Nordlys Review

First time cruisers

Review for the British Isles & Western Europe Cruise on Nordlys
Lea Di
First Time Cruiser • Age 70s

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Sail Date: Sep 2023

We sailed on the Nordlys from Bergen to Kirkenes northbound for 6 nights. We had booked an outside cabin midships Deck 6 with a slightly obstructed view by life rafts so that we didn't have anyone walking past as you would on Deck 5. A couple of days before sailing we were contacted by the Ships Tour guides and offered a suite as an upgrade for a much reduced rate - which we decided to take up. (Deck 6). We certainly made the right decision. There are only six of these suites on board and they have bay windows on the side so that you have a 180 degree view sitting in the comfort of your sofa. This certainly beat trying to vie for a seat on the 7th floor viewing deck. We also had a lovely welcome pack, of champagne, chocolates, and nibbles etc, lovely. The suite had heaps of storage, floor space, coffee/tea making, bar fridge and a sizeable bathroom with a large shower. It is more towards the back of the ship where the jacuzzis are, but quiet. Our last day was in rough seas where quite a lot got seasick including us, but our friends didn't so I'm not sure if it didn't help that we were further back in the ship. We still made the right decision.

We took all our meals in the buffet section as this was included and the staff were very attentive and the food was plentiful. I am coeliac and therefore gluten free. I had advised the office by phone call in Australia before leaving and they had noted it. I also emailed Hurtigruten and they added it to my profile, yet I was not down as a gluten free meal at the restaurant! It was very disappointing until I had mentioned it to the waitress, Ines, and she sorted it out and it improved from then on. She was wonderful and always made sure I had gf bread on my table at night. I do have to say that I think they could improve in this area. The bread, crackers and toaster were in a certain position for breakfast, but on more than one occasion I watched non gluten free bread being fed into the toaster because people either didn't understand the concept or language on the sign, or were impatient for the other toasters provided. Then at lunch and dinner they moved the gf bread and crackers to another spot which doesn't help the non-gluten free people realise that this area is not to be contaminated. Continuity would be a good thing. The staff were very helpful with the buffet and everything was marked. I would have liked to have seen an effort be made to provide gf pancakes or a pastry as well. Drinks are very expensive as elsewhere in Norway, roughly AUS$20-25 for a glass of wine and we didn't dine in the Bistro or the A la Carte restaurants. The housekeeping staff were always cheery and helpful as well. We had two excursions booked - NorthCape which we loved - a bus trip to the Cape and then a wander around for a decent length of time (1 hr?) and the other one was to be Meet the Vikings in the Lofotens but this was cancelled because there were only 12 out of the 15 required for the trip. What a shame. We were very disappointed. A refund arrived in our account after our return home, as we had prepaid before boarding. The Guide Team are amazing. Their talks are always amusing and interesting with lots to learn about Norway and its history and culture. Always ready to be helpful and explain. This was our first ever cruise so I can't compare it with a huge cruise ship that has entertainment, services such as hairdresser etc, and stabilisers, but that's not what we wanted, so we found this just what we hoped for. Very interesting with lots of little stops in communities that don't have any other means of transport, and the scenery is breathtaking. We even saw the northern lights twice which is a bit iffy for this time of year. Wow!! If you add the southbound cruise as well, the concept is that you get to see the places during the day, that you slept through at night going north. Maximum of 590 this ship with only a few children sighted so mostly the older generation. I should add that we were careful, using the hand sanitising where provided liberally, and being careful using the tongs etc at the buffet and touching the hand rails, but we didn't really see any sign of covid on the ship with only the occasional person wearing a mask.

Cabin Review

a suite with large queen (?) bed, plenty of floor space (the luggage fits under the bed),lots of cupboard space and a large bathroom, with a decent sized shower, toilet and large under sink unit with another cupboard as well. Floor heating could be turned on (this was handy for washing underwear and leaving it to dry on the floor) in the bathroom as well. There was a curtain that could be pulled across half way across the room, to separate the bed from the sitting area which consisted of a sofa, coffee table, another single chair, a desk, bar, fridge etc and the lovely bay window for viewing. This window had blockout blinds as well as curtains. A mini bar was provided at cost. Robes also provided. Toiletries were in dispensers on the shower wall and at the sink. Coffee maker (with pods and replenished) and kettle were also provided.

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