This was the first ever cruise for both me and my partner. Cunard wasn't our first choice. We had planned to go with Celebrity Cruises on recommendation however there were a few snags with the cruise we were considering and we looked for an alternative which happened to be this cruise with Cunard. Honestly we weren't aware of the Cunard reputation when we booked and we were a little bit daunted when we read online about the high standards and strict dress-code.
We flew down to Southampton and it cost about £20 in a taxi from the airport to the port (which seemed a bit steep really). We were met at the port by friendly staff who took our cases. The embarkation system was very organised. We were a lot earlier than our scheduled time but this wasn't remarked upon. The only issue was a problem with the bridge (which seems to be fairly common with this ship) which meant that everyone present had to wait 30 minutes or so to board. We weren't bothered by this but some other guests seemed really annoyed and impatient! Once we got on board, we found our cabin and the cases were left outside the room soon after.
The cabin was an Inside Deluxe on the first deck. Everything was very nice and met expectations. The main cabin was bigger than we expected with lots of storage space. The bathroom was smaller than expected but you do get used to it. The facilities on the ship itself were great. I won't go into detail because this information can easily be found elsewhere.
We didn't really have any time to look around. The airport and train station are smaller than expected but functional enough
We visited the Cathedral which was pretty. Sadly the famous stained glass windows were being repaired. We also visited the oil museum which was very interesting but full of school trips. One bonus of that place was the free WiFi! Stavanger is a moderately busy town but unfortunately the weather was very bad the morning we attended, although it apparently brightened up in the afternoon.
We were blessed with glorious weather on our day here. I would strongly recommend doing an excursion here because it is a very tiny town with very little to see otherwise. We did the Trollstigheimen Scenic Drive trip with Cunard. It wasn't cheap but the views were spectacular and really put the previous day in Flam to shame. This was definitely the better excursion, even if the guide wasn't as good as in Flam.
The 2nd biggest city in Norway and it is clearly very much a tourist trap. We did the Funicular up into the hills where there were some nice views. We also wandered around the famous fish market. There was clearly a lot to do in Bergen but we had to depart at 15.30 which was much earlier than the other ports and really we felt like we needed more time there.