June 2016 - Regal Princess to Europe - Northern Europe
Great new ship and fantastic smooth sailing. Hardly felt a ripple sailing to/from all ports. Employees were gracious and well trained, rooms were clean, food was great. Excursions c/o could use a little help except for Berlin and St. Petersburg. Those two excursions were excellent. Fantastic tour guide on Berlin excursion. Katarina was bright, funny, knowledgeable, energetic, always smiling and kept her group together. She had a loud voice so we had no problem hearing her. Same for St. Petersburg, duo guides provided earphones so they could always be heard. Bus on first day lacked adequate air conditioning, so they changed to a better equipped bus on the second day (this was the 3-city excursion). In previous tours taken, there are appointments assigned to groups which should have been applied to many of these sights. The crowds were large, many, many, people and we were rushed along so we couldn't enjoy many of the sights seen. ! I can't imagine what it will be like inn the middle of summer! Third City on the tour was Estonia which was a disappointment. Tour guide was soft spoken with a quiet conversational voice. We couldn't hear her so we wandered off. We had a small van to the City center and since the tour ended there, we WALKED back to the ship, (About 30 minutes in the rain!) She was sweet and hurried off at the end of the tour as if she didn't want to be there and wanted to go off asap. The excursion in Oslo was okay, not great. Bus did not have adequate air conditioning and folks were falling asleep in the mid to rear of the bus from lack of oxygen. It was a huge group and although the guide was informative she should have had a portable microphone. Additionally, explanation to get to the tour meeting place seemed simple enough but it took us longer in the drizzle/rain as it was not very explicit and the bus was parked on a slight hill with no visible signs. It was a pretty far walk from the ship to the city and a bit apprehensive as instructions stated it would depart 30 minutes after the ship landed. (Rain only in Oslo and Estonia) I also took Princess excursions but will refrain from commenting on those since this is a United Cruise review.