Cruise Ratings
Sail Date: August 2019
The atmosphere onboard was great the ships inhabitants came together to enjoy each others company as well as the staff who made everyone feel very comfortable. The activities and entertainment were very nice and well thought out to ... Read More
The atmosphere onboard was great the ships inhabitants came together to enjoy each others company as well as the staff who made everyone feel very comfortable. The activities and entertainment were very nice and well thought out to interest every passenger at one time or another. The excursions were carefully planned into the cities we visited and had excellent guides that gave the tour group the history and insight into the historic cities and great reviews on the existing life and culture.I also liked the fact that you also had an opportunity to visit ports of call during the evening so you had a chance to see the city lights at night. I really enjoyed one stop to visit see and interact with a local family well done Emerald. The food was prepared by an excellent master chef who's creations were as eye appealing as they were to eat. We can't wait to go again to set sail with Emerald they are an excellent cruise line offering lots of travel destinations and places we want to see and visit. Thanks again to the crew of Emerald Sky.... See you again soon! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
As usual, Celebrity delivered excellent food and service on our recent Baltic cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and efficient. Our balcony cabin was larger on the Reflection than on past Celebrity ships. The layout was ... Read More
As usual, Celebrity delivered excellent food and service on our recent Baltic cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and efficient. Our balcony cabin was larger on the Reflection than on past Celebrity ships. The layout was great and the extra space was appreciated. The entertainment was good, but not spectacular. We have become comfortable with the fact that if you want big productions, try Celebrity's sister line - Royal Caribbean. Rob Lewis, a Phil Collins tribute act, was great. The service in the Opus restaurant was exceptional - as was the food. I can't imagine what our waiters and sommelier could have done any better. We did have dinner in the Tuscan Grille one evening and it was a disappointment. Three of us ordered steaks. Two were too rare and one was overdone. By the time we got one steak redone, everything was cold. We paid $45 each and wished we had eaten in the Opus dining room. The ship is fabulous. Although we were with 3,300 other guests, the ship never felt crowded. There are enough small areas (library, Hideaway, etc.) that we could always find some quiet places when we desired. We toured Berlin, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Stockholm with TJ Travel Tours. All were great experiences. Our guide in St. Petersburg was Natasha and she worked very hard for two 10-hour days. Her knowledge of Russian history was exceptional. She was old enough to have lived under Soviet rule, so she also had an interesting perspective on the czars, the Soviets and on life after the fall of the Soviet Union. We toured Copenhagen on a Celebrity tour, since TJ was not able to form a group there. The guide was knowledgeable and we got a good feel for the city. Overall, it was a great trip. We were extremely lucky with the weather. We traveled with a couple who had just gotten their first passports and this was their first cruise. We warned them that the Reflection experience will probably spoil them for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We were celebrating our honeymoon, the moment we set foot on the ship, we were transported into a world of utter luxury. We were doted upon and treated like royalty. George, the cruise manager, always greeted everyone with a friendly smile ... Read More
We were celebrating our honeymoon, the moment we set foot on the ship, we were transported into a world of utter luxury. We were doted upon and treated like royalty. George, the cruise manager, always greeted everyone with a friendly smile and answered all our questions. I am sure he would have also been quick to solve any issues but there were none. He was on top of everything. Everything was done effortlessly, or so it seemed, from my perspective. The staff was friendly, upbeat and Costi our restaurant server made me laugh, a discreet comedian, suggested food and drink, made me a toddy in the evening. He was a true delight. Vlad our attentive and intuitive butler knew or seemed to know what we wanted before we even expressed our thoughts. We was extremely professional and incredibly helpful. The food was stupendous! The chef came around and wanted our feedback. No wonder! The baked goods are to die for. The lamb, wow. The soups yummy. We loved everything about our trip! What a grand adventure. Sylvia the tour organizers took very good care of us. She took great pains to explain and plan the wonderful outings we enjoyed. Our suite was wonderful, ours was the Royal Panorama. It was spacious, kept spotless and generously supplied with anything one could possibly need. Our laundry was taken care of and returned promptly. The salt room felt wonderful after our massage. I could go on, but will stop here before I write a book. I am still suffering from Vlad ( our butler) withdrawal. If you enjoy a phenomenal adventure and want to feel coddled in luxury, then sign up. You will love it! Guaranteed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
