Cruise - Ocean Cruise
A ship of delights
117 people found this review helpful
We left Copenhagen on the 30th of August having received a free upgrade from an outside to a balcony cabin.
The ship was built in 2011 and holds 1250 passengers. There are 16 decks and a vast amount of space. (Whilst we were berthed at quayside in the Norwegian Fjords Fred Olsens Balmoral was moored away from shore and they came in by tender. I spoke to several passengers from Balmoral who were admiring our ship and I asked them how many passengers does she carry. They said over 2000! as she was so big.
The cabins are much bigger than on most other ships in this price range. They all have a full size bathroom with bath and separate shower. Imagine the size of the bathroom!
On deck 16 there is a fitness/walking track and at the other end a magnificent Observation Lounge called Horizons. They do a magnificent afternoon tea in there every day and it is much better than Cunards.
Deck 15 has 2 speciality restaraunts which are free but you have to book early. Both are excellent. The library is nearby but is cramped as there is too much furniture in a small space. The computer room is nearby. There is a wonderful little coffee shop in between these two. The coffees are fabulous and you can sit indoors overlooking the pool area. At the other end is the spa. I won a massage treatment and really enjoyed it.
Deck14 has the Terrace Cafe with indoor and outdoor eating areas. It also is better than any other ship I have been on. Two small privately bookable eating rooms "La Reserve" and "Privee" are nearby. The pool area is large and at the far end is a covered area with "beds" called the Sanctuary. Nearby are the Culinary Centre and the Artists Loft. You pay to be taught at the Culinary Centre but in the art room the lessons from a professional are free as are all the materials. All other cruise lines I have been on charge for materials./
Decks 11 to 7 are all balcony staterooms.
The highlight of deck 6 is the main dining room. By far the best I have ever seen at sea. The food and service were magnificent. Also on this deck are the Casino and bar, the Martinis bar and the Grand bar.
The bottom public deck is deck 5. Here there are 2 speciality restaraunts. Jacques and Red Ginger. The latter is an oriental themed dining room and is the star of the show. We loved it. There are 2 large shops nearby – clothes and jewellery etc and the concierges desk is nearby. At the front is the show lounge. Very nice and good viewing positions to see the stage but the acts were not A1. The ships own show company however were first class.
The entertainments Manager was Willie Ames who was a famous American TV star many years ago. He was first class at his job.
The itinerary was one I would not repeat. Flam and Bergen in Norway are both wonderful. But we hit bad weather and had to miss the Shetland islands and Invergordon in Scotland. We high tailed it down south round the white cliffs of Dover and back up the West coast to Belfast where we caught up with our intended stops. Belfast and Dublin are very nice but I would not wish to go back. The other 2 ports of call Waterford in Southern Ireland and Falmouth in England were OK. Compared to Rome, Venice and other Mediterranean ports they do not match up.
I would really reccomend Marina. The ship is spacious. The food is magnificent. The service is first class. The entertainments are adequate.
For what we paid it was incredible value for money and we cannot wait to try the sister ship Riviera which was built a year later and improved due to passenger comments.
117 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.