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7 Disney Norwegian Fjords Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because our daughter and son-in-law selected it. We went along to spend time with them and the grand kids. Disney is more expensive than other lines, but it is definitely different. What we loved: 1. the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our daughter and son-in-law selected it. We went along to spend time with them and the grand kids. Disney is more expensive than other lines, but it is definitely different. What we loved: 1. the entertainment was all wonderful and appealed to all ages 2. the absence of Park West and that awful overpriced art 3. the absence of a casino 4. the kids activity -- wonderful. The grand kids had a wonderful time and were kept busy with lots of interesting activities. They got a little bored with it all at the end of the cruise and we were happy to have them "back" with us for some family time. 5. changing the dining rooms was such fun. Where the ship "missed the boat": 1. the food was OK -- could have been better. There was a lack of diversity in the dining room menus and at the buffet. The only steak that was good was at the Palo restaurant. 2. the selection on the TV was poor. You could watch Disney cartoons, or the news but there was very little otherwise. I would have welcomed a selection of other movies each evening. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I chose this cruise for the ports of call-Norwegian Fjords towns of Stavanger, Alesund, Geiranger & Bergen. I went with a friend who used her Disney Vacation points to take the cruise and she is a huge Disney Cruise Line fan. She has ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the ports of call-Norwegian Fjords towns of Stavanger, Alesund, Geiranger & Bergen. I went with a friend who used her Disney Vacation points to take the cruise and she is a huge Disney Cruise Line fan. She has had wonderful experiences and really enjoys seeing the children have so much fun. Great memories. I have been on 14 cruises on various cruise lines including Disney. I choose a cruise because of the itinerary not the ship or cruise line. I prefer smaller to mid-size ships like the Magic because they are less crowded and can go into ports the larger ships cannot. The Disney Magic was a perfect choice. Although the same cruise is offered by Holland America & Princess and probably several others cheaper than the Disney Cruise. The ports of call were excellent. Lovely fishing villages with unique experiences in each town. We took several Disney excursions at each stop each one was well organized and interesting. We also booked 2 excursions on our own which were identical to several of the Disney excursions for about 1/2 price. They too were well organized. check out Trip Advisor, Cruise Critic etc for suggestions. Stavanger - we took the 90 min. Lysefjord Cruise tour which was really nice. Cruise goes to Pulpit Rock & back. cost $99 through Disney but could be taken on own for about $56 through Rodne Cruises. We boarded cruise boat next to Cruise ship and returned in time to take a 2nd Disney exclusive "home visit" with a Norwegian family through Disney which filled up quickly. This exclusive to Disney excursion was unique and well worth the $99 fee. Alesund - we took another Disney excursion to the island of Giske & Godoy with a Lighthouse tea break which cost $85 but without tea a little less. Tea consisted of Norwegian waffle & cup of tea nothing special about this tea break. We enjoyed the islands and this excursion was the best way to see them. Alesund is a beautiful town so take the HOHO bus ($18) or train tour ($12) for a good way to see the architecture. both tours stop at the Fjallstoua viewpoint overlooking the town or you can climb the 400 steps up from town center. Alesund is a nice town to walk around with grocery store near ship. We took the train tour which was about 1hr 15min and enjoyed it. Geiranger- the most scenic town of the cruise. We did not take any Disney excursions at this stop but took (2) on our own through Geiranger Fjordservice which have the same excursions as Disney for a lot less. Geiranger Fjordservice was easy to work with and to set up tours through. We chose a combination tour which included a 60 minute boat cruise out to the Geiranger Fjord and a Panoramic bus tour up Eagles Rd for $47pp which is half of what Disney charged for exact same tours. Boat cruise and bus tour were located @ pier and very easy to use. Bergen - largest of towns. the Historic Bryggen district is within walking distance of ship and can be walked in 10-15 min. There is a lively fish mkt in the town center and a funicular to the top of Mt Floyen as well. The historic museum ticket includes several museums and cannot be bought separately until 4pm so we didn't see it. The Bryggen historic district had lots