A relative told us about it and asked if we wanted to join him and his wife on the trip. After examining the brochure and and talking to a travel agent about it we decided to go. We were not disappointed. Just about everything we ... Read More
A relative told us about it and asked if we wanted to join him and his wife on the trip. After examining the brochure and and talking to a travel agent about it we decided to go. We were not disappointed. Just about everything we experienced on the trip was wonderful. All the staff were fantastic, including the bus drivers with a special mention for the driver on the overland section through Switzerland and Austria by the name of Milos. By the time we joined the ship in Budapest we had got to know a great many of our fellow passengers. This enhanced the whole experience. The cruise itself was fabulous in all respects. All the staff on the ship were extremely friendly and helpful. There was some doubt initially about whether the water in the Danube was going to be deep enough. However our captain did a sterling job navigating us safely through the waterways. The ports we visited were many and varied with interesting excursions being available at all ports of call. Alternatively you could do your own excursion and wander through the town or village. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Having looked at reviews and compared prices I selected Emerald Waterways. I had high expectations, but even these were surpassed. The itinerary and options are really good and well-organised and the ship's interior is great. All ... Read More
Having looked at reviews and compared prices I selected Emerald Waterways. I had high expectations, but even these were surpassed. The itinerary and options are really good and well-organised and the ship's interior is great. All staff were superb- they were professional, friendly and did all they could to make the journey unforgettable. The food was fresh and varied. The crew were even willing to make a special request. Communication on board was excellent, with a concise pre-dinner briefing. Evening entertainment was varied and enjoyable. The panoramic cabin was a reasonable size and the bed very comfortable. The shore excursions were great, and all guides were passionate about their city or town. The only improvement I can suggest is the process of informing guests where to embark. A few passengers were disappointed with this aspect, and an email would have made things easier. There was absolutely nothing on board I was disappointed with, and am now planning my next cruise with Emerald. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Wanted to cruise the Danube. Unfortunately the water levels were too low and we had to be bussed instead of cruising from Passau. This spoilt the trip as cruising is much more relaxing than coach journeys. The cruise director and ... Read More
Wanted to cruise the Danube. Unfortunately the water levels were too low and we had to be bussed instead of cruising from Passau. This spoilt the trip as cruising is much more relaxing than coach journeys. The cruise director and entertainment manager were very good, but trips out were not booked in advance making disembarkation a bit erratic. The waiter service was superb. Nothing was too much trouble for any of the staff. Each and everyone of the waiting staff were very friendly and committed to giving an excellent service. One bar waitress, Jane , only joined as a new member of staff at Bratislava, but showed such confidence and enthusiasm. We were on the premium drinks package as part of the Black Friday deal, and she bought me a drink up onto the sun deck without me asking! (An orange and Pineapple juice). Only very disappointed with the cabin layout and not being able to cruise past Passau. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Retired active senior couple desires to leave sunny, humid Florida Summer for two weeks. Have sailed several times on Holland America. This ship and its sister ship Nieu Kolingdon (which we sailed on last December) are HAL newest. About ... Read More
Retired active senior couple desires to leave sunny, humid Florida Summer for two weeks. Have sailed several times on Holland America. This ship and its sister ship Nieu Kolingdon (which we sailed on last December) are HAL newest. About 2,600 passengers...larger than the rest of their fleet. The food, the service and the ships themselves are 5 star. The main shows in the evenings in the main large theater are soso which can be expected on a ship this size. This cruise was about 60% Scandinavian, 30% US/English and 10% Asian with not many children. Vista Suite (4110) was on deck 4 midship and was small but had great storage and a first class cabin attendant. We ate in 2 specialty restaurants ($35pp) (Pinnacle-steak and Calenture-Italian) and came to the conclusion that the food in the main dining room was as good if not better. The made to order pizza and ceasar salads in the New York Deli for lunch are terrific. The highlight for us were the daily classical concerts in the Lincoln Center which consisted of a talented ensemble of piano, cello, base and 2 violins. They also had a blues band in the BBK Room and a R & R band in the Rolling Stone Room which were OK. A hint on the drinks. Different bars have different Happy Hour times which gives you a cocktail at regular price and a second for $2.00 more. Another nice thing about HAL is that you can buy a 5th of vodka or others for about $40 bucks for your cabin which lets you have a nip on the veranda before the evening festivities. Excursions: Bergen was the best. The other tours were soso. I guess after you see a few fiords and cute little colored cottages it becomes redundant. The truth be known,,,,our numerous national parks in the good old USA are the truly spectacular sights! