Although we’ve limited experience with cruising so far I will tend to say that what really sets aside a good cruise ship is what it’s like when the weather is bad or there is a full day at sea.
In this case I would say that the jury remains firmly out.
With cold north sea breezes (I’m using the word breezes quite liberally), using the upper deck to bathe in the sun is not a practical alternative so we’ve moved indoors and in the first instance (after breakfast) to spend an hour in gym to work off some of those excess calories that are already building up. Not a bad gym but understandably quite busy – mental note to come earlier (or later).
Then it’s pretty much straight into a (chaotic) lunch where the whole mass (I am using that word to describe both the entire passenger complement plus the various individuals) has descended. One of the main attractions of a cruise is that food is available pretty much 24/7 (actually the restaurant is shut for 4 hours a day but you can also make sandwiches to fill in those gaps). What that means is that unless you have incredible self-restraint then gaining a few kilos is nigh on inevitable (clearly evidenced by our fellow passengers).
Following lunch a quick wander around the decks and then register for an early afternoon poker tournament (grand total of 7 entrants) which I managed to win!
This evening was the gala dinner which means wearing a suit for those who have read the instructions and indeed own a suit. Because the dress code is not strictly enforced it means that dinner is a mélange of interesting and diverse dress styles.
Our evening dinner table is an interesting one. A youngish couple (40’s) from India on their first cruise having just got married together with a Cypriot couple in their 70’s (he’s a retired airline pilot). Always good to compare cultures and the concerns across cultures (which perhaps predictably include eating, drinking and smoking too much).
Food tonight was better than last and it seems that we are being offered six course dinners every night (consisting of a starter, followed by a salad, then soup, a pasta dish, a main course and dessert). It seems a bit excessive but then nobody is forcing you to eat the whole lot.
As we head further north we are gaining daylight and as we retire to our room this evening at 10:45 its still twilight outside, so we are now looking forward to our late night rendezvous at the north cape.