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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I have sailed on Princess twice, and I had a wonderful experience. My last Princess cruise was about 10 years ago. I have wanted to cruise again, but I have been waiting for my son to get a little older. Now that he is 7 years old, I felt ... Read More
I have sailed on Princess twice, and I had a wonderful experience. My last Princess cruise was about 10 years ago. I have wanted to cruise again, but I have been waiting for my son to get a little older. Now that he is 7 years old, I felt it was the right time to cruise. I only looked in to Princess because of my past experience. And honestly, I regret not looking into other cruise options. Last week we sailed to and from London and Oslo on a 7 day cruise. I really wish I could say that I had a great time, but it was a subpar experience. My two issues were food and the amount of time you actually spend in a town/city. The food was below average especially when you factor in the amount of money you are spending. Honestly, you are on the ship about 80% of the time. The food must be good whether it is a la cart dining or buffet. I remember when Princess offered twin lobsters during dinner at the international dining hall. Now they want you to pay extra for good food. In the past, the buffet had smoked salmon everyday for breakfast. On this cruise, they offered it on the last day. I feel like they offered at the end of our trip so we would only remember the last dish. Last, we ate a 3 course prefix meal at Sabatinis. You have to pay a premium to eat there, but the food was great. However, in the past Sabatinis offered an 11 course meal. The food offering is declining. In regard to my comment about the time spent in a town/city, well it only represents 5 hours per port. Most of the excursion start mid-morning, and you are back on the ship by 3pm. We have no time to explore, eat, or shop. In conclusion, if you are on the ship most of the time, the food better be amazing or you are really there for the entertainment like bingo, art auction, town lectures, etc which you can do at your local city. If you like to cruise, and don't care about food quality, go on Princess. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Not to bore my fellow cruisers , imagine : plastic cups , plates and glasses , a daily programme of bingo, quizzes and kids programmes , food you would normally never want to pay good money for and environment where most of the ... Read More
Not to bore my fellow cruisers , imagine : plastic cups , plates and glasses , a daily programme of bingo, quizzes and kids programmes , food you would normally never want to pay good money for and environment where most of the passengers are crowded into a central area to watch their so called" best " entertainment! "Saphire Princess" is your kind of ship . We hoped for refinement , culture and excellence.. what we got was far far from what we hoped.. such a waste of money . Lack of Security presence in public areas was alarming , there was definitely some under age drinking going on and young children seemed to be everywhere on the ship!! Most ships have family zones but parents were doing as they please . We were late arriving at ports , so little time on shore , one port was missed altogether and Princess CHARGE FOR SHUTTLE SERVICE .. Never been charged with any other company.!! Appalling !! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Had sailed last October on their Pride of America, to Hawaii. Worst Cruise ever! So, we thought. We vowed to never sail NCL ever again... yet, a few months later, my friend booked a Cruise to the Baltic Sea with NCL... At ... Read More
Had sailed last October on their Pride of America, to Hawaii. Worst Cruise ever! So, we thought. We vowed to never sail NCL ever again... yet, a few months later, my friend booked a Cruise to the Baltic Sea with NCL... At first, one always wants to be fair, and believe that "it will be better"... No! If they fail so badly to meet your expectations, it is "their way", "their pattern / mentality". So, we flew from LAX, CA all the way to Copenhagen, Denmark to catch this NCL Cruise. Plane cost $2,422.98 Cruise cost $4,700.14 We had pre-paid all this way prior to the Cruise, and i had pre-paid the Credit card Co. by $500.00 ( max allowed to be pre-paid). Well, all hell broke loose constantly, and to the very end. We were offered IN WRITING, a FREE Beverage Package. I phoned numerous times to inquire if there was any gimmick to that, or if it was totally free. Was told No gimmick, totally free. Well, here is the SCAM: The FREE beverage Package cost $356.40. It is FRAUD to pretend that something is FREE, and to charge on a credit card $356.40. So, I'll have to report this to the credit Card Company. Our Cruise was paid a month or 2 prior to departure. 3 days before disembarking, a bill was left by our cabin. Our card had been charged $30.00 per day to make the 1 bed. A GRATUITY, a TIP...... is at our discretion to pay if and how much, to whom... This obligatory overcharge without telling us ahead, is thievery. $30.00 per day to barely clean a small cabin, is by far, an overcharge............. Paying for the Cruise, pays for the room already, and the food, etc. This must be stopped. Everyone should fight this. .... To pick you up at the Airport is $25.00 per person. The wait was 2 hours, and going through the "Check-in" was an other 2 hours, and then, we were rushed to the Theater to listen to a life jacket demonstration, and this took a good 1- 1/2 hours, or so. They repeated in 4 languages, over and over again. It was ridiculous, very badly put together. The meals were not very good at all. The attitude was "bad", "superior"........... The shows were mostly bad. Next to no activities. NCL is all about money, not the Guests. They sell anything... and everything has a scam to it. We attended a sale marked lowest prices guaranteed. NOTHING was on sale, and a shawl on shore ( at Immigration) was $28.00 and on the ship was $75.00. So, lowest price is FALSE ADVERTISING. We bought 2 bottles of Vodka for gifts. They packaged it for travel in their NCL box, which we could only pick up the day before disembarkation. Those broke in transit. They were not packaged securely and the luggage was handled by NCL. We were handed a suitcase filled with wet clothes and broken glass. I bought 2 music boxes $35.00 each, and paid $70.00, but, I have two charges of $70.00. Bought batteries, which did not work, and attempted to return / exchange... That was a Twilight Zone. They DO NOT care at all and do not stand by the Guests. It is all very unethical, unprofessional, illogical, UNFAIR. Why are shows bad? The microphone is too high. You hear extremely loud yelling, screaming, noises. That is one aspect. The same performances are shown on an other night, leaving nothing for you if you already saw this... So, not a new show nightly, and shows not always good. Reservations............. What a Twilight Zone Nightmare on that............ A Bar requires a Reservation, so does a Restaurant, so does a Show. They say No when you phone... but, to get in......... is SOOOOOO problematic. Then, this Circus Show cost EXTRA. Never could go to the "Noodle Bar" Restaurant. I could see lots of empty tables, but, they were saying that they were full....... The Miniature Golf was closed for repair. Many bathrooms were closed for repairs. Still Daylight at 10 at night... and again by 2 am................ Much rain. FREEZING COLD. Never used the pool or hot tub... Simply too cold. At our age, we don't climb walls. Bingo is overpriced. One "Lecture" was "How to reduce belly fat forever?" So, we attended.... WASTE of time. It is a come-on to get you to sign up for a package $199.00............... When I tried to dispute the charges: They were leaving bills daily on our door, and the phone was blinking to come down ans see them... So, I went DAILY. Their attitude was that I HAD to pay whatever they wanted me to pay even if it was not due. I asked to speak to the Supervisor and was refused this. Olga and her Supervisor ( Not the higher person) were treating us as inconsequential, and we were waved away. When I insisted that I wanted to speak to a higher person, a Captain......... the Security Guard was called. I thought that he told them to remove the fake charges... The next day, on the way out, my friend, the Tour Bus, everyone was waiting for me while I was detained and obligated to pay $100.00 CASH. They refused to print a bill or let me pay with a Credit Card. The man was laughing, telling me to go to the 6th Floor and wait in line.......... So, this is Abuse, fraud, Extortion. kept against my will, obligated to pay what is not owed, laughed at, and our trip ruined. I was shaking for a long time after, because I was so stressed and upset. We both were. Last day, the elevator button would not stop on the 4th floor, and nothing was marked... We had to use the stairs with bad knees. Later I was told that one side worked... but, nothing was marked............ WHY repeat all this Online? People need to be warned. If you do not fight, this perpetuates itself, and escalates as it goes. Is it costly to eat ashore, or at the Airport? Sweden: Tiny little nothing place, 2 coffees and 2 tiny pastries ( not very good either): $18.00 Copenhagen, Denmark Airport: )'Leary's 1 SMALL beer $9.17 O Leary's: 1 small water, 1 small Coke, 2 tiny very bad fish and chips (very tiny portions of oily, badly cooked, still raw batter on 2 small fish pieces, bad fries) $59.86 ????????????????????? HOW can this be? Souvenirs anywhere? In California, one can purchase an oven mitt for $1.00 at any Dollar Tree Store, or 99 cents Store. In any of the Norwegian places... $16. to $21.00 for 1 oven mitt. A cap is a good $16.00 + Excursions: Cobblestone streets. Nice to see, but, difficult to walk. Overpriced Excursions. MUCH walking. If you are an Elderly person, someone with arthritis, you will have much difficulty... Chairs do not roll well on grass, or cobblestones, and much is steps... A tour in a boat, in the cold freezing rain... is difficult to enjoy. Bathrooms: $1.00 Euro per person. The Subway is Russia, very clean, beautifully decorated, very well organized. Much walking, steps, escalators. Not for wheelchairs and slow persons. We almost fell. Older persons must be seated, or it is unsafe. Many warnings of Pick Pockets......................... Our Bank Card Companies had said NOT to bring Euros. This is a bit wrong. Bathrooms do not take Credit Cards. You need Euros. Some Places, and Street Merchants do not take Credit Cards. If you can hand a NO INTERNATIONAL Fee Card, that is the best way to pay, but, there are Exchange Currency Booths here and there ( some at Airports). We should have brought $50 Euros, but, had relied on our Credit Cards. Credit Cards: Make sure to use NO INTERNATIONAL Fees Credit Cards. How were we dressed? You need long pants, no sandals, warm socks, sneakers for a lot of walking, long sleeve flannel shirts, sweaters, or light jackets. I brought a backpack and we kept our light jackets in them when not used. Bring a rain poncho in your backpack. Too windy for umbrellas. The 99 cents Store sells rhinestone room key card holders to put your room card key around your neck. On the ships, the cost is multiplied 6 to 10 times............. I said it before, and foolishly expected better.... NCL was not a good Cruise Line the first time, and was NOT the 2nd time either. Hardly any activities for persons 70- 80. Lots of long lines, walking, being pushed. Disappointed. Bored. The hour changes: NCL does not have clocks in the rooms. We brought a travel clock. "Jet Lag" The time changes numerous times. It takes 2 days from LAX to Copenhagen and again, 2 days back. Rather than waiting 10-12 hours at the Airport, we had reserved Connect Hotel in Arlanda Sweden $59.07 We had requested Confirmation via e-mail, and had printed everything. They have a Shuttle and will pick you up and bring you back the next day ( Shuttle is every 30 minutes. They have their own Shuttle, marked Connect Hotel), you will have a nice room, with TV, bathroom, dryer, and you'll get a great, copious breakfast. Staff was pleasant, courteous, helpful, cheerful. They have a Chain. Look them up. ( Yes, the Staff also spoke English.) Bottom line, we had an OK, so-so, overpriced, tiring trip. Too much money for what it was. We will NEVER Cruise NCL ever again. They ruined out vacation again. Can't forgive them. This is Abuse, Thievery, Disrespect, FRAUD. We have a Cruise this October 2019 with Carnival. We have sailed that Ship and Destinations prior, but, it is for a Class Reunion... so we are attending ... We have sailed with Carnival many times. I am now informed of costs rising again? NCL told us that Carnival no longer folds towels like animals...So, I'll have to see for myself... Cutting out the nice little fancy things... is never a good idea. Why do we Cruise and spend so much money... if there is nothing nice, nothing to do, nothing included? Overcharging people.......leads to Guests staying home the next time. NCL advertised FREE beverage package, GIVEN to us FREE. $356.40 is FRAUD. Adding $30.00 per day, after the cruise is fully paid, is FRAUD. A tip is never mandatory. That is a modern, pretentious, unfair expense. A tip is solely at the discretion of the people to do, not do, and decide how much. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise to circumnavigate the British Isles and found nothing but dissapointment. We have recently returned from a cruise around the British Isles on MSC Orchestra (5th June Hamburg). If MSC gave us free tickets to cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise to circumnavigate the British Isles and found nothing but dissapointment. We have recently returned from a cruise around the British Isles on MSC Orchestra (5th June Hamburg). If MSC gave us free tickets to cruise again we wouldn't accept them. Our first encounter was at embarkation with queue after queue checking the same thing over and over followed by sit-down lunch (deck5 ) where we were refused 2 glasses of water and both the waiter and maitre de argued with us over our need to pay around EUR1 per glass to get tap water! This continued at the dinner table also. Secondly, our anticipation of having a great time was greatly diminished when the cabin staff told us we would not be provided with a box of tissues and we had to use toilet paper in their place! Thirdly, we booked a Fantastica Balcony Stateroom at the rear of the ship (smaller than most others) and expected a 5 star room - the bathroom shower has plastic curtains! No facial tissues and one roll of toilet paper - enough said. On review there are more than 21 items (including the cheap rate shows) that are far less quality, service and level of acceptability in comparison to other cruise ships of the same standard. MSC = more sur charges. All up you would be better advised to choose another cruise company and experience a level of professionality you deserve on a cruise. FYI - we have cruised over 15 times with other companies - all balcony suites, no complaints - all inclusive. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This cruise was chosen for its itinerary. The ship is a fancy barge where you pay extra for anything you may need. We were expected to pay for a glass of tap water in the formal restaurant. They do not provided any facial tissues in the ... Read More
This cruise was chosen for its itinerary. The ship is a fancy barge where you pay extra for anything you may need. We were expected to pay for a glass of tap water in the formal restaurant. They do not provided any facial tissues in the balcony stateroom. They allow open smoking in several areas inside the ship which permeayes the showroom and other bars! There are over 21 points for improvement with this cruise company. The entertainment us cheap, appears unrehearsed and karaoke like most nights. Embarkmemt required showing proof you were a real person I've 3 times and queuING each time. If you are a first timer cruiser this cruise may be good for you as you would not know how low a standard MSC is. Of course you may like to pay to have open dining but other crise companies have all the above plus more included in their offer Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We picked this cruise for the itinerary because it went above the Arctic circle along with Flam and Geiranger. Soon after we boarded the ship on May 25th we were informed via a piece of paper stuffed in the “welcome package” that our ... Read More
