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    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 10th Sep 17, 8:12 PM
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    zagfles
    0 WOW
    Norwegian fjords cruise
    • #1
    • 10th Sep 17, 8:12 PM
    0 WOW
    Norwegian fjords cruise 10th Sep 17 at 8:12 PM
    Wife and I fancy trying a cruise, probably the Norwegian Fjords to see the work of Slartibartfast. I've not been been a cruise since I was a kid and my wife never has, though we've done loads of long ferry crossings.

    We've been put off cruising so far by all the pretentiousness you hear about, we're not interested in dining on the captain's table etc, and petty rules and procedures - such as being told what you have to wear to dinner (no way am I wearing a suit or tie), having bags searched for booze, having to pay tips up front before even setting foot on the ship etc.

    Can anyone recommend a cruise company that treats you like an adult and doesn't tell you what you have to wear, tip, bring aboard (within reason) etc?

    We've been looking at Hurtigruten which seems to fit the bill - has anyone been with them?

    TIA
Page 1
    • elsien
    • By elsien 10th Sep 17, 8:28 PM
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    elsien
    • #2
    • 10th Sep 17, 8:28 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Sep 17, 8:28 PM
    I've been with Hrutigruten. I don't like cruises but parent wanted to go so we picked something as least cruiselike as possible. No entertainment was a definite bonus. Small boats so they get in closer than the massive ones, plus extra short stops so you can at least get off and stretch your legs for a bit to stave off the stircraziness.
    I went in winter, and enjoyed the trips that we did as well. Overall, I think I'd recommend them if you don't want the full on cruise experience.
    I bought a bottle of brandy at the airport, took it and my hip flask and did diy drinks in the bar to avoid the ridiculous drinks prices. No one seemed to mind - this was about 7 years ago now. No dressing up involved.
    Last edited by elsien; 10-09-2017 at 8:34 PM.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

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    • EssexExile
    • By EssexExile 10th Sep 17, 9:01 PM
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    EssexExile
    • #3
    • 10th Sep 17, 9:01 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Sep 17, 9:01 PM
    My sister went on the MS Midnatsol with Hurtigruten a few weeks back. She certainly enjoyed it but I haven't had a chance to grill her about it yet.
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
    • z1a
    • By z1a 10th Sep 17, 10:08 PM
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    z1a
    • #4
    • 10th Sep 17, 10:08 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Sep 17, 10:08 PM
    Just watch out for Norwegian blue parrots!
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 10th Sep 17, 10:28 PM
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    zagfles
    • #5
    • 10th Sep 17, 10:28 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Sep 17, 10:28 PM
    I've been with Hrutigruten. I don't like cruises but parent wanted to go so we picked something as least cruiselike as possible. No entertainment was a definite bonus. Small boats so they get in closer than the massive ones, plus extra short stops so you can at least get off and stretch your legs for a bit to stave off the stircraziness.
    I went in winter, and enjoyed the trips that we did as well. Overall, I think I'd recommend them if you don't want the full on cruise experience.
    I bought a bottle of brandy at the airport, took it and my hip flask and did diy drinks in the bar to avoid the ridiculous drinks prices. No one seemed to mind - this was about 7 years ago now. No dressing up involved.
    Originally posted by elsien
    Thanks - that sounds exactly what we're after. Couple of questions if you don't mind - it says "full board" - does that include drinks with meals or do you have to pay extra for drinks?

