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“The Starry Neighbor (Neighbour?) Chronicles: Pining for the Fjords” – Anthem of the Seas, July 8th-15th, 2022

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10 hours ago, FionaMG said:

Techie question. Why does this pic.collage thingy make it easier to post photos? Just so I can file the information away for the next time I'm using dodgy ship Internet...

Hubby and I started doing that only because it makes for easier scrolling when blogging. Less to scroll through. Never even thought about the wifi thing until @GregDbrought it up.

22 minutes ago, GregD said:

Someone also wanted to try the French Toast. @Lovetocruise2002, he said it was “sent straight from the heavens.”

It really is the best one out of all the CK I have been in.

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Our day mirrored that of @Lovetocruise2002 since we did the same excursion together. We managed to have lunch at one of the local restaurants in the fish market area if the port before heading back to the ship. 

Heather and Lydia got fish and chips, I got mussels and Johnny got chicken nuggets. The menu was geared towards tourists since there were universally liked dishes on it, but it was fresh seafood forward, and the seafood was delicious.


We also had the same afternoon tea setup in our room too. 

After tea my kids wanted to ride the bumper cars again and D14 from our “friendly” neighbor (neighbour?) came along too. Someone must have forgotten to tell her that Canadians are supposed to be friendly, because she was cutthroat out there with the bumper cars. I was attacked relentlessly! Each time she had a smile on her face too🤣 maybe that’s the “nice” part. They smile while they are secretly trying to hurt you.

Way back when, I had talked about about having a genie would be beneficial, and today proved it. We walked into the seaplex and the line for the bumper cars wrapped around the entire outside. Leroy walked in and we were the first ones into the cars. Their protocol is that Star Class guests go onto the floor every other turn. We did two rounds and the kids were ready to do something else.

Lydia and D14 headed off on their own. Johnny and I went to the pool.

Tonight is wonderland for dinner….we shall see how it’s going.


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Dinner brought us to Wonderland. While I was looking forward to this, I’m willing try try anything once, and don’t mind weird food, I was apprehensive for The Boss and the kids. Heather is les adventurous than I am, and is also put off by certain textures. The kids also can be really picky too. 

The boss and the kids said they were willing to go in with an open mind and try it. They also went in knowing that they didn’t have to eat anything they didn’t like. Worst case scenario would be a message to Leroy to have Johnny Rockets delivered to the room.

The kids were won over as soon as we walked in and they got to “paint” their menus and Lava Flows topped with cotton candy were delivered. 


the kids both got the Mac and Cheese fries as an appetizer. Lydia got the wonderland burger, and Johnny got the popcorn chicken. They both enjoyed their meals, which made for happy parents.


We allowed the waiter to bring us a collection of appetizers that he thought we would like. 

We started with the liquid truffle mushroom risotto. Heather didn’t touch this one. She doesn’t like mushrooms at all. Flavor wise, it is definitely earthly, and has a texture that also would have put her off, so I ate hers. We followed this with the liquid lobster. This was good. It was rich, briny, and delicious. Heather did like this one. We then proceeded to the tomato water. We both though this was “different” but not terrible. Next were the crispy crab cones. These are eaten bottom to top and we’re delicious. We were then told to eat the Mad Hatter’s Purple potted shrimp. These were our favorite at this point of the meal, and there was a spicy sauce in the cup to dip the shrimp in. 

Next came the reconstructed caprese. Here they used gelatin to firm up a Bloody Mary to make the tomato, and the olives. This also tasted good. The final appetizer was the birds nest. Picture a smoked deviled egg, only the yolk was made with blue cheese and mustard. Absolutely delicious!

Our entrees we’re the braised short ribs and the pork belly. Both were outstanding!


Desserts consisted of The World, Forbidden Apple, and the mushroom garden. The world dessert was decadent, the forbidden apple and the mushroom garden was okay. (Pictures forthcoming)

After our meal, we were all glad we gave this a try, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The Captain was also there having dinner himself with two guests of his. 

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14 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

@Lovetocruise2002 / @GregD - Based on the pictures from the walking tour, looks like it was at least somewhat warm? I'm seeing a fair number of people in short sleeves, and a few in shorts.

It was unusually warm today in Kristiansand. The temperature was in the low 20s (Celsius). Off the top of my head, no clue what that translates to in Fahrenheit 😉

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15 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

It was unusually warm today in Kristiansand. The temperature was in the low 20s (Celsius). Off the top of my head, no clue what that translates to in Fahrenheit 😉

That is approximately 68 degF to 74 DegF (from one of the last "bilingual" Canadians [Imperial & Metric]) ... actually was taught both in school (when Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth).



