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7 Baltic Sea Spa Cruise Reviews

We booked the 8/30/2014 cruise to the Fjords of Norway, and arrived in London a few days early. We had a pleasant stay at the Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington. We arranged for an International Friends bus to get us to Southampton, ... Read More
We booked the 8/30/2014 cruise to the Fjords of Norway, and arrived in London a few days early. We had a pleasant stay at the Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington. We arranged for an International Friends bus to get us to Southampton, stopping in Stonehenge. Stonehenge was a bit crowded. There’s a path and short fence circling Stonehenge. We can’t go into the stones, only around them. And so we did. Arriving in Southampton, there was some confusion on which line to join…An officious, squinting lady studied our ticket for a long minute, then resolutely pointed us the wrong way. We corrected that, going under some ropes to the proper line, and then through security, registered quickly and boarded without incident Celebrity provided a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine provided in the cabin, nestled in an ice bucket. The bottle was wet and slippery and, when the cork popped prematurely, the bottle escaped my grip, and there was champagne everywhere. We flung towels out and, to add to the sense of mayhem, the doorbell rang. As luck would have it, it’s the blond assistant manager of room attendants. I lauded her timely arrival, and pointed out the mess we had just made. She beckoned the room attendant who undid the damage I had done. After our first dinner, we stopped in the ship’s theater. A Chinese magician was doing Magic 101 rope-cutting tricks, seen a thousand times before. While he had reasonable English skills, he had no stage charisma. That was the last show we attended. During the cruise, we made ample use of the Aqua Spa, as documented by Celebrity’s accountants in our final room statement. Service in the spa was good, with a bit less hard sell on the goos and ointments than we experienced on an earlier cruise. At times, they can seem like snake-oil peddlers. Breakfasts and lunches in Deck 14’s the Oceanview café on 14 can be an ordeal. Time it wrong, especially on sea days, and you’re coping with the entire ship’s contingent of passengers scavenging for food. You should check out alternate available venues for breakfast and lunch (e.g, the MDR, the Aqua Café in the solarium and, of course, the Mast Grill.) On our cruise, one of the ship’s at-sea diversions was a lecture in the theater about the WWII invasion of Norway. The lecture started at 13:00. We arrived twenty minutes late, and people were already leaving. Once in the theater, we understood why. The lecturer had lost his PowerPoint slides, mid-presentation, and was slowly searching through his laptop’s directories, trying to fine the right .ppt file. We watched him struggle quietly for about five minutes, and left. I sensed a brewing rebellion in the remaining crowd. Later, on the ship’s TV, we caught up with some if the ship’s recorded lectures on Norway. These on-board performances were head-and-shoulders above the PowerPoint hell that 1941 invasion of Norway was. We learned about glaciation and the formation of the fjords. There was a new drill for the Captain’s Club happy hour. On the Equinox last year, it was held in a cordoned-off area of the Sky Lounge on 14. On this cruise, the Eclipse did it differently. Captain’s Club Elite members could swill their drinks at any of a number of bars on board. To support that, they provided sheets of drink coupons. We were allocated three drinks per person per day. This was reasonable, but the coupons added a cheesy note. Meals in the MDR were good. The Tuscan Grill and Murano were head and shoulders better. The ship’s first stop was in Bergen, where we quickly espied a TGI Fridays, Burger King, Subway, Starbucks and so on. (Why do we even travel?). After that, Flåm, a tiny town surrounded by mountains at the end of a fjord. With only 300 or so inhabitants in Flåm, the Eclipse’s passenger population was tenfold larger. Had we been organized, we could have taken over the town before the Norwegians knew what was happening. Instead, everyone was either sleeping in, noshing on breakfast, or preparing for their organized excursions into greater Flåm. There was no unity of purpose. In Flåm, up on a hill, there was a farmer on the hill who had posted a large sign “No Cruise Ships.”