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The ship it was built in 2012 and it still looked brand new, our cabin was spacious and well equipped. We arrived on 12 July 2019 and checked into the Movenpick Hotel, Amsterdam City Center, the next morning to Breakfast and finally ... Read More
The ship it was built in 2012 and it still looked brand new, our cabin was spacious and well equipped. We arrived on 12 July 2019 and checked into the Movenpick Hotel, Amsterdam City Center, the next morning to Breakfast and finally closed up all our bags ready to board the Avalon Vista to get settled. We had breakfast and prep for our Amsterdam Canal Cruse plus a walking tour, every day there was tours to a lot of the sights. The meals that were provided were very delicious, for those that didn't want a large meal there was a small were served in the Panorama Lounge, it was also the location for all the briefings for the next day’s activities and music/dancing. Each day was filled with tours provided by the cruise lines or optional fee. There were never wants for service because what you might want it was provided. The ports and shore excursions were very well arranged and informative. We know that it takes a lot of planning but the only disappointment was the day of disembarkment from the ship would we would like a mini tour of Basel. This was our first trip on a long ship but it won't be our last because we truly enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
brochures and promo not accurate. We knew low bridges would restrict us from using the sun deck at time. But not for days on end. We knew at some ports of call we would be double and triple banked. It happened too many times to be ... Read More
brochures and promo not accurate. We knew low bridges would restrict us from using the sun deck at time. But not for days on end. We knew at some ports of call we would be double and triple banked. It happened too many times to be comfortable. So don’t get a Balcony. All this information should be spelt out and told how many times it would happen. in the promo. Cologne was the only port we had local entertainers in the Evening. Unfortunate we missed it due to going on an evening excursion. Promo gives you the impression this happened every night. Where possible. Our Entertainment Director Kane was brilliant so he made up for the disappointment. Could not fault staff. Staff brilliant food good enough could we have a chocolate treat with coffee. tours OK I got churched out talked out and walked out in the end. I thought the quiet vox was a device so you could wander around the sights by yourself if you did not want to be hearded like sheep around the sights, I stayed with tour group in case I missed out on something amazing. And the fear of getting lost. Make sure you have plenty of 50c Euro coins for toilets. overall enjoyed my trip. We made the Journey without changing boat. We were the last boat to do this from to Passau. The band was very average but the nights where Kane had quizzes and trivia were hilarious. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
The Reflection is a solidly-appointed, comfortable ship. It carries on the Celebrity tradition of quality service with professional and polite staffing. The cabin, at 194 sq ft was sufficiently large and comfortable. Dining is ... Read More
The Reflection is a solidly-appointed, comfortable ship. It carries on the Celebrity tradition of quality service with professional and polite staffing. The cabin, at 194 sq ft was sufficiently large and comfortable. Dining is always a plus on Celebrity, and was again. The entertainment was fair to good; nothing special, really. The ports of the Baltic are very enticing, BUT; each port had 5-6-7 cruise ships in at one time. So, for 'premier stops' like St Petersburg, with everyone wanting to see the Peterhof Palace and the Hermitage, 'seeing' anything becomes a 'hit or miss' affair. Picture touring the rooms of these aforementioned places like taking a tour whilst moving around in a Rugby scrum! The crowds are UNBELIEVABLE. You get moved along from room to room on a 'timer' in the Peterhof. In the Hermitage we couldn't even GET INTO the room housing the Rembrandts! Also, I do not understand WHY people who are wheelchair-bound insist on coming on these types of cruises; there is NO handicapped accessibility to any of these places. I saw a man taken out of his wheelchair and was CARRIED UPSTAIRS while his wife CARRIED HIS WHEELCHAIR up the stairs. And how they maneuvered through these massive crowds is beyond me. CHOOSE A DIFFERENT ITINERARY! But the real 'ugly' in the title belongs to Celebrity itself. We used a travel agent and they bought a coordinated package for us including flights, the pre-cruise hotel, and transfers from/to the Amsterdam airport and into/out of the hotel. Well, we, two