Scandinavian Cruise _2016Back to Forum
Anonymous11 Apr 2016
For a First Time Cruise Passenger Please advice ;
1. Best Scandinavian Cruise Line ?
2. Which Ship To Chose ?
3. Is 7 nights enough ?
4. June-July A Good month ?
5. How Do I know which is the biggest/Newest Vessel ?
Any inputs would be welcome.
Moadweeb,11 Apr 2016
It very much depends where you want to go. For Norway, you have the choice between Princess and P&O, both from Southampton. For the Baltics, Celebrity Eclipse gets there for 2 weeks from Southampton as well but I know some cruise lines have round trips from Copenhagen or Stockholm … I’ve done P&O to Norway and Celebrity Eclipse in the Caribbean and it was superb.11 Apr 2016
There are two quite different cruise routes – one in the Baltic and one around the coast of Norway. I would suggest you join a cruise in either Copenhagen or Stockholm if you want a Baltic cruise unless you have extra days to spend at sea going from and back to Southampton or London assuming you live in the UK. We did a 7 day cruise Stockholm – Tallinn – St Petersburg (3 days/2 nights there) – Helsinki – Copenhagen on Silversea which was great. No need for a Russian visa if you went on the cruise (or licensed?) organised tours. If you want to see the most in St P’s if you go in on a smaller ship (up to around 500 passengers) you dock in the city (and I mean IN the city) whereas the larger ships dock at the main port some way out. I think Jun/Jul is the best time for weather (it was excellent for most of our trip) although it is not always reliable. If it is sunny the long days are marvellous. I can’t help though on the newest or biggest ship as I would not recommend a very large ship for this trip given you get off every day with all the associated logistics. Hope this helps.11 Apr 2016
We are also planning a Baltic cruise for next year. The website that we use is http://www.cruisetimetables.com/ In this you can choose the ports that you want to depart from by month, or the ports that you wish to visit, also by month.
Unless you are starting near Southampton also consider departing from Amsterdam or Kiel / Hamburg11 Apr 2016
@Moadweeb – I too was a First timer a couple of years back, albeit on another route, across the Atlantic.
I can assist with Q’s 2, 3 and 5
2. Which ship to choose? this largely depends on what you are looking for in terms of accommodation, luxury, and demographics of passengers. Generally but not always, a European crowd will bring one style of passengers whilst a cruise liners full of American passengers, will bring another style. It really depends on the level of comfort and formality.
3. Is 7 nights enough? – I started with a 3 day mini cruise and loved it so much, continued for another 8 days. For me it is a complete change to rushing through the airports, getting in taxis, chasing appointments… it is a very relaxed form of travel. I am now hooked on cruising… one of the differences between us, based on your planned itinerary, I prefer the ship NOT to stop – I love staying at sea and the cruise that suits me is 14 nights both ways across the Atlantic…
5. How Do I know which is the biggest/Newest Vessel ? – going back to Q2, really depends what you are looking for in terms of comfort and facilities. I have a friend who will only go on the largest ships, with up to 6,000 passengers – that does not excite me one bit. My recommendation would be to speak to cruise agents who will be fully upto date with the latest and also the newly refurbished ships.
Once you have selected the cruise line and itinerary, I would suggest you check the weekend papers because there are clearing houses, offering the most amazing deals to fill cabins.
Here is a thread about the route I love doing, I realise its not for you, but there may be some info contained in the thread which could be of interest.
Do let us know what you decide on..11 Apr 2016
I am not a cruise specialist so not my area of expertise. However I do have colleagues who know everything about cruise. My recommendation would be to speak to a Cruise Specialist – and buy on value & service rather than price. A good specialist will listen to your wants / needs / desires and offer something that fits you, rather than what is best for the agent (or cheapest). Like Martyn says every person has different preferences for types of ships and atmosphere they would like.
However the below website can also prove very helpful.11 Apr 2016
As MartynSinclair has said very well, there are so so many different options and all depends what you want out of a holiday.
I’m a regular cruiser and have been on all sizes of ships to date.
