1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Europe Cruises
  4. Europe Cruise Reviews

10 Europe - All Repositioning Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for the itinerary, which did not disappoint, especially both Petra in Aqaba and Herculaneum in Naples were amazing. Sad to say the Sapphire Princess did ,the food served up was at best ordinary and at worst ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, which did not disappoint, especially both Petra in Aqaba and Herculaneum in Naples were amazing. Sad to say the Sapphire Princess did ,the food served up was at best ordinary and at worst downright bad, bad veggies, rotton fruit. Menu repeated over and over with no regional menus associated with our port calls. Drinks were overpriced. The shows were mixed some very good others not. You had to be there 1/2 early to get in to some of the entertainment venues which were too small to accomodate the 3000. passengers on board. The lectures offered were too few , Bridge was not offered by the ship and was organised by one of the passengers and this was a godsend to many of us on the many sea days. The library was very poorly stocked. We had to pay exorbitant fees for shuttles that were in the past complimentary when the port was a distance away from the nearest town.We only had one chair provided in the cabin and had to ask for another which was provided .On a positive note, the staff in the main, were both cheerful and helpful . Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Why this cruise? I enjoy sea days more than port days and was excited to take my first Transatlantic Crossing (13 days from NYC to Amsterdam, with 7 sea days) on Norwegian. This would also mark my first cruise with NCL, to whom I was ... Read More
Why this cruise? I enjoy sea days more than port days and was excited to take my first Transatlantic Crossing (13 days from NYC to Amsterdam, with 7 sea days) on Norwegian. This would also mark my first cruise with NCL, to whom I was attracted by the many consecutive sea days, ports of call, Free Style Dining, Deal or No Deal Game Show, attractive rate, and that it left from NYC, where I live. I booked via a travel agency and did not qualify for any perks based on my category/rate (Inside Guarantee). This cruise also marked my introduction to Cruise Critic, where I spent many hours pre-cruise reading forums and tips, as well as interacting with others in my Roll Call. I was delighted to connect with others from the Cruise Critic Roll Call and ended up having lots of fun at the events which were hosted by other CC members: Meet and Greet, Slot Pull, Cabin Crawl, Specialty Dining with a new friend (Thanks, Jo!), and even a fantastic excursion to Mont St. Michel in France which was not offered by NCL (Thanks, Cherie!). NCL Supplements I added: * 3-Meal Specialty Dining Package (booked pre-cruise). Were I to travel with NCL again, I would add this again. * 250 Internet Minutes (booked pre-cruise). Were I to travel with NCL again, I would add this again. Next time, however, I would use the wisdom gleaned from a fellow traveler: answer emails in an offline word processing document and then connect to the internet when the response is ready to send...a much better use of the precious internet minutes! * Thermal Suite Pass (booked on embarkation day) Based on my experience, were I to travel with NCL again, I would NOT add this again. Dining I used my 3-Meal Dining Package at Cagney's Steakhouse, Le Bistro, and Teppanyaki; I did not dine in Moderno or La Cucina. I eat a lacto/ovo/pescetarian diet and was able to enjoy a variety of options on-board. Of the three specialty restaurants I dined in, I enjoyed the food at Le Bistro the most, though all three were good and the package price was more affordable than dining purely a la carte. Incidentally, as a solo traveler, I was able to book dining reservations for 1 person pre-cruise at Cagney's and LeBistro, but not at Teppanyaki. I was able to make a reservation for 1 person for Teppanyaki on Embarkation Day at the Restaurant Reservations Desk immediately after boarding. I ate one lunch in the Lotus Garden (which was fine, but not exceptional) and all of the other meals in the Garden Cafe (buffet), O'Sheehan's, or the Summer Palace. I did not dine in Indigo, though Summer Palace evidently shares the same kitchen and an identical menu to Indigo’s. Overall, the food everywhere was good, and I was glad I had peppered in some Specialty Dining to add more variety to the dining. (I have cruised on Celebrity in the past and their cuisine was definitely on a higher par with more subtle seasonings, more "quality" selections etc, but the prices are also higher, so you get what you pay for. :) ) As a vegetarian-ish diner, I found it annoying that veggie burger patties could only be gotten in the Garden Cafe/buffet, instead of also at the Great Outdoors Grill or Topsiders Grill, where burgers were the mainstay, but it ended up being that both of these venues were closed much of the time because