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29 Oslo to Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews

Azamara folk are incredibly loyal and proud of their ship, and that’s just the guests! (Well, the staff are loyal and proud too). This was our first Azamara cruise, so I’m barely qualified to write this review, surrounded as we were by ... Read More
Azamara folk are incredibly loyal and proud of their ship, and that’s just the guests! (Well, the staff are loyal and proud too). This was our first Azamara cruise, so I’m barely qualified to write this review, surrounded as we were by guests cruising Azamara for their fifth, tenth, even twentieth time in its ten-year history. The Captain set the tone, sociable, warm, and happy to show us Norway through his eyes. Our two (three?) sets of cruise directors brought enthusiasm and warmth to the trip. Entertainment maybe leaned too heavily on Broadway, but we appreciated the effort and I really liked the house band and the lounge performers. The cultural lectures were pertinent and valuable to appreciating our all-Norway itinerary. The cooking demonstrations were enjoyable and offered a peek at the professionalism and mutual respect that exists among the kitchen crew, which surely is not always the case. The AzAmazing evening featured a brilliant concert in Trondheim’s Nidaros Cathedral, and the White Night gave us an opportunity to cheer for the staff as they paraded through. Shore excursions were hit-and-miss and overpriced as usual, but we followed the pre-cruise Roll Call here on CruiseCritic and had a good mix of internal and external bookings. Well done Azamara! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This review is only highlighting two major problems that Crystal has had with its policies for the ships. 1. Children are only looked after by kids club care while a parent is onboard. - If both parents (Authorized person) leave to go ... Read More
This review is only highlighting two major problems that Crystal has had with its policies for the ships. 1. Children are only looked after by kids club care while a parent is onboard. - If both parents (Authorized person) leave to go on a shore trip they MUST take the kids with them - Noting that a number of the shore trips are not for children - 2. The only compromise is to have a staff member - not trained in child care are not having any basic emergency medical training baby sit them in your room. That's not to the same standards as kids club as they staff member could be any volunteer - 3. The Internet on board continually dropped out for a lot of the day, while my 4G/3G Modem to Norway telco was providing 50 - 100 Mb/s from the room - for all the trip other than a 8 hour ocean trip from Norway to Scotland. When I pointed out this to the IT staff they said that Satellite was the only way they could provide the service. In addition that noted that Internet complaints where the largest item of complaint. 4. Children leaving the vessel can be marked for checking that they have a parent with them. However, every time we left the ship our child ran ahead and was never stopped.. There identification system rang a bell and they then turned it off at no stage stopping the child I pointed out the kids club issue during the trip to the Director of Services and they advised that its company policy and there is no flexibility I showed the engineering and IT staff the speed I had with 3g/4G while at sea and was advised that they have 32 Mb/s to the satellite and that it ...When they loose the Satellite they have a backup but on trip to far northern latitudes they will continually have a problem. this was not a good family experience. I have rated below ignoring tese issues Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Service was outstanding throughout the ship. Dock locations in every port were splendid. We love smaller ships and wanted to go to Saint Petersburg, Silver Seas had the only top rated small ship stopping there and we liked the three ... Read More
Service was outstanding throughout the ship. Dock locations in every port were splendid. We love smaller ships and wanted to go to Saint Petersburg, Silver Seas had the only top rated small ship stopping there and we liked the three days it stayed. The other ports were all second rate, with the exception of Helsinki. Saint Petersburg cannot be over rated and the shore excursions were excellent. Ten years ago the interior would have been standard for a luxury cruise. Everything about the ship was dark and outdated. It was a little dirtier than one would expect. The crew on the other hand was first rate. The Butler and made took exceptional care of us. When I became ill they cared about me and my needs, not just providing their normal excellent service. The servers and managers in the four restaurants were also excellent attempting to make up for what was lacking in the quality of the food. Le Champagne was a huge disappointment. To pay extra for second rate food was an outrage. We went twice to see if the first time was a fluke, and the food was a little better but neither was top rate. The worst feature of this cruise was the wi fi. I utilize it regularly so I paid for the "PREMIUM" service. It was extremely slow and disconnected and cost about the same a one years worth of shore service. To say the least it was a disgrace for a cruise line that advertises itself as first class to provide third world internet service. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
After sailing with SilverSea on the Silver Wind in 2011 we decided we prefer the smaller numbers of passengers over the larger ships and booked with them again. We wanted to see St Petersburg and Moscow and thought this cruise would ... Read More
After sailing with SilverSea on the Silver Wind in 2011 we decided we prefer the smaller numbers of passengers over the larger ships and booked with them again. We wanted to see St Petersburg and Moscow and thought this cruise would allow us to do that. The Bullet Train between the two cities was also something new to experience. We had been to the Scandinavian countries 30 years ago and enjoyed it so thought it would be fun to visit different places in the same countries as we had been to before. SilverSea arranged for our flights - getting there was a very long day having to fly from Tampa to Dulles to Frankfurt to Oslo. Frankfurt to Oslo flight was delayed by 2 hours. Once on board the flight was fine and Business Class was worth the extra air fare. Coming home from Stockholm was not quite as good. We had to leave the ship by 8:00 am for a 12:25 pm flight, and thus had to wait at the airport for approximately 2 hours. We were able to use the SAS lounge. The SAS flight to Newark was delightful. One of the best airlines to fly. Unfortunately, the airport at Newark and the United flight, from Newark was not a good experience. Upon arriving at Newark and after going through customs and all procedures we went by AirTrain to Terminal C from Terminal B to our United area. We went to the United Lounge as we were flying First Class and were told we could use the lounge for our wait. When we got there we were refused entry because we had not flown into this country on a United flight even though United and SAS are partners and United made the arrangements. Not only was it frustrating but also embarrassing. When we walked to the gate area we were trying to find some seats - almost impossible as there were food scraps, pizza, plastic dishes, cups, napkins, etc, on the seats, on the floors, everywhere. Just disgusting! Many of the charging stations were not functioning either. Finally it is time to board and we are told that the flight is delayed. It was delayed by mechanical trouble for approximately 1 hour. The gate attendant then announced that there wasn't enough room for the carry on bags in the overhead compartments - and went around picking out a few pieces of luggage to be checked at the gate. Our two bags were selected. Because we didn't empty the front pockets the suitcases didn't fit in their measurement container and had to be checked at the gate. Fortunately I had an extra lock with me so could lock one of the suitcases. We tried to explain to her that both cases had flown on United all the way going on the trip and will fit in the overheads with no issues but she refused to budge. What was most annoying was that I noticed that she let several bags through that were actually bigger than ours. This was upsetting and made us feel singled out. Finally we are allowed to board the plane and discover that our seats and seat area was filthy - there were food crumbs, scraps, chips, etc