Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
jonikal

Is the MS Spitsbergen actually going to sail?

Recommended Posts

What you are experiencing is beyond ridiculous! I have to say I am appalled to hear that a company that I have had some amazing experiences with can treat you so badly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The christening of the Spitsbergen is to take place on the 6th July. This information is from Hurtgruten's US Facebook page. Is it possible that it would have a maiden voyage prior to its being christened? I would have thought that unusual.... But so much of this unfortunate story is.

At that point in time (May 31st) they apparently had no idea when the ship would actually be sailing, so my guess is they pushed a date as late as possible for the christening, to be sure that the ship was guaranteed to be sailing at this date.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is insane. I thought we had it bad when we were told we need two Hurtengruten sign-ons because one of our reservations got booked on the US system and one on the UK system (and of course I booked them both from my desk top at the Hurtengruten website).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a quick report and update. Our adventures were by no means over! Our flight AA from Tampa to DFW was delayed by one hour and we missed our connection to London resulting in having to spend a night at the airport Hyatt.

We got the next day's flight and weren't able to get our extra legroom seats as the flt was totally overbooked. FYI coach seats on AA's Boeing 777 are a disaster for a 9 plus hour flight! Made it to London where, due to a delay of takeoff in DFW we only had one hour to race from one terminal to another and go guru security again - catch a bus and a train. We made it but we were wrecks by the time we boarded. I had contacted a Hurigruten rep who was able to get us tickets to Alesund since we would miss the Bergen departure. He has been wonderful! We stood and waited for the ship to appear at Dock in Aalesund and watched as the

Lofoten tied up. What a classic beauty! Shortly after we were delighted seeing the Spitsbergen finally appear on the horizon.

Of course suitcase didn't make it! We were supposed to go to Trondheim today where our suitcase as well as others were sent by SAS. However, due to engine problems last night, the Captain canceled Trondheim! Apparently the suitcases will be in Bodo tomorrow when we are scheduled to be there.

There are several issues with our cabin which seem to be common with other passengers also and will report on those later. The crew are wonderful and have made us feel very welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Here are some initial impressions on the MS Spitsbergen. The interior has a fresh and Nordic look and the public areas are attractively decorated. There are quite a few low slung chairs around the public areas which look sleek and modern but are uncomfortable and very difficult for most of the older passengers to get up from. The food so far has been excellent, offering many choices and always a wonderful array of fresh breads.

 

While we were assigned an Expedition Suite, it does not offer a separate seating area as per info we had been provided. There is a picture window with a small shelf underneath holding a (rather complicated) phone and a tray with glasses. There was no instruction material for the various room amenities. Despite info provided by Hurtigruten US to the contrary, there is a safe and a hairdryer provided although the latter is pretty lame. I do not know whether other cabins have these items.

 

There is a flat screen tv that has not been set up but we are told a technician is diligently

working on getting the tv sets fixed. There are only 4 coat hangers provided - we have requested more but wont belabor the issue until we actually receive our suitcase - hopefully in a few hours when we dock in Bodo.

 

The bathroom can only have been designed by someone who hated their mother. There are two small shelves under the sink with minimal capacity. Face cloths are not supplied and the bath towels are small. There are bottled dispensers for soap and shampoo. A lovely surprise were the heated tiles on the bathroom floor. Oh yes! THe toilet roll holder has been located in a position that only a contortionist could love.

 

A very annoying problem that we have asked to be resolved at least five times without success is the frequent and very loud public announcement system that blares at all hours in our cabin. They are broadcast in four languages and blast out as late as 10 PM! Most other passengers we have spoken to do not have this problem. Since there it is light for 24 hours, quite a few tours take place at night. We are excited about reaching our first port of call!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This will be a trip to remember for sure! :) Thank you for the live update.

Glad at least the crew is good.

I'm not surprised that a ship fresh out of the dock is not still fully functional, but I'm sorry that it is the passengers who have to do all the trouble-shooting.

Do you mean there have been no port of call at all between Ålesund and Bodø? Is this only due to the engine problems?

