Cruises Norway

Disney Norwegian Fjords Cruise Review

Disney Norwegian Fjord Cruise reviews

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!

Stateroom:

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.

Disney Norwegian Fjords Cruise review

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).

Disney Norwegian Fjords Cruise Review

Looking down on the Magic ship in Bergen

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.

Disney Norwegian Fjords Cruise Review

Disney Norwegian Fjords Cruise Review

Get a hot drink from the Cove Cafe along with a treat or two, grab a blanket, sit back and relax and enjoy whatever is currently showing on the Funnelvision ๐Ÿ™‚

Disappointments:

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.

Disney Norwegian Fjords Cruise Review

Thankfully character appearances are in abundance, even the ones you see through the window.

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.

Disney Norwegian Fjords Cruise Review

Greta Salรณme-the amazing Icelandic violinist who was on the ship.

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.

Disney Norwegian Fjords Cruise Review

When drink seminars are not an option, stand in line for some pretty cool character meet and greets ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

Disney Norwegian Fjord Cruise reviews

Wild boar filet-it was delicious!

Disney Norwegian Fjord Cruise reviews

Norwegian pancakes that featured a ligonberry cream cheese filling

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 Norwegian Fjord Cruise reviews

Scandinavian beers were also available.

Frozen

Disney’s Norwegian Fjords cruise obviously came about as a result of the monumental success of the film Frozen which playedย something of a role. There was a Frozen “Freeze the Night Away” ย (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.

Disney Norwegian Fjord Cruise reviews Disney Norwegian Fjord Cruise reviews

Well, hopefully this will provide you with a good background as to what to expect on a Disney Norwegian Fjord cruise!

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    Emma
    July 17, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Great review! I would love to take a Disney cruise sometime but will probably try and do it in the Caribbean as there are some great sounding smaller ship longer cruises I have my eye on.
    Emma recently posted…Eyes on Armenia #BlogGreatness Week 11My Profile

    • Reply
      Julie
      July 18, 2015 at 9:27 am

      Thanks! Well, you can’t go wrong with the Caribbean ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, I definitely recommend taking at least one Disney cruise (or many). And for the Disney cruise naysayers, they’re often the ones who have the best time lol.

  • Reply
    Traveolani
    July 19, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Interesting post! We are thinking of doing a Disney Cruise to Alaska some day, but I was told the same thing you experienced – there is not many things to do for adults and Alaska is cold even in the summer. The only good part for us will be not having to pay airplane tickets ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Julie
      July 23, 2015 at 10:33 am

      Thankfully, coming from a cold weather state, it wasn’t too much of a shock. I’m hoping to do the Alaska cruise myself-I’ve always wanted to see glaciers! The closest I ever came was from a plane when I was flying to Korea ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you guys get to go on one and super cool you can drive right to the port and save on the airfare!

  • Reply
    Traveolani
    July 19, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Forgot to mention that these pancakes with lingonberry cream cheese filling look delicious and so European! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Traveolani recently posted…Antigua: The land of the Sea, the Sun and the ContrastsMy Profile

    • Reply
      Julie
      July 23, 2015 at 10:34 am

      They were probably one of my favorite things I had on the cruise-the food on the ships really is amazing! I’d love to make something with ligonberries myself but sadly don’t think they’re sold or grown around here ๐Ÿ™

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Laura
    September 30, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    thanks for the great review. we are scheduled to go with my 5 year old daughter at the end of May 2016…. they only offer the cruise 1x/year. I will heed your advice and look into a non-balcony stateroom. Currently we have one…. and I understand completely your note about saving money here because you won’t spend any time out there because it isn’t the Caribbean.

    all in all, are you happy that you went? did you do any excursions?

    • Reply
      Julie
      September 30, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      Thanks for commenting Laura! How exciting that you’re all booked to go! I’ve been to a lot of fantastic places around the world on my travels but Norway definitely ranks towards the top. It is such a beautiful and amazing country-the natural scenery simply to die-for ๐Ÿ™‚ So yes, I am definitely happy that I went on the cruise. It was a great “introduction” to the country and I would love to return one day to see more (go north of Alesund). Certain ports (depending on where your stateroom is) I can see as being a great asset when coming and going (Alesund and Geiranger come to mind). But at the same time, it was just COLD. I’m from a cold weather state so I’m no stranger to lower temps. But whatever you do, pack accordingly! There were actually some people on the ship in shorts if you can believe it.