Curt from Canada

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Our evening was not as exciting as @GregD’s as I cannot convince Hubby and the girls to try Wonderland again. We went our separate ways tonight; Hubby and I went to CK (Braised beef gnocchi and my favourite tofu tonight 😋) and the kids ventured off to Johnny Rockets. 

It was announced before dinner that they were going to preform The Gift again so we headed there with the kids after dinner. I am almost ashamed to say that after seeing that show for the 3rd time, I still have no idea what the bulk of the show means. However, since it has been 4 years since we first saw it, my 13 year old has now grown wise enough to explain it to me. 😂

By the time the show was done and we hiked all the way to our room, it was past 10pm. This is what the view looked like:




For people like us from Southern Ontario, this is quite the sight! It is now 11:44 pm as I type this and the moon is shining bright, but the sky is still visible and not dark. 

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Last night the seas were much gentler which resulted in some great sleep. It’s always a little trippy when traveling north and you walk outside at 1045pm and it’s still bright out.


This morning, our coffees were delivered and I wandered a bit while the rest of the family slept. We arrive in Alsund at 11:00. We have been sailing close to the coast the whole way up and the scenery this morning is stunning. The pictures don’t do it justice.





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Add me to the speechless club when it comes to describing these views! I am amazed by it all.

Photos by me this time as Hubby and the kids decided to sleep in and now they are scrambling to get breakfast from who knows where, with 40 mins left before meeting our excursion group. 🙄

I also posted some videos to IG (same handle).








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Day 4 brought us to Alesund, and as you saw earlier the views are stunning. The landscape is lush and wild, and truly amazing. Our excursion today was Stranda Mountain Explorer, and it did not disappoint. Our guide was fantastic. We also lucked out weather wise because typically it’s cloudy and rainy. We had the most fabulous blue skies after the morning clouds burned off. Watching the landscape appear before our eyes was amazing. With the nice weather, and our amazing driver, who managed to hit the ferries that we took right at the point of departure afforded us to make a couple stops and some amazing viewpoints. I took 140+ pictures with my DSLR that I need to go through, but for now I’ll leave you with a couple of teasers until I can pick the best and get them uploaded with some better WIFI.





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Where do I start? After posting those sail in pics from earlier, we headed off to our excursion which was the “Highlights of Ålesund” tour. Originally, I had my eye on the Stranda Mountain explorer with @GregDbut I went against my better judgment and held off on booking it. By the time I got around to doing it, it was sold out. I figured this tour that we booked would give us a nice overview of Ålesund. 

The tour started off with a viewing of a local church, followed by a walk through town to view the Art Nouveau architecture. 













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Next on the Highlights of Ålesund tour was a drive to the nearby Sunnmøre Museum. The Sunnmøre Museum is an open-air museum offering historic homes with exhibits & period boats from medieval times to present.

Truth here, I stole this description from Google because this part of the tour was a bit of a dud. Our guide today was not the best, very slow and not too energetic, at this point, the family and I had about enough once we discovered what time we were due back on the bus, we headed off to do our own exploration and take pics.

D13 loved this part. It’s more green and lush compared to buildings and such. She said this was her favourite part. 









After the museum, the bus took us back to the port. Hubby stayed behind to walk around town on his own. Kids and I had enough and headed back to the ship where Leroy had my favourite room service chicken wings waiting for us. 😋


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After resting for a bit we got ready and met up with @GregDand The Boss for a quick drink at the Schooner Bar before dinner. Greg brought his laptop down to show us his pics from their excursion and we were throughly jealous. I really wish I would have not hesitated and booked that excursion early on. 

Dinner brought us to Chops tonight. It was actually my first time to Chops on a Quantum class ship. Much nicer venue than Chops on Oasis class, but shame because the lifeboats completely block your views of everything. 


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After dinner we headed off to see the Headliner magic show (Jamie Allan). D13 wanted to go, she likes that sort of thing. It was entertaining. The ship is moving quite a bit tonight again and we are (or at least I am) planning for an early wake up to watch the sail into Flam tomorrow. It is supposed to be “quite dramatic” as Joff (our CD) describes it. Headed off to bed. These European cruises are pretty exhausting lol. 

With that, I will leave you with two “Behind the Scenes” shots to prove the “Lulu Bot” is indeed real (but dressed in my standard Lulu as usual lol) and not a shadow as some describe it 😉




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6 hours ago, June May said:

We had Joff on Ovation down under way back in 2020 - he was brilliant!

He is pretty funny! One of the best I have sailed with in a long time. 

6 hours ago, Rose City Cruiser said:

And avoiding the fish flies!!

Ugh! I am worried what my pool will look like by the time I get home on Saturday and if it will be filled with them! 