of cafes and interesting shops and wandering around this historic area was fun. There is also a HOHO bus that stops at the pier but since it was raining we decided not to take it. We took a Disney excursion out to Evard Grieg's Troldhaugen with a private piano concert which was excellent. Cost $69pp and worth every penny. You can also take this same tour with concert recital @ 1pm through the Tourist Information Center leaving @ 11am returning @ 2:30pm for $30. We chose the Disney because it was earlier in the day leaving more time to explore Bergen. It rained on and off most of the day which is typical of Bergen. We were lucky as most of the days were sunny or mostly sunny with little rain. Copenhagen- We spent 2.5 days in Copenhagen before our cruise and highly recommend that you spend some time in this lovely city. It is a walkable city with good public transportation and lots to see and do: including Tivoli Amusement Park which was Disney's inspiration for Disney Land; (3) Royal Palaces including changing of guards, crown jewels, ancient ruins and current Parliament. It has a very interesting fishing history and a wonderful Canal district called Nyhavn where we stayed @ reasonably priced Hotel Bethel right on the canal. Highly recommend this hotel. It has it all, best location in Copenhagen for sights, cafes, HOHO bus stop, metro, canal tours and fun. It's in the heart of Copenhagen. You must book month's in advance. It's a small boutique typical European Hotel. The staff is excellent and the rooms were clean but small so typical of older European hotels. It was large enough for us. A bonus is that we were able to open our windows and look out right onto the canal. No AC. I'd definitely stay here again and again. Eating in Copenhagen can be expensive but the street food experience across main canal, food court under Masdan Nord Store; and wonderful free breakfast buffet @ Bethel kept our costs reasonable. Copenhagen is world known as a culinary city so you can have what ever experience you're willing to pay for. Noma one of the world's top restaurants is located across the main canal from Nyhavn. I loved the Danish pastries and the ice cream shop across from our hotel was fantastic. I was on the Disney Magic about 5 years ago and there have been several changes since them. Besides adding the topside water slide which wasn't used a lot on this cruise with temperatures in 60's & low 70's. Another change in the Magic is that they no longer offer single beds but all the rooms have a queen and bunk beds. I miss the single bed option especially when you travel with non-family members. One of us had to sleep on the bunk bed which was tolerable but would have been a lot better if we both could have had single beds. Most cruise lines offer this set up, I wish Disney did. Disney probably has the best entertainment of all of the cruises I've been on especially for a medium size ship. I've been on several RCL larger ships that offer very good entertainment including ice skating rings etc. But for general entertainment Disney has the most professional performances. Another change on the Magic was in the dining rooms. They have gotten rid of Parrot's Cove and now have another restaurant called Carioca's. The food on the Magic is average. I've noticed a decline in the quality of food on all cruise lines in the past 25 years. for example; the lobsters were large and tough, the salmon overcooked and the meat dishes tasteless. The rest of the food was average at best with the appetizers probably having the best choices. Disney does not offer anytime dinning which I really like. This type of dining is more convenient and adds to the fun of meeting different people every night. Wish Disney would do this. We ate at all of the "free restaurants" with Lumier's being my favorite mainly because I felt the food was slightly better. The topside cafe now Cabanas was always crowded with little sitting room so we usually ate whenever possible at Lumier's for breakfast & lunch or at Daisy De-Lights which had limited but very good food. If you are looking for cruise with really good food look elsewhere. The service as on most cruise ships is excellent. I have found that the cabin stewards, the meal servers and everyone else on most cruises are very friendly & helpful and Disney was no exception. Their service was outstanding. Embarkation and Disembarkation was smooth and organized. However we did have to walk in the rain both times we checked in and out. Disney should provide an awning to keep it's passengers dry in Copenhagen especially since it rains a lot there. We used a taxi to get us to the terminal checking in and used the Disney transfer option to airport leaving. Both worked well. All in all this was a wonderful cruise to a beautiful part of the world and I would definitely go again. I would not have been able to see all of these places had it not been on a