inside lounge accomodation as weather was bad. Food was ok, shows were ok. Staff lovely and bad working conditions( no full days off) in 2 weeks and long 12 hours+ days. No compensation no plan B nor C. Poor communication with passengers about what was happening and why and where to next. Staff seemed to be as poorly informed as we were. Understand weather was poor . Perhaps this cruise was too late in the season altogether! This was our first sea cruise.. we won’t be doing another with NCL despite the 25% reduction for next cruise offered. They saved money on the port fees and fuel costs and should compensate us with at least s 25% refund for this cruise. Disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Kiel to New York Embarkation at Kiel: Complete chaos took us 3 hours to get on the ship. There were no real lines for USA Citizens EU citizens after 2 hours they tried to rearange after thet it was more chaos. Food : ... Read More
Kiel to New York Embarkation at Kiel: Complete chaos took us 3 hours to get on the ship. There were no real lines for USA Citizens EU citizens after 2 hours they tried to rearange after thet it was more chaos. Food : Common this was sad the waves restaurant we eat 10 of the 17 nights i had one good meal that was the ribeye. I had a curry which was no curry. Spinach with some Meat no flavor. Lasagna was cold on the inside, frozen ????? Staff was very polite and was ashamed of the food. Buffet: every night the same and poor quality and very strange organised, i like yoghurt wit food and cerials you have to do 3 dif stations to complete ( breakfast was ok ) Hola Tapas restaurant, You pay a €30 for a standard menu which was very simple, if you do tapas like that in Sevilla you are out of bussiness in a month. The Butchers Cut steakhouse, simple menu for a extra €39,- A big sirlion steak which was very poor quality. My wife had Filet Mignon which was good. For €80 for 2 i have a perfect steak everywere. Dinner at Cirque do soleil was chaos but the fish and the lamb was good. Internet, i understand it can be slow on ships but this had nothing to do with slow it did not work or was very very very slow. Television after Iceland it was gone until New York Our toilet smells terribly, our great room steward masked the odor with coffee smell, thanx he was great. Embarcation after a port was dramatic only one entrance one control 20 30 mins to get back to the ship was no exception. Pasportcontrol New York took 6 hours. Disembarkation New York walk off at 8 was easy. My verdict, msc has nothing with giving people a great time, the greed is everywere money money money. This was our first and last msc cruise. We do Celebrity or RC next time. If you think it will be ok, everybody we spoke on the ship was negative. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise as we wanted to revisit some of the destinations again & the value for money Muster what a joke this is how you put your lifejacket on Produce your passports at 7:30 am ??? never went we are on holiday and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to revisit some of the destinations again & the value for money Muster what a joke this is how you put your lifejacket on Produce your passports at 7:30 am ??? never went we are on holiday and when we asked others they did not attend either Register your debit card onboard yourself and if you do not spend minimum then you get back in euros by going to reception night before disembarkation Despite doing this my husband was stopped whilst trying to get off as he was told he had an outstanding bill so had to take all his luggage (self disembark) up or down a floor stand in line to find out what it was & it turned out they had omitted to add 8 euros for a shuttle not our fault but we missed our connection as this took over 1 hour Out of city terminal in to mayflower never advised so people could rearrange pick ups Never advised whilst in port where to get off Food always cold and nothing ever flowed veg never near the main Options never changed exactly the same everyday No afternoon teas to speak of scones the size of a 10p hard no real cream and jam in a sachet Shows not great I have seen more movement in a morgue as the dancers held up a bit of this or that in the background whilst the singers made an attempt at singing and some fella spun around in a large hula hoop and a lady did the splits between two ribbons Nowhere nearly as good as other cruise lines Gala night only one show at 7 nothing else all evening Speciallity dining as we had a drinks package my husband requested a glass of wine with his steak but the steward advised he was unable to provide this but he could have a beer and me my diet coke the same bar that my husband walked ten yards to and got his wine Staff not the happiest and a smile was hard to find Cabin steward couldn't tell you who or she was as never saw all week and towels changed infrequently Gratuities paid on booking but had to have removed as automatically added on to everyone Shuttle buses charged just to get you off the docks 16 euros each for a six minute bus journey As going out of Southampton told it had been anglonised to cater for the british the sample I saw was a couple of union jacks in the atrium Hop on hop off at every port so muster blasted into cabins daily in god knows how many languages Not much washing of hands done by many Non English cruisers very rude pushed and shoved whilst others waited to either get food or off the shuttles Would I cruise MSC again never I shall just be like the Abba tribute that never turned up I could carry on but what is the point would we cruise MSC again a definite no Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise with MSC. We chose this cruise because if the itinerary, especially Hamburg and Amsterdam. We really liked the ship its self, which is very grand, and our cabin was quite spacious with a small “Juliet” ... Read More
This was our first cruise with MSC. We chose this cruise because if the itinerary, especially Hamburg and Amsterdam. We really liked the ship its self, which is very grand, and our cabin was quite spacious with a small “Juliet” balcony. However, we were very disappointed with some aspects of the cruise. Amsterdam The main problem was Amsterdam. When we booked, the ship was going to dock overnight in Amsterdam. This was changed to overnight in Rotterdam and we were given the chance to cancel and have our deposit back, or in compensation we could either book one of two discounted shore excursion to Amsterdam, or use a free shuttle bus to Amsterdam that would be provided. We were quite happy to opt for the free shuttle. Once on board, the itinerary was changed again with departure from Rotterdam at 10pm instead of 6am the following morning. We were still OK with this as we thought we could still get a full day in Amsterdam. On the day it turned out that the free shuttle was in fact a transfer there and one departure back on the “Amsterdam on your own” shore excursion. The return was moved back from 3.15pm to 4pm because of heavy traffic on the outbound trip, but this was still way too early considering that the All Aboard was 9.30pm for a 10pm departure! So our full day in Amsterdam that we had been looking forward to became just four hours! When we tried to complain at reception later, the man we spoke to was quite rude and dismissive, saying that this was the rules and what we had signed for. We also felt that the shuttle buses provided by MSC at the other ports were VERY expensive. We have sailed with P & O before, where port shuttles provided by them were free. The food We found the layout of the buffet at breakfast and lunch quite confusing. For example, toast at one point, butter somewhere else and jam in a third location! As other reviewers have said, a lot of the hot food was only just warm. Trying to get a hot cup of tea was hard as the self service urns were only warm. The Hotel Services Director told us later that he was aware of this problem and was trying to get in sorted. In the meantime he advised us to take our mug and teabag to the bar counter and ask for hot water there. This worked well! A good thing about the buffet was the all day pizza which is delicious! We spoke to the UK Cruise Director and the Hotel Services Director who were both helpful and took our comments on board, but overall we were not impressed by the way the ship was run. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise as it was a good price but with hindsight I would rather miss a cruise and put that money towards another cruise line. Ive been with other cruise lines before and have enjoyed all of them. The problem with MSC is ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it was a good price but with hindsight I would rather miss a cruise and put that money towards another cruise line. Ive been with other cruise lines before and have enjoyed all of them. The problem with MSC is passengers embark at every port which means constant security processes going on and in so many different languages, suitcases and chaos everywhere almost daily, this gets very tiresome. Whilst check in was ok they don't seem to have the administration sorted as well as other cruise lines. You have to have your photo taken separately and you have to add your credit card separately once on the ship, why? This has all been done at check in before and is much easier. The actual ship and cabin was very nice, a little more room in our cabin than we've had before so this was a bonus. The food though was not good, very poor, I hardly ate anything in the main restaurant, in fact I only ate the rolls and a little breakfast. If you go to the buffet for breakfast by the time you put everything together it's stone cold as the eggs are nowhere near the bacon and it's a big place to walk around! We couldn't get a table in the buffet one morning and had to go to the restaurant which we wanted to avoid as the service was quite poor in the morning, we often asked for milk with the tea but often never got it! Never got our cereals either so when we asked for them they were almost thrown at us! Have to say at this point our waiters in the main restaurant for dinner were very nice and helpful. Some of the staff apologised for the food and said they had to eat it too! Reception staff were also hit and miss, some were helpful and some wouldn't help at any cost! We were late back from Amsterdam and weren't allowed into the main restaurant as you only have about 10 mins from opening to closing! When we asked reception to help they said it wasnt their fault their trip was late back (referring to traffic) but it was their fault as when we booked we were supposed to dock in Amsterdam but we're moved to Rotterdam and this meant a long coach journey which took 2 hours and was not easy with an 18 month old baby let alone not being able to get into the restaurant to feed her! The Europeans on this trip were the rudest I have ever encountered, they never said thank you for letting them through the narrow hallways or when you kept a door open for them. My daughter had to use the lift as she had a pushchair and even if she was the first one there when the lifts arrived the other passengers would just barge in front of her! Most of them were young or middle aged and didnt seem to even need the lift! The trips did not appeal to us at all, very early starts and we're things like cycling tours or they just dropped you off. We have been on some really wonderful trips with the other cruise companies so missed that very much. Didn't like any of the ports on this trip, Hamburg was awful and to have paid the expensive shuttle would have been a waste of time as we were told everything was shut on a Sunday. This was told to us by a local taxi driver not the ship, they didn't tell us anything not even which gangway to get off! The ship did constantly make announcements in your cabin though in loads of different languages that really got on our nerves, this was usually about the muster stations or their team! MSC gave us a letter to say they are welcoming British guests but we did not feel welcome at all. They gave us a kettle in our cabin and a one cup little pot of milk for 2 people so we asked reception for some more and they told us, sometimes it's complimentary and sometimes it's not! What sort of answer is that! They then said they could give us some for 3 euros! We said no thanks and brought milk down from the buffet! We had no in room tv in English apart from one channel which claimed it was a news channel but you only got a couple of lines of news now and again it was mainly history documentaries or about egg donation which was constantly repeated! Thank goodness I had a book! The t.v service is so much better on Princess cruises as you have access to t.v shows, films etc and this was needed on MSC as their theatre entertainment was almost the same every night and did nothing for us! The best thing in the evening was to get an Italian ice cream! Also, please note there are smoking areas on board, like the casinos and by the pool on one side which obviously affects you if walking through these areas. I would sum up by saying I wouldn't go with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Prior river cruise experience with Viking was excellent. We wanted to visit the Baltic ports and expected the same level of experience on Viking's ocean cruise ships. There was almost a complete lack of on board entertainment. ... Read More
Prior river cruise experience with Viking was excellent. We wanted to visit the Baltic ports and expected the same level of experience on Viking's ocean cruise ships. There was almost a complete lack of on board entertainment. Most consisted of a string duet, a pianist and guitarist playing classical music. Only 5 shows in the theatre on a 14 day cruise and nothing during two deadly boaring sea days. The shows that were performed were reminiscent of karaoke. Enrichment was poor and consisted mainly of trying to pitch shore excursions. The main dining room was excellent for both the menu and service. The specialty restaurants are best avoided. Average food variety and quality with exceptionally poor service. The passenger demographic could be best described as ancient which nay have influenced the entertainment. Overall, the cruise was disappointing. At the price point, there are much better choices, even non premium lines would be superior. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was a winter break away. The check in was straight forward. No major problems. Inside the ship, you scan your sea pass card at a machine and authorize €250 to b taken as on board credit. The first night, the food was ... Read More
This was a winter break away. The check in was straight forward. No major problems. Inside the ship, you scan your sea pass card at a machine and authorize €250 to b taken as on board credit. The first night, the food was abhorrent. Our waiter James from India was quite quick with service. The dining room is all on one level. The headliner show was a magician who made animal shapes with his hands, he was quite good. The casino is a rip off, it seemed to be a smoking casino as non smoking signs were ignored. The activities were abysmal, €35 for a F1 simulation car for 30 minutes, €25 for 4 people for 10 pin bowling for 30 minutes, €9 for flight simulation. Not a whole lot else. The staff looked uninterested in their work and the cruisers. Cirque du soleil was also on the ship, tickets varied from €15-€45. It was cancelled 3 nights in a row, due to rocky seas. Our cabin was at the opposite end to the market place. The market place was a complete nightmare for finding tables. I had to share with strangers as no table was available for me. I walked round 3 times to find a table. The food doesn’t stay warm very long once it’s on your plate. Restaurant waiters very slow in clearing plates, cups, glasses off tables. The cabin was on the small side for 3 people, no storage space, the wardrobe was fairly small only 2 shelves and 2 drawers. We only saw our room attendant twice during the whole week. Room was left in excellent condition. The solarium was lovely, 2 jacuzzis and 2 cantilevered jacuzzis. No cushions on any of the chairs. Very uncomfortable. The shopping offers were reasonable enough. The price of the excursions were obscene. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The cruise went to the Baltic Sea in early September. It was my first cruise. Other cruise lines offer a similar itinerary. Great The ports: Tallin, St Petersburg, and Helsinki were great. I booked TJ Travel for Tallin (walking ... Read More
