We chose this 14 night cruise because of the itinerary and the experience of a new ship. The ship is beautiful but probably a bit too big for us as there was some very noisy areas due to the number of passengers onboard.The ports were fantastic especially the fjords. The dining room we were assigned to (The Panorama restaurant ) was fantastic as were the staff. So Attentive and friendly and our glass of wine was always filled without having to get anyone's attention.. Food in the dining room was probably some of the best cruise food we have had actually. We enjoyed everything. The buffett was far too noisy and crowded but the food seemed to be good with plenty of variety. We don't do buffets but a couple of early excursion days we had too.
A TIP. Take some zip lock bags and make up some rolls and some pastries from the buffett to take on your port days it saved a lot of money off the ship. If you eat always in the buffets and dont try the complimentary dining rooms and you complain about food and service then that is your own fault as it is an entirely different experience and our dining room experience was fantastic. I'm not usually a fan of set tables, set dining times and set dining rooms but it actually worked out really good for us as during our 2 weeks we had some really great company and looked forward to seeing them each night at the same table. We also had the option of breakfast and lunch at the panorama restaurant. which was fantastic also. Why anyone prefers walking around buffets with a plate in their hand as opposed to being waited on with a nice table setting , cutlery, glasses (not plastic cups) and a menu is beyond me. Kids I understand.
Our inside cabin was very very roomy and always clean. Except for 2 days I had to ask for it too be made up. We had been forgotten. We actually found very little storage space in the very very large inside cabin. I actually had to work out of my suitcase a bit during the 2 weeks. Maybe a 2 seater sofa with draws at the bottom would be a good addition to the very large empty floor space or even another cupboard. 2 people could actually lay down and do yoga on the floor. I did actually have a lot of trouble sleeping at night but that was really down to rude passengers slamming cabin doors, yelling and laughing as they passed through the corridors. Why aren't people more thoughtful we were always very mindful that others could possibly be sleeping. Lack of manners I guess. Some were even very rude and wouldn't let you out of the lift before getting in themselves.
Service at the bars was good but a lot of passengers so what can you expect if you have to wait.
ANOTHER TIP. the indoor pools and jacuzzis are always empty on port days so best time for a dip in peace.
As for the shows they were ok, but we gave up after the 2nd time as people seemed to keep coming in through out the whole performance and walk in front of you or get you to stand up so they can get past you. Try being on time so everyone can enjoy the shows without disruption. We do.
We had an easy drink package with drinks valued up to 6 euro. dont go over as you are charged for the whole drink not just the differance. We were actually quite happy with our package as there were 6 different kinds of wine to choose from mostly Italian house wines (nothing wrong with italian house wine, great in fact) 2 sparkling, 2 whites a rose and a red.. only 1 beer type though. 4 spirit types which you could mix with tonic, sodas etc. bottled water. juices, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and even cappuccino.
ANOTHER GOOD TIP order the non alcoholic cocktails and a spirit on the side and mix them together. My Coco loco zero with a side of rum added turned out to be a nice coco loco cocktail. Alcoholic cocktails were not included in our package. but i still managed to get my fix without paying extra.
I do have a few of complaints though.
1.I had to fight to get a box of tissues for the cabin they apparently don't provide these any more.
2.And you could not order an iron and ironing board for an hour or so and a lot of my clothes were wrinkly after such long flights so i didn't get to wear everything and had to recycle and there is only a small clothes line in the shower. I take a mini clothes circle with pegs attached. Laundry prices were outrageous even for just a garment pressed.
3. The speciality dining package is very inflexible as you can't pick the restaurants you want to attend only the ones they pick for you.
4. The easy drink package could not be used in the speciality dining you would of had to upgrade your drink package by 10 euros per person per night. So because of these 2 things we did not eat speciality dining. But I don't think we missed anything as the food in the dining room was great and our easy package was adequate.
5. I also think as on other ships someone on the food areas monitoring hand sanitation would be a good idea. Not everybody is hygenic.
Overall we enjoyed our cruise, food was great, staff friendly and the ports were good. A cruise is what you make of it. So don't sweat the little things too much and focus on the great. And there is plenty of that on the ship if you look for it.
Good roomy cabin, And with so much empty floor space more storage would be a great area.