    Also some of the excursions don't have prices, eg hikes, are they free? Though some hikes do have prices and look ridiculously expensive - £50-100 for a going on a walk? I might be missing something...
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 10th Sep 17, 10:33 PM
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    zagfles
    • #6
    • 10th Sep 17, 10:33 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Sep 17, 10:33 PM
    Just watch out for Norwegian blue parrots!
    Originally posted by z1a
    It's OK, they're dead
    • elsien
    • By elsien 10th Sep 17, 10:45 PM
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    elsien
    • #7
    • 10th Sep 17, 10:45 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Sep 17, 10:45 PM
    If I remember rightly, tea/coffee and some soft drinks were provided with meals. Anything alcoholic and between meals was extra, although when I went it was breakfast/evening meal included and lunch was extra. I just took extra stuff from the breakfast buffet to have for lunch, and took my own kettle/tea bags. I'm not normally that tight but Norway generally was ridiculously expensive. Two steaks and two small beers in a hotel hit the £60 mark, even that long ago.
    Don't know about the hikes, but Hrutigruten customer service are very helpful if you have any queries beforehand. We knew the trips were silly money compared to here, but it was parent's 70th, she wanted to see the Northern lights so we decided to go for it regardless of price as if we didn't see the lights we still wanted the trip to be worthwhile. Although tipping her off the snowmobile into a snowdrift wasn't part of the plan.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 10th Sep 17, 10:58 PM
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    zagfles
    • #8
    • 10th Sep 17, 10:58 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Sep 17, 10:58 PM
    If I remember rightly, tea/coffee and some soft drinks were provided with meals. Anything alcoholic and between meals was extra, although when I went it was breakfast/evening meal included and lunch was extra. I just took extra stuff from the breakfast buffet to have for lunch, and took my own kettle/tea bags. I'm not normally that tight but Norway generally was ridiculously expensive. Two steaks and two small beers in a hotel hit the £60 mark, even that long ago.
    Don't know about the hikes, but Hrutigruten customer service are very helpful if you have any queries beforehand. We knew the trips were silly money compared to here, but it was parent's 70th, she wanted to see the Northern lights so we decided to go for it regardless of price as if we didn't see the lights we still wanted the trip to be worthwhile. Although tipping her off the snowmobile into a snowdrift wasn't part of the plan.
    Originally posted by elsien
    Thanks - will check with them.

    I can understand stuff like snowmobile trips being expensive, but £50-100 each for a guided hike I think we'll get a good guidebook and find our own way! Or maybe follow the group at a discreet distance
    • daveyjp
    • By daveyjp 12th Sep 17, 9:38 PM
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    daveyjp
    • #9
    • 12th Sep 17, 9:38 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Sep 17, 9:38 PM
    The one thing Norway definately isn't is an MSE travel destination.

    As soon as you need to buy any essentials such as food and drink with no self catering facilities you can be in to £100-200 a day each and that's for basic food. Even self catering food is expensive and you can only buy most alcohol from Government off licences. Beer is more widely available, but expensive.

    On one trip we had a buffet included for lunch, we noticed it was advertised at hotel reception for £50 each, drinks extra at £10 for a beer, glass of wine £20. Made the £90 we paid for a day trip look very good value.

    Whilst you have a view on cruising things have changed a lot.

    Never seen a Captains table for evening dinner. I have eaten with the Captain. He was in the buffet one lunchtime and came and sat with us.
    Dress codes are being relaxed and removed completely on some lines
    No need to pay tips up front.
    Bags are checked for security purposes when going back on ship.

    A week on a cruise ship, rather than a Hurtigruten modern ferry will start at about £700 and this is by far one of the most cost effective ways of visiting Norway.
    • Tigsteroonie
    • By Tigsteroonie 12th Sep 17, 9:46 PM
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    Tigsteroonie
    Wife and I fancy trying a cruise, probably the Norwegian Fjords to see the work of Slartibartfast.
    Originally posted by zagfles
    I'm no help but
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    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 12th Sep 17, 11:10 PM
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    zagfles
    The one thing Norway definately isn't is an MSE travel destination.

    As soon as you need to buy any essentials such as food and drink with no self catering facilities you can be in to £100-200 a day each and that's for basic food. Even self catering food is expensive and you can only buy most alcohol from Government off licences. Beer is more widely available, but expensive.

    On one trip we had a buffet included for lunch, we noticed it was advertised at hotel reception for £50 each, drinks extra at £10 for a beer, glass of wine £20. Made the £90 we paid for a day trip look very good value.

    Whilst you have a view on cruising things have changed a lot.

    Never seen a Captains table for evening dinner. I have eaten with the Captain. He was in the buffet one lunchtime and came and sat with us.
    Dress codes are being relaxed and removed completely on some lines
    No need to pay tips up front.
    Bags are checked for security purposes when going back on ship.

