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Bella0714

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About Bella0714

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  1. Thank you, roaming_kiwi. That was very helpful. It almost seems like a no-brainer when the expedition on Hurtigruten Midnatsol (13 days, 6 in Antarctica) is only $2,100 more than the sail-by with HAL: $11,200 vs. $9,100 for two.
  2. We're staying on the Nordnorge in Kirkenes and going port-to-port to Svolvaer; for the northbound, we booked an Arctic Superior cabin because the UK site was running a very good sale and we got the Arctic Superior for the same price as an inside guarantee would have been without the sale. Didn't see any point in staying in Kirkenes in late September since there won't be any snow. Thought about taking the bus to Murmansk and spending a day there, but it would've taken away from Lofoten (unless we fly from Kirkenes to Tromso then got back on the ship in Tromso; still a thought, but we'd miss Kirkenes to Tromso). Finnmarken from Svolvaer to Trondheim. SarniaLo, your blog has inspired us to go to Norway and Antarctica!
  3. We've decided to do Svolvaer to Trondheim southbound on Hurtigruten. We like the idea of spending more time on the ship, SarniaLo's photos of that stretch are beautiful (now we need the weather to cooperate!) and we also like the idea of the train ride from Trondheim to Oslo, especially with possible fall foliage. We're going to book the 8:10 a.m. train on Sunday, Oct. 6 when it goes on sale to get the low price and hope Hurtigruten isn't late arriving in Trondheim; if it is, we'll just have to eat that ticket and take a later train. And if we get the earlier train, we'll have the rest of the afternoon, that night and the following morning in Oslo (our flight is at 5 p.m. on Oct. 7). For those who have done port-to-port, is there much risk in waiting until 30 days out to book the port-to-port at that time of year. The Hurtigruten.no site claims they reduce prices by 40% for port-to-port travel less than 30 days out. Thanks to all!
  4. I just had a look at the next day of your journey and am now thinking we should take the train from Trondheim to Oslo. Considering airport travel time and wait time at the airport, it’s only a few hours longer. This would be our only train trip of our journey, and I like trains. The scenery looks really nice.
  5. Thank you. Those are beautiful pictures. As for Oslo, we’d lose a day unless we spend six days in Lofoten instead of seven, which I’m not sure we want to do. But we were thinking of flying to Bodo from Svolvaer, anyway, and using the long layover to go to Saltstraumen (the current is strong during the layover), so under that plan, we wouldn’t have arrived in Oslo until late Saturday night anyway. If we sail from Svolvaer to Trondheim instead, we can still get to Oslo Sunday morning (our flight is late Monday afternoon). The purpose of this trip always was to see beautiful scenery and, hopefully, the lights, not big cities.
  6. My wife and I have already booked Hurtigruten from Bergen to Kirkenes on Nordnorge, departing September 19. Then we'll take the southbound leg to Svolvaer, arriving Sept. 27, and stay eight nights so we can explore the Lofoten Islands and maybe parts of Vesteralen, too. The original plan was to fly from Svolvaer to Stockholm on the morning of Saturday, October 5 and spend the last few nights in Oslo prior to our late-afternoon departure on the 7th. But now I'm wondering if we should get back on Hurtigruten in Svolvaer on October 4 or 5 and sail southbound to Trondheim (arriving at 6:30 a.m.) to spend a half day or so there before flying to Oslo. Compared to the rest of the journey, how scenic is that leg between Svolvaer and Trondheim (I know we'll only get part of it in daylight)? Or would we be better off just flying from Svolvaer to Oslo (we've never been there)? Thanks for your input.
  7. We're doing Bergen to Svolvaer via Kirkenes and spending a week in Lofoten. Two days in Bergen to start the trip and two days in Oslo to finish it. We wanted to do the huskies and the snow hotel, but we decided to avoid winter because we want to spend a week in Lofoten and the area around it and were worried about winter storms. So, we traded off snow scenery and activities for a more-predictable week, driving-wise, in Lofoten. But every time I see photos of Norway with snow, I wonder if we did the right thing. Thanks for the tips re-DIY. We can still do the king crabs in Kirkenes. Glad you had a wonderful time.
  8. If you have any doubts about South Georgia, check out the Frozen Worlds episode of Our Planet on Netflix. I wasn't sure I wanted to go there, either, until I saw that. Funny, but it made me want to go (because it's so beautiful and impressive and so many animals) and not go (because I kinda feel we should leave those animals alone).
  9. RoamingKiwi, now that you’ve done Antarctica by HAL sail-by and on an expedition ship, can you compare the two experiences in regards to scenic viewing from the respective ships? Was the scenic viewing itself from the ships far superior on Hurtigruten when you were in Antarctica?
  10. Thanks for the report and the great pictures. My wife and I are from South Florida too and sailing on Nordnorge September 19. You mentioned DIY in some ports. May I ask what you did? What other cities did you visit in addition to the Hurtigruten ports?
  11. Thanks for responding. The Westerdam cruise is not my first choice, but I placed a refundable deposit just in case Hurtigruten doesn't become a good option, price-wise, over the next year and a half. From what I can tell, HAL doesn't go further south than the Lemaire Channel and often doesn't even make it that far. Holland America and the other large cruise ships might cease to be an option to Antarctic after 2021 or 22 because of the new polar code, so I'm hedging my bets. If they're gone, there won't be any inexpensive options.
  12. You're right, we're going to have to agree to disagree! But I appreciate your point of view. I agree that there are probably multiple reasons and objectives, but the skeptic in me doubts that any of them including cutting down on waste.
  13. avian,777 are you at least a little offended by HAL pretending that they're trying to cut down on waste when what they're really doing is trying to increase profits? If they really cared about cutting down on waste, they'd serve better food in the dining room so people weren't always trying one entree after another just to get to one that's satisfactory. I know they can't come out and say, "We're trying to make more money," but they also don't have to insult our intelligence with this "cutting down on waste" line.
  14. I don't think raising drink prices is an issue because HAL doesn't really advertise its drink menu. All they say is that if you buy so and so package, you can have any drink up to a menu price of $9, for example. Now, if they changed that limit to $8 or changed the per-day drink limit from 15 to 12, I'd have a problem with that. Unlimited entrees in the MDR are expected; it's been something that's been going on for as far back as most people can remember, and to not explicitly state that there's now a charge for extra entrees before advertising a cruise is, to me, unfair. HAL doesn't have to sell cruises two years in advance, but they choose to. Why? Because it's to their advantage. But, much as a customer can't have it both ways if they buy a nonrefundable fare only to have the price decrease, HAL can't have it both ways if it sells something at a certain price and then decides that that price isn't enough. I also think there's a wide perception that cruise lines, including HAL, are always in their customers' pockets, trying to wrench every penny out of them. Sometimes on a cruise, it's so obvious as to become uncomfortable. I think this practice, if implemented, would add to that perception. It's part of the reason I'll never understand why anyone would be loyal to a cruise line, other than for frequent cruiser perks. I've never seen a cruise line that deserved loyalty.
  15. No, I'm not, but I also want to know what I'm paying for, especially if I'm purchasing a non-refundable fare. I mean, by your reasoning, as a responsible consumer, I should be allowed to ask for a refund in the price difference if a cruise line drops its price after my final payment is made. Or does it only work one way? I'm taking a chance when I purchase a non-refundable fare. Why is it not fair for HAL to take a chance when it sells them, too? I am not saying that HAL doesn't have the right to charge $10 for additional entrees; I'm just saying that I want to know about it before I make final payment. I am sure HAL takes into account how its costs are going to change over the period of time from when it starts selling cruises to when the cruise departs.
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