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DutchmanOfTheSeas

Thinking about doing a cruise to Norway. Anyone ever done that?

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Hello everyone!

 

I'm thinking about making a cruise with my partner in 2017. We'll be together for 5 years that year.

I've been looking through some itineraries and different ships to see what I'd like to do.

 

Basically two options have come to the top of my list.

 

The Harmony of the Seas, sailing 8 days in the Caribbean. And the other one is the Serenade of the Seas sailing 12 days in Scandinavia.

My first and only cruise to date has been on the Serenade in Alaska rougly 12,5 years ago, so I know that this is an awesome ship.

But, months ago we've seen the Harmony docked in Rotterdam and it really looked amazing as well. And we've never been to the caribbean, so that's something I'd really like as well.

 

My question is, which cruise would you recommend? And has any of you ever been on a cruise to Norway and the North Cape?

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I have not been to Norway, but I think the cruise would be similar to the Alaska cruise as far as scenery, climate, and size of ports. The itinerary, climate and ship of the Caribbean option will likely offer a lot more "fun in the sun". One consideration is there will always be near endless opportunities for a Caribbean cruise, but there are very few Arctic Circle cruises, so if the availability, timing, cost, etc. are lining up for you on this one, I wouldn't assume that will repeat itself next time.

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Loved our Norway cruise year before last on the Serenade sister ship. It paled in comparison to our Alaska cruises. It's beautiful and scenic and cruising the fjords is something everyone should do once in their lifetime.

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I am not good with absolutes and superlatives.  When people ask me my favorite cruise, my favorite ship, my favorite color...I never know the answer.  That in mind, Norway is my favorite destination.  

 

There are some similarities to Alaska, but while the destinations in AK are beautiful, and there is much to see in terms of culture and wonderful people (we're planning on going back soon) - Norway stands out even more.  The fjord towns in Norway look like things you've only ever seen in movies or in Epcot.  The construction of buildings is unique, with a quaint feel, while meshing amazingly well with the technologically advanced city that shows itself just blocks in from the water.  People are among the most pleasant you can imagine, and most destinations are very 'trouble-free' with lots to do and see very close to the port.  Similar to Alaska, you can enjoy great views for hours as you sail through the fjords, though Norway seems to have a near monopoly on water falls.

 

As you can tell, I'm all in on Norway.  Bergen is probably the city that stands out most for me, but I'm not sure there are any losers to be had.  I don't know you, so I generally refrain from saying, "you'll love X" or "you'll hate Y", but I think a 12 night Scandanavian sailing would be pretty swell by the standards of many.

 

Now - all of that in mind, the Caribbean is obviously a totally different ball game, and the Harmony is a totally different ship.  This is amplified all the more by the contrast to the Netherlands, so I can appreciate the desire to branch out in that way - something I'm bias toward living in the Caribbean.  So, we can load the points on that side, and then the cruise nut in me says, "Go for the longer sailing!"

 

Whatever you chose it seems you have little chance of being disappointed.

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I would say you can't go wrong either way. Norway for the incredible scenery and Serenade has had some nice upgrades. Caribbean on Harmony would be fantasticas well... the newest and biggest ship with all the new bells and whistles. You will not be disappointed with either choice IMHO

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Here is something important for anyone considering a European cruise to remember:

 

Often a European cruise you may be considering may have a port or a city you are unfamiliar with. Or in the case of a stop in Montenegro, an entire country you never knew even existed. There is a reason why Royal stops at these places and that's because those ports and cities are unique, wonderful, and bonafide "Awesome".  The same goes for the arrival or departure times from certain ports. Venice and Malta are always on top of the list of a well traveled cruiser's "Most Beautiful Ports in the World" and that's because they are stunning when you arrive at noon and they get better when you depart at 9 pm at night!

 

I have to tip my RCL helmet to Royal Caribbean for making these choices; they do a great job year after year. I've NEVER heard a complaint that the itinerary of a European cruise didn't meet someones expectations while I've been onboard or back home online. That includes reading posts to the Crown and Anchor Facebook group and there is nothing those people won't bitch about.

 

So Dutchmanoftheseas, if your Norwegian ports of call are giving you pause because they are unfamiliar and are seemingly just words that have too many vowels; have faith that each of those ports is incredible and worthy of traveling half way around the world to see.

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I cruised to the Norwegian Fjords a couple of years ago with Royal Caribbean - absolutely stunning scenery.  Earlier this year I sailed with P&O (only because RCI weren't doing the trip!) in search of the Northern Lights, again in beautiful Norway.  I would certainly recommend Norway - the ship can dock right at the port and some of the excursions are fantastic.  If you pick Norway let us know the ports and we might be able to make excursion recommendations.

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I cruised to the Norwegian Fjords a couple of years ago with Royal Caribbean - absolutely stunning scenery.  Earlier this year I sailed with P&O (only because RCI weren't doing the trip!) in search of the Northern Lights, again in beautiful Norway.  I would certainly recommend Norway - the ship can dock right at the port and some of the excursions are fantastic.  If you pick Norway let us know the ports and we might be able to make excursion recommendations.

What is the best time to go for seeing the Northern Lights?  That is on my bucket list when I retire.

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What is the best time to go for seeing the Northern Lights? That is on my bucket list when I retire.

September or October if memory serves. Just keep in mind that you need to go far north to see it. Cruises to Bergen, Oslo, etc. wintry get you far enough North.

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I did a cruise to Norway in August and the scenery and ports were spectacular (the cruise line itself - Costa - not so much).  The cruise left from Copenhagen (also a wonderful city) and went to Geiranger, Bergen and Kristiansand, Norway then over to Aarhus, Demark and onto Rostock, Germany.  I took the cruise in order to see lots of places in a short amount of time, and not really for the "cruising" experience.  All of the ports visited were interesting and there was lots to see and do.  I did find things in Norway to be rather expensive ($20 for a small beer....yikes), but I really did not care because I could go back on the ship to eat.

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