cruise. Disney took good care of us and I'd go again on this exact same cruise with Disney. If I were paying for this cruise and weren't taking children, I would check out several other cruise lines as they offer the same ports of call and same experiences for less money. I have found that most cruises lines offer the same good service and experiences on similar size ships. My preference from past experiences would be on HAL as they also have smaller ships with less crowds and the food is somewhat better. My experience with Princess on the Island Princess (March 2016) 10 day Panama Canal cruise was not as good as I had a terrible mattress for 10 days and had to pay extra money for a mini-suite in order to get a room with a tub/shower. Probably won't use Princess again because of this experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose this cruise as we have always wanted to go to the Fjords and with this being a special "Frozen"-themed cruise to Norway, we couldn't resist! The challenge in researching the cruise was that there was very little ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we have always wanted to go to the Fjords and with this being a special "Frozen"-themed cruise to Norway, we couldn't resist! The challenge in researching the cruise was that there was very little information about it out in the web and so mostly we went on faith and Disney's reputation. We have sailed with Disney once prior to this sailing in the Caribbean on the Dream, the larger ship. The Magic has had a major overhaul within the past 3 years... but I will discuss that later. Onto the experience itself... The ship was mostly Brits and Americans... there were more Americans than I had anticipated and many of us had pulled our kids out of school early for the opportunity to take this cruise. We flew in a few days prior and stayed with family in the area. I highly recommend traveling in early to get rid of the jet lag. It takes us about 3 days to get our bodies in a 5 hour time change difference, so I was glad we did. On the return we took the Disney transportation back to London Heathrow airport (LHR) and it was very smooth - especially for a Sunday morning. Check-in went smooth and we had taken advantage of pre-booking everything online, so we needed to handle little paperwork prior to boarding. The check-in area was very similar to Florida, and the procedure was the same. We were given credentials with badges and lanyards as a Silver Castaway Club member. That was a nice surprise as it was our second cruise. We boarded the ship with no issues and just needed to wait about 20 minutes before we could access our cabin. We had two adjoining cabins, starboard, with balconies on Deck 7. The connecting door was easy to unlatch and we had access between both cabins for the duration of the cruise without having to go into the hallway. On both beds were Castaway Club backpacks... a welcome surprise! We left port late as I believe they held the ship for late arrivals and last minute cargo loading. We missed the spillway party as my daughter is 5-1/2 and we just needed to slow everything down a bit as she was bouncing off the walls in excitement. We also didn't have our baggage. For arriving at 1PM, right on time, we didn't get a single piece of luggage until almost 6PM. As we were assigned the early dinner seating, we had to just go "as is". We were very disappointed it arrived so late. The English Channel is usually pretty rough coming out of port, but the only time I really felt it was standing up after dinner. With rotational dining, we ate in Caricoas and then moved onto Animators Palate and then Luminere's for the duration of the cruise. We also switched after the first night to the second seating as frankly, the smaller children are at that service time and it was filled with small children. We are used to a pretty quiet dining environment, so we opted to ask for our own table at the 8:30pm seating. It was the best decision for our family and we ended up with fantastic service team including Plamen from Bulgaria (our main waiter), Vincent (our assistant waiter) and Cindy (our head waiter)... they were all fantastic and went out of their way to provide us with consistent, personalized service. They as a team exceeded our expectations. A shout out to Silvio, from Italy, our Sous Chef.... can't say enough about the special cannoli's that he made us. The cruise itself went from Dover to Stavanger to Alesund to Geiranger to Bergen and back to Dover. We were on sea days from Dover to Stavanger and Bergen to Dover. The seas were unusually calm and I was very thankful that except for the wait time sailing into the Geiranger Fjord (we couldn't access the Fjord until past 3AM due to traffic), the weather and the sailing was very smooth. We truly lucked out with the seas and weather. I have been in the Med during rough seas, and it is not fun.... I was truly