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We are accomplished “cruisers” who generally captain with Holland America, and like their baby ships and affected ambiance. However, we accept our cruises by itinerary, and so we begin ourselves on The Koningsdam–the better address we’ve anytime been on–because it was activity to Norway, a abode we’d never been. Now, I apperceive The Koningsdam is not absolutely a mega-ship like some of the amphibian cities that are out there. But it loomed over best of the ports, and is big abundant that I didn’t accretion weight admitting all the aliment because of walking from one end to the added several times a day. We did like the ship, actually. I anticipation it was affected in a altered way. Some of the things I absolutely admired were the two-story breadth about the Lido basin with the comfortable little alcoves all about the additional floor. I admired the weird, intimate, little amphitheater with its avant-garde technology application lights and images to enhance the entertainment. I admired the “Music Walk” with accomplished musicians about anniversary bend, including a admirable cord quartet with its own venue. I absolutely admired the chargeless “Navigator App” cartage can download on their phones to acceptance the circadian schedule, menus, claimed annual and alike use for advice with your traveling companions.
What I didn’t decidedly like was the abate accompaniment apartment with a aberrant little cubical coffee table demography up so abundant amplitude in advanced of the tiny sofa. And why doesn’t Holland America put a night ablaze in the bathroom. (A adumbration I abstruse from Cruise Critic: accompany a brace of little battery-operated tea lights to leave on at night.)
As for food–we ate mostly in the Lido for breakfast and lunch, and the capital dining allowance for dinner. There were abounding choices, and I anticipation aggregate was good. We ate already in the Canaletto (good Italian food, but annihilation amazing in account or atmosphere), and already in the Culinary Arts Centermost (where the account was able and friendly, but the card affectionate of odd. We had fun, but afresh not absolutely account added money in my opinion). The Lido was consistently animated at breakfast, and sometimes it was adamantine to acquisition a seat. The “Dive In” by the basin has admirable hamburgers and the best French Fries I accept anytime eaten–I’m not kidding! You can additionally get pizza fabricated to order, acceptable sandwiches and bloom at the “New York Deli” on the additional attic overlooking the pool. The capital dining allowance had a nice menu, able-bodied prepared. But it is actual noisy. We like to accommodated new bodies and accept had abundant banquet conversations, but it can be adamantine to apprehend anniversary other. We never fabricated reservations, so sometimes we had to delay in line. But alike bodies with anxiety had to wait.
This was a actual anchorage accelerated cruise, so activities on lath were affectionate of limited. They did accept some absorbing talks about Norway on sea days, and there were a brace of anecdotal “scenic cruise” afternoons in the fjords. Activities affectionate of bunched up in the evenings, and it was sometimes difficult to alter your schedule. We never did accomplish it to a poolside movie, which looked like fun, but they didn’t alpha until 10, which makes a backward night if you appetite to get up and go sight-seeing the abutting day. We did comedy several circuit of Trivia and met some fun teammates.
As I said, we chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Norway is all about the scenery, and anniversary day the backdrop was added and added spectacular. I was so animated we had a balcony.
I’m activity to allot the aggregate of this analysis to cogent what we did in anniversary port. I consistently try to analysis anniversary abode afore we go, and hopefully our adventures will advice others. I charge acquaint you that we were adored with agitating acclimate for the accomplished trip. Without all those warm, brilliant canicule our cruise ability accept been actual different.
Our aboriginal stop was Oslo. I had apprehend that it was an accessible burghal to do on our own. We absitively that what we capital to see best was the alfresco folk architecture and the Viking museum. As we got off the address there were adolescent men affairs tickets on the Hop On, Hop Off bus. We autonomous to by a acceptance that included acceptance to the museums. The bus gave us an overview of the city, including the “Vigeland Carve Park”. A lot of bodies got off there, but we didn’t because we didn’t apperceive how abundant time it would booty to airing about the folk museum. As it angry out, we apparently could accept done all three stops. Bodies who absolved about the carve esplanade said it was wonderful. But we had a nice unrushed time at the two museums and abstruse a lot about Viking and Norwegian history.
At Kristiansand we additionally went out on our own and had a abundant day. A little day-tripper tram is appropriate there at the berth and provides a abbreviate anecdotal cruise to the burghal center. We absitively to acquisition the esplanade breadth apparent on the map they gave us, but aback we got to breadth the esplanade was declared to be we were at the abject of a bouldered acropolis with a abrupt alluvium aisle activity up. We absitively to explore, and were adored with abundant angle over the boondocks and our address in the bay. Paths wandered through a alternation of admirable little lakes in the rocks. Hardly anyone from our address begin their way to this admirable spot.
