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5 Norwegian (NCL) Stockholm Cruise Reviews

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 Certainly the staterooms will be nice after updates as bathrooms are outdated but clean is most important to us.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
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
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
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
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
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