We picked this cruise for the itinerary because it went above the Arctic circle along with Flam and Geiranger. Soon after we boarded the ship on May 25th we were informed via a piece of paper stuffed in the “welcome package” that our itinerary had changed. We were no longer going to Flam or Geiranger due to tenders not working. Ship Condition - showing major wear. Windows in dining room were cracked. A lot of rust around door frames in bathroom, bath tub, and out on balcony. Outdated decor. Food - overall we liked the food. We enjoyed the Dive in grill, pizza place, lido salad bar, and dining room(breakfast and dinners). Service - the crew is wonderful both in dining room and cabin stewards. Officers were aloof and not friendly. The Captain, guest relations, and Seattle office have made it very clear that HA is well within its rights to change ports at anytime. Absolutely no compensation not even a small gesture has been offered after numerous people have complained. Room - sadly we booked a guarantee and were placed over the Ocean Bar. So every night we heard music until 11:30 pm. Internet package was expensive and limited internet at times. Should not be charged when we can’t get service until 6:00 pm or later as we sail out of a Fjord. Entertainment - enjoyed the Lincoln Center Stage venue and BBC movies, other entertainment was just ok(magician, comedian, sax player) We will not be cruising HA again. The issues on this cruise and HA’s response says it all for us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We’re a young couple from the UK who have cruised before but not with Norwegian – we chose Norwegian for the itinerary. Summary of our experience – the majority of staff were rude and non-English speaking, hygiene was awful ... Read More
We’re a young couple from the UK who have cruised before but not with Norwegian – we chose Norwegian for the itinerary. Summary of our experience – the majority of staff were rude and non-English speaking, hygiene was awful amongst staff making it inevitable that the majority of guests would get sick (turning the ship into a Zombie apocalypse), the food was tasteless, lacked in variety and was often inedible, dietary requirements were not taken seriously (if you are vegetarian you will be fed meat) and if you complain about anything you’re argued with, treated like a criminal and made to feel very uncomfortable for the rest of your holiday. Needless to say we will not be cruising with Norwegian again. Now onto the good, the bad and the ugly: Ship – the ship is a bit dated and the rooms are in need of modernisation. The atmosphere is very casual and relaxed with little dress codes. With a cold itinerary, I would have expected an undercover pool area but there was not, meaning there is little to do when the weather is bad, unless you’re interested in the knitting club… The windows were not cleaned (which I have experienced on past cruises) so guests are unable to see outside clearly. Staff were rude, argumentative and most did not speak good enough English (to the point where they'd take a plate of food away which I told them I had not finished with). Demographics – most guests are elderly and in retirement, from a mixture of countries. I’d say the majority are from the USA. We were surprised that a lot of guests were rude (barging past, making unnecessary comments) which we have not experienced on past cruises. Main dining rooms – we thought flexible dining times would be a good idea, but in reality there were long queues and a rushed, poor dining experience. The food was very hit and miss, sometimes very nice but 50% of the time it would be tasteless and we’d end up going to the buffet afterwards! Although when we complained about the food, the maitre’d would let us customise the menu the evening before if there were things we would like different or changed. Buffet – the food was mostly tasteless, often inedible and had a lack of variety. The only nice thing was the Indian dishes. The traffic light colour signs in the buffet were incorrect every day, even after we informed the chef and maitre'd of this. Their response was the signs are "guidelines" and so those marked vegetarian and vegan could in fact contain meat and dairy. Coleslaw that was marked green (meaning no meat or dairy) in fact had chicken in which I had to spit out. Potato skins that were marked green had mincemeat on top, mixed in with beans. The list goes on. I was also told by the first person I asked that the coloured signs are to be ignored, that they are meant for the staff and mean hot and cold… The staff would use the same tongs to move around the meat dishes and vegetarian dishes – when I confronted one member of staff about it (whilst he was rearranging the vegetarian pizza with the meat pizza tongs) he did not know what the colour signs meant and continued to mix and match. The maitre'd argued with me in the middle of the buffet area, making me feel humiliated and extremely uncomfortable when visiting the buffet again. I felt like a criminal, when all I pointed out was the wrong colour signs and the need to be confident I was not eating meat again. Being vegetarian was not taken seriously so I would avoid Norwegian if you have any dietary requirements. Premium dining package / restaurants – we paid for a premium dining package for 5 restaurants yet only visited 1, La Cucina. We could not use the package at any of the other restaurants, as they did not cater for vegetarians. Teppanyaki does cater for vegetarians but we were told they would have to cook our food in the kitchen area, removing the “live” dining experience and making it pointless. La Cucina was an awful experience and not edible (much worse than the buffet food). When we spoke to reception we could not change the dining package to something else, as we had already visited La Cucina and the bill had been charged to our room, even though I did not eat anything and complained about the food. I was even told by reception to go to the steakhouse and eat nothing, so that my partner could "enjoy the meats", which we could not believe!! Hygiene – The hygiene standards were poor, which we were surprised about due to a virus outbreak reported on the cruise ship during April and May. Hygiene was awful amongst staff, making it inevitable that guests would get sick. Staff would not cover their mouths when they coughed and thus spread germs over the buffet areas. Of course you could not bring this to anyone’s attention as they would (pretend?) to not understand you, argue and treat you like a criminal. Entertainment – the theatre performances were excellent, I loved each one. The majority of performers were external and brought onto the ship for the night. The Russian folklore show was great. We’re glad we didn’t plan to see a folklore show in St Petersburg! Ports – the terminal locations specified on the NCL website were incorrect, and customer services kept providing us with different terminal locations throughout the booking process. Docking at different locations ruined our planned itinerary (Poland, Lithuania and Finland were all wrong). We were not informed of the Visa requirements for Russia when making the booking, even though we specified we were on a tight budget and called to find out all possible costs. This was a huge unexpected expense we were unhappy about. Make sure you check Visa requirements prior to booking, as Visas for Russia cost us hundreds of pounds! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This whole cruise experience was awful in so many ways. 1. Cleanliness: In the hallway outside our cabin it constantly smelled like sewage. Our toilet malfunctioned several times, threatening to overflow into the bathroom floor. ... Read More