thankful and it just heightened the enjoyment of the experience. The Oceaneers Club and Lab were both great options for my daughter. The kids crew did a great job of keeping the kids entertained and having a good time. The cruise ended with a performance with the kids on the Walt Disney Stage with Mickey and Minnie singing and dancing along. My daughter received a moment t-shirt and loved the experience. The Oceaneers Club and Lab is one of the main reasons we choose Disney - it is time for my daughter to have with other kids and also for my husband and I to have some time alone together. We appreciate what a good job they do. We took a number of excursions off of the ship and two of the three were specifically designed for the kids. In Stavanger we took the Maritime Museum tour... the main reason was that our daughter would learn about the Viking experience, but also got to build and decorate her own boat that she got to bring home. The Alesund excursion was a "once in a lifetime" as we went to Sunnmore Village (outdoor Norwegian historical site that showcases their way of life) which included a meet and greet with Anna, Elsa and Kristoff from FROZEN. It was a bit of a mad crush, but the Disney folks did an excellent job of managing to keep themselves engaged from the first person in line all the way to the last person over an hour an a half. It had rained in the morning, but managed to stop within an hour and we had a really enjoyable time learning about the historical Norwegian way of life. My daughter was interested in the obvious... a very special meet and greet with the FROZEN characters. As we departed we were all given a special Norwegian cookie/cake and also a Disney pin in the shape of a Norwegian flag. Very special.... The Geiranger excursion was equally special, but in a very different way. We took a motor coach into the mountains and had excellent views of the major sites including the seven sisters waterfalls from a high vista lookout. From there we went deeper into the area and ended at a local farm, The Gjaera Farm, run by Martin and his wife. Disney Youth Counselors accompanied us as well and the children went off and learned about stamping with antique wooden stamps from Norway and other countries. The children each made their own pillowcase souvenir with their own stamps. The adults, on the other hand, hung out with Martin and enjoyed is fabulous hand-crafted beer, cheese and other dried meats. We had an incredible view of the fjord below... a slice of Heaven, truly. It was a great couple of hours to watch his sheep and other farm animals graze in the area and then the children came back out and showed us their crafts. They then got to feed the animals... what a perfect morning/early afternoon excursion to have taken. In Bergen and the rest of the cities that we visited, there was always time to do a little shopping. We docked very close to the city center, if not right in the middle of it! At most, there was a 10 minute walk into Bergen, the docking was ideal. As for the shopping, there is the usual tourist souvenirs, but if you look hard enough, you were able to find some really special artisan shops with local flair. I found that Stavanger had the best clothing and Bergen the best artisans in the historic wharf area. Many of the shop owners participated in the tax refund program, so I was able to get my VAT tax (approx. 20 percent on base price) equivalent refunded to me at the airport when I departed. It is worth taking the time and the hassle at the airport to do the paperwork. As for the Disney shows, they were pretty spectacular... even on a moving ship. We saw a new production of Tangled... about an hour and a half production on the stage. The performers were fantastic and the staging for a cruise ship was incredibly well done. This was the best one that we saw... but I know that they are all good and well worth planning to see whether before or after your dinner time. The character meet and greets were not well run. Many of them bumped up on either side of dinner seating times and we had to leave the line after 40 minutes to go to dinner and miss one of the few Minnie/Mickey dual meet and greets, for example. We said something to the crew member running the meet and greet and was met with canned explanations that we did not receive well. We gave up after that. Room service was run well and was efficient. I wish there were more selections including breakfast (having the option to select in the morning and not just the night before). We did get to Palo one evening. The surcharge is $30 per person, and the experience was excellent... especially sailing out of the Geiranger Fjord. Most of all, it was a very quiet dining experience, which my husband and I appreciated. My daughter happily enjoyed dinner in the kids club. Is it worth $30 per person? I am not so sure, from a food quality standpoint... but you are also