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1,989 Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews

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
The cruise happened at the right time and place. We always wanted to go on a Baltic Cruise and had heard so much about Viking Cruises so we thought we would give it a try. Needless to say we weren't disappointed in the least. ... Read More
The cruise happened at the right time and place. We always wanted to go on a Baltic Cruise and had heard so much about Viking Cruises so we thought we would give it a try. Needless to say we weren't disappointed in the least. Included shore excursions were good and enjoyable and we used them as much as possible. We signed up for the mix and mingle and to our surprise Viking cruise provided a spacious room for our meeting that included wonderful snacks, drinks and introduced us to some of the senior crew and chefs. This was a perfect touch to begin our cruise. Thank you Viking Cruise line and the staff aboard the Viking Sky. The food and restaurant provided a wide variety of choices and we didn't feel overly "stuffed" at the end of our meal. We thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment, specifically tributes to the Beatles, Frankie Valley etc. that got us singing along. Thanks for a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This cruise does the Baltics which was what we wanted to see. Busy cruise with few sea days but the ports were amazing. This ship is just beautiful. We were on Nieuw Amsterdam when it first came out and it was OK but this is decorated ... Read More
This cruise does the Baltics which was what we wanted to see. Busy cruise with few sea days but the ports were amazing. This ship is just beautiful. We were on Nieuw Amsterdam when it first came out and it was OK but this is decorated just lovely. The art work, the Central area, the Dining room, the Word Stage was awesome!! The rooms were really well thought out with all of extra spaces for storage. The bathrooms finally have a real shower will glass and that sure beats the shower curtains of days gone by. I would give this ship a review of 5 but for: the entertainment on the World Stage could have been a lot better. In ports of Berlin and St Petersburg they did not even have any entertainment or bring on anything local. They do have 3 other music venues, one Blues, one dueling Pianos and one Rock that are on nightly. The Lido buffet had very good food that they serve you. The dining room had lobster one evening in 2 weeks. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
REVIEW. Eleven day Baltic Cruise. Aug 24 - Sept 4 We have just returned from a Baltic cruise on Nautica. I was beginning to wonder if Oceania was the company for us as there were a few naysayers on this Forum. No smoke without ... Read More
REVIEW. Eleven day Baltic Cruise. Aug 24 - Sept 4 We have just returned from a Baltic cruise on Nautica. I was beginning to wonder if Oceania was the company for us as there were a few naysayers on this Forum. No smoke without fire I thought. Nautica does need a refit. She is a bit tired and old fashioned. However everything worked except the fridge which was replaced within hours of reporting it. GENERAL We live only two hours from Southampton. At 2.10pm we checked in at the terminal and were in our PH Stateroom 8049 by 2.45pm The bags were waiting outside the door. No complaints there. The Stewardess introduced herself soon after we arrived and I requested a foam pillow instead of a feather one. (This was on the bed when we returned from dinner) Mani, the Butler, was soon at the door and we were able to ask him to bring morning tea each day. He was charming and professional. Tea came as requested each day. Boat drill was at 4.15 . This took a slightly different form from what we remembered, as we were taken out on deck to our lifeboat. Previously we were only instructed in the muster station. It seems a good idea to show the guests exactly how the safety drill works. You are not required to take your life jacket. On returning to our stateroom, we phoned Mani and requested tea and cookies. Ten minutes later he was there with the order. Perfect. He also got us a table in the speciality restaurant when we asked him. Oh and replaced the ailing fridge within hours. and brought lunch one day. And breakfast a couple of days too. DRESS. ( I hesitate to mention this contentious issue!) My husband wore a linen jacket every night for dinner because he likes to and I wore a nice dress or smart trousers and a pretty top. Gentlemen frequently wore a jacket in the speciality restaurants and the ladies always looked good to me. We did see guests going to the Terrace who were not quite so formally attired but we did not eat there in the evening so don’t know what the general look was. FOOD AND DINING SERVICE. Waiters were attentive and the sommelier was prompt, the wine poured before any food was served and glasses topped up frequently. We had an included wine package. I am at a loss to understand the comments about slow and lax service in the GDR that some recent reviewers mentioned. We were always greeted by name and when we asked for a table for two that’s what we got. Sometimes we shared. We do feel, however, that the menu is not as extensive as on previous cruises and did not change as often. (our last cruise was two years ago on the same ship) Only one meal did not meet expectations. It was duck a l’orange. I mentioned it to the restaurant manager. He wrote it down but I did not hear any more about it. All the desserts were delicious. SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS. Three meals in Polo and two in Toscana. Some on our own and some shared. I had shrimps and lamb in Polo and Dover sole in Toscana. We always enjoyed the company of our companions in fact we sat with the same people on two different occasions quite by accident! In Toscana we requested a special dessert a couple of days before we went. It was Zabaglione. This has to be made and served immediately. That is why it has to be requested. The chef came to see us at our very special forward table to make sure we enjoyed his dessert. We did. TOURS For the first time we took Oceania tours as they were included in our fare. The guides were charming and spoke good English. The tours were well organised and did what we expected. The guests were “well behaved” and always returned to the bus on time. Except once, but that was a genuine mistake by the guest and she was mortified so we forgave her!!!!!!! ENTERTAINMENT… What we went to see we enjoyed. True there are no big presentation shows. The singers were good and they also did duty as Entertainment Officers. I am really not sure what is expected from these shows that guests say they are disappointed with. Last but not least I must mention the CD. Shawn Carter. Excellent. Enthusiastic. Friendly. Kept us informed. Just right. