This was our first time sailing on a " proper cruise " - we had previously sailed toNorway 12 nights with Hurtingurten twice, and loved the informal atmosphere - so were slightly nervous about a " grown up " cruise ! before we sailed, Cunard contacted us with details of formal nights - so e bay came into its own to buy the formal wardrobe ! We were also offered a discounted upgrade to a Princess suite which we took - and am so glad we did ! The room was larger than our first flat ! A walk in wardrobe, full bathroom, huge bed and veranda with really comfy padded sun beds ! Welcoming wine and chocolates in our suite when we arrived - perfect ! I had expected towel animals - but no - lovely white huge fluffy towels regularly replace . Jo our room steward could not do enough for us.
The upgrade meant priority checking and boarding - it was so fast I could not believe how quickly we were entering the ship, and our mouths dropped at the sheer glamour of it all ! It is like a 5 star luxury hotel . Our room meant we dined in the Princess grill, where our waiting staff could not do enough for us - the food was excellent - we could have anything we wanted - we even had a curry one night :) the meals were so good we only managed 1 afternoon tea, and never felt the need to eat outside meals. We did look at the buffet food available, and it looked lovely
The entertainment and activities was varied and wide ranging - sometimes we had a clash of choices ! The on board speakers included an ex war pilot who then flew Boeing 747 - and had fascinating tales of airplane history and his experiences. We also had RADA reading us bedtime stories, and a musical producer talking on the history of My Fair Lady. These, with a cinema, planaterium, theatre , bars and live music everywhere kept us very entertained - the television in our room was never used !
We didn't take any tours, exploring Hamburg and Oslo ourselves. Leaving Hamberg is an experience in itself, as the whole city seemed to come out to wave us off along the sail out, complete with bands, fireworks and towels and table clothes being waved at us ! Sadly, the sea was too rough for the tenders to take us ashore at Denmark ( though on the ship it was very steady ) so we missed that port.
As the trip included a round trip to and from Hamberg, many of the passengers were German. Like all Europeans, most spoke perfect English, so this wasn't an issue.
The grown up part of evening dress and jacket for dinner was not an issue after day 1 - every one does it, and it just becomes the norm. Also gives those who like people watching a lot more to watch :). There were plenty of areas if you did not want to dress up after 6
The wine and drinks choice was extensive, and we found some delicious bottles of wine from the wine package. The cocktail menu is most enjoyable - especially the piña collard as !
Yes, this is a more expensive cruise than others - but having experienced the quality of the service, food, entertainment and rooms that your fare covers, it is actually excellent value
I loved the whole experience so much - now I have the wardrobe, I can't wait to go again