Author: Kristine Jordan
North Cape 29th June 2013. We had very mixed experiences, and on the whole would not use this ship again. Unlike an earlier reviewer, our time from arrival at the queue to our cabin was TWO HOURS. Some story about '5 ships at Southampton and we got the short straw'. Hmm. The last queue (part 4) with our cruise cards in hand, was to go up the gangway on to the ship. That bit alone was 30 minutes. Queues on and off were a constant feature of the trip. We will remember it as the 'cruise of the queues'. The cabins and public areas were very good and the staff always excellent. Food also of a high standard. The restaurants were efficient, though the buffet area could not cope with the crowds and many people fought for seats at busy times. I have not been on any cruise where there was such congestion. One delightful area was the International Cafe and Piazza. Very popular and, you guessed it, crowded and queues. The staff worked valliantly but there was insufficient seating, made worse when the shows were on. An earlier reviewer mentions this. On formal night the piazza shows combined with sales tables on the higher floors overlooking the piazza. Those many without seats below watched from the balcony. The passage along here between these spectators and the sales buyers was a scrum, especially when the crowds from the main theatre joined in. Norway was a bit cold and wet, and the ship's public areas inside needed better management. More espresso machines beyond the cafe would help. A good cruise was spoiled by the lack of space and organisation. The Crown Grill was great and we had our best formal cruise photos.We bought them, they were that good. Good all round entertainment,especially the dance shows. Food always reliable too. Will think twice about this ship though: a pity as much of it was great.