Northern Europe cruise | Port 1 | Reykjavík, Iceland

It’s Thursday, June 15, 2023, and we arrived at 6:05 am in Reykjavík, Iceland on Iceland Air Flight 630.

8:00 – 9:00 am: Transfer from Keflavík Airport to Skarfabakki Harbour cruise port. Our friend Cronin arrived within minutes of us (on a direct flight from Raleigh), and we caught the same bus provided by NCL for our transfer from the airport to the ship’s port.

It was a 45-minute bus ride, and unexpected by us, it stopped at a Hilton Hotel by the port for a complimentary breakfast. Not to seem ungrateful, but I’d rather have had a $20 cheaper ticket—omitting the breakfast stop—for the transfer.

11:00 am: Board NCL’s Norwegian Prima. We started the boarding process of our ship, whose stats are:

And here’s a look at our stateroom—cabin #16130:

The following Bear Cruisers are celebrating birthdays and anniversaries during this cruise that occurred before or occur after the cruise:

Happy Birthday to Dave Bailey and Fred Larabee on June 9th, Darrell Couture on June 11th, Steve Nelson on June 12th, Bryan Hughs on June 28, and Ken Hughs on July 3rd!!!

Happy Anniversary to Rick and Rodney Thibodeau on June 7th (9 years married), Marc Anderson and Allan Holden on June 27th (15 years married), and Kent Parks and Randy Moore who will have been together 40 years on August 6th!!!

2 – 4 pm: BearCruise Hospitality Desk. Penrose Atrium, Deck 6 Midship. Come check in with us if you have not received your BearCruise lanyard and / or did not check in with us on the bus or at the hotel.

After checking in and getting our BearCruise lanyards, we caught up with the 12-15 guys on the trip from Raleigh, and met a bunch of other guys we’ve only talked to in the group’s chat room created many months ago when most of us first booked this trip.

6 pm: Sail AwaySoleil Bar, Deck 8 Aft. Wear a hat and/or t-shirt with a bear on it to help us find you in the crowd.

Leaving the Reykjavík port:

7 pm: Cocktail Hour, Whiskey Bar, Deck 8 above the Penrose Atrium.

The cocktails at the sail-away bled on into the group’s cocktail hour at The Whiskey Bar, and we all stumbled from point A to point B.

7:30 pm: Dinner—NCL has a “Dine Anytime” policy for restaurants on the ship that are not specialty restaurants. This includes Hudson’s (Deck 7, main dining room), The Commodore Room (Deck 6, overflow for Hudson’s), The Indulge Food Hall (Deck 8 Aft), the Surfside Café and Grill (buffet, Deck 17), and The Local Bar and Grill (Deck 8 Starboard) are all open for dinner. Feel free to try all of these venues, and invite others from the group to join you. Meet at cocktail hour prior to dinner to find others to join. This applies to dinner every night, and note that you may also have one or more specialty dining included in your reservation, which you can schedule using the app. For those of you who want to eat with others in the group in specialty restaurants, we have designated a “Specialty Restaurant of the Day” to help you coordinate reservations.

Bob and I ate alone at the Surfside Café & Grill, which is the same place at which we had lunch. It’s a cafeteria-type venue and all-you-can eat.

8:30 pm: LGBTQIA+ Social As if we hadn’t been gay enough all day and hadn’t had enough alcohol, the ship had its own meet and greet for our “community,” where we met other folks of the same ilk who happened to be part of the other 3,200 passengers on the ship, not part of our 150+ BearCruise group. We’re everywhere.

Here’s us with our Raleigh friend, Joel, with whom we shared a toast to innocence, drank a toast to now.

John, Joel, & Bob at the LGBTQIA+ Social

We were exhausted after two very long days with only about 4 hours between them. We went to bed at about 10 PM, where unbeknownst to me then, I’d sleep for 14 hours.

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