of weather and/or the virus which was spreading during this cruise. I know that other vegetarians had issues with the Garden Cafe’s grill simultaneously sharing cooking space for both meat products and veggie burgers, or there not being a large variety of vegetarian options, but for my needs, there was plenty of variety (from fresh fruits and veggies to vegetarian Indian cuisine to roasted vegetables, etc.) and I chose not to focus on the "mixed" aspect of the grill itself. I really enjoyed the concept of Free Style Dining, which ended up being my favorite aspect of cruising with NCL. A few times when dining solo, I offered to share my table with other diners or was invited to share theirs, and ended up meeting some great folks along the way. Activities and Issues The rating-lowering factor for me regarding this cruise was, in a word, communication, or rather the lack thereof. For example, the ship hosted a Solo Traveler's Dinner each night, but, on the first night of these dinners, there was no manifest printed out (to indicate which rooms housed solo travelers) and subsequently the staff were "surprised" that nearly 50 Solos showed up when they were "expecting 2-5 people." Although only around 30 people ended up dining with the Solos the first night, many others stopped by, witnessed the chaos, and never came back on subsequent nights, even though the ship eventually provided a dedicated host for the dinners, as well as a separate dining area. On this first night, it took over 3 hours for several of us to receive our 3 course dinner. Had the actual number of Solo Travelers been communicated to the hosting department and the restaurant beforehand, this debacle could have been avoided. Following this initial Solos Dinner (before there was a plan for an ample reservation or separate dining space for the Solos), I went to Guest Services to talk about the experience. The response from Guest Services was not one of empathy, but literally, "Who told you to come here? This is not our issue." When I asked to whom I should be speaking instead, I was told, "Cruise Staff." When I asked if the Cruise Staff had a desk to go talk to someone, I was told, "No. This is the only Service Desk." So, I asked if there was someone from Cruise Staff with whom I could talk. I was told, "No one is available because of the game show, but someone will contact you from the Cruise Staff by 9 AM tomorrow." No one contacted me the next morning, nor ever throughout the duration of the cruise, despite several written followup requests left at Guest Services in the GM's comment box. This was Day 2 of the trip and a perfect example of the old adage: "You don't get a second chance to make a good first impression." I attended all four days of Deal or No Deal (the 5th Day was cancelled because they were "not selling enough game cards to justify the expense of the license for the game show") and had a great time each day. For $25, you got to play two separate games in conjunction with the person who was selected to be on stage, with a chance at winning from $.01 to $1,000 (if selected to be onstage) or from an "Instant Win" Pull Tab all the way up to $5,000 or a Caribbean Cruise for 2 (if playing along in the audience with your game card). Although I only ended up winning $3 on $100 in spent over the 4 days, I definitely had $97 worth of fun along the way! Also, for what it's worth, most Bingo games carried costs of $39 for the least expensive card packet with a possible win of $150 versus the $25 Deal or No Deal cards, with their much higher prize payouts. Although I attended a couple of the other game shows on-board, I found the sense of humor of some of the hosting Cruise Staff or Guest Judges to be "mean," making fun of the guests who were participating instead of having fun, but not at a guest's expense. After I observed this a few times, I stopped going to the other contests and game shows, with the exception of Bingo on the final Sea Day. Even being told by the hosting Cruise Staff to "boo" a fellow contestant who is getting close to a Bingo seemed somewhat mean-spirited and off-putting to me. Everyone is there to have fun and that fun doesn’t need to come at another’s expense. I attended the violinist’s show, as well as both the "regular" and "adult" versions of the comedian's show. Both of these acts were fun and entertaining. Having watched snippets of the other acts on the ship's TV channel, I opted to skip those, in favor of the movies in the Atrium or in my room instead. The selection of movies in the Atrium (and also available complimentary on the stateroom TV) was great, though there were never enough chairs available, and Guest Services was often talking too loudly in the background to make the experience wholly enjoyable. I did write a comment card suggesting more chairs be added based on attendance, and though some chairs were added a few nights, there were still less seats than viewers in the Atrium throughout the cruise. As has been mentioned in other reviews, this was the cruise