…one of the disgruntled 300. While in the fjords, we would often discover there was no internet. In fact, there was no satellite TV, as well. The towering mountains deprived the ship of a bead on the southern sky for its satellite signal. In spite of this hardship, we continued to project an outward sense of calm. The next stop, the cruise’s northernmost port, was Geiranger. As the ship approached the port, the boat slowed and executed a tight 180° turn, aligning with two big docking buoys, fore and aft. I was impressed. On the shore, nearby, was the floating walkway that replaced the need for tenders. It worked well. Geiranger is larger than Flåm, populated with more shops and restaurants, a hotel, houses, farms, and an RV campground. Like Flåm, it’s completely surrounded by mountains. Midday is the time to hit it, since the mountain sunrise came about 10:00 a.m., and the mountain sunset was probably around 14:30. Alesund followed Geiranger and, after that, Stavanger. Both Alesund and Stavanger are proper cities, with ample opportunity for walking and exploring. (We’re not keen on organized excursions.) At some point during the cruise, we had gotten a call From Fabian, inviting us to check out the exclusive Michael’s Club on deck 5. So, one day, at 17:00, we did. We walked in and sat down. It was so exclusive that no one was there. No passengers. No wait staff. A minute passed, and another couple wandered in, beckoned, as we were, by a phone call from Fabian. The couple accurately assessed that drinks weren’t flowing, backed out of the place quickly. After a couple of beats, we followed. During the cruise, my wife had one bout of gastrointestinal discomfort. The ship’s nurse was professional and helpful. Lacking any abdominal cramps, the nurse doubted that my wife had norovirus, so euthanasia was ruled out. She got a shot, some medications, and a day of quarantine. That afforded us the opportunity to try out the Eclipse’s room service. We over-ordered food. A bit later, Alex, our suite butler, staggered in carrying a tray that was stacked improbably high with covered dishes. The food was good. We ate on our balcony, where it was warm and sunny, facing the setting sun. As we ate, the ship pulled out of port. Seagulls were dodging and weaving alongside, putting on an aerial show. We learned this wasn’t a spontaneous show of avian affection. Someone on a balcony forward of us was putting food on the railing, attracting the gulls. Disembarkation in Southampton was a breeze. We had been told to muster in the Tuscan Grill at 7:30 to await our turn. We had luggage tags #10. When we got there a few minutes early, Bruce, the terrific concierge from the Sky Lounge was there, directing traffic. He reported that luggage numbers 1-15 had already been called and, undoing our leg chains, advised that we were free to disembark. . A flash of our key cards, and we were fleeing down ramps that zig-zagged down to street level. There was already a sea of luggage there, awaiting their travelers. In short order, we found our bags and our transfer bus and were off to Heathrow. It was Sunday, with light traffic. We arrived at Heathrow Terminal 4 early, at 9:05 a.m.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
I believe this was the first Baltic cruise for the crew...Unfortunately, both the ship and crew were underwhelming. The ship was looking tired, and the public spaces were not kept tidy by the crew (ie: we sat in a public area for ... Read More
I believe this was the first Baltic cruise for the crew...Unfortunately, both the ship and crew were underwhelming. The ship was looking tired, and the public spaces were not kept tidy by the crew (ie: we sat in a public area for approximately 4 hrs one day, reading, etc. and the table next to us had discarded cups, napkins, and garbage, the debris was there when we arrived, and was still there when we left). There was an overall lack of communication in general and lack of visibility of officers. Overall, the crew was not engaging, however, some members were great and compensated (a little) for the remainder of their coworkers. The cabin was a surprise to us, the size was larger than we expected, with a wall of floor to ceiling windows, sadly the windows were dirty and never cleaned on the cruise, and there was a visible "crack" in the window. Although the stateroom was large, it was poorly decorated and set up. The size and views although were great, the noise that came from the main "Centrum" into the late hours were highly disruptive to our vacation, as we could not enjoy our quiet times in the evening. When we complained to guest services, they seemed completely uninterested in helping to resolve the situation, and offered no resolution. We cruised with RC the prior year and thoroughly enjoyed the previous cruise, unfortunately, this recent experience has left us with a bad taste and will likely not return to RC.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
In today's competitive cruise industry, there is no room for mediocrity. While other cruise lines have raised the bar on luxury, food and entertainment, Norwegian Cruise Lines seems to have gone downhill. In a recent 21 day back to ... Read More
In today's competitive cruise industry, there is no room for mediocrity. While other cruise lines have raised the bar on luxury, food and entertainment, Norwegian Cruise Lines seems to have gone downhill. In a recent 21 day back to back cruise, my significant other and I booked a balcony cabin on the NCL Norwegian Star. We hoped that the ship would be as incredible as the itinerary (Copenhagen; Berlin; Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki; Stockholm; Bergen and Alesund Norway; Shetland Islands; Faroe Islands; Reykjavik, Iceland; Oslo; and Helsingborg, Sweden). Were we wrong! The only "Star" of this trip was the itinerary and the shore excursions that we booked outside of the cruise line with a company called "Red October" in both Berlin, Germany and St. Petersburg, Russia. Our St. Petersburg guide, Catherine Karalesina (Kate), was delightful, friendly and extremely informative as she took us through all of the attractions that St. Petersburg has to offer for two full days. The cost was less than the ship charges and with a much smaller group. She was wonderful and this was a memorable experience. As for the ship, for starters the Cruise Director is an important part of the cruising experience. They are the Entertainment Director for the ship. Every Cruise Director I've ever come into contact with in nearly 50 years of cruising had a talent---singer, dancer, comic. This is not the case with Candi Finkelstein, Norwegian Star's Cruise Director. All she did was make the PA system announcements and on-stage talent introductions. When I asked her how she got this job, she told me she's had it for 6 years and before that she was a fitness instructor. That was the funniest joke she told on the whole cruise considering she's at least 20 pounds overweight. Speaking of the talent, out of 14 shows, there were only 4 good ones (Brenda Cochrane, Duo Bolshakov, Tenors of Rock and Graffiti Classics). The rest will remain nameless because they were either forgettable or terrible and NCL should be ashamed to stage such rubbish. You can't make a bad show good by pumping so much phony smoke from both sides of the stage for effect that it chokes the entire front half of the audience, half of whom are sitting on broken theater seats that go down more than 90 degrees and you have to hold on to the armrests to stop from sliding down to the floor. Other maintenance issues abound as well--Elevator direction lights are burned out and don't tell you if you are going up or down when the elevator doors open and sometimes, even though you push the button for the deck you want, the elevators sail right past it. Balcony carpets are terribly stained and balcony edges are rusted. Does this sound like a luxury cruise so far? Wait. It gets worse! Our cabin constantly smelled from tobacco smoke even though we don't smoke. The Hotel Director, Yannis, said that it must be coming through the bathroom vent and there is nothing they could really do. My partner was enticed by a spa special for a neck and shoulder massage for $89. When she got there, they wanted to perform this service in the main part of the beauty shop where there is no privacy. When she objected, they told her that if she wanted privacy, she'd have to pay full price for the service. Sound like luxury yet? I purchased a 280 minute internet package for $100. After the first day of use, I had a balance of 260 minutes remaining. But their system failed to disconnect properly and took away all of my remaining 260 minutes. The Internet Manager acknowledged that this was a common technical glitch but would only credit me 200 minutes, refusing to give me the 260 minutes that I was due because of their malfunction. Does this sound like luxury yet? As for the food on the Norwegian Star, the main dining room quality was mediocre at best and extremely salty, but the specialty restaurants were considerably better. Of course, you have to pay extra for that. And the buffet was a zoo with people climbing over each other to get to the food and not enough tables once you were lucky enough to get it. Nothing luxurious here either! I could go on and on but I think you get my "drift". The bottom line here is this: If you're looking for a quality, luxury vacation, don't go on the NCL Norwegian Star. There are better, newer ships out there for a lot less money. Try to match the itinerary with a cruise line that cares!   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Our butler, Kumar, and his assistant, Ranny absolutely spoiled us. No detail was left unattended. I never had to ask to refill the fridge with my favorite beverage-Kumar took note from the first day on. He went above and beyond, helping us ... Read More
Our butler, Kumar, and his assistant, Ranny absolutely spoiled us. No detail was left unattended. I never had to ask to refill the fridge with my favorite beverage-Kumar took note from the first day on. He went above and beyond, helping us to select wine, delivering it to the room, taking it to the restaurant, escorting us to the restaurant....he was fantastic and the cabin was spotless! Zoe in hairdressing was amazing. Best blow dry/style I have ever had. Dhanyesh in the main dining room made us feel as if we were the only people he was serving. I don't know how he took care of so many tables and had time to attend to so many details, and his charming smile warms your heart. All in all, Silverseas does it right from beginning to end! And the size of the ship is perfect-not too many people, but not so few that you feel as if you run into the same people over and over. This company knows how to do it right! Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We went on the 10 night cruise leaving from Leith, Edinburgh for the Norwegian fjords and the midnight sun. We came back sunburnt from being in the Arctic! Embarkation was so smooth, from home to our cabin in under one hour. We had a ... Read More