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3 hours ago, Ampurp85 said:

@Lovetocruise2002Wow........your daughters are almost/probably taller than you now. 😬

Those photos are gorgeous, what kind of waffle is that? 

It’s a waffle that we had at the base of the mountain in Stranda. It’s a Norway thing. They are thin and soft almost Crepe like. These we topped with Crème Fraiche and raspberry jam. 

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7 hours ago, Ampurp85 said:

@Lovetocruise2002Wow........your daughters are almost/probably taller than you now. 😬

One is. The younger one is not, just perspective lol. We always joke that we’ll be thankful if she makes 5 feet when she stops growing.


13 minutes ago, GregD said:


A couple more, totally worth getting up super early for! This is the final approach into Flam.



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Today was BUSY! As we all know I got up early to watch the sunrise, and ended up staying topside all morning until we arrived in flam which was around 8. Leroy then had me in the North Star again for my early morning ride. I made it back to the room for our Starbucks and breakfast delivery. 

We then had our first excursion of the day which was the Flam railway. This is a short 20km section of railway that goes from Flam to Myrdal where you can connect to the Bergren-Oslo Line. This section is the steepest railway in Europe and a great way to see some scenery. Along the journey you pass picturesque villages with a church from 1667, amazing waterfalls and steep escarpments. You climb 864 meters with an average gradient of 1:18, passing through 20 tunnels including one that turns 180 degrees. 

View of Flam from the North Star. Flam has a full time population of about 400 people, and it’s main industry is tourism.


Our own little Vikings we’re ready to go.


On the way up, here is the church from 1667


So many sights.E9684CE1-57BA-4A3C-80CC-7B88D334120C.thumb.jpeg.0879929243b0a97eb8545d048f6cf81d.jpeg


We even spotted an elusive Lulubot outside of her natural habitat! 


The train does make a stop for pictures at the Kjofossen Waterfall. These falls have a free fall of 305 feet. While there you must try not to become under the spell of the Huldra who will try to lure you into the mountains for good. She can be seen here…..I was tempted to stay, but a stern look from The Boss set me straight and I quickly returned to the train. 


Once at Myrdal Station, the train stops briefly before heading back down the mountain. 


The ride was fun and a good way to see a lot of things quickly, but we all remarked, that you do see them quickly before you pass them by. The total journey is about two hours.

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After we got off the train we had lunch in one of the port restaurants. We were pressed for time and ended up in the buffet restaurant. While the food was good, it was expensive for what it was, but hey, I was able to get a flight of local beers. They were okay. If we had more time there were better options for food. I guess that means we have to come back! Next up was the Panoramic Stegastein excursion.

The beers


Do you think Johnny can pass for a Viking?


Our next excursion brought us to the Stegastein Viewpoint. This is an observation platform that projects of the side of the mountain. The viewpoint is 650 meters above the Aurlandsfjord. To get there we boarded a large tour bus and headed off. What we weren’t expecting is that the road to the view point is a one lane road that handles traffic in both directions. This made for some tight obstacles and our driver had nerves of steel. There were multiple switch backs and many times I thought we would go tumbling off the side of the mountain. This car like many others had to back up to small areas to pull off to let larger vehicles go by.


Headed up one of the switch backs.


Once there, the views were amazing!




the platform 


some had more fun than others🤣


Unfortunately, while at the top it was a bit of chaos. There were so many people pushing and shoving to get to the end of the platform and nobody was patient, or used any logic to make this process smoother. Oh well, we still had fun. We had about 30 minutes up there so, plenty of time. 

once back on the bus we headed back down the same road to Aurlands Village for a little bit of wandering. We stopped in a small bakery and got some cookies. 

This church here in the village was over 300 years old


The docks in Aurlands


We had about 20 minutes here as well and headed back to the ship. All aboard was 4:30. We got there at 4:35, as well as a few hundred other passengers. There were multiple tours that arrived back in port all at the same time.

What a day!

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Per the usual, snacks were waiting for us in the room. Coma status is setting in nicely.


Dinner brought us to Jamie’s Italian. While tasty I think I prefer Giovanni’s. I mean, who thinks tartar sauce goes with Calamari??? Oh, that’s right a Brit cooking Italian food. (Sorry, not sorry)


The rest of our food was pretty good.





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Flåm is gorgeous. The more I look at the view, the more it reminds me of Lake Louise on steroids and train ride is like a super version of the drive down the Icefields Parkway or across the Trans-Canada Highway from Alberta to BC. 

In a surprise turn of events this morning, Hubby actually woke up with @GregDto catch the sunrise sail into the Fjords. Pics from a different perspective though as Hubby wandered all around the upper decks.

Massive photo dump ahead 
📸all Hubby, no real filters here 






























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