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
: enjoyed this cruise, However, there is room for improvement; (1) Most of the excursions were low quality. Except the tour guides in St. Petersburg and in the Hermitage, modst of the other tour guides were below standard. The tourduide ... Read More
: enjoyed this cruise, However, there is room for improvement; (1) Most of the excursions were low quality. Except the tour guides in St. Petersburg and in the Hermitage, modst of the other tour guides were below standard. The tourduide in Bruge was too old and could hardly talk. It seems that physically this was too much for him. The tour guide in Stockholm was a catastrophy. He just walked us through the royal palace and had very poor knowledge of the subject. Terrible waste of time. The guide tour in Helsinki was superficial and just wanted to have it over with. There was no air condition in the bus and when the bus driver was confronted by one of the group members, she answered that this how the bus was constructed by Volvo, and did nothing to improve the situation. We were reimbursed 20% of the excursion fee, but this did not make up for the damage. When I returned from this excursion, the third one in a row, I considered to cancel all the remaining excursions. Fortunately, the tour guises in St. Petersburg and in the Hermitage were good. This was just a temporary relief, as the tour guides in Estonia and in Lithuania were bad again. The one in Lithuania was really really bad. The tour guide we had today in Gdansk was above average but stretched the time and gave a lot of free time which lowered the quality of the excursions. I complained several time to various people in the cruise about these excursions, and suggested that at the end of each excursion the members of the group will complete a questionnaire. This will help to eliminate the bad tour guides, once repeated bad reviews will prompt the cruise line to request the agency to not hire these tour guides in the future. I was always told that I will be asked to complete a review but nobody bothered to talk to me and listen to my suggestions. In the university where I taught, the students completed a questionnaire after each lecture and each clinical rotation, and if they were not happy, the teacher was removed from teaching. (2) the level of entertainment was not satisfactory. The highlight was every evening at 9:30 pm fpr 45 minutes. This is too short. Also, except Michelle and the Ukrainian dancers, the group of the young 6 permanent singers/dancers were at the amateur level only, and not good enough to be the center of the entertainment most of the evenings. The cruise ship should have more guest entertainers and for longer time, since this is the highlight of the evening. Also, variety can help: for example in another cruise I participated there were stand-up comedians and laughter always help. I suggest to add stand-up comedians and generally speaking to extend the evening entertainment to 3 hrs every evening. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The ship is really nice large ship great for families with the splash park slide and pool, kids club ran all day pretty much until 23.00 whixh ours loved. The food in my opinion was great when you think abou thr value against a 4* hotel in ... Read More
The ship is really nice large ship great for families with the splash park slide and pool, kids club ran all day pretty much until 23.00 whixh ours loved. The food in my opinion was great when you think abou thr value against a 4* hotel in Europe you can't compare yes the portions aren't massive but it's a l carte and you get 3 courses and bread so was absoutely plenty and a great standard. The kids menu was the usual burgers nuggets pizzas etc so they were happy. The entertainment was good with lots of choose throughout the ship the show not the best but again I have to compare against the price you would pay for a royal Caribbean ship for example so its not going to be on the same league. But we lways found something to watch on an evening. Overall can't complain and would definetly sail with msc again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I chose this cruise for a quick getaway and was extremely impressed overall with this ship. The ship is beautiful in all areas and extremely well maintained (take note other cruise lines!) The atrium, bars, the whole interior mare ... Read More