The cruise went to the Baltic Sea in early September. It was my first cruise. Other cruise lines offer a similar itinerary. Great The ports: Tallin, St Petersburg, and Helsinki were great. I booked TJ Travel for Tallin (walking tour), and St Petersburg (all highlights tour) and the NCL walking tour for Helsinki. The guides, the sights, the culture were all fabulous and I intend to return to these places. The dance classes on the ship were a lot of fun and well attended. I would have enjoyed even more classes. The entertainment on the ship: folk dance show in Russia, Million Dollar Quartet, Violinist in Copenhagen, Cirque Dreams and Burn the Floor were very good to fantastic. The spa had heated lounge chairs, 2 types of saunas, hot tubs, a salt room and a steam room. It was heaven lying on a heated lounge chair at the top of the ship in the front looking at the ocean. Good The exercise classes and gym were good. The port in Germany was good (Schwerin Castle NCL tour) but the guide for the excursion was overwhelmed by simple tasks such as making sure all guests were with the tour. Below average The ship food was the worst food I’ve had on a recent vacation. I don’t necessarily eat in fancy or highly reputed places but the food on recent land trips to Chile, Argentina, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Spain and Morocco was better. I ate in 4 specialty restaurants on the ship, most of the included restaurants and the buffet. Poor The service from the restaurant staff, guest services and the solo director was poor. The restaurant staff struggled with civility, bringing correct food orders and timely service. Guest services did not help when there was a problem and was hostile. The solo director had no sense about how to organize a program. I do intend to cruise again but would only choose NCL for a rock bottom price, great itinerary and with low expectations of food and service. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Over the past 12 years we have cruised with NCL 13 different cruises. We had always wanted to visit some of the Baltic countries, especially Russia. This particular cruise covered most of our wish list. Two / three months after we booked ... Read More
Over the past 12 years we have cruised with NCL 13 different cruises. We had always wanted to visit some of the Baltic countries, especially Russia. This particular cruise covered most of our wish list. Two / three months after we booked this cruise and made our airline reservations, we were sent an email stating that do to a port scheduling conflict we would not be making the port stop in Stockholm, Sweden but would stop at a small port on the western coast of Sweden called Gothenburg...there's virtually nothing their to do or see. But since we had made our airline reservations we were stuck with this cruise. Since the ship was going to be in St. Petersburg, Russia for 2 full days, we decided to take a "Private non-NCL tour to Moscow. The tour company we used did a great job. In their communications to us they warned us about NCL may not allow us to disembark the ship just as soon as it has been cleared by the Russian officials. However, we could leave the ship once the passengers going on NCL bought tours had disembarked. Our flight out of St. Petersburg going to Moscow was to leave at 09:40AM. The first thing I did when I boarded the ship for departure was to go to the Customer Service Desk, stood in line for 45 minutes and finally spoke to a very non-helpful individual. He said " go stand in the other line to get a number assigned for disembarking AFTER NCL TOUR PEOPLE were off the ship. I told his this would not work and I wanted to speak whith his manager. He disappeared for 15 minutes and finally returned with his manager. I explained the situation to the manager and he said he would handle it and would leave me a voicemail on my cabin phone. I waited till the next day and NO VOICEMAIL message. So, I went back down to customer service desk stood in line again, spoke to a different desk person...same answer "NO CAN DO"...asked to speak to the manager again. A different person came out...explained the situation again...he said he would send me a voicemail with instructions...next day...no message. The late afternoon prior to arrival in St. Petersburg I finally spoke to a person who said he would take care of it and again ...send me a voicemail. Lo and behold 1 hour later I received the voicemail with these instruction. Please go to the Port side door of the Getaway Theater arounf 7 - 7:15AM. Show the gentlemen my tour ticket to Moscow and they would let disembark as soon as the ship cleared. That morning, we went to the port side door of Getaway Theater showed personnel our tour ticket and they said we needed to go to the service desk. We went to the desk and had a manager escort back to the theater. We were then able to leave the ship, clear port security and finally meet with our tour guide for Moscow. We made it on the plane with 15 minutes to spare. Enough of my of that. How about a general over all. If the Getaway was cruising in a warm climate many of the guests would be outside by the pool, walking / jogging waterslides, basketball and all the other outdoor activities. BUT with cool windy weather all 4,000 passengers and 1,600 crew were inside. That said, it was the most over crowed uncomfortable ship I've ever been on. In retrospect, the customer service group did a very poor job. Be cause of that I currently have a cruise booked with NCL in May 2020, that I will more than likely cancel. It may be time to look at other cruise lines. I refuse to sign out without saying something positive...To get away from the massive crowds we chose to pay the price and eat at Cagney's....The food there is wonderful each and every night. My wife wanted to adopt our waiter Ronald he was such a pleasure and also Cagney's hostess Maricel, see took care of us with timely reservations and great ocean views from our table. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have been on over 60 cruises on at least 8 cruise lines. This is the first time when checking in, you do not produce a credit card for validation. When you get on board there is a machine to validate your Debit/Credit Card. You put ... Read More
We have been on over 60 cruises on at least 8 cruise lines. This is the first time when checking in, you do not produce a credit card for validation. When you get on board there is a machine to validate your Debit/Credit Card. You put in you ships card which was issued when you checked in. You then enter your card. Whichever one you use, they deduct 250Euros from this card. When the cruise ends, and you used a Credit card, They deduct your expenses, and then credit your Credit card. If you use a Debit card, they do not credit the card after expenses have been deducted. You have to go to reception and they give you Euros for your credit balance. Which means you either keep them for future trips to Europe, or cash them in at your bank at a very bad rate. I believe most of the Euroeans on the ship are deaf. Because they all try to outdo them selves to see how loud they can speak. Aside from you cabin there is no place that is quite. The Library is a waste of time of you are English. It had a total of 2 books in it. They never announced where the Gangway was located/ Late dinner was 20:30 to 22:00. The show started at 22:00. Most late shows s on other lines, started at 10:30 or 10:45. This allows you to finish your meal and get to the theatre., which is at the other end of the ship. The first 5/10 minutes of the show the MC's described what was in the show in five languages. The show started and people whee coming into the theatre 10 to 15 minutes after the show had started. The shuttle bus service was big rip off. On most cruises if you pay full fare for the cruise the shuttle was free. If you paid reduced fare, it may cost up to 5gbp per trip.. 4 ports cost 103Euro/93GBP. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our cruise began in Copenhagen, Denmark. During the pre boarding process my wife and I were asked where we were from by one of the MSC cruise line staff holding a clip board. We responded, "we are from Texas, USA", the MSC ... Read More