where the A.G.E. Virus (a variety of Norovirus) was spreading after only a day or two at sea. I commend NCL and their hard working staff for taking the measures that they did to contain the virus, including eliminating self service in the buffet, providing paper menus and cutlery only after being seated, propping open restroom doors in public areas, continually washing the hallway walls and handrails, constantly reminding passengers about hand washing, and quarantining sick passengers as necessary. However, I was disappointed and frustrated by other containment measures which lacked communication and empathy from the staff and management. For example, supposedly only 100 passengers (most of whom are represented by couples in the same cabin) are sold the Thermal Suite Pass. Purportedly, in an effort to contain the virus, the cold plunge pool, hot tubs, and large pool in the Spa were closed and/or emptied of water on several days (not including the rough sea days when they could not keep water in the pools because of the ship's rocking), the steam room would be intermittently closed, and even the dry sauna was closed periodically too, leaving only the 7 heated lounge chairs available to enjoy (as well as non-heated, regular lounge chairs). While I sincerely appreciated the efforts to contain the virus and maintain guest and staff health, these measures could have easily been communicated to the 100 guests who had purchased the Pass (again, most of whom were in the same cabin thereby representing even less than 100 explanations). Instead, the Spa Manager was never available for a conversation or explanation, nor did she respond to a written request for the same. In fact, though I went to Guest Relations and also completed the Dear Cary (GM of Hotel Operations) comment card asking for some communication several times, I never received a response from anyone on the ship during the 13 day cruise. Apparently due to the virus, eventually the gym, library, game room, etc. were closed, as well as several scheduled events. Unfortunately, instead of closures like this being clearly communicated over the intercom system or via a letter left in the stateroom, it was often indicated by a note posted on the door of the facility. Then, when the hot tubs and pool in the Spa were closed "because of the virus" (with no notification to the 100 guests who had Passes), strangely the hot tubs available to the entire ship on Deck 12 were open and available. Furthermore, the Casino, where you can’t not touch a machine in order to play, remained open throughout the cruise. Contradictions like this, with no explanation, made it feel like "the virus" became a convenient way to avoid communication with the guests. And, again, if ANYONE had been communicating or showing empathy for the guest experience, this would not have been an issue and would have created a much better overall experience. I did eventually hear from Guest Relations, about a month after writing a complaint, six weeks after the cruise ended. NCL’s form tells you that you can expect a response within 15 Business Days. Thankfully, another traveler reported that they had inquired post cruise about the delayed response from NCL Guest Relations, and evidently, they were backlogged with issues from this cruise and would not be responding until closer to 30 days. BUT EVEN THAT illustrates my point: the delay and its reasons could have been COMMUNICATED by NCL to any pending claimants, but was not. Had it not been for that other cruiser sharing the information in our Roll Call, many might still be wondering what is/was going on. Hospitality is about making guests feel acknowledged (at the least) and appreciated (when done well). And a cruise is supposedly about hospitality, not just transportation from Point A to Point B. Unfortunately, my experience was soured enough by the lack of communication that I ended up returning the Cruise Next Deposits I had purchased, 30 days after purchase, at which point I had still not heard from Guest Relations following my post-cruise written comments. At the end of the day, though there were certainly aspects of the cruise I enjoyed, NCL's lack of ANY direct communication until six weeks after the cruise left me feeling like they are unconcerned with genuine customer care...and that experience is definitely below “Average” or, using the CC rating system, “Poor.” For these reasons, it is unlikely that I will recommend NCL, nor am I likely to spend my money to travel with NCL again. Ports/Excursions Cobh, Ireland I took the local train from Cobh to Cork where I had reservations for a Free Walking Tour. The suggested tip amount was roughly $10/person/hour so I paid 20 Euros for what ended up being an excellent, informative, 2-hour walking tour. Dublin, Ireland (Port of Dun Laoghaire) Particularly in Dun Laoghaire where tenders were used to reach shore, many people missed their non-NCL excursions. I met a local friend here; no excursion. I had a tender pass for Group 8 and was able to join the tender