senior citizens, were to be met at the airport and to be transported to the hotel; well, NO ONE MET US. It was 90*, we had a total of 4 suitcases, and there was NO ONE to meet us OR to provide ANY guidance/help. We had to SEARCH the airport to scramble to get ANY transportation to the hotel. Then, as we had read many reviews of the high-cost and slow-performing internet on Celebrity, we decided to NOT make use of this service. BUT, as we HAD purchased our airline tickets through Celebrity we asked them to 'confirm us/check us in' with our homeward-bound flights---and all we were told was 'just buy one hour of internet time and do it yourselves'; I mean, REALLY?! THIS is 'end-to-end coordinated service'? And then, there was another scrum when the truck containing the departing passengers' luggage arrived AT THE SAME TIME as the busses w/the passengers--although the trucks had left TWO HOURS BEFORE the busses did! So, another 'scrum' took place as everyone scrambled to find their luggage. And THIS scrum was all courtesy of Celebrity. We have (HAD!) traveled with Celebrity several times over the past several years, but I think that this trip, overall, has made Celebrity 'persona non grata' with us going forward! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
My husband was drawn to the cruise because his college alumni was a sponsor and we were happy to learn that many other college alumni groups were aboard, all of which were very interesting to talk to and we very much enjoyed meeting new ... Read More
My husband was drawn to the cruise because his college alumni was a sponsor and we were happy to learn that many other college alumni groups were aboard, all of which were very interesting to talk to and we very much enjoyed meeting new people. We enjoyed the fact that there were only a little over 150 people on the cruise, which made it much more enjoyable to us than the larger cruise ships of 2000 or more people on board. While we enjoyed the variety of shore excursions offered, some of the descriptions were not clear enough to address the time and distance involved requiring a coach ride to get to the destination. Also, several of the older people on board required canes or walkers and had difficulty navigating the uneven cobblestone streets, long walks from the ship to the coach and I felt they should have been advised of the difficulties they would have beforehand so they could have made another choice or just stayed on board. Dining was excellent; ALL crew members were well spoken, efficient and pleasant to be around at all times. Our cruise director, Andrea, was wonderful; competent, efficient, friendly and outgoing and and excellent cruise director. We will definitely go on another river cruise and hope to find one in the USA to see more of our own country! A. Piland Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We had always wanted to go on a river cruise, It was much better that a cruise on an ocean liner , The cruise director always let us know what was coming up next and that was very helpful , The shore excursions were great and the food was ... Read More
We had always wanted to go on a river cruise, It was much better that a cruise on an ocean liner , The cruise director always let us know what was coming up next and that was very helpful , The shore excursions were great and the food was great on the boat. The beer was very good and the wine was excellent. We especially liked meeting local people in Bratislava. The crew was always there for you in case you had any questions I made a video slideshow of just the pictures I took and put it on Youtuber . I made a separate slideshow from my wife's pictures We also me two couples that we dined with almost every night . One couple was from Canada and the other was from the UK. They were delightful people One of the most enjoyable times was when we were cruising in the heart of the wine country and the captain, or tour guide was explaining what we were seeing. The cruise into Budapest during dinner was also very enjoyable, We would definitely do another cruise -Mark Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We where looking for a different idea for our holidays and went to a presentation for Emerald Waterways in Vancouver. We were impressed with the presentation and the all inclusive price no nickel and dimming you at very turn. So we took ... Read More
We where looking for a different idea for our holidays and went to a presentation for Emerald Waterways in Vancouver. We were impressed with the presentation and the all inclusive price no nickel and dimming you at very turn. So we took a brochure and a couple of weeks later booked the 8 day trip down the Rhine. We had an excellent trip, enjoyed all the off boat excursions. They were all very well organized with each days itinerary and map of the excursions. The guides where quiet knowledgeable and with the Quietvox system you could easily follow and hear your guide. Topping it off was the excellent food and service with lots of choices. I really liked the extra touch of the towels sculpture left at the end of the bed with the next day programme. We will be looking forward to another Emerald Waterways trip in 2020, somewhere ??? Had a great holiday and highly recommend Emerald Waterways. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife and I had a very nice cruise on the Viking Lofn in June, 2019. The staff were excellent, although we had to grin at the cruise director's obvious over-hype on occasion. We had one management level staff member in the dining ... Read More
