Cruising is a great way to grab some winter sun but at this time of year also brings with it a pesky downside - it's generally the peak of the dreaded Norovirus season. That makes it a great opportunity to share my tips to help you avoid Norovirus on a cruise.
For those who haven't heard of this, Norovirus - also known as Winter Vomiting Bug - is basically a yukky virus that causes vomiting, upset tummy, lethargy, aches, fever - and oh, happens to be highly contagious.
You can catch Norovirus anywhere and everywhere but when you have a lot of people in a relatively confined area (like a cruise ship) the virus has the potential to spread quickly in a short of amount of time.
The good news is that all cruise ships have procedures in place to keep the gastro-beast at bay - if no...
If you've missed the story so far, this summer I went on an 11 night Disney Magic cruise. Leaving from Copenhagen, we then travelled to Oslo and Kristiansand before arriving at Stavanger Norway, our third and final port of call before heading to Iceland.
Our all ashore was at 7:30am and all aboard 12:45pm, making it our briefest port of call. We didn't want to do the ship excursion to the famous Pulpit Rock as we prefer to do that sort of thing DIY and the short time in port made that too risky.
Instead we planned to find the cathedral and explore Gamle Stavanger. This compact port is perfect for cruisers who like to stay independent - we didn't even have a map.
Stavanger Norway: A Step Back In Time
Heading in the direction of the Petroleum Museum required walking beside a fair...
The story so far. I've taken a Disney Cruise, I've been to Copenhagen and Oslo and I've been super impressed with both. Could our next port, Kristiansand Norway live up to it's predecessors? Read on to find out friends, read on.
Our All Ashore today was an earlier 8:15 am, with All Aboard at 4:45pm. Once again, we'd opted to explore by ourselves rather than take an organised excursion (that's a bit of a theme for us) and we anticipated a rather relaxed day ahead.
Of all our ports, for some reason this was the one I'd been the least excited about. I don't know why, I just guess somewhere had to be 'last'. Our plan was to have a short wander, visit Fiskebasaren, then take the opportunity to relax and enjoy the ship for the day.
But let me not keep you in suspense. We docked with...
My Nordic Adventure continues with our first port of call on our Disney Magic cruise and a visit to Oslo. And what a visit it was - with blue skies and sunshine, even the weather seemed to welcome us to Norway's capital with open arms.
Disembarkation was scheduled for 10:30am. It was nice to sleep in after our busy weekend in Copenhagen so were still enjoying breakfast when the gangway opened early, oops. Our All Aboard time was at 5:45pm, so that meant Oslo in 8 hours - we needed to get moving!
Oslo in 8 hours: Making the most of our day trip
Fortunately our ship docked central to the city, literally next to Akershus Fortress. No prizes for guessing where we were heading first.
Akershus dates back nearly 700 years, and being a fortification it naturally res...
Taking a cruise for the first time can be a minefield of things that you don't even realise that you didn't know. If you've already seen my guide for newbie Cruisers, you'll know some of my hot tips but one of the biggest overlooked things for a new cruiser is Tipping and Gratuities.
After paying a non-trivial amount to sail away in to the sunset, some people may be surprised to find out that additional gratuities need to be paid on board the ship. This is standard practice across the industry, though many cruise lines including Disney Cruise Line, give you the option to pre-pay before your trip for ease of budgeting.
A Guide to Tipping on Disney Cruise Line
Technically gratuities are at your discretion, but the crew on board cruise ships work incredibly hard to look after you. Ju...
Going on your first cruise can be a little daunting as some things are handled differently from a land vacation. But, being a cruising newbie doesn't mean you can't be prepared.
Before I took my first cruise I had many worries. Would I feel trapped? What if I didn't like the food? What if I got bored? (Hah!). What if I got sick? (Psst, check out my easy guide on how to avoid Norovirus while on board). I wish I'd had more information targeted directly at 'newbies' when I was a first time cruiser as it would have helped set my mind at ease so much.
Tips for first time cruisers
Don't miss the ship (duh!)
I know, I know, it sounds so obvious, but I'm completely serious. If you are travelling a long distance to the cruise port, especially if by plane, then I strongly urge you to c...