Hi everyone


I’m back and oh my word, the number of washes I’ve done! Our clothes seem to have multiplied over the 8 days we were away.  And apologies for those of you who thought I might put loads of photos on Instagram, I just couldn’t get it to work so there’ll be quite a few on this post!  And before I get on to the clothes I wore, a few thoughts on the cruise.


First, it was so good to be back cruising, which I have always loved, and especially on Saga’s ships, where they look after you so well and even pick you up from your door, taking you to and from the port – that’s service in my view!


Second, the food was gorgeous and very ample, including a sumptuous afternoon tea, but I did not put on any weight as by the 3rd day I cut down big-time as I just cannot eat large 3 to 4-course meals every day, So it was cereal for breakfast, not very much for lunch and a 2-course evening meal, which meant no starter and ending with a simple fruit platter. We avoided the afternoon tea as that is very fat and carb heavy. It all felt very healthy as I had mostly fish dishes in the evening, which were excellent.


The highlight of our trip (which was called Norway’s Fjords and Cities) was the trip through the fjord to Geiranger. We did this early in the morning starting just before 7.0am, and the light was outstanding what with the sun coming over the top of the fjord.



This entire fjord is a UNESCO heritage site and from 2025 Norway will be banning all ships (apart from those that have electric engines) from these heritage sites. Good for Norway, say I, but I felt privileged to have seen such a glorious place.



As far as I am concerned Norway has the best scenery in the world (not that I am all that well travelled) and Geiranger was just lovely. However, when we arrived at the tiny village that is Geiranger, it was overrun by tourists and and campervans. I think we need to tread lightly in these places, so I am totally with Norway in trying to reduce the footfall.


It was great meeting so many interesting people from all around the British Isles. By the way, the being driven to and from the cruise extended to people living in Scotland. And although some flew to Gatwick we met a Scottish couple who had been collected by car at 5.20am arriving at the ship at 3.0pm.


And joy of joys, we had a balcony!  Why the delight! Because we always go for the cheapest option on cruises and you do not get a balcony with those cabins. For the first time ever we had a balcony in a lower priced cabin, because in Saga’s new ships every cabin has a balcony. Oh what bliss that was!



That’s a new pr of sage-coloured trousers from White Stuff, a new fleece (at a sale price of £20) from Craghoppers, and a new pr of white plimsolls, which I wore every day as deck shoes. See the weather? While the UK was having dreadful weather nearly every day was warm and filled with sunshine. We were so lucky as the southern part of Norway has just had some extremely bad weather with rain and high winds – a lucky escape!


And so to the clothes I wore! Remember I hadn’t been on a cruise since 2019, and as I was packing I was remembering all the cruises I’d been on since 2012, and the thing is, I found out quite quickly that even on Saga the dressing up has reduced somewhat. For example, there was only one Formal night instead of two. And a big change, which I had forgotten was that instead of 3 dress codes of Formal, Smart and Casual, there were only two dress codes: one Formal night and then Smart Casual through the rest of the cruise. In actuality, about 50% dressed up to the Smart level. I mean, no jeans or shorts are allowed anywhere in the ship after 6.0pm but sometimes the dress was very casual, especially the men many of whom wore short sleeved shirts in the evening and no jacket. (Shock/horror!!) But I remember that for several of our earlier cruises men wore suits and ties every evening, and on Formal nights women wore gowns, and Smart was a sparkly cocktail dress and I never wore anything casual on those Casual nights and nor did many other women.  Mr F regularly brought three different suits: one for the Formal night; one for the Smart nights; and one for the Casual nights and he wore a tie every night.


You know I’ve just read that last paragraph and nearly deleted it as I must sound such a toffee-nosed old martinet with my ‘standards have slipped’ attitude. But that is what I think, as for me the dressing up is half the fun. Anyway, 50% of the women still dressed up but I now know what to bring next time, which will include Dresses 4 & 5 that I left behind! I didn’t wear my goth dress (#8) and felt a little out of place wearing the frilled pale lilac skirt, which I decided to take at the last minute. But here’s what I did wear.


