An amazing holiday! I have cruised a few times as a child, but not since 2000 on the Sunbird. It has taken me nearly 10 years to convince my wife that its worth it! We chose the Fjords on recommendation from family, and P&O on reputation - the ship was simply the most convenient date (sailing on my birthday!) - further, the same cruise a week earlier or later would have been on Ventura, and I felt that she might be a bit too big, so Oceana it was!
Driving to and parking at Southampton was even more straightforward than I had expected, and check-in was so smooth I barely noticed it - soo much easier than an airport!
The ship was clean and tidy throughout the week, and the service in all bars and restaurants was excellent. As a lone couple, we chose Club dining on 1st sitting, and opted for a table for eight - a great choice as our table-mates were also couples, and we had a great time!
Food - simply superb. We ate in the Adriatic restaurant every evening and all but one morning, and at Cafe Jardin every lunchtime. We had thought about having an evening at Cafe Jardin (for the additional cover charge), but felt that the food in our restaurant was so good, there wasn't much point (and the evening menu was not overly inspiring for Marco Piere White!). The Plaza buffet for breakfast was very good as well, but lacked the charm of being waited on! We chose Cafe Jardin for lunch as the meals were lovely, with a good selection and perfect portion size - after a big breakfast (with the prospect of afternoon tea and a 5-course dinner), this was ideal!
Ports of call:
Stavanger - a slight pity that Stavanger was called on a Sunday, as a fair portion of the city was closed, however we had a lovely wander around, and went to the Canning museum which was very interesting.
Flaam - not a vast amount in the immediate area of the port, however the world-famous Flamsbana was brilliant! We did this independently and saved ourselves almost £40 on the cost of the P&O tour (based on £1 being approx NOK8.5). The train journey was absolutely spectacular, and highly recommended.
Eidfjord - some very pretty walking, and coach trip options here - again we fended for ourselves rather than taking a P&O tour, again we did something fairly similar at a lower cost.
Kristiansand - I am sure that Kristiansand is a very pretty city, but unfortunately, the weather turned against us, so a quick walk around the centre was all we managed. It was very nice, however slightly hurried to avoid looking like we'd been for a swim!
Days at sea - plenty to do on the two full days at sea, including some good films and talks.
Cabin - very comfortable and well looked after by our Steward who definitely isn't paid enough!
Overall, a brilliant holiday, and we will certainly be cruising again - and probably with P&O!