My wife and I had a very nice cruise on the Viking Lofn in June, 2019. The staff were excellent, although we had to grin at the cruise director's obvious over-hype on occasion. We had one management level staff member in the dining area seem to "put down" a guest at our table when she ordered a steak rather than the suggested entre- that didn't set well with any of us who heard his statement about "Americans." (He did apologize to her the next day at dinner.) Honestly, the food was good, but not great in our opinion. We've had better. As an example, the scnitzel we had at a nice restaurant in Rudesheim au Rhine was much better than the one we had on the Lofn; twice as large, very tender, with fries and a nice salad- all for less than $12 US. The tours were very nice, but felt rushed. Occasionally we had time to spend on our own, but nof often. My Black Forest hike lasted all of 30 minutes, yet the bus ride there was 2 hours round-trip. Our tour of Marksburg castle was limited by the many other tours on-site. We rarely had more than a few minutes in a room or location, We did get a few minutes at the end of our tour to buy a Coke and sit on a bench. We don't blame Viking for this at all; there were hundreds of tourists on-site while we were there. The Bruhl tour was fine, but understand that one cannot take any photos of the beautiful interiors of the castle or hunting lodge. One must buy postcards of the interiors. I could add more to this review, but won't. We had a very nice time. Will we do it again? No, we won't. Are we glad we did it, yes. Viking did a very good job. The staff onboard, with one exception, was superb. The Rhine Getaway should have been a 10-day trip in our opinion, Thank you to Viking, the staff of the Lofn, Viking's staff in Amsterdam (where we took a wonderful 2-day pre-cruise stay at the Pulitzer Amsterdam) and all the tour guides. We would rate this cruise a solid four of five. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I joined this HAL-branded cruise for 2 reasons. Firstly, to sightsee and enjoy the Norwegian Fjords and its culture. I am happy to achieve what I wish for and rated it a 9 out of 10. Secondly, the HAL experience onboard Nieuw Statendam ... Read More
I joined this HAL-branded cruise for 2 reasons. Firstly, to sightsee and enjoy the Norwegian Fjords and its culture. I am happy to achieve what I wish for and rated it a 9 out of 10. Secondly, the HAL experience onboard Nieuw Statendam (prior, I cruised with Zuiderdam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Koningsdam). This is the worst programming/events I encountered. The quality of the World Stage performance was below par (apart from renowned pianist Zhang and One-Step light & dance performance). There were 2 nights without performance. I was disappointed that the ship didn't engaged any local Nowergian performer throughout the 14 nights. t) Sea day has 1 track event rather than 2, on most ship. As such, sea-day was boring and subdued. I would like more enrichment programs on sea day. Like painting appreciation, pottery making, knitting, play a simple norwegian musical instrument Lido Market food quality and quantity were excellent BUT lack variety. Serving the same food 14 days in a row. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to see the fjords, and, a friend suggested looking at Viking for possible cruises. We picked out this cruise and it was perfect: the only fault (I have to find something) was that they didn't have Guinness on board. The ... Read More
We wanted to see the fjords, and, a friend suggested looking at Viking for possible cruises. We picked out this cruise and it was perfect: the only fault (I have to find something) was that they didn't have Guinness on board. The Viking Jupiter staff were courteous and efficient in an unobtrusive manner. The food was great with an excellent variety. The stateroom was always clean and tidy. The live entertainment, each evening, was designed to perfectly target the age group of the audience. The excursions were educational, interesting and well guided. Yes, we are hooked and have booked a Viking river cruise for April 2020. Furthermore, we are in the preliminary stages of booking a Mediterranean cruise for 2021. In summary, it was an amazing first cruise: we couldn't have asked for anything more. As one of the other passengers stated to us "you have picked the BEST for your first cruise". Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Although the Pearl is not one of the larger NCL ships, we chose this cruise for the Itinerary it offered to Scotland, Norway, Ireland, France, London, Belgium and Amsterdam. Embarkation went smoothly in Amsterdam as well as the day we ... Read More