This is my best dress! A beautiful Monsoon velour velvet beauty bought in 2012 for, I don’t know, £10?  It was something like that.  And I managed to get into it albeit it is a lot tighter around the middle, despite me being the same weight



And below, here I am scrolling and trying to get Instagram to work!  I promise you I didn’t do much of this as we were very sociable throughout the cruise.  As we had just gone around the promenade deck for an evening stroll, I’m wearing a black cashmere cardi I bought a few days before the cruise at the exorbitant price of £9.



And here is another beauty, which I will wear on a Formal night when we go on a longer 2-week cruise. I love it as it sparkles with sequins and fits amazingly well. It was of course, another charity shop find bought many years ago.



And below I am wearing dress 6, which you can’t see all that well in this photo as I’m wearing a green bolero cardi over it. This was our first night and you can see I was just so happy to be there on the ship. Actually we hadn’t left Dover as we were waiting for a gi-normous block of flats to leave before us (Saga is a small ship at under a 1000 passengers) and as you can see the weather was awful with rain and a Force 8 gale, which made it a little bumpy that first night. But thereafter the North sea became as flat as a pancake – never seen it so flat. Over the next 6 days the weather was amazing, until that is, you’ve got it, we were returning to Dover!


I wore that dress twice, btw.



I also wore my black crepe trousers twice. I haven’t got all that many photos of my outfits, I was in the moment as they say, which is actually where you’re meant to be on holiday!  But here’s an action shot of me marching into a bar for my pre-dinner drink – a St.Clements, which was always very refreshing.



And here I am wearing the top out on deck after dinner.



Although it looks navy in this shot the top is black, which btw, I got new earlier this year from Sainsbury’s (which is a well-known supermarket for those of you living outside the UK). And I wore the same very old sandals throughout the 7-days!  They do have sparkles on them and looked the part despite their age.


Well, that’s the fancy evening gear I wore, and now I know what to wear, I shall be far more at ease packing my suitcase when we go next year on a 2-week cruise.


Here I am in two of my day time outfits. That hat!  I bought it years ago (?2016) in Flam, Norway and it is an old favourite and so easy to pack as well. That’s my new White Stuff trousers paired with an old charity shop top. The shoes are two years old now.




And during a day out in Sandnes, I wore this new white top with a pair of thin charity shop jeans. On board ship during a sea day I wore the top with some thinner black cotton trousers, plus my white deck shoes on with black socks so I was very co-ordinated!



As you can see a cruise is my ‘happy place’!  Btw, we don’t go on outings all that often, in fact none on this cruise. (We will btw go on more next year as there are several ports of call we haven’t been to before, so an outing here and there will be useful.) Instead, we like to stroll around a port, and always search out a coffee shop were we stop and drink our coffee surrounded by Norwegians.  In this port we also went to our favourite shop (Sostrene Grene, which is actually Danish) and a Science Museum, which was great and also full of Norwegians.


So that was my cruise. In a blink of an eye it was over, apart from some great memories. If I have learnt anything it is that Norway is just the most beautiful country ever, the ship was filled with lovely people and it was so easy to be sociable, the staff are amazing, the food bountiful, the sea and weather was kind, the dressing up, as ever, was unbelievably fun, and 7-days is too short! Here’s to next year and a longer cruise – yay!


Oh and another thing, What with all the walking in ports and the long corridors and flights of stairs on board ship we walked 20,000 more steps than we usually do and an added bonus is that finally both of us feel so much better and fitter. So it really was a great experience and worth every penny I spent on it. In another post I must tell you about the products I bought from the Spa for the bags under my eyes that seem to be working!


Anyway, normality returns, the washing is finished and I am left with some lovely memories. Thank you for reading my enthusiastic and not too gushing (I hope) report of the cruise to the end.


You must let me know if you’ve had a good holiday recently. But that really is all for now.


With love, Penny,  the Frugalfashionshopper

I’m back and here’s what I learnt about what to wear next time!!!
Tagged on:                         

38 thoughts on “I’m back and here’s what I learnt about what to wear next time!!!

