Aurora to Norway - first half

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DebW
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Aurora to Norway - first half

Post by DebW » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:41 am

Wednesday 27th February – Southampton

We were up just after 6.00 am, and met up with our friends an hour later for breakfast in the Medina. We all went back to our cabins, finished washing, cleaning our teeth and so on, and collecting the cases to go to Eastleigh we met again in Reception where we picked up our new cruise cards.
We were straight through the baggage hall and customs (love those sniffer dogs!), and the men and the luggage were in a taxi well before 8.45 am. Angie, Rosemary and I made our way to the crew shuttle bus, and spent an hour or so shopping around the West Quay area before the men returned and we met up again.
George and I went back to the ship, where our new cabin was ready for us. General embarkation hadn’t started, and Aurora seemed strangely quiet.
We spent some time sorting out our luggage, before meeting again with Angie and Richard for the Peninsular lunch in the Medina. Richard’s said he’s going to cut back on the alcohol – we’ll see how that goes!
Back to the cabin and more luggage-sorting, before muster drill. Could someone please tell me what part of “please do NOT put your lifejackets on yet” is hard to understand? At one point the demonstration was stopped and re-started, but STILL people tried to put their lifejackets on before being shown how to. And I don’t think they were regular cruisers – they didn’t seem to know what they were doing.
First sitting dinner has reverted to the normal 6.30 pm, which is much better for us. And the six of us are on the same dinner table as before, though sadly without Joseph and Joanna serving us this time. And as always on the first evening of a cruise, the service was very slow – we didn’t leave the table until 8.15 pm, and the table behind us were complaining to the Head Waiter (at least twice, from what we saw). There could be trouble….
We watched the Entertainment Team introductions, which was followed by “Destination Dance”, our favourite Headliners’ show. Then George and I had a few games of Wii bowling, before joining the others in Champion’s for the first quiz of this cruise – which we managed to win! Hopefully that bodes well for the coming days.


tail of the bank
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Re: Aurora to Norway - first half

Post by tail of the bank » Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:20 pm

''Could someone please tell me what part of “please do NOT put your lifejackets on yet” is hard to understand?''

You just know it will happen and we find ourselves looking round to see how many do it. There are also sometimes a few who arrive at the Muster Station with their lifejacket already on.

A nice change for you to win the quiz, I assume the Glums did no stay on for this cruise. Maybe as you build up a series of wins others will nickname you the 'happy gang'.

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Batwoman
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Re: Aurora to Norway - first half

Post by Batwoman » Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:45 pm

Well done on your win, pleased the Glums have left and although they may have won most evenings last cruise you 4 have the better of them as you're on a B2B and they've had to go home! :D
Lizzie x

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DebW
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Re: Aurora to Norway - first half

Post by DebW » Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:46 am

Thursday 28th February – at sea

We both slept better than we have in quite a while, even though we lost an hour in the night. And we were up and ready for breakfast in the Medina shortly after it opened. Then it was time for FitSteps, where Angie and I, along with two others, were referred to as the “experienced returners”, and made up the front row. Olivia was joined by Lucy, another of the dancers, for this session, and we were back to the American smooth. Not so many people there as we’ve been used to seeing, and a couple even gave up before the warm-up was over! Don’t know what kind of a class they were expecting.
Chanel will be back tomorrow, with Luke. Morning Luke!
We watched two port talks this morning, on Andalsnes and Tromso. We have tours booked in both these places, and just wanted to learn a bit more about the area. In between the talks we had lunch, I had the Battle (in Champion’s this time, and – hooray! – I’m not captain!), and George had a go at archery. And he won it! Beginners luck, he’s calling it.
The first formal night, and it looks like our mysterious deliveries of fruit and canapes have stopped, which is no great hardship. But we gate-crashed the ‘Welcome On Board’ bun-fight up in the Crow’s Nest before dinner, and decided that was a seriously good move – the place felt empty, we easily found seats near the bar, and the wine waiters were constantly bringing us drinks. All very different to how it is in Carmen’s…
In the dining room, the table behind ours that were complaining about anything and everything was strangely empty. Good – it meant the rest of us had our waiters’ full attention, and the service was much better today.
There was a comedian on in the theatre, John Evans, who none of us recognised, so we went along to watch him. And he was very good – some stuff we’ve not heard before, and nothing blue or controversial. Definitely one to watch again.
We had a go at a movie quiz in Champion’s, and were hopeless, and in the Syndicate quiz we were just one point behind the winners. The Syndicate quiz is back in Vanderbilt’s, but Richard still went and got us chips from the buffet!