around 10:30am, arriving into Dun Laoghaire around 11am. Le Havre, France Based on what happened to travelers in Dun Laoghaire who did not have excursions booked via NCL and ended up missing their excursions, I was grateful that the excursion I had planned via some CC organizers for Mont St. Michel was not pre-paid in case we were delayed. This excursion was not offered by NCL and was a highlight of the trip for me. The travel time to/from the Mont in Normandy was about 2.5 hours each way, and the climb up to the Abbey atop the island and the ensuing tour was fascinating. Following the tour, there was time for a quick lunch/short shop in the village below. This full day excursion was well worth the trip and as promised, our guide had us back to the ship in time for departure. Many thanks again to Cherie from our CC Roll Call for arranging this wonderful trip! Tilbury (London), England Having been to London on another visit to the UK, I decided to explore nearby Gravesend, just across the river from where we were docked, and accessible via a water shuttle for a nominal fee. Highlights of the visit included antique shopping, seeing the Pocahontas Statue, having authentic fish and chips at one establishment, followed by classic afternoon tea at another. Zeebrugge, Belgium I ended up taking public transportation (tram first, then train) from Zeebrugge to Bruges. The round trip cost for both was slightly less than the 20 Euro shuttle which was available near the port. Highlights of the trip included taking photos of the quaint medieval city itself and feasting on chocolates at Chocolatier Dumon, The Chocolate Story, and other chocolatiers. Amsterdam, Netherlands I stayed for 2 nights following the cruise at the Doubletree Hotel by Hilton. I selected this location because I could book via Hilton Honors Points and because it was walkable from the cruise ship terminal and also to the main train station (to get to the airport for the return flight home). While in Amsterdam, highlights included the Free Walking Tour: Classic version, the Anne Frank House Tour, and the Houseboat Tour. Purchase tickets to the Anne Frank House before the cruise, as this self guided tour sells out quickly. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Facilities were poor. Smoking areas were a joke and people were treated like "the great unwashed". Eventually after a Petition was set up the Captain provided a covered smoking area (weather was not very good). They ... Read More
Facilities were poor. Smoking areas were a joke and people were treated like "the great unwashed". Eventually after a Petition was set up the Captain provided a covered smoking area (weather was not very good). They announced it in the daily paper as an additional area, then proceeded to close the smoking area on the sunny deck Day time entertainment was very poor considering the weather, evening entertainment was not average but could have been so much better if nearly all the entertainment staff were not all their first cruise. They just did not seem to gel at all, they should have mixed it up a bit more. Poor standard of food, never ever warm never mind hot! Daily information about the ports was nearly non-existent, to the stage that a half-hour bus ride to a destination that was closed (bank holiday) was a total waste of time. A bit of a wash-out is the best way to describe it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
First off as disclaimers: This was a last minute long weekend and was very cheap. We both realised that not everything would be up and running and that TAs would be on board. We have done nearly 30 cruises in last 9 years so not ... Read More
First off as disclaimers: This was a last minute long weekend and was very cheap. We both realised that not everything would be up and running and that TAs would be on board. We have done nearly 30 cruises in last 9 years so not newbies. First time with Princess though. Positives: Ship nice externally. Internal décor not to my taste but ok. Staff were very nice and friendly but as first cruise and maiden season usually best staff are put on new ships in our experience so expected good service. Kotor was lovely to return to. That's it unfortunately! Now the moans Food totally tasteless in main dining room and buffet. Soundproofing worst by far we have ever experienced on ship Ship brand new but no USP. Pointless seawalk which is done once by everyone once and forgotten. Cabins right under it anyway so everyone can see into your room! Cinema at sea not used enough. Smoking area right under cabins. They did move us eventually though. If had no alternative on busy cruise then we would be very angry. Really bad design. Also smoking allowed in parts of casino which made it no go area for us. This is 2017. We shouldn't still be pandering to smokers anti social behaviour. Extra charges on bill on more than one occasion which had to be argued to get removed. First time with princess and probably last unfortunately as the staff were nice but product not up to standard. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