  • 11th August 2023 at 10:00 am

    You look really relaxed and your outfits choices are great I wonder if anyone who reads your blog was on the cruise and recognized you. Imagine them saying oh there’s FFS that dress only cost £4? 🙂 I think less formal clothes are the thing now. I’ve noticed at funerals and weddings more or less anything goes. We were at a wedding where the bride, in full meringue mode, wore Doc Martens.

    Good to hear about the electric cruise ships, Norway sounds like they have joined up ideas about a lot of things.

    • 12th August 2023 at 8:17 am

      I was totally unrecognised on the cruise! I’ve hardly ever been recognised as I’m not a huge ‘influencer’. But it is nice when it happens!

      I love the idea of a bride in full body meringue mode wearing Doc Martens – what a statement she made!

      And also all cars in Norway seemed to be electric and not your tiny city cars either as was nearly run over by a huge but very silent electric car as I was walking up a path to a waterfall in Geiranger! Did not hear that one at all!!

      Thanks Flora 🙂

  • 11th August 2023 at 11:01 am

    So pleased you had a good time Penny. You look so happy in all the photos. I haven’t been on a cruise for a good few years, but small ships are definitely best! I hate the look of those floating blocks of flats and shudder to think of their environmental impact. It’s obviously done you a power of good health wise too. Here’s to the next one! I’ll be interested to read about the under eye treatments. I’ve just had two cataracts done four weeks apart and am still not able to use eye cream, so feel my skin is going to need a good bit of tlc as soon as I can manage it.
    All the best

    • 12th August 2023 at 8:31 am

      I had such a great time Kathy, and love the way we are treated on Saga. Btw, the cruises might seem expensive but Saga has a great philosophy in that there are no extras whatsoever so you don’t get an invoice at the end of your cruise for hundreds of pounds, as all tips, some excursions, all drinks including spirits, all specialised restaurants, the afternoon tea, and so very important, health insurance is included, plus they pick you up from your door from wherever you are in the British Isles as long as you share with another couple. I mean is that amazing or what! And the passengers number under a 1000 instead of those disgusting 6000+ monstrosities. Oh and a balcony even in the cheapest cabins, I mean what’s not to like!

      I will do a post on skin care soon. Thanks Kathy 🙂

  • 11th August 2023 at 2:26 pm

    Glad you both had a great time Penny. Your outfits looked fab & really beautiful pictures of Norway.

    • 12th August 2023 at 8:33 am

      Thank you so much Jen, we had a lovely time 🙂

    • 12th August 2023 at 8:37 am

      Hi Mireille, yes there are many cruise lines that cater for whole families including quite young kids, but Saga is child-free as you have to be 50 or over to go on their cruises. That’s a drop in the age limit as it used to be over 55. Indeed there were some ‘younger’ couples on the cruise but there are also a lot of older people and actually at the age of 77 I felt really young as I met so many people in their mid-80s and early 90s – all interesting I have to say.

      You will love cruising – thanks Mireille 🙂

  • 11th August 2023 at 3:30 pm

    I so enjoyed this post Penny! Makes me want to consider the possibility of doing another myself. My last one was also in 2019. My children and grands all did a cruise this summer around Iceland, courtesy of their father, my ex. They posted loads of photos and the scenery was spectacular! I am glad to hear that some countries are doing something to curb the damage done by all of us tourists on our adventures. On my last cruise there were 2 formal nights. not everyone got really dressed up but many did. Actually the 2 Viking cruises, which I really enjoyed did not have formal nights, although everyone seemed to make more effort at dinner. I am very glad you had such a good time. The dresses you chose are beautiful. I did manage to get away for a few days to my beloved Chincoteague island. We left on a Tuesday morning after my daughter and son and law had
    just returned from their Iceland trip the evening before, and my son in law was the driver. We were so lucky, while quite hot, the weather was sunny so we were able to do all the pony related activities, the famous swim, the auction of the foals and of course get in beach time. And I got to be on television. While watching the ponies in the coral a local reporter approached me and asked if she could interview me. I was wearing my sun hat given to me by my family a few Christmas’s ago which has equestrian designs. The reporter, who’s name was in fact Penny was drawn to it. She asked me about my coming here over the years. although as I said the TV station was local the segment was picked up by other stations and the next day my daughter said that a friend who lives in Arizona, way across the country texted her that he had seen her mother, me, on TV. So that was fun. For now, a few local day trips are planned for Fall and hopefully a couple more dinners at the beach with friends while it is still summer.

