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16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
I have never been so disappointed on a cruise. I choose this cruise because of the itinerary because it had 3 nights in St. Petersburg, Russia. The ship is well worn. It really needs to be refurbished. It was the smallest balcony cabin ... Read More
I have never been so disappointed on a cruise. I choose this cruise because of the itinerary because it had 3 nights in St. Petersburg, Russia. The ship is well worn. It really needs to be refurbished. It was the smallest balcony cabin I have ever seen. The beds were like sleeping on a rock, because there are no box springs, the bed sits on a metal platform. Every couple of days, the water, in the bathroom, ran yellow.. I was advised that this was because they were switching tanks in the engine room????? When we boarded, the floors in the Windjammer cafe were dirty, as well at the table bases. The trim is falling of the chairs and they are worn on the back. Tables also scratched. The couches in the Schooner bar are very hard and the some of the other chairs are weirdly shaped and not very comfortable. One of the pool tables floated around when you were using it... You need to have someone hold the table from moving when you want to make a shop. The couches in the Centrum are hard and you sink into the tub chairs as the springs are shot. The food was mediocre and was even worse in the Specialty Italian restaurant. We ordered scallops and they were old, previously frozen and had no flavour. The crab stuffed ravioli was really thick and the sauce was flavourless. I mentioned to the waiter that there seemed to be no garlic in anything, and the chef added raw garlic to my veal dish. The crew was really great and it if wasn't for them and the itinerary, the cruise would have been a total flop. My advice is to lower your expectations if you sail on this ship. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose because of ports of cal.,.worst cruise ever and we have been on many. This ship squeezes a dime out of every nickle. Food was below hospital quality...small amounts and the buffet was every man and woman for themselves, even the ... Read More
We chose because of ports of cal.,.worst cruise ever and we have been on many. This ship squeezes a dime out of every nickle. Food was below hospital quality...small amounts and the buffet was every man and woman for themselves, even the waiters will knock you out of the way, MSC needs to retrain their staff, 80 % are just ok, the other 20% have a very bad attitude. We have been on over 12 cruises...this line does not even get close to our worst, Carnival. Money is their only mission. My travel agent tried to talk me out of taking this line...I now know why. Find another ship. We needed to fight to get decaf coffee every morning. They must keep it in a safe.Abandoned the dinner seating after 2 nights and preferred the buffet as the quality and quantity of the food was a bit better. On a great side note, the ship's hospital and staff were great. Please find another line or be prepared. There is a lack of information on how to get to the ship and from the train station in Kiel. I only stumbled upon in train station. Many passengers tried to walk or tried to get a cab. It was quite far to the ship. MSC had a shuttle but never informed us. For 5 euros a bag you were in. Poor communication at best on more than one occasion. The cabin was sufficient, typical cruise, small but functional. The customer service people really tried, but were restricted by the powers that be. Embarkation and debarkation went very smooth. It is nice that you can take your own bags off this ship. My main concern with the Musica was the food and lack of service by the staff. Never before have we been treated like steerage. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
The choice was a back to back between Iceland and Russia July 4 through 28, 2016. Copenhagen to Copenhagen. Requested Convertible Twins. Got one king bed. Ask for two separate beds. Stewart gave me a face and said he would do it. Shower ... Read More
The choice was a back to back between Iceland and Russia July 4 through 28, 2016. Copenhagen to Copenhagen. Requested Convertible Twins. Got one king bed. Ask for two separate beds. Stewart gave me a face and said he would do it. Shower head LEAKED. Shower curtain hem covered with MOLD, curtain not connected on two top hooks. i leaned back on the curtain over bed; DUST AND FIBERS FELL OFF AND IRRITATED MY EYES. I was looking for something I dropped and found MANS SOCK UNDER THE BED.TWICE THE CABIN STEWART'S' ENTERED THE ROOM WHILE I WAS LAYING IN BED. THE 2ND TIME WITH THEIR CLEANING EQUIPMENT AND VACUUM CLEANER. THE DID NOT OFFER TO RETURN AT A DIFFERENT TIME. I HAD TO CLIMB OVER THEIR EQUIPMENT TO GET OUT O THE CABIN. July 5 or 6 there was NO A/C. Room was HOT AND STUFFY. I slept with the door open, blocked with a chair and curtain drawn all night.. Bathroom floor was squeaky with dent under the tile. I asked only for ice every day (nothing else)- No ice. I had to call 3 each week for ice. \Empty fruit basked never returned with fruit. I asked the head housekeeper "DON'T YOUR TRAIN YOUR STAFF?" No answer. i ASKED for a cabin upgrade and got a pot of flowers. I asked for a different cabin Stewart. and that I got. The rest of the staff was indifferent and inexperienced. When food service stopped in the buffet and dining room, Only a few items were on the "dine in room" menu and the selection was very poor. Three of the serving staff ('chef"s) in the buffet were rude. MANY of the service people were not trained properly and or poorly trained in food service. The Piano and Violin & The Microsoft classes were excellent. The rest of the entertainment was mediocre. Of the several cruise companies, I've traveled Holland America is the ABSOLUTE WORST!!! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
My family of 13 went on the Serenade from Stockholm to Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Riga in early July. We had travelled on many cruises previously, many with RC. I must say this was one of the worst. The family members ranged from ... Read More
My family of 13 went on the Serenade from Stockholm to Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Riga in early July. We had travelled on many cruises previously, many with RC. I must say this was one of the worst. The family members ranged from teens to an octogenarian. We booked 7 cabins around January, well before the cruise. At that time only "Guaranteed" cabins were available. Since some of our families had teenage children they wanted in cabins near theirs, getting closeby cabins was very important. Despite repeated inquiries to RC, half or the cabins were only assigned on the day before the cruise, and of course the families with 2 cabins were split up on different decks. The only answer we got to our inquiries from RC was "If you wanted to have specific cabins you should have asked for them when you booked them." My wife and I happened to be put in a handicapped cabin. That was at least half again larger than an ordinary cabin so it was great. My daughter in a balcony complained about a sewer smell they couldn't fix. The other interiors cabins seemed to be okay. Service in the main dining room was fine but the food was less than ordinary. The starters were usually good but the selections for main courses were mediocre. Gone are the days when they serve lobster at least once. All of the special meals were specially priced. The food in the Windjammer buffet was okay. Oddly you had to wait in line for coffee. Gone are the days when a waiter would come by and bring you coffee at your table at breakfast or lunch. We had only one lunch in the MDR and it was mediocre. Cabin service was good. The people at Guest Relations were sometimes rude. Entertainment is okay, but as usual too loud. I did like their theatre with good sight lines almost everywhere. We did not go on any RC excursions. Unfortunately the weather at most ports, esp. St. Petersburg was atrocious. Alla tours there did a good job considering the weather. The hydrofoil couldn't run. Even the boat ride on the river they substituted for it was too windy and wet to board. The weather in Stockholm was fine as it was in Riga. Tallinn and Helsinki were wet and windy. My wife and I had traveled on RC many times before. The Crown and Anchor got us one invitation to only one party where they served drinks but nothing else. That's all you get for being a loyal cruiser (along with goodies like 10% off on second photo, etc.). Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
MSC Musica departs from the Port of Kiel during the summer of 2016. Our cruise was one that took us on the Baltic Sea to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallinn and St Petersburg. Embarkation was a smooth process - MSC offers a free transfer ... Read More
