Although I’ve written about what a Norwegian cruise is really like (which you can access by clicking here), this is going to focus more on the specific cruise ship, Disney, which I sailed on to Norway last month. So without further ado, here is my Disney Norwegian Fjords Cruise Review!
As this was the most expensive trip we had ever done, there was no way I could justify spending money on a stateroom with a balcony (Disney Cruise Line is one of the more expensive lines but in many ways is worth it). While we had stayed in an interior stateroom on our Disney Cruise back in February of last year, I had no desire to repeat that on a seven night cruise so ocean view stateroom it was. And you know what? It was one of the best decisions I made. As was to be expected, the weather on the cruise the entire time (save for the departure day and final day at sea) was cold, extremely windy, and gray. Although we did sit up on deck a few times, bundled up and wrapped in blankets mind you, a balcony stateroom would have truly been a waste of money because I wouldn’t have wanted to just ever “sit” out there (i.e. it’s not like a Caribbean cruise). Our sailing was in the beginning of June so it’s possible that the temperatures would be somewhat warmer later on in the month and in July but I wouldn’t think a whole lot more. An ocean view allowed us to see outside and not miss the scenery around us but not feeling like we needed to be outside just to get our money’s worth.
Our stateroom was 6510 and I would highly recommend it-it’s at the front of the ship so some people may not like the walk, but hey, I enjoy walking when on a cruise ship to make up for all the eating I’m doing. And also, being removed from “stuff” meant it was a lot more quiet in the hallways.
Ports of call:
For brief summaries of each of the four ports we visited, Stavanger, Alesund, Geiranger, and Bergen, you can click here . These ports seemed par for the course with other Norwegian sailings and as a complete newbie to Norway, a great introduction to this beautiful country. I also felt the amount of time we had in each port was decent-the ship seemed to arrive at convenient times (i.e. nothing at the crack of dawn) and also nothing felt too brief (sure, I could have spent more time easily in each of the ports but I felt happy and comfortable with what I had).
Days at sea:
This was my first experience with days at sea on a Disney cruise ship and I have to say I was left feeling a bit disappointed. I always figured that on a Disney cruise the days at sea would be beyond incredible because, well, it’s Disney. Our first full day on the ship was at sea and as we were stuck on board all day, I truly felt that Disney didn’t offer too much, especially for its adult guests. Each evening you’re given a handout which details all of the events, eating options, etc., taking place the next day and when you’re having to convince yourself, “well, this SHOULD be fun,” for something to do, you know it’s bad. The other thing was that being Northern Europe (i.e. not tropical weather), it wasn’t as if you could just plan to spend hours up on the pool deck, reading or sunning, it was cold and windy.
Not being able to partake of Palo’s brunch. Palo is the adults-only restaurant on board the Disney Magic (and the other Disney ships as well) and on seven night sailings, brunch is offered. I was so looking forward to this since this was our first seven night cruise and brunch had never been an option before. Well, I wasn’t able to get a reservation. Disney Cruise Line has what’s called a Castaway Club for individuals who have taken Disney cruises before-the levels are silver, gold, and platinum. Each level comes with its own benefits with obviously platinum, then gold, enjoying the most. Well, one of those benefits is members being able to make reservations for port adventures and meals at Palo before everyone else. As there are people who have taken 10+ Disney cruises, they will always get those Palo reservations since they always eat there any time they sail, so if you’re like me and are still at the silver level, you don’t have a shot. I really wish Disney would either offer a waiting list (their telling me to check back and see if there’s an opening one magical day doesn’t help) or set aside x-number of reservations for silver and non-Castaway Club members so they can experience it too. I understand wanting to appeal to repeat customers but they’re severely blocking out a large demographic fan base too.
First-run Disney movies are shown on-board the cruise ships but I was really disappointed with the movie offerings and times. I purposely had held off seeing Tomorrowland so I could see it on-board with it being relatively new compared to the much older films being shown that I had already seen. Well, for whatever bizarre and annoying reason, Tomorrowland wasn’t shown until our final day on the cruise. Instead, all week movies like McFarland USA, Cinderella, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day seemed to be shown non-stop. Also, I was really hoping to catch the Disneynature film Monkey Kingdom but it was only playing a couple of times throughout the week and of course we were always busy during those times. In my opinion, kids aboard a Disney Cruise ship will always be more easily entertained with all that there is going on for them, so it would behoove the cruise staff to perhaps make better movie times for the adults on board, especially on days at sea when there is little going on.
The other thing I wish Disney Cruise would do, especially since they seem to do it on sailings longer than seven nights, is play older Disney films inside of the theater (they only show these on the Funnelvision, which is the outside movie screen). I would love to have had more options to choose from especially if it’s a movie I haven’t watched in years.
For adults, Disney Cruise offers drink seminars in which you learn about a particular spirit and then of course, enjoy some. We had never done these on the three night cruises as I felt we didn’t have enough time, so I was looking forward to trying one on this sailing. Well, as I would discover, many are offered at the worst of times (i.e. 10:30 PM). I know there are plenty of adults who are night owls, yet for some of us, waking up before 8 AM, to go out all day touring, a drink seminar is not something you’d want to attend so late. Others were offered in the middle of the afternoon when we were in port. As much as I would have liked to have done one, I wouldn’t have sacrificed time in a port just to attend a drink seminar. But all of this was a moot point because you cannot book these in advance (this is also something I wish Disney would change). When D went to inquire one night about a mojito/capirinha one, he was told by the staff member it wasn’t being offered on this sailing, even though it was listed in the handout. When we went the next morning to inquire about another one, we were told by someone else it was offered but was all sold out (as was everything else). So being told false information was extremely disappointing.
Regional special touches
As this was a Northern European cruise and not a tropical one, I was happy to see that Disney did include special touches here and there. Every night, the menu at the restaurant you dined at featured regional dishes whether it was the starter, main course, or dessert. Although I’m sure these were not at all 100% authentic, it was still better than nothing and I tried to partake by ordering as much as possible. The Frozen themed dinner was my favorite but I’ll be writing more on that in a separate post.
Along with pool towels, blankets were laid out on Deck 9 so you could (somewhat) enjoy being out on deck while watching the scenery and reading, etc.
Although tropical drinks were still offered, there were also hot beverages, both alcoholic and virgin ones.
Disney’s Norwegian Fjords cruise obviously came about as a result of the monumental success of the film Frozen which played something of a role. There was a Frozen “Freeze the Night Away” (the dinner was Frozen themed that night) as well as a deck party (this was on the lame side in my opinion) in which the characters made an appearance and sang and danced with the ship’s other cast members. The ship also featured special Frozen decorations that night. There were of course opportunities to meet the Frozen gang (save for Kristoff and Hans) and there was also a chocolate scavenger hut you could participate in; we didn’t but we still got the white chocolate Frozen rice Krispie treats. In short, it was nothing “overly” done-just some cute things here and there that especially fit with the cruise’s location. There might have been more with kid’s activities but that’s not something I can comment on.
Well, hopefully this will provide you with a good background as to what to expect on a Disney Norwegian Fjord cruise!