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SMC_Irish_68
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Joined: 09/27/02
Posts: 942
Loc: Virginia
NCL Baltic Cruise
      #1428609 - 07/12/12 08:59 PM (71.62.228.48)


We recently took a Baltic cruise and here's some quick comments on it.

If you want more information, send a PM.

Karen

9-Night Baltic Cruise: May 30-June 9th
Ship: Norwegian Sun
Ports: Warnemuende, Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark

Booking: Balcony Cabin booked online via United Airlines’ cruises: Travel companions booked via Orbitz and got a lower rate for their balcony cabin; United honored its “price guarantee” and credited the difference to my account.

Flights: I booked the flights on United’s web site. We flew Business Class on Lufthansa which was a code share. The lie-flat beds were wonderful but I thought the food was unappetizing on all the Lufthansa flights. The overnight flight arrived in Copenhagen on time, met my sister and husband in the airport, and we took the NCL bus to the pier.

Boarding the ship: NCL’s check-in procedure was easy but we had to wait to board the ship until noon. Fortunately, chairs were provided and we were pretty comfortable. If I had to do it over, I’d fly in a day early, stay in a hotel and go to the pier around 1 p.m. That way, there’d be no lines and one could just walk right on the ship. NCL was very organized and we had a nice lunch and were in our cabin around 2 p.m. for a long nap.

Cabin: We had a balcony cabin in the mid-ship area. The ship has been recently refurbished and our cabin was lovely. We came to appreciate the room-darkening drapes as we experienced the “white nights” on the cruise.

Food: I would rate the food as “good.” For breakfast or lunch, we preferred the main dining rooms over the buffets. I really liked the free-style dining (go when you want). We went early and never had to wait for a table. There are a few specialty restaurants (we paid $20-$25 extra per person). We tried two of them and both were worth the price to upgrade.

Entertainment: We went to a few shows but were usually too tired from being ashore that we went to bed early.

Ports: Our favorite port was St. Petersburg. Outstanding! After reading reviews, we booked with SPb Tours (http://spb-tours.com). For four of us, we had a private Mercedes van, driver and guide for two days. It turned out to be cheaper than the ship’s shore excursions and we were able to have the tour personalized for some additional things we wanted to see. We were thrilled with our guide, Elena Yurchenko. By the way, the SPb Tours’ web site shows the attractive owner of the agency, Viktoria. I just assumed that “Viktoria” was some stock photo put on the web site. No! Viktoria personally met people as they disembarked the ship and introduced them to their tour guides. At the end of the tour, she again met each group to thank us for taking her tour. I overheard a couple talking on the ship, and she had done the same thing in Germany and then she flew to Russia to meet the ship again. Now, that is service!

Health conscious: NCL has crew placed around the ship with hand sanitizers. It becomes really funny as they say “washy-washy” and offer to spray your hands. Almost everyone bought into this and it was one of the healthiest cruises that I’ve been on.

Overall impression: The Norwegian Sun’s crew was so friendly and seemed happy. The ship was “just the right size” as it wasn’t a mega-ship. There may be more luxurious cruises, but I felt NCL did a good job.


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bbuchanan
Sponsor


Joined: 09/08/00
Posts: 529
Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: NCL Baltic Cruise [Re: SMC_Irish_68]
      #1429268 - 07/16/12 12:23 PM (97.115.251.8)

Thanks so much, Karen. Enjoyed your comments. I just booked this trip for our oldest Son; he is in Warnemunde as we speak. After twenty years flying for the Air Force, many ports he never got to in his travels.

He was not as fortunate with flights. He flew the same day (won't listen to Mom ) and had a delay in Seattle due to the scheduled aircraft sustaining a lightening strike. Delayed 6 hours. They finally got him on an Icelandair flight connecting in Reykevik arriving CPH at 12:45P on boarding day. While these types of circunmstances don't occur frequently, they can and I never suggest jeopardizing the first day or so of your trip by not going a day prior. He chose, instead, to spend an extra night at the end!!



--------------------
Best Regards,
Bonnie Buchanan,
Master Cruise Counselor
CruiseOne Tucson Arizona
www.cruiseone.com/bbuchanan


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SMC_Irish_68
Traveler


Joined: 09/27/02
Posts: 942
Loc: Virginia
Re: NCL Baltic Cruise [Re: bbuchanan]
      #1429324 - 07/16/12 04:00 PM (71.62.228.48)

We added 3 nights after the cruise and stayed at The Square Hotel. It was a good location. We also took the train to Malmo and Lund, Swesen, and recommend it.

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