MSC Musica departs from the Port of Kiel during the summer of 2016. Our cruise was one that took us on the Baltic Sea to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallinn and St Petersburg. Embarkation was a smooth process - MSC offers a free transfer service from the Hauptbahnhof for those who arrive Kiel by rail. Disembarkation was a little less smooth, as the sprawling queue for Customs went out of the terminal, through the airbridge, around the lounges and the atrium to make for an unbelievable wait as the extremely tight 1 hour 30 minute disembarkation tries to be made. The cabin was very much on the small side. One thing very noticeable is the lack of room to store things if you don't want to store it in the cupboard. We had 3 people in our room and the tightness squeezing past each other for a trip to the toilet was bothersome. However, it was kept clean throughout the cruise by our cabin steward, but that is expected of a cruise line. Dining was disappointing. Yes, the food was more than edible, but as a regular cruiser this was an disappointment. Fried foods had so much starch in them that you were basically eating a fried ring of bread rather than squid. The only vegetables you can find are salads, salads and salads. The food can range wildly throughout the cruise from barely edible to one of the most memorable dishes you've ever tried. Be prepared to pay for water in the restaurants - something that will be much of a surprise to previous Princess (or equivalent) guests. The buffet has a very limited number of dishes, so if you don't find something you like, your bound to have a very bad breakfast experience, not to mention the 15 minute wait time for a seat at peak hour. The evening entertainment was one of the worst I've ever been to. We stopped after the first gala. People were sleeping in the theatre - hopefully that gives you a picture. The daily entertainment and activities run on the pool deck were great, but attendance was low. Maybe MSC should think of more creative entertainment ideas, as the daily trivia gets less and less popular as the cruise goes on. Service, can range wildly from you giving a very, very hostile "Thanks" to the service of 5 star luxury. Some of the staff are plainright rude, shouting at you without respect, and some take the extra mile to deliver. Reception service overall is great, while our cabin steward was very polite and tried to speak his English as best as he could - his effort was noticeable. The wild one would be the dining services. We brought children on our cruise, and our little one would cry as he enters the daycare. They don't take crying babies. I find that outright rude, pathetic and lazy. But, the daycare people switch shifts, and then the next day you get 1 on 1 service for your little one and guess what, he loves it. Port experiences were great apart from Kiel. If you don't book a cruise that departs and ends at Kiel, you're practically losing that day from the 1 hour long disembarkation queue. Excursions are below-quality, and overpriced. 160 Euros for a day is not okay. MSC is ripping you off. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We are into double figures for cruising now and our first cruise with Princess. We were looking forward to this cruise as it was something different with new locations being covered. The cruise was booked on a last minute flash sale and is ... Read More
We are into double figures for cruising now and our first cruise with Princess. We were looking forward to this cruise as it was something different with new locations being covered. The cruise was booked on a last minute flash sale and is not our main cruise holiday for this year. Southampton check in was excellent as we had been given priority due to the level of cruises we have done with sister companies in the group,40 mins we were on ship . As this was last minute we had booked an inside which is what you expect ,cleanliness was good on inspection and the room steward as per usual introduced himself. Like with many American lines no kettle was provided so if you wanted a warm drink was either a walk to the café or room service ( not a main issue ) but be aware . We have been on Azura its sister ship and was surprised in how dated the ship felt ,very dark wood used giving a dated appearance, casino was large as per usual and generally a lack of places to get a drink on an evening ,only two actual bars outside of entertainment lounges internally. We were on freedom dinning so when we decided to venture for our meal the queue was into the main atrium so the first night we sampled the self service, which on first impressions we couldn't fault ,all displayed as expected. Again finding a table was an issue. The next day we returned to the dinning room and the only way to get a table for two was to take a buzzer irrespective of time you decided to go down ,generally we had a 45 minute wait ,on the two occasions we did this we wished we hadn't, the food and menus offered in the restaurant were the poorest we have sampled on any cruise ship, the waiters were not welcoming and table etiquette needs to be resolved , cool ,greasy food were the delights we had, on one occasion I asked for melon as an alternative to a starter and two pieces of just cut of the melon arrived with a mint leaf ,not fanned or nothing ( is this 5 star standard cuisine ?) In the daytime we could not fault the pizza & burger bar and likewise the self service which we used the most as was much better than the freedom dining. The room was at typical inside, nothing to fault although during our trip the steward didn't clean used glasses leaving them until he decided to change on an evening, the sink plug broke and dust was present on the internal fans, small details but princess claim to be 5 star . The biggest gripe I would say is the cost of the drinks and special dinning , we have sailed on many and this was the expensive of them all ,as all is in $ on board we brits pay an additional premium but to be lumbered with a no option 15% tip on all drinks making two glasses of wine circa $20 £18 is very expensive ,we didn't bother with any bottles as the started at $30 plus even for the cheapest . Lager was circa $6.50 ,cocktails were same price as wine but what we sampled were disappointing. The drinks package is $49 + 15% tip per day per person ,so the choice is yours !!! Entertainment was good in the day and plenty on an evening but not many places to just get a drink after a show etc, we spent more time in our room watching the in house movies ( all latest release) than drinking. This is not our normal chosen activity but a general guide of the ship layout . Our first stop was zeebrugger (Bruge visit) ,we booked a non princess excursion which means you have to meet them outside the port gates,( a bus is provided ),so remember this if you book an indepenndant. Copenhagen was next , would recommend this as plenty to see with various famous statues ,good shopping arcades and the Tivoli gardens all in walking distance but be prepared with good walking shoes, we did 8 miles that day . We had to abort Helinsbourg in Sweden due to bad weather so having an extra sea day to Oslo ,Norway. We got the hop on hop off bus which takes you around and shows you all the sights, royal palace, statue park and opera are all good stop offs. The area around the dock is all new so plenty to do . Disembarkation at at Southampton was good again , one of the best as we were off for 9.00am in the morning. Despite the good start, we felt very disappointed in what princess offered ,not the 5 star they advertise ( well below RC) and even below P & O on food and friendliness, lets say I wouldn't rush again to book with them again, even with flash sales. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Visiting St. Petersburg Russia has been high on my bucket list so my wife and I were really looking forward to the 12-night Baltic cruise on Navigator of the Seas. Four of our previous 14 cruises were on Royal Caribbean (RC) and we enjoyed ... Read More