This whole cruise experience was awful in so many ways. 1. Cleanliness: In the hallway outside our cabin it constantly smelled like sewage. Our toilet malfunctioned several times, threatening to overflow into the bathroom floor. The white towels and bath mat had coin-size brown stains on them. Carpets are filthy and stained, dining linen does not appear to be changed, and we encountered crusty dirty plates, bowls and cutlery in the “clean” stacks at the buffet more than once. The whole ship is peeling at the edges and needs a refresh. 2. Staff: Our cabin steward was lovely but beyond that, the chances of finding any remotely pleasant staff were bleak. Bar staff were rude. Harried customer service desk staff were openly disinterested in helping anyone. Our dining room server seemed depressed. 3. Food: They were constantly out of so many things, including their advertised “special” beers and wines. We were served frozen entrees for dinner that seemed to have been barely microwaved. The coffee station was never open on time in the morning, although staff were going behind the ropes and helping themselves. The one day we ate the sit-down breakfast, we waited 30 minutes to order before we gave up and just had the specialty buffet breakfast in the same room. There was something so bad in what I ate there that I went back to the cabin and threw up immediately (into the toilet that was constantly backing up). The lack of proper food service hygiene and failure to manage the chaos at the buffet created by lack of lines, direction, etc was appalling. 4. Cash Grabs: They up-sell EVERYTHING ... there are an incredible number of non-included food items like the late night pizza and burger bar, room service, or coffee outside of breakfast times. The internet is overpriced and incredibly slow - don’t bother. 5. “Mandatory” Gratuities: We tried to settle our cash account on the second last day and were told it was “impossible” except at the wildly inconvenient time of 6:30 am on the last day. At that time, we lined up for half an hour before being sent around to 4 different places because we had requested the gratuities be removed due to our less than acceptable cruise experience. Everywhere we went we were told it was “impossible”. These “mandatory” gratuities of €10/day per person were not disclosed up front. They are not in the fine print on your booking, but are buried in a faint hyperlink in the terms (so if you printed it out you can’t even see it). The Costa manager refused to remove these charges and was quite aggressive/bullying towards us about it, although any other major cruise line will allow passengers to remove it given it’s not a legally enforceable charge. It seemed really slimy to bury the misleading “mandatory” charges info in a hyperlink and then claim we had agreed to it. Costa tries to get around the law by calling it a “hotel service charge”. Haha, right. Only they are not a hotel; they are a marine vessel. Be aware that your “gratuities” DO NOT go to staff, but into Costa’s coffers. It’s an offensive practice that’s bad for crew and customers alike. Costa, be better. Don’t try to avoid paying your corporate taxes, or to provide a fair living wage and benefits to employees with these kind of murky loopholes. If this is really mandatory and is really used to pay staff, then your company should have no problem being honest and transparent about it and include it as part of the initial cruise price right up front and in the open. This was my third Costa cruise. I enjoyed the first two. Clearly things have deteriorated significantly since Carnival took over and I will never cruise with Costa again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was the most mismanaged cruise I have ever been on. The new crew out of NY didn’t know what the he’ll they were doing! The specialty restaurants were under par. The service was horrible, I gave Cagneys 3 try’s, The same ... Read More
This was the most mismanaged cruise I have ever been on. The new crew out of NY didn’t know what the he’ll they were doing! The specialty restaurants were under par. The service was horrible, I gave Cagneys 3 try’s, The same every time... I was on this ship a year ago and the management was so much better. The shore excursions were a disaster, in Dublin we had only an hour on our hop on hop off bus and had to get off and take a cab back to the meeting point, because we got off the ship so late. In Paris, another joke, I had an 11:30 guided tour at the Louve, which should have been no problem because I’ve been there several times before, again by the time be got off the ship and on our way we were very late, then when we arrived in Paris it was a holiday and the roads were closed off for the bus to park, so we drove around another half hour trying to park. We got off the bus and got a cab, by the time we got to the Louve our tour guide was long gone, we wound up having 90 min in the Louve before we had to catch a cab back to the bus that was just parked on a stree somewhere...6 hours on the bus back and forth to get 90 min in Paris, what a joke! London was another fiasco,.. Belgium was the only port we got out of the ship in enough time to see anything. The sail was rough, I spoke to a girl in my hotel that came in on a Royal Caribbian Ship, she said there sail was great, not rough at all... Then to top it off half the people on the ship had gastritis and were sick, thus the reason the buffets wouldn’t let you serve yourself on day 2 of the sail, obviously the ship was contaminated when we got on board. The entire sail was a disaster and Norwegian should refund all our money! I will never sail Norwegian again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We have been cruising for many years and chose this cruise because we wanted to see Iceland, Scotland and Norway. We had cruised before with NCL and knew that the Food would not be good, so we bought a 10-dinner specialty dinning ... Read More
We have been cruising for many years and chose this cruise because we wanted to see Iceland, Scotland and Norway. We had cruised before with NCL and knew that the Food would not be good, so we bought a 10-dinner specialty dinning package. Upon arriving in Copenhagen, check in took 90 minutes, once on board we were told that they still needed to load supplies (are they amateurs?, is this the first time they load this ship?), so we ended up leaving 6 hours late which made us loose our next port. We also missed Invergordon Before I booked, I called their reservations office to ask if the ship would need to use tenders at any port and was assured that we would be docking at all ports. THEY LIED to me as we had to disembark 4,000 people with very few tenders at 3 ports. This was horrible, terrible and took at least 2 hours to get in but at Edinburgh we waited for 3 hours in the freezing rain to get back to the ship, my wife got sick. Are they criminals or just stupid? they know that they must re embark 4,000 guests and that this takes at least 40 tenders at 100 guests each. They did hire 2 larger local boats, but we still waited in line for 3 hours. Did they really need to save a few dollars and make everybody’s trip miserable? The Food in general terms is not top Quality, especially at the buffet. At the restaurants it is a little better, as to the specialty dining as I said we bought dinner for 10 of the 14 nights and it was basically acceptable, but not good as it is in other Cruise lines we have sailed in (Princess, RCL, Celebrity, Oceania and even Carnival). So, we tried all of them and repeated the French and Ocean Blue (where you must pay twice). They will try to nickel and dime you at every turn and try to squuueeeeze as much as they can from you (its their Business model), so just be aware. Communication with the guests is sparse, they don’t provide you with the tools to enjoy the cruise, all they try to do is sell, sell, sell. Going to guest services took long lines (60 minutes on average) as they had to deal with infuriated guests. So, if you think that tis cruise is a bargain, think twice because you must add many things others include. Nothing they will give you is top notch, not even average, the ports are usually industrial and not close to town, in Copenhagen there were no taxis, no buses no means of going to town which is 30 minutes away, other cruise lines book buses which they take you (at a cost) to Copenhagen. Other cruise ships were docked in Copenhagen. We decided to leave one night before and pay for a Hotel to make sure that we made our flight back because they could not guarantee that I would make my 11 am flight. The only good thing I can say about this ship is that it was clean. In general terms AVOID NCL AT ALL COSTS. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was so disappointing as we have cruised Norwegian in the past, and Loved it. With the dry dock, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to fall in love with the ship all over again, and we were so WRONG. We chose this ... Read More
