8 Night Norwegian Escape cruise
Southampton, Stavanger, Kristiansand, Oslo, Copenhagen, Skagen, Southampton
Our tenth cruise together
Independence of the Seas this was our tenth cruise and we have sailed on Indy numerous occasions thus making this our third cruise on her.
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Royal Caribbean – Independence of the Seas Our second cruise together was June 2012 which we sailed from Southampton and visited Gibralter, Toulon, Livorono, Civitavecchia, Ajaccio, Cadiz, Lisbon and Vigo. We returned on her for our seventh cruise September 2016 we sailed from Southampton and visited Funchal, Tenerife, Las Palmas, Lanzarote and Vigo. Then again for our tenth cruise on June 2017 we sailed from Southampton and visited Stavanger, Kristiansand, Oslo, Copenhagen and Skagen. @royalcaribbean #royalcaribbean #royalcaribbeanindependenceoftheseas #independenceoftheseas #sailing #sea #ocean #cruise #ship #couple #travel #2012 #2016 #2017 #summer2012 #spring2016 #summer2017 #meditterean #europe #canaries #norway #norwegian #cruising #traveller #southampton #blogger #wow #royalmemories #cruisecriticregram
N-6529 – Inside cabin at the … (…..) of the ship.
Royal King Size bed, TV, telephone, minibar, bathroom with shower, vanity area and a hair-dryer.
This cabin even though it was an inside cabin it was quite spacious. It was located near some stairs and elevators and just a few decks above from the theatre.
As we was on deck ….. we had cabins situated above us and below us making this a great quite uninterrupted stateroom.
Our cruise adventure log
On this cruise we visit places within Norway but also Denmark. We could not wait to visit the ports of Oslo and Copenhagen.
Day 1 – boarding the ship at Southampton
Today was the day we started our cruise holiday and I just had to immediately go to Windjammer the buffet area to grab a biscuit and say John Cooper of Vision Cruise’s famous catchphrase
“It’s the law of the Seas”
It was then time for a hard earned cocktail after unpacking all our clothes.
For the rest of the day we made use of the facilities and played some quiz’s and to our delight saw that Tom who we have met on our last cruise was on-board. Plus Joff was on-board also but we knew about this beforehand as we follow his twitter handle.
In the evening we ate in the main dining area tonight.
Day 2 – at sea
As this was the first sea day Joff Eaton always runs a quiz that spreads over two or three nights as it is a progressive quiz. We did not participate in this one as we prefer the smaller quiz’s but it is fun to watch as Joff who we have met on a number of our other past cruises made it very entertaining.
After we went and played some games of roulette at the casino and participated in the slot machine tournament.
Whilst enjoying a cocktail or two.
In the evening we went along and had dinner in Chops Grill as it is our favourite restaurant on-board Indy. Jason had his usual scallops and steak but I thought I would opt for something different on this cruise and our first night at Chops. So I ordered crab cake and tuna steak I was not disappointed as it all tasted so good.
After like with any cruise holiday it is always nice to go out on deck to see the sunset.
For the rest of the evening we just chilled in the bar areas sipping yet more of our favourite cocktails.
Day 3 – Stavanger
In the morning we went along to the buffet area and came across this lovely gentleman who works in the Windjammer restaurant. He was being a Jester and he was so entertaining and amusing I think he should be working in entertainment instead.
Throughout the cruise we met him practically every morning and he was something different from a DJ to a balloon modeller. He always got everyone in such a great mood first thing in the morning even the kids.
In the morning after breakfast we went and played a game of Bago which was really fun. The object of the game is to throw a sandbag into the hole on the board which is propped up. There was about six of us playing and Jason won which was surprising as this was our first time in ever playing this game.
Later in the morning we got off to go on an excursion to go on a mini cruise to take in Stavanger’s breathtaking surroundings from fjords, mountains and it’s white beaches.
The waterfalls in particular were stunning and it was lovely seeing goats roaming the mountains.
Plus we saw the famous Preikestolen cliff which rises 604 metres (1,982 ft) above the Lysefjorden. Atop the cliff, there is an almost flat top of approximately 25 by 25 metres (82 ft × 82 ft). Really is spectacular.
Halfway we had a stop at an enclosed mini beach where we was served some lovely warm waffles dolloped with cream. Plus we got to meet a viking. We then headed on back to the cruise port.
But whilst heading back we got to see the famous Preikestolen cliff again. This time there was a rescue helicopter hovering above as someone had fallen down the cliff and was being rescued. Just shows you that you have to be ever so careful if you walk on top of the cliffs.
Once we got off the cruise it was lunchtime so we went and ate in our favourite restaurant. The mussels there are really great.
