This was my 3rd trip with Grand Circle. My previous trips were a land trip (England, Scotland and Wales) and a riverboat trip (Cruising Burgundy to Cote d'Azur). I loved the two trips mentioned above but didn't feel like this recent trip (the Grand Baltic Sea Voyage) was worth the money. Given the expense of this trip ($9000), I had VERY high expectations since I saved three years to go. Unfortunately, like I mentioned, it was not worth the hard, earned money that I paid. The ship was very small (it dwarfed the huge cruise liners that went by us) and the sea was so rough that most people were sick. Thankfully, I had plenty of Dramamine to make like more bearable.
The food and wine on board was not as I had expected either. One evening they served us all steak that was so tough and grisly that you couldn't even eat it. The table wine that was included was sub-par at best. The crew were all mostly great. There were a few "unprofessional" moments by one or two of them that had you shaking your head. But most were pretty awesome, they had positive attitude and where lots of fun to chit chat with.
The ship (even though it was small) was actually really nice and clean. I did not like the dinning room being at the bottom of the ship with mere port holes to look out. Dining during rough seas was almost unbearable as you watched the horizon appear and then disappear as the ship pitched and rolled. Some nights we hung on for dear life while eating and in bed! Aside from that....Having a smaller ship did have it's advantages... we were able to port directly at each town and did not have to be tendered in. The doctor on board, whom a lot visited for sea-sickness, was very wonderful and she came directly to your room if you needed immediate attention.
The cabins were clean. We had service twice a day with fresh towels and towel animals each evening along with bed turn down and chocolates. The cabins were very nice but as you went up a deck in lodging so did the price! But after taking a stroll and seeing the other cabins; some people who paid less actually had BIGGER rooms with walk-in closets! The penthouse rooms on the 6th deck where not much bigger then my cabin on the 4th deck! Some folks felt pretty slighted over this fact.
The entertainment on the ship was hit or miss. They had a classicly trained piano player who was very good as was present most evenings during a cocktail hour. The crew put on a few "shows". Some shows were funny and some were... a bit uncomfortable and awkward. They had a vodka tasting one night and taught us about different ways to do shots and we got to taste vodkas from a couple different countries. They did a "lairs club" game one night that was hilarious. They also had a fairy tale show (since a lot of the fairy tales come from the Baltic region) but the sea was so rough that a lot of people retired to their cabins to hang on for dear life.
The service itself was great. The bar area was nice and lot of folks gathered there for cocktails before the night port talk and dinner.
The ports were all nice but everything was so rushed. We didn't get enough free time to do much of anything. After arriving at our port each morning, we got a city tour and then we could back to the ship for lunch. I always stayed at out in the city we were at to enjoy the sights, culture, have lunch at an outdoor cafe and enjoy a mug of the local beer. This was an action packed trip. Seeing 7 countries in 13 days was exhausting but it was nice experience it all even though it was really a "snap-shot". I know i want to return to Poland (my heritage) and spend some time there exploring someday.
The cabin was nice. A bit smaller then I thought but still very nice. Clean.. everything was shiny. The small sitting area adjacent to the beds was small but nice. We never actually used the sitting area but just plopped down on the beds when we came in to rest. The closets were a good size (two of them) but not really enough drawers for both travelers. Other rooms had very big walk-in closets with an actual dresser. I would swap out the sitting area for a dresser.
Embarking our ship was very easy and accessible.
Disembarkation in Copenhagen was easy and the port was very accessible.