Boarding the Oceania Insignia

The bus from the Blue Lagoon dropped us of at Skafabakki Harbour, where the Insignia was already docked. We entered our home for the next 15 days and it felt like a ghost ship – there was no one in sight! Having been on bigger cruise ships we’re used to having to wait in line for a bit to get checked in but this time we just walked straight through, seeing almost ten crew members but not a single guest until we hit the Waves Grill, Oceania’s poolside grill. It’s our favourite venue for lunch and the Grilled Reuben Sandwich is still as good as I remembered from our last cruise. Being a German living in Switzerland I guess I just can’t resist the combination of Sauerkraut and Swiss cheese 😉

We had booked a mid-ship inside stateroom on a low deck because both Rik and I are prone to seasickness and that’s the most stable place on the ship. We were assigned a handicapped cabin which means it’s a lot bigger than a normal inside cabin but the layout is a bit weird. There is no couch and the TV is next to the bed rather than in front of it. Also the TV is tiny – smaller than my computer screen at home – and for some reason it uses only half of that tiny screen to actually show the movie… But we don’t plan on spending much time in the cabin anyways so it doesn’t really matter.

 

How to become Icelandic

Turns out all you have to do to become Icelandic is to attend a comedy show in the Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik. Now I know how to behave like a local: be rude, love the smell and wash!

If you’ve never been to Iceland this might seem strange to you, but it was actually pretty good advice for our first few days on the island.

1. We learned that the icelandic people have a very northern charm – they aren’t exactly talkative. So don’t expect the receptionist at the hotel or your taxi driver to say anything to you that’s not strictly necessary for getting the job done. Don’t take it personally!

2. Iceland stinks – literally, not figuratively. Every time we took a shower the entire bathroom suddenly started smelling like rotten egg. At first we thought there was a problem with the shower but when we smelled the same at the geyser area and the Blue Lagoon we looked it up and found out that it’s the smell of sulfur, caused by the volcanic activity in Iceland. There is no avoiding it so you just have to get used to it!

3. When you go to a public bath or as we did to the Blue Lagoon you are expected to wash properly before entering the pool – naked that is, leaving on your bathing suit is not allowed. Do it and you will be rewarded with a great bathing experience!

These were just three of 12 lessons the show thought us while also being quite entertaining. We would recommend it to everyone who likes some lighthearted comedy and wants to learn something about Iceland.