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Anthem of the Seas - Norwegian Fjords - A trip report

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We just returned from our cruise and I wanted to put together a trip report 🙂


This was our 4th cruise, our 2nd with Royal. Our last cruise had been on Harmony of the Seas and we were looking forward to trying a different class of ship to add to our list. We really enjoyed our last cruise but unfortunately my husband John had been ill for a good part of it so we didn’t really get to enjoy the full Royal experience.


A bit about us; we are Julie and John, travelling from just outside Glasgow, Scotland. Our kids are grown up now so it’s nice to be able to take a cruise like this on our own.


Our booking

I had been looking for a Fjords cruise for a while and one weekend struck lucky, noticing a good deal where the balcony guarantee was cheaper than an interior room. I tried to book but when it came to payment stage the website kept refreshing and wouldn't accept my details. I gave up and the next day the price had shot up. I checked the sailing for the following cruise and managed to get a similar deal so booked immediately and thankfully managed to pay no problem.


After I’d booked, I realised that there were some balcony rooms that might not be so desirable. Whilst I know this can be the case, I think I confused this ship with the previous ship we’d been on where the balconies were all considered to be in a decent location. I did a lot of youtube research and read some reviews (yes, I know I should have done this before booking!) and we decided that as we’d got the cabin cheaper than an inside room, we’d be happy with whatever we got. We also didn’t want to pay in excess of another £800 to pick our room so we'd just deal with it.


I was surprised when a couple of days later our cabin was allocated. We were 7 months from sailing so hadn’t expected it to be allocated so soon. Anyway, we were given a room on deck 13, midship so we hoped that being under the pool deck and having an overhang on the balcony wouldn’t be too much of a problem.


Being in the UK I was lucky to take advantage of a deal for the refreshment drinks package at £20 per day for me. I'm not a drinker but do love mocktails and my daily lattes. I also booked the soda package for John and the internet package for us to share to keep in touch with the kids.


Massive advantage for us is that we could drive to the port! All our previous cruises we’ve had to fly, twice over the Atlantic and I was so happy we didn’t need to think about what to pack, weight of cases, sitting in airports etc, etc. I just chucked everything in the case that I thought we’d need and we were all set!


So, off we go!


Saturday 20 May - Travel Day

We were up and on the road for just after 7am. Weather was good and roads seemed fine until about half way through the journey. Lots of road works going on which meant a reduced speed limit with average speed cameras and limits in place. Our local roads have had similar restrictions and we got a speeding ticket previously for going 5mph over the reduced limit, so we knew we had to stick to it! Then we hit the dreaded A34 and a closure which delayed us for almost an hour. So, our estimated 7hr 30min journey took nearly 10 hours in the end!


Our hotel of choice was the Moxy, right beside the large West Quay centre. We found this easily and parked in the West Quay multi-storey car park (£5 per night) and were soon in our room. It was a decent size, very clean with everything you need for a quick overnight stay.












Only thing missing was a fridge, but no big deal, there was a kettle which was great. The shower was good, the aircon worked really well and we loved that the TV’s had Chromecast built in too. The weather was lovely and sunny. We enjoyed a walk around outside and then found some dinner. We had an early night, both absolutely exhausted from the drive. Excited for tomorrow, sleep was not long coming.


Sunday 21 May – Boarding day!

We had a great night’s sleep and woke up excited for the day ahead. A quick peek outside and it was going to be another lovely sunny day. No view of Anthem from our room but we did see a Norwegian ship in the distance. Our check in time for the ship was 11:30 so we were in no hurry this morning. We enjoyed a cuppa and a light breakfast before packing up and getting organised. We also watched the safety videos on the app and completed the health questionnaire. At 10:45 we checked out the hotel and were soon in the car heading to the ship!


We soon realised that we were only mere minutes from the port and were early. It was just after 11am.




We had pre-booked ABP parking but drove past the actual car park, lol. But it gave us a nice view of the ship when we did a u-turn 😆




The porters here are actually in the car park, taking your luggage as you lift it our your car, then they load up small vans. So you don’t even need to trail your luggage to the terminal, fantastic service!


Check in was an absolute breeze, through security and on the ship in about 10 minutes. So excited to  be back on a ship! It always amazes me how big the ships look as you’re walking beside them.


