Our Arctic Circle cruise was wonderful. We loved every minute of it. First, the ship itself is lovely. We're two older adults who enjoy fine dining, art and leisurely travel- so we had a perfect vacation. The waiters and stewards and everyone on the shop was just as kind as could be. The food- we had the Ultimate Meal Plan- was perfection. We ate in Chops almost every night. We tried Giovanni's Table, but we liked Chops better. Even for at sea lunches we ate at Chops. How much filet mignon and rack of lamb can a person eat? I don't know- a lot. I certainly never got tired of it. I did try the Branzino (declious), the Ribeye (wonderful) and my husband got the salmon once (superb) but most we had mignon and rack of lamb...mmmmmmm Wish I had some now! And that mushroom soup! OMG- so delicious. Also delicious, every single side dish. And we often ordered every single side dish. On At Sea days we just ate two meals- our Chops lunch and dinner- so we could stuff everything in.
The cruise ports- Tromso, Haugesand, Kristiansand, Alesund, Flam, Molde- were a lot of fun and very interesting. We sometimes took two tours- just to make sure we got a good one. For example, in Flam, we thought for SURE we'd like the train trip, but we had booked the one in which you do not get off the train at the top, so it was kind of a let down (15 minute throng to take pictures on the midway platform- was kind of afraid I'd be pushed off the platform.) But our second trip, which I did not think would be all that great, was up to the Segastein Overlook and was fantastic. Crazy, scary bus ride (if you have a fear of heights, skip this one)- but it was just gorgeous scenery. I've never seen a more beautiful overlook! Some tour operators were out of practice and had poor English skills- that was unfortunate but not Royal Carribean's faults- the Covid pause created a lack of tour guide expertise, but even so we had some wonderful guides- and made sure to tip them accordingly. We tipped 100 Kroner for excellent guides and 50 for mediocre and nothing for the really awful ones who did nothing.
Our cabin with the extra large balcony (8670) at the back of the ship was the best. I often sat out there or reclined in the chaise. We had 2 of each and 2 tables- one low and one high. I bought plastic wine goblets so we could drink wine out there in the evening (frequently the rest of the wine we'd bought at dinner- you get 40% off your bottles of wine with the Ultimate Meal Deal). The bed was comfortable, the pillows were VERY nice- possibly some of the firmest biggest pillows I've ever slept on outside of my own house and there was plenty of room for all our stuff.
Wonderful, spacious cabin with very comfortable bed. Small but efficient shower and plenty of storage space. LOVED the big balcony!!! I spent a lot of time out there. Such a treat.
Romdalsmuseet was REALLY worthwhile- loved the children dancing and singing and loved the old houses preserved for the museum. Some of the other spots were not as good, but this made the whole tour worthwhile.
St Olaf's Church and a Viking Village- this was a terrible tour. First, the Viking Village was much too far away for many of the people in our group- the path was very steep and it was quite far. I am disabled and just made it there and then had to turn around without seeing much so I could get to the bus on time. I did better at the walk then a lot of other people who were older than I am. The village seems to be more for children- and for them I am sure it is perfect! St Olaf's church was ok, but it's just a very plain church. There is a Viking museum, which is nice, but we weren't given much time there. IF you have the choice of another tour- take it. I think there was a waterfall we could have gone to and I wish we had done that instead. The people on that tour loved it.
Really enjoyed the Vest Agder museum a LOT. I'm a sucker for these ancient preserved buildings AND there's a miniature tiny town in a huge building AND a museum (mostly world war stuff). I enjoyed this place so much that I wish we'd had a lot more time. I could not listen to the guide for the whole time AND get pictures of everything- but the guide was so good I wish I could have done both. Also the gift shop, though small, is lovely and the jelly there (Elderflower for me) was superb.
We loved little Flam. Of all the places we went, this is the one I want to come back to. Would love to spend some time just chilling here- and eating raspberry croissants at the Flam Bakeri. Also, it's a gorgeous place. I could easily spend a week here. Would love to ride the first train of the day (which apparently isn't crowded). Would love to take a break at the top. This town is small but perfect. I do wish we had not done the train trip which was just up and back- but if I had not done it I would have imagined it was better than it was.