Midnatsol Cruise Review by bcli: Superb
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Europe - British Isles & Western
This is one one of the most comfortable ships we have ever been on.
The common areas are beautiful. We did not anticipate an experience this good.
The cruise is not like anything else we have experienced. Because it makes so many stops both crew and passengers constantly change. While they offer many excursions there is not the 'group' feeling that you get on other lines.
Most of the passengers are European so there is an interesting diversity. The scenery is better than anything you can imagine.
We joined the ship in Kirkenes and sailed south to Bergen. While Hurtigruten offers package deals we booked everything independently and actually did save.
There are a few cabins on deck 7 that are slightly larger than the others .. it is evident on the ships diagram .. it is worth it to arrange your trip to get one of them. There are HUGE porthole windows in those cabins that offer a terrific view of the passing scenery. We chose a cabin on More the port side and while much of the cruise has magnificent scenery on both sides of the ship the port side on the south bound cruise offered a view of each village the ship stopped in. I would assume the same is true on starboard side on northbound voyages.
The food is excellent and abundant however do not expect the usual 'feed them every hour' that you might experience on other lines. Dinner is a single entree choice and on our cruise fish was served all but two nights. They will accommodate you if you are averse to fish - I am but chose to skip the main course rather than ask for an alternative. Breakfast and lunch are openin seating and there are two seatings in the veneing but I never saw the dinig room full.
Forget the coffee deal unless you want to have a cup in your hand throughout the voyage.
We took the North Cape excursion and enjoyed it .. the best was the Sea Eagle excursion as it says in the description it is 2 hours you will remember for a long time.
The cabin is small but not cramped. we were told to bring a wash cloth but it is not needed HOWEVER the soap is liquid and there is no shampoo so think about packing those items.
There is a 24 hour cafe BUT prices will take you breath away. Best to get off when ship stops and get snack etc at nearby convenience stores.
Norway is a brutally beautiful country and while the US has many areas that might resemble it there is nothing like it.
In Bergen the ships docks quite a distance from town so arrange to have the bus drop you at the hotel you have chosen or the airport. Nothing in Scandinavia is 'reasonable' but compared to taxis the buses are a bargain. There is a bus service from Kirkenes airport to the ship and vice versa .. use it. I have never been as relaxed nor enjoyed a cruise more than I did this one.
The Hurtigruten people on the ship are excellent BUT I found that many of the selling agents are not as knowledgeable many of the things curious travelers want to know. So check other reviews to see if there are legitimate answers to your questions.
There is an information center with all the details you could ask for about excursions and where the ship is going and they do make occasional announcements about things to see. Just remember this is kind of like being a passenger on a FedEx flight. The multiple stops delivering and accepting small cargo is what the line is about the passengers are a nice way to get additional money for it. I can guarantee you will not be disappointed in the beauty of the landscape the impressiveness of the ship and the comfort of the entire voyage.
Whatever you do do NOT miss the Norway in a Nutshell through Flam. It was unquestionably the highlight of the trip.
One other tip .. if I had to do it again I would skip the southern portion of the trip either joining the ship in Trondheim or leaving it. You can get train, plane, bus and rental car transportation from Trondheim and while the southern coast has much to see the real majesty is in the north.
One final note: if anyone from Hurtigruten management reads this .. the marketing of this ship and the description and sales experience is sadly lacking. Many of the sales agents have never even been on one of the ships! While it may seem as perfunctory as selling an airline or train ticket it is not. This trip was so much more than we expected based on what we read in the brochures and saw on line. There are so many ways today to flatter the experience that simply are not being done. Give the ship and the cabins and the experience as much video exposure as possible. Less
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Cabin review: 705
Small but adequate. Great viewing from large porthole. Surprisingly large number of TV selections usual cramped bathroom with liquid soap and usual green program for towels etc. Easily used electrical outlets and wall mounted hair dryer. Larger than usual shower space. Excellent lighting.. overhead, bed night stand and over mirror in desk/makeup area. Closet and drawers easily accommodated clothes for two. Very comfortable queen bed.
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