Coast of Norway

During the night we had travelled up the East Coast of England and were now heading towards Norway. The crossing from Newcastle to Bergen was one I had made many times before, but it had only rarely been as calm as it was this time. As I stood on deck, at one of my favourite occupations, watching the sea go by, I reflected on how different the North Sea was from the Baltic. On the cruise last year we were hardly ever completely alone. Nearly always there were other ships or shorelines in view, but here it was just us and the sea.

When I first persuaded JW to go on a cruise his main argument had been that he would be bored between ports, but it would have been difficult to join in with everything on offer, especially as so much of the day was occupied with meals. 🙂

The day started with Earlybird tea and coffee, then breakfast, morning coffee, lunch, tea, dinner,and finally for the hardiest, late night snacks!

Breakfast and lunch could be taken either in the dining room (with service) or at the self service cold table. Dinner was served in the dining room in two sittings.

We usually opted for the cold table which was quite magnificent. At breakfast there was a variety of cereals, fresh fruit, yoghurts, cold meats, cheeses, breads, pastries as well as all the ingredients for a full English.

At lunch it was like free run at the deli counter, salads, meats, cheeses, soup, and four hot dishes and vegetables, usually two meat, one fish and one vegetarian and another table with desserts, fruit and cakes.

Afternoon tea was a variety of open sandwiches, rolls and cakes.

Dinner presented a menu of around seven courses of which you could have as many or as few as you liked!

I was quite amazed at how much some people could pack away!

In between meal times there was a variety of ways to occupy us from sports and keep fit to Arts and Crafts sessions. There were also illustrated talks, films, variety shows, cinema and a piano player.

On that first day I went to a talk on the three ports we would be visiting in Norway and the excursions available.

After lunch we had a boat drill then I went to a very interesting talk about “The Shetland Bus” which ferried Allied Servicemen and Norwegian Resistance workers between Norway and Scotland.

Before dinner we were invited to the Captain’s Cocktail party. This was a formal evening and everyone was in evening dress. I must say that I like to see men in formal evening wear, JW in particular scrubs up well and looks very elegant!

At dinner we had set tables. We were on a table for four and we were fortunate to have as our tablemates a very pleasant couple of our own age who came from Weymouth, Colin and Sylvia.

After dinner we didn’t go to any of the shows, just wandered on deck and watched the sea and hugged the knowledge that tomorrow we would be in Norway!