We are a family of four, with children ages 9 and 7. We traveled with my mother who also had a friend on board. There was something for each of us! The kids are BEGGING to go on another cruise. They utilized the kids area, the pool, the ping pong tournaments and all the excursions.
Our stateroom was a balcony on 11 and I would recommend it. I would NOT recommend the cabins on 10, specifically those that are closest to the pool area. The large video screen that plays movies is in very close proximity to the 10th floor staterooms and the noise level is evident.
Space: we put one kid in the room with my husband and I and the other kid in my mom's room which connected. We did fine on space with 3, but we used every nook and cranny. My mom and daughter and more than ample room with just 2 people. I think trying to get 4 in there would be tight. Of note, this was a Norway cruise, so we had to bring warmer (i.e. bulkier) clothes. We also all brought hiking boots for pulpit rock. Clothes for the Carribbean would not require as much space as we needed.
Smoking: not an issue for this cruise. I only saw one person smoking on a balcony over the 14 days, and I was out there daily. The casino was virtually deserted. Maybe less than 20 people in it at any given time. A handful of those would smoke. The exhaust system seemed to work well for this low level of required work.
The lido is organized differently than other ships. There are multiple different stations (for lack of better word) and it takes a bit for passengers to figure out the flow. The tables are frequently full at breakfast, but you can take your food out to the pool area (same floor). Crew members have all tables on 9 and 10 in the main pool area set for breakfast. Once we discovered this life got much better!
We had fixed dining for dinner in the MDR. The atmosphere was lovely. The food was just okay. I never had anything that was bad, but I also never had anything that was exceptionally good either. The exception is the one night that my husband and I ate at Pinnacle Grill- that food was outstanding. Service was good. Our beverage guy the first week was better and more friendly than the beverage guy the second week. Otherwise, every single member of the dining room team was exceptional.
My mom and her friend enjoyed the shows each night in the World Stage. That isn't my cup of tea so my husband and I would relax in the Crow's Nest and enjoy a few drinks. We did occasionally take in some of the live music and it was phenomenal.
The ship does inundate you with invitations to art auctions and jewelry shows. That did get a bit annoying. I would have loved to opt out of all those invites on my door each day.
This was our first cruise on this line and I had been warned that it was more of a senior cruise line. I know with this ship HAL is trying to bring in more families and I would say they succeeded in that. I would jump at the chance to sail on this ship again.
Highly recommend this cabin. The 11th floor was so quiet but offered great access to the outdoor track on 11, the kids area and ping pong area on 10, the pool on 9 and the fitness center on 8. The aft stairs/elevators are the only ones to these cabins. Yes, the restaurants are further away, but with a family we found much of our going/comings were in these activity areas.
Plenty of space for 3 people to unpack.
I enjoyed the ferry boat that took us around the islands in the area. We then took a coach to the quaint town of Lillisand. However, we were literally only there 30 minutes. Not sure if something happened earlier that put us behind schedule? COuldn't believe we had such a short time there, and that was the name of the excursion!
Loved it! You must have adequate clothing though. You will need waterproof windbreaker and actual hiking boots. You are not walking on a dirt trail. The entire 2 hours up in on rocks, save for maybe less than 5 minutes. Your ankles are twisting in every direction and you need good balance. There were people who carried umbrellas and this was VERY annoying. While it helped the people holding them, they were a complete hazard for those around them. Please bring a rain jacket instead.View All 76 Pulpit Rock Reviews
Beautiful. We did the train plus coach for the full day inland experience. Highly recommend.View All 212 Flam Railway Reviews
Great port. We just walked around. Everything to see is within a 20 minute walk of the port. Highly recommend lunch or dinner at the fish market.
We were scheduled for a different excursion (hiking a glacier) but due to weather that excursion was cancelled. When we went to rebook there were few options left. We took this one. It is just a bus ride to 3 different lookouts around the area. The lookouts were lovely. There are a bunch of white-knuckly hair pins turns, so it is not for the faint of heart. When we got to the highest lookout (Dalsnibba) it was snowing and we were in a complete fog. Couldn't see more than 10 feet in front of us.View All 75 Mount Dalsnibba Reviews
You MUST book an excursion here. There are no local tours to do and the town is small. It is super quaint but you only need about 2 hours to see/do everything.
Many places to just walk from the boat. We pre-booked a private tour to Edam and Marken which was much more in-depth than what you get through the large coach tours. We also got to tour a very interesting windmill.