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1,981 Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews

Started in Copenhagen lovely city but expensive This was my first ever cruise so don’t have much to compare it with the ship was big and felt very crowded, probably because most people were inside the weather was fine but cool. My ... Read More
Started in Copenhagen lovely city but expensive This was my first ever cruise so don’t have much to compare it with the ship was big and felt very crowded, probably because most people were inside the weather was fine but cool. My cabin 9158 was nice small balcony with a lovely view the bathroom was good clean with a good shower the twice daily service was good and the cabin steward helpful. Food in the restaurant was good and I never had trouble getting a seat service was good. I did not like the buffet it always felt crowded. I only went to a couple of shows they were ok nothing to rave about. The best thing we’re the ports which is why I had chosen this cruise they were great St Petersburg being the high light for me I did a two day tour using Alla tours they were Considerably cheaper than the ones offered by NCL and only 16 people enabling us to see more and get about easily . I was a solo traveler but did not feel uncomfortable there was always someone to talk to and people to have dinner with if I wanted and a table available for just me when I preferred to be alone. I booked this cruise very last minute and got a very good rate overall very pleased I would certainly book again if I was able to get such a good deal. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because it went to the Baltic. NCL is not different than carnival. The buffett is better on NCL but the dining room is better on Carnival. I was expecting NCL to wow me and it did not! Getting on was a breeze we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went to the Baltic. NCL is not different than carnival. The buffett is better on NCL but the dining room is better on Carnival. I was expecting NCL to wow me and it did not! Getting on was a breeze we weren't supposed to board till noon and we were on by noon. Getting off was really easy we put our luggage out the night before and it was ready by 7:30am to pick up. Never saw room steward and I don't like that I like to see them at least once on our trip. We like to tip them the 1st day an then several days also. We had the dining package Moderno was awful! If you get a chance go to Cagney's it is the best! It will not disappoint you at all. Le Bristo was ok nothing special at all. Have a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose the MSC Poesia as the Itinerary and price influenced us. Copenhagen to Genoa in September 2019. Aurea Balcony Suite, inclusive Drinks Package,(the old one as we booked before the new drinks package took over) We arrived at ... Read More
We chose the MSC Poesia as the Itinerary and price influenced us. Copenhagen to Genoa in September 2019. Aurea Balcony Suite, inclusive Drinks Package,(the old one as we booked before the new drinks package took over) We arrived at Copenhagen Terminal at 10.30am, they said we could board at 11.30am and a large Group of tourists decided to rush first, not lining up correctly, it was very chaotic, this was sorted out swiftly by the Crew. We boarded and even though our rooms weren't ready till 1.30pm, that didn't stop us exploring the lovely and elegant MSC Poesia and grabbing a bite to eat and drink. The ship is over 11 years old, but you would not know this, as it is kept in pristine condition. (and I have cruised with ships only 5-6 years old and they have had a beating!) Our room was always clean and spotless, cleaned twice daily. Lovely balcony, one floor down to access the Spa and pool deck. The ship is ultra clean, crew spending their days polishing everything and hosing all the pool area down daily. I found all the crew friendly and chatty. With regards to the language barrier and despite other reviews, I understand that as an Australian, English would be the last language spoken, as MSC being an Italian cruise liner, and there were many nationalities on board, Italian, Russian, French, German and Chinese. Not once did I find the language barrier a problem, in fact I praise the crew, most of them could speak three or four languages! We had My time Dining, never an issue granting four of us a table each night, waiting time probably no longer than 5 minutes. I found the food to be exceptional, I have cruised 10 times , RCI, Celebrity, P&O, Princess, NCL and Carnival and the food served was on a par with all cruise ships. All the waiters were extremely friendly and polite, never anything a bother, even when we ordered two or three entrees, mains or desert. The buffet was huge, we ate there for breakfast and lunch. It wrapped around the whole back of the ship and the food was plentiful, enough for anyone to find something to eat every day, vegans, Gluten free etc., Late night snacks, bread, meats, cheeses, cakes and pizza from 11.00pm to 12.00pm, despite another review on here, I found the Pizza to be very edible, dont forget its an Italian ship, so not many toppings! There are 7 Lounge bars and you could always find a nice quiet spot to have a drink. The only downside was the entertainment, night time shows (2) and they were okay, we went to most of them. No day time shows or entertainment. The singers in the lounge were a bit of a let down as well. They need to address this. As the weather wasn't perfect, no outdoor entertainment or activities. Only one Flower 60's70's night and that was the 2nd last night on board. No Italian night, or white night as expected. We did 4 shore excursions with MSC Rotterdam - we chose to do the night time canal tour in Amsterdam, This was such a great experience, going down the canal by boat and seeing all the famous houses etc., free wine and soft drinks and a small antipasto platter to eat. We then had 2 hours to explore by ourselves. Vigo, Spain - was a bit of a let down, the UNESCO Church was under re construction, they should have explained this to us, we could not see much, 1.50 hours travel in a bus, 1/2 hour in the Church, 30 minutes to explore and then back on the bus to the ship, for the price we paid, I was disappointed, it was expensive . Lisbon, Portugal, - what a great excursion with our tour guide Maria, Tram ride through the town, over an hour, custard tarts and port wine for brekky, and then 2 hours for site seeing, including stops to see Palaces, Castles, etc., all the best parts of Lisbon. This was inexpensive and a great way to see Lisbon! Cadiz - Spain, we chose to go to Seville to see the UNESCO Palace, 2 hours in a bus, should have explained that to us, (brochure said, short drive), but it was worth the drive, the Palace was lovely, the exhibition place was as well, then a lovely lunch included at a near by restaurant, with unlimited wine! All other ports, we explored ourselves, Warnemunde, Rotterdam, during the day, just cross the bridge, lots to see, Cartagena, wow, what a fantastic little port, duty and tax free haven, checked out the castles, roman ruins the amphitheatre first, then went on a shopping trip. Overall, despite the weather as it was not favorable for 6 days, it was a fantastic cruise and I would travel with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Only supposed to be 1 night at sea but due to weather we had 2 consecutive days and could not go outside. Ship could not visit Gdańsk. Been with Viking river cruises before And delighted with professionalism of the staff. Visited ... Read More
Only supposed to be 1 night at sea but due to weather we had 2 consecutive days and could not go outside. Ship could not visit Gdańsk. Been with Viking river cruises before And delighted with professionalism of the staff. Visited places we wanted Togo Outstanding staff and food with a variety of restaurants to choose from. Our favourite was the world cafe. No rigid seating in any restaurant and plenty of tables for two.the drinks flowed at dinner and lunch too. Beautiful floating palaces. The evening entertainment was of a high standard and varied.matthew singing during the evening in the explorer lounge was excellent too. The enhancement programme was rather high brow for our tastes, however. Excursions were well arranged with no queuing to get on and off. Included excursions were orientation tours of each city. There was a large variety of additional excursions but we considered these expensive and only did ones in St Petersburg. Viking is an outstanding company but you do need to be aware that customers are predominantly Americans. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The cruise was nice, but it fell a little short of my expectations. Most all of the staff was very friendly, but being in the explorer suite we expected a little more of a personable experience like we have received on other cruise lines. ... Read More
