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2 Tromso to Arctic Cruise Reviews

This was our first Silversea cruise, although we have done many cruises on other lines, including an expedition cruise to Antarctica on Ponant. We had originally booked another Ponant cruise, however it was cancelled in December due to ... Read More
This was our first Silversea cruise, although we have done many cruises on other lines, including an expedition cruise to Antarctica on Ponant. We had originally booked another Ponant cruise, however it was cancelled in December due to chartering of the ship, so we booked this after getting a great deal that included business class airfares from Australia. As we had previously done an expedition cruise we compared to that rather than on the larger mainstream lines. Our flight from Oslo to Tromso was delayed, so we arrived at the ship at about 3:30, on a Silversea transfer with about 20 other people. On arrival, we couldn’t get in to the gate,as security was on the gate and they had to wait for a staff member to let us in, we waited for about 10 minutes in light rain, with no cover, not exactly an ideal reception. On entering the ship check in was efficient and we were escorted to our room, a vista suite, first impressions, the room looked old and in need of a refresh, the bathroom was small with very little storage, the shower was large. Our butler introduced himself within 5 minutes, he showed us the room, but didn’t really explain how we could best use his services. We I’d ask for alcohol (although this information wasn’t forthcoming), we didn’t really warm to him, and that seemed to be the consensus of many in our area (mainly Aussies in this part of th ship), our maid was lovely and kept the room clean. We found the food to be generally very good, however I couldn’t get a poached egg cooked correctly the whole time (they always came out too raw), despite me requesting that the white was to be cooked, finally on the second last day, the maître de, organised for them to be cooked perfectly, other than that there was a few dishes we didn’t care for, but that was just personal taste. I longed for a fresh sandwich at lunch and would hav loved the option to make a sandwich if possible, the little dinner rolls just made it to difficult. I dont eat seafood or red meat, but I found something to eat most days, it would hav been nice to have chicken on the menu more regularly. We found the wines average, I finally found a white that i liked ( i prefer an oak Chardonnay) and they just didn’t have anything similar, i found most of the whites quite tart but eventually ordered the Macon Bousseir (?sp) nearly every meal. The expedition staff were great and it was very organised, getting on and off the zodiacs was easy (although not as easy as Ponant), some of the older passengers struggled though. We were disappointed that we weren’t advised about wildlife as promised, there was a pod of orca whales one night that we weren’t aware of. Would i return? It will be based on itinerary and price, I don’t think we would ever be loyal to Silversea, I just dont think they stood out as the 5 star they suggest they are. Service was good not amazing, staff were friendly, the rooms and ship looked old and a little rundown Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The Roald Amundsen is a beautiful ship, and I greatly enjoyed my cruise from Tromso to Longbyearen. That said, there were a few glitches that Hurtigruten needs to focus on. When I checked in, they had no record of me in the cabin I ... Read More
The Roald Amundsen is a beautiful ship, and I greatly enjoyed my cruise from Tromso to Longbyearen. That said, there were a few glitches that Hurtigruten needs to focus on. When I checked in, they had no record of me in the cabin I purchased ten months earlier. I booked a specific cabin (a suite) because I liked the location on the ship. In the last three months before the cruise, I had at least three conversations with Hurtigruten staff, who all acknowledged I was in the cabin I had chosen. The staff gave me a bigger room with a larger balcony, but that misses the point. What if that larger suite had not been available? Where would they have put me? When a guy books a specific cabin ten months in advance there should be no changes to that cabin without agreement in advance from the passenger. The Lindstrom dining room served great meals, but there was a problem here as well. Suite guests were supposed to be able to eat at Lindstrom every night. After I got checked in, I was told that they just figured out that they could not accommodate all the suite guests in a single, staggered sitting. This is a simple math problem – if you can’t figure out they you cannot accommodate all the suite passengers, then Hurtigruten should not be advertising meals in the Lindstrom dining room every night. So, we were only allowed to have dinner there every other night (half the nights of the cruise). That is a big drawback given the quality of the other dining choices. I felt a bit ripped off by not being able to eat there every night. We did eat breakfast there every morning and those meals and the alternate-day dinners in Lindstrom were all excellent. My compliments to Rona the head waitress, master-of-all. Hurtigruten also advertised that room service was available on the Amundsen from 0700 – 2300. On my first night I called down to get something to eat about 9:30 pm, as my body adjusted to all the time changes. The receptionist indicated that “room service was not available at this moment.” Okay, I said, what “moment” will it be available. I was then told it dining room service was only available during the hours that the restaurants are open. Again, this is at odds with what Hurtigruten was advertising aboard the Amundsen and that should never be the case. A second restaurant on board, also complimentary to suite guests, was the Fredheim. We ate here most nights that we could not eat in Lindstrom. They had a small selection (burgers, fish burgers, dumplings, quesadillas) but all was very good. The third restaurant, where we had a few lunches, was Aune. They had some great halibut one day, and I got a very decent daily salad there, but otherwise the fare left much to be desired. And this is really the only option for non-suite guests to eat, who all paid quite a bit for this cruise. If Hurtigruten wants to be in the luxury cruise business they need to do much better on the food they provide. They did have quite a bit of Asian fare, and all the Chinese aboard seemed satisfied. I have not been on all that many cruises but never in the past have I chosen to eat dinners from a lackluster buffet. Hurtigruten views their cruises as expeditionary cruises, and that is undoubtedly part of the reason they don’t worry about giving everyone a sit-down dinner every night. On my Arctic cruise, they had zodiacs they went out and some guests opted to go out in kayaks. This was all nice but a few bugs in the scheduling. I have been to Antarctica and Greenland on cruises so I am used to having internet outages. But on this cruise, even when we pulled in to Longbyearen on last day, we had to leave our cabins six hours before the buses would take us to our charter flight back and they did not have their internet working all this time that we were sitting around. Strangely, they did not have a working ship-intranet, so even though they told us to look at daily schedules on our TVs, they did not have the technology to provide the daily planners when they were outside of internet range (most of the whole trip). I would also have liked for the Captain to take us closer to glaciers and sea ice. This is a brand new ship built for expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica. We should have been able to pull closer. I have been on much larger ships in Antarctica and Greenland and those ships were able to navigate closer to glaciers. The cabin staff we had was excellent. The dining staff in Lindstrom and Fredheim was topnotch. And Ciselle, head of reception, came through when we needed her most. The Amundsen is a fantastic ship throughout. There is a great sauna with floor to ceiling window looking out at ocean. However, the gym was pretty sparse and should get a couple ellipticals to supplement the few treadmills. We took this cruise to see the rugged beauty of the Arctic and were not disappointed. Our upgraded room could not have been better. Dinners in Lindstrom were excellent, though they had the same menu each night. Hurtigruten needs to work out a few bugs, some major and some minor. I give the overall cruise a B+/A- ; had I not been in a great suite with at least limited access to the Lindstrom dining room this rating would be lower. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019

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