    • 13th August 2023 at 8:14 am

      Hi Darby and so glad you enjoyed reading this post! I’m not sure how things are with single cruisers on American cruise lines but there’s always a big effort on Saga to get single cruisers together and in the dining rooms you would never eat alone. Cruising seems a very sociable way to go on holiday if going alone. I think go with your gut and if you are comfortable with the idea of a cruise – do go!

      Also I’m glad you got away to your favourite island. It sounds idyllic and with your family too – those horses!! And fame at last with that interview – wow! Look forward to hearing about your local trips. We will do the same but I also have a whole week away in Dungeness with, first of all, a couple we have known for decades and in the latter half of the week my daughter and her partner. It will be lovely to do this and very different to cruising!!!

      Thanks Darby 🙂

  • 11th August 2023 at 3:34 pm

    We’ll be going on a cruise in October to Spain France and Italy and so it was very exciting to read this. I know what you mean about people not dressing up as much, but I like to dress up so I have decided that I will wear what I want. And I’m sure that will be dressier than most of the people!

    And I love the idea of getting more steps in, more exercise, and more fresh air.
    You looked absolutely lovely Penny and I for one I’m glad that you were fun and fancy frocks!


    • 12th August 2023 at 8:49 am

      Oh wow, Jodie, you will love these countries, and by then it should have cooled down. Yay – so pleased to hear you will dress up. I hope shorts are banned from the dining room in the evening – you’ll have to tell me if they’re worn!!!

      And definitely you will i) walk more around the ship up and down the corridors and 2) up and down the stairs – you see we avoided the lifts as much as possible. When I occasionally used a lift I was appalled when people got out after one floor!!!!! And then there’s all the walking once off the ship. You will definitely increase your steps – cruising is so healthy!

      I can’t wait for my longer cruise next year when I hope there are 3 Formal nights. Thanks Jodie 🙂

  • 11th August 2023 at 5:03 pm

    So glad you had a good time Penny but then it would be hard not to! There are so many myths about cruising and I always say you can do it your own way. There is always the buffet style dining if you don’t want the formal dining room but I’m glad that shorts and denim for evenings is still not acceptable on the Saga ships, which I love. Call me antediluvian if you like! We’ve been to Norway twice, once in summer on a coach trip and on a winter cruise for the Northern lights, which we finally saw from the ship. Norway is a lovely country at any season. I don’t think I’ll be able to go on a sea cruise again because I can’t get insured but I’m still hoping for a river cruise which should be possible. I know I should ditch all my fancy cruise dresses, shoes etc. but I can’t quite do it yet. I still love dressing up, rarely wear trousers although I like the new wide loose summer ones I’ve seen people wearing. Just bought 3 charity shop dresses on a visit to neighbouring small town by bus. Wonderful views from the top of it and all for free! There is a music festival near us – Boomtown – and the size of it is mind boggling. Huge number of cars (seen from the bus) although a lot of young people arrive by train and get bussed out to the site.

    • 13th August 2023 at 8:38 am

      You are so right Lynda about cruising and I always find that the people who criticise cruises have never been on a cruise! I mean what do they know!! And yes, we go into the formal main dining room on Formal nights but all other nights we went into the Grill as it has the better views – and in addition we always went early enough to get a window seat. The only thing I don’t totally like about cruises is that we aren’t really ‘show’ type people so the song and dance shows aren’t really us. We listened to one in the Britannia Lounge, which was fine, but it just wasn’t something I would go out of my way to go to when on dry land! What I’d really like is a separate cinema so that you had choice of evening entertainment that included films. That happened on a Holland American cruise which had a fabulously large screen on the top deck and with its retractable Wimbledon type roof we watched a film nearly every night sometimes with the roof on and sometimes not – wonderful. But it was the largest cruise ship we’d been on with 2000 passengers and also included the typical way of charging for absolutely everything on top of your supposedly cheap cabin. I so love Saga where everything is paid for up front.

