Howdy all – I’m finally back with pictures and stories about our cruise through the Norwegian fjords! Thanks for your patience while I got things edited and organized.
We started our adventure on Friday, June 2nd. Our flight path was a doozy – Malawi to Nairobi to Frankfort to Copenhagen. Unfortunately, our bags couldn’t keep up with all the plane changes and we later found out that our stuff never made it out of Nairobi. By the time our bags made it to Copenhagen on Monday, we were already off to sea, so we weren’t reunited with our clean clothes until Tuesday (that’s 5 whole days people!). Talk about disgusting…
We made the best of it by focusing on how great it was to be on our first Disney cruise AND to be reunited with Nick’s parents for the 1st time in a year. Nick’s Mom had some big surgeries recently, so we weren’t sure if she could make it all the way to Malawi. Instead, we decided to meet halfway in-between and enjoy some time in Europe. Nia couldn’t get enough of her Grandparents and even went so far as to say, “It’s not fair Daddy. How come your Mom is so much nicer than my Mom?” I decided not to take that personal. :)
We visited a variety of ports throughout the week including Stavanger, Alesund and Bergen. We were also supposed to visit Gereinger (the town that inspired Frozen’s Arendelle) but the tides were too strong and we were unable to dock. My favorite was Alesund, the town pictured above and below. It just oozed cuteness. As for outings, we didn’t do any pre-arranged activities because we weren’t sure how Nick’s back would be each day. In each given town we tended to do some wandering, visit a museum or check out the city’s viewpoint.
Although we couldn’t stop in Gereinger, we did sail inland to the city and back out. I’m so glad we did because that section of the cruise provided the most spectacular views, including oodles and oodles of waterfalls streaming down the fjords.
The crazy part was how close our boat was able to get to them. I swear, any closer and we’d have been wet.
Man, the prices are no joke in Scandinavia. I knew it was going to be expensive, but $8 for a latte and $25 for a burger are downright ridiculous. Let’s just say that we ventured back to the ship for all our meals… because, I mean, free and unlimited, right? No contest. Sorry Norway. I’m sure your food is lovely.
The other thing I was unprepared for was the endless daylight. It really messed with my brain (and sleep schedule). With sunset at 11 PM and sunrise around 4 AM, it seemed the sun was always up. I didn’t realize how much I count on daylight to regulate my schedule. And let’s not even get into how hard it is to convince a kid to go to bed when the sun’s still shining. Definitely an unexpected challenge. Next visit to Scandinavia we’ll be prepared with sleep masks!
Disney, as usual, brought it’s A game. The attention to detail was downright amazing. Even the adults were awed (and yes, there are plenty of adults without children along on Disney cruises). Nia couldn’t get enough of the Broadway-esque performances each night. As a theatre lover myself, it brings me much joy to see her so enraptured with live performance. I think she may just have a future on the stage folks.
And then those Princesses! They were the real deal. Every aspect of their character was on, from the way they moved their hand to the answer they gave to a child’s question. It was incredible to watch. Nia was so wowed in fact that for the first time in her life she was speechless. :)
Cruising was a great intro to Disney for our family. We got all the awesomeness of Disney, but anytime we were exhausted, we just walked up or down a few flights of steps and took a nap in our state room. None of that all day intensity of the theme parks, which we weren’t quite ready for (although maybe by next summer we’ll be brave enough to try it). Thanks Disney – the Novaks will definitely be back!