Midnatsol Cruise Review by Lovespending: A wonderful experience and way to see the Northern Lights.
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A wonderful experience and way to see the Northern Lights.
I was part of the Astronomy Voyage on this 12 day on the Hurtigruten Cruise so will break into 2 parts.
Cruise- The embarkation process from the Hurtigruten building was painful. We were advised to be there from 2-4pm and staff would be available to assist. I arrived at 3pm and there was no one there till 5pm and we didn't get through the check in process till 6pm. There were minimal seats and no refreshments available so there was lots of standing around waiting. Safety briefing was comprehensive.
Cabin was very clean and comfortable. Mattress was not, but a new topper was put on the bed once I asked reception.The beds were very narrow for someone use to sleeping in a queen size bed. Standard or room cleaning very high. Towels in bathroom were small and very worn. Only wall soap provided which was a bit harsh. Hair dryer provided. No tissues provided which would have been nice and no tea/coffee making facilities in cabin which would have been nice. You can purchase More a mug which entitles you to free tea/coffee from the lounges at any time, but it would have been nice to have one in cabin when you get up. I don't drink coffee, but was told it was satisfactory and the tea provided was Twinings brand, and a good variety of choices.
Food was exceptional. Breakfast was a buffet style with lots of choices of both hot, cold, fruit, cereals and yoghurt. Hot chocolate was exceptional. My only complaint was there was no toaster to toast the beautiful choices of bread there were. Lunch was a buffet as well with both hot and cold choices. Dinner was a set menu and table service. There was only once choice but if you didn't eat something and let them know prior in the day, they will make you something different. Only having one choice bothered some, but was fine with me. Lots of fish on offer!! They had a traditional Christmas buffet one night which was beautiful with lots of seafood and traditional Norwegen foods.
Staff were very helpful and always friendly. Everyone from the captain to the housekeeping staff said good morning when they passed.
Excursions were a mixed bag. Lots were not available and they need to update their list. Some were very expensive for the length of time they were and seemed very rushed. All were costly. The 2 outstanding ones were the trip to the Northern cape (which has a great gift shop) and the dog sledding. We had lots of fresh snow that afternoon and falling as we did it which was beautiful.
Entertainment- well there isn't much to speak of. There was a singer in the upstairs bar and TV's in the lounge area, but was nothing other than this. The ship has a large auditorium where they could have put on an evening movie for those wanting to do something other than drink or talk.
Astronomy Voyage- Dr John Marsden was the astronomer on board. This man is passionate about his profession and was a dynamic and interesting speaker. Some things tended to go over my head at times, but for the most part it was informative and interesting. The trip was coordinated by Inger Carter who is a native of Norway and provided us with lots of useful information on Norway and the life of its people that we would otherwise not have got. She also took those in the group on a short walking tour of the area when stopped in port. Often things had to be shuffled around to fit in with other groups who were on board and she did this brilliantly by keeping all of us informed of any changes. A job very done by all and we were lucky enough to see the northern lights 4 nights in a row.
In a nutshell, this was a trip of a life time. It was not cheap, but I think as an experience, it was worth it. It would have been nice to see some extra touches like shampoo and tissues in the bathroom as the suite's had and tea and coffee making facilities in cabins. They definitely need to improve the check in process. Less
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