First stop was to our muster station, C3 – it said on the app that this was in Wonderland, but was actually the Bionic Bar, same deck as we boarded. This was completed in seconds, so easy. Next we went to guest services to set up our cash account and remove our card (I will have more about this later). We picked up a latte for me and a coke for John and headed to the the upper decks to explore and take advantage of the sun.


A friendly face on our way...





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We sat up here for a bit enjoying our drinks and phoned the kids to check all ok at home. 




Then we headed to Cafe 270 for the roast beef sandwich. It was really delicious and we enjoyed some drinks in here whilst we waited for our room to be ready. 




Just before 13:30 we headed to the lifts before they got too busy. Loved all the art work in the lifts, lol




Our room was 13616, mid-ship and right under the pool deck. I'd seen lots of videos and photos and the room was just as expected.






We liked that the bed was beside the balcony and I loved all the storage. Looking into the hall our cases had arrived but were further down the hallway. We had a good view over Southampton port. The car park is so close to the ship.










As we were getting ready to leave the cabin, I noticed my sunglasses were missing from my bag. I pulled the cabin apart and could not find them anywhere, looking under the bed, around the cushions on the sofa etc. We'd only been in the room 10 minutes so I must have lost them somewhere else on the ship. 


Back out to try and retrace our steps, we went into Café 270, then tried to remember which toilets we'd used near the pool. We still didn’t have our bearings and were round and round the deck a million times, lol. Anyway, I didn’t find the sunglasses.


We popped to guest services but no-one had handed them in. I was so annoyed with myself. I’m usually really careful with stuff. I still have £10 M&S sunglasses at home that I’ve had for about 15 years, never lost them – but I’d treated myself to some nice sunglasses a year to two ago so was absolutely gutted to have lost them.


Time now for something sweet so we had a mooch around Windjammer and also picked up our cups for the drinks package. I picked up a white chocolate mocha and John grabbed a coke. I love that you can get speciality coffee from the Windjammer - great to have in different locations unlike Harmony. 


We sat outside at the back of the Windjammer to enjoy our treats and the sunshine.




After this we wandered the pool deck again and picked up an ice cream as we passed - need to make the most of this nice weather before we hit Norway!


Into the solarium and it was absolutely packed out. It was also incredibly hot in here so we didn't linger. 


This became our guide as to where our room was, lol




Back to our room, we met our lovely room attendant, Tahinta. We asked if we could please have some robes and a mattress topper if possible. She said she'd definitely try and would be back soon. We opted for evening service for our room, between 5-8pm as we knew we'd want some lazy mornings. As we were unpacking Tahinta came back to our room and re-made the bed with the topper and left us some robes. She really was lovely. We put our feet up and enjoyed the sail away from our cabin.




We didn't feel like going to the main dining room tonight so headed to Windjammer and enjoyed a simple dinner of macaroni and chips. Then we wandered to the shops and bought our obligatory ship magnet, lol. I looked at some sunglasses but didn't really like any that much so didn't bother buying anything yet. We headed back to the room because we'd forgotten our cups.




John fancied a slice of pizza at Sorrento's. The cream soda from the machines is really nice. I also picked up a couple of bottles of water at the pub. 


Then we went into Music Hall and enjoyed the band playing for a bit. They were called the Billboard band and were really good. 




I enjoyed a virgin pina colada - lovely




We also took part in a music diva quiz in here and enjoyed the fun of it. Then we went into the theatre for the welcome aboard show. Soon it was late and we headed back to our room.




It would be a sea day tomorrow and although we hadn't done much today, we were very much looking forward to doing nothing tomorrow 😁

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Enjoying your review.


Got off Anthem three weeks ago at the end of the TA from Cape Liberty.  Spent a week post-cruise in Caldicot, Wales.


Will be heading back to England in October to spend a few days pre-cruise, then board Anthem for the TA back to Cape Liberty.

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I love your writing style.  And the North Sea cruise is on my bucket list!  So I will be following this thread closely.  Thanks in advance!

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Enjoying your review and love how you space the photos with text. Makes for a very interesting read. Looking forward to hearing about the ports.

