We wanted to complete Norway and the Northern Lights for sometime and after looking at various options we decided on a cruise aboard the Oriana would probably be the best solution. We are very independent travellers, and had some reservations but thought a new experience would be a good idea - especially to get to the Arctic Circle.
The ship in general was fine, although we were delayed for 5 hours leaving Southampton and we lost all electrical power for 10 minutes on leaving Flam. In the dining room we often had a really bad 'vibration issue' on some nights from the engines or props - not a ship expert but it seemed to be directly under our table in the Oriental. Sindhu was very good, and we liked the Crows Nest and Andersons. We had 8:30 dining and the food and service was excellent.
The ports of call were;
Stavangar - Nice town, we did our own thing and explored the town and museums.
Tromso - Not long enough and a pretty poor tour by coach which was rushed
Alta - Saw Northern Lights from back of boat in Alta, did not book the expensive P & O Northern Lights Tour as we though we would see them from the boat - and we did.
Flam - Spectacular location took the Norway in a Nutshell tour and overall good - just too many people - not something we are used to.
Overall fantastic scenery with lots of snow covered mountains and fjords.
Bad outbreak of flu on-board which affected many people and for our last few days we were both very ill. I suppose when you have nearly 3000 people confined within a small area it was bound to happen.
You do not have the freedom 'normal' holidays offer and you only get a 'taster' of each location. For Northern Norway it was fine for us, but I would not go on another cruise, its just not for us.
Cabin was clean but small and much like a caravan. Service though was excellent throughout the cruise in all areas, no complaints there.
The cabin unfortunately was directly below the Gym and the treadmills, so from early morning until evening we could often hear them which was a real issue for my wife.