This was so disappointing as we have cruised Norwegian in the past, and Loved it. With the dry dock, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to fall in love with the ship all over again, and we were so WRONG. We chose this cruise for the Ports of Calls. Two of our Ports were CANCELLED including Invergordon which was one of the main Ports and Haugesund. No compensation offered for the cancellation of Invergordon and we had private excursions booked that we forfeited. Embarkation and Tenders- Talk about a cluster, we were five hours late leaving Copenhagen. The tender situation only amplified the complete incompetence of the staff coordinating guests getting on and off the boat. There was only one boat loading/ unloading 4000 guests at a time and they packed each tender to the max. There should have been multiple tenders loading/ unloading at a time. The que for getting off the ship was a nightmare and basically forced you to book an excursion so you could get off the ship at a decent time. This confusion also caused th 6, 7, 8 floors to be a mess of humans waiting, and pushing to get off the ship and significant traffic flow problem. The staff driving the tenders took multiple attempts to dock the tender (throwing ropes, smashing into the side of ships and docks. Smoke - the smoking in the casino is excessive and permeates the 6, 7, 8 floors and makes the Bistro unappealing. Smoking ban on interior spaces should be considered. Food - Specialty restaurants did not disappoint we visited Brazilian, Steak, Raw Bar. The buffet food was on more than one occasion had hot food at room temperature, ran out of salad (at all stations) and fresh fruit salad (sub with canned), chicken was commonly overcooked. The dining room served the same meal the entire voyage for lunch (no changes), the selections were not inspiring and boring. Best meal in the dining room was the Bang Bang Chicken and Shrimp. No Lobster Night. Seafood Night at the buffet was unimpressive with no shrimp cocktail, crab claws, or lobster. Starbucks was a nice addition. Entertainment - The shows were good, but only two on a 14 day cruise. Syd Norman was a nice addition with great singers. Dueling Pianos was good, but then played same songs every night which gets redundant and boring. Basillio Magician/ comedian was terrible. Excursions - Had to manually get adjustment for charges on every excursion with our elite status discount. This should be automatic. Not see if I notice. Ship - lacked interior space for the number of people on board to comfortably stay inside. It was a cold weather trip. I do not recommend this ship for that type of itinerary. The common theme on the ship is that nobody knew where anything was. Customer Service - Pony up and plan to wait 30-60 minutes. It was a drag to address any issues. If you tried to call, you were instructed to call back later as they were busy. Significantly understaffed. Medical Center - It is anticipated that if you need medical service while at sea you will pay a premium. Holy - Norwegian takes that philosophy and crushes it. I had a sinus infection/ early bronchitis, and paid $150 for DR visit (expected), and $225 for GENERIC made in India Mucinex (1/2 the strength of Name Brand, requiring 2 generic for every 1 Name Brand pill - AND they charge by the pill), Generic Afrin, and Generic Amoxicillin (Not Expected). These drugs would have cost $40 total back in the United States. When I inquired about drug charges, I was told that the ship does not differentiate between generic and name brand, but clearly their charges do. Overall Experience - this cruise was a let down in so many ways. The traffic flow, the odd cruise director who never seemed to be around, staff that couldnt make decisions, constant let downs with cancellation of ports. This was an expensive once in a lifetime cruise and our experience was so bad that even as seasoned cruisers (20+ cruises) we are seriously debating if we cruise again. Such a disappointment. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because Hurricane Michael prevented up from sailing to Canada last year. I did not want to go a on mega ship but I only got a credit. We chose to stay in Copenhagen the day before and after the trip which gave us ... Read More
We chose this cruise because Hurricane Michael prevented up from sailing to Canada last year. I did not want to go a on mega ship but I only got a credit. We chose to stay in Copenhagen the day before and after the trip which gave us a lot of time to explore the city on foot, no buses! The embarkation and disembarkation were great. Very organized from start to finish. My biggest complaint is they were five hours late and we missed our first port in Norway. Not happy about that at all. The ship is so big and too many people. The ship was gorgeous in every area except the weight lifting room. Terrible machines, too small and not enough variety. There are great high end restaurants but the other free dining is average. Lots of variety with other places that you must pay for. I am not a fan of the buffet. I don't like people handling the same utensils to serve food. They just go a Starbucks. The entertainment was outstanding. We saw most of the shows. We loved Syd Normans. Two great rock bands. The service is fantastic. The crew cannot do enough for you. We loved the small ports. The big ports require traveling to see things. You can't just get off the ship and walk around. Norway and Iceland were our favorites. We knew nothing about tendering to shore and it was a disaster. 45 minutes each way on the little hot boat is a joke. Both times it was pouring rain and 4000 people standing in line for their turn after touring all day was a joke. The shore excursions are costly. Out favorites were, the rib boat in Flam, Norway, the Golden Circle, Overland tour of Geiranger and the Blue Lagoon. The Glamis castle and tour of St. Andrews was a 9 hour tour. No meal. Six hours on the bus. Two hours at the castle and one hour at St. Andrews. The bus rides had guides that never stopped talking, coughing sick passengers (we both were sick after the first week) and many stops were so short you had no time to really explore what you paid a lot of money to see. We missed another port in Scotland at Inverness since the seas were too rough to get in. We had to go back out to sea which meant three straight days of cruising. The seas were 15 foot waves and 40 mph winds. I have had balance problems after that and since I got home. Would I cruise again? I will never cruise again. Too much eating and drinking and not enough time on excursions devoted to exploring the cities you came to see. We saw more in Copenhagen the day before and after our cruise then we did on excursions. The big ships are too big. If I ever did go on a cruise again, it would never been on these rocky cruise ships. The last night in the port in Copenhagen they did a load test from 1 am to 5 am and the ship rocked back and forth. Not my way of ending a cruise especially if you are already having problems from the rough seas. We sailed on Holland America to Alaska and I have to say that the difference in the two cruises was like night and day. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Liked the look of the cruise itinerary, and departing from Newcastle is more convenient and an easier port to get to than other ports. Booked an executive suite which are supposedly the best cabins on board and are on deck 10. Bad ... Read More