Thanks for doing the review

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DD and I are boarding on the 7th of July. I don't know if we are going to the exact same ports as you but probably at least a couple are the same, so following with interest. Thanks for sharing. 😊

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How busy do you find the ship? We did do a trip on Anthem but it was one of the first ones after cruising opened up after covid and I think it was restricted to 1000 passengers.

Mainly how busy does the windjammer get, can you always get a seat? The theatre, 270, music hall and the solarium?

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3 hours ago, FionaMG said:

DD and I are boarding on the 7th of July. I don't know if we are going to the exact same ports as you but probably at least a couple are the same, so following with interest. Thanks for sharing. 😊

I’m interested in finding out the ports too! 

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12 minutes ago, little britain said:

I’m interested in finding out the ports too! 


Mine is going to Bergen, Geiranger, Olden and Haugesund. I think the 14th of May sailing did those same ports but in a different order but I have a vague notion (from checking the app looking at the onboard activities) that the OP's sailing had a slightly different itinerary (maybe Stavanger?).

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16 hours ago, RobinKS said:

Following your review.


Thank you 🙂


16 hours ago, Cherful59 said:

Following along.  Thanks for the review!


Thank you 🙂


16 hours ago, LindaD22 said:

Looking forward to your review! This is on my Bucket List 


Thank you 🙂


14 hours ago, Tree_skier said:

Thanks for doing this.  I'll be looking forward to your next installment. 😉 


Thank you 🙂


14 hours ago, Another_Critic said:

Enjoying your review.


Got off Anthem three weeks ago at the end of the TA from Cape Liberty.  Spent a week post-cruise in Caldicot, Wales.


Will be heading back to England in October to spend a few days pre-cruise, then board Anthem for the TA back to Cape Liberty.


Oh that sounds lovely, lucky you 🙂


14 hours ago, sandebeach said:

Thanks for your review. We have booked Anthem and Norway for next year. 


Hope you enjoy 🙂


9 hours ago, MD_Dan said:

I love your writing style.  And the North Sea cruise is on my bucket list!  So I will be following this thread closely.  Thanks in advance!


Thank you! Hope you enjoy 🙂


7 hours ago, sgmn said:

Enjoying your review and love how you space the photos with text. Makes for a very interesting read. Looking forward to hearing about the ports.

Thanks for doing the review


Thank you! More coming soon 🙂



4 hours ago, smokey01 said:

How busy do you find the ship? We did do a trip on Anthem but it was one of the first ones after cruising opened up after covid and I think it was restricted to 1000 passengers.

Mainly how busy does the windjammer get, can you always get a seat? The theatre, 270, music hall and the solarium?


It could be busy, but was very weather dependant. If we had rain the inside areas did feel much busier than if it was a sunny day.  Windjammer was a hit and miss, only once we couldn't get a seat. Fine getting seats everywhere else except solarium on a sea day. 


5 hours ago, FionaMG said:

DD and I are boarding on the 7th of July. I don't know if we are going to the exact same ports as you but probably at least a couple are the same, so following with interest. Thanks for sharing. 😊

1 hour ago, little britain said:

I’m interested in finding out the ports too! 


1 hour ago, FionaMG said:


Mine is going to Bergen, Geiranger, Olden and Haugesund. I think the 14th of May sailing did those same ports but in a different order but I have a vague notion (from checking the app looking at the onboard activities) that the OP's sailing had a slightly different itinerary (maybe Stavanger?).


Thanks for following along. Our ports will be Haugesund, Geiranger, Olden and Stavanger 🙂


More to follow later this evening when work is finished 🙂





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Monday 22 May – Sea Day

So, I didn’t have the best night’s sleep. Despite the mattress topper, the bed was so hard. I know this is very subjective, we all have different tolerances, but I really struggled this morning to move. I felt like my back had been hit with something and it took be a while of standing, stretching to feel anywhere near normal. Hopefully things would improve over the week.


We had been asked to put our clocks forward one hour, so I checked the time on the room phone to make sure my own phone hadn’t tried to do a double change. I looked outside to see another sunny day, a good bit of wind but was a lovely sight first thing in the morning.



We had a lazy morning and checked the app for things that were happening around the ship today. I noticed that the restaurant had a brunch option so we got ourselves organised and headed to the restaurants on deck 4. I think it was around 11:30 by now.