Although the Pearl is not one of the larger NCL ships, we chose this cruise for the Itinerary it offered to Scotland, Norway, Ireland, France, London, Belgium and Amsterdam. Embarkation went smoothly in Amsterdam as well as the day we ended our cruise in Amsterdam. Our ship was very clean, having been refurbished in 2017. We had a Mini Suite on Deck 11 and was pretty nice and roomy for us, considering we usually get Balcony cabins. Our cabin steward was from Indonesia. Dedy was very friendly and helpful to us the whole cruise. The entertainment was outstanding, with at least 11 different shows in the theatre of our 14 day trip. The lounges were great, and we enjoyed the Spinnaker Lounge allot. There were plenty of activities offered during the cruise. Dining and services were pretty good, although some food was not as good as others, we found plenty of venues to eat at, and we mixed it up, having eaten in 5 Specialty Restaurants and the rest in the Main Dining and O'Sheihans and Garden Buffett. Takes at least 90 minutes though. We found the whole staff of the ship very friendly and helpful. The only rudeness we noticed came from ship passengers. I think their expectations are too much and they should research a ship well before choosing a cruise and ship. All of our shore excursions were great! We especially loved our Flam and Geiranger, Norway Fjords scenery. Totally beautiful! We have sailed on the larger NCL ships, Epic and Breakaway before, and enjoyed them. But in our opinion, the Pearl was outstanding for us and we enjoyed our 14 day cruise of a lifetime. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We were excited about visiting several countries we had never been to, including Russia. Really did not consider the onboard entertainment; but it was super! The only real issue was excursions. We booked two through NCL and two on our ... Read More
We were excited about visiting several countries we had never been to, including Russia. Really did not consider the onboard entertainment; but it was super! The only real issue was excursions. We booked two through NCL and two on our on. the two we booked were phenomenal, but both the Hop on Hop off in Finland and the guided excursion in Gdansk had issues. To NCL's credit they refunded part of our payment in both cases. Our cabin was very nice, but the cabin steward must have been new. He was very nice, but left things out of place when he cleaned. The bar and restaurant staff were exceptional. A little disappointed in the food in La Bistro and Moderno, but pleased everywhere else. The gym was too warm and we did most of our excersize on the promonade deck even thouigh it was very cool and windy mast days. Overall my wife and I really enjoyed the Pearl and the iternary was once in a lifetime for us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Ports and value were good. Only Klaipeda was not worth a stop. Ship was old but well kept. Most outstanding was the staff: friendly yet professional. Made for a family atmosphere. Our cabin steward was helpful and went out of his ... Read More
Ports and value were good. Only Klaipeda was not worth a stop. Ship was old but well kept. Most outstanding was the staff: friendly yet professional. Made for a family atmosphere. Our cabin steward was helpful and went out of his way to bring me ice every night for my twisted He kept the cabin clean and orderly at all times. The food court was not of our liking as everything was súper spicy. Most of all, there was never free tables which resulted in us looking around for a place to sit while our food wad getting Cold. Lots of people complained and were upset about this. Indigo was our favorite venue: good food, excellent service, friendly staff. Two outstanding performances were the Classical Musicians and the couple of aerobatic act. The band was very good Staff at bar on deck 6 was terrific and space was very relaxing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We had sailed with Viking on the Danube and were pleased with our experience so we picked them again for a Rhine River cruise and we're glad we did. Our balcony cabin was small, as are most river cruise cabins, but there was ample ... Read More
We had sailed with Viking on the Danube and were pleased with our experience so we picked them again for a Rhine River cruise and we're glad we did. Our balcony cabin was small, as are most river cruise cabins, but there was ample storage. The service was outstanding; we would like Marlon, our waiter, to come and live with us. He knew all of our drink preferences after the first day and, when one of our party became ill, he never failed to ask about his progress. We were very lucky: the water level and the weather were close to perfect. We spent most of the afternoon of the Middle Rhine sailing on the top deck and Viking showed great attention to details: we had maps that showed all of the 31 castles we sailed by, the program director did a commentary, we were given ice water, shade umbrellas, and ice cream (the sun was very strong that day - we all had red skin on areas where we failed to use sunblock). Most of the excursions were very good; the one exception being the Black Forest where it takes much too long on the bus to spend an hour at a very touristy visitors center (let's not talk about the rush hour traffic we hit on the way back). We would love to travel with Viking again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We went to one of their presentations here in Victoria and what they said sounded really good. Both my husband and I wanted to experience a five star experience on a smaller cruise ship going down the rivers from Amsterdam to Budapest. The ... Read More