Liked the look of the cruise itinerary, and departing from Newcastle is more convenient and an easier port to get to than other ports. Booked an executive suite which are supposedly the best cabins on board and are on deck 10. Bad decision. Must say the cabin is spacious and well furnished BUT the inescapable element is constant noise from the deck above. We noticed it initially during the first day, noise of furniture being moved and scraped along the deck. The first night we were woke at 5am, then at 1.30am second night. It appears the deck was being cleaned which needed furniture to be moved. Formally complained in writing, no one responded and had a third night of disturbed sleep. Altogether had to complain 3 times to the “hotel manager”, not impressed at all with the response. The cruise was spoiled by the noise as it is a constant irritant when in the cabin, even during the day. A number of other issues occurred such as on embarkation we were told there was an IT problem which meant long queues while dropping off luggage in the car park and within the terminal building. Luggage was not unloaded on time from the ship after disembarkation, again huge queues in the car park whilst fork lift trucks were coming and going delivering suitcases. The food generally in the restaurants is adequate, not of a high quality. Got the feeling that some of the crew were very inexperienced, and required further training. Overall, it is downmarket, it was a bad experience and will not be going anywhere near a Marella ship again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Viking is not "world class cruising". I've had better service, amenities and food on carnival, norwegian and princess lines. I have never heard the word "no' so many times on a vacation. Their website displayed gym ... Read More
Viking is not "world class cruising". I've had better service, amenities and food on carnival, norwegian and princess lines. I have never heard the word "no' so many times on a vacation. Their website displayed gym equipment on the sky that was not there: is there a spin upright bike? "no". I paid for premium alcohol because their free house wine is chilean. Do you have a ca cabernet or chardonnay? "no", a french bordeaux, no, and oregon pinot nior? -no. Champagne? Not included. Their "premium" wines are from south africa and australia. Is the main dining hall "the restaurant" open for a sit down lunch? - no - just buffet or burgers and hot dogs by the pool. At the italian restaurant manfredi's do you have linguine? - no just spaghetti. Meal times are short - the dining hall opens late and closes early. Nothing for breakfast but bread and coffee after 9;30 - even the buffet closed. Room service gets orders wrong. Excursions are rushed, no time to use a bathroom or shop and then waste time on promoting local businesses like herring tastings. It was obvious a lot of the staff was being trained and new (probably because they lost traumatized crew members after march 2019 "incident") every time i was getting over being annoyed at one lie, refused request, or misinformation there was another. The manager interrupted our breakfast asking me to take time to talk to her at her desk any time. I go down to her desk 20 minutes later, she is too busy, come back later. I never saw her again. The worst by far was our last full day in port in bergen. They couldn't wait until i left the next day to set the room for the next guests. I was shooed off my private balcony by the staff who came barging in to wash it - and even worse. I find a set of sheets in my previously filled dresser drawers. The maid came into my room while i was not there, opened my drawers and found one partial empty and filled it with a new set of clean linens for the next quest. I wasn't checking out until 9 am the next day!! It was still my room, my drawers, and a stranger was rummaging through them!!! You can't trust them. What is promised on their website is not on the boat: the amenities, the dining options, the drink options all not what is described in the website. Lies, refusals, misinformation and no apologies or anything to make up for it. You can't even trust them to keep you safe. 2 nights of rough seas throughout the night was unnerving because of the "incident" which is the word the crew used to describe the previous captain of the sky sailing into a horrible storm causing air lift evacuations. They had 3 ship accidents in 3 months 3/2019-6/2019. They are the worst cruise line in the industry. My recommendation is tauck. Tauck is world class cruising and the costs include everything so the same price. Don't risk your life or your vacation on viking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Just looked very nice from photos of which the decor was but the service was not at all great. The entertainment was really bad the shows were the same every night but with different costumes. Staff not at all friendly some actually rude. ... Read More
Just looked very nice from photos of which the decor was but the service was not at all great. The entertainment was really bad the shows were the same every night but with different costumes. Staff not at all friendly some actually rude. Staff in restaurant not at all friendly enough to hold a conversation or even get to know your name. Thought the food in restaurant was very simple no coffee or tea offered after dinner. Shuttle service from ship was well over priced in fact other shipping lines offer free shuttle services. The only thing going for MSc is you offer drinks packages of which help a great deal. The buffet on the 14th floor had the same food every single day not enough verity for our needs so if you did not like the menu for the day in the dinning rooms the buffet was even worse. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Embarked in Warnemunde, embarkation was fine. Went to the rooms, was room 10241,aft balcony. Large balcony however the engines shook so much, I couldn’t sleep half of the 10 nights. Then, the food. Half of it was inedible, the other ... Read More
Embarked in Warnemunde, embarkation was fine. Went to the rooms, was room 10241,aft balcony. Large balcony however the engines shook so much, I couldn’t sleep half of the 10 nights. Then, the food. Half of it was inedible, the other half was disgusting. I ate salad and salad the whole cruise. There was lack of diversity in food. No prepared sandwich, no omelet station, the burgers were stale, all the food was so gross, I was popping tums and zantac the whole time. The staff, came out with a roast beef that they couldn’t even cut into with a chef knife. Everyone on the ship was complaining on how hard it was, and then i found the same meat cut up in the dining room. NO one speaks English, no one helps, the shows are laughable and the rooms are tiny. We booked a excursion for handicap and they showed up 1 hour late. One of the ports they didn't put a ramp for wheelchair and it was impossible for handicaps. I would never go on this cruise line again. I cruised on here 8 years ago on a Caribbean itinerary and it was great. I don’t know what happened but it took a turn to the worse. Heed the warnings in this review, this cruise is for EURO traveler, unless you are VERY adventurous traveler and don’t care about customer focus. I have been on over 50 cruises this one ranks number #50 on worse. No sympathy or compassion towards their customer Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Although this was a beautiful ship the level of customer care was well below any other cruise we have been on, very few of the crew spoke and barged past as if you weren't there.When we were waiting to embark we waited fot 1 1/2 hrs ... Read More
