Norway has always been at the top of my list of dream destinations, as the country’s fjords have fascinated me for far too long; so when we finally booked that long-awaited 7N Norwegian Fjords Cruise with Royal Caribbean, I was ecstatic. I had never gone on a cruise before this one, so what made it all the more special was the fact that it was in my ultimate dream destination.
There were so many advantages I discovered about cruising during this trip, but more on that in First Time Cruisers: What You Need to Know. This post will focus mainly on whether or not this cruise is worth every penny, zoning-in on seven major factors of the trip.
The Ship: Serenade of the Seas and its Amenities
First, let’s cover what was our home for seven nights straight, the gorgeously massive Serenade of the Seas. Given that we were already in awe by how enormous it was, it was an even bigger shock to realize that the Serenade was far from the class of the world’s largest ships.Though the Serenade isn’t as massive as the Anthem, the Oasis, and so on… the Serenade presents itself to be of five-star quality in terms of entertainment, dining, accommodation, and service.Focusing on the ship’s major amenities, a wide array of options is available to guests of all ages and interests. From an indoor & outdoor pool to a cinema, a theatre, retail shops, restaurants, a gym, a jogging track, a spa, a rock climbing wall, an arcade, a casino, beautifully-designed atrium, group activities & crew performances, it would be difficult to have nothing to do on this ship.
One thing I didn’t know about cruising was that the food is free – 24/7! And sometimes, when food is complimentary, the quality suffers; but this was not the case for the food offered on the Serenade. The Main Dining room offers a complimentary three-course meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, while the Windjammer Café is a buffet restaurant open during all meal times as well. For 24/7 dining needs, the Park Café is ready to offer all-day dining snacks. And lastly, the complimentary room service (food is free with a minimal & fixed service fee) will leave you spoiled by the end of the trip. The Serenade, as is in any other Royal Caribbean ship, also offers other specialty restaurants you could dine in at a premium, like: Chef’s Table for a small & private meal with the Executive Chef, Chops Grille for Steak, Giovanni’s Table for Italian, Izumi for Japanese, and Rita’s Cantina for Mexican. We only tried Izumi, since we were craving for Japanese and it satisfied our appetites; but to be honest, it would be best to stick to the complimentary restaurants, as you won’t only be saving on a couple of dollars, but the quality is already top-notch that your appetites will indeed, be satisfied.
The main reason why we chose this trip was of course, because of its itinerary and the fact that its highlights were the Norwegian fjords. Even if we only had a full day in each of the places we visited, I believe we’d gotten the most out of our trip, which is why the itinerary is one I highly-recommend and one I would do over and over again.
DAY 1 Departure from Copenhagen at 17:00
DAY 2 Cruising
DAY 3 Stavanger from 8:00-18:00
DAY 4 Bergen from 8:00-18:00
DAY 5 Ålesund from 8:00-20:00
DAY 6 Geiranger from 7:00-17:00
DAY 7 Cruising
DAY 8 Arrival in Copenhagen 7:00
The Cruising Days
Cruising days are the days you spend at sea, and for this itinerary, there are only two full cruising days – nearly three, if you add the departure and arrival days. However, I would say that two cruising days is just about enough time to be spent on the ship, enjoying all its amenities, the service, entertainment, and the service. For this itinerary, all the time allotted whether it be on land or at sea, allowed us to have the best experience.
The Cruise Stops & Shore Excursions
Departure and arrival are both in Copenhagen, which remains to be one of my favorite cities of all time because of its dynamic vibe and its architectural uniqueness. The beginning and ending of the cruise itinerary very well speak for the stops as well, as they are definitely places that I highly-enjoyed and would love to return to. See the links below for my posts about each city that was part of the cruise:
STAVANGER A Taste of Norway – First Cruise Stopover in Stavanger
Top Excursion Choice: Pulpit Rock Adventure Hike ✪
BERGEN Cruise Stopover in Bergen: 5 Things Not to Miss
Top Excursion Choice: Bergen by Land and Sea ✪
ÅLESUND The Must-Do in Ålesund: Sugarlump Mountain, also known as the Sugar Top
Top Excursion Choice: Sugarlump Mountain Hiking Adventure ✪
GEIRANGER Geiranger Cruise Stop: Briksdal Glacier Shore Excursion
Top Excursion Choice: Briksdal Glacier with Lunch ✪
Like I said before, it’s the service that makes or breaks a trip and this time, it made it. Everyone on the ship is great: from the dining crew to the security crew, the entertainment crew, and so on – Royal Caribbean ensures that guests not only enjoy the amenities, but the company of those on board as well. True enough, the Serenade of the Seas offers the complete package, down to the fantastic crew that surely completed our stay.
Before I conclude this post, it’s important not to miss this very crucial part of the cruise: sailing out of Geiranger. Words can never describe this experience, as we sailed past Norway’s most popular falls – the Seven Sisters with the incredible fjords as its backdrop. I’ll continue on with the photos and they speak for themselves; though again, photos will truly never do justice.
A tip, stay outdoors even after exiting Geirangerfjord and as everyone else heads back in, you’ll surely enjoy the view & the experience – like we did.
This experience remains to be my favorite, as there was just something so magical about experiencing Norway by cruising that made it all the more memorable. Both the stops and the route make this trip a fantastic itinerary in this gorgeous country, as you get a taste of everything: the urban life in Bergen to the fjords in Geiranger.If you haven’t been to Norway or haven’t decided on whether to visit this spectacular country by cruising, I say just go and do it! Book the cruise, and I promise, it’ll definitely change your life.