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Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 242
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

July 18, 2012

I was just perusing the  traveler reviews on this trip site itself today.  Looking to see if there were any complaints or issues, or more great reviews. 

The latest review made some points that there was nothing whatsoever to do on the ship.  The words, Coastal Cruise, should have been a lightbulb.  The name of the cruise line should have been another lightbulb.

We took this voyage/trip last year and found most of it very good to excellent.  Before we booked, we were all over the Internet looking for descriptions of the ship, its voyages, the cabins, entertainment (doesn't mean much to us, we're early to bed type people).  But more, I went to several travel websites looking for traveler reviews.  I must have read hundreds of reviews.  Most of the reviews said if you were looking for shiny brass, bars/lounges, entertainment and shore excursions, you better think twice of this type cruise.  In addition, an article written by a journalist who took the cruise in order to write her article had it published in several newspapers, and travel magazines.  She states that if you are looking to party, look for another cruise line, words to that affect.

There was a lot of brass, some very beautiful paintings, the dining room at least 4 star and a half, the food excellent and a lot of it; not just fish or seafood as some ads say; they did have alternatives; I'm not a seafood lover at all and didn't eat it once on the ship.  The cabins weren't not all that bad, somewhat like GCT's.  The staff would go out of their way to be helpful.

There was a negative comment about seeing too many fjords.  Duh.  That's part of the title.  Yeah, they did get a little boring, but soon we'd dock again and out to stroll the town if we docked long enough, buy water, a candy bar, etc. etc..

The comments about some of the long bus rides, and waiting time in airports.  To get from point A to B sometimes takes the air instead of land.  We didn't like the long bus rides in our recent trip to Ireland, but it doesn't mean we didn't enjoy ourselves.

I hope other people who took this voyage are a bit more open minded, and those who are planning this trip should do homework first before booking a reservation.  That way you won't be disappointed.  It really was a great trip.  My only negative was the program director, and I wasn't the only one who complained about her, just about the whole group had nothing good to say about her. 

 

 

Author: beachlady

Joined: 7/9/2014
Posts: 3
GCT Trips Taken: 2
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2009

July 10, 2014

I have read on cruise review websites that, on the Huertigruten ships, one must pay extra for drinking water at meals. Is this true? Although we will do so, if required, I find it both amusing and insulting that we would have paid $15,000 for a trip to a part of the world with unlimited fresh water and be dunned for a glass at dinner! On GCT ships, of course, there is no question but I wonder about the Huertigruten; can anyone answer this question?

BTW - I have what is known as "Dry Mouth Syndrome" so my question is based on a physical need.    thanks

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 545
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

July 11, 2014

If it is true, it may be that you'd have to pay for bottled water, which would apply almost everywhere. I don't think they would charge for regular drinking water and it shouldn't be a problem. On some trips I've taken a pitcher of cold water is available on the table.

Author: beachlady

Joined: 7/9/2014
Posts: 3
GCT Trips Taken: 2
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2009

July 21, 2014

I was told that they DO charge for glasses of water at meals. Certainly I expect to pay for bottled water....but water with dinner...in a country with enormous fresh water supplies?!

We leave next week; when we return, I'll let you know!

Author: tomnat

Joined: 6/4/2010
Posts: 88
GCT Trips Taken: 15
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 2004

July 22, 2014

We reserved this trip for May 2014. Thanks for comparing the 5 day Hurtigruten Norway coast part to more typical Ocean ship cruises & also GCT riverboats. Your comments confirm our reasearch, and we are looking forward to experiencing the unique Norwegian coast.

To Beachlady, we checked our Norway travel handbook (4/9/14) section "9. Hurtigruten Ships..." which states: "Drinking Water Tap water aboard ship is safe for drinking"; so take at water bottle with you and fill up on board to stay hydrated. 

 

Author: luvtravelin

Joined: 7/14/2010
Posts: 15
GCT Trips Taken: 2
OAT Trips Taken: 20
Traveler Since: 2001

July 22, 2014

We did this trip in Sept., 2004 and water at meals was for purchase.  Tap water was safe to drink and that is what we requested and were given without cost.  No side effects.

Author: tomnat

Joined: 6/4/2010
Posts: 88
GCT Trips Taken: 15
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 2004

July 23, 2014

Singsling, Thanks for the great info. What was the name of your not-so-good tour guide?

