We went on "A Taste of the Arctic" cruise and after that taste, we now want a belly full!
From start to finish it was just extraordinary. We embarked without even realising (please remember we were first timers). I knew that an inside cabin would not be suitable for us but when we booked with the travel agents the only 3 rooms available were inside ones. Once on board at Reception we asked if there were upgrades available. Without any hesitation the Receptionist said there was - actually there were different upgrades available - outside cabin, mini suite, mini grande suite. We took a look at the mini suite which looked absolutely fine and then some! and were asked if we wanted to see the mini grande. We took a look and I fell in love all over again (this was our honeymoon!!). It was fabulous - big bay window that we sat it more often than not even though there was a sofa in the suite. Instead of just looking straight ahead we could look three ways - missing none of the wonderful scenery and gorgeous skies that cannot be described - it's a must to see them for yourself.
We took the opportunity to disembark in Alesund and had a quick mooch around but were itching to get back on the ship! We also took a city walk (unaccompanied) in Trondheim which was lovely but, once again, we wanted to get back on board.
The dining was wonderful - you are allocated a table for dinner which you use each night of your stay on board. The service was excellent, the food even better. We spent our days madly clicking on our new camera - the skies were different on one side of the ship to the other. We spent our nights doing the same because, yes, we got to see a glimmer of the Northern Lights - an experience that is also a must do.
The ship was just immaculate - the lifts moved without you realising. The Christmas Tree on board was enormous (the lifts surrounded the tree and we were able to see it from top to bottom). And to cap the Christmas theme, Mr Claus came on board in his Norwegian everyday gear! After dinner he did put on his hat and I have a picture but didn't get permission from him to reproduce otherwise I would.
There was entertainment on board but we didn't partake as we were able to entertain ourselves with the abundance of information available of what was to come the next day etc. A library, an Internet cafe, a shop, a sauna (top deck outside - we used it) - It really was like a small town that constantly changed its position on the globe! We took the opportunity to have an Arctic Baptism - what a shocker that was! A ladle full of ice cubes poured down your back courtesy of Neptune!
The cruise was not stuffy at all. No dressing up for dinner - totally formal service in a totally informal atmosphere. Everywhere on board was open to the seafarers - bar the Captain's area - we were like Children loose in a sweetshop!
We are basically reserved people but with these not so normal opportunities we grasped them with both hands. Carpe Diem as they say.
All in all an experience I wouldn't change for the anything. No longer sun-seekers we're fully Northern Hemisphere converts.
Here's to our next voyage!