I chose this cruise for a quick getaway and was extremely impressed overall with this ship. The ship is beautiful in all areas and extremely well maintained (take note other cruise lines!) The atrium, bars, the whole interior mare beautifully decorated. I struggled to find an area that wasn’t adorned with Swarovski crystals or bling of some kind. The most elegant ship I’ve been on. My balcony cabin seemed more spacious compared to other cruise lines and the balcony itself was a generous size too. The furniture is starting to look a little tired but nothing major. My cabin steward was very efficient and greeted me on arrival and brought me extra pillows when I asked. Dining is where MSC lose a point. While the food was perfectly edible it wasn’t particularly interesting. Pizza every day in the buffet (the best pizza at sea by the way) but the other hot options were often bland and lacked variety. As a solo cruiser I shared a large table with a few other people which was a nice way to make friends. However the food itself was disappointing - tiny portions and often very bland and the dessert menu was very small, only two or three options. entertainment was mixed. bingo was appreciated but the other shows were average. I enjoy classical music but it does get repetitive after hearing it every single day of the cruise. Twee singers and dancers were very talented but it would be nice to have had some more variety entertainment-wise. The service overall was excellent. Even as a solo traveller I didn’t feel left out and the barman even knew my favourite drink after a couple of days - that’s excellent service. The customer service staff were abrupt but dealt with my enquiry and got it resolved so I can’t complain really. Overall this was a very good cruise. I had heard mixed things about MSC especially regarding the food but overall I had a great time and look forward to cruising with them again next year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our 10th cruise on NCL and we loved that itinerary. Embarkation went smoothly and our room was ready by the time we checked in. I did find it wierd that there wasn't a picture stop prior to getting on the ship. The ship ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise on NCL and we loved that itinerary. Embarkation went smoothly and our room was ready by the time we checked in. I did find it wierd that there wasn't a picture stop prior to getting on the ship. The ship is definitely huge. We had an inside cabin but the layout felt roomy so it didn't feel too small. I liked the lighting in the room this time because it felt bright. I was disappointed that there were no usb outlets by the bed. We've been on other renovated ships like the Pearl that has it. I was also disappointed with the limited variety of TV channels that was offered. It was very limited and it catered to a liberal audience. So be prepared to watch reruns of the same show and movies and CNN and MSNBC. There was no FOX news. Was also disappointed that the gym was always packed and because of that I think it smelled bad. So we always just did the Jog Track instead. We only watched one show which was the Million Dollar Quartet and it was a great show. We did buy the Cirque Show for the first time and it was totally worth it. The dinner included with the show was a surf and turf and the show was variety circus show. We really enjoyed it. We loved the specialty dining, Lebistro and Ocean Blue were our favorites. Service in general was just ok. I did not like that on the first day, hosts from the main dinings were asking if we made reservations. We were only a party of 2 and we have never had to make reservations for regular dining. So plan on making reservations on your first day as soon as you get there. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are a family of 2 adults and 2 teens. We have cruised many times with Royal Carribean and had Junior suites and up, so for this cruise we booked inter connecting balcony cabins on Deck 9. I had read many reviews about MSC and The ... Read More
We are a family of 2 adults and 2 teens. We have cruised many times with Royal Carribean and had Junior suites and up, so for this cruise we booked inter connecting balcony cabins on Deck 9. I had read many reviews about MSC and The Preziosa, and have to say was a little bit concerned about all the negative reviews about service and food. We had booked the Fantastica package that came with drinks up to a value of €10 per drink for the adults and soda and soft serve ice cream for the teens. We flew from Dublin to Hamburg with Ryanair and arrived on time. We took a taxi from outside the airport to the Renaissance Hotel. Hamburg is a beautiful city with lots to see and do. A couple of things we did was eat ice cream by the lake, visit Minatur wunderland and the Hamburg Dungeon (English speaking guide on Saturday & Sunday @ 10am). We took a taxi from the hotel to the Steinwerder terminal. We arrived at about 12.30 and after giving our luggage to the porters we entered the terminal and were given a number 4 ticket and told to wait till it was called. 4 was called after about 20 minutes, so we joined the que to check in. At the desk they verify your passport and documents and give you your sea pass card. We then went through security and proceeded onto the ship. When we got on the ship our photos were taken. In total from arriving to ship took about 45 minutes. Now on the ship in the atrium, staff were welcoming you on board and saying if you want food the restaurant on deck 5 or the buffet on 14. Up to 14 we go, come out of the lift and are greeted at the entrance to the buffet by 2 staff, 1 with anti bacterial spray and the other guy saying 4 of you, let me find you a table (Wow). We are sat at a window and the girls went and explored the buffet, while I kept the table. On the table is a button for bar service, so I had to press it and along came a waiter who got me some drinks. (I’m impressed with this so called bad service and rude staff) I must say the buffet restaurant is big and plenty of choice. I had read that the pizza was good, It is delicious and fresh. So after we eat, it was time to explore the ship, and then find our cabin. We had Cabin’s 9126 & 9124, interconnecting balconies. I noticed that we had early (6pm) seating in the Golden lobster restaurant, so I went to see if we could change to the later @ 8.30pm. No problem, but it is a shared table with other English speaking guests. Now the last time we did a shared table did not work out well, my kids were age 6 & 8 and the others were 3 generations of the same family aged from 87 to 43. Well I have to say we thoroughly enjoyed our table mates, The service was fine, nothing special, or nothing bad. The choice & quality of food was not great in my opinion, but to be honest it didn’t really matter as we were having great conversation at the table. We went to 1 show called the Mask, which was ok. We eat Breakfast and lunch in the buffet, food was perfect, however coffee was weak, but just press that button or go to the bar and get a fresh cappuccino included in the drinks package. The weather was not great so the indoor pool was packed. There is a pool and bar at the back of the ship that would be nice on a warm sunny day. We were only on board for 3 days but we all really enjoyed our first MSC experience. I did miss the not been able to walk around the ship on a lower deck close to the water. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Friends told us a Baltic cruise would be good for us. It was. We really enjoyed this cruise. We were told that our cabin was ocean view or better. We were told that meant if there were better cabins available we would be upgraded. There ... Read More
Friends told us a Baltic cruise would be good for us. It was. We really enjoyed this cruise. We were told that our cabin was ocean view or better. We were told that meant if there were better cabins available we would be upgraded. There was better available, but no upgrade. We were on a low deck that was extremely noisy. Not a very romantic send off for our first ever cruise and our honeymoon. The service in many areas left a lot to be desired, however we encountered some staff that was over and above any expectations and really blew us away. Food in main dining areas was bland and very small portions. We had the drink package and the fine dining package. The restaurants in the fine dining were simply amazing. We loved NCL’s freestyle cruising and would love to cruise NCL again but to know that balcony cabins went unused and activities staff seemed unprepared or even uninterested in some of the games and such makes you wonder if NCL even cares that you are there. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were looking for a cruise on specific dates because we were already in Europe. The Baltic Sea cruise on NCL was a first for us as we normally sail on Windstar. However, the “Haven” seemed to help us bridge that small boat feel ... Read More
We were looking for a cruise on specific dates because we were already in Europe. The Baltic Sea cruise on NCL was a first for us as we normally sail on Windstar. However, the “Haven” seemed to help us bridge that small boat feel with big boat entertainment. The Haven would likely be the only way we would sail NCL again. Private restaurant, bar, concierge, priority seating at shows and priority boarding and disembarkation - all wonderful perks with good food and excellent bartenders. The entertainment exceeded our expectations, especially the “Howl at the Moon - dueling pianos”. The Cirque show was good and the Wine Tasting play was fun. The Folkloric program after visiting Russia was OK - just not our favorite. The Barricade Boys were terrific. The best specialty restaurant was “Le Bistro” by far. The Mojito tasting and Margarita tastings were really fun and very reasonably priced. Loved the spa - very large and with a sweeping view on 3 sides. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I always wanted to cruise the Norwegian Fjords and this cruise suited my available dates. I travelled with my teenage niece who was cruising for the first time - it was my 4th cruise holiday and first one with Royal Caribbean. The ship ... Read More
I always wanted to cruise the Norwegian Fjords and this cruise suited my available dates. I travelled with my teenage niece who was cruising for the first time - it was my 4th cruise holiday and first one with Royal Caribbean. The ship is impressive overall though, on closer inspection, is showing some signs of wear and tear. I was impressed with cabin size. The evening entertainment was good in the main though the main headline shows were very short - a maximum of 45 minutes. That's fine for a so-so show but far too short for a good one - and we had one excellent show in particular, Beatle Maniacs, a Beatles tribute band who were exceptionally good. I'd have loved another hour or so of them! The main restaurant was where we dined every evening, we had availed of the My Time dining option. The food was simply outstanding as was the service. We had the same waiters each night and they felt like old friends by the end. We had a la carte breakfast in the main dining room most mornings and, while the food was good, the service wasn't. In the main service in the mornings was slow, impersonal and, we felt, unprofessional at times. We witnessed staff arguing with each other in front of passengers a few times. We weren't very impressed with the Windjammer buffet restaurant in terms of food quality. There was usually an Indian selection but we found that far too spicy for our palates. The cost of port excursions was very high - prohibitively so in my view in most cases so we ended up just doing our own thing at most ports. Finally our cabin steward was wonderful - friendly, cheerful and very helpful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have never cruised before, and chose the specific cruise we went on, due to the availability of kid’s activities for our 10 year old daughter, the destinations throughout the Baltics and a decent price. Getting on board as newbies was ... Read More
