ABOVE: Open decks provide fresh air with
Norwegian coastal scenery.
Jana Jones is a professional travel
and cruise writer. She has written for Cruise Critic and publishes a site about
hotels, resorts, spas, and cruises at
"The voyage itself was lovely. The weather was nice all
the time. It did rain a wee bit but not much, making it easy to take
advantage of the scenery. The ship is beautiful and the cabins are extremely
"Since it is a new ship I am sure there are some
kinks that need to be worked out, but in all, the trip itself was great.
"The shore excursions were priced very well; no one felt gouged by the cost of
"Where the line fails is in customer service. There is very little. Even
the person who would be called a 'cruise director' on a regular cruise line had
a sneering disrespect for the passengers."
"The tube cabins [outside cabins near the bow with deeply
recessed portholes] are so dark that if there is a substantial difference in
price between one of those and an inside, I'd say take the inside cabin. Avoid
the aft area at all costs.
"The cabins on the 7th deck forward are tiny for some reason.
"The mini-suites feel cramped because there is a wall between the bedroom area
and the sitting area. The grand suites are really lush, with full baths,
lovely bedding, lots of space."
"It's appalling on a new ship to
have such terrible thruster vibration and noise. Those on the 3rd deck aft were
punished on a daily basis with belongings flying off shelves...and since the
ship stops to either drop off or pick up provisions and passengers all down the
coast, there were several stops in the middle of the night. The noise and
vibration literally threw passengers out of bed. Those on the 6th deck aft
complained about it too."
Editor's note: To be
fair to NCV, the
Finnmarken began service in April, 2002, and it isn't ususual for new ships
to have growing pains.
Food and drink
"[The lunch menu included] herring in all of its manifestations
(the one in ketchup or barbecue sauce was just too much for me) and pots and
pots of roe too. Lots of cold cuts and a couple of hot dishes daily, mostly fish
and potatoes, although we had reindeer and lamb (goat, I think) a couple of
"Supper was served, and alternated between fish and meat. Most of the food was
very good. Not gourmet, but very good.
"Unlike regular cruise lines, you cannot get snacks, drinks, or coffee between
formal meal times. You have to purchase coffee and sodas. I don't drink the
latter but the coffee was a rip-off at NOK 18 for a tiny cup of instant. Two
sips later, another NOK 13 for a refill.
"Cabins have refrigerators, so you can purchase cold drinks and snacks to keep
in your cabin."
Editor's note: Norway is an expensive
country where a beer in a local tavern can easily cost the equivalent of US
$7.00, so NCV's beverage prices aren't necessarily out of line by Norwegian
"This cruise isn't for everyone. Traditional cruisers might, depending on
pricing, prefer a 'Norway Cruise' that stops in many of the major ports along
the coast, such as Tromsø, Bodø,
Trondheim, and Bergen. Traditional cruise ships also go into the Sognefjord,
which was wonderful. If that hadn't been on our [non-cruise] agenda, I really
would have missed out on some lovely scenery."
- Jana Jones, Great Getaways
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