      I absolutely love Norway. This btw was the 4th time we’d been to Norway and one lesson from this experiment of a one week cruise was that we need to go somewhere different!! Which we are next year.

      I do hope you manage to get on a river cruise – you need a treat. And don’t get rid of your cruise dresses, you never know, Lynda, you never know, they might be used again.

      Since I got back I too have been on a bit of a spending spree in my charity shops – you’ll see what I bought soon.

      I agree that a bus ride can be a fantastic trip around the local sights. We have one bus, the number 12, that goes to Eastbourne from Brighton along the coast roads and it is perhaps the best bus ride you could ever take!

      Thanks as ever Lynda 🙂

  • 11th August 2023 at 8:46 pm

    What a lovely time you had, Penny! So glad. That sea air will have done both of you a world of good and set you up for winter. Norway is indeed a beautiful country. We took the Hurtigruten route a few years ago, right round to the Russian border and back again, stopping at all the little ports. We went with friends and would you believe, walking through Bergen the evening before we sailed, we ran into a lady we both knew from our home town, also on holiday! Talk about small world, eh?

    You looked splendid in all your outfits and definitely made good choices. Unlike you, I’m not a fan of posh frocks and am more than happy to keep out of the way when it’s Dress Up time on the QMII although I will s rub up when I have to but below-stairs dining suits me/us just fine in our ‘nice’ get-ups. Mind you, even I was appalled when a woman waltzed in late one night in her pjs and dressing gown! The maitre d’s face was a picture!

    Anyway, here’s to your next time!

    Zepherine x

    • 13th August 2023 at 8:47 am

      Ah yes, Hurtigruten. I have researched it and often wonder if we should do it, but it isn’t a cruise and I have to admit I like the cruising life. It’s the dressing up I love. I am thinking though that when have that big birthday (3 years away) I’d like to cross the Atlantic on the QM2, stay in New York for a few days and then come back maybe flying or maybe by the QM again. Now that I would see as a very big adventure!!!!

      And Oh My goodness, really, PJs??!! Eek!

      Thank so much Zephereine 🙂

  • 12th August 2023 at 4:03 am

    Oh, Penny! I am so yearning to cruise Norway. I have written about my Norwegian boyfriends, Arne & Carlos. They do knitting cruises up and down the western (I think) side of Norway. I am trying to convince Mike to go on one. He tells me to just go by myself. So, maybe, I should tag along on a cruise with you and Mr. F! Your photos are glorious, and you look lovely in every outfit! I would probably have still dressed for dinner as you did because that’s part of the experience, right?

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us!


    • 12th August 2023 at 7:58 am

      My husband didn’t want to go on our first cruise but he agreed to try it once and loved it! It became our favourite way to travel and we’ve been on about 10 now.

    • 12th August 2023 at 9:03 am

      I’ve just googled Arne & Carlos – oh wow, what a pair! But so interesting. I’ll watch a YouTube today.

      I love Norwegian knitwear, although I think I prefer the Icelandic patterning better.

      RE: Mike’s reluctance. I’m sure that there would be loads for Mike to do on a cruise; the gym for starters and there’s always plenty of lectures to go to. My other half went to a lecture when I went to the Spa. I always think a Norwegian fjord cruise is the best way to start. Also like Linda Mr F wasn’t all that keen but was persuaded and he found much to his surprise he liked it. For instance, you can meet some great people on board ship and there’s always so much to do – he won’t bored.

      And re: dressing up. Everyone changed for dinner but it just wasn’t dressy as it was way back in 2012! Especially the men, Mr F brought 3 different suits with him and only wore the tuxedo one. Smart trousers and shirts was the way men dressed thereafter. He’s pleased about that. Most women wore smart going-out type items, but not quite as dressy as I remember it. I shall slightly alter what I bring but every evening will be an occasion for me!

      Have a look at the Saga cruise line – it’s a very British experience!!!! Thanks Marsha 🙂

      P.S. But they don’t have Arne & Carlos – or not yet!