We have never cruised before, and chose the specific cruise we went on, due to the availability of kid’s activities for our 10 year old daughter, the destinations throughout the Baltics and a decent price. Getting on board as newbies was a bit stressful, as we did not know the process and there was little information about what to expect. We also was more stressed than was required as we roamed around trying to find out how to register a credit card to our cruise card (which wasn’t obvious on the machines) and find out how the kids club works and how/where to go. As it turned out our daughter never gelled with the kids club, as she was hitting the top end of her age group and felt they were being treated childishly and there were few kids of her age. I did get the feeling a lot of other kids truly enjoyed it, just not ours. The boat was generally fairly busy and the common areas (particularly the buffet and the pool areas) could be very crammed and chaotic. At times the central inside area was blocked by other activities. The dining area was great, with a new menu every day, so there was always lots of choice. We did ultimately enjoy our cruise and had some nice on land days, both self served and on excursion, though it will probably be better if we do another cruise now we know what to expect. The staff was generally attentive, smiley and professional, and the fact that all gratuities were paid centrally was more comfortable, as we come from a culture where wages are fair and tipping is only applicable if the service is exceptional. Disembarkation was brilliant, taking us 10 minutes from we were called till we were in a taxi. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband was celebrating a BIG birthday, and he loves cruising. I was looking for a cruise where we could celebrate in style. I was also looking for a trip that would cross some locations off of his bucket list. This trip fit the bill ... Read More
My husband was celebrating a BIG birthday, and he loves cruising. I was looking for a cruise where we could celebrate in style. I was also looking for a trip that would cross some locations off of his bucket list. This trip fit the bill perfectly. Let me start my review by talking about the check-in process. It was excellent! We took advantage of the early medallion check-in. Here is how it works. Cruisers complete their on-line registration(s) at least 2 weeks in advance of the trip. Princess then mails you a personalized medallion along with a lanyard and a plastic case. There is one medallion per cruiser. It has the cruiser's name printed on it along with the name of the ship and the cruise start date. The medallion is your new key and more. You use it to enter and exit the ship, to enter your room, and, when you get close to a bar, the bartender can see who you are without you having to present your key (although my experience is they requested it the first few times we ordered a drink or they ask for your room number). You also use it if you purchase anything at any on-board store. The next thing about the check-in is it was the fastest I've ever checked into a ship (and I've taken probably 20 cruises). It was lightening fast from the time we arrived at the port to getting on board the ship. It literally took minutes. Kudos to Princess for the check-in. I would like to add that I appreciated that there were no baggage handlers commanding money to put luggage on a cart. While I am here let me talk about check-out. Princess, like many cruise lines, offers self-check-out. I highly recommend this option. I suppose if you have a lot of luggage it pays to use the ship-provided check-out, but I love the fact that I don't have to place my luggage outside my door the night before departure (and have to deal with the clothing and hygiene needs). Cruise lines usually want self-check-outs to depart the ship on the early side, but to my knowledge they don't really police it. Beverage plans: Do the math. The average price of a drink is about $10 (less for beer). Take the daily fee for the beverage package and divide by $10; that will determine if the plan is right for you. The plan covers drinks up to $12, and, if you are a soda drinker, it includes those as well. There is a limit of 15 alcoholic drinks per day, but remember you are on vacation **and** you will have several days at sea. NOTE: All adults in a stateroom must purchase the beverage package. NOTE: The bartenders were superb. We tipped several of them the last night of the trip; they were that good. Speaking of bars, we found that not all bars are open upon embarkation. Boarding was on deck 4, and we had planned to meet our friends at a bar that was not yet opened. We ended up at a bar on deck 5. Oh, and while you are in the embarkation port you must pay taxes on your drinks, even if you have the beverage plan. The Medallion App is worth downloading. We all had issues with it at one time or another, but it allowed us to find one another on the ship (we were traveling with another couple) and communicate with one another without incurring texting or data use. Our cabin was fine. We sprung for a mini-suite, since it was my husband's birthday and it was not much more than a balcony. (NOTE: Something we've learned from our cruising on another ship is DO NOT get a balcony towards the rear of the ship. Why? Soot from the smoke stack lands on your balcony. We had to clean the balcony several times a day so that we could use it.). Our room was nicely placed a few rooms from the lifts. Even though there were just 2 of us in our room, the extra space we got in the mini-suite over the balcony was appreciated. We did not see much of our room steward, and that can be good or bad. The ship was built in 2014. A few of the touches were a bit garish for me, but overall the decor was fine. Because we were repeat customers we got several amenities for free (free drink package, 250 minutes of free internet, and some free specialty dining). Sign up for your specialty dining early so you get the time(s) you want. We did not do much in terms of entertainment. We did, however, do a couple of things on a regular basis: play trivia and go to the DJ. The trivia was fine, but I think they could have done more of them. As for the DJ, I went to him early during the trip and showed him a list of songs my husband will dance to. I told the DJ my husband's birthday, and he said he would play many of the songs. On my hubby's birthday I went back to the DJ to show him the list again, and he played 2 songs from the list of about 25 songs. When he played "our" songs the dance floor was rocking. However, the DJ preferred latin songs. As soon as he played