The cruise was nice, but it fell a little short of my expectations. Most all of the staff was very friendly, but being in the explorer suite we expected a little more of a personable experience like we have received on other cruise lines. Our suite had several mechanical issues (we got locked out of our room twice, tv was serviced three times but still did not work properly, outside door hatch was not latched properly and banged open and closed all night, toilets didn’t work one morning). It would be nice to have a butler service like other cruise lines, and a direct phone number to that person if they are needed. The entertainment most evenings was only at 9:15 pm. We are accustomed to having the option of an early or a late show. We were not interested in waiting until late evening to see a show. A 6:30 and 9:15 would be a much better option. Not everyone wants to stay up that late. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this 14 night cruise because of the itinerary and the experience of a new ship. The ship is beautiful but probably a bit too big for us as there was some very noisy areas due to the number of passengers onboard.The ports were ... Read More
We chose this 14 night cruise because of the itinerary and the experience of a new ship. The ship is beautiful but probably a bit too big for us as there was some very noisy areas due to the number of passengers onboard.The ports were fantastic especially the fjords. The dining room we were assigned to (The Panorama restaurant ) was fantastic as were the staff. So Attentive and friendly and our glass of wine was always filled without having to get anyone's attention.. Food in the dining room was probably some of the best cruise food we have had actually. We enjoyed everything. The buffett was far too noisy and crowded but the food seemed to be good with plenty of variety. We don't do buffets but a couple of early excursion days we had too. A TIP. Take some zip lock bags and make up some rolls and some pastries from the buffett to take on your port days it saved a lot of money off the ship. If you eat always in the buffets and dont try the complimentary dining rooms and you complain about food and service then that is your own fault as it is an entirely different experience and our dining room experience was fantastic. I'm not usually a fan of set tables, set dining times and set dining rooms but it actually worked out really good for us as during our 2 weeks we had some really great company and looked forward to seeing them each night at the same table. We also had the option of breakfast and lunch at the panorama restaurant. which was fantastic also. Why anyone prefers walking around buffets with a plate in their hand as opposed to being waited on with a nice table setting , cutlery, glasses (not plastic cups) and a menu is beyond me. Kids I understand. Our inside cabin was very very roomy and always clean. Except for 2 days I had to ask for it too be made up. We had been forgotten. We actually found very little storage space in the very very large inside cabin. I actually had to work out of my suitcase a bit during the 2 weeks. Maybe a 2 seater sofa with draws at the bottom would be a good addition to the very large empty floor space or even another cupboard. 2 people could actually lay down and do yoga on the floor. I did actually have a lot of trouble sleeping at night but that was really down to rude passengers slamming cabin doors, yelling and laughing as they passed through the corridors. Why aren't people more thoughtful we were always very mindful that others could possibly be sleeping. Lack of manners I guess. Some were even very rude and wouldn't let you out of the lift before getting in themselves. Service at the bars was good but a lot of passengers so what can you expect if you have to wait. ANOTHER TIP. the indoor pools and jacuzzis are always empty on port days so best time for a dip in peace. As for the shows they were ok, but we gave up after the 2nd time as people seemed to keep coming in through out the whole performance and walk in front of you or get you to stand up so they can get past you. Try being on time so everyone can enjoy the shows without disruption. We do. We had an easy drink package with drinks valued up to 6 euro. dont go over as you are charged for the whole drink not just the differance. We were actually quite happy with our package as there were 6 different kinds of wine to choose from mostly Italian house wines (nothing wrong with italian house wine, great in fact) 2 sparkling, 2 whites a rose and a red.. only 1 beer type though. 4 spirit types which you could mix with tonic, sodas etc. bottled water. juices, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and even cappuccino. ANOTHER GOOD TIP order the non alcoholic cocktails and a spirit on the side and mix them together. My Coco loco zero with a side of rum added turned out to be a nice coco loco cocktail. Alcoholic cocktails were not included in our package. but i still managed to get my fix without paying extra. I do have a few of complaints though. 1.I had to fight to get a box of tissues for the cabin they apparently don't provide these any more. 2.And you could not order an iron and ironing board for an hour or so and a lot of my clothes were wrinkly after such long flights so i didn't get to wear everything and had to recycle and there is only a small clothes line in the shower. I take a mini clothes circle with pegs attached. Laundry prices were outrageous even for just a garment pressed. 3. The speciality dining package is very inflexible as you can't pick the restaurants you want to attend only the ones they pick for you. 4. The easy drink package could not be used in the speciality dining you would of had to upgrade your drink package by 10 euros per person per night. So because of these 2 things we did not eat speciality dining. But I don't think we missed anything as the food in the dining room was great and our easy package was adequate. 5. I also think as on other ships someone on the food areas monitoring hand sanitation would be a good idea. Not everybody is hygenic. Overall we enjoyed our cruise, food was great, staff friendly and the ports were good. A cruise is what you make of it. So don't sweat the little things too much and focus on the great. And there is plenty of that on the ship if you look for it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The ship is old, so you do need to overlook the wear and tear, but the smaller size is nice. First the bad-- 1) Embarkation was the biggest mess I have ever seen-- all the tour buses came at the same time, there was no plan and we ... Read More
The ship is old, so you do need to overlook the wear and tear, but the smaller size is nice. First the bad-- 1) Embarkation was the biggest mess I have ever seen-- all the tour buses came at the same time, there was no plan and we stood outside in the cold for several hours A HUGE mess. Started the trip on a bad note. 2) The food is so-so, watery eggs in the morning, dried out hamburger buns, and a limited selection of dinner entrees. I expected more and better 3) The staff must be under a lot of pressure to get very high marks on the satisfaction survey as we had staff begging us to give an excellent score. 4) Stateroom walls are very thin, we could hear every conversation our neighbors were having 5) If you do not use the phone app you will be lost, as many staff do not answer questions and direct you to the app. The Good: 1) The entertainment is outstanding-- the best I have ever seen on a cruise 2) The staff works well with the passengers regarding character opportunities and photos 3) For the most part the staff went out of their way to meet our needs ( which were few) 4) Unlimited soft drinks on deck 9 were great. 5) Nice variety of activities 6) Shore excursions were organized and well executed, escorting guests to the buses helped in many ways. Would I do a Disney Cruise again, probably but I would check to make sure the entertainment had been updated and was fresh. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Truly enjoyed seeing the Fjords of Norway and starting/ending at Amsterdam. I needed time connecting with nature and this cruise provided many opportunities to do that. 95% of staff was awesome, and I think that is all one can reasonably ... Read More