paying for the location/view and the exclusivity. The culinary teams in the rotational dining rooms do an amazing job of preparing the food and adjusting to your personal dietary needs as much as possible. For a 7 day cruise, there were a few bumps in the road, but nothing major for me to speak of beyond what I have mentioned. I will say that the only negative was the condition of the staterooms. They have had a refurbishment, but the deck chairs were old, had tape on the tops and bottom of the feet, rust was exposed in many areas and the shower was not the greatest. Our beds in both cabins were lumpy and not comfortable... both need new mattresses. The towels and linens were fresh and clean... the towels were cleaned every day, but the bedding could have been changed out, but wasn't when we had a spill by my daughter. But that was it for the most part. All in all, the Disney consistency shown through... we had a wonderful time in a magical place and look forward to another European adventure again soon! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Background Information Last year on the Mediterranean DCL cruise, we played with the idea of booking a new trip onboard, this time to Norway. The idea nearly felt a bit preposterous - as we were both native Norwegians living in Norway - ... Read More
Background Information Last year on the Mediterranean DCL cruise, we played with the idea of booking a new trip onboard, this time to Norway. The idea nearly felt a bit preposterous - as we were both native Norwegians living in Norway - should we really do a Disney Cruise to our own homeland? Then again, thousands of Norwegians travel the coast of Norway with Hurtigruten, so why should going with the award winning DCL be any less of a choice? Thus, we booked this June 6th inaugural sailing to our "own" Norwegian fjords. We had to go first to Copenhagen, Denmark, to embark the Disney Magic. Travel To Port of Embarkation We took the transportation ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen the day before the cruise, arriving the morning of the first cruise day. The Norway-Denmark ferry is rather far away from where the port of the Disney ship (5+ kilometers), and taxis were few and far between. We were waiting in line for nearly an hour, and had no Danish currency to pay for the bus. Finally, several taxis showed up, and we could relieve some stress as we were taken to our "final" destination, the Disney Magic. The taxi was less expensive than in Norway. Checking in was pleasant, as we were met with the regular (in other words, wonderful) cheery Disney service. We had not received our luggage tags in the mail (do to an oddness of more than one address registered in the DCL systems), and could not find the registration print-outs we were supposed to have at check-in. Luckily, this is not a problem, and all things were taken care of swiftly. Stateroom As we are budget travelers for the moment, I had asked the booking agent to "give us the most affordable stateroom she had". Which was both spacious and comfortable enough for our liking. We didn't spend much time there anyway. The bathroom was not split this time (we still survived), and the tub is really tiny. I did notice some wear and tear in the bathroom, which is unfortunately expected, especially when running water is involved. Ship Info The Disney Magic is one of the two older DCL ships. Everything looks (and is) clean, polished, and working seamlessly. We have started to avoid visits to the spa, however, because of the disappointing visit last year. It's dark (inside, now windows), showers are broken, and in stark contrast to the Disney Fantasy, where it's simply amazing. There is a certain scent to some of the hallways outside the restaurants which I can never place - it's distinctly "Disney food scent" or perhaps it's the scent of Florida. Who knows. It is ALWAYS a thrill to enter the now familiar atrium with the Mickey statue and chandeliers. That is in my opinion the heart of the ship. The bars are great, and as always, there is absolutely no awkwardness in being a childfree couple on a Disney cruise. This cruise line really caters to all sorts of families - and singles. Dining Animator's Palate is always a thrill. On the main show night (yes, it is a show with a dinner), we were seated with a delightful couple that provided "wow factor" animated figures. I always try to make grotesque figures. Food was good, although I was surprised at some of the "regional inspirations". Norway has a far better cuisine than I could trace here, so although tasty and well done, it could have been even more Norwegian fare. Oh well. Lumiere's is in my opinion just okay as a restaurant, and Cariocas is downright almost boring (as a location). The food in every location, however, is excellent. If you leave this cruise hungry, you have not been on a cruise. We also ate at Palo (with our great