The Trips Dublin As we have been to Dublin many a time and the weather was bad we didn't go off the ship.
There was a curtsey bus that took you into Dublin town for free, not having used any of the trips I can't comment on what they were like.
Here we did take a trip, organised by the ship's explorer desk, the "The Golden Circle" cost was Â£85 per person. We visited the geothermal plant which was very interesting, from there we went to see a massive waterfall and then on to the Geysir, which was something else. It erupted every 7 minutes or so and was some sight. Lunch was included, which I personally didn't think much off, there again, it takes some doing catering for a load of tour busses arriving all at the same time, still it was edible. From there we went to see where the earth's crust had started to separate, I can't exactly remember by how much every year. The tour guide was very informative, all in all a good trip which I can recommend. Some people from the ship had organised their own trips and I believe it was cheaper that what we had paid for.
The bathing in the blue lagoon Â£53 pp apparently was very good I was told by another cruiser.
A complimentary shuttle bus was available for those who just wanted to go into town.
We just went and had a walk into the pretty town, I can't comment on any of the trips.
All the trips were fully booked so we finished up walking into town, if you find yourself doing the same go and visit the Aalesunds Museum it is very much worth the visit, we had a lovely time there, it is situated on different floors so you must be able to do steps. The curator was very informative. There are guide books in different languages which you can borrow and then replace, on every floor. It cost 5 Euro's entry.
There is a little sightseeing train, that goes around the town, it takes 1 Hour and the cost is 150 Kr pp.
I fell in love with Olden, the prettiest town you can imagine, we were too late to book a trip everything was sold out. When we disembarked we found a hut on the quay,where you could book trips.
There are a few choices. A little train that takes you around the lake.
We chose to go and see the Briksdal Glacier the cost on the ship for just to get there was Â£56pp if you choose to go to the top with the trolly car it was Â£74pp.
We did it on our own and paid 35 euro's to get to the site of the Glacier, and then 20 euro's, return, for the trolly car. You can pay for only to go up, and walk down; it would be half the price. The walk to the Glacier is very long and steep, and you must be pretty fit to get to the top, we didn't manage it for health reasons and had to return from half way to take the trolly car to go back to the top, once you're there, there is a platform where the cars stay and you have a short walk to the Glacier, which is a sight to behold, it is so worth it. There is a small lake and some inflatable boats that can take you nearer to the bottom of the Glacier at a cost.
Talking to other people I found out that there is a local bus at about 9.45 am that can take you to Briksdal at a cost of 5 Euro's and it picks you at 1.30pm.
Trolly Car times starts from 08.15 from April till November. Roundtrip takes 1.30 hours. Phone number..4757876805/90051244 Fax..4757876808. e-mail..www.oldedalen-skysslag.com It is worth taking the trolly especially when you're not steady on your feet.
Some e-mail addresses if you want to do trips on your own. I believe prices are negotiable if there are many of you or if they can fill-up the little mini bus.
phone number +4791781449
post @ oldencruise.no
A shuttle bus drops you off by a little lake and you can walk from there all through the town, past the fish market where you can have a bite to eat. Walking further onto the funicular, which takes you to the top, overlooking Bergen. A word of advice is, be early, the queue are very very long to get up, hundreds of people waiting .And you have to pay by credit card or krona's they don't take anything else, it is about 70kr pp.
A hop on, and off, bus tickets are, adult 150kr or 20 euro or Â£20. www.citysightseeing-bergen.net
Phone +4797781888 if you pick up a brochure first they give you 10% off an open tour bus.
We just walked through the town, looked at the old town, which was interesting.
You can do your own trip to Pulpit Rock, which is a cruise and will cost you NOK 280 if you are a pensioner or NOK 360 if you're not. Child NOK250. Family ticket NOK 900. It is a mini cruise stopping at lysfjordenteret at Oanes. It leaves more or less where the ship is docked, you can get the tickets on the quay.
You can also do a harbour tour for 1 Hour at a cost of NOK 190 or Â£20.
You have to take the provided shuttle bus to get of the quay, this one will take you into Blankenberge where you can take the train to Brugge if you want to, or just visit Blankenberge which is a nice seaside town, there isn't very much in Zeebrugge so it is better to go on a trip or do it yourself.
If you visit Brugge go on the canal's you can see all the Flemish architecture, there is also a brewery you can visit, and then there are the Belgium Choc's go for Leonidas they are the best once at a reasonable price, and a vast choice.
Having travels on the Celebrity Eclipse and the Independence of the Sea we weren't sure if we were going to like this ship. But it surprised us.
Self-service restaurant, the layout was terrible and not easy with the amount of people eating there, we went in the mornings and sometimes at lunch. Seating wasn't always easy to get. The choice wasn't really that good and the quality, well it's just food, the drink station was crammed and not always could you find glasses and had to wait for them to bring some.
Restaurants. The food was ok in the dining room, plenty of choice for everyone, veggie's included , the service at our table was excellent couldn't complain, although it was said to us that the service and the food had gone down on this particular ship, and that was said by a man who'd cruised 56 times.
Speciality restaurant. We went to the Marco Pierre White Room, and where disappointed we had more or less the same food at evening time, nothing very special and definitely not worth the Â£25pp. Due to that we gave the east Restaurant a miss, the East displayed food outside the restaurant every evening and to be honest it didn't look that nice, but still that was OUR opinion, others might disagree.
The Ramblas served ( Starters) any 3 tapas for Â£2.50 or 3 courses for only Â£5. They were very good and I can recommend them.
Value pack at Â£15..6 cards for each of the 5 games
Bonus pack Â£10 3 cards for each of the 5 games
Basic pack Â£5 for each of the 5 games.
Theatre. The Headliners where very good and worth seeing. Although sometimes you had to get there early to get a seat. The Ventura staff were helpful and moved people to occupy every seat.
The once that stood out for me in entertainment where the following. Steve Tandy brilliant comedy went to see him twice and when he did the tribute to Jonny Cash.
John Ellis as Elton John was very good
Timothy Abel & Matthew Glossop where excellent with their classical music and received a standing ovation on the last night.
Sid Bowfin, was an alternative comedian with a different approach but he was very good.
Ian Kirton, now there is a voice, this man should be on the London Stage, we thoroughly loved his show.
Drinks prices were very reasonable, they changed the liquor allowance when buying on board, now when you buy your bottle of scotch or other, they won't give it to you for your cabin consumption until a week later. So be aware of this.
Will I go again on the Ventura...Yes..Although my opinion to start with wasn't that good but the ship grew on me, I must admit the entertainment did it for me, so much choice and different places to see them in, was something that we hadn't experienced on the previous cruises that we have been on.
Also make sure you book your trips beforehand, as we found out everything worthwhile was fully booked.
Comparison, if I could have the food from the Celebrity Eclipse and the entertainment of the Ventura and the prices of the drinks of the Ventura, the ship would be perfect, that is in my opinion. If any of you have anything to ask please do I'll be happy to help if I can.