We then wondered around the village after and came across these cheeky carved wooden monkeys and a lovely statue of a boy with a goat.
For dinner we ate in the main dining area. The food was ok but like all food which is served in the main dining area it was luke warm. This is why I am never really keen on the food in the main dining area as I love my food piping hot.
In the evening we went and watched some singers and they were really good. I think I had a bit of a crush on this one.
This was my first towel animal for the cruise. This one is a pig.
Day 4 – Kristiansand
Today we decided to get off at Kirstiansand and tour the place together on our own rather than doing an excursion with Royal Caribbean.
Kristiansand is a city and municipality in Norway. It is the fifth largest city in Norway and the municipality is the sixth largest in Norway.
To our delight when we got off Indy we came across a Segway company so we booked a slot. In the meantime whilst we had some time to kill we went and looked around. We came across some concrete statues which I just had to sit on, normal iron statues and even sand sculptures which were so detailed. There was even a mini beach which I just had to stand on.
We even came across this cheeky chappy.
Time to get back to the Segway and we bumped into Tom who we convinced to come on. He was quite nervous about the Segway but once he got the hang of it he loved it. In fact he loved it so much he said he will be looking out for Segway tours in the future. We passed many interesting statues and historical buildings.
I however though just wanted to speed around and so I get kept getting told off by the man who was our tour guide. In fact even the Segway spoke to me and told me to slow down.
So if you are looking for a tour with a difference and fun and does not involve walking, a bus or a horse and cart then I highly recommend zooming around on a Segway. They are really such fun and so easy to get the hang of and control.
For the evening we had a pie each in the main dining area which was surprisingly quite delicious.
Much later in the afternoon after a game of roulette at the casino me and Jason went along to watch The Quest which I have mentioned in a previous blog of mine is like a big adult scavenger hunt but takes place all on the ice rink which is covered over. I just had to nominate myself this time to be a team captain as Tom was our main entertainment lead for section. It was highly amusing having to grab peoples false teeth, socks etc and running over the items to Joff. The fastest team to get any items wins the points. The most hilarious part though was when I had to dress my other team captain up. He looked hilarious at the end of it. We thankfully after making fools of ourselves won so we came away with a bottle of champagne each. Result.
Me with my winning champagne after playing The Quest
Today I think I got another pig.
Day 5 – Oslo
Today we arrived in Oslo. Oslo is the capital and the most populous city in Norway.
We decided to catch a bus to the famous Vigeland Park which is the world’s largest sculpture park made by a single artist Gustav Vigeland’s and is one of Norway’s most popular tourist attractions. There are over 200 sculptures made out of bronze, granite and wrought iron.
All the statues represent life through the stages and emotions.
There is a baby within the park called The Angry Boy’s. As it is supposed to be lucky to touch the Angry Boy’s hand it has become shiny due to wear and tear. The Angry Boy was made in 1928.
As I mentioned earlier there are over 200 statues and so we thought we would mimic some.
There is even an interesting column called The Monolith which has 121 bodies of people inter winding around it. The Monolith was carved from one single granite block.
Plus a beautiful fountain. It represents the eternal life cycle. It is to show typical human situations and relationships.
There was also plenty of seagulls around so I just had to feed them and so did Jason.
Coming back to the cruise we noticed this statue of a mum and her children. It is as Scandinavian Star Monument (“Rest in Peace My Friends”). It is dedicated to ‘Scandinavian Star’ victims. The ship caught fire in 1990, killing 158 people. It is one of the world’s worst ferry disasters. Features a mother with her child and a large commemorative plaque with the names of all the victims of the fire. Sad but such a lovely commemorative statue.
In the evening there was a hypnotist called David Knight. Jason went up last time with another hypnotist on the last cruise with Indy but he did not pass the first stage. So I thought I would give it a go this time. Even though I was not completely under I managed to stay on stage for the whole of it so I improvised mostly along with what David said. It was good fun.
Afterwards we bumped into Joff and he congratulated me for getting up on stage which was lovely of him.
In the evening we ate in the main dining area and had a few dishes to try between us both. I loved the chocolate cake.
For the rest of the evening we went and listened to the sounds of the amazing live band. They are regularly on Indy and they are marvellous musicians and everytime we have met them on past cruises they have always remembered us.
This evening I got a beautiful swan with some googly eyes stuck on it.
Day 6 – Copenhagen
Copenhagen is one of Europe’s oldest and most popular cities. It’s also one of the cleanest and most metropolitan. There is so much to see from the Tivoli Gardens amusement park to stunning palaces.