Our cruise began in Copenhagen, Denmark. During the pre boarding process my wife and I were asked where we were from by one of the MSC cruise line staff holding a clip board. We responded, "we are from Texas, USA", the MSC employee then rolled her eyes, and replied "oh no, we already have too many Americans". It was an awkward moment, as we thought she was only kidding, and we were waiting for her to laugh and say "just kidding". Well, that never happened. We had booked our cruise 7 months in advance when well over half of the ships cabins were still available. We chose early dining seating for 18:30. When we got on the ship, we were reassigned to 20:30 dining, and given a table for two in a hallway next to the kitchen entrance for servers. No outside view. We went to the service desk to express our displeasure with our seating arrangement; considering the fact, that we had booked early enough that our choice should have been honored. The MSC employee patronized us with what came off as feigned sincerity to correct the seating situation. The following morning we were advised that our seating arrangement had been adjusted, our hopes were dashed as we found out the tables location. It was a mirror image position except on the other side of the ship. On our 30 year wedding anniversary cruise, we were relegated to second class seating. If that wasn't bad enough, the food onboard was bland, or cold. Even the pizza was terrible. The first port of call Rostock, Germany had a excursion bus ride to Berlin. Here's a heads up, bring along some .50 cent Euro coins for restrooms. No vendors want to offer change either. Bus driver first unexpectedly pulled over, and was replaced by a different driver. No explanation given. The driver took at least 2 wrong turns, and got us back to the ship late. The entertainment, that was bad as well. No variety, same group of gymnasts, and dancers for 7 nights - just changing costumes. Boring.. Ships WIFI was weak. After speaking with 3 other couples on our cruise 2 from the states, and one from Australia, we agreed they didn't treat us fairly. We will not cruise on MSC again, huge mistake. Will stick with Norwegian or Celebrity from now on. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My best friend booked us this cruise for a girls trip. We were excited to see different parts of Europe and the ship was gorgeous online. Even better, the price appeared to be really good for the length and destinations of the trip. ... Read More
My best friend booked us this cruise for a girls trip. We were excited to see different parts of Europe and the ship was gorgeous online. Even better, the price appeared to be really good for the length and destinations of the trip. Our first night here, a waiter in the buffet tried to sell us prostitutes and convince us to go into Rotterdam with him that night to go clubbing. We declined. As a matter of fact, the entire cruise experience was male staff making inappropriate comments and hitting on us as a means to what I can only assume were additional uses of our unlimited drink packages at their bars, which we now know cost us per drink. All this did was make us uncomfortable. The food at the buffet wasn’t great— hard to put together a proper meal, all the pasta was over cooked and the pizza was chewy. We figured it was just a buffet thing, and were excited for our unlimited drinks package and the different places on the boat you could get specialty beverages and food included with the cruise. What they DID NOT tell us was that every time we used the package we paid for, they automatically charged us tip for EACH DRINK. That ended up being hundreds of dollars in our final bill. Our cabin attendant was WONDERFUL! His name was Mike and he was incredibly helpful, kind, and polite. We were very grateful for his wonderful service. The amenities on the boat, though beautiful, were almost impossible to enjoy due to crowds and poorly behaved children. We would have loved to do more on the boat, but it was not happening with all the people shoving each other to do the same activities. Each night you have a choice to eat either at the buffet or in the “fancy restaurant,” either the Golden Lobster or the Arabesque. We had Golden Lobster assigned to us and were not allowed in Arabesque. Our waiter Luis and his supervisor, Valentin, were WONDERFUL! So kind and attentive. I just wish we had known that every time we ate at the Golden Lobster, which was included in our cruise, we would be charged $25 in gratuities. There is no internet included on the ship, so we ended up spending almost $300 for internet access on the ship. This cost we at least agreed to and knew would be in our final bill. When you get to your cabin, there are bottles of water and a coffee bar. DON’T use them! They count as part of the mini-bar and you will be charged! At the end of our “all-inclusive” cruise we received an additional bill of $850 for tips, internet, and various other fees that no one at reception could explain to us. This “affordable” cruise ended up costing as much as a much more luxurious voyage on a much nicer ship. We will never choose MSC again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
MSC Prezioza Cruise Review: Our first and only try at MSC. This review is completely based on our honest review/opinion of our experience onboard MSC cruise line. Although we’ve been other lines, this is our first cruise with MSC. ... Read More
MSC Prezioza Cruise Review: Our first and only try at MSC. This review is completely based on our honest review/opinion of our experience onboard MSC cruise line. Although we’ve been other lines, this is our first cruise with MSC. The following is our experience of Pros and Cons during our trip to Hamburg, Germany, Le Havve, Southampton, England, Brugge, Belgium and Rotterdam, Netherlands. Pros: Coffee is excellent. Overall cleanliness of ship and bathrooms were good. Bed is firm but comfortable. Buffet food to open all day with assorted food selections. Some staff were helpful with our questions. Premium cocktails only if you’ve paid extra for the $900 premium package. They offer cheaper packages as well. Gym has a lot of exercise equipment. Frozen ice coffee is amazing. You get to choose an extra large plate/tray for any amount of food. Excursion desk was very helpful in rearranging our missed excursion trip. Some good bartenders. Cons: Constant multiple language announcements over the PA system that on average took 5-8 mins and during the morning hours of 8:30 am everyday as this was a European cruise. Limited (20 mins) time using treadmill. Machine shuts down automatically. Some users reset multiple times including us. No view of ocean when working out - only steel barrier. A bit frustrating - We needed to show passports on many occasions during boarding unlike others ships which is only one time when registering. We did not feel welcomed during the on-boarding process. No direction on where to go. Orientation to new guests was also disorganized. While walking onboard, some staff didn’t know where certain business were located. Some even told us to check the program so not so helpful with verbal directions. Only one restaurant assigned when booking so you’re stuck with only one restaurant but you can pay to dine at other restaurants onboard. Shower stall is extremely small. I’m 6 ft 225 lbs and could barely fit. Our room was a premium balcony cabin on deck 10 (middle of the ship). If you’re taller/heavier you need to consider this or possibly inquire about another floor or cabin. To wash my back, I needed to open the shower door to stretch and wash my back so the floor literally got wet. Very poor shower water pressure and only one trash can in balcony room. Pillows are dead, flat and very uncomfortable. Some bartenders made cocktails too sugary or weak. Need to explain carefully how you like your drink. If you’re going on all-day excursions on MSC, make sure you choose the second seat dining/dinner at 8:30 pm if not you’ll be eating at the buffet. We like kids but there were kids at all the bar rooms/lounges/clubs until late night. They shouldn’t have children hanging out at the bar. They should have a designated area for kids. We didn’t want to be a bar having a cocktails with kids around us. Other cruise lines we’ve experienced does not allow children near a bar let alone to sit at a bar. At the bar 8 pm one night having a cocktail and no music at all. Onboard entertainment is horrible in our opinion. Entertainment is more child-like. Wife and I were having cocktails at the bar and the music suddenly stopped because they were going on a break. Only one band on the Prezioza cruise line. We left one bar and decided to walk over to two other bars and again no music. Paid for premium alcohol package but on one occasion was told that the bartender was on break. When disembarking for excursions, MCS needs to have workers directing where customers need to go. On several occasions, there were no directions provided so some were lost for a few mins. Very disorganized process. We left 2 cocktails in our room and upon return at night, the very same two drinks were still in the room. For the first 3 days we had sheets on the bed but then for 2 days, no extra sheet under the blanket which would be typical in cruise lines hotels etc. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Very bad! The food terrible. In the Lido, old salade cheese! All restaurants fish have no any taste (Have been Frosen) The Pinnacle only the Sirloin is very good the rest...forget it! The Music, a little better than amateurs. ... Read More
Very bad! The food terrible. In the Lido, old salade cheese! All restaurants fish have no any taste (Have been Frosen) The Pinnacle only the Sirloin is very good the rest...forget it! The Music, a little better than amateurs. You must pay for everything on this boat! The Crew is also not the best..and lazy.. The Tamarind is ok, but!! The special Rice Table is absolute not go for the money! Tee Fish restaurant no taste at al..(becourse frozen fish came on board) The Manager for the restaurants..and entertainment change this men now! The band was hearing very loud in my cabin! I give my wife this trip to st. Petersburg. The Excusrsion's hurry hurry hurry! with a smal phone in the ear...follow me please?? We cry, after this experience. Better go with a plane and enjoy everything. In the Hermitage no time to see and enjoy a good piece! A poor Experience. Never with HAL again Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife and I are cruise-a-holics. we have been on some 20 or more cruises and taken a variety of cruise ships. Now, we choose cruises based on the itinerary because we love to visit places we have never seen before. This cruise, however, ... Read More
My wife and I are cruise-a-holics. we have been on some 20 or more cruises and taken a variety of cruise ships. Now, we choose cruises based on the itinerary because we love to visit places we have never seen before. This cruise, however, my wife booked and informed that it will be unlike the others in that it is considered a foodie cruise and is more upscale than all the others cruises. So, I was looking forward to this like a hungry hippo. :) What I LOVED about the cruise? Being served- more hygienic; The ports of call-Germany where I had 2 AMAZING donors at the kebab shop in the middle of the town..YUM; The room, very nice with a tub and a shower; Our steward was a nice, Jamaican man, Edwin. Very nice man. Tea time (pretentious snacks, but I was hungry..I would not buy..yucky..nice environment and I enjoyed the teas); Specialty restaurants (though I had better steaks on a Carnival with a specialty restaurant, yes, a Carnival cruise! we took it many moons ago. It is the standard by which I measure all other specialty restaurant meals..but the meals were okay..nothing blew me away or came close to doing that); The weight room and exercise classes with Carlos ROCKED; The food was warm..unlike on a Norwegian cruise we took sometime ago; Easy to find a table; Not crowded; Wait staff in the dinning cafe really attentive. What I HATED about the cruise? The internet..TERRIBLE, it does not work properly. Slow as molasses, if not slower. You wont be able to keep in touch with your office via that medium. So, forget it! The band. Oh, my goodness! It was awful. I thought I was in an episode of Ground Hog Day. They played the same old, tired songs every night! I wish they had a d.j. Once, the crew in the dance club turned out the lights and stopped the music while my wife and I were in the middle of a dance on the dance floor! Very rude. It was 10:30 p.m.! Rudest and most disrespectful thing I have ever encountered on a cruise ship by Staff members in my 20 or more cruises! I guess they wanted to go party in their cabin. There were other guests present too! They never approached us or the others and apologize. I guess, they figured old folks ought to retire to bed at 10:30 pm. We are in our early 50s! After I complained the following morning, the Bar supervisor was very apologetic and said it should not have happened as the Staff were night-shifters who should have known better. he was very nice. I liked the guy. The ship goes dead as soon as the band quits. So, don't expect a nightlife on this cruise or late night snacks. Fuhgettabouit! :) I detested the fact that the folks on this cruise, the old men, kept peeing on the floor. Disgusting. They literally peed on the floor and it had to have been intentional. Never experienced that on any other cruise, though i would have expected that sort of behavior on some of the others I cruised on. When you get back tired and hungry after your tour, do NOT expect there to be food ANYWHERE, unless it is tea time and you can get some pretentious, finger snacks. Seriously, I HOARDED food in our room drawer! Yes, HOARDED food so we would have something to eat upon our return from our tours. Ugh...Made me crazy because this was supposed to be a "foodie" cruise. This cruise was not a "foodie" cruise at all. NO WAY. The shows? LAUGHABLE. They were SOOOOO BAAAAADDDDD. Honestly, the WORSE I have EVER seen on any cruise. My wife and I would go in there for a few mins to laugh as the acts were so TERRIBLE! The stores only had t-shirts for $77 or more. Yes, I understand that this cruise caters to a pretentious set (practically everything about this cruise screamed pretentious), but come on now. Ree dicku lous! This cruise was NOT worth the price. If you are young at heart with a few dollars in your pocket, this ship is not for you. If you are an old, fuddy-duddy,pretentious, ascot wearing sort with a penchant to buy overpriced goods, then this ship will be right up your alley. It sure wasn't up mine. :) Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We choose Oceania because it was supposed to be an above average cruise line. Last year we had taken a Celebrity cruise and were disappointed, so decided to spend more money for higher quality. We were traveling with my sister and her ... Read More