We went to one of their presentations here in Victoria and what they said sounded really good. Both my husband and I wanted to experience a five star experience on a smaller cruise ship going down the rivers from Amsterdam to Budapest. The food was mediocre!! We sent a steak back to the kitchen, it was cold inside and slightly charred on the outside with a frozen glob of butter on top. If the steak was hot the butter would have melted. Also I have a mushroom allergy, of which they were informed of and they didn't always remember to inform me of the menu for the lunch and dinner. I found out by chance on one occasion that mushrooms were in the dinner menu because I was in the entertainment room when the chef announced what he was cooking that evening and that mushrooms were in the food that evening. I was very upset that I was not informed and could have had a very bad reaction and hospitalized had I injected the uninformed ingredients. For the money put out, honestly we would have been better off with a cheaper carrier where the company doesn't portray itself as five star but gives you this kind of service. Also the entertainment was a joke, truly, a joke. First of all there was little of it and our evening entertainment was someone that as long as he didn't sing we could listen to the music, which was not that impressive. The few days that entertainment was brought on the ship only two were good the rest was not acceptable in the least. The daily excursions were excellent, the tour guides, buses, sites, amazing. You have to remember that was off the ship. The scenery was really great. The Captain was very good at his job as was Darinka, our tour director, made sure we were aware of the daily schedule and was herself very entertaining. The crew in general were excellent and wanting to please at every moment. In summary, we have had a much better experience with a standard (or even economy) cruise line. Scenic was not good value for the money. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Extraordinarily interesting ports with Sea Days perfectly interspersed to rest for exhausting shore excursions. Seas were calm; chilly but sweaters and light jackets sufficed. The Brilliance although not new was well laid-out and never ... Read More
Extraordinarily interesting ports with Sea Days perfectly interspersed to rest for exhausting shore excursions. Seas were calm; chilly but sweaters and light jackets sufficed. The Brilliance although not new was well laid-out and never felt crowded. Solarium was especially comfortable with additional food choices (great quick roast beef sandwich) Smaller, quieter dining area also available in casual dining. Main dining room was excellent for breakfast lunch and dinner. RC's Shore excursions were remarkably good---especially the "Soviet Experience" in Estonia. Entertainment was unexpectedly good. The most outstanding thing about this was the crew. I've been on 12 cruises - and this staff was the best ! Waiters, guest relations, shore excursions- all could not do enough for you. We found "the key" worthwhile. No embarkation lines, wonderful embarkation lunch at Chops and final breakfast at Giovanni's. Internet worked well and was included in key. Everyone looked forward to the Captain's messages --informative but always amusing. Highly recommend both this itinerary--and the Brilliance Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We had an amazing time on this cruise. Everything thing runs like clockwork. We were picked up from the airport and then from that minute onwards everything was taken care of, from embarkation to disembarkation. We had to think of nothing. ... Read More
We had an amazing time on this cruise. Everything thing runs like clockwork. We were picked up from the airport and then from that minute onwards everything was taken care of, from embarkation to disembarkation. We had to think of nothing. Which is exactly what I wanted. We were in a Balcony Suite which was was just lovely, we could lower our window down to half way and just sit and enjoy the view. The staff were friendly and helpful nothing was too much trouble. Even when there was an emergency they were willing to send emails for passengers to loved ones who had no way of contacting them. Louis the Cruise Director was so helpful and friendly. The towns that we stopped at were so beautiful. The food was great and we got to try a lot of the local foods. We also went to a Concert in Vienna which was fantastic. Thanks for the memories Emerald Waterways. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We recently returned from a cruise on Norwegian Pearl, May 11 - 25, 2019 from Amsterdam to Scotland, Norway, Northern Ireland, Le Havre France, Tilbury England and Zeebrugge and returning to Amsterdam.This was our 7th cruise on NCL. We ... Read More
We recently returned from a cruise on Norwegian Pearl, May 11 - 25, 2019 from Amsterdam to Scotland, Norway, Northern Ireland, Le Havre France, Tilbury England and Zeebrugge and returning to Amsterdam.This was our 7th cruise on NCL. We choose it for the itinerary. I had been wondering why Norwegian has been slipping so much in cruise line reviews and was curious to see if there have been changes. The two I found were in the food quality, particularly meat, poor entertainment and price gouging. The cruise started with us being held back in the port and again onboard from our cabins while our ship underwent deep cleaning due to an outbreak of norovirus on the previous cruise and a decontamination being required. The library and games room were closed for much of the cruise. We were not aware on any illness while on our cruise, so the efforts seem