  • 12th August 2023 at 6:37 am

    I love that you dress properly, in my eyes. I mean, shorts at the dinner table…… gosh I see that so often here. Horrible. You look absolutely stunning in that velvet dress. I want to go on such a cruise for years!

    • 12th August 2023 at 8:42 am

      Although I have now learnt what the dress code is on Saga, I won’t not dress up and can’t wait for the longer cruise next year as I’m hoping there will be 3 Formal nights. Also I shall choose the Smart Casual dresses very carefully as some women did wear lovely sparkly shorter dresses – that mean I’ll be looking out for more lovely dresses in my local charity shops!

      You would love cruising – there’s always a gym on cruise ships and of course a good medical centre. Thanks Nancy 🙂

  • 12th August 2023 at 11:05 am

    Dear Penny…It makes me happy to read your excited words and fun description of your long-awaited cruise. That first photo of Norway was spectacular! Wonderful weather in Norway was such a blessing! Your days sounded exciting and relaxing at the same time. Annnnd…you looked marvelous…happy, glowing and wearing your favorite frocks!
    I’ve been on one cruise and absolutely loved it! On our formal night, I wore a black, strapless cocktail dress with dangling rhinestone earrings. With my “big” permed hair, it was quite the 80’s look! And the dress! It was my niece’s prom dress! I NEVER saw prom dresses like that in the 60’s!! When I bemoaned that I didn’t “fill out” the dress like she did, she laughed and told me to “use uncle’s socks”!! LOL…
    You look marvelous, and look like you are thoroughly enjoying yourself, Penny. “Being in the moment”, indeed! I’m glad to read that you and Mr. FFS are feeling more fit, too! This was quite the holiday!
    Our family trip to the California Sierra Nevada mountains was a wonderful, memorable, and loving time dedicated to the memory of my husband and father to our two sons. In our large condo, we fit the sons and their wives plus six grandchildren! Did I mention the family dog as well?! After years of drought, it was wonderful to see the lakes full and waterfalls roaring again due to record-breaking snow from the previous winter. The wildflowers were spectacular in colors of bright orange, deep purples, blues, reds, and yellow. Even white flowers showed up brightly against the lush green foliage. We were able to share our memories and sorrow at losing Dad…but found the mountain beauty surrounding us to be a perfect tribute to his memory. He is now amongst his favorite fishing spots in his beloved mountains.
    Thanks for letting me share, Penny…Charlene

    • 13th August 2023 at 7:51 am

      What a wonderful account of your family trip Charlene, it sounds fantastic and a lovely way to come together to remember your husband.

      • 13th August 2023 at 12:20 pm

        Thank you, Lynda! It was bittersweet and, yet, a time of blessing for me. ❤️

    • 13th August 2023 at 9:03 am

      You know Charlene, we were so lucky with the weather as throughout the week we were in Norway the weather was awful in the UK, and then when we left Norway, a couple of days later, the southern part of Norway (where we were) had a once-in-a-lifetime storm which has devastated small towns and washed away railway lines and roads. I’m so sorry for Norway but it was very lucky escape for our cruise.

      And yes, the cruise was such a tonic as I ate healthily, drank more water (the waiters just poured it out all the time for us) had loads of fresh air from our balcony and walked so much more including the walking up the long corridors and stairs plus our morning walk 3 times around the promenade deck (which equalled one mile) before our mid-morning coffee.

      I am so glad your get-together with your family in honour of your late husband went so well. Your description of the mountain scenery now fully restored to its beauty was an additional bonus. It is so healing to savour and enjoy our beautiful world – long may we keep it that way. These are wonderful memories you have created. Thank you so much for describing this lovely time and sharing it with us.

      You take care now Charlene and thank you again 🙂

      • 13th August 2023 at 12:29 pm

        Thank you, Penny. No pressure…but I do look forward to your blog and hear about life across the pond! It’s like having old-fashion pen pals!
        I admit,..you’ve got me thinking about cruises!