Facebook pre-cruise group!), yet another delightful experience. Palo is a must. I am glad it's only available on the Disney cruise ships... The rotational dining system is nice, as always. The Coconut Tres Leches cake at Cariocas which was drenched in a caramel sauce last year was a disappointment this time around. Come on, DCL, gimme more caramel! Oh and breakfasts at Cabanas were better than ever before, I think! Very tasty food. Kudos for no dry pancakes this time. I almost prefer this to the Lumiere's breakfast, which is nearly dull in comparison. Activities Because weather was fairly cold (unusual for this time of the year - May and early June was below normal temperature wise), we only used the adult pool once on the final sea day. Usually I am crazy about the pool, but this time we huddled with lots of provided fleece blankets and read books on deck. Cove Cafe provides cakes, food is of course omnipresent, and we brought our own coffee travel mugs (the Bodum french press kind) because the DCL coffee is, well, not as good as we are used to. We also did the Tequila Tasting, Margarita and Caipirinhia Tasting, and Chocolate and Liquor Tasting. All good fun. We do these on every cruise anyway. Additionally, we attended the Anna's Chocolate Hunt or whatever it was called. We saw families, both adults and children, doing this. The rice crispie treat we got didn't exactly meet our expectation of an award for a "chocolate hunt". I think it had white chocolate on it... oh well, no biggie. We tend to really enjoy relaxing on deck with a drink and a book. Service Disney service is usually above and beyond. It is always promptly and excellently delivered, so we were happy. It's one of the delights you get to indulge yourself with when on a Disney cruise. I have to say it is great to be recognized an entire year later by cast members. Entertainment I finally got to see Twice Charmed! I loved it, what an excellent show! Although every show is great, I found the "welcome aboard" part a bit strange. They could have regionalized it more - this wasn't the Med or the Caribbean. I have to say, the Frozen part of Disney Dreams - An Enchanted Classic, was INCREDIBLE! I was not expecting much as I am already very tired of Frozen, but wow, this was amazing. They have added effects for this part, also with the Lion King bit. Well worth the watch! Villains Tonight! was fun yet again. We watched Clara Oman singing and playing the piano each night at Keys. The Frozen Deck Party was really nothing to write home about. Home being Norway, the place that inspired Frozen. No fireworks (which is okay), but not very funny or entertaining either. So many missed opportunities. We rarely interact with characters, although this time Mickey, Minnie and Daisy wore Norwegian costumes (bunads), and Goofy was dressed in Viking gear! The non-Disney show The Magic of Light was also great! Kind of a strange storyline, but still not something you would want to miss! Port & Shore Excursions The Port Adventures we did through Disney. We did the Lysefjord Cruise (SV01) from where you get to see Prekestolen (The Pulpit Rock) from underneath. It really shows high far up and gigantic this vista is! Several spectacular views on this trip. Also, we did the Iconic Norway By Train And Bus (BG36) from Bergen to Flåm, Voss, and Stalheim Hotel, where we were served a buffet lunch (it was okay). Would do the last one again in a heartbeat. People said they wish we had more time at the different stops. In Ålesund we walked up to Aksla by ourselves, and went to the Atlanterhavsparken Aquarium. Unfortunately, we were met with a very rude and unpleasant service upon entering the aquarium. It made the wolffish on display seem friendly. Luckily, the guy in the shop was nice when we left later on. The Stavanger Oil Museum was just okay. It seems dated to me. Disembarkation On disembarkation day we were just sad. Having met so many great people, it's sad to know you won't be seeing them again for a while, if at all! We went with newfound friends to Tivoli Gardens in the middle of Copenhagen (I have been many times as a child) and enjoyed a splendy sunny half-day there. You don't need a lot of time to do most things they offer - but at least try the gigantic Danish ice creams "with everything". Summary To quote Walt Disney: “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality”. Whether it is the cast members or other guests, we always feel exceptionally lucky to be surrounded by so many friendly, interesting, and nice people. We meet new friends from all over the world (oh who am I kidding - it's mostly Americans), and make wonderful memories together. So is a Norwegian Disney cruise worth it for Norwegians - and everyone else? Only if you love life, and all of the above. Come on. Of course it is. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
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