all over the floor, the console between the seats was covered in something sticky. I took a wet paper towel from the bathroom and started washing it down. I took a wet one and wiped down the headrests and the wet one came off black - totally unacceptable in First Class. I raised the issue and spoke out about this. The Flight Attendant noticed and heard my comments; she contacted the pilot who contacted Air Services who sent out the Manager who then cleaned the two bulkhead seats from top to bottom. There was no excuse for this especially since the flight was delayed that hour so they had plenty of time to clean the seats properly. I am hoping to never have to fly out of Newark or use United again. We noticed as well that the floor molding was coming off the wall on the plane as well. There were some glitches on the ship - - bathrooms, both public and private did not flush on and off for three or more days while in port. Service was responsive and problems fixed promptly. - cabin air conditioning did not function properly for the first three days of the cruise so we asked if we could be transferred to another room and one was available so they did transfer us. - other people on board had floods in their rooms and also had to be transferred to other rooms. - the safe in the first room we were in could not be locked or unlocked properly. - electric outlets would not hold our plugs and the hair dryer would only fit into one outlet in the bathroom. (The Butler remedied this by loaning us a 6 outlet device). The ship is going into dry dock the beginning or middle of August and it was quite visible that they were letting things go. For example, the ceiling in the Panoramic Lounge was dirty and peeling. The carpets are showing their age, as were the countertops in staterooms. Dining was fine - Maitre'D was very accommodating to our needs and the needs of our table mates and did a super job pairing us with two other couples for dinner - we spent our dinners with them and also some time touring with the two couples. La Terrazza had an Italian theme in the evening and it was really good. It was nice to have representation of Russian food when we were in port for 3 days. The buffet at breakfast and lunch in LaTerrazza was quite enjoyable...gluten free, sugar free, all sorts of options were available. My husband had to use the Medical facility on board and saw the nurse and the doctor. Very nicely done. Doc gave him advice on what to take, gave him a prescription for a medication he had forgotten so we could go into the next town and have it filled which we did. Didn't charge for a follow up visit except for the medications he gave him - cough medicine and antibiotic. This is one of the best features of the SilverSea line... having medical facilities on board. Because the entertainment started at 10 PM we opted to not attend any shows so can't comment but did hear some good things about the performers. I understand that the Boutique shops are not run by SilverSea directly but by another company. I was given a gift certificate for $500 to be spent on a particular line of jewelry, Paragon, being sold in the Boutique. When I went in to price items for sale I was told there were no items under $1800 and I could use the gift certificate TOWARDS a particular item that I liked. The gift certificate did not say "towards" a purchase, but said "We present you with a $500 Gift Certificate for Paragon Couture fine jewelry collection..." This, to me, is deceptive marketing and not worthy of SilverSea. It was very disappointing indeed! Also, when we were on the Silver Wind in 2011 it was possible to purchase SilverSea logo items. These were not available on board the Silver Cloud. It would have been nice to have these available for purchase. Another possibility would be for the line to carry some mid priced items. Not everyone on the ship was interested in purchasing high end, high priced items whether it be jewelry or clothing. I saw many passengers purchasing items, as gifts for family members, while on the tours and very possibly these passengers might have purchased items on board if the prices on board were not so high end. We did enjoy the majority of the tours and excursions that we decided to take. One in particular we found a waste of time, Baltic Sea Glass and Champagne with a visit to a fishing village. This was in Ronne, Denmark. After riding the bus for about an hour we arrived and were served a glass of champagne. But the company did not give any demonstration of glass blowing - all they did was talk about their company, how the commercial pieces were made in Slovenia and only the custom pieces were made there. Then they encouraged everyone to shop. When we arrived at the fishing village we were not given any tour of the village nor were we given any information about it. We were told about the shops and given free time to walk around. It was very crowded as it is a popular local area. A docent or guided walk around option would have been nice to explain about the local buildings and area. We did enjoy the visit to the 14th Century pharmacy in Tallinn, Estonia. A majority of the areas we were taken to seemed to be areas where tourists could shop. On the first tour we went on we stopped for a "photo spot" of an ancient castle. It would have been delightful to be able to walk over to the castle as many others were doing and have a talk about it. That was in Skagen, Denmark. In Fredericia, Denmark we did the Egeskov Castle tour and that was quite lovely. The garden grounds were beautiful. I would suggest that SilverSea have their Cruise Directors go on the excursion that they advertise so they can be better prepared to advise the passengers when asked about them. Susie, one of the directors was as helpful as she could be but she had not been on all the tours. Would we go again? I would like to go back to Moscow and St Petersburg and spend more time there. Would I sail on SilverSea again? Yes, but I would be sure to try to pick one of the newer ships. We had been on the Silver Wind in 2011 and was very impressed with both the service, the attentiveness, the cleanliness, etc. of the ship and crew and thus went on its' sister ship, the Cloud, for our second journey. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We walked around the old city of Stockholm after arriving from our overnight flight before going to the ship for departure. It would have been better if we had been able to have an extra day to see Stockholm without having to go to a ... Read More
We walked around the old city of Stockholm after arriving from our overnight flight before going to the ship for departure. It would have been better if we had been able to have an extra day to see Stockholm without having to go to a separate hotel for the night. I wanted to visit as many Baltic countries as possible in good weather. The August weather was near perfect every single day. I would liked to have seen Moscow but the 18-hour trip day would have been too strenuous with the early rising, 8 hours of train riding, & getting back to the ship late. It would have left me too exhausted to enjoy the following day in St. Petersburg. As it was, I enjoyed my tours in & around St. Petersburg & still didn't have time to see it all. We had been on a Silver Cloud cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona several years ago in September. We think the staff was more attentive on that cruise. Perhaps because this was the last cruise of this ship before overhaul, the staff was just not as up on their game & anxious for the ordeal to be over & done with. At meals we often had a hard time getting our water glasses refilled. This was a real problem as we were only drinking water. Also, service was usually slow. We noticed staff simply not paying attention to what they were supposed to be doing. The tour in Germany to see a UNESCO World Heritage site was a disappointment because it was overpriced for what you received. The guide used a microphone on the bus & that was fine. But once the group of about 33 people was off the bus, he didn't have a microphone & we also weren't provided with radio headsets so the situation wasn't conducive to hearing all that was said. We should have been broken down into smaller groups or else provided hearing sets. Also, we got an hour of "shopping" time. I would rather have had more tour time. That's what I came on this trip for. I wanted to see the sites & learn about the history of the area. On the return trip back to the ship the guide didn't give us a narrative; he let us have some "rest" time. I would rate him average, but for the price we paid we had expected above average. Several people commented that this particular tour was a ripoff. The private tour we took to Catherine's Palace was only average because of the guide. We enjoyed actually seeing the Palace though. She took us to a shop back in St. Petersburg for a few minutes to souvenir shop. I bought a small Faberge egg there (to hold my hearing aids while sleeping). Later in other shops I saw similar eggs for almost 1/2 the price I had paid! I think the guides should not take you to places to shop where the prices are inflated. We thoroughly enjoyed the lectures on the ship given by the professor Dr. Ed Lynch from Hollins University in Virginia. He was GREAT!!! He certainly made a huge contribution to our satisfaction with this trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We wanted to visit the Baltic states - Norway et al. and St. Petersburg. The Silver Cloud was super and the service and crew were great. Some of the tours were good, especially in St. Petersburg. But several were ridiculous - gardens tour ... Read More
