Norway – Tips and Ideas

Best time to go to Norway

Norway is a magical country whenever you go. If you go during Summer you can enjoy the Midnight Sun, 24-hour of sunlight, so you have more time to go hiking, walking and appreaciate the amazing landscapes. If you go in Autumn, you still have sunlight to enjoy and visit your surroundings, but as the nights grow bigger you have a chance to see the Northern Lights. If you go during Winter months you have the Polar Night, 24-hour-days without any sunlight and in here it is garanteed you will experience the amazing phenomenon of lights playing in the sky, the famous Northern Lights.

Even though the Northern Lights is by far one of the amazing experiences I had in my entire life I think you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to explore the amazing and fantastic fjords, which will give breathtaking scenaries.

Clothes for Norway

Don’t forget, if go close to the end of Autumn or during Winter to Norway, bring extra layers of clothes. Thermal socks, gloves, a good waterproof and warm jacket and waterproof boots are a must. Some days I actually wore 3 pairs of trousers, 2 pairs of socks and 4 layers covering my upper body plus my super warm jacket. Never forgetting a pair of gloves and hat. Yes, I wasn’t cold, and no, I wasn’t THAT warm! I was confortable.

So a brief list:

  • Thermal Socks
  • Snow boots (don’t forget they need to be confortable)
  • Ski or Waterproof pants
  • Thermal pants
  • Gloves
  • Warm hat that will cover your ears
  • Ski and waterproof jacket
  • Thermal Shirts
  • Fleece Tops

Expenses spent on our cruise

  • Booking

The price of your reservation will depend on which type room you choose (for different kinds of accommodation see “Princess Cruises – Sapphire Princess”).

We paid total around $3000 each of us, $1000-deposit when we booked it and, 3 months before the cruise’s date $2000. However we went for a mini-suite, one of the most expensive rooms. I believe the cheapest type of room, the “Interior”, was more than $1000 cheaper than ours.

Also note this prices differs depending on the cruise you are going.

  • Travel Insurance

We have never bought a travel insurance before but to travel with Princess Cruises it is mandatory to have one. We thought it would be pointless, however one of us fell ill and we had to use their medical facilities. For a simple cold we spent $500. Yeah, the bill in the end was $500. Believe me, a travel insurance is a great idea. It can save you a lot of money.

  • Excursions

I don’t know if you book private excursions is cheaper than doing it though the cruise company. I have not looked into prices so I won’t comment on that. The only thing I know is – we wanted peace of mind. This was our first cruise and we didn’t want to miss it because our private excursion was delayed. The days we only visit the city, it was us who managed the time and what we wanted to visit. On the other other occasions we did book excursions and we did it through Princess Cruises website.

For example in Ålesund our excursion was cancelled due to bad weather and we could choose among the other excursions available straight away with no hussle. This was one of the situations we realised this way was the safest and best way to book the excursions. And even if the excursion gets delayed for some reason, the boat doesn’t leave until we are arrive. That doesn’t happen if you decided to book private excursions.

In the end, for 4 excursões we paid $700, but it is only because, in one of them we almost spent half of this amount but we really wanted to do it.

  • Tips inside the boat

Princess Cruises is an american cruise and in their culture it is usual to give tips to the staff. However, this company wants to go cashless as much as possible. To solve this problem, the company decided that everyday each person will pay $15 that will be considered as tips and it will be shared among staff.

  • Alcohol inside the boat

We have two options:

  • You can buy a beverage package that is $59,99 not including gratuities. Every time you order 18% service will be charged. However with this package you can drink how much you want whenever you want. If this sounds amazing to you, note you have to buy this package for the entire cruise, you cannot choose to get it and pay for it only a day or two. In our case we would spend $600 + gratuities each. You can take a look into their beverage packages here:
  • We are not heavier drinkers so we decided the beverage package was not worth it. We still had some drinks and everytime we ordered 18% service was charged which ended up being around $20-22 everytime we ordered a drink.

  • Be prepared

Sockets – don’t forget to bring a “International socket”. We didn’t have one and we paid $40 inside the cruise. Only because we had adpators for UK and EU but not for US kind of sockets.