Our first cruise. Our European friends told us cruise in Norway as super expensive to drive or train. I looked at the prices and they were correct. Hamburger and fries $50 US.
We picked a veranda on a lower floor. Very roomy. We wanted one with cough near veranda so got room 8242- away from open doors ( central area echoes up music from below) Upper floors had a very large overhang making the more expensive aqua and concierge with veranda seem like in a tunnel (check out you tube). We wanted a room on the lower decks as going across North Sea. First 1 1/2 days rough sea but no queasy stomach for my husband who gets car sick. Lots of people looked a bit green. Staff said roughest they had ever seen on this route. So a lower deck room is worth it. The top decks were swaying quite a bit.
Our room was surprising very spacious including the bathroom. Loved the veranda and I was out on the veranda before dawn watching the shore, sail into fjords down to port and oil platforms in the north sea. Wind blocked well.
Very impressed with steward Mohamed- ice 2x a day, extra towels restocked. always seemed to be around and looking for ways to please us.
We had laundry done and reasonable price for hotel laundry- very well done and quick.
Picked this cruise as most days in port all day and ship had gotten good reviews. As out all day in port did not attend many "functions". The ones I did attend, I would not have except stuck on ship traveling to and from Norway. Guest lecturer on Norway ports very British dry but informative. Same information that was in the Fodor's Norway tour book. European style circus, British comic, 3 Irish tenors, magic show (very good). Best was on last day- navigators talk about yes- navigating. Very interesting and fun.
I wish more movies on the in room TV- nice screen. Nice library.
Very nice ship. All staff very over attentive. Looked new and very clean. Fancy shops with a Picasso etc. We were the only ship to use the dock in Gerienger- saved lots of time not to be tendered. Others didn't for $$ reasons. Our captain did use the docks as a lot of wheelchair passengers and he wanted to accommodate. People from other cruise ships not very happy about the waits to get on the tendered boats.
The tours were done well and the same price as if arrange on own. Best to be in second bus load as often only 1/2 full (don't be early for tour they go the full first buses- come just on time-don't be late either) We took a rib boat tour on the Gerienger fjord- very well done and got up close to the water falls. Other town tours, Bergen downtown walk, Sunland museum of old farm houses and Viking boats. Stave church tour. All good. Hop on and hop off buses not take you the same places- I checked it out before trip and taxis $$$$. Other public transportation not convenient to the places I wanted to go. We went on our own in Stravanger -walked to Petroleum Museum in Stavanger and around the old city- very nice. Cannery tour a hoot too.
Ship out from Southampton and mostly Brit passengers- so food very British but good. Indian curries, fish and chips, steaks Brit deserts of spotted dick and sticky toffee cake etc. Always lots of salad makings. Really good pork , to order fish fillets. Never ate in the main dining room- my husband's preference. Mostly Brits on ship - from " wealthy - this is our 110th cruise" to people who had saved up for years to go on their first cruise. All very friendly and nice with Brit sense of humour. As cruise after school started not many kids and then babies or toddlers only.
Getting on and off a dream. Very very well organized and even though almost 3,000 people- never seemed crowded. On boarding day and last day at sea, buffet area with lots of people but lots of food, no real lines and lots of free tables.
All in all a very good experience. If I ever cruised again I would look for a Celebrity cruise.