We wanted to visit the Baltic states - Norway et al. and St. Petersburg. The Silver Cloud was super and the service and crew were great. Some of the tours were good, especially in St. Petersburg. But several were ridiculous - gardens tour without entry to the main palace for $175. A tour of a town in Delmark with all the shops closed - on a Sunday. Ultimately, a traveler must understand that the cruise fees is only about half of the ultimate cost after the added fees for land tours and the "premium" wines and restaurant. Otherwise, the crew is super, especially the Philipino service service staff. The entertainment was average. The lectures were below par. The food was quite good until the ship exhausted some ingredients. We would not travel again on this cruise BUT a first-timer should do so but be careful about which tours to subscribe to. Cheers! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We prefer smaller ships. We prefer upscale ships and are willing to pay the premium to avoid the hassles of budget ships. Silversea does a good job of advertising such a cruise. Execution is something else. Understand that Silver ... Read More
We prefer smaller ships. We prefer upscale ships and are willing to pay the premium to avoid the hassles of budget ships. Silversea does a good job of advertising such a cruise. Execution is something else. Understand that Silver Cloud is an old ship, very old and is in need of either replacement or taking it down to the keel and starting over. There is a major overhaul scheduled for August 2017. This is about five years late. Unfortunately, we were scheduled on a cruise three months ahead of the overhaul. For openers, when we arrived in Oslo, We were met by a Silversea rep who parked us on a bench while he waited for other guests. We waited and waited and waited. Some guests were there for over two hours. We then were loaded onto a bus along with our luggage and transported not to the ship but to a hotel in Oslo. All baggage was unloaded and scattered around the hotel until it was time to proceed to the ship. Reload and arrive a few minutes later at the ship. Gather your bags and check in. Once on the ship, we noticed that the carpets in the passageways and public areas were filthy to the point of being unhealthy. Our cabin was typical. Nothing special.Very similar to Regent ships. The butler and cabin attendant were excellent. Food was also excellent. Our cabin had no ventilation for the entire 17 day cruise. It smell of stale air. It was a nightmare to get them to address this issue. Apparently there is a major problem with the HVAC system on the ship that cannot be fixed at sea. We regulated temperature by opening the veranda door and propping it open with a table.This means that you have to listen to the howling winds typical of arctic latitudes. The ultimate slap in the face was when "Begonia", the hospitality lady shows up and pronounces " What do you expect? You are not at home". Indeed. We are paying over one thousand dollars a day and expect facilities commensurate with that. Sadly, there are four more cruises on this bucket before it goes into the shipyard. This company lacks honesty and integrity when it does not inform passengers that they have major problems. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
First of all, i want to say that the service people aboard ship did a tremendous job. they were the best. Our trip began arriving at oslo at 7:00am, driven to the raddison blu hotel, arriving at 8:30am and was told to wait in the ... Read More
First of all, i want to say that the service people aboard ship did a tremendous job. they were the best. Our trip began arriving at oslo at 7:00am, driven to the raddison blu hotel, arriving at 8:30am and was told to wait in the lobby till 2:30 pm for a bus to pick us up to take us to the ship. no welcome group for us, no information at all. a few of us had to clutter up the lobby along with our luggage awaiting on the bus. when the bus arrived, we had to take it upon ourselves to transfer luggage and ourselves to tell the driver that we are included in the group. No excuse for this treatment. A dog was treated better than we were. The ship should have been in dry dock a year earlier. a/c and heat were problems as we could not regulate either unit for the entire trip. either it was cold or hot , no even temperature. Windows and doors in the dining room and verandas were never washed and had numerous rust stains. Carpeting through out the ship was in poor shape. 3 dryers and washers in the laundry room. For the entire ship. when they worked, they lacked cleaniless and extreamly lengthy times drying. always a waiting line to get clothes done. The food was adaquate, it was not 5 star as indicated. the "la champagne" resturant had the same menu for the 17 day trip and it was not worth the added dollars. the main dining room had the same items. the italian resturant lacked creativity. all the pasta's were the same except that the different sauces, (they claimed to be) all tasted the same. (blah). SILVERSEA'S "DID NOT LIVE UP TO THE EXPECTATIONS THAT THEY EXPECTED FROM THEIR GUESTS." THEY CHARGED "CHAMPAGNE MONEY FOR BEER SERVICE" The air service department of silverseas is not a well oiled machine. they do everything possible to get the lowest price for silverseas and do not take the client in consideration when making arrangements. SOME SHORE EXCURSIONS SHOULD BE ELIMINATED AS ALL THEY ARE IS A WASTE OF TIME RIDING A BUS (TO GET YOU OFF THE SHIP) WITH NOTHING TO Do or see. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
we chose the cruise because of the destinations... really in depth of Norway plus stops way up in Russia. This was our first time ... and we expected it to be comparable to Regent Silver Seas... we wont do this again ... of course ... Read More
we chose the cruise because of the destinations... really in depth of Norway plus stops way up in Russia. This was our first time ... and we expected it to be comparable to Regent Silver Seas... we wont do this again ... of course there were some incredible staff members like our Butler Dipak, and Marlon in the BAR .... but overall very disappointing. I did suggest on the mid cruise eval... that someone should be a secret shopper in the very tiny laundry ... i never heard a positive word. shocking that there were only three washers and dryers and not laundromat size... and very tempermental... it could take 90 minutes to dry your clothes which really backed up the place and really it should tell you something if you need a drip towel on the floor... and no chairs to sit and wait ... REGENT has laundry on almost every floor... chairs and TV... so you can keep laundry door closed and not disturb guests. the food was very good... but disappointed that every night it was the same OLD RICE CHEX mix in the bar... and the appetizers always came COLD... we never did drink our wine and vodka in our suite as there was no appetizer list to pre order and have at your room like on REGENT... and to find a cup of coffee was really hard... no coffee maker in your room and no real coffee place... if you did go to Panorama ... there was not so much as a cookie or piece of fruit to take with you ... after a tour sometimes you just want a cookie and coffee... very inconvenient to call room service ... and there were no snacks to pick from in Terrazo at noon ... you really got questioned and stares if you wanted to take some cookies or crackers and cheese to have in your room for later... seemed stingy ... the wines were identical almost every night ... it was laughable... and not of the quality i expected... the connisuers list