Sailing on a Disney Norwegian Cruise Days 1-3
Lots of dreams came true for our family as we had our first sailing on a Disney Cruise!
We sailed for 7 nights on the Disney Magic to Norway. The ship departed out of Copenhagen so we arrived the day before the cruise left. We only had a few hours to walk around the city due to a delayed flight. The boys had been sick the week before and were still not their best so we weren't able to do as much as we would have liked in Copenhagen.
We stayed at the Marriott Copenhagen and it had lovely views of the water. It was within easy walking distance of Tivoli Gardens but we never made it there! :( Tivoli Gardens is a vintage amusement park. Walt Disney actually visited when he was designing Disneyland and got lots of ideas.
Wish I could have seen more of you Copenhagen!
Day 1- Leaving Port
We all woke up excited to finally board our ship after waiting months and months! We arrived at the port around 12:30 and stood in line to get checked in.
I think I may have been more than excited than the kids when we were finally about to board!
I had checked in online as soon as it opened up and the check in process at the port was super quick! The agent even said that it makes things so much easier for everyone if you do the check in before you arrive.
We boarded the ship by 1:00 and started to explore. Our room wasn't going to be ready until after 1:30 so we headed up to the open restaurant, Cariocas, for lunch. We loved the Mickey plates and even how the waiters make the ketchup Mickey shaped! :)
After lunch, our stateroom was ready so we checked it out! We booked a Deluxe Inside Stateroom that was located on Deck 2 Aft (thats the back of the ship). We didn't have any sea sickness as the water was mostly calm. There were many times we felt the ship swaying but it never bothered us, just felt a little funny. It was very loud in our room the mornings the ship docked. The ship backs into port so whenever the back engines were going it woke us up and made our whole stateroom shake. I think we would have enjoyed having a port hole or verandah, but we honestly were not in our room that much to justify the cost. It would have been nice though as the boys usually slept in until 9 (it was so dark in our room so that helped them sleep in!) and we wanted to see what was outside! The stateroom was small, but it was the split bathroom was helpful and I felt there was plenty of storage for all our stuff. I unpacked all of luggage and put the suitcases under our bed. I brought extra trash bags to put around the bags since they would be underneath the bed. Typically, we never put our luggage on the floor of a hotel room (Hello bedbugs, we don't want you!) but having the trash bags made us feel a little better.
After unpacking our bags, we headed up to see the Sail Away Party- unfortunately it was raining so the party was moved indoors to the Atrium.
I was really impressed by how many opportunities there were to meet characters! There were characters walking around the ship and others that just stayed in the same spot with a short line. We always took the opportunity for photos with Mickey and Minnie!
The boys played in the kids club until it was time for dinner at 8:30pm! Whew that is late!
Second Seating Dining- Disney ships have two seatings for dinner 6pm and 8:30pm. The 6pm dining does fill up very quickly so you have to book well in advance to get it. We were given the second seating and we made it work, but it was really hard on the boys. I think at their ages, 4 and 6, they would have been much happier to eat at 6pm. Each night there is a Broadway style Disney show, so if you have the late dining, you go see the show first at 6:30 then have dinner. We found ourselves eating a light snack right before the show each night. Poor Rowe loves his sleep and he was consistently tired the whole week. He did take a nap a few times, but that meant one of us was stuck in the room with him and not out enjoying the port or ship. I think the late seating is great for families with older kids as you don't have to rush back from port to get cleaned up for dinner. We sat down at 8:30 and the boys would mostly be done with dinner by 9:30. The waiters were incredible about bringing their food very quickly each night. Some nights I took the boys to the Oceaner Club (Kids Club) so they could play while we finished our dessert. That meant we weren't getting back to our room until after 10pm though! The good news is that the boys literally passed out each night as their heads hit the pillow! We have struggled before sleeping in the same room with the boys and we didn't have any issues this time! :)
Day 2- Sea Day
We woke up around 8:30am and had tickets to a Character Breakfast at 9:15. The breakfast was free but you had to reserve your tickets online when you checked in as it does fill up. We loved eating our Mickey Waffles and seeing Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto!
Rowe was asking for a nap after lunch (he never does that!) so Normer stayed with him while Badge and I sat in my favorite spot for awhile. I loved the window seats on Deck 3. If I had any downtime on the ship, this is where Normer would find me reading my book. :) By the way, I read 3 books on this trip!
We saw that there was a race going on next to us so we decided to join in. We had to carve a race car out of a carrot and potato then race them down a track. We won one heat but lost in the end!
After Rowe's nap, the kids went to the Kids Club and Normer and I had a mini date night before dinner. This was always my favorite time of the day! It was so nice to get time together. We played games, saw a movie, went to a show or just hung out. This day we saw the new Beauty and the Beast. We both enjoyed it and someone I know keeps playing all the songs on repeat in our house (Hint: Its not me!)
Day 3- Stavanger
Our first port was Stavanger, Norway. This is one of the larger cities in Norway but it was easy to get around as the ship was able to port right in the heart of the city. I basically won the Mom of the Year Award by taking the boys for the day by myself! Normer really wanted to hike up to Pulpit Rock and I did not feel good about taking the kids up there. It is not easy to get to- you have to take a bus, ferry and then another bus just to get to the trailhead. Then you have about 3-4 hours roundtrip hike up to the Rock. When you only have 8 hours in port, that ends up giving you about a 10 minute window to get back or miss the ship leaving you! I was also worried about the incredible sheer drop offs on the hike. While Badge and Rowe are strong and can out walk most adults, I just did not want to take them. So Normer was able to secure a spot on a group hike and me and the boys hit the town!
We walked around the Old Town first and our main goal of the day was to find a playground. We looked and looked....
Well, we arrived and Badge deemed it to be a junk yard! Ha!
I had heard great things about the Children's Museum in Stavanger so we stopped by next. The boys LOVED the trains and the car play area. I think they could have stayed there all day.
There were several floors of exhibits and at one point I had to do a major distraction as walked by the History of Childbirth Positions. "Kids, look over here, look at those stairs, I think I see a car, go THAT way now!" I have no idea who puts that type of exhibit up for little kids to see but it was just too much for us!!! AAHH!
We decided to get back on the ship and take a dip in the pools! I really enjoyed the pool set up as I didn't always have to swim with them. The life guards were top notch and really paid close attention to the kids so I felt safe. So the boys played and I read my book. The boys absolutely loved the Twist N Spout Slide. They must have gone down it 50 times! It was chilly- around 60-65 degrees but the pools were heated. You just got really cold when you got out of the water!
Normer really enjoyed his hike up to Pulpit Rock, it was very windy and he agreed that it would not have been a good hike for the boys to go on.
After the boys took showers we headed back up to the top deck for a quick snack before they went to the Kids Club. While we were eating, I saw a playground from our ship! We spent all day looking for one and never found it. You can barely see the yellow slide in that green area. Badge was not thrilled that we missed it!!
After a late dinner we all passed out from a busy day.
So that's Day 1- 3, you can keep reading about our adventures here:
Did you know that I help families book Disney Cruises? I can help you find the perfect stateroom for your family, give you all my tips and tricks for sailing along with helping you plan out your excursions. The pricing is the exact same as you'll find booking directly with Disney but you are getting a personal consultant for free! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!