My DH and I flew on American Airlines from Miami to London Heathrow on May 28. Upon arrival, we took a National Express bus to Southampton where we spent two nights at the Ibis Southampton Centre Hotel. We were able to walk from the bus station to the hotel and also from the hotel to the port. It was very convenient.
We did some resting and sightseeing in Southampton, then boarded the ship around 10:30 A.M. on May 31. It was the smoothest and quickest embarkation we have ever experienced. After checking out the location of our dining table, we headed to the Windjammer for lunch. We found the food in the Windjammer, the Main Dining Room, the Cafe Promenade, and Johnny Rocket's to be very good. We appreciated the large selection of teas, and tried them all.
The cabins were soon ready, so we went to our beautiful Junior Suite and started to unpack. Although the ship is older, we found the furnishings to be in good shape and the bed extremely comfortable.
Next, we went to the unofficial Sailaway Party of our Roll Call where we met lots of our fellow cruisers. It was a beautiful day as we sailed out of Southampton to begin our Adventure.
During the first sea day, we went to the Meet & Mingle, and enjoyed some trivia contests. Another thing that we really liked was the ability to see so many good movies in the small screening room. Since the weather was mostly cold outside, we went to five movies and enjoyed them all. We did not go to any shows.
We had a specific agenda in Reykjavik. My DH is a tournament chess player, and our plan was to rent a car and drive to Selfoss, about 60 km. outside of Reykjavik, to visit the grave of Bobby Fischer, and pay our respects. We had booked a car online with Thrifty Rental Car, and we got our car and started driving. We immediately ran into heavy fog on the Ring Road, but we were determined to get to Selfoss, which we did. After visiting Bobby's grave, we had lunch in Selfoss at Kaffi Krus, which had been recommended on Tripadvisor.
After lunch, we drove back to Reykjavik and went to the Laugardalsholl where Bobby Fischer had played in the chess "Match of the Century". Happy that we had achieved our goal, we returned to the ship for the night.
The next morning, we got up early in order to see some sights of downtown Reykjavik. We first visited the Sun Voyager sculpture at the harbor, and then went to see Hallgrimms Kirkja, the famous church. After that we drove back to the rental car office and handed in the car and took their shuttle back to the ship.
The following day, we awoke to beautiful snow-covered mountains in the fjord leading into Akureyri, Iceland. We had booked a ship excursion which took us to the Laufas Folk Museum, Godafoss waterfall, and the Botanical Garden. It was all very scenic and we enjoyed the day.
We relaxed on our next sea day and got ready for five ports in Norway.
In Trondheim, we walked around and visited the Nidaros Cathedral.
In Alesund, we took a ship excursion to the Sunnmore Museum, the fantastic overlook where we took lots of pictures, and a drive through town. We returned to the ship for lunch, and then went out again on our own walking around this fantastic town.
Molde looked interesting, but the cold and rain were so bad that we just got off the ship, walked around the pier and the town a little, and got back onboard.
Olden was our favorite place. It was a wonderland of natural beauty and a beautiful sunny day. We walked around the little town and enjoyed our day immensely.
Our last port was Stavanger where we had a ship tour to the Iron Age Farm and then walked around the town.
We enjoyed everything about this cruise and were so grateful that we were able to do it!!