We went on the 10 night cruise leaving from Leith, Edinburgh for the Norwegian fjords and the midnight sun. We came back sunburnt from being in the Arctic! Embarkation was so smooth, from home to our cabin in under one hour. We had a deluxe cabin (Pacific Deck 7 Cabin 434). After reading the divided reviews in Cruise Critics, I was seriously apprehensive but I need not have been. The cabin was OK in size- about sizes with the deluxe cabin we had on the Celebrity Mercury (now Mein Schiff 2). The only extra space we had on the Celebrity cabin was a balcony which we hardly used due to the bad weather sailing to Alaska. The cabin attendant on the Marco Polo we had was called Iryna she was brilliant- rooms cleaned well, replenished used items immediately and left the cabin well made up and tidy twice a day. She turned down our beds each evening. The Bistro tended to be very busy though we never found a problem getting seats. I noticed some people complaining about having to eat fish and rice...well... for some cultural groups and cuisines..that is fine and really quite delicious. However there was a range of foodwith some variation for the salads, cakes and main dishes. We ate in the Bistro for breakfast and lunch and in the Waldorf dining evening evening. The food in the evening was excellent. The portions were reasonable, not large but with five courses, it sufficed. We had really nice people at our table which made each dinner evening something to look forward to. We thought the drinks were reasonably priced for a cruise ship. If you drink wine with your evening meal, best to get a package. We got a wine package for £80 which bought you 5 bottles of wine plus 10 bottles of water or 6 bottles of wine with no water. The water gets delivered to your cabin and we found having bottled water was very good. I also used the gym and sauna each day as well as using the whirlpool in the top deck several times during the cruise. The weather was very hot.. and so people sunbathed as we cruised into the Arctic. So do bring light wear and not just wintry wear. The evening entertainment in the Lounge was energetic and there are some very talented young people who provide a fast paced 45 minute entertainment each evening. Other activities on board cover a range of tastes from Tai Chi (these classes with Nicola were great) to craft sessions, line dancing, bingo and quizzes. There is a jazz bar area which I loved and classical music in the Captain's Lounge. I indulged in four massage sessions in the Jade Wellness Clinic and if you can get a lady called Inna- she is very good. Shore excursions were a tad pricey. We did not take an excursion at Molde or in Tromso. We walked about in Molde and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the boat when docked in Tromson. We went on the the Trollstigen Road trip, the ferry trip in Gerainger fjord and onto to Dalsnibba (too short a time at the top - only 15 minutes), the trip to the Viking Museum in Leknes(Lofoten Islands) and of course the trip to the North Cape. I have to say that our trip days were great because the weather was just perfect. I think we picked the right trips to go on- however all these trips cost us £540 for both of us- rather a lot. We went on this cruise as we wanted to relax and de-stress as our jobs are extremely demanding. We did de-stress and yes,our cocktail and drinks bill was somewhat large. You make from it what you put in. If you are determined to find fault, complain and moan, then yes, you probably will find that. For example, the shower pressure is not great and it is difficult to get the temperature level of the water to stay constant but overall, it was fine. However if you are a positive person and not parochial in attitude and look for things to enjoy, then you will. The staff at every level was just fantastic. I too noticed comments about Eastern European staff being unfriendly, I did not find that so. To begin with some are more reserved but when you get talking, its fine. If you take an interest in the various staff, they take an interest back. We liked the 'no children' atmosphere on the boat- we do have children so it is not about not liking kids but about the peace and quiet. The ship is small and so there is less to do on board but a couple of good books, an iPod and just a preparedness to relax will see your blood pressure level plummet. We enjoyed the cruise so much, we have booked again next year but this time to head even further north to Spitzbergen. We booked while on board and got a very good discount. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We booked our cruise through Thomas Cook on the Internet . The salesperson was efficient and was able to inform us of the various cabins and facilities available. We opted for the Aqua Class rooms and facilities and we were not ... Read More