We didn't have any wait to get in and were lucky to be seated with a lovey window view.





John had the ham and cheese omelette




I had the French toast




We both ordered the apple blossom but were too full to finish it. All delicious.




A lovely way to start the day 🙂


Now time to explore the ship a wee bit. We both really liked the decor of the ship and I stopped to take some photos along the way.




The scary see-through landing on the stairwell




The magic flashing lights








I’d had another look for the sunglasses and admitted defeat, so we headed to the shop  to buy a new pair. They didn’t really have any that I loved, so bought a slightly cheaper pair with the intention of getting the same one’s I’d lost when we returned home.


Into the Music Hall to play cards.






We'd just settled down when we were asked to leave as a private function was about to take place. So we headed into Cafe 270 and picked up some drinks and played cards there instead for a bit. 




As we left  we had a wander through the library which I thought was in an odd place. If anything going on in 270 then this library definitely wasn’t going to be a quite place to relax.


Outside looked nice so we took a stroll, but it was very windy!




We loved the look of the North Star and I had already planned that it would be nice to do this when we were in the port of Geiranger later in the week. The reservations are loaded after 8pm the night before so I made a mental note to remember to do this.




I could watch the wake all day long - I just love it and think I would enjoy a cabin with this view




The rain started shortly after this and we did pass through the solarium at one point but I just couldn’t stomach the heat in here today. On Harmony we’d spent a lot of time in the solarium but there isn’t a pool on Harmony so it never felt overly warm. On Anthem I think the pool and heat can be too much if you’re not planning to actually swim or strip off, lol. It really did have the atmosphere of sitting beside an indoor pool fully clothed and it felt a bit odd.


The main areas of the ship did feel a bit crowded now due the poor weather outside. I picked up my daily latte and some cakes and as we weren't hungry for lunch. We headed back to our cabin for a bit of a rest.


The loss of my sunglasses was really annoying me, I don’t know why. For some reason I suddenly had an urge to look in the safe in our room where I’d put a document folder with our passports/car keys etc. Right at the top, jammed between the documents was my sunglasses! I couldn't believe it! I must have dropped them into the folder whilst it was still in my bag and transferred into the safe without noticing. I was so happy!!!


Hungry around 6pm we headed to windjammer. We liked the convenience of being just one floor below the windjammer and pool deck. There was a bit of a queue to get in when it opened but soon moved quickly once everyone had done their ‘washy, washy’!


I don't recall what we had tonight but I know we weren't overly impressed. I can't put my finger on why we weren't windjammer fans, but it just seemed to be lacking something. We hadn't fancied anything on the main dining room menu either so maybe we were just having one of those days....


I had started to feel a bit woozy and worried that the dreaded sea sickness was going to hit, now that we were well up the North Sea. It was too wet to go outside for fresh air on deck, so we headed back to our cabin where I could grab some air on the balcony – thank you for the overhang!!


Our room had been magically cleaned and we had a lovely wee elephant waiting for us.




I took some tablets and rested in the cabin, hoping that it wouldn’t come to much. Tomorrow would be our first port day so we ordered room service breakfast for the morning from the tv.

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following!! as we are headed to the Fjord's in 13 days and counting. 

Also one of our favorite British Las Vegas vlogger's were on this sailing. Hoping i see their content before we leave on trip!

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Tuesday 22 May – Haugesund

Another restless night due to the hard bed, I woke up and as I was thinking of getting up glanced at the time to see it was only 5:30! I couldn’t believe it. I honestly thought it was around 7am by now. Anyway I was glad when it was time to get up. Early enough to see us arriving into port and thankfully the rain gone.  It was sunny and very windy!




We were up and organised and waited on our breakfast being delivered. Toast was good, the rest of what we ordered wasn’t great. I don’t know where the croissants came from but they tasted very odd.


We had a great view of the port overlooking Haugesund. 




Off we went to deck 2 and off the gangway. We didn’t have any excursions planned so followed the crowd over the bridge and into town. It was around 9:15 now. The view from the top of the bridge is so nice and being blessed with sunshine we had to take some photos.










The town is pretty and we took our time wandering around. We did notice that many of the shops didn’t open until after 10am.