Visiting St. Petersburg Russia has been high on my bucket list so my wife and I were really looking forward to the 12-night Baltic cruise on Navigator of the Seas. Four of our previous 14 cruises were on Royal Caribbean (RC) and we enjoyed them. Although there were some positive experiences on the ship during this cruise, the many serious negatives outweighed the positives. We thoroughly enjoyed the stop in St. Petersburg - two wonderful full days of sightseeing using ALLA tours! - but it rained every day of the cruise, diminishing our enjoyment there as well as in Copenhagen, Oslo, Tallinn, and Helsinki. Due to high winds and rough seas the ship had to remain in port in St. Petersburg an extra 24 hours which caused cancellation of the stop in Brugges (the stop in Brugges was the main reason we booked this particular cruise!), reduction of port time in Helsinki by half, and arrival 5 hours late in Southampton, the disembarkation port. Passengers having flights departing before 3:00 PM were told to re-book their flights. Since our flight back to the U.S. was at 3:25 we were concerned that we might miss it. After being assured by several of the ship's personnel that there would be "no problem" for our RC airport transfer to reach the airport in plenty of time, the actual disembarkation process not only totally ignored the need of passengers with flights shortly after 3:00 to be first off the ship, but RC's process actually delayed us unnecessarily. (Passengers with later connections were let off the ship first; we couldn't take our suitcases from the ship until a supervisor came to release them; there was no one directing us to the first bus to Heathrow airport; the bus driver was required to wait an extra 30 minutes while passengers with later flights filled the bus; everyone on the bus with flights before 3:30 were departing from Terminal 4 but the bus was scheduled to stop first at Terminal 3, etc.) If RC operations had been the only factor, we clearly would have missed our flight since the bus arrived at Heathrow's Terminal 4 about 2:50, after the check-in lane for our flight was scheduled to close. We expected to have to stay in a hotel several days and pay for re-booking - a major inconvenience and also considerable expense! It was only through the efforts of Delta Airlines personnel (and no thanks to RC) that we (barely) made our flight. Those on our bus with departures at 3:05 and 3:15 certainly must have missed their flights. The situation could have been remedied easily. On our cruise last year on Celebrity Reflection (roughly the same size as Navigator), disembarkation groups were organized by flight departure time. Our departure group was scheduled to exit the ship early and our bus to the airport left as soon as the 17 passengers with early flights were aboard. However on Navigator the driver was required to wait 30 more minutes until the bus filled with passengers having later flights! There were many other failures of RC's services or facilities which made our cruise less than satisfactory - • Dining facilities were insufficient to handle the number of passengers needing to eat breakfast and lunch indoors when it rained. We didn't appreciate having to take our plates and drinks back to our stateroom! • Security facilities were insufficient so EVERY time we returned from a shore excursion we had to wait in line outside the ship more than 20 minutes, usually in a cold rain and wind. • There was inadequate communication from the captain and other ship's personnel. • Food was frequently poor both in selection and quality in the cafeteria venue for breakfast and lunch AND ALSO in the main dining room - much worse than on previous RC cruises. This should NOT have occurred on a cruise line that touts awards and high ratings! • Stateroom maintenance was insufficient many days and one day no attendant showed up at all • My wife spent hundreds of dollars for 6 acupuncture treatments from a licensed practitioner to help a medical problem. The treatments were very good but we were charged an 18% gratuity for these medical treatments! I could cite other RC failings but I think you get the idea. When I complained to RC about all the problems we experienced, they apologized for our being unhappy with the disembarkation snafu, NOT for their having caused the snafu! But there was NO apology for the elimination of scheduled port stops, and not even an acknowledgement of the other significant problems on the cruise! I know the quality of food and services on many cruise lines has been deteriorating, but we'll have to think long and hard before we take another cruise on Royal Caribbean. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We chose the Koningsdam because it was new, Holland America Lines reputation for service, and the itinerary. The itinerary was fantastic with so much to look forward to in the Baltic Sea. We were disappointed and underwhelmed generally as ... Read More
We chose the Koningsdam because it was new, Holland America Lines reputation for service, and the itinerary. The itinerary was fantastic with so much to look forward to in the Baltic Sea. We were disappointed and underwhelmed generally as the cruise was more expensive than others and there was nothing outstanding that would make us loyal HAL customers. The Vista suite was not worth the extra money we paid. Our room steward was efficient but we hardly saw him, and service was just adequate with nothing extra. For example we asked for the daily Australian news sheet and we got it once. We had to leave a note for soap when we ran out. Used glasses were not removed promptly. We had anytime dining and with our group of 10 we could only get a late 8.30 time. We then chose to eat earlier with one other couple and generally got a table about 6 pm. The menu was disappointing as it had limited options, and food was bland and serving sizes very small on occasions. The steak was the best meal in quality and consistency. Appetisers were manly soup and vegetarian, not enough meat options. No scallops, prawns or lobster meals. No theme to the menus as on other ships. On the positive my husband and friend had a special order of snails every night, Service in the dining room was variable, at times waiters were unfamiliar with the mocktails and not very friendly. The Lido salad bar was a nice lunch option, and the food there was generally good. Yes it was busy and hard to get a seat at times and sometimes no waiter was available to get drinks. We liked the Dutch cafe, but found the coffee far too strong. The staff there were friendly. At least twice on a sea day the cafe ran out of milk, and we had to go to 12 floor for a latte. The non alcoholic drink package was a waste of money as there were not many options and staff were quite dismissive and unfamiliar with mocktails. We had a much nicer range on Princess last year. Entertainment was limited, not much on at night after the shows which we mostly found to be good quality. Some nights however there was no show. thankfully the Billboard piano bar was good, and we went there every night. The staff in that area were friendly and fun too. The cruise director had no personality, social skills or presence on the ship, he didn't even introduce the shows. The shore excursions were overpriced and we booked the Ultimate St Petersburg excursion which was enjoyable. We had a packed lunch in the park, which was rubbishy seeing the cour was $389 each for 2 days. The souvenir stop in St P was also cheap made in China stuff, I hardly bought a thing as I was looking for more authentic hand made in Russia items. We booked a tour to Berlin independently and it was excellent and half the price of HAL. The port talks did not give useful information about self guided tours, and we did a few hop on/off buses. The port talks didn't go into much depth compared to other cruises we have done but I guess the aim was to push the ships tours. Overall this is a big ship and you can't expect personalised service. You can't expect value for money. You can expect to line up and wait for service and tables, and to have extra cost activities and services such as laundry, drinks and specialty dining pushed at you constantly. We will be reluctant to recommend HAL or use them again as its not value for money and there are many better options available. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was advertised as a new ship. It was and the paintings and decor were lovely BUT it was spacious in the Atrium areas and small everywhere else including our inside twin cabin. The daily program was repetitive on sea days as was ... Read More
