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We chose to travel on the Hurtigruten classic round trip 12 day voyage to see the coast of Norway, many ports of call and hopefully the northern lights. We were fully aware that the Ms Polarlys is a working ship but were extremely underwhelmed by the experience. Virtually all of the times of visits to ports of call were cut short as the ship nearly always arrived late but always left on time? This meant that we were on the ship for very long periods of time. This might have been bearable had there been things to do on board and food and drinks available at affordable prices. This could not have been further from the truth. The ship is essentially a ferry and other than a few on board talks and films there was really nothing else to do. Full board was included with our cruise however be aware that the meals are set menu. In Hurtigruten's case this means set menu with no choice of alternative. We only ate one meal in the main restaurant, it was not to our liking and was of very small portions and clearly concocted as cheaply as possible. That first evening I complained about the lack of choice which was not taken well. I went through the ranks both on board the ship and with Hurtigruten in the UK and Norway, all this took almost 24 hours but the response, although consistent if nothing else was that I either pay NOK220 per person per day to eat in the a la carte restaurant or put up with the set menu. I contacted the cruise agent I had booked my trip with and they paid the supplement for me to have some choice of food and eat in the a la carte restaurant. With the exception of a small handful of staff on board the vast majority are at best indifferent towards the passengers and in many cases down right rude. From moment one we felt like an inconvenience to the crew on board and both the standards and service on board left much to be desired. Most of the crew on board the ship did nothing for the reputation of Norway or it's people and should be ashamed of themselves. Our cabin (524) was okay but the servicing of the cabin was hit and miss and on some days did not happen at all. The cost of everything on board the ship is outrageously expensive and other than the basic meals in the main restaurant this means absolutely everything. It is my opinion that the Hurtigruten philosophy is to charge as much as they can possibly get away with for as little as possible in return. There are other ships now offering similar routes, Hurtigruten did have exclusivity on the Norwegian coastal route up until a couple of years ago but thankfully this is no longer the case. The one and only positive was that after our cruise agent resolving the dining issue the food in the a la carte restaurant was very good and our waitress Mona was fabulous. Needless to say we would absolutely not recommend Hurtigruten to anyone else after our dismal experience on board MS Polarlys for 12 long days! Any ratings I have given I this review for dining relate to the main dining restaurant as this is the included option.

Poor quality service and standards from an opportunistic cruise operator!

Polarlys Cruise Review by andrewandneil

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose to travel on the Hurtigruten classic round trip 12 day voyage to see the coast of

Norway, many ports of call and hopefully the northern lights. We were fully aware that the Ms Polarlys is a working ship but were extremely underwhelmed by the experience.

Virtually all of the times of visits to ports of call were cut short as the ship nearly always arrived late but always left on time? This meant that we were on the ship for very long periods of time. This might have been bearable had there been things to do on board and food and drinks available at affordable prices. This could not have been further from the truth. The ship is essentially a ferry and other than a few on board talks and films there was really nothing else to do. Full board was included with our cruise however be aware that the meals are set menu. In Hurtigruten's case this means set menu with no choice of alternative. We only ate one meal in the main restaurant, it was not to our liking and was of very small portions and clearly concocted as cheaply as possible. That first evening I complained about the lack of choice which was not taken well. I went through the ranks both on board the ship and with Hurtigruten in the UK and Norway, all this took almost 24 hours but the response, although consistent if nothing else was that I either pay NOK220 per person per day to eat in the a la carte restaurant or put up with the set menu. I contacted the cruise agent I had booked my trip with and they paid the supplement for me to have some choice of food and eat in the a la carte restaurant. With the exception of a small handful of staff on board the vast majority are at best indifferent towards the passengers and in many cases down right rude. From moment one we felt like an inconvenience to the crew on board and both the standards and service on board left much to be desired. Most of the crew on board the ship did nothing for the reputation of Norway or it's people and should be ashamed of themselves. Our cabin (524) was okay but the servicing of the cabin was hit and miss and on some days did not happen at all.

The cost of everything on board the ship is outrageously expensive and other than the basic meals in the main restaurant this means absolutely everything. It is my opinion that the Hurtigruten philosophy is to charge as much as they can possibly get away with for as little as possible in return. There are other ships now offering similar routes, Hurtigruten did have exclusivity on the Norwegian coastal route up until a couple of years ago but thankfully this is no longer the case.

The one and only positive was that after our cruise agent resolving the dining issue the food in the a la carte restaurant was very good and our waitress Mona was fabulous.

Needless to say we would absolutely not recommend Hurtigruten to anyone else after our dismal experience on board MS Polarlys for 12 long days!

Any ratings I have given I this review for dining relate to the main dining restaurant as this is the included option.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 524
Our cabin was compact however we expected this. Cabin servicing was not good, twice our cabin was left not serviced and we had to ask for clean towels!

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews