Arcadia (IV) & Queen Mary 2 in Ålesund
The day of boarding my Queen Mary 2 cruise, we were informed before muster that our call at Geiranger on the 17th July 2013 was cancelled and replaced by the less picturesque Ålesund.  I've been to both ports before and was probably the only person onboard delighted we weren't going to Geiranger as I find it's not very good for photographing ships like Flåm or even Olden.  But there's really zilch at Ålesund apart from the viewing platform, which also makes it as crap for photographing your ship as Geiranger!  Both are delightful if you're just a cruiser rather than ship nut.  We and Arcadia were due to arrive at 8am and when I looked out from the balcony, spotted the half-Cunarder way ahead.  She was docking as we began to turn in and I returned to the cabin, only to find us turning to back in.  A quick dash to the stern and as we neared, suddenly we moved forward again.  What was going on?  I decided to watch from the balcony again and saw a tug attach, guiding us in forward so it was third time lucky!
I went on the Leisurely Ålesund tour but the tour office messed up Rob's by putting him on another one.  Because of their stupid hours and not having delivered the tickets until the desk was almost closed, we hadn't noticed until late the night before.  If Cunard opened it the morning of arrival to allow people to book tours or we received tour info before late afternoon on the 15th, we could have changed it.  So he ended up staying on the ship.  It was pouring with rain and windy when we left and up at the Aksla viewing point and a few of us went for photos.  The Hurtigruten ship, Nordnorge, was in the other berth.  The rain was on and off during the tour but did stop by the time we got back before 11am.  Rob and I then went for a quick walk but it was too windy and wet so we didn't go far.  I met Glen Woodcock from Facebook, who was on Arcadia, and told us their call to Flåm the next day was changed to Olden, though they knew a month in advance.
And so to our still wet and windy sailaway.  We still needed our friendly tug to help us and once we'd pulled out, I couldn't take the wet stuff blowing in my face any longer so went back to the cabin to watch the rest of it.
The review of my Mary cruise can be found here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 17th July 2013
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