Orient Lines Marco Polo by David L. Lee Baltic Sea June 16, 2002
Our first trip on Marco Polo had been an excellent "Grand Mediterranean" in 1999. This year comprtition may have eliminated freebies like shore-tour water, prompt air-travel refunds, and superb quality on EVERY menu item, but the excellent friendly service, carefully managed shore tours continued to produce a "Happy Ship" full of interesting, friendly passengers, cheerful, attentive crew, and a good selection of excellent food.
The ship's short-but-heavy hull again proved convenient and smooth riding, with just a little motion in the North Sea. (A few ill people one night.)
Ten Stops in Denmark, Norway, Estonia, Russia, Finland,and Sweden used about 14 Tour Guides of which all but one were absolutely top flight. (Orient never wastes time at cheap souvenir stops but does allow for optional, quality shopping.) The announced on-board lecturer was sorely missed, but the passengers' expertise made up for it.
We got superior air connections at an overall lower price than the cruise lines' through ORBITZ. Previous passengers were high on their African, Antarctica, and Western-South America itineries. Passenger and crew retention are unusually high on this ship.