The ports were wonderful and the people in the countries were all very friendly. No fear in any city. the ship did its best to avoid germs, but people avoided the hand washing stations, and many were sick on the ship. The ships doctor ... Read More
The ports were wonderful and the people in the countries were all very friendly. No fear in any city. the ship did its best to avoid germs, but people avoided the hand washing stations, and many were sick on the ship. The ships doctor advised Airborne and charged a woman $460 for the 2 trips she made to see him. The food was poor everywhere, and if you wanted a better meal, it was extra $ along with an 18% tip. Not sure why if you pay $29.95 extra for lobster, it gets a tip on top of that. No washer/driers on board, but they do offer laundry specials frequently. Room steward was great, but no chocolates if you are bronze level. Small detail, but annoying. Entertainment was superior to other cruise lines I have been on. More variety of entertainers disembarkation was very easy. embarkation not too long of a wait. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
BACKGROUND: We are frequent, experienced travelers and have taken over 25 cruises on at least nine different lines. We booked the 20 day Christening Cruise of the Koningsdam (actually 13 day Christening and 7 day Norway) for the ... Read More
BACKGROUND: We are frequent, experienced travelers and have taken over 25 cruises on at least nine different lines. We booked the 20 day Christening Cruise of the Koningsdam (actually 13 day Christening and 7 day Norway) for the off-the-beaten-path ports and the chance to sail on a new ship. We had previously taken one HAL cruise in 2005. SHIP LAYOUT: There are parts of the Koningsdam that are lovely and much of the music-related art is interesting and unique (even though art work depicting David Bowie and the Sex Pistol’s Sid Vicious seem ironic on a line whose passenger base averages in their 70s). All of the public space is on Decks 2 and 3 and Deck 9 and above so it is not a difficult ship to find your way around. For all its updated glittery spaces, the ship feels dark and a bit claustrophobic. Unfortunately, the Koningsdam does not hold crowds well and can feel quite crowded with numerous difficult traffic patterns. For example, on Deck 10 overlooking the pool, one must wind a narrow path (barely 2 feet clearance) past immovable hard-as-rocks white couches and deck chairs/beds with curtains dangling between. There are few places to really relax on this ship (especially if you want to be sheltered from sun or wind). The deck chairs around the pool are inexplicably jammed together (about 5 inches apart) and many of the chairs throughout the ship’s lounges are designed very low and with no or very low armrests. Even most of the chairs in the Crow’s Nest were uncomfortable, contrary to our one previous experience on HAL. One thing you will find aplenty are bars including one in the Lido Buffet; from one, from one you are always in sight of the next one. There are dedicated wine blending and whiskey tasting areas which appeared to be underutilized. FOOD & DINING OUTLETS: (See below for food outlet related service.) The majority of the food on the Koningsdam is mediocre and, as expected, tastes mass-market produced. It is exactly what you would expect when serving 2,500 people. The food in the Dining Room is usually a low-grade cut of meat or poultry with a starch and virtually no vegetables. Everything is extremely salty—you can feel your blood pressure rising with each spoon of soup. Desserts are dry—we stuck to the ice cream sundaes. Every night, we had to ask for an extra bowl of vegetables. The gala night offerings were better with a quality filet and lobster tail available. The Lido Buffet is an unequivocal disaster. Although the food is fine by mass-market standards, the atmosphere is chaos—there are no trays so one must run from station to station and stand in queues up to 10 deep trying to find a complete meal while juggling plates. The stations are illogically set up so all your food is cold by the time you find or return to a table with the added problem of so many tables being cleared and reset so slowly. The Dive-In pool grill is standard hot dogs and hamburgers with good crispy fries. The NY Deli and Pizza outlet by the pool is a good option for a quick breakfast but serving only two bagel sandwiches and cold cereal (still vastly preferable to the chaos of the Lido). The Deli also serves good sandwiches and OK pizza. We wanted to try the Dutch Café but the line was always really long or they were out of what we wanted. We experienced two up-charge specialty restaurants: the Pinnacle Grill and the Culinary Arts Center. The Pinnacle Grill filet was good quality and we liked the idea of numerous sides (starches and vegetables) to choose from; it is a shame that this food is considered ‘premium and extra cost’ when just a few years ago, this was the level