    A week on a cruise ship, rather than a Hurtigruten modern ferry will start at about £700 and this is by far one of the most cost effective ways of visiting Norway.
    Originally posted by daveyjp
    Thanks - yes, I know Norway is ridiculously expensive! One of the reasons we thought a full board cruise might be a good option, that plus it's a good way to see the fjords. Even though it's not our usual type of holiday.

    Would you recommend any other cruise companies to look at? I know some still do all the pretentious stuff because I know quite a few people who go on cruises - one couple were on about how they get a butler (seriously!) and another is always posting pictures of them in dicky bows/tux/cocktail dresses etc, and someone else I spoke to said he packs 3 suits! I really want to avoid any of that!

    Hurtigruten do look reasonable value for the basic cruise, the excursions look very expensive but we'll probably look into doing our own thing in port, although as it's Norway it might not be much cheaper! Other than hiking - even in Norway walking is free!

    I don't mind bag searches for security - as long as they don't get fussy if you bring drinks etc on. From what I've read about Hurtigruten they don't care.
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 12th Sep 17, 11:52 PM
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    gettingtheresometime
    What do you call pretentious?

    I've sailed with P&O and most of the nights on their cruises are smart casual with a couple of formal nights where if the men don't want to wear the full DJ get up then a smart shirt & tie is acceptable.

    We've also been on cruises on RCI where the dress code was totally ignored.....and without wishing to sound pretentious, it did make you wonder when people were in the dinning room eating in clothes they'd been on deck in!

    Yes we have a friend that had a butler on his cruise but he paid serious money for the privilege but it's a case of you pays your money .......

    TBH I'd try a taster cruise first.

    As for trips bear in mind that unless you're on an organised trip the ship won't wait for you - arrive back late & you'll find the ship gone. (Weve been on cruises were we arrived late back from an organised tour an hour late only to be beaten by another trip that arrived 2 hours late.....the captain was not happy at having to wait & pay the additional docking fees!)
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    • elsien
    • By elsien 12th Sep 17, 11:58 PM
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    elsien

    We've also been on cruises on RCI where the dress code was totally ignored.....and without wishing to sound pretentious, it did make you wonder when people were in the dinning room eating in clothes they'd been on deck in!
    Originally posted by gettingtheresometime
    That'd be me then. I don't get changed for dinner at home, so if I've not done anything to get me grubby, I don't really see the point of getting changed for dinner just because I happen to be on a boat instead.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • shykins
    • By shykins 13th Sep 17, 8:05 AM
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    shykins
    we cruised the fjords with cruise and martime (adults only). we paid approx£600 for 7 nights plus paid an extra £17 each a day to have AI drinks so we didnt have to worry about whether we did or didnt drink.

    they are very much a 3 star cruise line and you dont have to do posh if you dont want to as you can eat in the bistro all the time. this is what we did on our first cruise but since then we decided we quited like the dressing up bit some days so do a bit of both

    from recall most trips were approx £50ish each tho we did get off and did our own thing in most places as did lots of others

    i think you will find most cruise ships will check if you bring booze on board as thats where they make most of their money after all

    hope that helps
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    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 13th Sep 17, 9:21 AM
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    getmore4less
    These days just avoid P&O and Cunard if you don't want dressing up the rest are more casual.

    Hurtigruten is a bit different from the regular lines as they are working ships and you need to fly.

    ex UK there are a few options C&M have been mentioned Thomson also do AI Fjord trips from Newcastle.

    NCL and RCI have options a bit more up market Celebrity and Princess

    Dates and budget may eliminate some options.

    might be better going to one of the cruise sites like cruise.co.uk/forums (UK focus) or cruisecritic(more US)
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 13th Sep 17, 9:40 AM
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    zagfles
    What do you call pretentious?

    I've sailed with P&O and most of the nights on their cruises are smart casual with a couple of formal nights where if the men don't want to wear the full DJ get up then a smart shirt & tie is acceptable.
    Originally posted by gettingtheresometime
    Basically my view is if I'm paying loads of money for a holiday, I don't want to be told what I have to wear, within reason. I guess we're not after the normal "cruising" experince - we like travelling by boat, we've done loads of long ferry crossings eg 24 hours to Sweden, 36 hours to Spain, and we like great scenery and hiking, so I think we'd really enjoy a Norwegian fjords "cruise" which would bring them all together.