was very limited... we ate in Le Champagne three times... and not worth the extra charge... the wines were identical to the other restaurants... and the food was basically the same menu ... every time we ate there ... i downloaded the PRESS READER app at home... and had to go to internet 4 times... they kept telling me it was my ipad ... but then i had to use my data roaming to show them press reader had the paper ... they just had not downloaded it ... you would have thought after the second time ... the guy would have made sure the LA TIMEs was there... oh he even told me there was no 4th of july paper... i had to contact my travel agent ... as reception told me i had to pay 500 for a transfer on the 7th to the airport... it did get cleared up ... and then there was the stress of making the connection ... in the end the head of reception told me she convinced the captain to arrive at 730 am instead of 8 am to ensure and there were about 20 of us who needed to get to the airport... silver sea booked our air.. the temperature on the ship was freezing... what do you say to people when you have give everyone a blanket to hear a lecture... the lecturers were not of the quality expected.. ok i did enjoy the trip down memory lane of the musicals ... but expected smithsonian quality lecturers on ww2, vikings, etc... and just history of norway .. Captain Wells was also interesting... as for acoustics ... really they were terrible... you could not hear well it was so scratchy .. and the last thing i wanted to hear was how the ship was going to be redone... perhaps i would have felt ok ... if when i booked the trip i was told there was a discount because the ship was old and tired... and there was no intention of keeping it up ... also i should have taken pictures because the room was dirty ... i did point out the heavy dust on the air vent/grid at the door ... to the housekeeper... later i actually when they told me the room was now clean ... i wet some wash clothes and dropped the filthy blacked ones off at reception ... after i cleaned myself.. now we are glad we saw the sights... the tours were good ... and susie the tour coordinator was excellent... oh i forgot ... only one of the 5 treadmills actually worked Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I wanted to see Norway, Silcer Cloud came on... Italian-family-owned Silversea company tried to squeeze all possible $$$ as long as possible from this ship, by my cruise it was almost impossible to deal with this old ship conditions: very ... Read More
I wanted to see Norway, Silcer Cloud came on... Italian-family-owned Silversea company tried to squeeze all possible $$$ as long as possible from this ship, by my cruise it was almost impossible to deal with this old ship conditions: very old, very cold for a half cruise (58°F/14°C) & broken equipment in the very small, over-stuffed gym; not working AC (at the beginning of the cruise it was too cold, then too hot, temperature in the room was set centrally, you can't set your own temperature control), casino was like sauna; room decor & design were too old & uncomfortable. 2 girls at reception, except Robert, were clueless, incompetent; the shorter dark lady at the boutique store talks like she's selling home-craft stuff on the street market, not several-thousands jewelry; most waiters were very nice, friendly & polite, but never knew information about food they're serving.... I don't want to go on & on.... Long story short: this ship is not what would you expect from a luxury, 6-star company paying them $1000/day for a regular balcony room/suite! :( Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. That part of the cruise lived up to expectations. The staff was pleasant and competent. All else, did not live up to expectations. The quality of the food, wines, lectures, desserts were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. That part of the cruise lived up to expectations. The staff was pleasant and competent. All else, did not live up to expectations. The quality of the food, wines, lectures, desserts were terrible (the same mold every night with different fillings). and entertainment were much less than expected. We thought that this was NOT a luxury cruise. What more can I say. We went with Seaborn last year and it was an amazing experience from beginning to end. The ONLY thing on Silverseas was the check-in. That was the best part of our first day. Some of the tours were ok, serval were excellent. The ship store was awful. I bought a pair of earrings and got home to find one of the backs missing. There was little to purchase and the choices were very poor. The was time with no hot water as well as often needing serval extra blankets-we had three in our room. Not planning to go on Silverseas again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Solely because of the itineraries and the size of the ship. We had always wanted to visit Norway, the islands of the North Atlantic and Iceland. The two back to back cruises provided a wonderful introduction the the geography and history ... Read More
Solely because of the itineraries and the size of the ship. We had always wanted to visit Norway, the islands of the North Atlantic and Iceland. The two back to back cruises provided a wonderful introduction the the geography and history of this part of the world. The insight into Viking history and culture was especially interesting. The ship was very comfortable and the hotel staff were excellent. Unfortunately we found that the reception staff, although uniformly charming, often gave conflicting information, especially about excursions, The English language skills were sometimes poor. This led us to be stranded in Bergin but fortunately the tour guides saved the day. The majority of the excursions were excellent but the practice of putting the minority non-French speakers at the back of the buses with variable methods of delivering an intelligible commentary became a little tedious. If Ponant is serious about expanding its non French speaking customers it should consider these issues. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
It could not have been MORE wonderful! The ship is simply spectacular! The food was fantastic. Every area of the boat was beautiful. I am affected by beauty and this made me so excited that the love for it was almost painful. My favorite ... Read More
It could not have been MORE wonderful! The ship is simply spectacular! The food was fantastic. Every area of the boat was beautiful. I am affected by beauty and this made me so excited that the love for it was almost painful. My favorite was the Explorers Lounge.. at the bow of the ship, with glass all around, sides and ceiling, so it felt completely open to the vast panoramas of nature and sky, with comfy chairs for front viewing, and fur throws on the sofas, and a 'fireplace'.. It was there that I had my berries and full cream (!!!) for breakfast, along with my cappuccino. Our friends had the other pure norweigan fare for breakfast there. And afternoon snack as well.. Our room was wonderful. Built with storage everywhere, including a bed that allowed the suitcase to fit under it. Very smart. Everything was put away, so the room was always neat. Another wonderful thing was the many lounges set along the all glass bulkhead facing outward, allowing for the fabled seagoing lounge with a book and a cup of tea as the sea passes by. And speaking of books, there are bookshelves everywhere, with a variety of books for every taste, free for your enjoyment. Really, I hated to EVER leave. The excursions were wonderful though. The highlights for us were the Norwegian stops.. A must see. And St. Petersburg of course. We were never rushed or crowded. The guides in each area were very good.The food was fantastic. We tried the restaurants and while they were wonderful, we preferred the World Cafe where you could choose from the large selection of regional dishes, The service was exceptional too. Everywhere. I would go anywhere on a Viking ship now. We have done 3 cruises on another very good shipping line that I thought was wonderful at the time, but Viking is so superior to that one that there is no question for us any more. This one cannot be topped. In anyway. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Europe, of course is great as always Good and comfortable ship with generally good food and entertainment. Guest services is abysmal. Boarded at Oslo. It was raining and no one from the ship came to get the approx 12 of us. The ... Read More
