MS Berlin Review and Specifications
Specifications of MS Berlin
|Year built||1980 / Age : 40|
|Builder||(HDW) Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (Kiel, Germany)|
|Speed||18 kn / 33 kph / 21 mph|
|Length (LOA)||139 m / 456 ft|
|Beam (width)||18 m / 59 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||10550 gt|
|Passengers||412 - 420|
|Decks with cabins||5|
|Former names||FTI Berlin, Spirit of Adventure, Orange Melody, Princess Mahsuri|
Review of MS Berlin
MS Berlin cruise ship is owned by FTI Cruises. The vessel was initially launched and operated under the name “Berlin” (1980–1982; 1984–2005). It also served as Princess Mahsuri (1982–1984), Orange Melody (2005), Spirit of Adventure (until 2012) and FTI Berlin (2012–2014). During 2005-2013, the Berlin cruise ship was owned by Saga Cruises and was part of the line’s 2nd brand, “Spirit of Adventure Cruises”, along with the Quest of Adventure (currently sailing as Saga Pearl 2).
In October 2015, Columbia Cruise Services took over the vessel's management. Following the new contract, Columbia Cruise Services is responsible for the liner's hotel staff. Since April 2013, the company is also responsible for the ship's technical and crew management.
MS Berlin is one of the best small European cruise ships, able to accommodate up to 420 passengers. The only ship of FTI Cruises has a pair of dining venues: main dining room and Veranda Restaurant which boasts indoor and alfresco dining. The ship also has a Yacht Club Bar, spacious Sirocco Lounge and new Berlin Lounge found on the sun deck.
Berlin cruise ship pampers with amenities like spa area (massage treatments), an outdoor pool, gym, sauna, large library. The extensive shore touring program features several options to enjoy the exciting ports of call. Via the enrichment program of FTI Cruises, qualified lecturers provide destination-related insights. The main language aboard ms Berlin is German.
The Sun Deck is fitted with deck beds and deck chairs. They are available complimentary and without reservation. Pool towels are also provided free of charge. Guided tours to the ship's Navigation Bridge are generally allowed but at the Captain's discretion.
FTI Cruises MS Berlin deals
- Animals are not allowed on the ship.
- Smoking on the ship is allowed only on outside decks and in specially designated areas.
- Onboard entertainment is price-inclusive, and features lectures, live shows and scheduled daily events held in Sirocco Lounge. The evening program includes live music performances in the Yacht Club.
- Coffee and tea are complimentary and provided by vending machines. Other drinks are available for purchase in all onboard restaurants, bars and lounges.
- All passenger cabins are equipped with en-suite bathrooms (shower / WC / washbasin) and as amenities offer bathrobes, hairdryer, single (2 twins) or 1 double bed, phone, TV, DVD-player, minibar (extra charge), individual air-conditioning, lockable drawer, shoe horn, binoculars (in-cabin use only).
- Room service and in-cabin dining (breakfast service) are available at extra charge.
- The ship has no staterooms suitable for passengers with disabilities / wheelchair-accessible cabins. However, two Standard Exterior cabins on B-Deck (room numbers 409-410) have ground-level entrances and wide doors. Their bathrooms are not adapted to disabled passengers. Only 4 of all decks can be accessed via a small elevator.
- FTI Cruises don't allow travelling of infants younger than 3 months (at the time of embarkation). On all cruise itineraries with 3 or more consecutive sea days, kids must be aged at least 12 months (at embarkation time). The ship doesn't provide dedicated (or supervised) children program, as well as any child care services.
- A passenger who at embarkation time has entered up to the 21st week of pregnancy must produce a doctor’s letter that states she is fit to travel. Booking is refused to women beyond the 22nd week of pregnancy.
- Shipboard Internet access is subject to a charge (EUR 0,25 per minute).
- The ship has no specific/mandatory dress code. Recommended casual attire during the day includes comfortable shoes. jackets, jumpers. Not recommended are swimsuits (in restaurants, bars, lounges). On special occasions is suggested more formal attire. Passengers are advised to bring special clothing for tours/shore excursions and for the fitness centre.
- Onboard language is German, but all the staff and most of the crew speak English.
- The onboard currency is EUR. Accepted for payments are all major bank cards (VISA, MasterCard). Traveller checks are not accepted.
- Shipboard electricity is 110V - 230V AC.
- Embarkation / Disembarkation - passengers must be at port at least 3 hours prior to cruise ship's arrival/departure time. Passenger embarkation ends 1-hour prior departure.
- As leisure activities, the ship provides a small fitness area, sauna room, outdoor swimming pool. Onboard hairdresser and spa massage services can also be booked.
- The ship has a library well stocked with books and DVDs. They can be also borrowed for the voyage's duration.
