Well we were a party of 4 and boarded the ship with some trepidation considering previous reviews of this ship/cruise. 2 of us had cruised before but on much larger ships with Celebrity and P&O so it was difficult not to make some comparison.
We all agreed that overall there was nothing whatsoever to be concerned about.
I'm afraid we would have to disagree with previous disappointed passengers as we had nothing but praise for the quality of the cruise, the captain and the staff.
- Embarkation quite smooth and quick, not really held to pre arranged times
- Cabins a bit small but very acceptable, bathrooms no smaller than other cruise ships
- We had a great cabin, good location midships and close to main Waldorf Restaurant
- General standard of the ship was very good and kept clean with constant attention from crew
- Meals in the restaurant were excellent, we liking our food, had more or less 6 - 7 courses each dinner. Yes appitizers, salad courses were small but expected. The soups and mains were perfect virtually every night
- We ate at 2nd sitting ( Table 45 near windows and our waiting staff Pedro and Sydney were brilliant and made our nights fabulous
- Bar bills not extortionate either £14-18 for a decent bottle of wine and beer cocktails good value, make the most of happy hour each day
- Bistro used for a few meals, particularly lunches and afternoon teas and yes it could be a bit of a bun fight but you have to be patient and not let things ( and moaners ) get to you. It can be difficult getting a table, especially on sea days but this we expected. Nothing compared to 3000 passengers fighting for the same meal and tables.
- After dinner shows were very good, OK not full theatre shows from the larger vessels but excellent for the size of the show lounge. We only had one show cancelled due to the very rough sea conditions which is a testament to the entertainment staff
- Cruise Director 'Dicky' Sykes as we nicknamed him was excellent and tireless. pity it seems he is moving onto pastures new after this cruise.
- The itinerary was just what we planned with limited sea days. We thought we would miss a key port of call Tromso because the captain decided to change route and dock overnight in Narvik due to awful snow blizzards and rough seas. Disappointed but later relieved as the Captain made the decision to cancel Sortland on the return leg and go to Tromso instead. A brilliant tactical decision which we couldn't fault
- So much so we had a 2nd Nothern Lights showing on board ship which was magical, the lights spread virtually all over the ship for what seemed ages......brilliant experience
- We did most of the sightseeing independently apart from Igloo Hotel ( brilliant ), Northern Lights ( fantastic and we spent hours at Alta Golf Course and caught the fantastic light display, Self Drive Husky Sled Riding ( absolutley brilliant, even our wives who were sled passengers were a bit scarred we managed not to tip the sled and had a great time.
Overall we had a fantastic cruise, excellent value for money and would recomend this without question
Some engine noise, more than we expected on this deck but we eventually got completwly used to this