the songs he preferred the dance floor cleared. Usually I am a fitness nut, but since I was on vacation I did not visit the gym. I still got my Fitbit 10K+ steps per day (and I am a senior citizen) from walking around the ship and doing the shore excursions. Here is something I really appreciated in the casino: they have no-smoking times in the casino. Even my husband, a reformed smoker, mentioned how much he liked the no-smoking times. The casino is on the small side. Our preferred game is blackjack, and there were a few times that the low-cost table was full (sorry - no $25 minimum bet for us). Bar service in the casino was spotty; often times someone would have to ask the manager to send over a waitress. I would say the shore excursions were OK. Here is what we did and my evaluation of each: * Stockholm Ice Bar - This is quite the gimmick. The Ice Bar is in a hotel. You arrive at the hotel and wander around the lobby until it is your tour's time to enter. There is what I will call a dressing room between the hotel lobby and the actual bar. This is where helpers place a one-size fits all poncho with mittens attached over your head. The ponchos are a bit sticky, and I would challenge that one size fits all for me at 5'4" and my hubby at 6'3". Once inside you see a bar carved of ice and snow along with art work also made of ice and snow. You are served 1 drink (you choose with or without alcohol). It is served in an ice shot glass that is kind of hard to drink from. * St Petersburg - We did 3 events in 2 days. Absolute must is the Hermitage. The evening at the Catherine Palace was OK, but there were 2 issues: (1) We departed at 6:30 PM, and we incorrectly assumed this meant we'd be served dinner. That was not the case, so by the time we got home around 10:30 we were very hungry. Princess should have advised us the eat before we left. (2) It was raining, and many of the guests were not prepared (we were). Given the conditions Princess should have had some umbrellas on the bus. Our third excursion was local connections - roots of Russia. This excursion included watching some chefs cook a traditional Russian food (but a guide had to translate what the chef said he/she was doing, and it was clear there were some translation issues), then all of the guests were served whatever the chef was making. I would say the food was so-so. The 2 things I liked were (1) we all got to make and then eat a small pasta stuffed with meat and (2) there were different kinds of vodka served with each course. * Tallin - Local Connections: Old Town & Beer Tasting. There were not a lot of options in Tallin. We both love beer, so this seemed like the thing to do. We were not disappointed. There is a tour of the brewery followed by beer tastings (I think there were 5 different types of beer). Now, when I say beer I don't mean you get a shot glass. They put the beer in containers like those you see in the lobby of a nice hotel that has flavored water in it, and you take what you want. You also get a small dish of hors d'oeuvres to eat. It happened that the day we were there there was a kind of flea market in town, and I bought some lovely earrings there. * Berlin - Warnemunde. I am really torn here. We went to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. It's powerful to go to a concentration camp (I had been to one 40+ years ago), but the problem is getting there. You board a train and travel 3+ hours to get to the camp. Our tour guide was good but a bit pretentious. My recommendation is to not go on a shore excursion that requires a long bus or train trip to get there. * Oslo - Kon-Tiki and Viking Museums. We really enjoyed both museums. I'd give this a thumbs up. The dining was OK but not memorable. There were lots of options at the buffet. The main dining halls had the same fare. Due to our status we could take advantage of a special entry site, which gave us an extra course (a pasta of some sort). Technically our friends could not eat with us, since they did not have our status, but the compromise was we would sit in the "regular" part of the dining hall but still get the extra pasta. Service was good in the buffet, meaning the staff kept the tables cleared. They also walked around at breakfast with water and juices and asked if you wanted coffee. There was no hawking extras (like fresh-squeeze OJ) that we've experienced on other cruise lines. One additional comment I made to Princess after the cruise. In today's day and age guests should be able to see their combined statements on the TV and the phone app. FYI. In case you are interested, we observed that the cruise was LGBT friendly. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise primarily for visa free Russia and the lovely city of St Petersburg - the other 13 ports were a bonus, but although we had been to all the countries before, we did get off at every one. First thing to note is that ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily for visa free Russia and the lovely city of St Petersburg - the other 13 ports were a bonus, but although we had been to all the countries before, we did get off at every one. First thing to note is that Stockholm hotels are expensive as are drinks in Swedish bars - save money at the 7/11 :) Plenty to see in this capital, but get to the Vasa museum very early or leave it late to avoid all the cruise parties. Easy to get to port on public transport, although we used an u ber for about a tenner from city center. Embarkation was a breeze and we were on board very quickly - note, do not queue outside if you already have your luggage labelled - just drop it off. We went straight to our room to drop our hand luggage and use safe and headed to the bar as room was still being made up. I think we were on board for 1pm. We asked to get our bed split too to make our inside cabin more functional - have no idea how 4 people will survive in it, but was fine for 2. Two cases fitted easily under one bed, plenty of hangers available, with adequate shelving and drawers. Small TV which we only