Feed on

As mentioned earlier, we’d planned to walk to the ship in order to “see more of Oslo.”

Mission accomplished! Boy, was it ever…

As planned, we retraced our steps from yesterday up to the point of the National Theatre. Once there, we turned left and headed down to the 1930s era City Hall (Radhuset) by the waterfront (usually a good place to find a ship).

Oslo's City Hall

Oslo's City Hall

Unfortunately, despite being on the harbor, I couldn’t see Vision of the Seas. However, as I could see a different ship—called Insignia–docked at the foot of the Akershus Fortress and because I’d seen two ships in port (with Vision to the right of the second ship), I reasonably concluded that Vision must be on the opposite side of the castle. Moreover, as I wasn’t sure that the esplanade at the base of the fortress continued to the other side, I opted for us to take the inland route around the fort.

Sadly, this was a critical error.

After spending 45 minutes and nearly circumnavigating the fort (while tugging much far too much heavy luggage), I finally spotted Vision of the Seas (and a third ship, which must have been the actual “other” ship) at a pier on the far side of the harbor. Once located, we soldiered on for another 30 minutes or so to finally reach or destination.

We’ll call this my “George W. Bush ‘Mission Accomplished’ Moment” of the trip. I achieved the objective, though things were seriously screwed up along the way. Of course, this is something of a poor analogy as we eventually left Oslo. 😉

Check-In was relatively painless, though less breezy than some.

We had lunch in the Windjammer (still thinking it’s the best buffet at sea). We headed down to our cabin, met our attendant, unpacked, put Emerson down for a nap, and eventually went to the muster drill. Somewhere in there, I managed to book our only organized shore excursion (for Russia) and also got our dining room table changed (private table for us – yeah, baby!). After the muster, we returned to the cabin, finished unpacking, and prepared for dinner.

We broke routine (on this our 15th cruise!) and didn’t fully explore the ship from top to bottom. In part, this was just a function of timing. Yet, I also think that we just simply felt immediately at home aboard Vision. Having sailed the prior (Sovereign) and following (Radiance) class of ships, Vision feels very much part of the family. Despite being older than many of the ship’s we’ve sailed on, she’s well maintained, good looking, and (something RCI’s good at) suitably nautical feeling. Our cabin (#3072, an oceanview on Deck #3) is neither especially commodious nor luxurious, but it’s perfectly functional and has aged well. A balcony—which are in shorter supply on this class of ship—would have been nice but hardly worth the price premium demanded on this ship.

Tonight, we ate dinner in the main dining room. We did this with more than a little trepidation and anxiety. As a nine month old, Emerson was a little bit challenging when dining with the entire family aboard Norwegian Dawn. On the Antarctica cruise in February, Libby and I ventured to the main dining room only a few times, grew frustrated, and then ate dinner in Celebrity’s lackluster lido buffet for the majority of the 14-night cruise. So on this trip, we’d planned to skip the MDR altogether. At some point today, I had a change of heart and thought we should try it.

And, we’re so glad that we did!

Despite some initial slow service (we waited 45 minutes to get our starters), Emerson was a perfect little angel for over two hours. We occupied her with toddler-friendly apps and pictures/videos on the iPhone (thank you, Lord, for giving us Apple). She also colored on the RCI kid’s menu after we ordered her dinner. She loved her guacamole and homemade chips appetizer (though she mostly focused on the guac), as well as her entrée of chicken fingers and French fries. Her table manners were good (for a 17 month old), using utensils and not trying to pick up the ceramic plates. And, she mostly fed herself with minimal assistance from us. In fact, she was so into her meal that we ended up having to wait for her to finish! Our meals (onion tart, prime rib for Libby; tortilla soup, pan roasted pork medallions for Paul) were very good as well. And the service of the head waitress from Poland was simply outstanding (she cut up Emerson’s food; said she’d have guacamole on standby for her subsequent evenings, provided extra napkins / utensils, and checked on us at least a half a dozen times). Honestly, it’s the first time (in 15 cruises) that I’ve actually seen someone in the role of headwaiter who seems to be worthy of the title. Kudos to her!

Emerson loves Guacamole!

Emerson loves Guacamole!

Off to a great start!

Tomorrow’s Copenhagen, Denmark — or, as I like to call it, county #47! :-)

One Response to “Cruise Day #1 – Oslo, Norway”

  1. Dick says:

    Just want you to know that Frank and I are seething with jealousy.

    Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy

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