to have paid off. Service in the main dining room, the Summer Palace, was spotty. Sometimes good, other times poor. However the major change I detected was in the quality of the meat. We went to the La Cucina one night and were advised that the steak was the special. It was not good, rather mushy and tasteless. Another evening we went to Cagneys. Even though the dining room was empty they tried to seat us at the worst table in the place. My husbands Porterhouse was good, mine was grissoly and fatty. I did not enjoy it and was most disappointed. Prime rib in the dining room was tough.Other meats and fish were o.k. Entertainment: There were a couple of great performers, but generally not up to the usual standards of previous cruises: Two separate couples performed on two nights and they were outstanding. The dancers did a great show but the rest of the entertainers were lack luster.One magician was so bad that I actually left, something I have never done before. Our hour of free internet service required a $4 US hook up free. Not free NCL! Doing your homework before the cruise can cut your excursion costs in half. Generally the cruise line uses a local provider and at least doubles the cost. You can find everything on the internet and by reading Cruise Critic reviews. Edinburgh. The cruise line was offering return bus fares to town for $21 US, but we were happy to take a locally offered bus fares for only 4 pounds directly from the pier. So basically NCL charge 5 times the local fare. We were able to tour Edinburgh on our own, going to Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood House on foot, but we are fairly mobile seniors. Invergordon. We rented a car from Ken's Garage: morag.bremner@peugeotmail.co. a local provider. They delivered an almost brand new car to a location near the port. The cost for a standard shift car was $123 CAD. We toured the countryside including charming Dornoch and amazing Dunrobin castle on our own. Flam: we prebooked the Flam Railway trip which does sell out. Two minutes walk from the pier. There's not much else to do there, so best to prebook the rail trip rather than NCL prices. Bergen: easily toured on our own, can walk to the funicular for the trip up the mountain to enjoy the view. Several museums were closed because it was Wednesday Geiranger: walk off the ship onto a bus for a tour of the local scenery. No need to book with the cruise line, you can prebook with Panorama Bus: https://www.geirangerfjord.no/panoramic-bus-geiranger-2 Belfast: we took a very quick bus tour through town and down to the Giants Causeway. We had ample time to see the causeway, however the back of a bus is not the best way to enjoy the scenic coastal drive back to Belfast. Next time I would rent a car or go with a group in a van. https://irishtourtickets.com/ Dublin: We took a taxi from the ship to Dublin Castle and Trinity College. Lots of taxis at the dock. Though it was advertised as an overnight in Dublin, the cruise actually left at 2 am, so we did not get the expected two days in Dublin. Bait and switch. Le Havre: Cruise line tour to Rouen was a disappointment. We ran through the cathedral and town. A five hour tour included 3 hours travelling on the bus and two quick hours in town. We needed more time in the city, but they rushed back. Tilbury: we spent the day with friends, but I could see it was a very long walk to the train station to go to London. I did not see any buses going to the train. Zeebrugge: Bruges is amazing and you can do a self guided tour. Best to have a plan ahead of time so you know where to go once in town. The Church of the Holy Blood was closed at lunch time for an hour and a half. There are buses just outside the port that make runs into Bruges and back during the day. You can prebook on Viatour else buy your ticket there. Using the tram to get to the rail station did not seem like a good option, there were lines for the tram but they did not seem to run often. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Chose this cruise as we were interested in visiting the ports in Scotland, Ireland and Norway in particular. Had great weather and smooth seas for the whole cruise which made it so much more enjoyable. The highlight of our cruise was ... Read More
Chose this cruise as we were interested in visiting the ports in Scotland, Ireland and Norway in particular. Had great weather and smooth seas for the whole cruise which made it so much more enjoyable. The highlight of our cruise was without doubt the ports in Norway (Bergen, Flam and Geiranger). The scenery was absolutely amazing. We have sailed with NCL on many occasions and now enjoy Platinum Plus benefits which is an added bonus. As usual, the service provided by the crew was exceptional and the food in the main dining room was of a very good standard. Of the specialty restaurants, Le Bistro & Cagneys were the standouts. The entertainment overall was not as good as on previous cruises. That is not to say that there weren’t some good shows but we aren’t that keen on magicians/mentalist type performances. One area we feel NCL could lift their performance is in providing more detailed information on the ports to be visited in a timely manner. Not everyone does an excursion in every port and so it would be good to have this information to be able to plan what you want to do in advance. Read Less

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