About ten years ago, I went on a cruise- and I loved it, BUT, it wasn't on one of the massive floating Las Vegas hotel things that claim to be ships. I went on the Norwegian Coastal Voyage, the ship, the Polarlys, carried about two hundred passengers and acted as a ferry between Bergen and Kirknes, right up near the Russian border calling at about twenty ports in each direction. The cruise lasting eleven days. We called at ports big and small, some we would just pull in, a ramp in the side of the ship would go down, a couple of people would walk off, a forklift would drive on, extract a few parcels, then maybe a car would drive on, then off we'd go. Others we would stay a few hours so that we could visit the town. This ship was regarded as a general ferry carrying goods
and people up and down the Norwegian coast. I had breakfast with somebody one morning who told me had had come on board during the night and was going home on leave. He was captain of a ferry belonging to a rival company which did not call at his home. As far as entertainment, yes there was a singing duo in the bar at night after dinner, but that was it. The food was good but quite normal, none of the gourmet offerings of the big ships. The dining room was shared with the crew. One was often sitting at the next table to the captain and other officers. This was a cruise for the person who wanted to see the magnificent scenery at quite close quarters, we sailed just safely offshore the whole time except when crossing the entrances to the bigger fjords. This was a cruise I would recommend to anyone who wanted a wonderful experience, without the nonsense of the popular conception of a cruise.