Truly enjoyed seeing the Fjords of Norway and starting/ending at Amsterdam. I needed time connecting with nature and this cruise provided many opportunities to do that. 95% of staff was awesome, and I think that is all one can reasonably ask because there is no such thing as perfection. Beautuful ship; love the art theme. Musical and dance entertainment was outstanding. I am in awe of the Lincoln Center stage performers and the amazing creativity of the dance performances. Many fun nights dancing ourselves at BB King venue and what talent in the dual piano bar, being able to play such a huge repertoire upon request, no time to practice ahead. We fell in love with the Dutch Cafe and their amazing hard working staff and yummy food offerings. Nearly all the food we had was wonderful. Most service in the dining room was great, but when one chooses open seating over a set time, as we did for this cruise, its never going to be as good as when you have the same waiters every night and develop a relationship with them, so I attribute the couple nights it wasn't great to that. My only complaint about food is the gigantic trays used for room service. They will barely fit through the door and are heavy and take up massive space in an already cramped cabin. They need to have two sizes. The big ones for multiple meals and half size for small orders. I felt sorry for the room service staff, and us, when we had to manever them. We did not use the Holland America shore excursions due to their price so my average rating on that is just because there is no "not applicable" button. Was disappointed that nearly all the guided excercise activities cost extra. Never have experienced that before on the cruises I have done with Celebrity, Carnival & Royal Carribean. I will do pilates because its good for me, but I'm not paying $20 to put myself through that misery. :) No worries; I got my excercise hiking in the Norwegian countryside and dancing to the BB King All Stars. So all in all a great cruise and Holland America did a nice job. If I'm ever traveling with two or three friends again, I will choose a different cruise line if at all possible due to their cabin design. However if I had been sharing a room with just one other person I would have given this cruise five stars! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because of the stop at St. Petersburg. We also booked a two day excursion through Princess and were very satisfied with the experience. The start at Copenhagen and later a stop at Tallin and Warnemunde/Rostok (we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the stop at St. Petersburg. We also booked a two day excursion through Princess and were very satisfied with the experience. The start at Copenhagen and later a stop at Tallin and Warnemunde/Rostok (we didn't go to Berlin) were new to us. The other countries, Sweden, Norway and Finland we had visited before but enjoyed going back again. We have traveled Princess for 6 trips all over the world and they are a good solid cruise line. The overall experience on the Regal was good if you subtract the introduction of the Medallion program. No matter what you read, this program is in it's infancy and very buggy. In our opinion, of course. The problem is that the marketing department touts all that the program can do but when you as a passenger are trying to use the various apps - it can be extremely frustrating. Why? because other than getting you into your room and on and off the ship it only works as advertised 50% of the time (at best). We and our 7 companions on this cruise all ran into similar problems. If you are not technologically sophisticated, forget it, as it stands, the Medallion program will drive you nuts. OK enough on that topic. The staff on Princess are top notch! And this cruise is no exception - from our cabin attendant to the dinning room staff to bartenders, etc. all make you fell pampered and appreciated. Even staff that have no direct relationship to you make a point of saying hello. Entertainers were great and every evening we had something to do that was fun. Food - this is a bit dicey because my wife and I don't eat meat, chicken, turkey, etc. We do eat seafood, some eggs and cheese. So my comments are based on our experience as semi-vegetarians. In general the vegetarian options in the dinning rooms are carb heavy and very light on acceptable protein. So if you are like us, plan on spending time at the Horizon Court where you have a wide selection of excellent vegetarian friendly choices. In closing you can't go wrong with Princess but at this point we suggest going in with no expectations for the "Medalion" program and be pleasantly surprised if things have improved by the time you sail. We have another trip booked in the Mediterranean in 2020 so we'll report back then. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is our fifth cruise. In general we are very satisfied with the cruising experience. We’ve done NCL, Princess Cruise and Celebrity before. MSC is definitely different from the “American” lines. The check in was straight ... Read More
This is our fifth cruise. In general we are very satisfied with the cruising experience. We’ve done NCL, Princess Cruise and Celebrity before. MSC is definitely different from the “American” lines. The check in was straight forward. No major problems. To get in and out of the ship, the staff scans your sea pass card at a machine and authorize. Quite simple. They say kind people are the best kind of people. And we couldn’t agree more. The staff on Meraviglia was one of the best we’ve ever come across. Always smiling, always warm, always happy (and eager) to help. From the moment we got down at Kiel station, to the moment we got back there – every member of the staff went out of the way to help us. What we found unique on this ship was the main staffs spoke 6 major languages – French, Italian, English, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese. The first night, the food was acceptable to very good comparing to other cruises that we have taken before. The staffs were warm, quite quick with service. The dining room is all on one level 5 and the cafeteria Market Place is located on 14 th floor. The first show as the world of hand was a magician who made animal shapes with his hands, he was very good. Since this is a European ship and the smoke is allowed in some places dedicated in the ship as the bar and casino. The activities were quite expensive as €35 for a F1 simulation car for 30 minutes, €25 for 4 people for 10 pin bowling for 30 minutes, €9 for flight simulation. Cirque du soleil was also on the ship, tickets varied from €15 with a drink and €45 with a dinner. Our cabin had the balcony. We therefore were so enjoyed watching the sea as the ship was moving. The Market Place/cafeteria was a mesh for finding tables. We had to share with strangers as no table available for us sometime. Our cruise plan also included dinner at the Olivo D’Oro restaurant every night, table 733 near the veranda, where we could peacefully sit around a table, and enjoy a dining experience while having conversations with friends and watching the wave as the ship moving. However we found unreasonable as the soft drink including water were charged to the room when we were in the restaurants. It was free in the Market Place/cafeteria. We saw our room attendant twice every day. Room was left in excellent condition. The shopping offers were reasonable enough with cocktail offerings. The price of the excursions were quite high due the high cost of living in Norway comparing to the North American one. As mentioned before this is our fifth cruise and we came back with a fond memory and grateful. Thank MSC Meraviglia for providing us with memories of a lifetime! Two families Nguyen from Montreal and Toronto September 2019 Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise mostly because we wanted to go and have a taste o Russia without having to get a visa. This itinerary was perfect for it and I'm glad we did it. We were traveling with another couple, and we had a great time. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise mostly because we wanted to go and have a taste o Russia without having to get a visa. This itinerary was perfect for it and I'm glad we did it. We were traveling with another couple, and we had a great time. The ship was very nice and clean with lots of different restaurants and entertainment. The food was delicious and fresh too. I was glad to see so many elevatos they have making it easy to move around such a big boat. They were so organized with the embarkation and disembarkation it went fast with no troubles at all. Some excurtions could be a bit more organized, like better microphones on the busses so we could understand the tour guide a bit better, also offering earpieces in all of them would be great too because it is hard to hear everything the guide was saying. Standardizing the tours would be excellent! I'm glad the tours in Russia were the best ones. The shows on the boat were excellent, top performers. I had no idea they were going to be so good! Our cabin was nice not luxurious but with everything we needed to be very comfortable. Everything in the cabin was in perfect working condition. The housekeeping crew was top top notch. they were always smiling and so helpful making me feel welcomed. The rest of the service on the boat I would say it was more average. I would not recommend this itinerary for small children. I know they only had a few in the boat. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I don't know if NCL has a staff that actually read these review but if they do, I have some suggestions that may or may not be supported by other passengers. Everyone's experience is different on a ship and everyone has different ... Read More
