12 Night Scandinavia & Russia (Amsterdam Roundtrip) Sail Date: July 03, 2010 Cabin Type: Balcony Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 7 years ago
I have been on this cruise line before and had a wonderful experience. Thus I had high expectations. Had this been my first experience with this cruise line there would not have been a second voyage.
Food and Dining
1 out of 5
The worse part of the whole cruise was the food. I probably sent back as many entrees as I actually ate. Of course I was not alone. On our previous cruise we looked forward to the dinner hour knowing we would receive outstanding options and quality, not so on this one. We had early seating so food if prepared ahead of time should be fresh. Chicken and fish were beyond dry and needed sauce to even get it down. Meat was way overcooked and flavorless. I ordered Veal Medallions one night which should have been thin slices of tender meat. What I got were chunks of veal that were a good 2 inches thick and so tough, my serrated knife could barely hack into it. The appetizers and desserts were sad at best. There is a standing menu that was available every night plus the selections of the day. It got to the point where our table just started ordering off the standing menu since the other selections were so poor. At least we knew what we could expect.
1 out of 5
A very irritating part of this cruise is that it seemed to be a constant sales pitch. Our ports of call were often too short to allow for shopping. However, the ship constantly tried to push their selection of wares to the detriment of the economy of the places we were visiting. Their prices were also no bargain.
Unlike the previous cruise, I found the ship board activities to be very lacking and there were few that did not have some sort of sales pitch associated.
Being wine drinkers, we wanted to take advantage of some of wine activities. However, they were all scheduled for late (10:45pm) in the evening and ALL were cancelled due to lack of attendance.
Service and Staff
1 out of 5
Examples - I tried to take advantage of a listed service and have my postcards mailed in the next port of call. But the staff member told me they would only send items when we reached our final destination, after our 12 day cruise. I was then told, that IF I found the stamps and IF I could get back at least 2 hours prior to departure, they would send them. Of course, at that point I could do it myself. In this cruise we had 4 days at sea. Normally, formal nights are when we were at sea. However, on this one, two of the three formal nights were on days we were in port for tours. Having the early seating made getting back and then dressed up a problem. When I asked about the schedule and mentioned the issue of dressing in such a short time, I was told that if I wanted to dress formally I should do so and then wait until the second dinner seating had been done to see if there was an available table. The general feeling was passengers were an intrusion to many of the cruise personnel.
1 out of 5
Due to previous Norovirus issues, there was such a focus on making sure tables and chairs were clean. While they cleaned the tops, they ignored the base of chairs where people would grab to pull them in. Their cleaning frenzy however, caused problems for several folks. Unknown to most, the solution they were using contained bleach. When passengers sat on a damp chair their clothes were ruined by the bleach. My dislike for damp chairs saved my husband and me since I went out of the way to wipe them off. However, two of our dinner table mates ended up with ruined clothing. While they focused on wiping down the table tops and chairs, if you looked at the floors you would be turned off. The rugs all had crumbs and large tuffs of carpet no matter what time of day.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Best part of the cruise, well maintained by a conscientious and friendly steward
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