Face cloth are not a thing in Europe and I have never seen them provided in any hotel (or ship). I would have been surprised if there had been no safe or hairdryer as every Hurtigruten ships provide them (except maybe MS Lofoten).

If you can I would be interested (now or later) about the outside decks (how many, are they big, where are they located, is it possible to go all around the ship using only outside spaces?).

Have a lot of fun for the remainder of your trip and hopefully most of the troubles will be solved quickly (and hopefully you will be reunited with your luggage by now).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No - there were no other ports between Alesund and Bodo. We will be stopping in Trondheim on our return leg. We stopped in Svolvaer last night to a large crowd of welcoming locals. We are shadowing the Lofoten which is on the same schedule. Had a nice chat with the Lofiten captain who was very gracious about the new addition.

 

We finally had our suitcase delivered yesterday after SAS had been chasing the ship to several ports.

 

There does not appear to be any outside area which allows one to walk around the ship. The largest open air space is the top deck - eighth deck. Quite a few events take place there including briefings by the expedition crew.

Happy to report that the public announcement in our cabin has been resolved!

 

Let me know if you have any other questions re this ship and I will attempt to reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for your answer. Just enjoy your trip for now, and you can tell us about it when you have recovered! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for your updates. I hope that all the travel misadventures are behind you and that you are now busy making wonderful memories.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have sailed a lot of places - from the Arctic to the Antarctic to Galapagos (never with Hurtigruten) and have fortunately never encountered this severe a comedy of errors. If anyone deserves a great cruise, it sounds like you do. I sure hope it is wonderful. As my girfriend and I say when something pretty weird happens - Stories. You will have a ton.

Edited by Mike2131

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your kind words! We are currently heading to Bergen after many port calls not necessarily on the itinerary. It has been interesting and as we expected there were quite a few bumps on this inaugural adventure. Engine troubles at the beginning which caused itinerary changes and a chronic problem with the hydraulic gangway. We had a shortened port visit in Tromso because the system failed again and we had to exit through the aft cargo door.

Technicians were onboard to fix non-functioning TVs (Wimbledon and soccer matches made this rather important for some passengers). Many tours were coordinated with LOFOTEN passengers so both ships tried to choreograph arrival times to coincide. Not always easy. We had a very impressive welcome in Stockmarknes where a large crowd and a band welcomed this new ship. Locals at each port are invited to visit the ship. If anyone is planning to go on the Spitsbergen I will attempt to answer questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your report.

i want to ask you a few questions.

We are on the ship in janauari 2017 (I Hope)

My questions:

-Can you ask for a table at dinner? (I like to have dinner for two of us)

-If possible , can you tell us what the prices of drinks are on aboard?

-and most important do you like this kind of small ship?

 

Sorry I am dutch, so my english is very bad.

Thanks in advance.

olivier

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am just curious about how you were informed about excursions when some of the ports changed. Was there anything that you would consider a must see? Did you happen to take the excursion to the Russian border? Thank you for sharing you trip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Did you happen to take the excursion to the Russian border?

 

We took this excursion when we were on Midnatsol and we enjoyed it.

 

You get to see some of the landscape/countryside and towns on the way and you get to understand something of what life is like in that part of the world. However, the border its self isn't particularly exciting: it's a border! Perhaps the few basic refreshment and souvenir outlets might be the highlight there...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks digitl. That is kind of what I expected. I think the novelty of going to the "Russian" border is what interested me. I probably will never get the chance to see it again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks digitl. That is kind of what I expected. I think the novelty of going to the "Russian" border is what interested me. I probably will never get the chance to see it again.

 

Take a trip to Alaska? As Mrs Palin said, 'We can see Russia from here'!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Darn! I have been to Alaska twice with Princess and never saw that excursion. Thanks for the laugh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

....Let me know if you have any other questions re this ship and I will attempt to reply.

 

I hope you had a wonderful time and trust everything worked out in the end? I am seriously thinking of taking this trip, The Norwegian Exploration Voyage on the Ms Spitsbergen and would very much appreciate it if you could please let me know:

 

1. Was the ship full and if so did it feel crowded?

2. Were you satisfied with the time spent in the ports that were visited?

3. What was the cost of the Hiking package and what hikes were offered? (the brochure I have only states

Hiking Pass - exceptional hiking opportunities).

