Cruise ship

What to expect from a cruise

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.

Cruise ship

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.

Xo lottie

  • Pingback: Molde Photo Diary | With Love, Lottie()

  • LaaLaa

    I’ve never been on a cruise, family friends have and loved the experience, so it’s good to see that you’re up for another after this one xo

  • I’ve long fancied going on a cruise they seem really relaxing and a nice way to see the world. Perhaps I will make it one day 🙂

  • This is one of my dream holidays, but my husband isn’t keen on the idea of a cruise. I don’t know if I could cope with all the formal wear though!

    • With Love, Lottie

      It’s incredible! Try and convince him 🙂 you can always go to the casual buffet restaurant instead x

  • I’d love to go on a cruise! I visited a cruise ship press day recently and it all looked so amazing.

  • We’ve been on a cruise and been to the Norwegian fjords but not at the same time – yet. I agree with your summary of a cruise, there was also far too much food on the one we went to – not good if you’re watching your weight!

    • With Love, Lottie

      I found that the ship involved a lot of walking and stairs so it kind of balanced out!

  • Looks a nice way to see the world! I visited Bergen last month but sadly not by boat – the fjords looks stunning!

  • We’d love to go on a cruise just to see the breathtaking views and the fine dinning. My mummy loves getting dressed up so would have been in her element in the evenings 😉

  • Clarissa

    would love to try something like this beautiful scenery

  • I have been on holidays but never been on a cruise before but my sister has a few times and she just loves it.

  • A cruise must have been a practical option with your nan, I’ve never tried one but I’d be open when the time comes x

    • With Love, Lottie

      that’s exactly why we chose it! 🙂

  • I would absolutely love to take a cruise to Norway – it’s such a beautiful country! I spent a week solo camping just outside Bergen this July and loved every moment of it.

  • I’ve always liked the idea of a cruise, but Im not sure I’d actually enjoy it! :/ I feel like I might get bored, or seasick! haha

  • I was hoping to do my first cruise this year but that was not to be. Definitely jealous of your cruise and hopefully I can do this next year

  • Laura

    I haven’t been on a cruise before as I’ve never felt as though they were for me. I do think I should try one at least once in my life as I could surprise myself! xxx

    • With Love, Lottie

      Try a mini cruise and see how you feel! I didn’t think I’d like it either X

  • I have never been on a cruise before. Would love to one day.

  • jigsawparenting

    oh wow I have never been on one before but would love too

  • Francesca Nelson

    I’ve never been on a cruise but its something I often wonder about! I get terribly sea sick though so I wonder if I’s just not enjoy it the entire time or if the vessle would be big enough to not really feel much!

  • I’ve never been on a cruise but would love to, it’s definitely on my bucket list x

  • I’m wanting to go on this exact cruise to be Fjords and those photos have just sealed the deal for me! I have always worried about dress codes for cruises so thanks for clearing that up!

  • Melanie Edjourian

    I’ve never been on a cruise before I hear they are lovely especially if you go through some in tropical waters as some of the places they stop at are amazing.

  • Pingback: Postcard Perfect Geiranger | With Love, Lottie()

  • Wow reminded me of my cruise about three years ago, you took pictures of some great moments and views. Looks like an amazing trip. I can’t wait to plan another cruise trip 🙂

  • Rosana McPhee

    it sounds like you had a great time. I must put Norway on my list to go. R

  • Amy

    I went on a cruise and loved it. Personally, I wouldn’t do it again until I’m older as I feel like there wasn’t much freedom to go off and explore places but it was still so much fun!

  • bericebaby

    Oh wow, look at these photos – Looks like you guys had an awesome time.
    Ive not been on a cruise but its defo on my list of things to do.
    Charlotte x

  • Pingback: Columbus Maiden Voyage with Cruise and Maritime – With Love, Lottie()