- Onboard dining consists of breakfast, morning snacks (pizza, pasta, soup), lunch, afternoon snacks (coffee, tea, cake), dinner, midnight snacks. The ship's buffet restaurant “Verandah” is open seating, and open for Breakfast: (6-10 am), Lunch (12 noon - 2:30 pm) and Dinner (6-9 pm). The Main Dining Room restaurant has 2 settings for dinner - early sitting (6-6:30 pm) and late/main sitting (8-8:30 pm). For any particular diet, passengers must inform the company upon cruise booking.
- There is a doctor on the ship. All medical services are at fee (charged to passenger's onboard account.
- The onboard card is used for payments (beverages, excursions, gratuities, etc). All personal expenses are automatically charged to each onboard account, so carrying cash on board is not necessary.
- Each call port along the cruise itinerary offers a variety of tours/shore excursions available for booking on the ship (at FTI Cruises Tour Office in the Lobby on "A Deck" 3).
- At the end of the voyage, FTI Cruises recommends rewarding the services provided by the ship's staff and crew. However, tipping is not mandatory. The amount of gratuities is up to the passenger. As reasonable is deemed EUR 5 pp per night. The gratuity is distributed equally by the vessel’s management among all staff and crew members.
Not included in FTI Cruises deals are port transfers, car parking (at the terminal), tours/shore excursions, beverages, onboard personal expenses, gratuities, insurance fees.
FTI Cruises MS Berlin itineraries include the Red Sea and Mediterranean voyages with departures from homeports Venice Italy, Nice France and Safaga Egypt. Western Europe cruises leave from Lisbon Portugal, while Northern European itineraries are roundtrips from homeport Warnemunde-Rostock Germany.
- On December 22, 2016, the ship inaugurated its first 7-day Cuba cruise roundtrip from Havana. On Dec 27, the liner left Cuba on a 30-day Transatlantic repositioning crossing, carrying a total of 330 passengers.
- In November-December 2017 was the 30-days westbound Transatlantic cruise from Venice to Havana (itinerary November 21 - December 21). In the Caribbean, MS Berlin operated on 7-day roundtrips from Havana Cuba to Cayman islands and Jamaica (Montego Bay), alternating with voyages visiting Yucatan Mexico. Among the Caribbean ports of call was also Cienfuegos Cuba (best known for its Maria La Gorda beaches).
In 2018, FTI Berlin's itinerary program was based on European and Caribbean cruises. Caribbean voyages included roundtrip departures from Havana Cuba with call ports Maria La Gorda, Cienfuegos, Cozumel Mexico, Grand Cayman Island, Ocho Rios Jamaica, Santiago de Cuba. The 28-night Transatlantic repositioning cruise crossing (in March) was from Havana to Villefranche-sur-Mer (Nice, France). In Spring and Fall, the ship operated in Europe - on Mediterranean and Baltic cruises from Germany (also visiting ports in Norway and the British Isles).
FTI Cruises' third Cuban season with MS Berlin was scheduled for 2020 (January 4th through March 14th). The Havana-homeporting season had scheduled 11 week-long roundtrips with call ports Santiago de Cuba, Grand Cayman (George Town) and Jamaica (Montego Bay).
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The vessel was built under hull number 163 at Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (Kiel Germany). On September 4, 1979, was the vessel's keel laying ceremony. The launch / float-out was on January 12, 1980. The ship was delivered to Peter Deilmann Cruises on June 27, 1980, with flag-state Germany. In the period 1982-1985, under the name "Princess Masuhri" it was Singapore-flagged.
At the end of 1986, the vessel was reconstructed (at Nobiskrug Shipyard (Rendsburg Germany). During the drydock refit, the ship was extended (by inserting 16,8 m / 55 ft long pre-fabricated section) from 122,5 to 139,3 m (402 to 457 ft). Following the reconstruction, its passenger capacity was increased from 330 (150 cabins) to 420 (210 cabins).
In the period 1986-1998, the Berlin cruise ship was featured in ZDF's TV series "Das Traumschiff" ("The Dream Ship"). An interesting fact is that in 1986, MS Berlin was stretched/elongated by 17 m (56 ft). The vessel's LOA length was increased from 123 to 140 m (404 to 460 ft). The boat's passenger capacity was also increased - from 300 to 420 passengers. In the period 1986-1998, MS Berlin was the cruise ship featured in “Das Traumschiff” TV series by Zweite Deutsche Fernsehen.
The vessel's last drydock refurbishment was done at 3 Maj Shipyard (Rijeka Croatia) in November 2017. The project included technical upgrades (including new WiFi network) and public rooms renovation (including restaurant, bar lounge, hallways).
Ship's Captain is Alberto Tarozzi.
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