After nearly three hours of driving through central London to reach Heathrow Airport followed by a two-and-a-half hour flight to Reykjavik, the BF and I finally arrived at our home away from home: The MS Ocean Diamond.
On the itinerary for the next nine days was a series of port stops and excursions around the whole of Iceland – there will be much more about that to come. But first, I’d like to share with you my first impressions of my first cruise.
Cruises come with their stereotypes. They tend to be associated with older people who prefer a more leisurely form of travel. This cruise, in which optional excursions included trips to far flung glaciers, I thought would be different.
I was wrong.
What immediately struck me as I boarded the ship, unpacked my things, and started to look around, was the average age of the other passengers. A conservative estimate would be 60. I should have known at this point that this would not turn out to be the active and adventurous I was expecting.
Onboard the MS Ocean Diamond with IcelandPro Cruises
The Ocean Diamond not your average cruise ship; it’s much smaller and intended for Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. That means you won’t find lots of entertainment facilities onboard. Luckily, we knew this in advance and brought our laptop along for entertainment.
Our room was cozy and sufficient. There were to twin beds that could be combined into a double bed, a work desk with lockable drawers, cabinets, a large wardrobe, and small private bathroom. There was a small television that was incapable of picking up stations, and a DVD player (despite the fact that there were no DVDs onboard).
After setting down our things we quickly toured the ship to see what else it had to offer. There are two bars onboard: a small lounge on the 7th floor at the front of the ship, and a larger bar on the 4th floor. In addition to this there was a formal dining room where all the meals were served, a reception floor, small gym, deck with an unheated pool, a lecture hall, and a small library stocked with books and games.
As far as the ship’s facilities were concerned, things were looking alright. We were a little surprised by the average age of the other passengers, but I wasn’t too worried about it at this point. What did worry me was a letter we were given right at the start of the journey. The letter listed some “tweaks” to the cruise itinerary and excursions. The list was long, but only one of our booked excursions was affected.
This would changed in the days to come…
My first impressions of my first cruise were definitely mixed, but despite a few hiccups I was still cautiously optimistic about the trip.