We booked our cruise through Thomas Cook on the Internet . The salesperson was efficient and was able to inform us of the various cabins and facilities available. We opted for the Aqua Class rooms and facilities and we were not disappointed. There was champagne and fresh fruit on arrival. Fresh fruit , complimentary bottled water and canapes each day. We used the aqua spa daily and enjoyed the heated mosaic beds with the breathtaking vista of the fjords as we cruised by. Access to the Persian Garden was free for Aqua Class guests. We had priority seating in the Blu Restaurant for both breakfast and dinner. The restaurant is managed efficiently by the Maitre d Jorges. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. We were waited on like kings and queens. Staff in all areas were polite, attentive and helpful with all aspects of our needs during the cruise. We also enjoyed dinning in the Ocean View restaurant, which was buffet style. the array of food was astounding and prepped and delivered in a clean and comfortable environment. We enjoyed the days in port, but could have done with less time in Bergen and more time in Oslo in order to see the sights on offer. We opted to arrange our own transport to see the sights in Bergen and Oslo using the cities sightseeing tour buses. You will find that this is the cheapest option at '£15 per person. Our cabin was beautiful and the stewards very attentive. We enjoyed the balcony. The ship is luxuriously appointed throughout and our favourite bar was the cocktail bar serving exceptional cocktails by the Liquid Chef, Junior. We enjoyed speciality coffees at Al Baccio's as well as the delicious ice creams. They cater for diabetics like myself with a selection of sugar free options. Thank you to all the staff who made our holiday very memorable. We hope to return in the not so distant future. Thank You to the Captain who made the cruise a very pleasurable experience. To us it was a floating palace. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
This was our third cruise with Holland America. Previous cruises were Eastern Caribbean on the Zuiderdam (my favorite Holland America ship to date), and a Back2Back Alaska cruise on the Veendam (least favorite). We have sailed on RCI, ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Holland America. Previous cruises were Eastern Caribbean on the Zuiderdam (my favorite Holland America ship to date), and a Back2Back Alaska cruise on the Veendam (least favorite). We have sailed on RCI, NCL, Cunard, Carnival, and Princess.My wife and I are in in our late 50s, early 60s.We arrived at this itinerary as an introduction to Copenhagen, Oslo and Bergen Norway. We have toured Scotland before but didn't have the opportunity to tour the Highlands, and the same with Newcastle. These are my own opinions.Pre-cruise: We flew from Boston on Delta Airlines to Heathrow. We arrived a day early to recover from jet-lag. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express near Victoria Station. We took National Express coach from Victoria Coach Station to Dover Ferry Port. During the drive to Dover, we approached the driver and asked about being dropped off at the ship. A call to dispatch (this was his story) gave approval to detour to the port. A tip of 5 British Pounds from us were accepted by the driver, as were other 'considerations' from our fellow cruise couples.Embarkation: Mass confusion reigned with this step. Colored tags were handed out I guess to indicate when to board the ship. The tags were abandoned after an announcement was made for Mariner members to board the ship immediately in order to attend a special luncheon. The only problem was, most of the people in the boarding lounge were Mariners! The bottleneck was security, X-ray machines and metal detectors. I guess it was a good hour from our arrival to boarding the ship.Ship: This is the newest and largest ship that we have sailed on with Holland America. The ship was well maintained. It appeared to sail full for this cruise but except for one morning at the Lido for breakfast you would not know it. I wish the designers did a better job with lounge placement. The main lounges were not isolated from high traffic areas and to me, lacked some character. Clientele median age appeared to be mid to late 60s.Cabin: Two weeks before our cruise we were offered an upsell from our ocean view cabin on main deck to a VQ spa veranda on Deck 10. Since this was an anniversary cruise for us, we took the offer. This was the first time we had a veranda cabin, and despite the itinerary, we were able to use the veranda on a few days, even at sea. We were glad to be offered the upsell since our original cabin pick was in a heavily used part of the ship. Cabin location was excellent with the Crows Nest lounge one deck up and the Spa - Lido deck one deck down. It was pretty quiet up there, and the ship's movement never bothered us.Service: Our two room stewards gave us outstanding service. We showed our appreciation with a tip over the automatic daily service charge. They were pleasant, always smiling, would say hello and most importantly, get their tasks finished in a timely fashion. Dining: We were given Open Seating and so had to put up with either reserving a table for dinner, or show up at the dining room early. We are still not fans of Holland America's concept of anytime dining. Passengers were able to book a table and time for a few days at a time, but if you are taking port excursions, you can not always depend on arriving back on ship in time for dinner. The food quality in the dining room was good to very good. We had two instances later into the cruise when a waiter had a rough time delivering the courses. We tried the Lido buffet for dinner once, and once was enough. It was the first day of a Code Red norovirus outbreak on the ship, and the menu was not all that special to begin with.We took our breakfasts and most lunches in the Lido buffet. We