It will help us if we get her to know her name, so that we can be proactive to get the most from our May 2015 trip, and also will help her & GCT to improve performance for other travellers.

It sounds like Hurtigruten charges for bottled water at meals, but tap water is free (or bring your own bottle filled with ship's tap water). Also, reviewers noted that prices in Norway are much higher than in the US; so some travelers have suggested buying snacks, drinks, etc. in Finland, before crossing in Norway to board the ship.

Author: nwtravelers

Joined: 3/12/2010
Posts: 9
GCT Trips Taken: 17
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

August 01, 2014

We took this trip May-June time frame this year. Tap water is available free of charge during breakfast only. The water section is then secured for the rest of the day. During lunch and dinner GCT paid for and we received 1 bottle of water per person. Upon boarding the ship your PD provides you with a water symbol to place on your card. Any additional water was a charge to your ship's account. You can ask for a bowl of ice and that is very willingly provided. Keeps the water cold and it melts also. 

It is a truly beautiful trip. Hope that helps. 

Kay

Author: jeantravels

Joined: 10/21/2010
Posts: 10
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 3
Countries Visited:

Most of Europe and New Zealand before discovering OAT. With OAT: Costa Rica, Heart of India, Inside Vietnam w/pre-trip Laos . With GCT: Dubrovnik and Beyond. Happy to be a Travel Ambassador and earned free trip. All it takes is 8 referrals: easy!

Traveler Since: 2010

August 01, 2014

Nwtravelers, Is there a reason why one cannot fill own water bottle from bathroom sink and carry it around during day and into dining room?

Author: nwtravelers

Joined: 3/12/2010
Posts: 9
GCT Trips Taken: 17
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

August 02, 2014

Jeantravels, 

No reason that I know would prevent you doing that and the water in the cabins was nice and cold. We drank it all the time. 

Kay

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 242
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

August 02, 2014

Tomnat, by now you are back from your Hurtigruten cruise and I hope it was interesting and fun.  Sorry I didn't get back to you on the PD, maybe that was on purpose but I've been very busy.  It was Anna.  I won't say much on her now as it's over and done but she was a trip and a half.

 

 

Author: tomnat

Joined: 6/4/2010
Posts: 88
GCT Trips Taken: 15
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 2004

August 07, 2014

Thanks Singsling. Actually we go May 2015 (not 2014); so knowing it is Anna will help us be proactive if she is our PD, both before & early in the trip.

On our next trip to Turkey, a recent crtical review mentioned that the Whisperer Head-Sets did not work, which created problems hearing the PD. With 40 person groups, we find Head-Sets essential; so we will call GCT & email back to our PD before the trip to make sure they will have working Head-Sets.

Author: janitalee

Joined: 2/2/2014
Posts: 5
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 2012

August 17, 2014

Just returned from this trip...other than air problems (GCT) we had a great time! As already stated a bottle of water was provided at lunch and dinner and we refilled them as needed in the cabin.  We also purchased a 3 ltr box of wine in Ivalo for in our cabin during the cruise.

Whispers worked great on our trip and to my knowledge no one had a problem. Just remember to turn it off when finished to save the battery.

Even though warned by comments and reviews, food prices are shocking. $38 one topping pizzas, $48 fish & chips, $85 for 2 burgers and 3 glasses of wine. There are cheaper alternatives at the food venders in the markets...best I saw was an $9 burger. Luckily you are not on your own for too many meals...unless you do an extension trip.

 

Author: jmiller68

Joined: 10/10/2014
Posts: 2

October 10, 2014

We took this trip in September, and had a wonderful time. We were prepared for the "laid back" nature of the cruise, and brought books to read and listen to. It's a good thing we did, because three of the days we had rainy, foggy weather--- so much for the scenery. Our PD, Fredrik, helped fill in the time with interesting discussions about Norwegian culture, history and politics. He also led interesting walks in all of the towns where we had enough time to get off the ship.

Grand Circle paid for a "water package" for us, so we got a bottle of still or sparkling water at every lunch and dinner. 

We especially enjoyed our free time in Helsinki, Bergen and Oslo. We did not do any of the optional tours, because we love exploring on our own, walking or using public transportaion. The Oslo Card was a great deal at the senior rates. We used it to get around on train, tram, bus and ferry, and were free to enter any of the museums without having to debate whether a certain one was worth paying admission or not.

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