I don't know if NCL has a staff that actually read these review but if they do, I have some suggestions that may or may not be supported by other passengers. Everyone's experience is different on a ship and everyone has different tastes and interests so read reviews objectively. The Good: Embarkation and disembarkation. 15 minutes to first embark and 10 minutes to disembark and find luggage. The best I've experienced in 9 cruises. Movement and flow on the ship. Never felt crowded No up-selling for spa packages except on paper. I will address the paper issue later. Clearly marked signs even though everyone gets lost. Buffet set up is linear and that is good for flow. Most ships have a chaotic set up, people darting all over the place. This one was consistent and you knew where to go for all items. Food in buffet good to very good. Beverage service a little slow. Specialty dining excellent. Entertainment great and a variety of venues. Reservations confused some into thinking there was a charge. Ample washroom facilities. Customer service guest services very good. Cabin (inside) ample room and efficient storage. Light in the closet would be awesome. House wines offered were good. Lots of space and chairs on deck. (Don't know if this is true in the hotter destinations) I like the reservations for the entertainment. Saves you from rushing from dinner to line up for shows. I like the NCL phone App. I like the smaller included restaurants Taste and Savor, as it gives people who do not have a dining package the feeling of specialty dining even though the menus are the same. I like the touch screens around the ship for reservations. I never felt pressured to get my photos taken. Does anyone like the photography on board? The not so good Atrium is noisy and has little seating. Chaos from guest service line ups interfere with activities in the Atrium. Shopping-pathetic, and I can shop anywhere. The art auction and art. Who buys this stuff? Television- A Canadian channel would be nice. Lots of us cruise the Caribbean well as the Baltics. Temperature of food was inconsistent. Cold steaks and fries are never good. Invisible Captain- never saw him once. Okay,saw his picture. OMG! The Muster station drill.I wanted to jump off the ship. Took over 90 minutes, and one crew sent us to the opposite end of the ship. Good thing it was not sinking. Celebrity does it best. A lot of wasted space. Why not put activities in the Headliner room or Illusionarium as well as Atrium? I'll get to that in suggestions section. Wasted paper for advertising every night on your bed. To dress code or not to dress code? That is the question. People don't make an effort anymore and the dress code sign just annoys the people who have made an effort. Why I dressed up to eat next to flip flop muscle shirt guy, I'll never know. And how did he get the better table? The Suggestions for Norwegian Captain should make an effort to be more visible. Not just at parties for the higher level passengers. Better planned emergency days at sea. Open up more areas so that the Atrium is not purgatory at sea for both crew and passengers. Complimentary sparkling wine that I can't fit in the mini fridge makes no sense. As a returning passenger just let me choose between a bottle of red/white/rosé or beer. Make sure that all included restaurants have the same quality and are managed the same. Savor is managed much better than Taste or the staff is better trained. Food is cold in Taste, warm to hot in Savor. In the Buffet, Celebrity has a card system that shows the wait staff if a passenger has been served or not. There is a slot where the napkins and condiments are kept. Green means I need service, Red means I don't. The days events should be on the television in cabin and not just around the ship. That way I don't need the paper in my room. Why does the photo gallery print all the pictures? Why can't I just view them in my cabin and them decide what I want to purchase? All those printed pictures that people do not buy, where do they go? We have digital cameras now. Also, anyone can steal the photos from another binder and who gets charged? Get rid of photo studio and put more seating are better shopping in. Cruise ships should do more charity promotion. Make some the proceeds from my bingo card go to ocean protection or a charity that everyone would be fine with. I would probably play. Let me know that 1% of the overly priced Internet package was going to a charity in the various ports of call. I would be okay with that. Okay, the OMG Muster station drill. Most of the muster stations have televisions or screens. Celebrity shows the videos simultaneously on the various screens in the muster station with subtitles in three different languages. No televisions? Okay then go old school and say it in three languages. One Princess ship actually took us to our spot on deck so we could see our lifeboats and did the talk over the speaker in three languages.They lined us up as if we were going to board the lifeboats. This made it seem much more real. It started 10 minutes late. Does that make sense. Will a sinking ship wait ten minutes for people? If you're late, you get go to another presentation at an inconvenient time or fine the room. This is a safety issue. Be more helpful to people who have lost their luggage. This has happened to me in the past. The poor people from a flight from Chicago lost their luggage due to a baggage handler strike in Copenhagen. I don't think they ever saw their luggage until the return to Copenhagen. Norwegian offered nothing. Princess offered us a credit for the clothing shop and a tuxedo rental for the week for my husband, and a toiletries bag. On emergency sea days, up the staff to help with issues by opening up other areas of the ship. Put another guest services in the theatre or Bliss lounge. I hope this was helpful rather than just me ranting awake at 3 am because I am still on Baltic time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The itinerary and time of year are main reasons we chose this cruise and it did not disappoint. The crew and staff all so kind, helpful and humorous and most importantly skilful whatever their role. Special thanks to Willy and his team ... Read More
The itinerary and time of year are main reasons we chose this cruise and it did not disappoint. The crew and staff all so kind, helpful and humorous and most importantly skilful whatever their role. Special thanks to Willy and his team who kept our spacious room so tidy and clean and yes the monkey towel sculpture hanging from a mirror did make us jump. We enjoyed our meals in Latitude 53 and the Market Place for snacks. The Italian restaurant Vista came highly recommended by other guests but we only had the chance to visit once as so popular. Embarkation and security checks took a while but disembarkation was straightforward. The only disappointment was slight problems with most of our trips but they did not spoil the enjoyment of the trip...for us but did for some . Plenty going on throughout the ship and we especially enjoyed the evening shows but they did come over as very loud and the music was all very much the same whatever show they were performing but nevertheless, some very talented musicians and dancers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary which was very good.We travelled to Southampton with Inter cruises who were very professional with no problems,but on arriving we had to queue to receive the luggage tags then again to get port side ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary which was very good.We travelled to Southampton with Inter cruises who were very professional with no problems,but on arriving we had to queue to receive the luggage tags then again to get port side with only one desk open even the ladies on the desk were complaining then again to get checked in where there was a "technical" problem with the computers-it took over 2 hours to get on board and it's the last thing you need when you've been travelling for 5 hours. We liked the ship with lots of space it was bright and clean.I booked our cabin 8004 as it looked bigger and we weren't disappointed it was huge.With Steward Prasetyo and team we were well looked after and nothing was too much trouble and surprised us with amazing towel sculptures. We had breakfast and lunch in the buffet and there was a good selection to please everyone,evening meal was in the main dining room and the meals were well cooked and beautifully presented again we were well looked after by Noel,Freddie and Vladlena? "The A Team" Entertainment was varied with something for everyone and we enjoyed going to the cinema a few times as well. Our favourite place for a drink was the Lounge after the show -a special mention for Alice who was a star. All the staff we encountered greeted you with a smile and they're all a credit to the company.We enjoyed daily announcements by Captain Peter -he's certainly got a sense of humour especially when explaining that we'd just got through a severe storm but now it 's just a storm-we were on deck 8 and the waves were hitting our window!! We enjoyed all the ports of call on this trip but again we were plagued with the dreaded queuing getting off and back on the ship Disembarkation was a breeze thank goodness very well organised We will certainly cruise with Marella again if the ports of call are what we want. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