This was advertised as a new ship. It was and the paintings and decor were lovely BUT it was spacious in the Atrium areas and small everywhere else including our inside twin cabin. The daily program was repetitive on sea days as was the activities. I heard the piano players and main band, BB King (which played mainly a jazz and blues (hence not dance music) was on a 4 month contract. It was boring after 3 weeks, imagine a longer cruise. Most other ships fly in and fly out performers on a regular basis.The nightly shows were good in the "Theatre in the Round" but shows were repeated the second and third week. I felt this cruise was all about selling, be it spa packages, wine packages, and even kitchen tours were ridiculously priced at $150. Shops were always promoting their goods and the only free things to do was computer classes and a few repetitive quiz games. It was not a FUN cruise. There was no disco after hours in fact the ship was dead after 10.30 and only self serve coffee available ( not even a biscuit). Food in Lido and Dining Room was good with staff serving at all times hence less wastage and less chance of passing on infection. However, one had to ask for English Breakfast Tea every day - it was not put out. Also orange juice was watered down at breakfast in the Lido Bar but not in the dining room. This seemed rather unfair. The chairs were extremely heavy to move on carpet and older people had trouble pulling them in and out .This is an OH&S issue. There was also no library on board and only a small area for games/cards/internet etc. . The swimming area was also very small and on movie nights there was no popcorn or icecream offered like other ships. There was an icecream bar but you had to pay. There was no PA system to the cabin or on the television so you had to open your cabin door to hear any announcements. . Most annoying. Paying for a Cappuccinos in the main dining room was also a rip off Surely we pay enough for cruises to be given a choice of tea/coffee/cuppuccino at the end of a meal. Also eating in the dining room was a hurried affair, probably as there was only one public dining room. Most ships have at least two and they offer a different menu in each. I have traveled with Holland America in the past but they will need a lot of convincing to have me back again, Having said that the ports were amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed non sea days. Also the crew and staff were excellent and embarkation and disembarkation smooth. Overall I think the advertising for this ship did not live up to expectation. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We took the Celebrity Silhouette Baltic cruise on June 19th. It was the worst cruise we ever took and we will never cruise with Celebrity again. Our dissatisfaction is mainly due to the fact that most of the crew we dealt with was ... Read More
We took the Celebrity Silhouette Baltic cruise on June 19th. It was the worst cruise we ever took and we will never cruise with Celebrity again. Our dissatisfaction is mainly due to the fact that most of the crew we dealt with was indifferent and did not care at all about customer satisfaction. There are many incidents I can site, but the following are the two biggest: Be very careful if you sign up for a Celebrity shore excursion. They canceled our shore excursion, Berlin On Your Own, at the last minute. The tour was for people who just wanted free time in Berlin and consisted of a 6 hour round trip train ride with a guide on the train with suggestions how to use your time. There were only 8 people signed up, so I had no problem with the cancellation. However, I later found out there was room on the train Celebrity’s vendor chartered for their shore excursions. The public train schedules to Berlin did not mesh with Celebrity's time in port, so we simply asked to buy a ticket on a train that was not full. Both Ben in shore excursions and his manager (I forgot her name) were rude and dismissive. They told us we cannot buy tickets for the train, they cannot control what their shore excursion companies do, and just said too bad when I told them they were ruining an important part of our vacation. Either they do not understand customer service or Celebrity needs to write better contracts with their subcontractors. Celebrity also canceled another tour that had 25 people on it when the tour maximum was 35. They also canceled a tour in St. Petersburg at the last minute, so those people were stuck on the ship since you must have a visa or be on a scheduled tour to enter Russia. The second incident occurred at the Tuscan Grille specialty restaurant. There was a pebble in my food that I almost broke my tooth on. The host, Andreas, said he would speak to the chef and never returned to our table. Perhaps he should have apologized, offered the meal for free, and asked us to stay as someone who is customer satisfaction oriented would have probably done. I walked out after about 10 minutes of waiting for him to speak with us again. He stopped me, asked if I was coming back, and told me the chef said the pebble was part of the dish. I said I would not return walked out. Then my husband found a bone in his broccoli and again Andreas said it was part of the dish. My husband ate about 4 bites of his dinner, and the waiter, who had acted like nothing happened the whole time, asked for his card so he could charge him for his meal. My husband told them they have got to be kidding and walked out. It was the worst restaurant experience we have ever had! By the way, there was a table full of Celebrity officers dining less than 3 feet from us. No one came over to see what the problem was. There were some positive things about the cruise. The ship itself is beautiful. We have been on a lot of cruises, and the public areas on Silhouette are some of the nicest we have seen on any ship. The food and wait staffs in the main dining room, Cuvee, and at the buffet are terrific. However, good luck getting an open seating table in the dining room when you want it. We waited over half an hour most nights. Also, Milana, the Assistant Guest Relations Manager, was terrific and tried to help us out with both situations above. She DOES know the meaning of customer service and we appreciate all she did for us. She helped us resolve the restaurant situation, but this could have been avoided all together if Andrea had handled it correctly to begin with. The Berlin situation is just inexcusable. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2016
It seems like the cruise is more targeted to the elderly generation and being honeymooners this wasnt what we were expecting. The staff is excellent and the interior cabin was comfy. However, what really needs improvement is the food ... Read More
It seems like the cruise is more targeted to the elderly generation and being honeymooners this wasnt what we were expecting. The staff is excellent and the interior cabin was comfy. However, what really needs improvement is the food (only british food and lots of indian) and the entertainment. Animation team didnt lighten the atmosphere on the deck mostly because of the elderly passengers onboard. No modern music, no lively activities. Would not go on this again unless I turn 60! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Have sailed with RC twice before and loved it - but not on this ship!! Disabled accessible junior suite cabin was good, but cabin steward service not great. Ran out of tea bags, sugar, sometimes no teaspoons, filtered coffee sachets did ... Read More
Have sailed with RC twice before and loved it - but not on this ship!! Disabled accessible junior suite cabin was good, but cabin steward service not great. Ran out of tea bags, sugar, sometimes no teaspoons, filtered coffee sachets did not fit the filter coffee machine, ran out of tissues in bathroom, sometimes only one glass left etc. Tray with drinks on was left dirty for days, cleaned it myself in the end. Carpet not vacuumed regularly as we found tablets on the floor from a previous guest and deliberately left them there. One was still there on day eight! Sofa and chaise very tired looking and stained. Sapphire dining was okay but the quality of the food did not come up to the standard and quantity of our two previous RC cruises. Dining staff good but again not as polished as previously experienced. Overall we feel RC want to extract as much money from you as they can. Ridiculous internet charges, outrageous prices in shops and even during their 'sales'. Excursions very expensive and also very disorganised. I know there are a lot of people to organise to get off on their excursions but particularly for disabled passengers we found this very frustrating. For a tour in St Petersburg we were told to report to the theatre by 08.00 and eventually boarded our accessible bus by 10.40 !!! We were also told that there would be no wheelchair accessible shuttle buses available and therefore hooked RC excursions. What they do NOT tell you is that at most ports there is a Hop on Hop off accessible bus available - although not every bus has a ramp so sometimes you have to wait a while. Brugges was a bad port to visit on a Monday as they have wonderful museums there, but they don't tell you that they are all closed on a Monday. The Compass newsletter was extremely lacking in port information and the maps provided were worse than useless! If this was your first cruise then you may have thought it was okay, but for us we will be trying P&O or Celebrity Cruises in future as they have great reviews for the disabled traveller and overall sound like a great improvement on RC. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We had done this cruise before on Emerald princess and enjoyed it but wanted to do it again with friends and it was a different ship Regal which I thought as fairly new would be amazing but it wasn't. The entertainment was all set ... Read More