    • 13th August 2023 at 7:54 pm

      Dear Charlene
      I so enjoyed reading about your family trip [back] to the Sierra Nevada mountains dedicated to the memory of your husband. How fabulous that your condo fitted your family… and dog! And, yes, good to see “the lakes full and the waterfalls roaring again” … what a fabulous metaphor for you/your family’s future.
      Well, actually a fabulous metaphoe for us all.
      Onwards, Mary

      • 13th August 2023 at 9:15 pm

        Dear Mary…thank you for your sweet words. I had not thought of the description as a metaphor for our future but I like it!!

  • 12th August 2023 at 3:23 pm

    So glad you had such a great time, and the weather was kind. You look so relaxed and happy in all your clothing choices. I used to be very keen on dressing up but don’t have any opportunity now so I’ve given away all my party dresses and sequins. If we ever do go on a cruise, Mr Mutton would, I’m afraid, be the man in a short sleeved shirt with no tie, probably wearing trainers as he claims they’re the only shoes suitable for his problem feet.
    Norway looks and sounds stunning. I had a 3 day mini break there many years ago. Would love to see the Fjords.

    • 13th August 2023 at 9:15 am

      If you are ever going to do a cruise I’d say always start with a 7-day cruise to Norway, it doesn’t really matter which line, but I do recommend Saga, and you really don’t have to dress up, but you can change for the evening into a nice dress, or dress up in sequins either would be fine.

      But the thing about the Norway cruise is you can’t not drop your jaws at the scenery. It’s worth it for just that and btw, the excursions include hiking quite long distances so Mr Mutton can take his walking gear and go walking a long way, which is what I know he likes. I bet you didn’t think a Saga cruise would include that, did you!!!! Oh and don’t forget the bouncy rib boats and the helicopter rides – they are also on the excursions list.

      I now know what to take – I won’t take a goth outfit but I will go for sequins! Watch this space as I look for them in my local charity shops!

  • 13th August 2023 at 7:25 am

    Hello Penny

    Good to hear you enjoyed your cruise and yes, great to have a balcony to relax and enjoy the fabulous views…. Norway certainly looks stunning. Thanks for the round up of your outfits and I’m glad they worked for you – apart from the frilly skirt. I’m not clear why you weren’t happy with it. I’ve always thought it’s great …. a little too edgy for the cruise?

    I enjoy dressing a bit edgy – gives me a little ‘pep’ – still in the world! I also like co-ordinated outfits, if they work. I thought your trouser/teeshirt/hat ensemble was great and the mauve trim gave it that little ‘something’. I find the more ‘staid’ an outfit is, the more dull/dated I feel, and often co-ordinating takes too much time/effort to get right – which leads me to is it worth it, what’s my aim/motivation etc… urgh! Whereas casual stuff gives me more opportunities to be creative without all that rigmarole.

    Like you, I love dressing up. However, being a bit of a rebel Emoji I don’t like being told when to do it. So, smart casual is more ‘up my street’, but I’m not keen on shorts and bare midriffs at dinner. I’m probably being an inverted snob here, but I have no particular interest in dining at the captain’s table. I’m more interested in meeting interesting people and/or being about to sit by ourselves sometimes – is that possible?

    Btw: recently, we went to a high end London restaurant where very few people were ‘dressed up’ – or, as my mother would have said ‘made an effort’ – certainly less effort than ‘up north’. Shucks, standards are falling, Penny!

    So, welcome back and I’m pleased the cruise has done you both good. Here’s to your next one, and here’s to good health!


    • 13th August 2023 at 9:35 am

      If you ever go on a cruise again do a 7-day cruise to Norway as the scenery is stunning and your jaws can’t not drop at the height and splendour of the extraordinary fjords – they are awe-inspiring. And to answer your question about that frilly skirt, actually I realised I don’t actually like it. Think it’s the colour as I prefer my black tulle skirts.

      I loved meeting all the interesting people on board ship and the seating arrangements at the buffet restaurant was just exactly right to talk or not as you pleased. The formal dining room consists of 6 and 8-seated round tables. The one time we went in to it we sat a 6-seater filled with interesting people, an 8-seater is too big I think. There aren’t that many 2-seater tables. But there aren’t any fixed seating tables which is a relief as if you get stuck with people you don’t like…..

      Yes the dress code is less rigid, especially for the men, but I shall take more sequins next time, as I’ve worked out what to wear, so I shall be looking for more outfits for my 13-night cruise coming up next year!!!

