BLOWN AWAY SOLO BY BALTIC CITIES
8 of 11 people found this review informative
|Reviewed By: Chadwick, Morecambe on 29th Mar 2013|
|Cruise Line: Costa Cruises||Times cruised before: 3-5|
|Cruise Ship: Costa Deliziosa||Sailed: April, 2012|
|Destination: Norwegian Fjords||Age: 65+|
It was great not to be ripped off as a solo traveller. At a small premium on the inside cabin I had requested I was given an extremely spacious and well appointed outside cabin with an extremely comfortable double bed and enough wardrobe and table top space to satisfy a movie star - well a minor one perhaps. I even had room to turn in the shower - something I don't experience in budget hotels.
My favourite on board feature was the thallasotherapy pool; heated heavy water as part of an available full spa experience. I sat in heated rooms on heated tile loungers but missed out on the exercise machines. I didn't buy any massages but the Thai girls still gave me welcoming smiles.
We started off in Amsterdam and took in most Baltic capitals on the way to St Petersburg. Most places I took the shuttle bus into the centre. Biggest pleasant surprise was Helsinki which has a traditional communist culture alongside western Euro zone lifestyles and punk; terrific art galleries, great old buildings with modern shops, a long street wide park to walk along and the gritty reality of Chicago.
I took two tours in the two days in St Petersburg. The one to the Hermitage had an outrageously cute guide but allowed no time to wander round the off route exhibits. The other showed us some of the architecture and history of the city but wasted time on lunch and returned early because of traffic jams to other places we were supposed to visit. Doing your own thing in St Petersburg demands an expensive visa. I would have enjoyed a hop on hop off bus tour.
I had the impression that the more expensive traditional cruise food ingredients had been kept off the menu by the reduced prices - but the five course evening meals still tasted excellent and interesting and I did have small two seater table to myself but close enough to talk to neighbouring couples. All inclusive drinks included a bottle of house wine- never quite emptied one- but they didn't serve it by the glass as part of the system. Service was prompt and polite.
Breakfast and lunch service was however a different experience in the dining room. Breakfast was part buffet and part table service. When I wanted smoked salmon and scrambled egg I had to order the salmon then go to the buffet for the eggs. There were no reservations but we were herded at both meals to large communal tables of the waiter's choice and sandwiched together. Service was erratic. I and many others took the self service restaurant option most days where the selection was plentiful. I managed to stay away from the 24 hour pizza bar most of the time.
The theatre entertainment was limited and disappointing but there was a choice of five bars with live music from 6 until after midnight. I loved the jazz/ballad diva and the Hungarian violinist best with the jazz band next.
|Quality of Food|
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