We choose Oceania because it was supposed to be an above average cruise line. Last year we had taken a Celebrity cruise and were disappointed, so decided to spend more money for higher quality. We were traveling with my sister and her husband. We were allowed to sign up for the "Speciality" restaurants 2 weeks before departure. The only times available were after 8:30, so the only restaurant we could try was the Italian Restaurant. It was excellent. We arrived at the ship in Stockholm and boarded at about 12:30 pm. However we could not access our room until 3:00. When we finally were able to go into our cabins, our key cards would not work and we could not open the doors. It took another 20 minutes to get that worked out. We had rooms with balconies, the bathrooms were nice and included a tub and separate shower. However the furniture was chipped, the carpet was stained and the sofa looked tired and a little dirty. Also, we found there was not enough drawer space and our larger suite case would not fit under the bed. The whole ship needs to be updated. The food in the main dining room was not good. One night they offered "short ribs" slow cooked. The mystery meat arrived sliced, no bone, and was not edible. They served lobster, and it was also tough and over-cooked. We went to one show, and did not bother to attend any others. The only positive I can say is the crew were very nice and helpful. And we loved the ports, we did the Baltic Cruise. I am not sure about the other Oceania ships, but we would not recommend the Marina at this time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We’ve done numerous cruises mostly with other companies, this was our 4th with MSC. We realise it was still school holidays but feel there should have been an adult only area to relax on sea days, and not the Top Sail area which is an ... Read More
We’ve done numerous cruises mostly with other companies, this was our 4th with MSC. We realise it was still school holidays but feel there should have been an adult only area to relax on sea days, and not the Top Sail area which is an extra cost. We found the food in the buffet lukewarm most of the time as was the water for teas etc. We only ate in the dining area one night as it took nearly thirty minutes to get any service, so opted for the buffet. Whilst we always found something to eat, the temperature of the food was lukewarm and there never seemed to be enough staff to clear the tables and when they were cleared, piles of left over food were visible everywhere, most unappetising. Lots of mess on the floor left for long periods of time. Guests continued to fill their own water bottles at the water dispensers even though there were signs to the contrary and staff did nothing to prevent this, surely this is a concern when viruses and germs can spread. A lot of our fellow passengers felt the need to avoid the handgel at the entrance and then proceeded to barge you out of the way to get their food. There was also the usual hogging of sun loungers for hours on end with no sign of the occupants and no staff to remove the towels. On embarkation, it took nearly 2 hours to get through due to reduced security staff and only a handful of staff checking your documents and handing out your cruise card. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My family was excited for months to cruise. The suite we had was very nice and clean along with a beautiful balcony. Everything from that point on went down hill. There were so many people on the ship you felt like sardines. The ship was ... Read More
My family was excited for months to cruise. The suite we had was very nice and clean along with a beautiful balcony. Everything from that point on went down hill. There were so many people on the ship you felt like sardines. The ship was big and kids activities were nice but you had to wait on line for a couple of hours to do the ropes course, rock wall and some of the slides. The food to say the least was sup par we pretty much ate indian food everyday, eggs bendect were soggy, French toast we tried twice both times not cooked thru, once my daughter got a raw hamberger, barely any seafood, Restaurant service was soooooo SLOW. Only 2 shows that we liked the rest were not entertaining, one time we were asked to leave a show as there were not enough seats crazy isn't it for all the money that we spend they did not have enough entertainment to go around. My son, daughter and Mother in law all got sick and 2 of them had to be quarenteened for 24 hours. They got food poisoning from the ship and this is the best they blamed it on us and were pretty rude about it. I contacted headquarters when I came back to the states only to find out that customer service was not any better twice I wrote to them only receiving an automated response with NO solutions. One of the Worst Cruise lines we have ever taken AVOID AT ALL COST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Customer service prior to leaving is attrocious. Promised phone calls from customer service never returned, not once but 3 times. Once they have your money the pre cruise staff don't really care. However once on board cruise ... Read More
Customer service prior to leaving is attrocious. Promised phone calls from customer service never returned, not once but 3 times. Once they have your money the pre cruise staff don't really care. However once on board cruise services did everything they could to sort out our issues and did this successfully. On a positive note the entertainment was great, the cabin stewards were excellent, the cabins comfortable and spotlessly clean. The food was hit and miss. The Shanghai was probably the worst Chinese we have ever eaten. O'Sheehans was pretty good although Ceasar salad should have chicken and cheese in it as far as I can remember. Lettuce leaves with croutons isn't quite the same thing. The worst food was in the Tropicana on our last day. The fish I ordered smelt off, it was so salty as to make it inedible, the potatoes with it were practically raw. If you are trying to avoid food poisoning this isn't the right way to go. We also had undercooked chicken once when they had a Greek buffet. Indian lunch buffet was superb. Generally the food was disappointing, the only good thing to come out if it was that we didn't put on lots of weight like we had on other cruises. Kids club was well run with great staff, special mention to 'Sparkles', outstanding member of the team. Excursion prices are a rip off even comparing them to other cruise companies. You can be creative and get around this by going on your own or through other agencies like Cruise Excursions or Viator. (St Petersburg excursion prices were astronomical on board) In summary this cruise is like Butlins at sea. It's fun if you have kids and you can get away for some peace if you need it. Would I go on NCL again? Probably not unless their food improves substantially and they sort out their customer services prior to sailing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The ship was beautiful but not many windows in bars and coffee shops. The staff were hit and miss many of them could not speak English , some were just plain rude. The food was mediocre no where near as much choice as other cruise lines ... Read More
The ship was beautiful but not many windows in bars and coffee shops. The staff were hit and miss many of them could not speak English , some were just plain rude. The food was mediocre no where near as much choice as other cruise lines . Ice cream was chargeable so was cinema bowling etc. the daily activities were sparse . We travelled with a five and a six year old who only went to the children's club once as they found it confusing as they cannot speak Italian or German . The pools were a joke as they were all at least five foot deep, the aquapark is only open when the conditions are right so be mindful of this. We were promised a status match as we are Diamond+ on RCI it sounded amazing before boarding . We did not receive all that was promised due to the fact it was a 3 day cruise. We did get priority boarding (thank god) as some passengers took hours to board the ship. The bottle of Prosecco arrived eventually after a lot of badgering a complimentary meal in Butchers Cut , so glad we did not pay for it as it was average to say the least. We ate once in MDR that was enough. The Inca Restaurant ( Buffet) was very nice it was a shame the food did not match the surroundings. The photos were of high standard. The theatre was lovely the shows were good . The one positive we did not have to stand in line on the ship for the face to face passport checking procedure we went straight to the front . The price we paid was good for the four of us we had a great deal with Criuse Nation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