We had done this cruise before on Emerald princess and enjoyed it but wanted to do it again with friends and it was a different ship Regal which I thought as fairly new would be amazing but it wasn't. The entertainment was all set in the middle of the ship so sometimes too loud while trying to chat and very bright lights if u wanted to dance. The ship was at sea 3 days and unfortunately the weather was bad so was looking for something to do. the entertainment during the day was none existent not unless u wanted to make paper aeroplanes, guess which lift comes first, line dancing, trivia with no prizes a lot of Unhosted events The shows at night were mainly the ship dancers and singers and the theatre was very cold and sounding not good. No permanent night club. They had a tribute Beatles band which everyone seemed to enjoy and the dance floor was busy that night and more of that would have been good. . It felt as if the entertainment was done on the cheap something you might expect on a cheaper cruise line. If u are a smoker no nice area or no seats On day of arrival we went straight to the buffet which has an amazing amount of different foods but was pestered 9 times with crew trying to sell us either wine tasting or different restaurants I thought it made the ship very cheap. Very annoying when you have a mouth full of food and tired from travelling. The shops for a big ship were dreadful. either very expensive or souvenirs that were awful but still overpriced, whoever does the buying for the ship needs a bit of advice . We are all in are 60s but were bored on the ship and find other cruise lines with more activities and more fun. We did think the drinks package was a great deal.it Included any drink up to $10, coffees, water and sodas The decor of the ship is very dark. The food in restaurants were just ok but the Horizon was good. And on days at sea would have lunch in the dining room. Most of the crew were great and some just not cruise material. The security staff were not friendly at all and they are the first ones u meet going and leaving the ship We didn't do Berlin we visited the port and it is like a five minute walk from the ship and it lovely with a beach nice wee bars and good shops worth seeing We walked into the old part of Tallin and again lovely. Oslo we did a hop on hop off bus and would visit the statue garden and the Viking museum is worth going to. St Petersburg is a long day and would only do one day as a lot of queueing and if raining no shelter Finland we took the shuttle bus in and walked about which was lovely. Stockholm we did the Vassa museum which was interesting but the time alone was too long. All the tour guides were great with a lot of information The excursions are very expensive and busy as a lot of other cruise ships in at the same time They have a great laundrette one on each floor, busy when ship is at sea Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
My husband and I were traveling as a couple to celebrate our 20th anniversary. I booked with Crystal cruises because in my travel magazines, it has been rated a top cruise line. We were expecting a luxurious staterooms and a ship that ... Read More
My husband and I were traveling as a couple to celebrate our 20th anniversary. I booked with Crystal cruises because in my travel magazines, it has been rated a top cruise line. We were expecting a luxurious staterooms and a ship that looked like it had undergone a major restoration, like I had read. We expected the ship to be modernized and opulant. I can't relate how disappointed we are that we picked this cruise line. My husband and I are in our mid 40's. We have cruised Disney, Royal Caribbean's newest ships, and a couple celebrity cruises. Crystal Symphony was the biggest let down ever... Our itinerary was from Copenhagen to Stockholm. We spent a couple of days in Copenhagen, at the beautiful Hotel D'Angleterre --- great review from me on trip advisor. Copenhagen is a wonderful city. We had expectations that going from a 5 star hotel in Copenhagen to a modernized and restored Crystal ship would be an effortless transition. Unfortunately, not. The common areas of the ship were nice, but I was expecting so much more from Crystal cruises. The embarkation was very smooth, and it was probably the most organized and expedited embarkation ever! The ship's common areas didn't wow me at all. The common areas were nice, but still looked worn to me. I like the size of the ship, it felt cozy, and you weren't bumping into people. We booked a deluxe room with verandah. The room was a bit smaller than on other ship's we had been on in that category, but I was told to expect that. The room size did not bother me. The bathroom was a good size with double sinks, and tub/shower. Crystal should be ashamed of themselves for charging $12,000 for two people, for a dated and awfully decorated stateroom. The wood and cabinetry are original from 20 years ago. The hardware is worn. The bathroom decor was awful. They couldn't get our beds to fit together properly. After the third attempt, we decided to stop asking. The mattresses were ok, and you get a nice pillow menu. Crystal made out like bandits, taking our $12K. We paid for a dated and awful looking stateroom, with the exception of a leather couch and a fancy mirror. Still angry and stammering obscenities under my breath on that one! The dining experience was very nice. We had the dining by reservation. They had to switch us around a couple of times, so our waiters were switched up. We had a bit better service with our original wait staff, but still a good experience. The buffet in the morning is very good, but after about the 7th day, it all looked the same. The food was very good. We ate everywhere on the ship. It is a bit more elevated than a Disney or Royal Caribbean. Dining, buffet, grill... All excellent service and we couldn't be happier. Wait staff was very accommodating! Unfortunately, the service fell short with our stateroom attendant. We found her to be very lazy: our drinking glasses were not changed out daily, the linens were stained, bathroom cabinets were not wiped down from the previous occupant, nor were they during our stay. By about the 6th day, we had to make a list for our attendant to tend to. I went to the spa almost every day. The facilities are very nice, and a good spa menu. I tried acupuncture for the first time. Dr. Kara is excellent -- I bought a package of 5. (The spa usually carries Elemis products, and they have added another generic brand that I didn't like, and returned. Stick with the Elemis.) When we booked this cruise, I was aware of the itinerary, and did check out some of the places on line. They are really reaching with a couple of the ports: Karlskrona, Klaipeda, and Mariehamn. These places were not interesting at all, and had nothing to offer cruisers. We felt it was a wasted day for us, and were very disappointed that the ship docked in these places. St. Petersburg --- we were in port for 3 days. My agent at the time told me that a visa was not necessary. Well, it is. Get one. It gives you more freedom to get off the ship and explore on your own, or explore with a Crystal excursion. Our St. Petersburg tour was excellent! The guide was excellent and very knowledgable. The lunch was extremely disappointing: The excursion included lunch. Apparently it was catered out by another company. A dining hall was rented out and lunch was served in the area. This was not a restaurant and you could not order off a menu. Instead, you were served powdered potatoes, and some sort of mystery meat in a gravy sauce. It was like dog food, and I never touched my plate. I asked for another option, and was given rice with some vegetables that I was allergic to. We did make guest relations aware of this experience, but were met with a smiling face and an empty apology. Stockholm was an overnight. That was one of our best days. It was nice to be able to move on and off the ship freely. Stockholm is an interesting city and easy to get around. We couldn't wait to get off the ship at this point. We are used to staying at 5-star properties, and our bar is high. We had a trip booked with Crystal for 2017, that we booked before we left for this cruise, which we are cancelling. My husband and I are young, active and independent. We have realized it is best that we explore larger European cities on our own, and do not do well being contained on a ship with a regimented itinerary. Cruising is subjective. A lot of people swear by Crystal cruise line and love it. We unfortunately had a negative experience, and it didn't work for us. We feel like the price for traveling on a ship with dated stateroom cabins needs to be urgently reevaluated. Definitely a poor value for what you are getting, even though there were some positive highlights to the cruise line. Cheers... Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