I know a lot of people shy away from the larger ones, but I tried Oasis Of The Seas which holds about 6000 passengers and was totally shocked at how much I enjoyed it. I never saw the other 5000’odd passengers, got the same sunbeds and parasol every day by the pool I liked, never an issue getting on and off, never an issue getting a drink at a bar, so size is maybe not something to really worry too much about. I was REALLY sceptical but the family won and I had to concede it was a fabulous ship and not overcrowded at all.
I’ve sort of “settled” with Celebrity as my cruise line of choice (with the odd Royal Caribbean one thrown in if itinerary and price is right)- excellent service standards, very good food, good entertainment.
If it’s your first cruise then all I can say is “You’ll love it!”, it’s only after a few do you start to nit-pick.
Yes, we’re all waiting to hear what your thoughts are and what you decide.
The next poster will probably give you a TOTALLY different view from mine, but that’s life!11 Apr 2016
One additional point worth mentioning, if you are likely to cruise frequently, it is worth looking at loyalty benefits, as cruise liners also have frequent “flyer” programmes offering valuable benefits….11 Apr 2016
Wow ! Thanks For a Fantastic Response..!
Let me add a few more questions/clarifications ;
1. I live in India hence I can fly into any country to board the Cruise.
2. This is my 1st Cruise & I want the BEST !
3. I want a very large Ship since I want all the facilities a Cruise Line Can offer.
4. I am interested in The Satellite countries ( Finland/Sweden/Denmark ).
5. I have a 10 year Old Child hence most of the time we will be enjoying the ship facilities.
6. I am leaning towards getting a Suite since I am going to spend 6+ nights on the Ship.
7. I am planning to do this between End June & Mid-July.
Based on the above, can someone now give me specific recommendations/experiences ?
If I do get a Suite, is it worth the extra money just for the space or do I get some additional perks ?
Moadweeb.11 Apr 2016
From that, can I suggest you look at Celebrity Silhouette and Regal Princess? Both big new’ish ships with good facilities/activities for children. The itineraries certainly do cover the countries you are looking at. Sailing from Copenhagen or Amsterdam in the summer I think.
From experience, Regal Princess balcony cabins – and balconies themselves – are very small, so a suite would certainly enhance your experience.
There are smaller ships, more exclusive ships and also cheaper ones – usually MSC and Costa – but from experience again, I would definitely choose Celebrity and Princess over those if travelling with children. Both excellent products on large ships.
On Celebrity they have a class called Aqua Class – the cabins are the same size, but they come with great extra benefits like your own speciality restaurant instead of the main dining room, and access to the spa where others have to pay for those facilities.
The best ships for children – and adult – facilities are Royal Caribbean ones. You’ll have seen the rock-climbing/surfing/mini golf etc. They do go there but ex UK so less ports than departing from Amsterdam/Copenhagen.
Phew – hope I haven’t bored or confused you! I just have experience of cruising with children and once to the Baltic.
No, I’m not a travel agent, but now I think about it I may like to do this every day!11 Apr 2016
You have not mentioned budget. Advice I would give is that choose the type of ship carefully. A great cabin on a 3 star ship might be the same price as a basic cabin on a 5 star ship, so if your plan as you say is to enjoy the facilities rather than the cabin, go for the five star ship but a more basic cabin. The opposite is true if you were going to spend a lot of time in your cabin, go for the best cabin available on the 3 star ship and thus avoid the crappy Polish band.11 Apr 2016
I will give you an opposing view to cabin/suite selection from Speedbird_ABZ..
Unless money is no object & if this is your first cruise, I would go for one of the lower grade cabins on a higher grade ship. Cabin/Suite selection is highly complex, with some cruise liners having 30 or 40 different cabin classes for you to select.
In my mind, the cabin is for
I see no value in booking a large suite when basically, the ship is one big hotel suite. You should always be able to find a quiet zone somewhere on the ship…. and on any decent ship there is soooo much to do…
I still take the lowest grade cabin / suite and its an inside room, HOWEVER, I also know that once I start climbing the cabin/suite ladder, it only goes 1 way…..EXPENSIVE…11 Apr 2016
Having done a number of cruises I would agree with what most have said. When it comes to cabin both Martyn and Mr Michael have very valid points. If you take Martyn’s advice I would recommend that you do not take an inside cabin.
In the hopefully unlikely event of one of your party falling ill and confined to cabin there is no view to take the time away!12 Apr 2016