both thought the foods meant to be hot, like scrambled eggs, were sometimes not kept at the proper temperatures. We had two lunches in the main dining room, which took forever to complete. One lunch was at the pool grille for hamburgers and it was very ordinary. We have not tried the Pinnacle Grill now for 3 cruises. The menu does not interest us. We heard from others that it was very good with smaller portions. We looked at the Asian Fusion menu, and again, it was nothing special for the surcharge. We could never get a lunch booking in there. We did the Italian dinner in the Lido on the Veendam which didn't impress us. I purchased the $100 beverage card for $90. It was readily accepted by the bars, even for a happy hour promotion. (Those happy hour drink glasses do get small. I don't know how much a bargain they are compared to the regular sized cocktails. No draft beer was on this ship. I thought the wine by the glass prices were steep for the quality offered. Same observation with the wine by the bottle prices too) .Spa: Well they say one gets some consideration with the VQ spa cabin category at the Spa. We both used the services especially the first day at sea to work out the kinks from hauling our luggage around. It went very well. As for 'considerations', I guess if you really push the Spa they will honor them. After a massage on our second sea day, we both said it was enough pampering. Please note: they are going to try to sell you 'products' as an add-on. Learn to say "No thanks" and the sales pitch will end.Entertainment: Ian was probably the most laid-back cruise director we have ever experienced. Sea day activities were offered, but I didn't see a big push to advertise them beyond the daily program listings. We attended two main stage productions with the singers and dancers. I thought the quality was very good. A guest violinist and a comedian were entertaining. A duo piano act was attended by my wife, and she thought it was a good show. The last production show had the late performance cancelled due to 'technical difficulties'. I asked one of the musicians and he suggested that the main female singer was suffering from the virus outbreak.The Adagio string quartet played most evenings in the Explorers lounge. I thought they should have been given better exposure in a larger room. (Here is where a larger atrium would serve a purpose for this fine quartet to perform in.) I never saw the Halcats group or the piano player, but I caught the guitar player once in the Crows Nest. He sounded fine.Disembarkation: We decided to go with the Holland America's transfer to Heathrow. I originally thought that we would use National Express from the Ferry back to Victoria Coach station. In fact I had the tickets booked and paid for but the idea of hauling all our luggage for our one night post cruise stay in London changed our minds. We were off the ship by 7:40 am, found our luggage under the colored tag we were given, and directed to a coach. There we sat until 8:30 am, the last bus to leave for the airport. It took 2 hours to get to Heathrow where we dropped off our heavy luggage at a 24 hour 'left luggage' vendor. Summary: It was an excellent itinerary, an excellent cabin and room stewards, very good food, and excellent main show room entertainment. Holland America will continue to be a favored cruise line, but I don't think the Eurodam will see us as customers again. I never thought that I would say this about this class of ship but for its size. it is dressed too plain for me. Excursions: See below.Castles of North Zealand, Copenhagen. After seeing 2 castles (rebuilt over the years) and the outside of a third house owned by the Queen, I was ready for the return to the ship. We did a lot of walking.Best Of Oslo: If a 45 minute visit to a national sky jump venue is Oslo's idea of a highlight, then in my opinion, they have problems.The Oslo Fjord by Vintage Sailing ship: No sails were unfurled in what was to become a sightseeing trip of expensive summer houses along the fjord. A snack was supplied of cold boiled shrimp and a beverage of your choice.Kristensand: Past and Present. Coach tour of recreated 13th century village. It was a quaint tour but rushed.Bergen, Queen of the Fjords: A bit disappointed with this excursion, since we spent a lot of time on the coach. The expected fjord crossing consisted of a car ferry less than 15 minute ride on our return to Bergen. I wish it was longer ferry ride.Inverness: Highlands tour was a long day of riding around the highlands of Scotland. It was a rushed tour despite its length. This was an experiment with Holland America to see if larger 50 passenger coaches could handle the tour. Listening to the tour guide, she was not happy with the idea. Previous tours used 15 passenger vans which worked better.Newcastle UK: tour of nearby Brammish recreated Victorian and Edwardian village. Worthwhile trip.Edinburgh: Robert the Bruce and Stirling Castle. Worthwhile. Stirling Castle was impressive with a lot of rebuilt rooms and a chapel. Note, this was a tender port and if fellow passengers miss their anticipated tender, it could (and did in our case) delay the tour leaving the port. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011

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