    But we don't want posh dinners, neither of us likes eating late, hate going to bed on a full stomach, would prefer a good lunch and light early dinner, no later than 7pm, pref 5-6pm.

    Evening entertainment would be good, but not essential, for instance cabaret, piano bar, magic show, karaoke, comedy show, murder mystery night etc. But we do a lot of that at home so it's not vital - just chatting with people we've just met in the bar is fine, or even playing cards/board games.
    We've also been on cruises on RCI where the dress code was totally ignored.....and without wishing to sound pretentious, it did make you wonder when people were in the dinning room eating in clothes they'd been on deck in!
    Were they dirty or smelly? If not, then what's the issue? We like to travel light so we're not going to take 2 or 3 changes of clothes per day!
    Yes we have a friend that had a butler on his cruise but he paid serious money for the privilege but it's a case of you pays your money .......

    TBH I'd try a taster cruise first.

    As for trips bear in mind that unless you're on an organised trip the ship won't wait for you - arrive back late & you'll find the ship gone. (Weve been on cruises were we arrived late back from an organised tour an hour late only to be beaten by another trip that arrived 2 hours late.....the captain was not happy at having to wait & pay the additional docking fees!)
    Indeed - wouldn't expect it to. It wouldn't be massively tragic on a Hurtigruten type cruise as they stop everywhere so would be a case of getting a bus/train to their next stop...a PITA but not like missing the boat on a Caribbean cruise where the ship'll go to another island, or a med cruise where the ship goes to the other side!

    Trips are a minor issue - with the fjords the best views are likely to be from the boat anyway...we might do some trips if we fancy them but we'll probably just look up easy hikes,
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 13th Sep 17, 10:12 AM
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    zagfles
    These days just avoid P&O and Cunard if you don't want dressing up the rest are more casual.

    Hurtigruten is a bit different from the regular lines as they are working ships and you need to fly.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    Yes, though we might combine it with a trip to see relatives & friends in Sweden.
    ex UK there are a few options C&M have been mentioned Thomson also do AI Fjord trips from Newcastle.

    NCL and RCI have options a bit more up market Celebrity and Princess

    Dates and budget may eliminate some options.

    might be better going to one of the cruise sites like cruise.co.uk/forums (UK focus) or cruisecritic(more US)
    Thanks - I'm liking what I read about Hurtigruten on there.
    • Miró
    • By Miró 13th Sep 17, 11:49 AM
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    Miró
    Another vote for Hurtigruten!! The cabins are comfortable and fairly basic but the lounges and public areas are very nice with great viewing windows. The food was excellent and plentiful. Its a very relaxed trip with lots of stops of various lengths. We saw the Northern Lights from the ship 3 times on a one week trip which was an added bonus.

    Bit more info from Trip Adviser if you haven't already found it.....

    https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g190502-i934-k6003254-Hurtigruten_cruises-Bergen_Hordaland_Western_Norway.html
    Last edited by Miró; 13-09-2017 at 11:53 AM.
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    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 13th Sep 17, 11:53 AM
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    Mojisola
    Another vote for Hurtigruten!! The cabins are comfortable and fairly basic but the lounges and public areas are very nice with great viewing windows. The food was excellent and plentiful. Its a very relaxed trip with lots of stops of various lengths. We saw the Northern Lights from the ship 3 times on a one week trip which was an added bonus.
    Originally posted by Mir!
    Ball park figure - how much did it cost, all in?
    • Miró
    • By Miró 13th Sep 17, 12:27 PM
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    Miró
    Ball park figure - how much did it cost, all in?
    Originally posted by Mojisola

    We went from Bergen to Tromso and I had a double cabin for single occupancy, with sea view, for about £350....but it was 5 years ago. We arranged our own flights and had an extra couple of nights in Tromso at the end of the cruise. I seem to remember the whole trip costing about £1,000 each with excursions from the boat, flights, hotel/food etc, lights chasing trip from Tromso - but we did splurge a bit.
    Last edited by Miró; 13-09-2017 at 12:31 PM.
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