At the end of August, I was lucky enough to set sail on my very first cruise to the Norwegian Fjords for a week on a ‘girls holiday’; when I say girls holiday, I mean we took my nan and her wheelchair. I was full of excitement and nerves as we prepared for the cruise as I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I’ve heard so much about the posh formal wear and tonnes of food that I didn’t know how to prepare for the week. Well let me tell you now, if I could summarise my cruise in five words it would be: food, alcohol, food, food, stairs.
Norway itself is extremely beautiful! The fjords were an incredible view from both the boat and high points. I will be following up with some detail posts about each port we visited including my favourite stop offs, Bergen and Geiranger.
Every cruise is will be different depending on where you go and who you go with. We travelled with a small Essex based cruise company, Cruise and Maritime. Booking was easy and the agents incredible helpful when accommodating for my nans needs.
It’s best to start with the most important aspect of a cruise – the food. There’s a lot of it. My day would usually consist of breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, pizza, dinner and lastly late night snacks. You’ll get a bit chubs right? Don’t worry about it! God only knows how much walking I done that week, up and down the corridors and 9 flights of stairs. There were plenty of options available at every meal time and I don’t believe you could get bored unless you was onboard that ship for a year. Our waiter, Joseph, was so friendly and charming, making our dinner a real delight. There were formal and casual options available at all times which made great variety and options depending on your mood that day. If you didn’t feel like dressing up the you could just head to the buffet!
I’m a sucker for a song and dance so I absolutely loved the evening shows performed by the entertainments team. There was a show every evening that could be singing and dancing or a comedy club. As well as evening entertainment, plenty of activities were laid on throughout the day to keep you going such as exercise classes, games rooms, crafts, there was something for everyone! The general age of the cruise was around 60 plus but the night was still in full swing until late with a disco and karaoke!
Getting on and off the ship was super easy although sometimes a little chaotic, especially when needing to use the lifts for the wheelchair as they were always SO busy. We had one day where we had to get to land by tender which meant my nan wasn’t able to come but it was super easy to use if you was mobile enough.
The part I was most anxious about was the dress code because I was completely unsure on what to wear. During the day you could whatever you need and obviously if you was visiting a hot country (not like Norway!) you would probably be in your flip flops and shorts. There were 3 different evening dress codes – formal, semi formal, casual. For formal night, most men opted for a full suit and tie and ladies in dresses. I say most because not everybody would adhere to these rules and if you was happy to dine in the buffet, there was no reason you couldn’t dress casual those days. I thoroughly enjoyed the process of getting glamed up every evening although a small tip – I couldn’t wear my stilettos because the boat was so rocky and so so many stairs, so each night I turned to my chunky black heeled boots.
My room was basic but perfectly practical for everything I needed. I had my own room with a port hole which gave me some idea of where we were when we was on the move.
I absolutely loved my first cruise and I cannot wait to do another. It allowed me to experience multiple destinations that I wouldn’t have usually chosen. I understand that cruising isn’t for everybody – the travel time is a lot longer than hopping on a plane but your holiday starts as soon as you set foot onto the ship.