First, our impression of the ship. The ship is not the newest or largest so usually it did not have priority to tie up a the closest piers and we almost always had to take a shuttle.The entire ship is decorated in a Chinese style. Even ... Read More
First, our impression of the ship. The ship is not the newest or largest so usually it did not have priority to tie up a the closest piers and we almost always had to take a shuttle.The entire ship is decorated in a Chinese style. Even Cagney's steakhouse looks more like a Chinese restaurant than the Sushi Bar. La Trattoria is a section of the Raffles Buffet that is closed off in the evening and not very cozy. It appears as though Norwegian tried to adopt the ship to their style and include their restaurants. The Bier Garten consists of some picnic tables by the pool. The Blue Lagoon and Shanghai Bar are only some wide spaces on a main fore and aft passage. The Pub is nice, but small and crowded. Le Bistro is pleasant and Raffles works well. Rooms were up to par and very clean. The staff was very professional, helpful and friendly The fitness room was well equipped, clean, and quite empty. Dining at le Bistro, Cagney's Steakhouse and Teppanyaki was outstanding. The food was always delicious, properly prepared and served. I can't say enough good things about them. The Main Dining Rooms, not so much. They were very spotty. A good meal was a pleasant surprise. Examples were waiting over half an hour for an cold appetizer, fish being served lukewarm or dried out, a salad with cheese that had no cheese in it, a picatta dish with mystery white sauce on it with no capers or lemon seasoning, bananas foster with raw bananas. You get the idea. Although we were in port every day, the ship was out of things that were on the menu (fresh eggs, sorbet, baked potatoes) and not always for only one day. Salt and pepper shakers were missing from sections of Raffles Court. Small things, but that what you pay for and not up to Norwegian standards. Would I take this cruise again? Yes. Our reason for making this cruise was for the ports of call and they were terrific, but as expected, not long enough. Hope this helps you. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The Norwegian Spirit was our first Norwegian cruise. My husband and I usually cruise with Princess or Celebrity. When I saw this wonderful itinerary for the Baltic with so many ports, we decided to book it. When we arrived on the ... Read More
The Norwegian Spirit was our first Norwegian cruise. My husband and I usually cruise with Princess or Celebrity. When I saw this wonderful itinerary for the Baltic with so many ports, we decided to book it. When we arrived on the ship we were taken aback how dated it was. The decor, colors and public restrooms were all very very dated. The spa was decorated with Egyptian style decor. Having sailed on some of the newer ships, this is the worst ship we have ever been on. In speaking with the staff and other passengers, it is supposed to go into dry dock in January 2020. CABIN: We had a balcony room on the 10th floor and the main problem was the toilet not flushing, The bathroom was extremely dated and very tight. Having sliding doors on the shower and toilet area gives you less space. Our main problem with this room was the toilet not flushing. I had to call guest services no less than 6 times. The plumbing was a major issue. On a cruise that was a total of 16 days, the first 12 days we had to guess whether the toilet would flush or not! Finally they sent a plumber over to change a part. Then the toilet would not stop flushing for 3 or 4 times until it finally stopped. Very frustrating. The "balcony" was small and the floor was dirty. Staterooms are small on ships and other than the bathroom toilet fiasco, the room was average. BTW: trying to get a wake up call was impossible. They said it was not working. Trying to call someone about the toilet was also very frustrating because no one answers the phone. TELEVISION: Absolutely terrible. Norwegian Cruise advertisements constant on numerous stations. Cruise Directors usually have a show that updates everyone on upcoming and past activities. This cruise had the worst tv show by far. Plus the stations were limited or would scramble. Sometimes they had BBC, always had MSNBC and a few movies that were rotated in French, English and Spanish. On past cruises they have movies in the theater and on tv. Lots of choices for entertainment on board....not this cruise. I had to get on my phone at shore to see what was going on in the world. ENTERTAINMENT: We were not impressed with the entertainment on this cruise EXCEPT the Illusionist was excellent. The show Elements was really good though.It incorporated dancers and the Illusionist and acrobats who had previously performed. All the other entertainment was not up to par with other cruises we have been on. The singer at Henry's Pub was excellent. The live band in Galaxy and the Jazz band were all very good. The Theater shows at night were just ok other than the Illusionist. FOOD: The buffet was less than average based on other cruises. Very limited variety. The rice was always very dry. Meats over cooked and dry. Other cruises we would see a variety of cheeses and crackers, specialty items; designated area for pizza and burgers. The pizza looked like it was dry and just came out of a microwave. Breakfast was the same every single day. Poor variety and quality. We ate at all of the Specialty Restaurants and they were decent. Definitely Cagney's Steakhouse and Le Bistro were better choices than the dining rooms or the buffet. The Teppanyaki place was average. The prices for specialty dining are higher than on other cruises we have been on. If you are a foodie, you will be greatly disappointed. BARS: The bartender staff on this cruise was very attentive and it was always easy to order drinks. ACTIVITIES: This cruise had only one sea day and we were at a port nearly every day. Thus most people were too tired to get really involved in cruise activities. We went to the karaoke hour early on the cruise and there were 2 people. Bingo had to be cancelled several times because there were not enough people playing. The variety of "activities" was limited due to the port itinerary. SPA: I had a manicure/pedicure and was quoted $110. Once I got the bill I was told they made a mistake and it was actually $118. PLUS THEY CHARGE AN 18% AUTOMATIC GRATUITY on services. So I had to pay $138 for a mani/pedi. They also want to sell you products. The spa was really unattractive as well. I was not impressed with the prices, the service or the ambience of the spa. EXCURSIONS I wish they gave us more info in advance. Like you can pay for a shuttle to town at some ports. We bought excursions for every port. Some of the tour guides were excellent...some absolutely horrible. In Copenhagen we had a Guide whose native language was Spanish. No one could understand her. She really did not tell us anything about the area. That was a total waste of money. On several of the excursions we never were given time to shop or be on our own. Other cruisers told us they were frustrated with their excursions as well. LAUNDRY: There are no laundry facilities for the passengers on this ship. It is very expensive to have them do your laundry and it is charged by a per item fee. OVERALL: The Norwegian Spirit is an older ship in need of updating. Other cruisers told us they have been on many Norwegian cruises and the ships were great. Everyone basically agreed that we were not on this cruise for the ship. We were on it for the 15 day experience with one sea day to interesting ports. Overall experience for us was slightly below average. I would not cruise on the Norwegian Spirit again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife and I have cruised many times in the past. we usually cruise with some friends who decided that we all should cruise the Baltic for our annual cruise in 2019. They chose Viking Ocean cruises, due in no small part to the excellent ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised many times in the past. we usually cruise with some friends who decided that we all should cruise the Baltic for our annual cruise in 2019. They chose