Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 399 out of 500
Accommodation: 155 out of 200
Food: 318 out of 400
Service: 321 out of 400
Entertainment: 80 out of 100
Cruise: 308 out of 400
Overall Score: 1581 out of 2000
Size: Small Ship
Cruise Line: Peter Deilmann Cruises
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 9141807
Builder: Howaldswerke Deutsche Werft
Original Cost: DM 212 million
Entered Service: May 1998
Length (ft/m): 574.1/175.0
Beam (ft/m): 75.4/23.0
Draft (ft/m): 19.0/5.8
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel (12,300kW)/2
Passenger Decks: 7
Total Crew: 270
Passengers (lower beds): 552
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 40.8
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.0
Cabins (total): 294
Size Range (sq ft/m): 129.1-365.9/12.0-34.0
Cabins (for one person): 36
Cabins (with private balcony): 2
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 1
Wheelchair accessibility: Fair
Cabin Current: 230 volts
Casino (gaming tables): No
Slot Machines: No
Swimming Pools: 1 (+1 indoors)
Hot Tubs (on deck): 0
Self-Service Launderette: No
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: Yes/83
Onboard currency: Euros
A crowded ship with a heavily traditional Germanic style
Overview. Deutschland is a fine, traditional ship best suited to German-speaking couples and single travelers of mature years looking for a very traditional cruise ship with appealing itineraries and destinations, good food and attentive service.
The Ship. Deutschland, now over 15 years old but in fine condition, has an angular, low-in-the-water profile that is not particularly handsome, and a large, single, squat, traditional funnel. The ship, built in sections by four shipyards, was assembled in Kiel, Germany. It is well maintained and kept very clean.
Although there is no walk-around promenade deck outdoors as such - it’s full of chairs around the central section where a swimming pool is located - you can walk along some of the open space, although there are windbreakers to negotiate. There are also port and starboard midship walking decks under the inboard lifeboats. There is a decent amount of open deck and sunbathing space for a ship of this size, including three aft decks for open-air lovers, and real teakwood deck chairs with thick royal blue cushioned pads.
The Lido Deck has sides covered by canvas shading and white support pillars - like the ones you would find on seaside piers in England - as a setting for the outdoor swimming pool. This is a self-contained deck that has not only the pool but also the casual Lido Buffet restaurant and Lido Terrasse Café. One could spend all day outdoors on this deck without having to dress to go indoors to eat. There is also a small waterfall aft of the pool.
The ship is laid out in a classic symmetrical pattern, and the interior decor has been successfully designed to re-create the atmosphere of 1920s ocean liners. The ship is finely decorated throughout (some might say overly so), with rich, dark woods and intricate brass and wrought-iron staircases that remind one of an old-style gentleman’s club. There is so much detail in the decoration work, and especially in the ornate ceilings, and cleaning it all is rather labor-intensive. There are quite a number of real statues, which don’t seem to fit well aboard a cruise ship, but there are also many works of art on display.
There’s a good range of public rooms and spaces, although these have been possible only by making the cabins smaller than one would expect of a ship of this size. The ship has an interesting, eclectic decor from different periods, as well as a wide assortment of cabin sizes, configurations and grades.
There are two favorite drinking places: Zum Alten Fritz (Old Fritz) Bar, with dark wood interiors and Belle Epoque ambience; and the Lili Marleen Salon, adjacent to the Berlin Restaurant, with mahogany channeled ceiling. Another nice public room is the Lido Terrace, which would have made a superb observation lounge had the designers extended it to the forward extremes of the deck. It is reminiscent of the winter gardens aboard the early transatlantic liners, and a delightful place to read or take afternoon tea.
Although Deutschland is registered under the German flag, the company is able to employ non-German staff, thus you will find Filipinos and other nationalities in the hotel service areas. The friendliness of the staff is good. The ship operates cashless cruising - charges must be settled on the last day of the cruise, when all purchases must, inconveniently, be made in cash.
