Hi everyone! Lisa here with a quick rundown on my family’s most recent Disney adventure. We just returned from sailing on the Disney Magic as she made her inaugural cruise through the fjords of Norway. This trip was everything we’d hoped it would be…and so much more! There’s no way I could share all the details in a single blog post, so I’ve narrowed down my favorite moments to…
DCL Magic in Norway - 10 Amazing Things
1. I met one of the Disney Exchange’s most loyal listeners! If you follow our Facebook page, you’ll know who I’m talking about. Yup, none other than Linda Walker! Linda set up a private mixology class for the cruise’s Facebook group - so I knew right away we’d get along like peas and carrots. All week long, our family ran into Linda and her husband, Phillip, all around the ship and in the cruise ports - it was fun keeping up with the different experiences we were having. Thanks, Linda, for being a listener and now, a friend.
2. The Magic’s Beauty. We hadn’t sailed on the Disney Magic since August, 2013 (Mediterranean cruise) - right before she entered dry-dock for her amazing transformation. She’s still familiar, but more gorgeous than ever with new décor, enhanced deck and pool areas, and new Carioca’s (formerly the restaurant known as Parrot Cay).
3. Spectacular Service. We’re always pleased with the Cast Members on Disney Cruise Line, but it seemed to us that this trip was extra-special. There was an excitement in the air because the ship (and her crew) would be visiting several ports for the very first time. A special shout-out and big THANK YOU to April and Andres, our dining room servers who were particularly wonderful. Also, Brent has always been our favorite Cruise Director and we were so happy to have him with us on this trip.
4. Learning Lots of New Things! We admittedly knew very little about Norway compared to other places we’d vacationed before. It was fantastic to visit not one, but two UNESCO World Heritage sites on this trip (Bryggen in Bergen and Geirangerfjord) and discover the history and beauty of both Denmark and Norway. English is widely spoken and everywhere we went, people were incredibly friendly, helpful, and welcoming.
5. Surviving Scary, Death Defying Adventures! We’re an active family, so I booked active excursions - little did I know how much effort I would expend guarding my own personal safety! By the time we’d toured Copenhagen by Segway, hiked to Pulpit Rock in Stavanger, been sea kayaking in Alesund, and careened down a mountain on bicycles in Geiranger (in the sleet and rain!) - I was grateful for the relative safety of our walking tour in Bergen. I was, at times, actually worried about plummeting off a cliff, crashing into a mountainside, our tumbling down a rocky slope. Thankfully, we all managed to come away fairly unscathed if you overlook one minor bike wreck (our son, Joseph) and a couple of falls (me, onto my well-cushioned posterior). I must note: We had the time of our lives and wouldn’t change a single moment!!!
6. I ate School Bread (Skolebrød) in Norway! Bakeries were plentiful in each port and it was too tempting to pass up the opportunity to try this traditional Norwegian sweet - in its home country! I was not disappointed! Moist, tender, and perfectly delicious, slightly different than the version found in the World Showcase’s Norway pavilion, but absolutely wonderful!
7. Total Marvel Immersion! Not only did we get to see Avengers: Age of Ultron in 3D on one of our two “at sea” days, Marvel characters were on the ship and readily accessible for meet-and-greets! Thor, Captain America, and Spiderman were fantastic. Lines were long, but there were plenty of times available so every Marvel fan had an opportunity for a photo op with the character(s) of their choice. (I was not the only member of my family who geeked out on this.)
8. I met Commodore Tom Forberg! Aside from the usual, daily announcements from the ship’s captain, we attended a reception for Gold and Platinum Castaway Club members where we heard the Commodore speak. He was thrilled and excited to finally be bringing the Disney Magic (and her guests) to his beloved Norway after 17 years of trying to convince Disney Cruise Line to sail there. We were delighted by the Commodore’s enthusiasm - He told funny stories about Norway and his passion was contagious. When I came face to face with him one evening near the Magic’s gift shops, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to thank him (and get a quick picture!).
9. We Loved the Nightlife! Huge benefit of having grown children - we can do everything we want together (or not). On this trip, we found a spot at O’Gill’s Irish Pub and frequented “our table” almost every evening. For the first three nights we enjoyed a fantastic Irish musical trio called Runa. After that, we played trivia or just visited with new friends like Linda and Phillip (see item #1). We also caught the adults-only show by ventriloquist Paul Zerdin in Fathom’s one night - hilarious!
10. Hundreds of Magical Moments! Disney vacations are, for us, all about the pixie dusted-details. From the special Freezing the Night Away Party, to our fantastic Palo dinner, to our amazing tour guides, the entertainment, the comfort of our stateroom, and so much more! We even learned about a special ceremony that takes place every time a Disney ship visits a port of call for the first time - The ship’s captain and Mickey Mouse meet with local dignitaries to exchange gifts, offer official greetings, and give ship tours. The Cast Members’ excitement over visiting the Norwegian Fjords for the first time was wonderful! Of course, special merchandise was available for this inaugural sailing - so we brought some home with us!
If you have any questions or want to know more about this Disney cruise (or Disney cruises in general), please let me know. Thanks for reading!!!