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boblerm

"Sorta" Live from the Explorer in the Norwegian Fjords

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3 hours ago, boblerm said:

It's actually much worse than it looks.  The person posting said that there were rooms that the door didn't close properly, showers not working, no room safes, lights coming on in the middle of the night, no tvs, .....  Happily, as the cruise progressed, these issues have been resolved, and the poster says that things have improved significantly.  But clearly, I have dodged a bullet here, if they chose to attempt launch 10 days earlier, that would have been me.

 

I think that whatever they choose to call it, luxury, premium, or whatever, the Scenic company is going to need to prove itself and earn it's designation.  So far, given that the ship was delayed almost a year, and was clearly not ready to sail when it did, they have a long way to go before I would even think about booking with them.

Actually if you read to the end of that thread the poster was surprisingly upbeat about the overall experience with good things to say about the crew, food and excursions. 

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4 minutes ago, jeb_bud said:

Actually if you read to the end of that thread the poster was surprisingly upbeat about the overall experience with good things to say about the crew, food and excursions

I haven't quite got to the end yet, glad that the poster was pleased.  Still, I don't think that it reflects well on the company that 11 months after the initial planned launch date, this was the best that they could do to welcome its first passengers aboard.  Potentially, this can turn out to be a first class product, time will tell.

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1 hour ago, DeepFreeze63 said:

 

I'll laugh AFTER our Feb 6th Inaugural cruise on the Splendor. Here's what I posted sometime ago on that cruise's Roll Call: "I've been in on a new ship build so I know that we will have some interesting happenings as she gets use to the sea. should be fun with stories to be told!  Hope not TOO much "fun"!

I did promise (before boblerm spoiled us) to do a "Sorta" on that cruise; hopefully some of the CCers on board can help with the photos. I'll be on the Explorer (5th time) in September and will plan for a February comparison with the Splendor. Any specific interest to include in the comparison?

As you have been on a now launch before, your eyes are open that everything might not be 100% on day 1.  But I am going to go out on a limb, and predict that whatever foibles you encounter will not come anywhere close to what has been seen here.

I am looking forward to hearing about what you see on Splendor, as mentioned, there is a large group of us boarding in March.

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Posted (edited)

Ålesund

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This is a fishing and ferry port situated at the entrance to the Geirangerfjord.

 

Our excursion was to the Sunnmøre Museum, and a view from Mount Aksla.

We began with a drive around the lovely Art Nouveau district

 

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The Sunnmøre Museum was similar to the one that we visited in Kristiansand, but with more beautiful vistas

 

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The beds that were on display both here and in the Vest Agder  museum were very small.  Out tour guide explained that had nothing to do with the height of the people, but rather to the belief that if one was to lie down flat for an extended period of time, the devil could steal your soul.  Discretion being the better part of valor, they chose to sleep in curled up positions.

 

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Here were further examples of the elegantly maintained cemeteries. 

 

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In fact, I have heard that the cemeteries in Norway are so beautiful that people are just dying to get in there.

SOR-RY!

 

There was a boat collection with replicas of ships dating back to 700.

 

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We drove up to the top of Mount Aksla, to a spot known as the Fjellstua Viewpoint.

We could have hiked up, but.....nah.

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Edited by boblerm

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Bob, I just found this blog and read it all in one sitting. I LOVE your wittiness style and I've never seen photos as gorgeous as yours. I'm sure happy I found this.

 

Thank you for making my day extra special.

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20 hours ago, petlover said:

Bob, I just found this blog and read it all in one sitting. I LOVE your wittiness style and I've never seen photos as gorgeous as yours. I'm sure happy I found this.

 

Thank you for making my day extra special.

Petlover, I very much appreciate your comment, and greatly appreciate you misspelling of "witless".😂

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I just want to add a few thoughts about our visit to Gerainger

 

I have a fascination with learning the proper pronunciation of places that I visit.  Not because there is a snowball's chance in Hades that I will get it right, but I just find it very interesting, especially compared with my assumptions.  Case in point- it is not pronounced Ger ranger, like the lone Ranger.  Nor is it Jer anger, rhyming with anger.  Here is the best that my North American ear can discern- Gayrrunger, both g's being hard g sounds, the rr being a very subtle rolling r, pronounced not nearly as much as one might do in Spanish, and the u being somewhere between uh and oo.

  At one of our stops, I had asked the tour guide for help in this, but she is from Argentina and not yet quite so fluent in correct Norwegian, so she asked the bus driver to help me.  After spending a few minutes , he smiled and nodded, but I'm pretty sure he was giving me a "gentleman's C".