Although the ship absorbs passengers well, the space ratio could be better. The onboard product is generally sound, with attentive service, but the food and catering side of the operation could be improved. While the interiors are very attractive, the vessel does not come close to ships such as Europa, Europa 2, Silver Shadow, and Silver Whisper, with their much larger suites/cabins, open-seating dining (except Europa, which has open seating for breakfast and lunch, and assigned tables for dinner), and their abundance of cabins with private balconies. Smoking is permitted only on open decks. There is no Internet center.
Just two suites have private balconies; most other cabins are very small when compared to other ships in the luxury and premium sectors of the international market. Refreshingly, there’s no bingo, horse racing, or line dancing.
Accommodation. There are several price categories (the higher the deck, the higher the cost). There are 18 outside-view suites, 189 outside-view doubles, 17 outside-view single cabins; 12 interior doubles, and 50 interior single occupancy.
While many cabins are disappointingly small, all are furnished in fancy bird’s-eye maple, and all ceilings are one-piece units, unlike the metal strip ceilings of most cruise ships, and come with molded coving and ornamentation. The closet and drawer space is quite generous, and the attention to detail is very good. All beds have duvets and pillows. All cabins have a TV set, direct-dial satellite telephone, minibar/refrigerator, and real cabin keys (not plastic cards) are provided. Many cabins have only one electrical outlet.
The bathrooms are also generously appointed, with a pink marble sink, gold anodized fittings, gilt-edged mirrors, hairdryer, and ample space for one’s toiletries. There is an electrical power outlet for shavers, with both 110 and 230 volts. Bathrobes are provided for all passengers.
Accommodation designated as suites (there are two grades) are reasonably large, with a living area that contains a couch, coffee table, and two chairs; the bathroom has a full-size tub (all other cabins have showers only). Only the Executive Suites and Owner’s Suites are, sensibly, located in the center of the ship, and each has a small private balcony. There is one wheelchair-accessible cabin (8042).
Dining. Berlin, the 300-seat main restaurant, is a homely room. All the chairs have armrests, although space for serving at window-side tables is limited, and the hard chair backs are not really very comfortable.
There are tables for two, four, six, or eight, and two seatings for dinner. Two cold buffet bars for cold cuts of meat, cheese, and salad items - either your waiter can obtain the food for you or you can choose it yourself - are featured for breakfast and lunch. Overall, the cuisine is quite creative, with lots of courses, small portions of nouvelle cuisine, and a wide variety of choice and good taste. It’s not really memorable, though the desserts are extremely good. The place settings are extensive.
The Restaurant Vierjahreszeiten (Four Seasons), with 104 seats, is an intimate dining room, principally for suite occupants and for à-la-carte dining, for which a reservation is necessary. There is much detailing and ornamentation in the decor, and the ornate ceiling lamps and indented ceiling coving create an elegant ambience that is relatively intimate. There are tables for two, four, or six.
There is also a small private dining room, the Chancellor Room, with a large oval table seating 10 to 12 - ideal for special occasions and celebrations.
The extensive wine list includes a fine selection of wines from Germany and Austria, although the choice of wines from other countries is very limited. Eating in this restaurant takes considerably longer than in the Berlin Restaurant, and is best for those seeking an evening of fine dining and conversation.
Other dining options. The Lido Restaurant is a casual dining venue. It has large ocean-view windows on two sides and a centrally located, multi-section self-serve buffet station. Additionally, there is a Lido Terrasse, at the stern, with windows on three sides. It is set on two slightly different levels, houses the ship’s library, and has statuary and a relaxing, garden conservatory-like setting. This room also has a bar, plus elegant tea and coffee service.
Entertainment. The Kaisersaal (Emperor’s Saloon) is the main showlounge. It is a galleried period room with red velveteen chairs and is more like a ballroom than showlounge. It is reminiscent of a small opera house and has a beautiful, huge central chandelier. However, sight lines are obstructed from some seats on both upper and lower seating levels by many large marble-effect pillars. The entertainment is geared to German tastes, and is mostly in German.
Spa/Fitness. The main spa area is on Deck 3, and this includes a small indoor swimming pool with a statue of a female diver at one end, sauna, solarium, thalassotherapy baths, and massage/body therapy rooms; there is also a dialysis station. Deck 6 has a fitness/sport center with a few exercise machines, a sauna with a sea view, and a steam room. A beauty salon is on Deck 7.