of cruise ship food in the dining room. The Culinary Arts Center was our best food experience by far and the only one that met our standards for food and service on the Koningsdam. The top-notch food was freshly prepared in the open kitchen; if anything, there was a bit too much food served (a cocktail and wine were included in the upcharge). SERVICE: Based on our 30 years of traveling at all price points, the service and attitude of ALL the staff on the Koningsdam were the WORST we’ve ever experienced and an all time low! Multiple times a day for 20 days, we had experiences of appalling and unacceptable attitudes and service. HAL should be ASHAMED of the Koningsdam’s lack of customer service! The one exception was our room attendants who were always pleasant, efficient and responsive. The only good dining service we received was at the Culinary Arts Center. The laundry is prompt. However, the rest of the staff (and their processes) are inefficient, indifferent, unhygienic, unresponsive and especially RUDE--always quick to roll eyes at requests and argue. This includes Guest Services and especially the majority of staff associated with any food-related outlet. I left three messages to speak to the Hotel manager about our terrible experiences and never heard a word from him. Even the cruise director is rarely seen and just ignores passengers in passing. Obviously, this lack of customer service is an attitude set from the top down. Examples of poor service we experienced are extremely numerous but here are a few: --The public restrooms are woefully unattended; one evening I had to report to Guest Services the disgusting condition of a restroom with dirty tissues and towels all over the floor, no toilet paper and dirty sinks; --When asked a question about our 7 day Norway segment, a Guest Services employee raised her voice and kept arguing that the next segment was 14 days and I was wrong; after she finally checked and answered my question, where was no apology for her tone and behavior; --The Dining Room ‘Anytime’ seating was total chaos with waits well over an hour some evenings, even when large numbers of tables were empty; the Ocean Bar and nearby corridor where they send people to wait with beepers was standing room only; --Was served raw Crème Brule in the dining room (yes, burnt sugar on top of a raw egg); --Was offered a sandwich at the NY Deli that they said was “returned by a lady who didn’t want it;” --Had an over three-hour dinner in the Dining Room as the server would just disappear as we sat with dirty dishes in front of us for 45 minutes between each course; --Staff would consistently roll their eyes if we requested anything ‘extra’ like additional vegetables or more potato chips; --Requesting a table for four at Tea, the manager actually yelled at us that we needed to sit separately and when we insisted on sitting at an empty table for four, he punished us by not serving us for 15 minutes then came back in 5 minutes to snatch away the tea things while we were still eating; --I suggested to the Lido manager that it would be great to have ice cream and cookies available in the Lido in the afternoon; he very aggressively told me that I should go spend money at the gelato stand; --And on, and on and on… Yes, the staff was that rude. In fact, the abominable service was the talk of many passengers even ones we met on excursions; some HAL loyalists said they would never sail the line again. Obviously, this is a company that does NOT have a culture of customer service and does not know how to train and/or motivate staff. ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES: The Koningsdam’s World Stage is a wonderful venue. Even with three shows a night, be aware that it fills up quickly. Unfortunately, in 20 days, it was used to good effect only a handful of times. Their ‘Frozen Planet’ production by the BBC with live music by the ship’s orchestra is excellent! Their production shows are good quality even if the choreography is a bit frantic and amateurish. The individual entertainers are pretty much standard mass-market cruise types. The exception was a magic act that was so bad, the audience was streaming out and those that remained offered a few pity claps. The Lincoln Center Chamber ensemble is excellent; as is the BB King group—but unfortunately they are so loud for the venue, it’s impossible to enjoy them for more than a song or two. In the dueling piano lounge, the pianists are good but their voices are weak and repertoire limited. The Casino is fairly large, allows smoking and appears to be underutilized. Second run movies are shown on a large screen on the pool deck on some evenings (there is no movie theater). Unfortunately, the timing isn't great; one show starts at 7 pm and interferes with dinner and a second show is at 10 pm which runs too late for early touring on a port intensive itinerary. The at-sea daytime activities were a huge disappointment, especially compared to other lines. There was daily trivia but were very few enrichment