Although this was a beautiful ship the level of customer care was well below any other cruise we have been on, very few of the crew spoke and barged past as if you weren't there.When we were waiting to embark we waited fot 1 1/2 hrs in the queue because there was only 1 desk open when we finally got on board we were faced with another queue to register a credit card why could it not have been done all at once as on other cruises. It costs nothing to be polite perhaps the people who train them need training also. The food in the buffet was very dryed out and tasteless because to much was put out before anyone could eat it. I had a hot chocolate snatched from my hand by the person in charge of the drinks station and told it wasn't aloud as it wasn't breakfast time. The casino was always very smokey and that carried up to the floor above not nice for non smokers.the wording in the brochure appeared to promise 2 days in Amsterdam our trip arrived there about 5 pm and we were picked back up at 7.45 the ship left the Dock at 6am definitely not 2 days. Every thing on board was at a charge the 3d cinema was a simulator 7 euros each for about 8 minutes all films on the TV were 7 euros each and the only TV programme in English was BBC World news and no music channel.The shows were very much of the same just using different costumes and the resident artists. Any information we were given at reception was usually wrong such as instruction on disembarking which deck and timings. Disembarking was made very difficult due to the steep angle of the gangplank. All in all we were very disappointed and we will not be cruising with them again. Non of the English people we spoke to on the cruise would travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Buyers beware. Confusing, misleading, or blatantly untrue statements when promoting a product... They advertise as Deluxe Travel. Not even close. There is really no way of knowing anything about the ship until you get there. - ... Read More
Buyers beware. Confusing, misleading, or blatantly untrue statements when promoting a product... They advertise as Deluxe Travel. Not even close. There is really no way of knowing anything about the ship until you get there. - This one is pretty bad ... Temperature in the room can not be controlled - it is ether cold or hot. Temperature control in the room does not work. Really were never comfortable. - Room was tiny. - Door to the bathroom did not close. - Shower tray over-floods and did not drain properly and water was on the floor. - No TV at all. - Internet service sporadic and only in some places of the ship. - The closet door was not working properly fell on my wife once. Islands in the Baltic Sea - Bornholm and Gotland are not particularly interesting - should have spent more time in Riga, Tallinn, and Helsinki. Crew was trying to do their best to serve the guests. The cruise director was actually pretty good. Vantage should try and contract with another ship. Tanya and Sergei Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Free upgrade to balcony is why booked ,The embarkation took 2 hours of Queuing ,which seemed to be the way the rest of the cruise went,que for shore excursions to get on and off boat, the excursions were late and ... Read More
Free upgrade to balcony is why booked ,The embarkation took 2 hours of Queuing ,which seemed to be the way the rest of the cruise went,que for shore excursions to get on and off boat, the excursions were late and disorganized.Entertainment was in 5 different languages as were the trips,75 percent of ship were German and it was catered more for them all bars singing in German .The food is not catered for the British and what was like carvery meat tough and inedible roast potatoes oily and undercover Yorkshire puddings were rock hard . Hot water in urns not hot so Luke warm tea.Food dried up and not hot just warm .Food in restaurant menu very limited and not to British taste mostly meat not enough veg .Not enough lifts and we were constantly squashed .Cabin had no sofa so no where to sit only on bed which was rock hard and uncomfortable ,holes in curtain and sheets carpet had catches in .No extras had to pay for everything . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Terrible Food, Entertainment, Activities, Staff. The food was the worst we have ever experienced on a cruise. Poor selections, seemed like the same food was being recycled every night. Lots of bread and pastas. No steak, Lobster ... Read More
Terrible Food, Entertainment, Activities, Staff. The food was the worst we have ever experienced on a cruise. Poor selections, seemed like the same food was being recycled every night. Lots of bread and pastas. No steak, Lobster or regional dishes. After dinner in the dining room we would go up to the buffet because we were still hungry. Usually took food back to room because the buffet was always packed and seating difficult to find due to crowding. Entertainment was boring, student level. No movies or art shows. TV in room didn't work, internet super slow. Shore excursions are expensive and many poorly planned. At one site the guide made us stand in the cold hale (not rain, frozen rain aka hale) for 35 minutes because his schedule said we had to visit that point of interest until 12 noon. He wouldn't let us return to the bus where it was warm. He was very young and wouldn't make changes or allowances for the weather. Photographers were desperate to take and sell photos.They were everywhere, everyday and night. Even in the dining room when you were trying to eat Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This beautiful ship with a great service crew FAILED TERRIBLY ON MULTIPLE LEVELS at sea during a storm we should never have been in. Prior to the mayday we noticed several things that we found “sloppy” or unusual for a top cruise ... Read More
This beautiful ship with a great service crew FAILED TERRIBLY ON MULTIPLE LEVELS at sea during a storm we should never have been in. Prior to the mayday we noticed several things that we found “sloppy” or unusual for a top cruise ship. The lights on the ship continually flickered and a huge banging sound continued for 30’hours prior to the engine failure. The crew was amazing, but handicap auto doors were not functioning, dining room doors slid open on their own during the storm and waves blew a door open to the dining room injuring multiple people. Prior to the engine and power failure, we noticed sloppy things that we have never seen on Disney, Cunard or Pinang - on the top level promenade stairs the crew had a makeshift and dangerously messy “fix” for slick stairs by using random carpet strips taped and towed to the stairs with twine. The makeshift stair pads were dangerous to step on and moved with every strep. Also, after refueling in Tromsø, we walked deck hours later and no one had bothered to take down the refueling signs and ropes blocking the promenade. There were also dangerous design issues in our three cabins - especially the heavy, finger-smashing closet doors that became uncontrollable during the storm, slamming to and forth with every move of the ship - eventually breaking from their track on the bottom. We were also told the ship did not have as many safety signs as other ships because management didn’t like the look of the signs. That being said, their lack of normal foresight to read the weather and reroute the ship, asking with their tragic mistake of having too little oil on the engines for high seas is unforgivable. We all love luxury, we all love great service, but we should hold cruise lines accountable for their critical decision making and putting the lives and safety of their passengers and crew first. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I choose this cruise only because it went to the Northern Lights in Norway. We didnt see them. It is a very rough ride across from London to Norway, that is ok, but the food was terrible. Only thing worth eating is in the specialty ... Read More
