We had a great holiday. I was grateful for all the help I found out on forums like this one beforehand so I wanted to leave behind some tips that would have helped me plan my holiday in the hope it will be useful for others.
1) Excursions. The places we visited were the highlight of the holiday, particularly Lofoten Islands and North Cape. Be warned that the ship excursion prices were ridiculous and you could do anything you wanted at a fraction of the cost. I watched some of the excursion tour talks which actively said that you wouldn't be able to do private tours in locations like North Cape and Lofoten Islands - Absolute nonsense. We had various options everywhere to choose from at every stop ranging from organised tours (which tied into the ship's timetable which at at a stroke put pay to the Princess fear mongering that doing things privately meant you might get left behind) to getting on a local bus or hopping into a taxi - this might sound scary to some but it was simple and easy to do - everyone in Norway appeared to speak fluent English and all the services we used were well used to catering for cruise passengers. We had not pre-booked anything and bought all our tickets etc on the day with no issues whatsoever,
Some of the ship's tours cost around USD250 per person! I still don't know whether I am jealous of the people who can spend that in every port on top of paying for a holiday or whether I am astounded by why anyone would go on this when you can recreate it simply and easily yourself at a fraction of a cost with no risk. I repeat - NO RISK. For example I think the Princess trip to the the Viking Museum in the Lofoten Islands was 150 USD per person. Our family of 3 did the entire thing for under USD 80 (that is all in, not per person) with the freedom to do what we wanted when we wanted and not stuck with everyone on a coach. As I have said, if I had paid attention to the tour excursion talk I would have believed it would have been impossible to do this independently. The museum was amazing: Longboat trip, axe throwing, archery, lunch in a viking chieftain's house of lamb stew cooked in a pot over a fire, washed down with mead! We had a great time.