So the cruising has begun! The best start to a Disney cruise, is always a sea day first. I love waking up to the sounds and feels of a boat moving along the water to its next destination (as long as it isn’t moving too much that is). It’s nice to have the lazy day to explore the ship, eat lots of food and have some adult beverages. I don’t have a ton of photos from this day-but we did get fastpasses to meet all the Princesses and Anna, Elsa and Olaf. They are so popular that when you board the ship you can get timed passes to meet and greets. We did the same for the Super Heroes which was later in the week. Nathan loved meeting all the Princesses-he was definitely in love with them all!
Nathan spent most of the day in the kids club-he didn’t want to leave! So Dan and I took advantage of our free time and relaxed, ate together, explored the ship-and basically did a whole not of nothing! I don’t even have any pictures!
It was formal night, so we got all dressed up and met some formal characters, Nathan came with us because it was Animator’s night and we really wanted him to see the show. Most night’s he ended up eating in the kids club, but he loved Animator’s when Sorcerer Mickey danced right next to him! Nathan went back to the kids club after dinner while we went to the show and enjoyed an adult Disney date night! (Most nights we ended up having a lovely meal with just the two of us). Actually we weren’t even paired at a table with anyone else..so it was a week’s worth of date nights! We don’t have a babysitter in Germany so this was a rare treat for us.
The next day was our first port, Stavanger, Norway. We had pre-booked a boat cruise through the Lysefjord. We didn’t go through Disney, as the boat was literally next to the ship, we walked over to it, got our tickets and boarded and paid a quarter of what Disney charges. The fjord cruise took us through the most stunning views, including a trip near Pulpit Rock-where you could see teeny tiny people who had climbed up there. It was terrifyingly high and I’m not sorry we didn’t go there!
The boat cruise stopped at a waterfall where the driver got buckets of fresh water for all of us to try-it was so refreshing! The boat tour was only a few hours so we were done around 1130-12.
Dan’s family comes from Norway and we heard there was an immigration center to go check out your family’s history, so he attempted to locate it but found it had shut its door permanently. We headed back to the ship for lunch, and Nathan was begging for the kids club!
Naptime or kids club?
That afternoon we had our fastpasses to meet Captain America, Spiderman and Thor-they were so much fun to meet! That night was another date night for us-along with some stunning sites as we made our way out of Stavanger and onto Alesund.
So we made this great discovery-we could leave Nathan in the kids club while we left the ship!! Ok, they basically have no way to contact us, but we felt it was ok if we weren’t going too far. So, Nathan was begging to go to the kids club and he absolutely didn’t want to be dragged around a town, so we left him on board while we explored Alesund.
Originally, we were going to climb to the top of this hill for a fabulous view and then go to the open air museum. Well, we made it up the hill, stunning views and got there before the tour groups. (Hint: you can walk from the ship to this view point so don’t waste money on a Disney excursion that takes you there). We took a lot of selfies on the way up and once we arrived.
So after grabbing a bite to eat in a cafe-really really good carrot cake-we found the bus that would take us to the museum.
We arrived about ten minutes later and the staff at the museum told us the whole museum was closed for a private event!!! We were so angry that they would close while a cruise ship was docked here that it never occurred to us that the reason they were closed was because Disney had rented the whole place out for an excursion. The excursion was the lunch with Anna and Elsa that cost over $300 per person-so if we wanted to join, it would have cost us over a grand to have lunch with them! Those prices are insane and we definitely didn’t think it was worth the money.
However, we wanted to check out the open air museum, but no longer could. So plan B, head to the local aquarium. So, Nathan really would have enjoyed the aquarium, it was a perfect excursion for a family, but we had limited time and didn’t want to make our way back on board and drag him along-knowing he was pretty happy in the kids club. So off we went, on another bus ride to another side of town. We got off the bus too soon and had to hike quite a ways, but we figured out once we got there that the bus drops you off literally at the aquarium, once an hour. So, we had timing in mind so we wouldn’t get stuck at the aquarium for an extra hour, and quickly made our way through. We caught two shows-feeding the penguins and feeding the sea lions-so cute! And the aquarium itself is fairly small, so after the shows, we made our way through all the sites and then headed back to the ship.
We had some more Goofy interactions later that day after getting Nathan and another nice dinner alone!
The next day was the big day-Gerainger fjord. This is the highlight of the trip-going through the fjord all morning to see some absolutely stunning views. This is where the navigator’s verandah truly paid off. Nathan was asleep and I snuck out onto the verandah to watch as we passed the Seven Sisters waterfall (Dan wanted a bigger view and went on deck). It was truly amazing.
For this port, we booked another private tour we found online, half the price of Disney and you walk off the boat right to the bus stop. We had prepaid for Nathan, so he was definitely joining us, even though he wanted the kids club!
