What an amazing experience overall with very little to fault!
Embarkation was swift, we used CP Parking and had priority boarding through our suite booking. It took us less than 20 minutes from arrival at the dock in our car to stepping on board the ship - couldn't have been any easier!
Once on board we did find that there was no assistance/help for those new to cruising to know where we should go or what to do! I felt this was the one element of the cruise that was a little bit of a let down. Safe to say we walked aimlessly around for a while before working out where to go.
All meals and food were fantastic. We had a mix of breakfasts at the Epicurian, the waterside buffet, the bay tree restaurant and on our balcony. All were wonderful. Lunches were taken at the waterside buffet or the poolside grill / pizzeria. Good choice and plenty available. We had select dining at the 6.30pm slot in the bay tree restaurant where we had the same table for 4 by the window each night. Our waiters Wilson and Suresh were exceptional and brilliant with the children showing them new drawings and tricks each night and serving up the odd extra chocolate treats!
Stavenger - we did our own thing here and just took a long walk around the different areas of the town, plenty to see and keep the children busy
Olden - amazing sail down the fjord - simply stunning. In Olden we did the beautiful Stryn exursion which was a lovely coach drive through the mountains stopping off at various points for photographs etc. It also included a stop at the national park centre for traditional pancakes, tea and a chance for the children to play at the small beach by the lake. definately our stand out day.
Alesund - we did our own thing in the morning climbing the 416 steps to the viewpoint high above the town. Stunning views but be aware it costs once you get up there to enter the viewpoint area with the cafe/toilets etc. In the afternoon we did the exursion to the Atlantic Sea Park - much nicer than the sea life centres in the Uk, but we did find that the 3 hours allocated was a little long - we were done in 2 hours and had to wait for the coach to return.
Bergen - biggest port of call and very busy with numerous cruise ships all in dock at the same time. Again we did our own thing and took in the sights of the old shopping quarter the park and lake and the fish/traditional food market.
Both children attended the Reef childrens' clubs in the evening - surfers and scubas and had an amazing time, meeting lots of new friends onboard. this enabled us to have time in the evening to relax and take in some of the entertainment on offer. The Beatles experience were fantastic as was the Astonishing magic show. Spice Girls tribute and comedian also good fun!
We felt the cleanliness of the ship and attentiveness of staff was excellent throughout.
Lovely suite with plenty of room for a family of four. Our cabin steward Rajesh was exceptional. Ample wardrobe space and lovely balcony at the rear of the ship not overlooked by anyone! Shower needs a slight repair as water leaked out of the cubicle onto the floor and needed mopping up after each shower. Whirlpool bath a lovely additional extra.
Very quiet with no noise from any other cabin or the floors above and below. End of corridor position meant a nice quiet week! Only slight downside is the vibration from the engines when docking in port each morning - but when there was so much to see and do, who would want to lie in anyway!!