Cruise Scandinavia with Princess Cruise Lines
My first of many wonderful cruises started with an invite from a friend to join she and three others to cruise Scandinavia. I brought along three more friends and the eight of us set sail for a weeklong cruise with stops in Oslo, Norway; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Helsingborg, Sweden; and Copenhagen, Denmark.
Our trip was unbelievable! It was full of historic sights and landmarks, memorable architecture, and more laughs than we could sometimes manage. It happened to be my first big cruise and lo and behold, I had to exchange money into six different currencies. Not an easy feat for the novice cruiser.
Our boat, the Sea Princess, was an older boat, so it was not all sparkling and beautiful, but it had everything we needed. I love that Princess ships are all laid out with a basic uniform deck plan which makes it easy to navigate your way around.
Details About Our Cruise
Our inside stateroom was $1199 per person and includes lodging, entertainment, and meals. It was located at the front of the ship and there was a deck outside our room where we could sunbathe in private as well as get great pictures coming into the ports. Hardly anyone ever came out to the deck but us, which was nice. The staterooms were basic but met all our needs and our room steward provided perfect service.
I thoroughly enjoyed the canal cruise in Amsterdam, Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Rosenberg Castle in Copenhagen, and Sofiero Gardens in Helsingborg. Tivoli Gardens, in Copenhagen, was the most overrated sight, as admission was $26 to get in the park and all rides and restaurants are additional and expensive prices. The excursion fee for our tour to Tivoli was $119.
Princess offered dozens of options for tours at each location so it takes some effort to narrow down your selections. We were in port several hours at each place so that made it possible for us to do both day and nighttime excursions on our cruise to Scandinavia.
Forming Friendships that are Long Lasting
Traveling with Europeans is great; they love Americans and think we are quite entertaining. They giggled when we asked for two desserts or admired how we ordered steak AND lobster, unaware they could ask for more than one choice. We met some great friends and have kept in contact with them. One trivia player that we hooked up with cruises almost all year-round. He had been onboard for 220 days in the last year. I would gladly trade places with him!
Tips for Cruising to Scandinavia
- Consider buying alternative shore excursions than those offered by the cruise ship. Shop around. Cruise line tours offered by an outside vendor are often a fraction of the cost of the ship’s tours. Try Viator for great shore excursion options or check Cruise Critic for suggestions.
- If you have free time from your disembarkation until your flight, if traveling outside London, schedule a tour. Our driver picked us up at Southampton, the embarkation port, and dove us to Winchester for sightseeing and shopping. It was about $30 more per person than just a straight ride to the airport and much more enjoyable.
- Take a journal and write at the end of each evening. You will see so many wonderful things and they will all run together after a day or two. Take a few minutes each evening to “type up your term paper” as my friends call my way of journaling.
Cruise Scandinavia for a Unique Itinerary
Scandinavia is not offered frequently with Princess so grab it if you can. I have found that after 46 cruises, deals in Europe are the best. There is no better way to explore the world than by having a sampler through an ocean cruise to see which places you like and wish to go back to. You, too, may get bitten by the cruise bug.
Scandinavia Photo Gallery
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