We had been interested in a cruise along the Norwegian coast that would include some interesting, educational shore excursions both in Scotland and Norway. Unfortunately, one of the ship's four engines had to be taken out of service because of mechanical problems, forcing us to run the entire cruise on just the 3 remaining engines which greatly cut down our cruising speed (15 knots max instead of the normal 19-20 knots). This caused us to miss the Shetland Islands altogether (too narrow harbor with windy conditions to properly maneuver on just three engines we were told) and were late into ports that then required early departures to try to stay on our intended schedule of stops. For example, the brochure advertised into most ports by 8 a.m. and departures around 5 or 6 p.m. which wasn't possible due to our slow speeds and late arrivals (10 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. and out of port by 1 or 2 p.m. to be able to make the next port). Shore excursions also seemed somewhat disorganized as well as hasty or very abbreviated in part due to the chronic engine problem. The promise the engine would be fully repaired by the mid-point of our cruise in Tromso did not happen as the proper mechanics and repair equipment could not be obtained to fix what was malfunctioning on the engine at least in the time available, resulting in no repair to the end of our cruise in Bergen.
The brochure advertised shore excursion items, such as visiting the National Museum in Edinburgh, also did not match on board excursion planning ("We did not plan for that visit and never have!" - in spite of what the brochure had). The selected ports visited were very interesting if we had only had more time to see them.
The ship itself and cruise part was very nice in spite of engine problems. Food quality and variety in the on board restaurants was excellent as was the service. On board entertainment and lectures were for the most part also very good. The entire ship's crew were most pleasant and eager to please in room service, , information desk and so on. Cabins were very comfortable with excellent bathroom/shower and lounges most relaxing with live music, a library, games, good size indoor pool, shops, laundry rooms with dryers, etc. that made time spent aboard very pleasant. Atriums were open and spacious and well furnished.
Response from VikingS, Community Team
The queen bed very comfortable as was the sliding-door access to the veranda where we could sit and read or whatever. The bathroom was of good size with an excellent shower. A chair with desk in the cabin was useful and closet storage was adequate.