used to watch the bow camera, lighting slightly dark, fixtures slightly rattly and walls thin. Noise was not really an issue and ear plugs blocked most noise. Bathroom was fine if a bit old and only complaint was shower drained slow, very slow. No windows made it easy to sleep as was pitch black, but hard to know what was going on in the morning. Also no phone signal in cabin :( Ship is old and small, but we were pleasantly surprised. Nightclub was mainly empty with a hardcore of about 10 of us there every night (Not that sort of cruise), very few kids which was great, Henry's bar was the most authentic bar and Stevan (Serbia) was a great barman, Champagne bar was ok, but most of our time was spent in the Galaxy on deck 12 - biggest room, best views and Klay was best barman on the boat. Entertainment team were good and ran 4 quizzes a day, fitness classes, sports, dance classes and participation shows - quite good fun. I am not really int the big shows so only went to one which was good enough. Didn't particularly like the auto-tuned pianist's singing (he was a great piano player), Melvin was good in the bar and Hotwire (Main Latino band) were great. We were off the ship everyday so didn't really use the pool/hot-tubs, etc. Pool was small and 4 tubs were smallish, but often available. Basketball court was available a lot as were the driving range. Food was good and we ate in the Garden most due to relaxed dress code. Rarely ate buffet other than breakfast and specialty restaurants were ok as we got a package, but would have been disappointed if we had paid for them. By saying this, I mean they were not that much better than the main dining rooms. In general I was really happy with food choice and drink choice. The only issue I had with the drink package was that bottled water was not included and this is purely a money making exercise by NCL. You could get 'tap' water in all restaurants and bars though. Staff were generally happy and helpful and good at their jobs. I would cruise on this boat again after its' refurb in January. I avoided all NCL's excursions due to them being twice the price of what you could get for yourselves. StP 2 day excursion being the case in point. Another big negative was the berths we docked at - we always seemed to have the worst berth compared to other cruise lines. This meant longer walks, paid for coaches, etc. Self disembarkation was really easy and we u bered to the railway station for a tenner So NCL - add water to the affordable drinks package, reduce price of excursions and dock at the better berths (I assume they cost more) and you may even get full marks from me. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this cruise for the 13 country itinerary in 15 days, knowing it would not be the relaxing cruise that we usually take. Very smooth embarking and debarkation. We liked the sized of the ship. We never felt there were 2000 people on ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the 13 country itinerary in 15 days, knowing it would not be the relaxing cruise that we usually take. Very smooth embarking and debarkation. We liked the sized of the ship. We never felt there were 2000 people on board with the exception of a couple times at Raffles buffet. We were really expecting the worst of the SPirit as it is due to go for drydock in January. That being said, the ship far exceeded our low expectations. We kept commenting that it was so much nicer than we ever imaged. The ship appeared to be kept clean and rooms were decent. Certainly the staterooms will be nice after updates as bathrooms are outdated but clean is most important to us. The stateroom was decent for size just as photos show. It is always nice to have a small sofa to sit onwhich these rooms have. We have had smaller and larger but room was very adequate. Closet held ample clothing. Our room steward did a great job. His cart was normally parked next to our door which wasn't a problem. We had surprise animals every night! The dining room was extremely inconsistent from both time and quality standards. One day everything would come out quickly and hot and the next day food would be very cold and come in waves for the table.. The staff were always pleasant and tried to please but there must have been a problem somewhere in between. Raffles was a choice sometimes but at busy times tables in the buffet area would be hard to find but we would sit outside. The traffic flow seemed pretty non existent . La Bistro was the favorite of all 10 of us and was the Best food we had on board. Tempanyaki was 2nd. Very tender beef and nice dinner. Cagneys was big disappointment both in service and food. We had table of 6 and table of 4. No steak and lobster as on menu and shrimp was offered instead. No one LOVED their dinner that evening. Blue Lagoon was a quick and easy place to have a burger, salad etc after shore excursions or when you just want a quick easy meal. Quick service - same manager as La Bistro. He does a great job! We enjoyed the entertainment - both onboard group and guest entertainment. The violinist was entertaining as were most of them. Loved Henry's pub and the staff and also spent time in the outdoor beer garden. All the bars had a different specialty menu which was fun. Casino was way to smoky to ever visit. No nonsmoking day. I can't comment on entertainment other than evening shows as this was such a port intensive cruise we didn't take time to participate. One of the true disappointments were shore excursions. Most people we saw felt the same way but I am not seeing the negative reviews yet. It was a mess all leaving from the theater most days. The mad rush when 360 people are called for an excursion. We had a group of 10 and overall, the biggest disappointment was lack of sound enhancement for most tours. Most tours had 36 to 45 people and without sound enhancement the tour guide was pretty useless. Helsinki, Amsterdam, Gdansk and st Peterburg were the only cities we understand had the earbuds or amplifier. We had some tour guides in the other