Our Baltic cruise was perfect! The weather was unusually warm and sunny the entire 9 days. Our 2 days is St. Petersburg were our favorites because we got to spend the most time there, although a 3rd day would have been even better. We didn't have enough time to truly explore Helsinki or Stockholm but thoroughly enjoyed our time there. The food on the ship was, of course, outstanding with plenty of variety. We love being able to eat any time we want without having to dress up. The staff were all extremely friendly and helpful, the stateroom small but ample and cleaned every day. (I wish I could bring Lobo home with me!) I definitely recommend this tour. We took local transportation most of the places without any difficulty with the exception of St. Petersburg, where we used a local travel agency instead of the more expensive cruise lines' tour. We thoroughly enjoy interacting with the locals, who usually speak excellent English and are very helpful. I was in a wheelchair and was able to travel with ease.
We booked an ocean view room, which for this cruise was adequate. We normally do a balcony room, but there was little to see outside of the ports, so it was not necessary. The dining experience in the Aqua Dining Room was very good. The chef and maitre d discovered my fondness for Indian food, and we were invited every night to the "extended" dining room which featured Indian families who also enjoyed "off menu" items. Food was delicious and plentiful.
I did not like the Norwegian Star's general buffet set up - it was like the old fashioned cafeteria style rather than having separate stations for salads, meats, vegetables like every other ship we've been on. The water and ice dispensers were electronic (no touch) and were inconsistent in delivery.
The shows were probably the best we've experienced lately. The ship's entertainment crew (about 16 singers/dancers plus band) were excellent and the shows were very well done and choreographed with excellence. The Russian acrobats Dimitri and Maria were also excellent.
Since this was a cruise in Scandinavia, I would would have loved to see an ABBA show - I'm surprised they did not feature on since this is where the group comes from!
Our room was directly under part of the kitchen and working areas of the Aqua lounge - very noisy late at night for several nights until we realized where the noise was coming from; we went to Guest Services about the matter, and we had no further issues.
We did not experience the gym, spa area or pools, so I have no review other than it seemed everyone enjoyed themselves.
The music featured in the main lounge (a trio from Manila) was very low-key and low-energy for such a bustling part of the ship. On the other hand, the piano man who played the Spinnaker lounge was much to loud and "busy" for such a small venue which also shared space with the sushi restaurant.
We loved the Irish pub - great menu and good food, although service was sketchy from time to time.
Overall - we loved this cruise, would recommend it to friends. One of the best features was the 2-day stay in St. Petersburg, Russia.
We had a lovely cruise, though the weather prevented docking in Stockholm. We received an extra day in Copenhagen at the end of the cruise. My only complaint is the lack of a cozy cocktail area. The big lounge was just that, big, with very loud entertainmet. The 5 o'clok Somewhere bar was a stark aisle pass through. Because of the cool, rainy weather, the outdoor bars were not appealing. That left Gatsby's, a martini bar with maybe15-20 tables. We spent our time here and it was very nice, but it was the only option for us. Food was very good and the service was wonderful. Very kind, thoughful servers. We did not do a specialty restaurant and ate most of our meals in the lovely Versailles Room. Entertainment in the theater was nothing special. The ship is a bit smaller than vessels on our last cruises, so public spaces are limited. Our mid ship balcony room on the 10th deck was very nice. A very good value for the money.
The staff at Norwegian Cruise Line was excellent in their service. They were very professional, friendly, courteous and helpful. The ports of calls and shore excursions were amazing. I learned a lot about countries that so far I had only dreamed of to visit.
The ship seemed crowded, a little dated and tired. The room was nice, great bed and shower, plenty of room to move around. There weren't a lot of places to sit outside, it was ok for the Baltic but I'm not sure I would book this ship if it were in the Med or Caribbean .. The food was plentiful, but the buffet seemed low quality. We ate in three specialty restaurants, the best being Cagneys. It was on par with a chain steakhouse. They did a few barbecues by the pool that were fun. The quality of the food overall was a disappointment. The service was spotty, a few individuals stood out for great service and a few stood out for their bad attitude. Embarkation was a bit of a disaster, we waited in line 2 hours, they only had one security line open. It was painful. The ports were fantastic, no issues getting on or off ship other than Russia. They make you wait until the ship tours have off loaded before your allowed to leave, this means waiting in a very long line getting through passport control. I highly recommend this itinerary, the ports were all fantastic, Russia was a high light. The ship was fine, it felt more like staying in a budget hotel than I was expecting.
you might want to avoid the haven suite area on deck 12. they are at the stern and top of the ship........I understand those guests really had a rough ride through the hurricane. I cant understand why the highest price suites are in the worst ship position. I always prefer mid ships, middle decks.
Make sure your cabin isn't directly below a bar - loud noises so little sleep. They did change our cabin eventually (after several days) . Not an upgrade and gave us free dinner at one of their specialty restaurants where we found the staff to be especially rude and inattentive.
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