My Italian sister-in-law who lives in Italy chose the cruise, as she has only ever cruised on Costa and does not realize that there are many better cruise lines from which to choose. Ship: It compares very poorly with MSC, Princess, ... Read More
My Italian sister-in-law who lives in Italy chose the cruise, as she has only ever cruised on Costa and does not realize that there are many better cruise lines from which to choose. Ship: It compares very poorly with MSC, Princess, Celebrity Or Holland America, our usual choices. 1.There was no water, tea or coffee available other than for purchase at the bar or when the buffet was open. everything that is normally complimentary on other lines required payment. 2. The cabin was large and beautiful, with a balcony. Well furnished 3. Dining was not as good as expected. The menu and food was supposedly designed and supervised by a well known Italian chef. It did not live up to expectations. Loin lamb chops were overcooked, thin and like leather. Appetizers and pasta were excellent. When I told the waiter that the lamb was overcooked, his response was "That's how it comes" Other food was fairly good. 4. Entertainment was mediocre, Similar to other cruises but without the variety and talent. 5 No intellectual or creative activities such as I have experienced on other lines: no quizzes, few games (bocce, shuffleboard, darts), or participation activities. 6. Putting course was 3 ill kept holes. 7. The animation team was not in evidence and did not encourage passenger participation. 8. There was little communication regarding daily activities or reminders over a communication system as to what was going on during the day. 9. The service and attitude of staff was excellent. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
The Baltic is indeed lovely but I would not advise going with P and O. The ship is attractive and the waiters and room stewards are delightful. The food is good. However, this ship has problems. It could do with a thorough clean. ... Read More
The Baltic is indeed lovely but I would not advise going with P and O. The ship is attractive and the waiters and room stewards are delightful. The food is good. However, this ship has problems. It could do with a thorough clean. Passengers are not allowed to go onboard without a sickness disclaimer. Yet you cannot go to any restaurant without sanitising your hands. I understand from reading reviews (too late) that a noro virus attack last autumn is responsible. So why did they not take Azura out of service and clean it? Our main problem which spoilt our holiday completely was that of an overflowing toilet. It happened the first night. Failure to help ensured that the entire cabin was flooded before the floor manager arrive and turned the stock cock off. We did expect to be moved but there were no spare rooms on the ship except two very low grade doubles. We had to take one as we could not get into the room. The thought of my shoes on the floor was awful. It took a day to dry out the room only to find that the plumbing had not been sorted. So the minute we flushed it happened again. I was told this happens a lot. So do be aware of this if you have OCD like me. It is really not nice. When we complained we were offered a £15 voucher and later a £50 refund. After going ashore, we issued a formal complaint and were offered a further £150. We paid for a balcony room so this was inadequate. The lady who dealt with our complaint was very uncaring. Many people on the ship felt the service had deteriorated. There were no free soft drinks. The entertainment was poor. The queue to get back on the ship was long causing distress for a lady with alzheimers. Noone seemed to care. I would definitely not recommend P and O until they clean up their act and put customers first. I am hoping to find another company with a better reputation for customer care. It is one thing to have an overlowing toilet and another ro have no spare cabins and no staff on immediate call. Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Chose this cruise because of its destination, we wanted to see St Petersburgh and also because Celebrity were supposed to be "5" star ships. What a disappointment! We were not informed prior to our date of departure that the ship ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of its destination, we wanted to see St Petersburgh and also because Celebrity were supposed to be "5" star ships. What a disappointment! We were not informed prior to our date of departure that the ship had had a Nora virus outbreak on it. Consequently when we arrived at Southampton we were unable to board the ship due to it being deep cleaned. Whilst I understand the seriousness of the virus and the need to prevent it re-occurring if we had been notified, we could have gone down later, instead we had to carry our hand luggage including my husbands suit holder around the town, no facility was available to store our property safely. When eventually we boarded around 3.30pm we were unable to go to our cabins until much later. What a let down that turned out to be, we had booked a balcony and we assumed that it would at least be on a par with Princess or Royal Caribbean but not in any way was it as good. One little wardrobe of hanging space with a sliding door that stuck all the time, five small drawers to put everything else in. There was a cupboard over the bed but being only five feet tall I had to climb on the bed every time to access it. The bathroom was better equipped with cupboard space. The service in the dining areas was poor, did improve in the main dining room later in the cruise. Food was sometimes not very hot, menus were sheets of paper put into a folder. Three courses only. No wine list offered had to ask for it, only to be told they did not have one. The self service restaurant was pretty poor. We had to be served for nine days due to the virus, service was slow, tables not cleared etc. In the bars there was no menu or info on the cocktails. We felt that on the excursions particularly the Hermitage in St Petersburgh was both very expensive and the description of the tour misleading. When I complained about the content nobody seemed to care. The public areas for sitting and meeting were very good, spacious, clean and cared for. We were looking forward to this cruise and feel very disappointed with the cruise overall. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our 30th cruise, our 5th on Eclipse and the 3rd time we had done a Baltic cruise on Eclipse. It was only the 2nd time we had cruised since my wife was diagnosed with Gluten Axtaxia (1st in April on Ovation of the Seas was poor re ... Read More
This was our 30th cruise, our 5th on Eclipse and the 3rd time we had done a Baltic cruise on Eclipse. It was only the 2nd time we had cruised since my wife was diagnosed with Gluten Axtaxia (1st in April on Ovation of the Seas was poor re gluten free food in MDR) We chose Aqua Class to eat in the Blu restaurant so more care re food. Cabin 1549 had a very obstructed view with a large overhang with flaking paint. Cabin was quite dirty in places, ball of chewing gum and glass splinter on carpet and dust on some surfaces. Work tops had sticky marks which were NOT cleaned even after we complained and broken shower was not repaired. Blu restaurant could only offer 2 GF cereals chocolate stars and honey nut loops (okay if you are under 10) We brought our own which caused comments from staff and guests. We were allocated 1 waiter to serve us so service took a bit longer. Poached eggs were either hard or under cooked when my wife complained waiter stood over her and waited till she checked each one. We had to book our evening meal the night before but had NO choice of desert we were told one would be made specially for us. The previous cruise had norovirus so the 1st week staff in buffet served the food, took longer and buffet was full to bursting. My wife was given gluten, we suspect by staff using same tongs to serve gf and non gf food. Twice we had to point this out to supervisors. Entertainment was poor same tired comedians same tired jokes, same magician Talented singers and dancers but bizarre shows. Highlights were Stars of Russia and Ukeboxe. On final night waiter in Blu berated us for 10 minutes when my wife pointed out that the pudding was curdled. He said we had been given special treatment as my wife was "the only coeliac on the ship!" and kept asking what we were going to say in the guest survey. Ship looked tired with grubby worn chairs and holes in carpets- so disappointing after our previous cruises and several guests agreed with us. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