cities that could not be in control of such a large tour group in busy historical cities as well as not being able to project their voice. The tours were awfull! We put up with tours in some cities because of transportation and or boat tour which were excellent but the rest of the tour terrible. I had minimal need for shopping with the exception of an ornament. in some cities, there was no time alloted to even buy an ornament. The worst of all was 3 1/2 hour Rostock for $109. Most things in the city was closed. We rode the bus to the historic center hearing of some history and how everyone drinks too much beer and the guide Kai pretty much just walked, talking to one of the guests and would give a few facts every once in a while. The restaurants were opening but nothing else. We had over an hour free that day with nowhere to go. I would suggest finding alternatives to NCL such as small groups that guarantee getting back to ship. A small group would be of great value. I will be very selective of NCL tours in the future after this experience. Just hard to have 40 plus people trying to hear follow 1 guide. I would look forward to another cruise on the spirit especially after she goes through drydock Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
What i understand is that this cruise was the first complete Baltic sea cruise in two years and that Oslo was included. The area is new to me and I was very interested in seeing the cities. I travel alone and was a little disappointed ... Read More
What i understand is that this cruise was the first complete Baltic sea cruise in two years and that Oslo was included. The area is new to me and I was very interested in seeing the cities. I travel alone and was a little disappointed that NCL didn't have single cabins. The cruise was rather expensive, but I thought it might be worth it because of the excursions. I used the NCL internet site to determine my excursions When I got aboard, I was disappointed to find that the list of excursion was much larger with a lot more detail. The ship (which is common) had an older passenger clientel and the excursions were geared toward us. The German excursion was the most exhausting because of the six hour traveling to spend six hours to visit such a city. The food was average for ships. The buffet could have had a taster menu. The restaurants were nothing to write home about. The Italian restaurant was a rather disappointing place. No ambiance. The ship services were very good especially 'Guest Services' (Carol Macapagal) and my two favorite employees, the bartenders at Charlies (Boyana and Christine). Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We did the 15 day Baltic cruise from Stockholm to Southampton. The itinerary was great and the shore excursions excellent. We choose not to take the long bus/train rides into Berlin, Paris or Brussels but instead enjoyed exploring the ... Read More
We did the 15 day Baltic cruise from Stockholm to Southampton. The itinerary was great and the shore excursions excellent. We choose not to take the long bus/train rides into Berlin, Paris or Brussels but instead enjoyed exploring the smaller cities near the ports. The Norwegian Spirit is in need of refurbishing but we didn't spend much time on it. The food was mediocre but adequate. Unfortunately the dining availability did not match the excursions and sail away times. We came back late from excursions twice to find only a very small cafe open to get any food at all. Another issue was that the ship docked in many industrial port areas away from the nearest cities. There were cruise ships docked much closer to the ports but it seemed that we always were docked much farther away requiring shuttles and such. It also seemed that some of the entertainment was repeated or at least the blurbs about the shows were identical. We enjoyed one group and were looking forward to seeing them again but it was the same show. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
When I saw the itinerary for this cruise I had to book immediately: Stockholm, St. Petersburg (2 nights), Tallinn, Klaipeda, Gdynia, Riga, Oslo, Copenhagen, Brussels, Le Havre, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Southampton. The itinerary did not ... Read More
When I saw the itinerary for this cruise I had to book immediately: Stockholm, St. Petersburg (2 nights), Tallinn, Klaipeda, Gdynia, Riga, Oslo, Copenhagen, Brussels, Le Havre, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Southampton. The itinerary did not disappoint although a couple of NCL's excursions did, particularly the one in Tallinn. I had been on the Spirit before so I knew that the ship is older and some things need updating (It's going into dry dock for a major refurbishment in Feb. 2020.) However, I like this ship because it's small and easy to get around. I especially like the observation deck on 12. My balcony cabin was very nice and comfortable. This was my first cruise as a solo traveller and I must say I was initially apprehensive about what the experience would be like. There was no need to worry though. NCL hosts regular solo get- togethers and dinners. The other solo cruisers were delightful and I'm grateful to NCL for providing the opportunity to meet them. NCL's solos representative did a terrific job in making everyone feel welcome. (The complementary champagne and wine was very much appreciated also.) Now to discuss some of the things that could have been improved. First of all, the main dining room, Windows, has very slow service and the food quality uneven. Some of the entertainment (a female singer, a juggler, magician and acrobats) was not to my liking but that is mostly personal preference, of course. In the 15 days, I went to only 4 or 5 shows because many of the acts just didn't appeal to me. The negatives were not so great as to seriously impact my overall enjoyment of this cruise. I definitely plan on cruising with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019

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