Cruise line: Azamara Cruises,
Norwegian Fjord Voyage – Azamara Journey 7th August 2011. This was an “extra” cruise to celebrate my 70th birthday, and boy, what a celebration !! I know the wine with lunch and dinner is included, but the welcome on-board with a REALLY free glass of champagne is a great start to the cruise..
We sailed from Copenhagen heading north to Bergen, our “gateway to the fjords” as it were. The GPS on my camera could tell me where we were on any given date, but who cares when it’s the day we remember and not the date !!! As Norway aficionados, we were looking forward to visiting some places again, as well as new destinations like Alesund and Molde. It was a bonus that the Captain was from Norway and knew a lot of “wrinkles”.
On four separate days he gave us unique experiences…
1. After sailing from Bergen, he announced on the PA that we would be slowing down and not to worry… he had arranged to pick up some fish from a “friend” with a trawler. As dinner was already underway, the fish was made available the next evening.
2. In the Geiranger Fjord we waited for the local ferry to sail. When we got to The Seven Sisters waterfalls the ship was taken close-in to the falls and we got the story behind the name. A 180 degree turn took us to the other side of the fjord to get the story behind the other falls – The Suitor. After another 180 we headed for the open sea..
3. On the way out from Flam the Captain announced, that as a lot of people had asked him about the local goat’s cheese, we would stop to do some shopping!! We approached a small village with a people to goat ratio of 1:3, a RIB was dropped into the water and one of the deck officers returned about 15 minutes later with a large pack of cheese, which was enjoyed by many at dinner and at the following breakfast..
4. Not content with stopping for cheese, later in the same fjord, we proceeded to make an approximately 110 degree turn into a fairly narrow but pretty fjord. I think both of the local ferries we met were gob-smacked to see a cruise ship !!! As darkness closed in, we reached somewhat open water, where the ship did two (albeit slow) do-nuts before heading back towards the sea !!!!
Now back to the nitty-gritty.. Due to the ambience of the ship we only went to two of the shows – we tended to spend time chatting (and drinking) at the dinner table or meeting our new friends at the Mosaic Café mid ships (where the early evening quizzes were held) for a espresso (or whatever!!!!) One of the highlights was an early evening “A Conversation with Sir Roger Moore”. He was on a private holiday, but offered this opportunity to his fellow passengers. He is in his eighties but was sparkling in his responses to the Cruise Director’s questions and those of the audience. Of course his involvement with UNICEF was not exactly hidden……
We are approaching top tier in the Celebrity Captains Club and, of course we took full advantage of the reciprocal benefits provided!!! On my 70th we had dinner with a group of people we had previously dined with a few times. There were two young ladies from Brazil, an ex DHL pilot and his daughter and another gentleman who was travelling on his own. What a great evening!! I got a bunch of flowers (collected from their staterooms), a card, a pack of Lindt Chocolate and a banana…(!!) This was certainly a fantastic and memorable birthday (not withstanding the exuberance of the delightful young ladies). We met so many great people, and this is typical of our previous experience of Azamara.
Our next Azamara cruise at the end of September, covers our 46th Anniversary and is from Nice to Rome taking in the delights of Barcelona, Corsica, Amalfi, Sorrento, and Capri. Roll-on Italy…. We are cutting down on the number of cruise per year so that we can afford to cruise more regularly with AzamaraOverall rating: 5