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Batwoman
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Re: Aurora to Norway - first half

Post by Batwoman » Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:12 am

All going along nicely then Deb.....chips at the quiz I like your style!
Lizzie x

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mikef
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Re: Aurora to Norway - first half

Post by mikef » Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:19 am

Just been thinking it's 3 years since I did this cruise, I hope you are a lucky with the Northern Lights as we were, we had the best of the year the night we went out, the next night was cloudy and they didnn't see them!
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DebW
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Re: Aurora to Norway - first half

Post by DebW » Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:21 am

Friday 1st March – at sea

Having breakfast in the Medina was a good move this morning – Angie said the buffet was heaving with people, a bit like disembarkation morning!
FitSteps again, and before it began I was tapped on the shoulder and asked “are you Deb? We’ve been stalking you”! What!! Turns out the couple have been enjoying reading my blog and came to say “thank you” – wasn’t that nice? So if you’re still reading – thank you for your kind words.
They knew where they’d find me, of course – FitSteps! Which today was taking by Chanel, with Luke down in the cheap seats with the rest of us. Morning again, Luke! Today we did the quickstep routine which is a pretty energetic one, and it seems some ladies gave up when we were star-jumping in the warm-up (think maybe they have pelvic floor issues? Not heard of TenaLady, then? Hee hee!). But it was fun, as always, and a good workout.
I joined George in the theatre for the port talk on Alta. We already had a tour to the Ice Hotel booked, but wanted to find out a bit more about the Northern Lights trips before booking anything else, as they are all very expensive. And we made up our minds and booked two more trips, which have easily wiped out our on-board credit! Not quite the most expensive tours we’ve ever done, but certainly up there in the top half-dozen or so.
Before lunch I went to the Battle (the ladies have edged into the lead) and George had another go at the archery. And he won again, so it can’t just be beginner’s luck! Then mid-afternoon we went to Carmen’s where the Headliners were doing a matinee performance of their ‘Top of the Billboards’ show. Another excellent offering.
After dinner the six of us had another Wii bowling challenge, which was fun, then Robin and Rosemary went to see the Headliners while the rest of us joined in with an ‘event’ for St David’s Day in Champions. It was awful. The place was full of very drunk people, most of them singing ‘Delilah’ so loudly that my ears were bleeding. There were even Australians trying (and failing) to impersonate Tom Jones. We left.
Our final port of call for the evening was the Syndicate quiz. We did pretty well, and ended up in a tie-break with two other teams. And thank goodness I knew roughly when Lazlo Biro invented the ball-point pen: we won! And unlike the Glums, we were laughing and cheering about it.
There’s now a bottle of house red sitting in our cabin, ready for tomorrow.

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prefdavid
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Re: Aurora to Norway - first half

Post by prefdavid » Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:56 am

You might not be the Glums Debs but I bet there's some miserable gits moaning about you winning already. As you may recall we did the Nortthern Lights cruise last year as a B2B after the South American Adventure. We don't do the quizzes that much but happened to be in Champions one night when a quiz came along and by coincidence nearly all the Q's were ones we'd heard before on the previous cruise and on Ventura the year before. It was no surprise to us when we won that but we did get some stony looks from the "expert" quiz teams....ha!
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Batwoman
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Re: Aurora to Norway - first half

Post by Batwoman » Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:21 am

Star jumps to warm up?! Good heavens how strenuous is the routine itself...good for you on going everyday but I’d definitely be a watcher not a doer. :D
Lizzie x

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Re: Aurora to Norway - first half

Post by DebW » Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:43 am

Saturday 2nd March – Andalsnes, Norway

On opening our curtains this morning we were greeted by the sight of snowy mountains, and a small village built onto the side of the hills. Very pretty. We took our time over breakfast (in the Medina again – this is getting to be a habit!) as we had an afternoon tour, so the morning was our own.
So we walked the short distance into the town, hyper-ventilating at the price of everything. But we knew from our previous visit that Norway is horribly expensive for everything, so we shouldn’t really have been surprised.
Glad we went in though, or I’d never have ended up singing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” with one of the shopkeepers! Yes really. You get to do all sorts on a cruise…. And Andalsnes is an incredibly pretty place, with barely any traffic to speak of, so worth just mooching about a bit and giving the cameras some action.
After lunch it was time for our tour. We set off on an hour-long journey through the Romsdal Valley, following both the river and the railway line. Talk about beautiful: mountains rising high on both sides of us, with enough snow to make them pretty and not so much that their shapes and contours were blurred. Knockout.
We stopped at the Troll Wall to take more photos, and I spotted four or five ‘trolls’ in the rocks. I think you have to have an ‘eye’ for seeing faces in the mountains, and I seem to have it. Many don’t though, and couldn’t spot anything unusual.
We continued our trip to Bjorli, where we stopped at the Ski Centre there. This is a major attraction for locals and visitors alike, and it was pretty busy today. Some of the ski runs started up in the clouds, others were pretty low, and the ski lifts were going non-stop. In addition there were cross-country skiers zipping about, and others on ski mobiles. Even the young children learn to drive the mobiles, and there are special smallish ones for them.
And finally a hang-glider flew down from the top of the mountain. Bonkers. But fabulous.
A mile or so further on we stopped at the hotel/motel kind of place, where we were treated to apple pie and coffee. The apple pie came with thick cream or ice cream (or both!), and the coffee was the nicest we’ve had on the entire cruise. The waiters came round twice, so we had two lots – well, it’d be rude not to wouldn’t it? Delicious.
We followed the same road back to Andalsnes, so both sides of the coach saw everything, which was good. And we were the last coach back to Aurora before she sailed for Tromso, so we had a bit of a rush to get to dinner. We made it, but didn’t have a full meal: still full of apple pie and cream!
The comedian, John Evans was back in the theatre. His show started, for us, with a load of jokes/stories that we’d heard before, but the second half was better, with lots of new stuff. A decent enough way to spend an hour.
We finished off in the Syndicate quiz, failing to defend our title from yesterday. Never mind.

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