Port of Departure and arrival "The Port of Tyne" Embarkation went smoothly but on arrival the crane used for the luggage broke down so we were delayed about 1 and a half hours.
The food was excellent although we had most of our meals in the Secret Garden as we prefer the more informal atmosphere and you can miss courses out, etc. We went in the restaurant twice for breakfast, the first time the waiter did not bring the correct order and the second time the tea was like sludge. The service in both restaurant and secret garden was not of the same standard as other cruise lines. In fact the breakfast service the last morning in the Secret Garden was atrocious. Cabin cleaning was excellent.
We did not avail ourselves of any trips and some of the information given in the talks about the ports was not accurate. For example, although the lecturer talked about Copenhagen and the Tivoli Gardens he made no reference to the fact that it was closed for the winter months. At Kristiansand we were told there was a town train opposite the ship which would give us an hour tour of the town. We met some people who had just returned and they said "don't go on that - it is a rip off" The other lecturer's delivery was very poor.
Entertainment, the violinist Michael Bacala was excellent. I cannot find words to describe it - his performance was superlative. Berni Flint, the comedian was very good and the the entertainment providing by members of the crew was excellent, but the entertainers by the ship's entertainers we thought were not as good as on other cruises.
Having said all this we made some good friends and the food was excellent and we would do another cruise with Olsons.