We ( a family of 4 including 2 children aged 13and 15 ) just got back from the one week cruise to the Norwegian Fjords leaving from Hull. First of all what a pleasure it was not having to fly . We live in the Midlands and had a pleasant 3 hour drive up north to reach Hull. Parking and check in were seemless .Within an hour of arriving we were on board and settled in our cabin. We had booked the 4 birth cabin to save money and were worried how 4 adults essentially would manage in such a small space . In short we did , although we struggled to find enough storage space for our clothes .Cabin 3116 was on the Admiral Deck ( ie the cheapest deck )and it was an inner cabin however our only complaint about the cabin was the noise from the creaking ship that was loud . I was fortunate in that I was still able to sleep but did overhear a few other passengers complaining about this issue in particular .Our cabin attendant Alex was an absolute gem , he worked so hard and was extremely accomodating and pleasant at all times . In general the crew were flawless throughout .They made the experience of being on the cruise so much better from the cleaners who were noted throughout always scrubbing, polishing and hoovering with a smile and a pleasant greeting when you passed to the staff in both restaurants .
Our waiter Shibu assigned to our table every night was so courteous even when we were late a couple of nights and always made such my husbands dietary requirements were adhered to ( gluten free diary free ). The food was good ( not as good as the Queen Mary 2 ) but certainly offered enough choice for the most discerning diner .7 courses at dinner and a lovely tea at 3 pm which was great if you missed lunch whilst on an excursion .
The entertainment was mainly geared to the older age group such a card making and ballroom dancing but we kept ourself amused by heading to the Hamptons louge after dinner and either reading or playing scabble whilst listening to live music .The most enjoyable evening was the night the crew put on GO GO GO JOSEPH which was their unique version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor coat , my favourite .Unfortunately on that night the waters were quite choppy so the event wasn't well attended but what a fabulous evening they missed .
The best part of the cruise was by far the ports though .I consider myself a well seasoned traveller and I've got to say Norway is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited .Just cruising through the fjords before reaching the ports was so serene and incredibly beautiful but the ports them self were even more outstanding . Again we tried to save costs by not booking on any cruise excursions and had a fab time overall.We walked around Skjolden which is beyond gorgeous , you could pay to go on a llama ride downstream or go on a well know walk which we did and loved . The second port was Olden and we paid The Glacier Express bus Â£ 25 each (as opposed to the ship which charged Â£60 each ) to take us to the Briksdal Glacier .The bus drive itself was simply exquisite in terms of the beautiful lakes and mountains we drove through to get there .The walk up to the Glacier was steep so make sure you wear proper walking shoes and carry a rain mac but it was a lovely day out .The third port of Andalsnes was again lovely and we strolled around the river and through some residential areas .Bergen we took the funicular up the hill, walked back down , strolled through Bryggen which was free as was the interesting fish market which filled up our day .
Overall this trip was great.I understand the Ocean Countess is going to be replaced by another ship called Discovery which has better stabilization( so less sea sickness ), slightly smaller 700 passengers instead of 800 . I would definitely cruise with Cruise and Maritime again as they offered excellent value for money