Diary of a cruise virgin – Saga Pearl: Part 3

Finding my sea legs

Only a couple of days in and I have to say I am converted to cruising.

Saga PearlWith Saga it is so easy, the food is superb, well thought out menus offering lots of choice and all beautifully prepared. Easily to the standard of a top class hotel. There is exceptional entertainment each evening, more of that later, and a wide variety of activities and shore excursions.

On our second night at sea we had the ‘formal dinner’ where the dress code is evening wear or cocktail dresses for ladies,  and dinner jackets or lounge suits for men. This aspect of cruise life had concerned me as my husband Clive and I are very casual people. But we decided to go with the flow and I invested in a very reasonable evening dress, courtesy of TK MAX online (!) and he bought his first evening suit in his life from a factory outlet shop – what cheapskates we are!

When the evening came I sneaked out of my cabin just as proceedings began, to make sure people really had read the memo and we weren’t going to be the only ones done up to the nines. For the most part they had, so back to the cabin I went and got my glad rags on. BergenTime to get this party started! Once I had joined the throng of people in the lounge, to meet the captain and enjoy a glass of something, I was feeling relaxed and began to see the attraction of a little bit of sparkle. So if this concerns you when thinking about a cruise I would say – it is not absolutely compulsory but if you give it a go I think you will enjoy yourself.

The following day in Bergen started a little disappointing as the weather was appalling, raining cats and dogs. But by the time we had breakfast and joined our various coaches the rain had eased leaving a misty grey.

My plans had changed at the last minute and instead of going on a day long hike with my husband, I took a day coach tour to Hardanger Fjord, so we both picked up our packed lunches and then went our separate ways.

Lakeside reflectionsMy day turned out to be very interesting as we had such a knowledgeable guide who explained a lot about Norwegian life and history during the hour and half ride to Hardanger. Once there the clouds parted and the sun shone through and we all enjoyed a coffee break with delicious apple cake at a hotel beside the fjord. Then off to admire the waterfall at Steinsdalsfossen where you can walk up a path and actually go behind the water that is cascading down. The fine spray is a lovely way to cool off on a hot day.

Back on the ship Clive and I had the chance to swap stories about our day. His had been marred by misty weather up the mountain, but even so he had appreciated the chance to get out of the city and walk through some beautiful countryside, albeit with no ‘stunning views’ this time. Saga really try to offer port visits to suit all abilities and interests and are marked in order of difficulty. The ‘easy’ tours involve little or no walking whereas the ‘strenuous’ can be a 6-7 mile hike.

Tomorrow we are looking forward to going into Norway’s longest fjord the famous Sognefjord, and visiting the small town of Skjolden.

Silver Travel Advisor recommends Saga Holidays

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Sally Dowling

Travel writer

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