Arctic cruise: Good service and a G&T will cure any hiccup...

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More from Juliet Dennis's cruise with Hurtigruten...

Our memorable Arctic cruise from Tromso to Trondheim on board Hurtigruten's Kong Harald was not without hiccup.

Hurtigruten Kong HaraldOn arrival in Tromso - feeling rather the worse for wear after two flights and an early 4.30am start - we discovered there was no transfer to take us on our dog sleigh excursion as planned.

Out itinerary clearly stated that those of us booked for the husky dog ride, just us as it turned out (the others didn't know what they were missing!), would be picked up on arrival at the airport.

A phone call or two revealed that our itinerary should have directed us to join our fellow holidaymakers aboard a transfer bus to a local hotel, where we would be picked up for our excursion.

Not all Hurtigruten cruises include being met by a company representative, so passengers arriving at the airport should not necessarily expect a clipboard-wielding rep to greet them, nor a sign pointing them to a transfer bus outside.
Agents would be well-advised to tell clients to be aware of this and give customers ideas on how to spend their time before waiting for the ship, if like us, it arrives around midnight and you don't want to spend hours sitting in the local hotel's reception.

Just after midnight we joined a queue of tired but excited Brits to get on board.

Again, don't expect quite the same scenario as boarding a large cruise ship. Two hardy Norwegians manned the desk as best they could while passengers crammed their way up the ramp and into the ship's reception.

The receptionist greeted us with a friendly smile, which soon disappeared when she discovered our names were in fact not on the passenger list at all.

For a moment I felt adrenalin replaced by panic. While I put on a brave face, the most my mum could do was to say loudly to anyone who cared to listen that a large gin and tonic was in order.

I shouldn't have worried. Brit, our receptionist, had everything in hand. Finding us an outside cabin, she had us sorted in no time.

Suffice to say it was the best G&T I've ever drunk, the best night's sleep I've ever had, and the best customer service.

Even better, unlike many of the US cruise ships, there is no expectation that you will give a tip at the end of your trip.

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This page contains a single entry by Nathan Midgley published on March 5, 2009 10:34 AM.

Trading luxury for huskies: Notes from an Arctic cruise was the previous entry in this blog.

Great photos from the Smithsonian natural history museum, Washington DC is the next entry in this blog.

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