Europe, of course is great as always Good and comfortable ship with generally good food and entertainment. Guest services is abysmal. Boarded at Oslo. It was raining and no one from the ship came to get the approx 12 of us. The port authorities then took pity on us and allowed us onto the boarding area but the ship guys just wouldn't let us in and made us stand in the rain waiting for someone from the guest services to come with our papers. It was only after we protested very loudly that someone finally appeared and let us out of the rain. However no one was there to help us with our bags which we had to haul into the ship, onto and off the xray machines, to deck 4 for immigration, then further still to deck 5 for check in formalities and then finally all the way to the other end of the ship to the cabin. Ship had to reschedule due to bad weather and skip the stop at Zeebrugge where we were to get off so we had to get off two days earlier at Helsinki. Guest services again were not too bothered about any problems this may cause us. Offered us ONE phone call for us to rearrange our schedule. No thanks. We did it ourselves on the net which, of course, they charged a pretty penny for. I asked for a letter from them explaining the rescheduled program so I can lodge a claim with the insurance company. Yes sir we will try and give you something, we were told. But till the last nothing was forthcoming and i have been told to write to the "company" for it. Of course, no mention of any compensation/refund or even any genuine regret at our discomfort. Finally, no one to help with the bags for deboarding at Helsinki. Had to haul them ourselves all over the ship and off it. Wish they pay as much attention to the comfort of the guests as they do to the dining and entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Fabulous Cruise! We loved our destinations, excursions provided through Oceania, and food. Yes, we're the type of guest, once in port, to get off the boat immediately and run till the sun goes down. We don't expect to be ... Read More
Fabulous Cruise! We loved our destinations, excursions provided through Oceania, and food. Yes, we're the type of guest, once in port, to get off the boat immediately and run till the sun goes down. We don't expect to be entertained, just clean sheets and great food. Although, I must say that it was a surprise to have a welcome back party waiting, with a band playing, on our return from the all day excursion to Berlin. Then that night, the town of Wismar sent out their traditional singers for a dock side show. Such lovely folks! The ship also provided guest speaker events, prior to destinations, that reviewed history and current events. This was always helpful for those that made sure not to miss anything. We do expect a lot from our excursions; yes, the private tour of St Catherine's palace did the trick. Not to mention, many other exclusive tours that made our trip perfect! I could go on and on.... This company goes above and beyond to make sure that all your comforts are met. We can't wait till our next adventure! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We got to see a lot of countries and went to cities we really wanted to see. The staff were wonderful and very accommodating. The food in all the restaurants were wonderful - the Grand ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We got to see a lot of countries and went to cities we really wanted to see. The staff were wonderful and very accommodating. The food in all the restaurants were wonderful - the Grand dining room, Italian and Steak restaurants. The afternoon tea was nice with music. The internet was slow and you can only use one device at a time. It was a cruise for people who go to bed early. The shows were so-so, far from Broadway. After the show there is nothing to do. We do no gamble or like to drink at the bar. Entertainment stated that there was dancing. The orchestra was available before the show and not after the show. The only dancing after the show was with a ITunes CD player with a small dance floor. I could not believe there was no DJ or band. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was our 11th cruise, third on Royal Caribbean but first in Europe. Overall this was a great experience and we would sail Legend of the Seas and Royal Caribbean again. We are a couple, 50-60 age bracket and chose this cruise for its ... Read More
This was our 11th cruise, third on Royal Caribbean but first in Europe. Overall this was a great experience and we would sail Legend of the Seas and Royal Caribbean again. We are a couple, 50-60 age bracket and chose this cruise for its ports. It was a good way to see the fjords of Norway and fit in with our pre 3 days in Oslo and 5 day after drive about in Norway. Our cabin was 7124, last balcony cabin on side and was a good location, although far from steps and elevators, it gave us needed exercise from eating all the good food, esp breads. Our cabin steward was attentive but not obtrusive and met all our needs and requests. Upon boarding we found our first night was formal, Cavi our steward, took my husbands tuxedo to be pressed at 315 and returned it at 6 pm in time for our 7 dinner reservation. We ordered room service daily, sometimes more than once and never waited more than 15 minutes for delivery even when told it could be 25-30 minutes. Only once was the order missing something and they brought it immediately. Dining was fine. We had anytime dining and ate in the Romeo and Juliet at one of three tables each night. Melvin, the maître d, accommodated our request each evening and kept us at lovely window table for 2. We made reservations usually the day of and had no problem getting 630 or 645 time slot. We did the Chefs table on day two and I can not say enough good things about this experience. We booked it pre cruise at 70 dollars per person, it was 95 on board, and had a wonderful meal, paired with great wines. There were 10 guests including us and they were from 4 countries. The chef explained each dish and its prep before it was served and the wine steward explained the wine choice. It did last 3 hours but worth the time. We ate in windjammer many times and had no problems finding a table or tasty choices. We ate at Park café twice and found it delicious. Only problem was its hours did not correspond with our schedule some days. We did breakfast in main dining room twice and found it good but they offered a buffet there and encouraged you to use it instead of sit down service. We did buffet one day and it was fine but found sit down service very slow. The advantage was your were seated and thus did not have to search for a seat like in windjammer. I would recommend go to dining room but use buffet. Ports were great. We did no shore excursions opting to do our own thing. This worked fine. Stavanger has a lovely old area with interesting canning museum, maritime museum (one ticket for both) and church. Sailing into Geiranger fjord in morning was splendid and with a 2 oclock arrival the views were phenomenal. We hiked up to top of waterfall and down the steps. Small village with a few shops. Alesund was a lovely town and we did a walking tour provided by info center. There was a food festival going on and we enjoyed it. Hamburg was great although Sunday was a bad day as shops were all closed. This was muted by fact they had a festival going on around the lake. We did a walk about and saw a few churches etc... We had a great schnitzel meal at a lakeside restaurant at a reasonable price. The shows were fine, especially the three aerial shows in the Centrum. There was always something going on in the evening so finding entertainment was not an issue. All but one night shows were early and late seatings and never a problem finding a seat. We tried trivia but found it an inopportune times. Overall as you can see we enjoyed the cruise. There were about 1700-1800 on board. They were mainly German and Norweigian as the main boarding port was Hamburg( 1300-1400 got on and off here on Sun). There was just over 100 Americans on board and we found that fascinating and great. We met people from all over the world. My only complaint was boarding in Oslo. They have a small tent and although only about 500 are boarding it is crowded. The check in counter is small and they crowd 12-15 agents behind it so it is awkward for getting information and cruise cards. Then we had to wait about 45 minutes in a long line to get on ship as there was a problem with pictures taken in tent going to on board computer. Also they had boarding passengers mixed in with those who were Hamburg boardees who were just trying to get back on ship. We had hoped to board, eat lunch and use our Oslo card to see castle next to ship but did not want to get off and wait 45 minutes to get back on so we just admired castle from top deck of ship. Norway is a very expensive country, more expensive than you think and Oslo ranks number one in most expensive cities in world. This cruise made seeing it more economical and we never ate or drank off the ship in ports. Legends is a smaller ship but in good shape, the crew was very friendly, the ports were enjoyable and we loved all aspects of this part of Norway vacation!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We took the 14-cruise, which started with a charter flight from Oslo to Longyearben, and included Svalbard, Greenland and Iceland. Although we received numerous extreme warnings from Silversea about how luggage limitations would be ... Read More