lectures; almost all of the activities were revenue generators like bingo, paid fitness classes, paid cooking demonstrations, etc. Overall, with virtually no comfortable places to relax and read, no daytime movies and no interesting activities, at-sea days were boring. ITINERARY & CHRISTENING: The 13 day Christening segment was a ‘one off’ itinerary that repositioned the ship from Italy where it was built to Amsterdam, which will be its homeport. Having traveled extensively in Europe, the ports on this segment allowed us to tour some interesting places we had not visited before such as Seville (from Cadiz) and Santiago Del Compestelo (from Vigo), Spain and Bayeux (from Cherbourg), France. We enjoyed returning to Oslo on the 7 day Norway segment and visiting Flam and Stavenger for the first time; however, the stop at Kristiansand was uninteresting. For exploring the ports, we toured several DIY, took a few private tours, and used a few of the ship’s excursions. It was interesting to witness a portion of the ship’s Christening ceremony by the Queen of the Netherlands (passengers had to choose which part of the ceremony they would attend). However, the whole occasion was incredibly elitist. It was obvious that the Carnival/HAL corporate representatives that came aboard for two days received vastly better service than the paying passengers. PASSENGERS: Perhaps because of the Christening, but the vast majority of the passengers on the Koningsdam appeared to be older seniors, age 70 and above. Many people we met were staunch HAL loyalists who rarely traveled any other way. During the 13 day Christening segment, there were passengers from America, Canada, Australia, UK and a large contingent from the Netherlands. On the 7 day Norway segment, the average age dropped a bit (we actually saw a few children) and the number of Dutch passengers increased and seemed to become the majority. SUMMARY: Based on our 35 years travel experience, after 20 days on the Koningsdam, we will never ail this ship or HAL again. In today’s competitive mass-market cruise industry, there are any number of better alternatives if value for your vacation dollar is a priority and you have standards for the service and food you will accept. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
My soul mate and I selected this cruise to cruise on Celebrity to Barcelona last year. We are Elite members and had enjoyed sailing with Celebrity. My soul mate went to the Lord in February. Since the cruise was scheduled for April 15 and ... Read More
My soul mate and I selected this cruise to cruise on Celebrity to Barcelona last year. We are Elite members and had enjoyed sailing with Celebrity. My soul mate went to the Lord in February. Since the cruise was scheduled for April 15 and we were traveling with friends I decided to continue on the cruise. I called Celebrity and told them my wife of 63 years passed away and still desired to go on the cruise. They said fine but the cost for a single cabin is 200% for the Sky Suite you booked. I repeat 200%. The same as two people in the cabin. I hope Celebrity enjoys the money they charged my wife while she is in heaven. Once on the ship I went to the Spa to use the stream room. i was to told I could not use the stream room because I was not on the Aqua deck. I am in the Sky Suite which cost more and a Elite member and was told if I wanted to pay $140 I could use the stream room. I don't know who makes the rules but they need to reconsider. My cabin attendant was outstanding. In fact all of the staff were just great. The food was very good. The bar attendant in the special room for suites was truly outstanding. All most every night she was the only bar tender and she worked so hard to mix drinks, serve the drinks and clean all the tables. she deserve a medal. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
To be fair I would say the new ship was beautiful, the food was very good and the majority of people working the cruise was very good. However from there it went down hill. From the beginning it was very evident that the major attention ... Read More
To be fair I would say the new ship was beautiful, the food was very good and the majority of people working the cruise was very good. However from there it went down hill. From the beginning it was very evident that the major attention was given to returning Viking passengers and new ones like us received no special attention . What stood out for us was that it was very evident that the ship was hurried into service and the amount of technical issues with boat should not have been. It was further supported that Viking does not have the expertise and experience in ocean cruising as the boat was run like a 150 passenger river cruise boat. The quality and content of optional excursions was below par. The on board entertainment was equally below par and very limited especially for 4 days a sea with minimal entertainment options. There was no where to go on board ship other than your room to get away from the loud repetitive back ground music. Impossible to try to read in piece. Limited table for groups to meet and play cards. Boat tender from ship to port in London a disaster with a one point having to wait in the cold unprotected wind for one hour and not one Viking representative at the site to assist passengers. So the bottom line for us is that we paid for what was supposed to be a upper end quality cruise and found that Viking was no better than any of the other cruise lines we have used but certainly more expensive. Would not recommend to our friends nor would we use them again for a ocean cruise. Quick note when going to the tour information desks most of the people working them had limited knowledge of the tours. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was a transatlantic cruise. We have cruised Silver Seas, Holland America and Carnival in the past and thought we'd compare HA with Celebrity. The rooms and overall ship décor are more appealing on Celebrity. Service was good but ... Read More
This was a transatlantic cruise. We have cruised Silver Seas, Holland America and Carnival in the past and thought we'd compare HA with Celebrity. The rooms and overall ship décor are more appealing on Celebrity. Service was good but the overall communication was deficient. For example, we'd ask a question and the customer relations gave information that was often not correct. This was also apparent with other departments. The same menu was repeated over and over, no diversity-especially the buffet and Luminae Restaurant. The informational sessions were lacking and the offerings on ports of call were nothing but a sell, sell, sell! HA port informational sessions at least give you valuable information about the ports and some history as well. We were very disappointed. Entertainment was good. For as big as the ship is there is only one complete deck to walk around and that was ALWAYS crowded unless we went out during bad weather or late at night. There is an open deck but it doesn't go completely around the ship. Everywhere we went was crowded. One of the shore excursions, Le Harve, France was not worth the money-we docked on a national holiday and most stores, restaurants were closed and the tour guide finished her supposed to be 2 hour tour, 2 hour on your own according to the brochure descriptions in 45 minutes and left everyone to see Le Harve (again national holiday) to walk around for 3 hours! Be aware that they tack on 18% gratuity to the price of everything you do on the cruise (specialty restaurants, spa, etc) that is over and above what is included is automatic-you don't have a choice in what you tip. We won't be booking another Celebrity cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We sailed on the spring 13 day transatlantic to Rome ,previous Celebrity cruise was on Silhouette last summer.embarkation was fairly painless as we were Select members. We did have a bit of a wait for our cabins and used this to get ... Read More
We sailed on the spring 13 day transatlantic to Rome ,previous Celebrity cruise was on Silhouette last summer.embarkation was fairly painless as we were Select members. We did have a bit of a wait for our cabins and used this to get better acquainted with the ship.we went to the caffe al Bacio and had excellent service and delicious coffees and cake. However this was the last time we received any great service on deck 3 or 4. We have been on 12 cruises in total. Our cabin was an oceanview 7000 and ver spacious , looking out over the helipad. Cabin attendants wear excellent and perhaps a bit too zealous as we were walked in on a few times even after we placed the do not disturb sign on the door We had the bar setup in the cabin and everything arrived on time.this is where things start to fall apart. We called to confirm our select dining and were told the only time was 9 pm. I Explained that would be too late but they said nothing could be done so we ate in the Oceanview Grill that evening and as it turned out for the rest of the cruise. I will explain later... Anyway we enjoyed the meals in the Oceanview and the staff were very hard working but cutbacks were very obvious and I felt sorry for them. Evenings were the best times to obtain seating as the rest of the time it was a zoo and we had problems getting food and a table there. The next evening I called down again and again was told no seating was available at the time we wanted, neither 5.30 nor 6 o'clock. At this point I became annoyed and explained that we had paid for select dining and it was suggested that we try the pay for food venues. I had to argue and finally we were told to show up at 6 pm. We went to the dining room and were seated where we proceeded to wait for twenty minutes before a waiter arrived. I saw staff standing around and giggling. We then left the dining room and did not return. The maître d called and asked why and we explained service was too slow. Just asked for our cabin number. This set a pattern on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click