Down by the harbour we came across this Marilyn Monroe statue. I’d watched a vlog about things to do in Haugesund and the tour guide said that it had been thought there was a connection to Marilyn’s father being from Haugesund. However, this had turned out not to be correct but the statue had already been put in place so they just kept it. . I’ve done some google searching to find out the right story and some say it was actually her grandfather and others say no connection at all. So, I still don’t actually know what the connection is, if there is one. Anyway, it doesn’t matter – here's the statue 😊




We sat by the harbour for a while enjoying the beautiful views.










These buildings along the harbour are absolutely stunning, the photos don't do them justice. 







Some more windy pictures as we crossed back over the bridge.




We both loved the architecture here and the roof tiles were so pretty.







Soon we were back in the port. The ship seemed to be massive!




Our cabin was right on the top, about 6 cabins to the right of the bump out where it says the ship name. 


Some silly photos in port









We were back on the ship and had enjoyed our walk, blowing the cobwebs away. We popped back to the cabin and dropped our coats off, then nipped up to the windjammer to grab a latte. The ship was quieter now that we were in port and also wasn’t as hot as it had been. Taking our chances, we popped into the solarium and to my surprise there was lots of space. We enjoyed a rest here, reading and just doing nothing for a while.


Imagine being Norway and looking at a palm tree, lol






I tried the Shirley ginger mocktail, nice and refreshing.




Had a wander outside onto the bridge wings (is that what they’re called?) and tried not to get blown away, lol









Another stroll around the pool deck










Back inside we headed in direction of some food. 





It was nice to see the ship a bit quieter, with lots of people still out for the day. 




We both really liked this art work 










In to Cafe 270 again. 



Whilst in here there was a practice technical run for Spectra's Cabaret. Honestly it was a bit noisy for us so once we'd finished eating we moved to Vintages to play cards for a bit and enjoy some drinks.  



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We nipped back to the cabin for a bit as we were sailing away.




And then took another stroll up on deck, to the opposite bridge wing




The wind was getting up so we headed into the Seaplex and the dodgems were on! We joined the queue and waited around 10 minutes – we had a good laugh.








I love being outside on the ship, so again we did another lap.










We’d already decided to eat in the main dining room tonight so went back to the cabin to change. Still a bit early for the dining room, we passed by the Schooner bar and played along the name that tune 70’s quiz.






John is a music superfan but they only played one or two beats of each song so it was really difficult. We did ok though and enjoyed taking part. I noticed it was always packed in here, not the best venue for the quiz with so many people wanting to take part. There were always lots of people sitting on the floor. 


We had my time dining and every time I tried to go onto the app to reserve a slot it was always later than we wanted. Dining is supposed to start at 18:45 but we arrived around 18:30 and asked if we were too early. They said no, we could eat now which was great. There was no queue and we were seated quickly. Well, when I say quickly I mean we got into the dining room quickly, but the person showing us to our table didn’t have a clue where it was, so we lapped it a few times, lol. Got to get those steps in!


Anyway, finally we were seated and with it being ‘British night' we both ordered that classic British dish, mozzarella sticks 😄 They were served piping hot and delicious.




For our main course we both picked the real British classic, fish and chips. Again served piping hot, we both really enjoyed this. I was actually amazed at how nice it was. Really nicely cooked fish and plenty of it. I'm not a fan of mushy peas so didn't try them, but they looked more pureed to me.




John can’t even think about having a fish supper (that’s what we call it in Scotland) without vinegar for his chips, so he asked the waiter for some. He looked a wee bit puzzled but did come back with some…..in a bowl 😄




John just used a teaspoon to try and drip it on. We had a wee laugh about this, but it was no problem, at least he got some. Surely we can't be the only people to have asked for vinegar?


For dessert I had the sticky toffee pudding and John had chocolate cake, again really nice.






Top marks to the dining room tonight!


Heading out of here we wandered the Royal Esplanade and considered going outside, but it was really windy by now. Again I started to feel a bit woozy and thought it best to take it easy. We would be in Geiranger tomorrow, one of the ports I was most looking forward to. I managed to make a reservation for the North Star for 16:45 tomorrow and at some point today we also made reservations for Izumi for Friday night which we were looking forward to. 


