The 6 day cruise was to Norway (Bergen, Flam, Geiranger) and a brief call at Lerwick on the way back to the port at Newcastle - very useful for people living north of Watford Gap!!
Having read some of the reviews I wasn't sure what to expect - granted the Ocean Countess has seen better days, but on the whole it was fine and kept really clean. The crew were lovely and the food was exceptionally good, well cooked and there was plenty of choice. The entertainment was also exceptional - in fact we don't know how they managed to do so well given the relatively small space 'backstage'. Of particular note was the quiet piano lounge where we were entertained by a two young ladies - a pianist and a violinist. They were really very good. As always there is never enough time in the ports but we saw plenty of lovely scenery and will certainly be making an effort to go back to the Shetlands.
The only critisms I have is the time it took to 'tender' people off ie if you hadn't booked a trip you were left on board for up to 2 hours waiting - it made you feel a bit like a 2nd class citizen - and disembarkation at Newcastle took 3 hours - why?! My only other point is that the Port of Newcastle baggage handlers managed to damage both suitcases beyond repair. Some of the staff were also in need of a lessons in good manners.