We took the 14-cruise, which started with a charter flight from Oslo to Longyearben, and included Svalbard, Greenland and Iceland. Although we received numerous extreme warnings from Silversea about how luggage limitations would be strictly enforced on the charter flight to Longyearben, none of the warnings turned out to be true. We were told that under no circumstances could we have more than one piece, 50 pounds maximum, of checked luggage, plus one hand luggage of 11 pounds. In fact, SAS said they would be happy to check two pieces of luggage per person, and they showed no concern over the weight of our checked or hand luggage. SAS also said that Silversea pre-assigned all seats on the plane and had instructed them not to change anyone's seats. Despite the fact that the aircraft was only about half full, we were assigned middle seats in the next to last row. We had a veranda suite category room, so our French doors opened onto a tiny balcony. This was especially important because we had views--including of a polar bear that appeared directly under our balcony, that could not easily be accessed unless you could step outside the cabin. The cruise was pretty good, but overall we had mixed results. We had been on the same ship to Antarctica, which is a much more exciting destination with far more to see. The biggest drawbacks of this cruise: it is about four days too long, so that several days include uninteresting things to see on the shore (remains of cabins or mining; entire excursions to see moss and tiny flowers) or consist of sailing around the shoreline; there is surprisingly little wildlife around--animals are extremely scarce (a single seal or whale brings dozens of people on deck), although we were lucky enough to see one polar bear VERY close up in Greenland, and a couple others in Svalbard at a distance; the expedition staff does not do a good job of describing the shore excursions accurately in advance--they sometimes neglect to mention the zillions of mosquitoes or the strenuous hiking that may be involved; it is difficult to rest because loudspeaker announcements are frequently being made and the room speakers can not be turned off. The ship's extremely expensive internet rarely worked (even when my personal phone would get cellular reception), especially in the extreme north, and for mysterious reasons, the TV satellite usually would not either, even in port. The plus side: the scenery is spectacular, with gorgeous sea ice and icebergs; most of the Zodiac rides are beautiful; the crew is extremely nice, helpful and hardworking; there is a reasonably good variety in and quality to the food and lots of fresh fruit (even exotic fruits); the ship and cabins are pleasant and well maintained. The lectures, library and movies are fine. The fitness center is very small and often crowded. There are good free laundry facilities. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Took a family cruise out of Oslo, Norway to St. Petersburg, Russia, Tallin, Estonia and Copenhagen, Denmark. Overall we were happy with RCL (it's our 3rd cruise with them), the ship and the services that they provided so we will most ... Read More
Took a family cruise out of Oslo, Norway to St. Petersburg, Russia, Tallin, Estonia and Copenhagen, Denmark. Overall we were happy with RCL (it's our 3rd cruise with them), the ship and the services that they provided so we will most likely cruise with them again. As usual, the Adventure Ocean kids' club was a huge hit with our kids. Only a couple of things that I wanted to mention. 1) We loved the ports of call. However, the ship is not in port long enough in Denmark and Estonia. We took ship sponsored shore excursions. Spent a lot of time in a tour bus taking pics as we flew by major attractions. Would have been nice if the shore excursions had been longer/more detailed so we could have taken more time to see the attractions. St. Petersburg was the highlight of this cruise. We did a detailed, private tour of the city with Best Guides. Was an 11 hour excursion but the most detailed and enjoyable excursion we've ever been on. The ship didn't sponsor this excursion. 2) Overall the ship was clean. However, they allowed smoking in the casinos and right outside of the sliding glass doors on the pool deck. For us nonsmokers, we had 2 concerns with this arrangement. a) they put the free ice cream machine for the passengers in the smoking section on the pool deck. so anyone (kids or parents) getting ice cream was forced to breathe in secondhand smoke. i also felt sorry for the kids forced to sit with their parents in this section while they puffed up a storm. b) because they allowed smoking in the indoor casino (which is an open room), the faint smell of cigarettes could be detected in the nonsmoking areas of the ship as well. 3) The ship is not very big (2,300 passenger) compared to the newer ships that are coming out. Over time, it becomes a bit of a struggle for the parents to find something to do on a boat that size. And with only 3 ports to visit on this particular cruise, you are on this boat an extra day (past cruises on other ships were 4 ports in 7 days). Last year, we took the same size ship to Alaska. There were 18 of us on that trip (versus us 4 this year) so we didn't notice that there weren't that many things to do on the boat of interest to us. The next time we cruise, we will look for a bigger ship or invite more people to cruise with us on a smaller ship that stops in more than 3 ports. 4) I would say 90+% of the folks on this cruise were retirees. Not a deal breaker by any means. The cruise was still quite enjoyable. However, it would have been more entertaining for us as a younger family if we could have cruised with more families with younger kids. In spite of that, our kids didn't have any problem finding a couple other kids to play with regularly thanks to RCL's Adventure Ocean program. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
This ship has been recently refurbished and is beautiful and functional. The attitude and service level of the crew and staff could not have been more delightful, courteous, and outstanding. The Ship's Captain is an extremely ... Read More
This ship has been recently refurbished and is beautiful and functional. The attitude and service level of the crew and staff could not have been more delightful, courteous, and outstanding. The Ship's Captain is an extremely no-non-sense, experienced and professional individual--generates a lot of confidence regarding his capabilities, commitment to his profession and to safety--very, very impressive professional. Food and dining options were fine. Entertainment on some nights as an "A"; other nights a "B". DOWNSIDE: 1. The TV choices on this ship are awful--so bad that we will never use Royal Caribbean again. Our waiter agreed with us and said, "Please, please put this in your comments; we live on this ship and we know how awful the TV is." I discussed this with several key crew officials. They know and it is not a priority to them. One comment: "We have a limited entertainment budget and we choose to use it on quality showtime entertainers and not on paying for better TV programming." Nuts! NCL has as good of onboard entertainment as we have ever seen AND they have CNN and other good TV programming. (On Vision of the Seas, you get NO U.S. news--we went almost three weeks with no info about our home country.) A few TV shows or movies are played over and over again; e.g., One episode of "The Good Wife" played 4 times a day every day. We enjoy relaxing to TV on certain evenings or certain afternoons during sea days but not on this ship. 2. Staterooms are a little smaller than on other ships. We noted certain interior staterooms were like walk-in closets in size. Out ocean view stateroom was 152 sq ft--a tad smaller than other ships, but configured in such a way that the head of the double head had to be at the window. Hence we could only enjoy the window view if we stood up at the foot of the bed. Note: some ocean view rooms have a large rectangular window; others have one or two small round port holes. 3. This ship is smaller than other cruise ships we have been on. Hence in the open seas you feel more motion. One night, with a cross wind, the ship was quite uncomfortable with rocking--and we were on the third deck. We could only imagine how bad the motion was on say, decks 7 or 8. Bottom line: Very nice ship with outstanding service and food options. Would never sail on this ship (or this line again) due to indifference to TV programming, size of ship, size and configuration of the ocean view state room. BUT: We certainly felt we were in good hands with the amazing skills, experience, and confidence of our Captain. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We have cruised with NCL and Princess several times before and this was our first cruise with RCL. Pre-cruise information from RCL was very scarce compared to NCL and Princess. Since we were going on consecutive cruises, we needed ... Read More