We'd had a great day in Haugesund and around the ship and settled into the balcony for some views before having an early night. I forgot to mention earlier that the internet had actually been ok - it was enough that we could call the kids, send whatsapp messages and we even managed to watch some tv shows on our ipad. It would buffer at times but wasn't as bad as some of the experiences people had on the cruise prior to us. I also managed to hook the ipad up to our tv so we didn't have to watch Keeping up Appearances on the BBC channel  night after night, lol. Although I do have a soft spot for Hyacinth Bucket 😍 (one for our UK readers)


Night, night






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On 6/2/2023 at 8:07 PM, alexgtp said:

following!! as we are headed to the Fjord's in 13 days and counting. 

Also one of our favorite British Las Vegas vlogger's were on this sailing. Hoping i see their content before we leave on trip!


Hope you have a fantastic time. 


I know the vlogger, I watch him too. First video is already up 🙂


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On 6/2/2023 at 11:13 PM, jjsparkles said:

Although I do have a soft spot for Hyacinth Bucket 


Same here.... "Riiiiichard !!! mind the bicycle...."😉


So glad you've found your glasses. Really annoying when a favorite item gets lost.

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Wednesday 23 May – Geiranger

For the third night, I really didn’t sleep well. I don’t think it could have been worse if I’d slept on the floor honestly. But again, I know this is personal preference so would just need to get on with it. 



We weren’t due in port until around 11:30 today however the fjord goes on for miles, taking hours to sail through so we opened the curtains to see the beautiful view.






The captain had said that we should be near the seven sisters waterfall around 10am and he’d stop the ship and do a 360 turn.


I had booked the Panoramic Bus tour independently which would take us to 3 viewpoints on a tour lasting approx. 3 hours. The tour started at 13:00. Given the later port docking I thought it would have been useful to have a brunch option or at least a later breakfast time in the dining room. But, for some reason breakfast finished at 9 or 9:30 today. I wanted to fill up with something just before we got off the ship but didn’t fancy a breakfast and lunch before 12:30 which is when we’d need to get off for our excursion. Room service breakfast hadn’t been amazing, so, we, like the rest of the ship, headed to the windjammer in the hope of finding something.


First we wanted a better view of the fjord and went upstairs to the top deck





It really is stunning scenery.


Off into the Windjammer, there were no seats to be had anywhere. Staff were advising to find a seat before getting food and advising that everywhere was full up.


So we headed to solarium bistro. We did find a seat ok actually but the queue was out the door for hot food. We settled instead for some cereal, toast and drinks.

Back to our cabin to pick up our coats we headed up to the deck 15 to enjoy the amazing fjord views and the seven sisters waterfall.














Look at this cabin nestled amongst the trees....











We found the best place to stand was actually at the very back of the ship, just behind the flow rider – stunning views and we were very lucky it didn’t rain!


The wake as the ship made the 360 turn








It was really wonderful to see and surprisingly the deck didn't feel too busy so we got a spot without a problem. It was lovely to see lots of the crew come up to see too.


We headed off now to get some drinks to warm up and into the Music hall to find a spot to play cards whilst we waiting to dock. We really liked these tables beside the windows at the back of the room and took advantage of the quietness to play a game of pool.




We hadn’t played this in a few years so had a good laugh. I was awful but John soon remembered what he was doing. The balls did roll slightly but it was fine.






Conscious that we’d soon be getting off the ship and would be out for the afternoon, John wanted to grab some pizza, so we did this and took it back to our cabin and enjoyed it on the balcony whilst waiting to dock.




It was about 11:50 and they had said the gangway should be ready around 12:00. I could see the Sea walk moving back and forth and a boat trying to get it into place. The cruise director came over the speakers saying they were having problems with the sea walk and would update soon.






We enjoyed the pizza and the view over the small village. Around 12:15 I started to see lots of activity around the lifeboats below us. Would we be tendering instead?



Further announcements from the cruise director saying still trying to get the sea walk attached. I could see clearly that the sea walk had been put back onto the dock and all the people working there had gone. This was around 12:30.