While we still like Oceania there were a number of areas that fell short of our expectations on this past cruise. Food – Over all we found the food on this trip was not as good as our prior two trips on Marina and Riviera. The ... Read More
While we still like Oceania there were a number of areas that fell short of our expectations on this past cruise. Food – Over all we found the food on this trip was not as good as our prior two trips on Marina and Riviera. The Bouillabaisse in Jacques was not good at all.. No mussels, no clams, no fennel (I don’t think) and no broth. It was pasty, more like a sauce that I would expect in a cioppino. They later brought a sole that was very good, and my wife ate some as well as she didn’t care much for her Lobster (sort of an au gratin in the tail shell) definitely prepared, frozen and reheated. Also the “steamed“ lobster in one of the other restaurants was poor. Also appeared reheated. I should have thought (they don’t have fresh lobster on board) so don’t order. However, I should not have to think though how they provision food. I am kind of a do it right or don't do it type guy. Caesar salad at Jacques – Really very disappointing. They should skip the table side preparation and have someone in kitchen that knows how to make Caesar. What a waste of arm waving. The oil and vinegar cart is a wasted effort as well. Why go through all the trouble of selecting oils and vinegars only to use it on a poor excuse for bread. I couldn’t find decent bread so basically didn’t use it. We were spoiled by three days in Copenhagen before the cruise where breads were unbelievable. Why can’t Oceania provide one or two good breads. Oh and skip the logo on the bun. Sole in Pollo grill was very good as it was in Jacques – that is as good as the Sea Bass in Red Ginger in my opinion. If you like fish get the Sole. Second time I had mine whole (not deboned) which was even better. The buffet is almost always great. The prime rib I had there one night was the best in my memory. Thought the German dinner fell short as did others. Sauerkraut tasted like warmed up canned sauerkraut (why bother) and the German potato salad was very weak. The sausages were OK and the pork hock was dry (best to cook with the kraut). Many of the pork dishes were dry and I couldn’t eat them. I cook a lot of pork and it need not be dry. The should skip the German dinner or improve it. Coffee in buffet was not good. Very disappointing. We drink a lot of coffee and appreciate good coffee. This was not good. Weak but bitter. Don’t recall having problem with the coffee in the past. Did they go to lower cost bean? I thought the evening selections in buffet were better on our past two trips and we ate there every night except for our specialty nights which is typical. The main dining room is nothing special unless you simply want someone to bring food to you. Housekeeping – housekeeping was hit and miss. The veranda door was unlocked a couple times after they organized the deck furniture. One time they left no floor mat in bathroom. Only one bar of soap to be used for sink, shower and tub (really?). I had to keep asking for coke which is very unlike all other cruise experiences. Normally they figure it out. There were dirty coffee cups and half full dirty glasses (like maybe we wanted to drink something from yesterday?) Music – We like to dance and there were a number of other couples who also like ballroom dancing. The music of the showband was too long for dancing (maybe 6 to 8 minutes) and much of their music was not danceable (very slow or very fast tempo). Although we were there every night for 2 hours or more, we danced much less than past Oceania cruises. The other band didn’t even seem to know what ballroom was but at least their pieces were a little shorter and if you asked them to play something, they would but not always in appropriate tempo. Past cruises the bands seem to catch on to what we like within a couple days and played great music the rest of the cruise. This time it was challenging. Waite Staff – It seemed there was a different staff in the lounge every night and we were there from 5:00 to 7:30 pretty much every night. In the past within days staff knew us and knew what we wanted and took care of us. Cunard cruise a couple months ago they also knew who we were and the same servers were there and came to our table as we walked in. Very noticeable difference. On Marina this time it seemed very disorganized. There was also a lot of pitching of special wine and vodka and caviar sessions from the servers. Don’t recall that in the past. Felt we were being pressured to “sign up” for this or that. Lectures by Phil Smart – The ones we were able to attend were fantastic. So informative about things that are not in the main-stream news. Good job. We would book almost any cruise just to listen to him. Summary – The itinerary was great and fellow passengers were great but the ship experience has us thinking of giving other lines a try which we weren’t sure we would do. We really do like the size of the Marina and Riviera but right now we feel as though we are not getting what we are paying for. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have been on Oceania twice prior and because 3 nights in St Petersburg, 14 days and the Baltic was on our bucket list. Every place we had not been to and that was really appealing. We had travelled with Oceania twice prior and ... Read More
We have been on Oceania twice prior and because 3 nights in St Petersburg, 14 days and the Baltic was on our bucket list. Every place we had not been to and that was really appealing. We had travelled with Oceania twice prior and relatively positive experiences. The staff, whether, food, drinks, entertainment or cabin staff are excellent and very accommodating. The negatives, - Showers are far too small for normal people like us. - the internet, complimentary on level 9 was pathetic. We took this cruise so we could keep in contact with Australia. Sadly to log on to pay wages, took 8- 10 times and 2 hours. if not for Concierge on 9, this critic would be very poor. he should be commended, NOTHING was too much trouble. - We didn't participate in cruise tours as we found them ridiculously over priced. we took private tours, more personal 6 people for St Petersburg, more informative and 1/3 of the price. - finally concierge level, is it value for $$, sorry we don't think so. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We really enjoyed our 14 night cruise to the Baltic. We have cruised with Cunard, Celebrity and P&O in the past and Arcadia exceeded our expectations. Admittedly, the atrium doesn’t have the wow factor of other ships but it more than ... Read More
We really enjoyed our 14 night cruise to the Baltic. We have cruised with Cunard, Celebrity and P&O in the past and Arcadia exceeded our expectations. Admittedly, the atrium doesn’t have the wow factor of other ships but it more than compensated in terms of friendliness and entertainment. We found the food in the dining room consistently good both at lunch and dinner. The buffet could be very busy especially on sea days but we enjoyed the freshly cooked burgers at the grill near the pool. Afternoon tea in the dining room was a real treat and eating at the Sindhu (especially when there was an offer on) was a delight. There was plenty of choice of entertainment and everyone should find something to suit their taste. I really enjoyed the orchestra and the Headliners put on some excellent shows. The cinema ( free but you must book seats at the library desk) gave me an opportunity to catch up on some recent blockbusters. This was a good way to spend an afternoon either on sea days or if you had some spare time after a visit to a port. Generally the staff were very good - we came across a few morose waiters but a smile and thank-you from you, as the customer, goes a long way. Our cabin steward was very efficient. We were a little apprehensive before we joined the cruise with some very poor reviews and lots of talk about the ship being ‘tired’. Yes, some areas which saw heavy traffic were a little worn but generally we were happy with the look of the ship.Overall, we had a great cruise so if you’ve booked with Arcadia, please don’t be put off by the critics. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Service and amenities are very nice on this ship. I really loved our Royal Suite. Two comfy couches in the living area, a nice comfy bed in the bedroom, one full bath with a separate jacuzzi tub and shower, a jacuzzi on our veranda along ... Read More