Viking Ocean cruises, due in no small part to the excellent reputation of which they had read and the fact that what could be better than to take a Scandinavian ship to cruise the Baltic. At the outset, we were shocked to find that the entire cruise needed to be paid at least one year before the cruise. That has never been our experience in sailing with multiple lines and future patrons need to be aware of this requirement. The ship is beautiful.The public rooms are wonderful especially the Explorer Lounge. Our cabin was quite roomy and the bathrooms excellent. special kudos for a lovely shower without having to step over a tub.I found the heated floors in the bathroom to be a nice touch. The spa area is spectacular and if going to a spa with virtually everything-hot tub, small therapy pool, sauna and ice room is your thing, this is your ship The company touts its multiple channels of communication available to those who are scheduled, but that is primarily limited to receiving one way announcements from them, done well, but not to any dialogue or getting personal support for questions which arise and may not be answered in their stock announcements.Poor communication seems to be common on these cruises. For example,special meals opportunities, lobster tail and steak, special buffets, at the grill were never announced well and one learned to look for these each day by dropping by the grill itself or asking of the crew in a restaurant or bar. The ships plan is good but when the special meals take place in the grill area there is inadequate seating for the number of cruisers wishing to partake in the meal. The seating in the cinema is wholly inadequate for the number of passengers. Quite a few performances occurred with many passengers standing in the back to observe the show. The back two side areas were totally inadequate both for seeing the show and hearing it.The need to get to the venue 30 minutes before shows began was difficult for those of us who tended to to eat dinner at about 7 to 7:30. I was quite disappointed to discover that we did not receive services comparable to what we had received ion either Oceania or Azamara in spite of the fact that the per night per person cost to sail with Viking was considerably more than either of the other two. My concern with the cabin service is that when I wished ice, I had to go to housekeeping, when I wished lime I had to go to room service and when I wished to change my complimentary liquor and the amount of tonic I needed to speak to the drink steward.This in my view is rather poor considering the price of the cruise and the plaudits from other cruisers. Viking offers one free shore excursion at each port.The walking tours we took, 4, were excellent, but those in a bus were not worth the time spent at all. I was quite disappointed in the meals in the Restaurant ,in the Chef's special restaurant both times and at Manfredi both times. To be fair, one night the prime rib served at the restaurant was amongst the best I have ever had. The waffle at the Explorer Lounge was exceptional. On at least 4 occasions the cookies offered with the buffet were stale. the wines with meals were acceptable if unremarkable. One could upgrade wine selection and liquor for an extra daily per person charge. The speakers/lectures seemed excellent, for those we could make, but we missed the largest number as they were scheduled during dinner hour or just prior to dinner hour. Getting on, on the day of sailing from Bergen, and off the ship in Stockholm, with our luggage, were superbly handled even though we left the ship at 6 am to make our plane. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our second Oceania cruise. We took one about three years ago on the Marina in the Mediterranean. While we enjoyed Oceania the first time, we were disappointed this time. One of the main things that was bothersome was the ... Read More
This was our second Oceania cruise. We took one about three years ago on the Marina in the Mediterranean. While we enjoyed Oceania the first time, we were disappointed this time. One of the main things that was bothersome was the terrible internet service onboard. We experienced this last cruise, but thought that with time, they might improve it. Alas, they did not. Think of old school dial up. That is how bad it is to connect. And, if you are traveling with another person in the same room, you both can't use the internet at the same time. It's not like I want to surf the web all day, but we would like to stay connected with our family at home and our businesses. For this cruise, we had 2 days at sea (1 scheduled, 1 unscheduled) and just could not even get emails, text our friends or family or upload our photos. My phone got full and I was unable to take pictures the last day of the cruise! We weren't the only ones complaining, either. Almost every other passenger we talked to was irked by this issue. Also, we felt like the Marina was in dire need of a refresh. We do understand that it is coming by the end of the year, but we were shocked that the overall appearance of the ship and our room was not of the standard we have come to expect from Oceania. Third, if you are tempted to go on an Oceania cruise for the speciality restaurants, be prepared to have a hard time getting into them at a reasonable time. Within hours the reservation desk was open to reserve online (45 days prior to sail date), almost every 6:30 and 7:30pm seating was gone for 3 people. That means we ate very late in the specialty restaurants which is not desirable. Forget getting help with this onboard, either. If the computer didn't have the spot free, you were SOL. The reason, we were told, was that the reservations open to elite customers first. Hence, they take all the good spots. This is not very fair... Another pet peeve was that Oceania seems behind the times with excursions. Ex - the guides do NOT offer ear pieces. We are not hard of hearing, but it is great to have the tour guide speaking directly in your ear so that you are not on top of one another and can walk away to take pictures at your leisure. Plus, many of the guides have thick accents and it is difficult to understand them to begin with. Additionally, if you did not book an Oceania excursion, the staff is not helpful at all with information about the ports. Nobody at the excursions desk knew anything and were unwilling to give advice about the stops we were about to go to. For ex - I did my research online first, but we decided to try to lunch at one of the ports. Without internet access to vet choices, we had to rely on advice from Oceania folks. The only thing they did offer was a local person sitting at a desk near the door in the mornings after docking. But, it was so competitive to talk to these people. Many of us were in the same boat and yearning for information and maps about the port if we did not have a plan. To be fair, Oceania had a pre-recorded video on the tvs for the ports the next day, but they were so boring and not a live person to speak to, which is what would make sense. Finally, disembarking Marina at the end of the cruise was a nightmare and so competitive, many of us were stressed out. This shouldn't happen at the end of our vacation. Apparently, we got in late to port and they got behind in letting groups out. The entire lobby was filled with wayward people trying to understand what was happening, where we should go to wait and if we were going to make our scheduled pickups to the airport. My mother-in-law also is elderly and incontinent. With the delay and the crowd of people, she was unable to sit and had trouble finding a restroom... The things I will compliment Oceania about is the food and service. The main dining room was consistently good and the people who work the dining rooms and stewards who clean our rooms were also very friendly, humble and great people. We enjoyed speaking with them on a daily basis. But, it is not enough for us to overcome the other problems. We won't be sailing with Oceania again anytime soon. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019

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