First & last trip with Celebrity. Reputation great unfortunately the reality of experience quite poor. This was echoed by many other guests who have travelled with celebrity. Understaffed, not much to do, evening entertainment very ... Read More
First & last trip with Celebrity. Reputation great unfortunately the reality of experience quite poor. This was echoed by many other guests who have travelled with celebrity. Understaffed, not much to do, evening entertainment very average & food choice not great especially late evening. Plus side the Baltic destinations & excursions were mostly good not good enough an experience to book again. The cabin & restaurant staff were doing the best they could but with an out break of sickness on ship amongst crew they appeared very over worked. We decided to take the gratuities off preferring to pay who we wished directly. I was told 'did I realized this was how the staff got paid' after queuing for some time. I did and wasn't happy with my decision being questioned. Have lost our custom as there is a lot of great competition out there shame as the destinations are excellent. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We have taken approx. ten cruises to Europe and Mexico, Panama Canal, etc. My husband thought it would be interesting to go to Russia, Berlin, and the Baltic countries. I had no idea it would be so so cold, I was happy I brought a ... Read More
We have taken approx. ten cruises to Europe and Mexico, Panama Canal, etc. My husband thought it would be interesting to go to Russia, Berlin, and the Baltic countries. I had no idea it would be so so cold, I was happy I brought a couple of sweaters and a wind breaker. Most of the countries were very cold, rain, etc. When we arrived in Russia, it was raining so hard, with a lot of hail and wind. Usually the Princess has nice boutiques but not on this trip. I bought only one suit to be warm. The Regal Princess was absolutely beautiful but was extremely large. Since most of the entertainment centered around the middle of the ship, we had to continually walk from one end of the ship to another. There must have been approximately 300 Chinese on the ship, we continually were pushed out of the way for them to get by. They were rude. When I was on shore, a woman from another ship stated she noticed so many Chinese on our ship, and they were pushing her so much as they walked, they put a whole in her raincoat from their umbrellas; when they arrived next to our ship, they noticed, they all had clothes lines outside. Then I caught a bug on ship and was confined to my cabin, for two days. The ship was beautiful but too large, if you met someone nice, you would never encounter them again. Anyway, the one thing we loved was the Hermitage Museum in Russia. It was so beautiful, it was Catherine the Greats Palace with all famous paintings. Very nice. Berlin was beautiful and interesting. It was nice to see all this once, but I would not like to go there again or on such a large ship. It held about 5,000 people with the crew included and it was cold in June! Princess rep called me she said a lot of people had complained about the Chinese people pushing and rude to everyone. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I think the ports of call are great, and Holland America has a strength in being port heavy for travellers who like to maximize time exploring countries like me. There was good onboarding and off boarding during ports of call, organized ... Read More
I think the ports of call are great, and Holland America has a strength in being port heavy for travellers who like to maximize time exploring countries like me. There was good onboarding and off boarding during ports of call, organized and efficient. However guest relations response to my concerns were severely lacking. Within the first week, a cleaner had accidentally thrown out my dad's diabetic needle which was very expensive. He went for days without this needle which was detrimental to his health. In addition I was staying with my parents and had a pull out sofa bed in the same cabin, at 5 feet 2 inches my feet were exactly at the end of the bed right before the drawer and the steel rods were poking out of the bed into my back giving me a back ache. During the night, my parents in the dark had to cross over my bed to get to the bathroom, risking the probability of accidentally stepping on my legs. I complained to the front desk after the needle issue and was given a partial credit to cover costs but we still had to pay the balance out of pocket. As a solution to the bed issue, they offered to put another mattress on the pullout, this was after 6 days of discomfort. It wasn't ideal and I felt bad that the cleaner would have to take out the mattress and put it back everyday, and it would also become dirty from being dragged on the hallway, so I just said he could leave it even though it took up a lot of space. There were other rooms available which could have solved the problem but the front desk rep told me I'd have to pay at least $1000 more to move in there. If they had given me a decent bed in the first place I wouldn't need to move! Throughout the cruise I noted that many of the staff other than the cleaners or servers never smiled or said "hi", and just wanted to sell you whatever they had to. On the mandatory drill the first day, the staff member at my session made a snarky comment to me and just gave me a bad look every time I saw him subsequently. I voiced these concerns via guest survey and was given an upgrade from low ocean view to high ocean view and a dinner on the Pinnacle Grill for my next cruise. Instead of giving me any monetary compensation for the trouble, they wanted me to spend at least 3 to 4 thousand dollars on another cruise to be eligible for the upgrade. As fate may have it, I am currently planning another cruise, and saw one that caught my eye in terms of the ports on Holland America; but all rooms on the koningsdam had full ocean view so my upgrade was no longer applicable. The guest relations member I spoke to, Daphney, refused to give me the average monetary value of the ocean view upgrade to my new cruise citing that she was giving me a credit out of "goodwill" and she has final authority to decide the amount, and that it doesn't have to be based on the same or even similar value as my initial oceanview upgrade. She refused to let me speak to the manager saying he never talks to guests, and seemed she was on a power trip thinking she had final authority. I could tell from the rudeness and lack of professionalism that she didn't care if I didn't buy the cruise costing the company over $4000. In response to my email discussing the stunning lack of customer service, the supervisor Lisa reaffirmed all Daphney's arguments. She never gave me a contact number to speak to her directly, and even if she did nothing would change. Obviously I will not patronize Holland America anymore. Why should I give them a chance when they clearly don't care? I'd rather pay more for a company that actually values guests than one who just wants to take your money and treats you like a number. By the way, I have sailed on Celebrity Cruises in the past, and Holland doesn't compare on any level at all. When a smaller customer service issue arose there I was immediately given a reasonable refund, not just a upgrade to my next cruise! Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Though we've never been huge fans of HAL, we generally choose them because of the interesting itineraries. For this cruise, the brand-new ship, itinerary, bonus perks, and decent on-board credit were major factors. But the ship is a ... Read More