Service and amenities are very nice on this ship. I really loved our Royal Suite. Two comfy couches in the living area, a nice comfy bed in the bedroom, one full bath with a separate jacuzzi tub and shower, a jacuzzi on our veranda along with plenty of room to spread out make us want to cruise with celebrity again. Our Butler and room attendant were outstanding! Thanks to Jacky and Francis! Just the best and always with a smile on their faces. They couldn’t do enough to make us comfortable and if it weren’t for them, we would probably not consider celebrity again. Yes, they were just that good! The food was mostly decent, and the best was La Petit Chef which I originally avoided because it sounded silly. We finally tired it and enjoyed it thoroughly. The food was better than Blu that’s for sure. That one was awful. They rushed everything, splashing wine, cold food, tasteless everything. Just yuck! Murano is good but there are too many dishes that have dairy. Creamy this and that....it’s too old style. They need to modern up that cuisine. I loved the sushi restaurant! Honestly I’m kind of a foodie so I’m trying not to be too critical because after all, it’s a ship. I don’t expect the food to be as good as dining out in the Bay Area where I live. Yes I’m spoiled with great food at home. Some tours were great and others were awful. Fortunately mostly we had good tours. I might consider making my own arrangements at the ports of call in the future, though. Entertainment was good although we didn’t do a lot of that. We loved Michaels! Thanks to Lara for being so helpful and so cheerful. Perfect person for this job! This was our first big cruise as we’ve always done small cruises before. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and because we were already vacationing in London prior. We really enjoyed the ice show “Strings.” The violinist was phenomenal and the choreography of the skaters was great. We ate in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and because we were already vacationing in London prior. We really enjoyed the ice show “Strings.” The violinist was phenomenal and the choreography of the skaters was great. We ate in the main dining room the first two nights. The food was good, portions could have been bigger but the service was very slow. Izumi was good but it was an hour until we ate. I understand there is a show involved with dining in a hibachi restaurant but it just took too long. The balcony room was in a great location mid ship on Deck 7. I liked the size of the ship. Not too big and not too small. The ship excursion to Brugge was very good. We did the half day guided tour with free time. Overall a very nice ship and we would travel on her again if the opportunity arose. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I have waited a lifetime to discover the Baltic and this cruise didn’t disappoint. The service and accommodations were amazing and, as always the Viking staff went above and beyond. My travel partner and I really enjoyed the spa area ... Read More
I have waited a lifetime to discover the Baltic and this cruise didn’t disappoint. The service and accommodations were amazing and, as always the Viking staff went above and beyond. My travel partner and I really enjoyed the spa area and the bar and dining choices. The spa area not only offers lots of included amenities, but also services that make one feel pampered. I really enjoyed having a facial on our sea day. We tried all of the restaurants and enjoyed each one. It was nice to have so many choices from which to choose. My only disappointment were some of the excursions that didn’t live up to my expectations. Viking cruises are relaxing and educational at the same time and I learned so much on this cruise. Having experts onboard who offer lectures makes the experience different than other cruise lines. I look forward to my next Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We always wanted to visit St Petersburg. Also we had been on a Viking River cruise and were impressed with ship and service. The Viking Sea crew are superb the service was excellent. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We always wanted to visit St Petersburg. Also we had been on a Viking River cruise and were impressed with ship and service. The Viking Sea crew are superb the service was excellent. One tip if the Hermitage museum is important to you, book a private tour. Our group included folks with mobility issues difficulty with stairs etc. Although Viking made it clear there was lots of walking and stairs. Also the museum was very crowded and a couple of our group members drifted off. The tour guide wasted time looking for them. So overall this highlight was a disappointment As was Vikings practice of handing out plastic bottles of water to every guest at each stop. Therefore thousands of plastic bottles left behind in ports and busses to end up who knows where. A great disappointment for a company who claim to be concerned about the environment. Easy fix to provide reusable bottles. Be aware that the average age (on ours anyway) was about 70. Just a few younger people and likely not s good cruise for singles. Although there are 850 + guests on board there was always space for a quiet read and or drink. Apart from breakfast in the World cafe, never felt over crowded. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
MSc Preziosa Safety- Hygiene unfortunately lower than on NCL although there are hand wash machines available they are not always obvious on entrance to ship after excursions. No washy washy ladies at restaurants here! Lots of ... Read More
MSc Preziosa Safety- Hygiene unfortunately lower than on NCL although there are hand wash machines available they are not always obvious on entrance to ship after excursions. No washy washy ladies at restaurants here! Lots of passengers seemed to not wash their hands. Having said that we didn’t suffer with tummy problems. Safety Drill- very loud but people spoke over it. I guess that’s the issue with having so many languages onboard. We also found this an issue at the captains cocktail party where he was talking and people chatted to each other making it impossible to hear what he and the senior officers were saying. It seemed quite rude of passengers to do this. Southampton Face to Face Customs-We were all required to do this by UK government. We didn’t go at our ‘ever so early for us on a sea day’ time slot but wandered in when we chose to. After all it is meant to be a holiday not boot camp! Food-The food is generally warm or even cold at buffet breakfast- I didn’t have one hot fried egg while there. A shame they don’t have an egg station where you get it made while you wait. Restaurant/buffet- we were allocated second sitting and we prefer to eat early so only went once. Also, we are a bit picky with food as I don’t eat much meat and husband no fish. On the first night there were no options we would chose so we went to the buffet where we could pick what we liked in the quantity we liked at a time convenient with us. The pizza was delicious and I was particularly stuck with the fantastical crisp charcoal ‘black’ pizza. At lunch we went to the restaurant when we could and enjoyed the offerings especially the ‘made in front of you’ pasta served to your liking. Butchers Cut-Service was good to start with but we waited a long time for our ‘bill’ at the end and card back. Obviously, very meat orientated and a special menu to choose from if getting it as part of Black loyalty ‘free speciality restaurant’ perk. You get one started, a main with 1 side and a dessert. We weren’t hugely impressed with it as the three sides I ordered were not hot, just warm. I think we would have enjoyed it more if it had been an Italian restaurant, which apparently there was one before. In an Italian ship, it seems they are missing a trick here-one of the reasons we chose MSC is because we enjoy the authentic tasting Italian dishes. I wonder who will be the first ship to have a vegetarian restaurant onboard Entertainment- The UK guest comedian/impressionist