 

But no matter how you pronounce it, this is a truly special place, among the more scenic areas of cruising that I can remember.

 

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We spent the morning cruising down the Geirangerfjord. I have bemoaned the fact that there is no forward facing outdoor viewing area on the Explorer, there is, however, a very nice aft facing area outside of La Veranda.  We stepped out here after breakfast, it was a very nice area to see the sights.  It was just a great feeling to be out there, watching the sights, but also watching the people enjoying the sights, taking snaps, taking selfies,  offering to take shots of others, and every once in a while just looking at each other and smiling.

 

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At the area of the" Seven Sisters"  waterfall, the captain stopped and did a 360, so that those on their verandas could take in the panorama.  The Seven Sisters consists of 7 separate streams , but due to dry weather of late, not all a few can be seen.  Still quite lovely, regardless of the number of sisters. 

 

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Across the fjord is another fall known as "The Suitor".

 

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We anchored in Gerainger, this was our only tender port of the cruise.  The tender ride was very short, but the boat just crept along very slowly.  I had meant to ask why that was but forgot to, I assume there is some kind of ecological reason. 

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Our excursion was a bus ride to the top of Mount Dalsnibba, with a few stops along the way.  I have a problem with motion sickness.  Not on the ship, rarely if ever on the ship, but on bus rides, especially long ones with hairpin turns going up a hill.  Fortunately, for this excursion, Regent's description was a good one, so I took 25 mg of Meclizine prior.  It was a good decision, as this is just the type of ride that I would think would give me problems, but it did not. 

 

We enjoyed great views of the fjord, and at several places could look down on our ship,  a view I always enjoy.

 

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Wildlife sighting!

 

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From the tippity- top

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One word of caution to my fellow travelers- many people like to build these little statues, or cairns out of rocks.  Our tour guide explained that this is not a good idea, as they have traditionally served, and apparently still do serve as markers for hikers, and this messes things up for them.  Also, it can have a negative effect on the fauna.

 

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On the way down, we stopped at Djupvasshytta Lodge ( pronounced Dyoopvass...., er um, Djuhpvash ..., oh fuggetaboutit!)  where we had danish pastries and coffee.

 

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To drive a bus here requires quite a bit of skill

 

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And back to ship

 

 

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The cruise out of the fjord brought us to the same sights as the cruise in, but some sights just never get old, just as captivating the second time around.

From Compass Rose

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Well, I think that is just about quite enough from me.  OK, more than enough.  To those that have been following this thread, my sincere thanks for putting up with my lame attempts at "humor".  To those that have posted here, I greatly appreciate all comment made. 

 

 

A few final thoughts- (didn't you say you were finished?)   Yes, but I'll keep it brief. 

 

As you may have gathered, this was one of the most beautiful parts of the world that I have visited, no photos or description can do right by it.  For those who have an opportunity to visit here, it is not likely to disappoint.

 

Lastly, I would like to say a word about the people of Norway.  I am loath to generalize about persons based on what group they belong to or where they come from, so these remarks are confined to the people that I came into contact with, be they tour guides, bus drivers, shop workers, restaurant servers, museum employees, or people that we came across along the way.  I can't remember encountering a more warm, welcoming, seemingly happy group of people, that appeared to thoroughly  contented with where they were and what they were doing.

 

Skål!

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1 hour ago, boblerm said:

Well, I think that is just about quite enough from me.  OK, more than enough.  To those that have been following this thread, my sincere thanks for putting up with my lame attempts at "humor".  To those that have posted here, I greatly appreciate all comment made. 

 

 

A few final thoughts- (didn't you say you were finished?)   Yes, but I'll keep it brief. 

 

As you may have gathered, this was one of the most beautiful parts of the world that I have visited, no photos or description can do right by it.  For those who have an opportunity to visit here, it is not likely to disappoint.

 

Lastly, I would like to say a word about the people of Norway.  I am loath to generalize about persons based on what group they belong to or where they come from, so these remarks are confined to the people that I came into contact with, be they tour guides, bus drivers, shop workers, restaurant servers, museum employees, or people that we came across along the way.  I can't remember encountering a more warm, welcoming, seemingly happy group of people, that appeared to thoroughly  contented with where they were and what they were doing.

 

Skål!

 

Loved every part of your blog and cannot agree more about the beauty of the land and the kindness of the people in that part of the world.

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