Given this, I knew it would be a while before they could sort the tendering out so I did the only thing you can in this situation, we had a cup of tea and a kit kat 🙂




We played cards for a bit in the cabin, waiting for announcements and watching the boats outside which had now launched. Sometime after 13:00 the cruise director said they were still trying to get the sea walk attached/fixed – no they weren’t.


Around 14:00 there was an announcement that tendering would take place and for people with the Key to head to the theatre so they could benefit from the first tendering. They also said we’d stay in port for an hour later tonight to make up for the time we’d lost.


However at 14:15 the captain made an announcement to say that they could not do the tendering either and the port was unfortunately cancelled. He said that the Sea Walk has two engines and both had failed. Due to the swells in the water they couldn’t safely attach it to the ship. Whilst they did try tendering, again the swells in the water were making this too dangerous. He said a large ship in a small port will always present problems and one of their tie ropes had already snapped so he considered it too dangerous to stay.


What was slightly odd was that the HAL Rotterdam was further out in the fjord and tendering to the port with ease. I’ve read a few reports on what happened and the general opinion is that it’s very different tendering from a smaller ship.


Anyway, I’m not qualified on any of this and put all my trust in the captain and crew to make decisions as they see fit. So whilst we were disappointed, there was nothing we could do about it and accepted we’d have another sea day, albeit in an absolutely stunning location.


So we lost out on our excursion – we had paid around £91.44 for both of us. I know this is one of the risks in not choosing a Royal excursion, so I wasn’t too bothered. Just one of those things. If there had been a big crowd of us and we’d lost hundreds more then I may have been more annoyed. I emailed the company anyway to see what the policy was.


I was more annoyed that we’d only had a slice of toast and pizza and could have had something nice to eat by now, lol.


I grabbed a coffee in windjammer then we went outside again. The captain said he’d do another stop at seven sisters waterfall on the way out the fjord to make up for the failed port. We went up on deck to get a view of Geiranger. It looked really beautiful.











HAL tender boats....





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As we stood out on deck a few jets flew by. I wonder if there is an airbase nearby?




Off to the Schooner bar to get a seat early for the name that tune trivia. This one was all about naming songs with a colour in them. Again, the bar was really crowded and we had fun once more playing along and enjoying some drinks.




We didn’t want lunch as it was getting close to dinner time, so we just had some more drinks and I think we picked up a cookie from windjammer too. The cookies really are lovely.


When this was done it was time for our North Star experience. We had left the dock by now and I wondered if it would still go ahead or if they’d only be doing the longer, paid extended experience. We needn’t have worried. Our name was on the list and we got on within minutes. They also let some people on who had turned up early because there was plenty of space. If you can’t get a reservation, just pop by the desk, you never know there may be some no-shows and you’ll get on without a problem.








I found it difficult to get photos without glare. One of the crew put her phone down on the ground, leaning on the window to do a timelapse so John did the same. It was a wonderful view up here. So glad we managed to do it, especially as we hadn’t been able to do our excursion.


It's so high!




We popped back to the cabin now and enjoyed some more views from our balcony. 






The landscape definitely reminds me of being at home. We live about 5 minutes away from Loch Lomond and if you’d told me I was sailing somewhere in Scotland today I’d have believed you. From the green plushness of the surroundings to the snow on higher ground, it reminded me that we really should explore Scotland more and not take it for granted so much.


We didn’t fancy anything on the main dining room menu tonight, nor did we want to tackle the windjammer so as Johnny Rockets was just upstairs from us, we headed there and decided just to take it back to our cabin.




This was really nice, piping hot and just what we needed today. 

Wanting to make the most of the views and our balcony, we sat on the balcony for hours tonight drinking tea and just enjoying the views. Our daughter had let us borrow her Dry Robe (the joys of driving to port!) and it proved very, very useful tonight.











Can you believe these photos were taken after 10pm? Looks like first thing in the morning, lol.


We definitely get longer sunsets in Scotland too – I recall being gobsmacked the first time we were in Florida and it went pitch black so early. But we don’t get it quite as bright at home as it was here. It was just stunning and I could have sat out here all night.


Tomorrow would be our day in Olden and we had an early start with an excursion booked for 9:30 (if we managed to dock!) so we didn’t want to run the gauntlet in windjammer again. A slice of toast would be better than nothing so we booked room service breakfast on our tv and settled down for the night.




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