Andrew Flemming was great fun. He happened to single me out and made quite a lot of jokes with my name in them throughout the gig! I loved it! It was anything but easy for him though as a lot of Italians there didn’t seem to show less engagement. He definitely appealed to the UK audience though and I don’t see why others wouldn’t enjoy his Frank Sinatra and Elvis impression. The second show when he did Impressions of Cliff Richard and David Bowie making up alternative words to their songs was just excellent and hilarious. I hope to see him on future cruises. Well done to MSC for thinking of the UK audience. I think they got the right kind of entertainment and a Dutch couple onboard told us they loved the British sense of humour and enjoyed the show. Other shows we saw was the Italian night which was not to be missed if you enjoy traditional Italian songs most people know. They were performed well and it was a good show. There is an issue with timings though as most people don’t get served in Ian restaurant in time to make it to shows. This means the late comers dwindle in throughout the show which rather upsets the flow of the evening. Maybe the timings need tweaking? The only way to ensure you get to a show is to dine in the buffet as you have control on how quickly you are served! There was a good piano concert in the afternoon on a sea day. Just half an hour but a relaxing one listening to a hugely talented maestro. Most evenings we went to see Roberto perform. he is a fantastic vocalist and guitarist with a repertoire from classical operatic numbers, to progressive rock to ballads. We loved it and he is staying on the ship an extra three months so if you are going before end Nov -you are in for a treat! 70s, 80s & 90s night was great fun and had many folk dancing in the reception area....surely there’s a better venue for this? Having said that, it was such fun to go up and down the glass elevators busting some moves! A lot of folk did this while people took pictures and videos to share back home! There is another couple who sing on the ship and we recognised them from MSC Magnifica. They used to do the fun bits during the show on Magnifica with a really fun Bongi, Bongi song. On this ship they do ABBA evening which again commanded crowds and people dancing in the aisles of a small venue. Yet another couple sing in the atrium reception area and possibly they have been told to ‘go gentle’ but some of the gutsy songs they sing are not don’t justice by these two as they are not giving them thrust. It appears they are young and nervous and could do with some coaching to get them singing more confidently and stronger. I liked their choice of songs though so we listened to them too. Spa- there are four comfy loungers and four heated ones and seven basic plastic upright chairs. The latter are handy for people to sit on and scowl at the others who are hogging the more comfortable loungers! There is a couple of saunas and steam rooms. We had a day’s free spa entry when we bought a massage and also a free hour for having Black status loyalty membership. We chose to use the first on a day when Ship was collecting new passengers from Hamburg and it was less busy, as we had hoped. We had a couples massage and it were excellent and booked a second when immediately prompted (actually while we were coming around from the first!) It was discounted the first time and further discounted for the second. These were worth it for us as we both needed them with our various aches and pains and felt hugely relaxed afterwards. One unfortunate issue is, there are a lot of spa workers outside the spa (trying to attract people in). On our arrival, although we politely said hello, a few laughed just after we walked past them. This isn’t the first time we experienced this on a MSC ship and it may just be an unfortunate coincidence but this really shouldn’t happen as we were left feeling we had been a butt of a joke shared in another language. I hope we were wrong but it may be a good idea to train staff to not do this whatever they were finding amusing. Fellow Passengers- We met some delightful guests onboard but there were also rude complaining ones. After complaining about the ‘useless staff’ a man turned to me and said he was never sailing with MSC again. I felt like answering, “that’s good- it makes me more likely to book again!” I was astounded by people’s urgent need for mid afternoon cakes. It seemed that unless they were served immediately, they went into ‘moaning mode’. People expected the staff to know what they wanted without telling them! It is as well to remember manners and the fact the staff work 12 hour days and do not have days off. I felt embarrassed and appalled by the behaviour of some passengers to staff. Conclusion-If you have a tendency to find fault and complain, perhaps it would be best for you to spend double on a more expensive cruise. If you want a budget cruise with opportunity to meet other nationalities then this could be the ship for you. I think on the whole the good outweighed the bad for us and we would return as we came home feeling relaxed and had some happy memories of our week onboard the Preziosa. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife and I booked the Haven for our anniversary. This was my first cruise, though my wife has had many. We have both travelled extensively. The ship is large, well appointed, but easy to navigate. There are signs all over the ... Read More
My wife and I booked the Haven for our anniversary. This was my first cruise, though my wife has had many. We have both travelled extensively. The ship is large, well appointed, but easy to navigate. There are signs all over the ship that makes finding things easy. One quibble, is that posted services and shops are not always open at the appointed times meaning it would take several trips, for example, to get into the duty-free free shop. Services on the ship are generally both easy to locate and access. The exception to this was the spa. The actual services, massage, etc, were good, if pricey. However, the spa uses the pretense of assessment and consultation to provide a pseudo-scientific basis for what can only be described as, "You really should buy our most expensive products and services." My wife, for example, has a highly developed care routine. After receiving a facial, her 'consultation' wound up being a pitch for $1000 in product. This was made even worse when every visit to the spa resulted in a billing issue, as promotional discounts were either not applied or additional charges were added when polite but firm 'no' resulted in a charge anyway. By the end of the end of the cruise, it was pretty clear that passengers were studiously avoiding the spa and its high pressure tactics. There were, individually, many wonderful people inside the spa who appeared miserable under the pressure to sell. Our experience with the spa is the only thing that prevents us from giving the cruise 5-stars. The cabin was large, spacious, and relaxing. The balcony provided gorgeous views visited ports, and was a quiet, enjoyable space to spend time with one another. Having the cabin made up twice day was an unexpected, if not for my wife, treat that I greatly appreciated as throughout the cruise. Laundry service was easy to use, and made the sweaty hiking through the ports even more enjoyable as dirty garments could be quickly laundered rather than tossed in a suitcase for two weeks. Dining was another highlight, with running the entire spectrum of both quality and quantity. The buffet, as one might expect, was always hot and easy to access, if not always the highest quality. The free, 24-hour access to ice cream was a high point. The quality of food continued up the scale of restaurants. O-Sheehans offered tasty, but small bits for quick eating while the main dining rooms upped the quality to the high end. The speciality restaurants were generally on-par with the main dining rooms, with the exception of the Bistro. the Bistro's food is some of the best food I have ever had anywhere in the world, and my wife and I were happy to make multiple visits. By the end of the cruise, it was all but impossible to even make a reservation. My only quibble with the food is that some of the smaller restaurants take reservations ... even for very large parties. When a restaurant only has 30 or so seats and 25 have been reserved it was frustrating for both staff and customers. The Entertainment on the ship is quite good. Generally speaking, you cannot go wrong with any of the shows. The exception, again in a good way, was Burn the Floor. The dancers and routines are nothing short of exceptional. One of the final perks of the Haven is a dedicated staff for Haven guests. This made everything on and off the ship incredibly easy. All questions were handled quickly and easily by knowledge friendly staff. A dedicated restaurant for Haven guests was perfect for post excursion relaxation in a quiet, conversational atmosphere. The food was, also, generally, a cut above the rest with only Bistro having a chance to produce better food. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise when invited by friends of ours who sailed with NCL on many cruises. It was the first time I had ever been on a cruise ship this large. I was wondering what it would be like to sail with 4000 other people but ... Read More