      I booked two excursions through Disney-the one was Alesund highlights (this I wouldn’t recommend). It was just ok in my opinion. The other was a visit to the musical composer Edvard Grieg’s villa/it also included a private piano recital but I know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. In Stavanger and Geiranger, I just booked directly with two local companies for fjord sightseeing (and would recommend them both). I have a slew of more DCL Norway Fjord posts so hopefully they’re of benefit to you. If you have any more questions please feel free to ask!

    • Reply
      melodie
      May 2, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      hi laura

      we are going on same cruise end of may. my lad is life limited so its a make a wish xxx

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Kiersten
    January 14, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    My sister and I, both in our mid 30s, are planning to do a Norwegian fjord cruise this summer. Your cruise review has been very helpful. I know you mentioned that you were disappointed in the number of activities for adults, particularly with 2 full days at sea. Because Disney cruises are more expensive, did you feel like money or time was wasted, compared to a cruise that left from a more local port? In other words, if it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, would you still choose Disney?

    Also, I know some people cruise the fjords on the Hurtigruten cargo ships that are significantly smaller. I’ve heard that an advantage of these ships is that they can go deeper into the fjords than the larger cruise ships. Did you feel like your sightseeing was at a disadvantage because you were on such a large ship. I’m assuming that the best sight seeing happens on the excursions, but I’d love to hear your opinion.

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Julie
      January 15, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      Hi Kiersten, thanks for commenting!

      Well, looking back on everything now-first, yes I would still go with Disney. The fact that they’re “new” to Norway, definitely made sailing with them more of a unique experience (as opposed to it was their 100th…sailing, etc). Also, I had been on three previous Disney cruises but this was my first Disney cruise that had days at sea so I guess I wasn’t 100% sure as to what to expect. The second day at sea (the final day of the cruise) I thought was better (I was more relaxed by then I guess lol). I didn’t investigate any smaller ship sailings, but ones through Holland, Royal Caribbean, all seemed to have similar itineraries so I don’t think looking at it from that regard, time was wasted.

      Well, we were in two areas with fjords-Lysefjord (the Stavanger port) and Geirangerfjord. For the former, I signed up for a tour of the Lysefjord through a private outfitter and really enjoyed it. In Geiranerfjord the Disney ship actually sails through it to get to the port/dock area. And it’s spectacular because you’re seeing this amazing scenery on your floating hotel so to speak. The captain made sure to give announcements to folks to let them know when we’d be sailing in and out so you could be up on the top decks for pictures etc.

      Hope this helps and have a wonderful time, Norway has seriously become one of my favorite countries in the world ๐Ÿ™‚ If you have any other questions please feel free to ask!

      • Reply
        Kiersten
        January 16, 2016 at 10:25 pm

        Thanks Julie! I really appreciate this feedback. I’m looking forward to our Norwegian adventure.

        • Reply
          Julie
          January 17, 2016 at 4:12 pm

          Sure thing Kiersten! And have a wonderful time when you go although I have no doubt you will ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Mia VonBeeden
    April 29, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Was pleased when I found your review as we are booked for the 12 day Norwegien cruise this July. You did. To mention any of the port activities, so I was curious if you did any of those?

    • Reply
      Julie
      April 30, 2016 at 8:31 pm

      Hi Mia-Thanks for commenting and how great that you’ll be on the 12 night cruise of this!

      I booked two port adventures directly through Disney-the Alesund City Highlights Tour (for my post on that, click here) and Troldhaugen with private piano recital (for that post click here). It was definitely easy enough to book stuff on your own in Stavanger and especially Geiranger with the latter being so small.

      If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask! Have a wonderful time on the cruise! It was definitely one of my favorite trips ever.

      • Reply
        Kim
        May 19, 2017 at 3:38 am

        Could you please leave a reply naming the local, non-Disney private tour companies you used and which tours you did with them as well as the cities each are in. Thank you.

        • Reply
          Julie
          May 21, 2017 at 8:46 am

          Stavanger: Rรธdne Fjord Cruise (it was a couple hour sightseeing cruise on the Lysefjord)

          Geiranger: Geiranger Fjordservice, I did the “Panoramic Duo,” it offered perspectives from both land and sea.

          I booked a tour to the composer Edvard Grieg’s house through DCL, however, here’s a link to a short DIY tour I did in Bergen in the morning hours: http://www.theredheadedtraveler.com/a-quick-glimpse-of-bergen-norway/

          Enjoy, it’s a wonderful cruise!

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