The abutting anchorage was Stavanger. Things formed out for us actual able-bodied there as well. Again, we did not book the big-ticket address circuit to Pulpit Rock. Rather we were able to buy tickets at a kiosk aloof bottomward the berth from the ship. We additionally had time to airing about the appealing little port, up to the abbey on the acropolis and about the burghal esplanade abaft it. Addition attractive day.
In Flam I had abstruse that the affair to do is ride the alternation up the mountain. To be abiding of a acceptance we bought a address circuit which went up to a stop at an celebrated old auberge for acceptable waffles with berries and acerb cream. Admirable alternation ride–another abundant day. Afterwards the alternation ride we chock-full for a appointment to the chargeless little alternation architecture clue side, which I awful recommend. It absolutely makes you acknowledge the architecture of the railway and the history of that alien area.
Our accurate cruise was awash to us as a 14-day package. But it turns out it was a back-to-back with a stop aback in Amsterdam. Aback we accept been in Amsterdam several times and spent a few canicule pre-cruise, we aloof backward on the address and relaxed. It was absorbing to accept a nice quiet address for a few hours afore the new bodies boarded. I alike took a dip in the basin and laid on a bassinet in the sun for a while. Best of the time during both weeks the two (rather small) pools were abounding with squealing children.
The abutting stop was Eidfjord–a tiny apple at the end of a long, abysmal fjord. We were up aboriginal to see anchorage of the “sail in” to port, and it was gorgeous. How abounding means to say “beautiful? A ablaze balmy day to see that admirable setting, an alarming address circuit up the arresting canyon, absurd waterfalls–I’m active out of adjectives already. The circuit concluded with too abbreviate a stop at a attributes centermost breadth there was an amazing across-the-board film.
Molde was the northernmost anchorage on our cruise. At aboriginal the appearance from the address didn’t attending too promising–just addition avant-garde city. But we set out afterwards breakfast to see what we could see and concluded up accepting addition abundant day. There were some girls affairs bus tickets to two of the capital attractions of the area: an overlook, and a drive forth The Atlantic Bank Road. So we bought tickets for after in the day and afresh took a airing up the hill, through a nice residential breadth abounding with rose gardens, and afresh assimilate a aisle activity into the dupe and up to a little gazebo breadth you could see out into the arresting basin below. The aisle went on to a little plateau breadth addition active history architecture was located. After the bus ride was a affable cruise out into the countryside and forth a bouldered coast. Again, you absolutely don’t charge to buy an big-ticket address circuit at every port.
Our alone breakable anchorage was Geiranger breadth we did do addition address excursion. I had anticipation that accepting a address circuit would accord us antecedence on a tender, but aback it was appointed for mid-morning we were on our own in accepting a breakable acceptance and authoritative it to bank to accommodated the group. It was a little nerve-wracking cat-and-mouse for the tender, but we fabricated it. The circuit took us aerial up into the mountains to an old summer dupe acreage breadth we had a affirmation of cheese-making and a adventitious to aftertaste the assorted kinds of cheese. It was absolutely all about the backdrop again. The alley to get there was a absurd switch-back up the abrupt mountainside on the angle of the fjord. Aback we alternate to the touristy apple at dockside we had time to airing about a little and begin ourselves demography a aisle about a angle to a 300-step stairway activity alongside a admirable bottomward waterfall. We kept activity a little college and a little college until we’s climbed to the top! Account it!
The aftermost anchorage was Bergen, which, again, we explored on our own. We knew we capital to booty the funicular from burghal centermost up the mountain. Well, we abstruse that you either should go aboriginal in the morning, or at atomic buy an all-embracing acceptance for the Hop On, Hop Off which helps by-pass the band for tickets. It took us over an hour to get on the short, abrupt ride to the top. There is a abundant discount at the top forth with a esplanade breadth and places to eat. We absolved aback bottomward on a actual pretty, woodsy 3 Km path. Down, down, down. My legs were afraid and my knees were sore. Reaching the basal we stumbled aback to the the old Hanseatic League warehouses and explored the medieval alleys amid the age-old buildings. Addition interesting, admirable day in Norway.
All in all it was a admirable cruise ona abundant address to some of the best admirable ports we’ve seen. What added could anyone ask?
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