We chose this cruise when invited by friends of ours who sailed with NCL on many cruises. It was the first time I had ever been on a cruise ship this large. I was wondering what it would be like to sail with 4000 other people but thankfully there wasn't too much traffic. Here's how our cruise went: Embarkation: Very smooth as we were told to check-in in Terminal 2, which was pretty much empty when we arrived. After getting our cards, we followed the other guests and got on the ship rather quickly. As our rooms were not ready, it allowed us to explore the many decks of the ship. Pool area (Deck 15): Yes, it can get crowded when we are 4000 people together so if you want some sun, be sure to go out early and grab your deck chairs. There is also a stage for music as well as wacky participation events such as Mr. Sexy Legs and Ms. Biceps The pool area also has a walled smoking room but anyone nearby can smell smoke so if you are sensitive, do not plan to lounge in that area. There are also ping pong tables around if you want to be a bit more active. Again, it can be a challenge to find a time when a table is free. Garden Cafe (Deck 15): Connected to the pool area is the Garden Cafe buffet. It served OK food and there are many choices at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Dinner had a different theme night (e.g. Russian, Italian, Scandinavian) every night to have some variety. The Fitness Center & Spa (Deck 15): Connected to the other end of the pool area is the spa and fitness center. The spa offers a full range of services, including acupuncture. The fitness centre offers machines, weights, and classes. Physical Activity Choices: The ship is impressive that it offers mini-golf (nine hole), ropes course, trampoline, spider slide, rock climbing, a jogging track, and a basketball court. The Tropicana Room: This is the main dining room, with a dance floor in the middle for people to dance while dining with live music usually playing at dinner. The Tradewinds shops: For such a large ship, I was a bit disappointed by the lack of shopping choices. On a positive note, with so little to buy, I saved money in this aspect! The shops had special sales events and even a Russian Bazaar night as the days progressed. Photography: I appreciated the non-pushy attitude by the photographers as well as the sales staff for the printed photos. It was entirely up to you if you wanted to pose for photos and to buy the prints afterwards. A sample 8 X 10 print will cost you $24.95 USD. Casino: The casino has table games, slots, as well as blackjack tournaments, and slots tournaments. Betting is in US dollars and no gaming is permitted while at any port. O'Sheehan's Restaurant: This is a nice hidden restaurant that runs 24/7 and is rarely ever crowded during the whole cruise. If you are hungry and just want food, and don't really care what they serve, come here to beat the crowds elsewhere. The restaurant is like a pub so there are also games like pool, darts, and even bowling to pass the time. The Atrium (deck 6): This is the center of the ship. Here, you will find Guest Services, Starbucks, the Internet stations, games room, library, and meeting rooms, as well as the two-storey big screen, stage area and chairs. The cruise director's staff have all sort of games (e.g. trivia, deal or no deal, bingo) pretty much every hour for entertainment. It is rarely crowded during the day but a huge draw at night. Headliners: This is a room designed like a comedy club, with an intimate stage but any act can perform in here Syd Norman's Pour House: This is another small venue but does feature almost nightly karaoke (note that their song list is very limited) as well as regular performances by Switch (a tribute band of songs from the 1980s mostly) SugarCane Mojito Bar and Ice Bar: These are specialty bars located on deck 8, one floor above the casino. Sugarcane also features live music at night. Seating is limited so get there early. Getaway Theatre: This is the main theatre where performance of "Million Dollar Quartet" and "Burn the Floor" are performed. Deck 8 walkaround: Deck 8 allows people to walk outside pretty much around the whole length of the ship. There are plenty of chairs around to take in the scenery as the ship sails. Magaritaville This is a restaurant that will charge $15 USD per person for a limited Magaritaville-type menu (just best-selling items). The portions are large and well cooked so $15 was a steal compared to how much a visit to a traditional Magaritaville would cost. Cruise Director and his staff: For such a large ship, Francesco and his assistant Lester worked very hard to be visible here, there, and everywhere throughout the cruise. Special mention also to all his staff who had to be able to entertain people sitting in the atrium with the latest activity of the hour. The activities also come with a participation card, the more activities you participate in, the better NCL merchandise you can claim at the end of the cruise (such as T-shirt, key chain, koozie, etc.) Excursions: They were pricey but the tour operators used were well-organized, professional, and knowledgeable. Entertainment: a. Funky Duo: This is a husband-and-wife team from Romania. They can sing pretty much anything. Andreea's (yes, it is spelled this way) singing voice is something that you just need to hear. b. Karl Loxley: Karl was a finalist on the Voice UK. His performance was breathtaking at times. c. RAEGAR: Another husband-and-wife: he's from the UK while she's from Texas. They both have amazing voices. Disembarkation: It can be a long wait depending on where you are going after leaving the ship (e.g. on your own, to the airport, to the city, etc.). You do have the option of disembarking with your luggage if you want but be warned the wait for the elevators on disembarkation day can be long (some elevators are put out of service). Surprises: 1. There seems to be a service charge on almost everything. Purchase additional items/services carefully. 2. Even if you are a couple in your cabin, you each have your own account. I could not understand why we kept getting messages about a credit amount when the total of my wife's and my account did not show that. It turned out the accounts cannot be combined so I wound up owing them money while my wife got a refund for her credit amount. 3. The Do Not Disturb cabin light will mean just that. I had forgotten to turn it off before leaving for an excursion and we came back to a room that had not been cleaned and made-up. We had to ask after-hours service (as it was after 9 PM) to get the room made, which they did to our delight. 4. Ship internet is very expensive, such as $125 USD for 250 minutes. However, you can still connect to the wi-fi and use the NCL app free of charge to be able to have the day's schedule on your phone. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose the cruise for several reasons: husband's ancestors are Finnish, had never been to the Scandinavian or the Baltic countries, and friends' recommendation. We found the excursions to be excellent, and we learned a ... Read More
We chose the cruise for several reasons: husband's ancestors are Finnish, had never been to the Scandinavian or the Baltic countries, and friends' recommendation. We found the excursions to be excellent, and we learned a great deal about the Viking culture and heritage. Specifically the excursions in Norway, St. Petersburg, Aalborg, Gdansk,and Tallin gave us insight in to the culture, heritage and history. The Bergen Railway to Oslo was a scenic delight and gave us a better idea of Norway's beauty. Our first dinner experience in the restaurant was unfavorable. The tables are too close together as the couple sitting next to the four of us appeared to be listening to our conversation. The waiter assigned to us was inept and provided very poor service. We had to ask for water and wine glasses to be refilled We asked for two appetizers, he questioned the fact that we asked for two and acted as though that was not allowed. He made no recommendation for menu choices. We asked questions about several entrees and he wasn unable to describe a particular dish. The Chef's Table and Manfreddi's had excellent food and service. We were very impressed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019

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