We have cruised with NCL and Princess several times before and this was our first cruise with RCL. Pre-cruise information from RCL was very scarce compared to NCL and Princess. Since we were going on consecutive cruises, we needed additional information on how this will be handled. It was difficult to get an answer from RCL representatives. Day of Embarkation - We booked airport transfers since we do not want the hassle after an overnight transatlantic flight from Canada to Oslo. We were met by a representative and were informed to wait at a designated area for other passengers. This was the only information we received. It was disappointing and confusing to hear from another passenger that she checked her e-mail and there was an advisory from RCL that due to the public sector strike in Oslo, the Vision of the Seas is actually in Gothenburg and that we will be transported there. We could not get any information from any RCL representative to confirm this. When we reached the port, there was no one announcing anything to the passengers and it was total chaos. We were only told to go through the embarkation process and pick up a sandwich/drink for the ride to Gothenburg. Again, no one from RCL was providing any additional information. The ride was very tiring - after a transatlantic flight - and we had babies who were crying non-stop throughout the long drive. Simply, not a good start to a cruise. Stateroom - We had a large interior stateroom. It was difficult to find it first since it was tucked in another side hallway. However, it was very quiet and the interior arrangement was great for the long days of light. The size was good for two adults but it is not recommended beyond that number. Also it was very noisy at the end of the cruise since it was near the service elevators used by the stateroom attendants to bring the bags down. The amenities were barebones - shampoo and soap. No refrigerator and ice was only available on request. Turn down service with no chocolates but our stateroon attendant made up for it with nightly towel art display. Our attendant, Christian, was very helpful, reminding us to wear our raincoats for potential rain and to wear additional portection for the chilly weather. Dining Options - The Vision of the Seas is one of the older ships of RCL so it does not have alternative restaurants on board. We selected early dining at 6:00 p.m. and the menu choices were actually excellent. Portion servings were pretty decent-sized. We prefer eating at the main restaurant, Aquarius, even for lunch since the menu choices are also quite excellent. The buffet restaurant, Windjammer, has the same selections as the main restaurant. However, it was almost always crowded. It closes at 10:00 p.m. - and that is the problem. There is no other non-paying option except the Solarium Cafe. The Cafe serves only pizza and sandwiches. One can get pretty hungry at nights at the Vision of the Seas. However, you get what you pay for - Vision of the Seas was bare bone cruising compare to the other cruises we have taken before but the price was reasonable. Entertainment - Relatively decent and acceptable for the price. Lots of choices for dancing, karaoke and afternoon trivia games. Ship Information - Although relatively old, the Vision of the Seas has retained its old world elegance. The Centrum has beautiful views of the sea. The Masquerade Theater has pretty decent seating arrangement, the lounges and bars are decorated in understated ways. The Solarium is a haven for chilly days at sea. The Library is designed in the old sea days kind of vibe. Service - This seems to be a happy crew. Everyone is quite accommodating, most especially the Guest Relations and Port Excursions staff. I like to especially mentioned Denis He from Guest Relations - no questions were left unanswered and he accommodated all our requests within reason. It was easy to cancel trip excursions or make last minute changes. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We pick cruises based upon the destination and the ports. This cruise included Oslo, Copenhagen, Riga, St. Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm. This was only a seven night cruise and it included 6 countries. No other cruise line offered ... Read More
We pick cruises based upon the destination and the ports. This cruise included Oslo, Copenhagen, Riga, St. Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm. This was only a seven night cruise and it included 6 countries. No other cruise line offered this same itinerary. Even RCI offered it only once (our cruise in July 2011). We also liked the "one way" nature of the cruise so we could arrive early in Oslo and stay later in Stockholm. We had never cruised with RCI, lately NCL and Regent. So, we had an Owners' Suite which are the largest 8 suites on the ship (except for the one Royal Suite). We stayed two nights in Oslo prior to leaving on the cruise. We stayed at the Thon Hotel by the Opera House. This Thon hotel is right next to the train station so was more convenient for airport transportation rather than convenient to the port. The RCI port in Oslo is not far from the main tourist area and downtown but the cab ride was still about 300 kroners. As a suiteholder, we had access to a speed-line that basically let us cut in front of all other passengers. The check-in was simple and quick and then we took off for our cabin --- no one escorted us to our cabin, offered us drinks, etc., just "go and we'll see you later". The cabin was very nice and very comparable to the same class of suite on NCL. Kingsize bed which could be separated from the sitting area, nice jetted tub and separate free-standing shower, 2 sinks, 2 TV's and a very large balcony with 2 cushioned recliners. There was no directly-assigned concierge or butler. When you would call the "special" extension for suite services, you would get various people in Guest Services dept.-- much different from NCL. For suiteholders, there was free wine and champagne every night in one of the lounges (a come as you want 3 hour designated area). Very nice touch. Also, you had special balcony seating for the shows, however, no one ever checked our cards. One show was completely full and so was our section with non-suite holders. We bought the pre-paid "My Time Dining" which included prepaying gratuities. This seemed to have no bearing on the service, which was wonderful. However, they seat you in the same general area each night (and try to seat you at the same table) so you have the same staff serving you each night. Because of that, they preferred to know when we planned to arrive each night so it wasn't really my time "just show-up at the door at some random time" dining. The food was great. There was always a steak, grilled chicken or fish on the "everyday" menu but each night there were about 5-6 choices for main entree, starters and desserts. We always ate dinner in the main dining room. For breakfast, we ate in the main dining room three times (in a separate section for suiteholder where we also had menu service). The other mornings we had room service. For room service, we ordered breakfast items from the regular menu (not the room service card). Room service always arrived exactly when we noted on our card. When we needed other snacks, etc, we ate from the buffet which seemed to be always crowded and chaotic. Entertainment - The regular ship singers and dancers were ordinary. The special guest entertainers were different. One was a "tennis juggler". Besides being one of the best jugglers that I have ever seen, he juggled tennis rackets too (hence the name). The other unique one was a unicyclist. He was excellent as a cyclist but unfortunately he tried to talk too much instead of sticking to his talent. Overall, I'd rate the shows "average". However, the cruise director was a female (and hot). On days at sea, the fitness center was crammed. They had 2 pools, one indoor and one outdoor. Both were nice and depending upon the weather were well used. We were not traveling with kids so can't comment on other activities but shuffle board and ping pong appeared to be popular. On day of departure, we were assigned a waiting area in one of the lounges. Once we got there, they said our bags were on the dock and we could leave. In Stockholm, there was no passport control or anything. We were at our Stockholm hotel by 9:00. Overall, we had a great cruise. The ports were fantastic and the itinerary perfect. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