Though we've never been huge fans of HAL, we generally choose them because of the interesting itineraries. For this cruise, the brand-new ship, itinerary, bonus perks, and decent on-board credit were major factors. But the ship is a complete dud, from design, to implementation, to dining. Embarkation was horrible. You'd think that after all these years in the business they'd finally get it right. Wrong. It took hours. The luggage came quickly (because it took so long to board). Our cabin steward introduced himself and informed us that we'd probably have to go to the other side of the ship if we wanted to find him. That's because he had something like 12 cabins on the other side, but only three on ours. He did a decent job, but we never saw him when we needed anything. On day 14 I wouldn't have recognized him if I fell over him. Holland America has taken a lesson from the airlines: cram 2600 people into a space that's not big enough: circling the Lido three times at prime lunchtime balancing plates (no trays, no assistance from waiters) unable to find a table for two, even a dirty one. They've reduced the number of waitstaff, and they're useless. Waiting endlessly in line for a salad, because there's no more serving yourself. Finding a table at the Deli. Trying to walk around the too-small pool, with a deck design including bumpouts on one side that make it treacherous to navigate - and impossible for the legion of guests riding in big scooters or using walkers. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we found the main dining room tacky and garish. We prefer late seating, and had requested a large table. We got it, all right, a table for 10 with just one other couple. They were pleasant enough, but they were just as disappointed as we were. The second night it was just the two of us at that huge oval table. Why wouldn't they have seated any of the walk-ins there? The dining choices were okay some nights, but others so uninteresting that we resorted to ordering the vegetarian choices. Even the list of items available nightly has been pared down. A not-so-gentle hint to open your wallet for the specialty restaurants? Service in the dining room was impersonal, possibly because waiters deal with fixed-seating diners and anytimers at the same time. That means they're serving different courses to different tables, and can't be bothered - or are too harried - to remember preferences of the people they're serving for two weeks. I don't blame them; it's the system that's bad. For the 12 nights that we were in the dining room, we had to get the waiter's attention - not an easy task - to get the wine steward to come to our table and take our drink orders. As for the maitre d', this is the first HAL cruise ever that the maitre d' never once came to our table. On-board, the ship is an exercise in boredom, a feeling corroborated by conversations with other Americans, Dutch, and Spanish passengers. The social director, Jonathan, was the invisible man. There were virtually no activities, that is, unless you wanted to spend $129 to blend your own wine, offered THREE TIMES A DAY. Cooking class? $29. Nighttime activities? We love audience participation shows, such as the Newlywed Game. Gone. There were a few, just a few, but they were held only during late seating dinner, so those of us who like to eat later were shut out. Shows? Forgettable and skip-worthy. The house singers and dancers were good, but were woefully underutilized. My favorite activity - trivia - was still alive and well. Well, not so well. On sea days Pub Trivia was transformed by the introduction of trivial minutiae from HAL's trumpeted partnership with BBC Earth. These trivia sessions were not appreciated, either by me, my teammates, or other nearby teams. Trivia is a cheap activity for HAL to offer, and it was there in various forms three times a day. As for the specialty restaurants, our package included dinners at both the Pinnacle and Canaletto. Not having liked Canaletto on other ships, I tried to get their menu on the TV in order to see if we should go or just blow it off. Ha! I called the desk and was told that they had a new menu, and even they didn't have it. They were going to try to get a copy, then send it to me. Talk about inefficiency. I didn't feel like waiting what might be forever, so we kept our reservation, and we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food and service. This time it was a winner. Pinnacle, too, was a very good experience. But it makes me angry to think that the passengers without the comped dinners have to pay extra to get the great food and service that these restaurants provide. The real standout foodwise was the new Dutch Cafe. It's pretty, but like everything else on this ship, not big enough. There were 800-1000 Dutch on the ship, and that's where they went. I don't know if I would have discovered it if it were not for the drink package we had. We never had their main food offerings, but did try the coffee (excellent), and also the Snack. This consists of a tiered platter with 3 Bitterballen, 3 Cheese Souffles, and 3 Spicy Eggrolls, along with two dips. The first two were fabulous, the eggrolls good, but overall, the cafe is a welcome addition. The Deli is also good, as long as you have the fortitude to wait up to an hour to get your order, and then to find a table. Demand was high, but like the Lido, there aren't enough tables at this popular place, and not enough staff to clean them if one ever gets vacated. Particularly horrendous is that there is only one person preparing pizzas, and another making sandwiches. That is not nearly enough for the hordes of people trying to get fed. On the other hand, since there's nothing else to do on the ship, people had all the time in the world to hang out and take up tables merely waiting for their food. The captain's reception with passed hors d'oeuvres is long gone, and now apparently, so is the one with just champagne. No more crew talent show. No more Baked Alaska (not missed, but gone all the same). No more last night party. It's a sorry state of affairs, and we are beyond disgruntled. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Friends invited us on this cruise, and it was lovely catching up with them. Norway is magnificent, beautiful scenery. Cruise was expensive so I was expecting great things. Unfortunately not. First drinks ordered were a fiasco, ... Read More
Friends invited us on this cruise, and it was lovely catching up with them. Norway is magnificent, beautiful scenery. Cruise was expensive so I was expecting great things. Unfortunately not. First drinks ordered were a fiasco, like dealing with dumb and dumber. Asked for a shandy and waiter didn't know what this was. So told him half beer half lemonade. Received half beer half lemon cordial. Supervisor gets involved and after fawlty towers Manuel scene I finally get my drink, this took about an hour friends had finished theirs. They even took half a beer away - God forbid I have a complimentary drink. Ship is old, bathroom floods. Menu said eggs cooked how you liked, waitress told me not possible, too many people. So either over poached or or runny. Lame shows Queues for coffee Positives - comfy beds and pillows Great steak place, we had to pay, but the only way to get a descent meal. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Chose this cruise as the Ports of Call were all just where we wanted to go. As we live in Debyshire Hull was so easy to reach. Once on board not so sure on our choice, cabin sloped down hill making quite a high step in to shower etc. ... Read More
Chose this cruise as the Ports of Call were all just where we wanted to go. As we live in Debyshire Hull was so easy to reach. Once on board not so sure on our choice, cabin sloped down hill making quite a high step in to shower etc. Food was a great disappointment being of poor quality and level of service left much to be desired. As one of the few not ill in the bad weather on crossing north sea, I witnessed in the glorified cafe called a 'bistro' dirty pots cleared, but tables not cleaned or when they were the same cloth was used without being rinsed and no anti-bac spray used. This was the theme throughout, when meals required a sauce like mustard or mint these were served in their jars with residue running down the side!!! Waiters at meals did not realise it was bad manners to clear the table before everyone had finished eating even crossing people eating to changing cutlery. Entertainment staff tried very hard, but needed more support, even one of them told me that Oliver Twist would not ask for more! Ports of call were all good, did many trips ourselves, others were ok Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We have traveled HAL 8 times both Alaska and Europe. Other cruise lines about the same. One of the things we really liked about HAL was the library and movie theater. On cruise days we both enjoyed the library or going to an ... Read More
We have traveled HAL 8 times both Alaska and Europe. Other cruise lines about the same. One of the things we really liked about HAL was the library and movie theater. On cruise days we both enjoyed the library or going to an afternoon movie. No such luck on the their new ship. HAL has forgotten who their customer is and what we liked. After paying many thousands of dollars you are latterly overwhelmed with their hawking retail every where you go. A cruise is supposed to be relaxing not pushed to buy something 24/7. We are both huge Promanade walkers. On other HAL ships you can walk to get your exercise but not on this ship, it is very narrow with no outside deck chairs. Who designed this ship ? Retail should not be the number one focus. the customer should be the most important focus on a ship. It is simply not that way. We will never cruise on the Koningsdam again. Read Less

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