      Actually it’s very interesting sitting on the captain’s table which we did once – last time in 2019. I sat next to an officer and that’s when I heard everything would be inclusive with their new ships (now in use) including staff tips. This officer said, you know, we in Saga believe we should pay our crew properly so they don’t have to rely on tips. And that is a philosophy I thoroughly support and admire. Also having the health insurance included is a huge bonus.

      Yes, we both feel so much better for this cruise. It’s all to do with eating healthily, walking more and plenty of fresh air and it being such a relaxed way of having a holiday including being picked up from your door. I think we’ve finally recovered from those awful early months.

      Thanks Mary, as ever lovely to hear from you 🙂

  • 14th August 2023 at 12:58 am

    Glad to hear you enjoyed your cruise Penny and returned feeling healthy and relaxed. Intereting how the dress codes have changed over the years, a sign of the times.
    I have never been on a cruise as its not really my thing , I prefer to travel independently and I enjoy the planning part. Each to their own I say.
    I have contacted Gail with my London dates in November , hope we will meet then.

    • 16th August 2023 at 8:39 am

      Yes, we both feel we’re finally over the two viruses we had at the start of the year and the cruise has really helped that.

      The dress code was far stricter when we started cruising (2012) with 3 dress codes: on a 7-day cruise there were 2 Formal nights when women wore practically ball gowns and always long, then 3 Smart nights when women wore cocktail dresses and 2 Casual which I never was!!! My other half took 3 different types of suits for each of those codes and always wore a tie. Now, apart from the one Formal night the men mainly wore short sleeved shirts and no tie, so their dress code was very relaxed! Mr F likes long sleeved shirts even in the hottest weather so wore those. We actually can see Formal nights disappearing, not immediately, but I wonder whether they’ll be around in 10 years or so – it will be a pity as it really is such fun to dress up.

      I shall dress up when I see you in London – definitely will!!! Thanks Jill 🙂

  • 16th August 2023 at 6:57 am

    Hi Penny
    We are embarking on more or less the same cruise starting Monday. We’re going to the Fijords with Saga and I think it’s the same ship! I would have recognised you in a flash if we had been there at the same time. It’s our first cruise since about 2016 and the first with Saga. So looking forward to it and it was lovely seeing all your outfits which are surprisingly very like mine. 😚
    The only thing we’re slightly apprehensive about is the first part of the cruise from Dover. Hoping it’s not too bumpy. Thanks again for a most enjoyable post and looking forward to seeing more of your photos next time.
    Ellie x

    • 16th August 2023 at 8:55 am

      Hi Ellie, oh wow, and just looked and you’re on the Spirit of Adventure, we were on the Spirit of Discovery but they are sister ships and very similar. You will love Saga and while the North Sea can be a bit bumpy it was very flat this time, in fact is was the smoothest sea I’ve ever been on! However, I always take Kwells on the first night and second day, then I don’t need it thereafter. But I highly recommend taking the pills!

      Another thing about Saga, it was remarkably roomy with many places to sit quietly – you’d hardly know there were 900+ passengers on board. And the service is exemplary, food wonderful and a balcony with every cabin – it’s amazing. Enjoy 🙂

  • 23rd August 2023 at 6:40 pm

    I’ve only been on a cruise once and that was a school trip when I was 13 – it was neither relaxing nor luxurious! Saga cruises sound fantastic, how lovely to have a balcony too!

    Emma xxx

    • 26th August 2023 at 10:08 am

      Hi Emma – just found this so apols for not reply sooner.

      RE: cruises. There’s a lot of criticism around cruises usually from people who haven’t been on one!!! But you do have to choose the cruise line very carefully as some would be hideous for us, but maybe not for others. Always go for the smaller ships though. Saga is pricey but you get a lot for your money. One day – try one. And do the Norway 7-day trip as it is a good way to find out if you like it. The scenery is unbelievably beautiful and you can only see it from a ship – or maybe a rib boat if travelling on land. But I don’t fancy those. I don’t like small boats but I just love being on a ship.

Comments are closed.