Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, and returning to our home port of New York were reasons for choosing this cruise. Apparently this itinerary appealed to many well travelled travelers as there was quite an international complement of passengers. This made for many interesting dinner conversations learning about others’ travels. One guest told us there were around 400 passengers from Australia and from our encounters, there were also many from Canada and Europe as well as the USA.
We were incredibly lucky with good (actually great) weather in Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Greenland. “Not the norm” we kept hearing. The scenic cruising in Prins Christian Sund could not have been a more perfect day. The worst weather was on our sea days, culminating with the race to NY harbor, skipping Halifax, so we could arrive ahead of Tropical Storm Hermine. Captain Bert Vaartjes made smart decisions in order to keep everyone safe and ultimately it gave passengers an extra day to enjoy the sights of New York City.
We booked our air, transfer and hotel with Holland America for price and efficiency. We were very disappointed when we learned that they were using Scandic Palace Hotel on a weekend where there was a major public event taking place directly in front of the hotel. Noise, traffic and trash were major issues in the area surrounding the hotel. Not the best way to start a cruise and this has been conveyed to HAL’s Guest Relations. Unfortuately we did not have much time to enjoy Copenhagen due to our late arrival time and early transfer time to the ship, however we did enjoy dinner in Tivoili Gardens which was near the hotel.
Cabin was decent size but very limited storage. Virtually no drawers except for those in the night stand and none in the closets. Closets themselves are small and the lighting for them obscured if you have one of the doors open. Bathroom with combo tub/shower was good with shelf storage under the sink. The toilet was quirky and once began leaking from the wall in the middle of the night, making it necessary to call the plumber and the cabin attendant for clean up.Bedding was very comfortable with extra blanket and pillows stored underneath.There are different phones used in the cabins with no clear instructions as to how to retrieve messages.
We did our own excursion to Mt. Floyen and the Hanseatic Museum. Enjoyed beer and mussels wharfside in Bryggen at Sjoboden.
We walked to the Arctic Botanical Gardens which were lovely and did a very nice whale watching trip with Ambassador.
We took the Golden Circle Tour with GeoIceland and while there was beautiful scenery, it involved a full day of driving. The weather was great so there were many other tourists at Thingvellir, Gullfoss and the Geysir thermal area.
We booked a van through McCarthy's Party and visited Cape Spear, Signal Hill, Petty cove and Quidi Vidi Village. Larry was a great guide.
Copenhage is a fabulous city but unfortunately did not have any time to see some things we missed on our last visit. It was also the second time we have been there during Pride week so the city center is very busy. Diner in Tivoli was magical.