The boarding process went very well. A bit of a hassle checking in baggage due to two ships boarding and departing at the same time. Delay for baggage check in and safety briefing was less than 15 minutes. The cabins are as advertised in ... Read More
The boarding process went very well. A bit of a hassle checking in baggage due to two ships boarding and departing at the same time. Delay for baggage check in and safety briefing was less than 15 minutes. The cabins are as advertised in the brochures, not typical big cruise ship cabins. We found our cabin (610) to be very comfortable with a large closet for hanging clothes with 8 hangers, a spacious 7 shelf floor to ceiling closet for folded items with a safe, a long up high shelf over the bed, and night stands on both sides of the bed. The bath was larger than expected and well appointed with two shelves under the sink and two shelves in the shower area. Note that like most Scandinavian hotels/cruise ships the Spitsbergen does not furnish wash cloths so bring your own if desired. The typical pull out clothes line is available in the bath. The bed was large and comfortable with separate duvets and two pillows on each side.
Breakfasts were buffet style with an variety of dishes both hot and cold including typical US and British breakfast items, fish, fruit, cheese, juice, coffee, tea, and at least a half dozen breads and rolls. Lunch was also buffet style with a large varied choice of hot items, a daily soup, cold meats, sea foods, fruits, breads, cheeses, coffee, tea, and outstanding cakes and other deserts. Dinner was a three course affair with unique dishes served each night usually sea food. Tap water is available at all meals at no cost if requested. A good selection of wines are available a bit on the expensive but not out of line with shore based restaurants in Norway.
Excursions are varied in length and quality governed in great part by the ships schedule. The Bodo Aviation museum, not mentioned in the ships literature is highly recommended for anyone with an interest. Onboard briefings are informative and interesting. Deck eight activities are nice when the weather cooperates. This is definitely a scenery cruise so don't expect nightly entertainment.
Disembarkation went very well even in the rain with plenty assistance from the Cruise director and staff. Without exception Shipboard personnel were pleasant, friendly and fun to talk to. Expect wind, rain, and cold on a totally different cruise and you will not be disappointed. In our opinion the six outside cabins forward on deck six are the best onboard the ship for comfort, location and convenience. The fitness center appeared to be worthwhile for those interested. Never saw it in use on this trip tho. Read Less