May 30, 2016

Cruise Ship Review: Oslo to Copenhagen With DFDS Pearl Seaways


I took the ferry crossing from Oslo to Copenhagen. The ferry is operated by DFDS Seaways. DFDS calls this trip as mini cruise, but let me tell you that it's nothing like a ferry or mini cruise, it's practically a real giant cruise ship. Her name is Pearl. I didn't expect that until I saw it from the cruise terminal before I boarded.
It's Not A Ferry Nor A Mini Cruise. It's A Real Cruise Ship!
In this review, I'll focus on the Price, Boarding ProcessRoom & Bed, Amenities On Board, and last by not least the Shuttle Bus from the DFDS Terminal in Copenhagen to the City.

Price:

I booked a single bed room for a total of around $84 USD that includes the tax and one way shuttle bus from Copenhagen DFDS terminal to the city when I get to Copenhagen. I think this is a fantastic deal to be able to experience the cruise ship, get to Copenhagen from Oslo vs. the typical train ride, and save one night at hotel. You can check out the price on their website, but do note that I wrote an article on how to save a few dollars booking with DFDS that you may want to check out here.

Don't worry about pre-booking meals, you will find restaurants on board along with a casual coffee bar that has sandwiches, pasta salad, and Danish party. Major credit cards and cash are accepted on board. However, watch out for credit card fees if you use Mastercard ones.

My Pre-Departure Meal: Danish Pastry And Heineken

Boarding Process:

For me, the boarding process at DFDS Seaways Oslo was a little bit confusing. That's why I decide to note this down as part of my review for those that will be traveling from Oslo to Copenhagen with DFDS Seaways. 
  • Locate the DFDS ferry terminal. It's located at the following address: Akershusstranda 31, 0150 Oslo, Norway
  • After entering the building, you should see many blue kiosks where you do the self check-in process to get your boarding pass if you are not traveling as a group. 
  • To your left, you may see people queue up to do the boarding, but don't be fooled because I did and was told it wasn't my boarding time yet. The agent said my room wasn't ready. Look at your confirmation email and it should list on there what time you should be checking in. They really mean it!
Self Check-In Kiosks  To Get Boarding Pass
Don't Be Fooled! This Is Not Your Boarding Queue!

Room & Bed:

As I was traveling solo, and DFDS Seaway has various types of rooms, I specifically picked the 1 bed with seaview room. The Boarding Pass is the key to the room. The moment I walked into my room, I was very happy to see the seaview window is bigger than the picture shows on the website. It provides a good ocean view and the single bed is comfortable. The room is a little bit small but it's practical. It comes with a desk, chair, and a private bathroom. It also has temperature control. It's just like a real hotel's room. I was very pleased with my room.

Single Seaview Room
Sunset View Taken From My Seaview Window
Decent Size Practical Bathroom
You Can View My Video Of The Room Below: 

Amenities On Board:

Because this is a real cruise ship, there are several decks on board. My deck is number 5. Deck 6 has a pool, spa and massage for family and relaxation, but it's not free. The wifi zone and hang out area is located on Deck 7. That deck also has a coffee bar, an arcade room, a shopping center and a casino. The casino though has an entrance fee but comes with 1 free drink. In addition, the guest service is also located on that deck and you can also book any Copenhang tour there as well. If you did not buy the ticket for the Copenhagen shuttle bus, you can purchase it there as well. The buffet restaurant is also located on Deck 7. There are restaurants and bars located on Deck 8, and a sky bar on Deck 11 where you can enjoy the outside open space seating. It's also a great deck to enjoy the sunset. Deck 10 has a pool and two hot tubs.

Pool And Hot Tubs On Deck 10 
Wifi Zone And Hang Out Area On Deck 7
Shopping Center On Deck 7
Skybar On Deck 11. Great Deck To Watch Sunset!
Sunset View Taken From Deck 11

Shuttle Bus From DFDS Terminal In Copenhagen To The City

I think this is worth a review section because I did not have a positive experience with this. Part of it was my fault as well that I didn't read carefully about the shuttle bus and where it drops passengers at.  It does NOT go to Copenhagen Central Station; it goes to the Norreport Station, which is the second biggest station in Copenhagen. It is located in the Central area, but about 15 minutes walk to the Central Station. So plan accordingly if you hotels are around the Central Station!

Another thing that is confusing as well is how to get on the shuttle bus. After exiting the DFDS terminal, although there are signs that guide you to the shuttle bus, but you will be greeted with several of tour buses, and none is clearly marked as DFDS Seaways Shuttle Bus. It only says that on the windshield if you look close enough. Human intuition, just ask someone! From my experience, those buses line up by the curbside. You should be able to spot them right after you exit the terminal building. Show the driver the shuttle bus ticket that you purchased before boarding. Please note that you cannot purchase the ticket from the driver. It costs 1 Euro and you can either purchase the ticket when you make reservation for the DFDS Seaways or purchase the ticket on Deck 7 after you board the ship.

The Shuttle Bus Drop Off

Conclusion:

For the price that I paid and got to enjoy all the amenities on board this flagship, it's totally worth it! I'm not crazily impressed by those amenities per say, but it's still much better than just a regular ferry. The 17 hours cruise ride was pleasant and I'd love to do it again to experience this with someone else. I love my little seaview room. It's the best way to get from Oslo to Copenhagen. It's not all about the destination, but the journey.

Check out more articles on Oslo Norway

Pearl Cruise Ship Layout

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