4. Is it always possible to find a good view seat in the explorer lounge?

5. Was it always possible to get a seat for the buffet lunch without waiting in line for a table to open up?

6. At the buffet lunch do they re fill popular empty items?

7. If the ship is in port during the dinner times do they still serve the sit down dinner?

8. I would also appreciate hearing your overall impressions of the trip.

9. What you know now would you recommend this ship and voyage?

 

Many thanks in anticipation - I realize that your offer was directed to SarniaLo but am assuming you are also willing to let me know. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for your kind words. If anyone is planning to go on the Spitsbergen I will attempt to answer questions.

 

My husband and I are looking forward to our cruise on August 26. Did you go on any of the hikes? What was your favorite excursions?

 

Our cabin is O2:427 on the fourth deck. We are supposed to have a porthole and a double bed in design category L. Which deck were you on?

 

Were there a lot of programs put on by the naturalists onboard? Any snacks for sale between meals? Can you buy a soda other than at the bar?

 

Thanks for all of your I stressing posts. I am so glad that you finally sales. Wish it had been no eventful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I hope you had a wonderful time and trust everything worked out in the end? I am seriously thinking of taking this trip, The Norwegian Exploration Voyage on the Ms Spitsbergen and would very much appreciate it if you could please let me know:

 

1. Was the ship full and if so did it feel crowded?

2. Were you satisfied with the time spent in the ports that were visited?

3. What was the cost of the Hiking package and what hikes were offered? (the brochure I have only states

Hiking Pass - exceptional hiking opportunities).

4. Is it always possible to find a good view seat in the explorer lounge?

5. Was it always possible to get a seat for the buffet lunch without waiting in line for a table to open up?

6. At the buffet lunch do they re fill popular empty items?

7. If the ship is in port during the dinner times do they still serve the sit down dinner?

8. I would also appreciate hearing your overall impressions of the trip.

9. What you know now would you recommend this ship and voyage?

 

Many thanks in anticipation - I realize that your offer was directed to SarniaLo but am assuming you are also willing to let me know. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank's.

 

 

1. The ship was full. It did not feel crowded at all except when the gangway didn't work - which happened several times - and passengers crowded near the exit and up the stairwells waiting to disembark.

 

2. Some of our port visits seemed very short. Mostly because they were dropping off various tours, some of which returned to the ship at another port where they would be picked up. Several port visits were cut short when the gangway wouldn't work. In one case we only had 15 minutes before we had to return to the ship. Obviously this problem will have been fixed by the time you sail - at least one would hope!

 

3. Sorry can't help you with the cost of the hiking trips. My husband's knee did not allow for much of that type of activity. I do know that it seemed to be difficult to get the price of the tours ahead of time. One more passenger service issue that Hurtigruten US needs to work on.

 

4. If there is a film showing, then it is wise to get there a bit early to ensure that you can see the screen properly. The seats, as I may have mentioned earlier, while very sleek and Nordic in style, do not make for a comfortable choice for most people. There are a few regular chairs but not many.

 

5. We never had a problem finding seating at the buffet lunches.

 

6. Since the kitchen crew was brand new for our sailing, there were times when items at the buffet were not refilled as promptly as they should have been. That should be running smoothly by now. The waitstaff, chef and kitchen staff were very accommodating and friendly.

 

7. I honestly cannot recall whether sit-down dinner was served while in port. Sorry.

 

8. We were asked to submit our comments about our sailing to Hurtigruten which we did. The problems mostly dealt with issues that occurred due to the newness of the ship.

 

It is a beautiful ship and we would recommend it to anyone who loves the small ship concept and spectacular scenery. Our expedition leaders were excellent and very knowledgeable about the environment as well as the history of the various locations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks jonikal. It seems that your ordeal was not over when you finally managed to get on the ship, but it still seems you had a good experience (and I understand also that we were right in forecasting that on-board personel would be more professional than your pre-trip experience could make you fear).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An interesting thread.

 

As always - SarniaLo gives great support and advice!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...