I have mixed feelings about this tour. As we headed up into the mountains, we stopped for an amazing view-about a ten minute stop for pictures, and then continued on our way to a glacier.
Well, the bus driver picked up some random passengers for some reason and took us 20 minutes out of our way to drop them off somewhere (this was definitely not part of the tour and I don’t know why it happened) but we had to backtrack to get back into the mountains. It was already a long drive, so tacking on 40 minutes (20 minutes each way) felt pretty long. Especially because we were driving through small mountain passes in a big bus and I wanted to get to our destination as fast as possible-I don’t love small roads in the mountains on a big bus!
Once we got there, it was snowing and you could literally see nothing. It was very disappointing. When I was in Switzerland, they have cameras up at the top of Jungfrau Mountain to tell you if its a blizzard, so you know if its worth the trip up. (Granted, our tour guide neglected to mention this and we went up to the top for nothing but that’s another story). This felt similar. We got all the way there, after over an hour and half drive and we were only stopping for about 15 minutes-most of which was spent in line for the two toilets they had. We threw some snowballs and headed back down.
Dan decided to get off the bus at the top of the hill and make his way on foot down from the local museum and down the steps near a gorgeous waterfall. Nathan was antsy and bored so I took him back to the ship. I regretted not joining Dan when he came back with great pictures, so I left Nathan with Dan while they ate lunch in the room and I headed up the stairs by the waterfall and explored the town and had a lovely Norwegian pancake!
The scenery around Gerainger is nothing short of one of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen. We didn’t want to miss the four hour ride out of the fjords, so we had our server in the dining room send our meal to our stateroom. We enjoyed a three course meal and watched the fjords go by on our verandah-it was perfect.
The next day, we stopped in Molde, the only port where we decided to take a Disney excursion. We wanted to experience the Troll Road & Trollstigen road, a nine hour tour that includes a mountainous road with 11 hairpin turns, to see some wonderful sights and the only real way was through Disney. One of the rare times when Disney is the only option.
It was also the scene for Nathan’s second epic meltdown-on a bus with 50 people listening to him freak out. Good times. Before we get to that, I’ll talk about the positive parts of the tour!
This excursion had some amazing sites, and some not so amazing sights. We were supposed to see the troll road and the eleven hairpin turns and the waterfall, but due to massive fog we saw almost nothing. So while it was an amazing site, we didn’t actually see much of it! The majority of the day was spent on the bus, we would get off the bus for photos and get back on. We were lucky that Nathan’s cruise buddy was on this tour with his parents, so we thought that would make for an awesome day and they could totally entertain each other. For the most part, they did. But Nathan was tired or something got at him, because after half a day on the bus, we were trying to get off for another photo op and Nathan wasn’t having it. The bus emptied out and he was screaming, the driver was trying to repark and we were begging Nathan to get off the bus.
When he did get off the bus, it was onbly to walk about 50 feet where the bus had reparked, so we could take pictures of a waterfall. Had I known the bus driver was literally moving down the street, I would have stayed on the bus with Nathan. It was not worth the hassle for a thirty second stop. Nathan was somewhat ok once he got off the bus and started playing with his friend but then he didn’t want to get back on the bus and it spiraled from there.
We headed to lunch and he was in full screaming mode. His buddy went back to sit with his parents (who could blame him really?) while we tried to calm the monster. Once we arrived at our lunch destination, we were tired, traumatized and hungry. We hadn’t even seen the troll road yet (and didn’t know it was basically fogged in), so the worst was yet to come!
The line for food was about a mile long and had nothing for Nathan to really eat (lots of food allergies). So I carried him in the line until he decided he was happy again. He found his buddy and they started playing-so I thought we were through the worst of it. Suddenly, I hear Nathan crying and two little girls run up to me to tell me another little girl drop-kicked Nathan in the stomach. It was a rough day for him.
The girl was nowhere to be found, but the other two girls told me who she was (another girl on our bus), so I was on a Mama Bear stalking mission to find her parents. I was super angry. But then I talked to Nathan and he admitted that he told her “You’re a stupid girl” and that’s when she laid into him. I think he learned his lesson about name calling! However, once the girl and her parents came back, she apologized to Nathan and he apologized as well. Lessons were learned all around.
After eating, we headed out to see the waterfall, but it was fogged in and there was nothing left to do but wait for the bus to take us on the troll road. The troll road was a bust, but once we got to the bottom, we had a nice view back and we stopped to grab some pictures. I am kind of glad we couldn’t see those hairpin turns as we were driving down them, looking back at them it seemed terrifying!
We made one more stop for another photo op and then headed back to the ship-right at boarding time.
That night we had a lovely dinner and took Nathan to meet some characters (and kids club of course!).
We still have two more ports and another day at sea-stay tuned for part 3!!!