The Little Mermaid was much smaller than we expected but then it does say little in the name so we don’t know why we expected it to be bigger. The Little Mermaid is a bronze statue by Edvard Eriksen, depicting a mermaid. The sculpture is displayed on a rock by the waterside at the Langelinie promenade in Copenhagen. She is 4.1 ft tall and weighs 385 lb. The Little Mermaid is based on the fairy tale by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. She has been an icon and major tourist attraction since its unveiling in 1913. However it is a shame to learn though on our tour that in recent decades she has become a popular target for vandals and political activists. The Little Mermaid has even had her head cut off on many occasions.
Tivoli Gardens amusement park was interesting with so many rides, statues and gardens. So if you love theme parks and gardens I highly recommend. As we was on an excursion we only had time for two rides one on the Den Flyvende Kuffert ride which took you through many different classic stories written by Hans Christian Anderson and the other was the swing which goes high in the air. Both were fun.
After we went on a mini cruise along the river and saw some historical buildings along the way even a war ship.
When we got back on-board as today was Independence Day and with Indy being an American ship they were celebrating with a large cake which we saw being made the other day. So it was party time.
In the evening we went and ate in Chops Grill. I had my favourite Goats Cheese with salad followed by steak and Jason had pork for starters followed by steak. For dessert we both had cheesecake. Like per usual it was delicious. So if you love steaks and hot food then Chops Grill is totally worth the extra cost to eat there as we always do.
In the evening we went and listened to the live band in the Pyramid Lounge and I even went and danced with some children who looked a little lost in what to do.
It was then onto a game of fun in which I became captain for the ladies and the man which was my other co-partner in The Quest became the captain for the men. So this time we was competing against each other.
Let the battle commence.
We had to do play so many party games.
I won it with the ladies help. So I got a gold medal. I am the champion.
Day 7 – Skagen
Today we got off at Skagen in Denmark. The beaches are beautiful with whiter than white sand and the sea water is clear and inviting. We just walked around the harbour area and looked in the shops. We also came across a candy shop that produced their own candy. So we watched these two men make candy from scratch which was really interesting.
In the evening we at in the main restaurant.
For the evenings entertainment we went and watched Toni Warne. Before entering though I cam across Tom who was pretending to be a solider. I could not resist in getting a photo with. He was a true professional though like a solider should be and did not move or speak.
Afterwards we went along to the parade and party which was happening on the Royal Promenade later. Firstly though we came across a table full of cake which opened up for all us holiday makers to indulge in 30 minutes before the parade. They were delicious.
Then the party started with lots of singing and dancing from Joff Eaton and all the other entertainment staff on-board.
The towel animal for tonight was a stingray.
Day 8 – at sea
Today was the day before our anniversary but we wanted to celebrate it on-board so we decide to make today our anniversary and so we booked and dined later again in Chops Grill.
In the meantime in the afternoon as this was the last day of our cruise holiday before disembarking and in the afternoon as a special thank you to all loyal Royal Caribbean customers like myself and Jason we was invited to a special Crown and Anchors members show. There was some dancing by award winning dancers and singing. Even the Godmother who was on-board Indy came down and said some words. We even got to greet all the higher end staff members even the captain himself.
As I mentioned earlier we went and ate again in Chops Grill and Jason presented me with a lovely Anniversary card. How sweet is he.
Then we went and watched a Farewell show put on by the marvellous singers and dancers on the ship and listened to a speech by Joff Eaton. Also at the very end lots of the most popular staff from the waiters to the entertainment crew came out to thank us all.
For the rest of the evening we went and listened to the live band again and Jason got them to sing me a song in celebration of our anniversary. He is such a sweetie, bless.
We then said our goodbyes to the singers but I am sure we will see them again sometime in the future.
Tonight’s last towel animal was a swan again. Cute though.
Day 9 – disembarking at Southampton
Alas today was the final day so bye bye Indy we will see you again soon.
Highlights and negatives
- The Jester or should I say DJ or King who always welcomed us into the Windjammer.
- Playing the Quest
- The Crown and Anchor special show for loyalty members.
- Being entertained by the great Joff Eaton and Tom.
- Vigeland Park seeing all the statues.
- Segway in Kristiansand
- No wine to be won at the evening quiz’s.
Pre-book any speciality dining restaurants to secure a table as they can get booked quickly.
As we took this cruise last year and we was not writing a blog back then so these are memories from which I can remember of our trip.
Have you sailed on Independence of the Seas before and what did you think?
NOTE: Royal Caribbean is always updating and improving their ships so I am sure that since my trip it has been updated. Discover the latest about Voyager of the Seas and upcoming itineraries via clicking here.