I purchased this cruise as a 65th present for my mother. She comes from New Zealand and has never cruised before. The actual cruise was for 7 nights from Oslo to Copenhagen, Tallinn & St Petersburg. This is the first ... Read More
I purchased this cruise as a 65th present for my mother. She comes from New Zealand and has never cruised before. The actual cruise was for 7 nights from Oslo to Copenhagen, Tallinn & St Petersburg. This is the first "short" cruise I've done and had not previously experienced one of Royal Caribbean's smaller ships. The first thing to say about the Vision of the Seas is that it now has a distinctly tired feel to it. The entertainment over the week was pretty poor with only one real show the remaining nights were filled by single performers, which were "ok". The cruise we were on had period of 2 consecutive days at sea, one of which was raining & windy. This is really where the smaller ship falls down as there is very little to do. I have to admit that I'm rapidly going off Royal Caribbean as a company as the whole of the cruise experience is becoming a big sales opportunity - & I mean "hard sell". At almost every turn someone is trying to sell you something. Next time I book a cruise I'll be making sure I book on a larger ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
We cruised onboard Vision for 8 days on a back to back cruise in June, we have cruised a few times before, but weren't looking forward to this cruise due to the negative reviews on Cruisecritic. However, we were pleasantly surprised. ... Read More
We cruised onboard Vision for 8 days on a back to back cruise in June, we have cruised a few times before, but weren't looking forward to this cruise due to the negative reviews on Cruisecritic. However, we were pleasantly surprised. We spoke to people from different nationalities and for a lot of them this was their first cruise and they really enjoyed it, we spent the first couple of days comparing it to Princess, then decided to snap out of it and enjoy the cruise. We had an inside cabin which I wouldn't do again, having cruised with RCCL before I feel their cabins are smaller, don't know if this is a fact or due to the layout, but definitely claustrophobic at times. I thought the ship itself was nice, did not notice too much wear and tear as others have commented on. We enjoyed the food, we had anytime dining and usually ate at 8pm, for the first four days this was extremely unorganised, you are eating in the same dining room as the 8.45pm seating and everything was geared towards them. For the second four days however, we managed to book the same table at the window for 8pm every night, this went more smoothly and we enjoyed great views as it stayed light until around 11.30pm. Ports of Call We never book a ship excursion unless there is no other way to get there, this cruise was perfect for doing your own thing. Copenhagen - We walked from the ship, about 15mins to the centre, we went on a canal tour, had lunch, wandered for a while and got back to the row of shops at the ship just as the rain started. Tallinn - beautiful place, around a 10min walk from the ship, we walked around the cobbled streets to the highest point for great views, visited a couple of churches and had lunch in the square. Most of the centre of Tallinn has free wifi, so a great place to use your laptop. At the cruise ship dock they also had about 30 stalls all selling local crafts and gifts to take home, some were really lovely. Stockholm - there was a free shuttle bus here which dropped you at the nearest station, it was then just a couple of stops to Gamla Stan in the centre of Stockholm. We had a great time just wandering around here, although we spent ages looking for an ATM to get money from, if I went again I would exchange money beforehand. St Petersburg - Spectacular city, one day is just not enough! We booked a 12 hour trip through TJ Travel and I would thoroughly recommend them. We were one of the first off the ship around 8am, our tour guide Anna was waiting as we got through customs, we had agreed to share the tour with another couple, the four of us were taken to a Mercedes van, which was very luxurious, included water and a gift bag from TJ. We had a quick city tour and then were taken to a gift shop to pay for our tour, I thought this was a scam, but the shop was really cheap with most gifts 3 or 4 times cheaper than the ship! Our tour included the Hermitage Museum, Catherine Palace, Petergof and the fountains, Hydrofoil ride and Church of the Spilled Blood, it was a great tour but we were completely exhausted at the end, Anna our guide was both friendly and informative. All in all we really enjoyed this cruise; we couldn't fault the staff, they went out of their way to be friendly and helpful, also full marks to the cruise director and his assistant who done a brilliant job. Finally, others have written about people having no manners, we have found this on every cruise we have been on no matter what the nationality. It does make us angry at times but we just have to remember we are on holiday and make the most of it! I'd definitely recommend the 4 day cruise for anyone wanting to try cruising for the first time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Boarding time scheduled 11am We arrived at 12:00. We were not allowed into our cabins until 2:00. We had to beg a maid to leave our bags outside the room so that we could leave the ship and visit Oslo No Welcome Aboard Party. No ... Read More
Boarding time scheduled 11am We arrived at 12:00. We were not allowed into our cabins until 2:00. We had to beg a maid to leave our bags outside the room so that we could leave the ship and visit Oslo No Welcome Aboard Party. No complimentary aspirin at front desk. You had to buy two tablets for $.50 from a vending machine or an overpriced bottle from the shop. No lobster night. No robe or slippers No iron available. No TV on treadmills. The staff does not seem to know where anything is on the ship. The ice cream dispenser never seems to be on. When it is on, they only turn on one of the two. The Solarium after hours cafe serves cold pizza and the beverage dispenser which only serves hot water coffee and ice is located at the other end of the ship The photographers seem much less experience than other cruises I have been on Considering the fact that there are 3 sea days there is very little in the way of ship activities and a very minimal selection of movies playing on the in cabin TV Never anyone to supervise computer center. I was unable to connect to the ship's WiFi with no one qualified to help me Upon arriving in Tallinn, The Cust Relation Desk told us that we did not need our passports, then announced while we where in line that we did need our passports so we had to leave the line and return to our rooms. There were no immigration officers and no need to show a passport. The line to return to the ship in Tallin was 45 minutes long. St Petersburg Before leaving US, the only excursions I could see for St P were for a min of $500. I was not aware that these were for multiple people so I had to make my own arraingements with a local travel company. It was only when on the ship that I found out that there were less expensive excursions The line to return to the ship in St. Petersburg was 30 minutes long at 5:30pm I did enjoy my vacation, but the long list of budget cut, short comings, incompetence and disorganization was very disappointing. I have been on cruises in Alaska, Mediterranean, Canada, Hawaii, Bermuda and Caribbean. I would have place Visions of the Seas at the bottom of my list of well run ships. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010

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