I choose this cruise only because it went to the Northern Lights in Norway. We didnt see them. It is a very rough ride across from London to Norway, that is ok, but the food was terrible. Only thing worth eating is in the specialty restaurants. The spa does not look anything like the pictures. I had to go back to the salon 3 times to finally get my nail color off, as their products were sub-par. As a result, I canceled any spa treatments. There were no clocks on the ship. I never knew what time it was. Fifty percent of our excursions were canceled. I am used to Luxury Cruises, so this was a big all around disappointment. They said they were a "prime" cruise, which we do not have a category for in USA, when i asked how this was a luxury cruise I do not see how they have such a high rating, i do however see that on some websites they are listed a "luxury".....they are NOT. Entertainment was an opera singer with sound too loud, not her fault. Cabin was an odd shape, too much dining and living room, not enough closet. I used the living room as part of my closet. My stewardess was excellent. The best thing about this cruise was dogsledding i give that a 5, but will never go again on Viking Cruises. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Where do I start, I decided to go on this cruise as I had never cruised with C&M before and thought I would give them a try. I am going to try and keep my review as short as possible with bullet points 1) Entertainment was either ... Read More
Where do I start, I decided to go on this cruise as I had never cruised with C&M before and thought I would give them a try. I am going to try and keep my review as short as possible with bullet points 1) Entertainment was either none existent or very poor with things like creative writing with Sanjay or Knit and natter, or book folding and to top it all balloon shaping as I said stuff you would do in an old folks home.I;m not knocking old people as I'm nearly 69 myself, but I ain;t dead yet. and the show team was one of the worst I have ever seen and I have been cruising for 21 years 2) The food in the buffet resturant plantations was not much better than average 3) I have never been on a ship where you can;t get anything to eat after 9pm because everywhere is closed 4) There was a big screen on the sun deck which wasn't used once, there was never any music being played to create an atmosphere, it was the most boring of cruises. 5) The Taverners pub and I use the term pub loosely was showing the same classical guitarist for the whole 15 nights. Now you show me a pub that has a classical guitarist playing for 15 nights and under normal circumstances, I will show you an empty pub I could go on and on but I won't. All I can say is if you like to be entertained and enjoy good food whenever you wan;t to eat then avoid C&M like the plague, they and their cruise director Ian are clueless. Needless to say, I won't be cruising with them again Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Choose this cruise as we have sailed with lots of other cruise liners. Thought we would try MSc. Bad mistake.! Beautiful ship. Poor cold food. Cheese on most foods. Two of our guests are cheese intolerance. Staff were not interested ... Read More
Choose this cruise as we have sailed with lots of other cruise liners. Thought we would try MSc. Bad mistake.! Beautiful ship. Poor cold food. Cheese on most foods. Two of our guests are cheese intolerance. Staff were not interested when you asked them for anything. They just said over there, And pointed .if you asked them for anything they went away, and didn't return. We were not the only people to complain one lady who spoke in another language but we understood what she was saying no food for baby .! Says it all really. In the restaurant entertainment Staff were seen not using the hand sanitizer. Twelve staff entered in only two used sanitizer. Spreading germs in the restaurant. This is a beautiful ship. But let down by the restaurant staffing. It was apparent that the staff were not happy. Nor were the passengers. I have never saw or witness such poor unhappy staff in all the ships we as a family we have travelled with. We were travelling with a person who has disabilities. Staff even didn't help when she was struggling. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise any easy choice due to three wonderful previously with NCL (but shown on documents as 'New Guests?) and a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity to visit the Baltic region despite the cruise cost and airfare from ... Read More
This cruise any easy choice due to three wonderful previously with NCL (but shown on documents as 'New Guests?) and a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity to visit the Baltic region despite the cruise cost and airfare from Australia. However, if it had been our first, would certainly be our last as worst ever of many others. Only advised on check-in that would not be docking at Warnemunde rendering non-refundable a payment of A$322 on pre-booked Berlin tour as less than 24 hours notice. Others apparently received notice 2 days prior? I am aware that NCL tours were refunded but unlike previous cruises, their charges are now ridiculously excessive and only seem to target naïve 'first timers'. After a wasted extra day in Copenhagen, with no shuttles offered, arrived in Tallin and ominously, scheduled departure failed to eventuate before announcement that would be staying extra day with Helsinki & Stockholm cancelled, again citing weather conditions. Can understand losing one due to delay but both made no sense while ferries to Helsinki continued uninterrupted. Later claimed by the Captain that "Channel not deep enough for the ship" - please spare me such rubbish! Again, no shuttles were offered and the extra cost of the balcony proved to be a complete waste of money with the same view for seemingly endless hours in ports. Disembarkation at St.Petersburg was utter shambles for passengers with private tours (at least a theatre full), many seniors treated appallingly, shouted at disrespectfully by staff and herded to stand in corridors prior to entering the theatre to await release. Their system of A,B & C for priority was non-existent with cabin neighbors in C leaving far ahead of us in A. Return to Copenhagen, at half speed to ensure a not too early arrival, was extremely frustrating as we sailed within sight of both Helsinki & Stockholm in perfect weather. Regardless of the weather influence, the contrast with previous NCL cruises could not have been more extreme with decline in services provided including the following:- Dining:Lengthy delays between table allocation and service plus between courses. 40 minutes at breakfast before serving a simple apple juice is unacceptable as are wrong meals served at various times. Any complaints were met with indifference. From first day, items listed on unchanged menus were not available! My wife and I enjoy shared tables as you usually get to meet many other like minded passengers where interesting conversations result. However, on the first night when we indicated we didn't mind sharing we were told "That's unusual" (no its not) and most nights were shown to our own table?? Entertainment: Poorest 'Showtimes' ever experienced with performances repeated during the cruise. No intention of paying extra for other shows that have viewed elsewhere at no charge. Cruise director & Assistant: If they are amongst the best available, then standards have lowered even more. I would have thought understandable English a priority. Ship design: From 'Customer Service' with endless queues located next to a noisy Atrium with poorly designed seating layout, chairs spread seemingly at random, to drab decor in dining rooms and excessive casino area, nothing inspires to return to this ship in particular. It was claimed at Q&A with the Captain that all decisions on altered itinerary and lack of compensatory planning were as instructed by H.O. so I therefore enquired with them as to what compensation I would receive, noting that NCL's reputation was at risk in Australia and worldwide. I have held off submitting my review until I received a reply and no prizes for guessing it consisted of standard Corporate reply of "Apologies but no refund and look forward to welcoming you back on board". In their dreams!! Read Less

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