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Old 1 Aug 18, 02:03 PM  
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Stewboy
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Sears at Sea: Norwegian Fjord Cruise 2018 - PTR

So as you can probably tell from the title, we’re going on another cruise - and we’re super excited! As I’m sure anyone that’s ever been on a Disney cruise will tell you, as soon as you get off the boat, you wanna get straight back on again. That’s certainly how we felt after our last cruise just over two years ago.

During that cruise - on the Disney Magic to visit the fjords of Norwegian - we did actually book a 4 night Bahamian cruise that was going to be part of a longer holiday, but ended up abandoning the whole thing in favour of something else. However the desire to do another cruise remained, and when this cruise was announced we thought it was perfect, so we booked it - this was way back in February 2017.


Norway Cruise 2016

So before I get into the details, a quick introduction to our crew, for those that might not know us.

I’m Stewart I write the trip reports. In real life I am creative director at a London marketing agency.


Me

My wife Jo is the brains of the operation. She does all the trip planning, and in real life is private tutor of science and psychology.


Jo

Isabella is our six year old daughter. She’s an avid reader, pin trader, tsum tsum collector, and selfie taker.


Isabella and a couple of friends

So there’s the crew, now the cruise - what is it, and when is it? Well, we’re going back to Norway on the Disney magic on a 7 night Norwegian Fjord Cruise. This time around we get to spend a day in Copenhagen in Denmark, and also visit Oslo and Kristiansand (not to be confused with Kristiansund). We’re not going as far north as we did last time but we will be visiting Stavanger again, which gives us another chance to visit the surprisingly brilliant Petroleum Museum, and also the Canning Museum - doesn’t sound interesting but then neither did the Petroleum Museum and that was a big hit!


Fun at the Petroleum Musem

As for when it is, it’s in just under four weeks time - 26th August to 2nd September - at the end of the School Summer holiday (Isabella goes back to Year 2!). We’ll also be away for our 11th Wedding Anniversary on the 1st September, so we’ll be doing something special on board.

In terms of our state cabin we’ve got a Deluxe Oceanview on deck 2. Not only do we like having a view, we also prefer the layout of these rooms to the inside rooms as the kids sleeping area isn’t between us and the bathroom and door. We’ve not opted for a verandah this time though, as it made a little too pricey, and we decided we didn’t really need it.

Jo and I have done four cruises before (all on the Disney Magic); this will be our fifth so we know what to expect. However there have been a couple of changes since our last cruise in 2016, including the reimagining of one the restaurants, Carioca’s, into a Rapunzel themed restaurant called Rapunzel’s Royal Table. It looks really good and we’ve requested that we eat there on our first night. It’s possible to request certain rotations, although it’s not a guarantee. There are three restaurants that you rotate around during the cruise, and your serving team rotates with you, as do your table mates - hopefully we get good ones again, we’ve been pretty lucky in the past.

As Jo and I have already done four cruises (two with Isabella), our next cruise will be as Gold Castaway Club members, giving us earlier booking for cruises, and cruise activities. And a different coloured lanyard! We already have some thoughts about that next cruise, and will probably end up booking something on board to take advantage of the 10% discount and $200 onboard credit - watch this space!

So what about the itinerary? Setting sail from Dover on Sunday 26th August here are the details:

Day 1 - August 26th 2018
Dover, England
Onboard 4:00pm
Activities: Sail-Away Celebrations


Sail-away party (featuring cocktail of the day)

Day 2 - August 27th 2018
At Sea
Theme: Formal Night
Activities: Princess Gathering & Frozen Gathering

Day 3 - August 28th 2018
Copenhagen, Denmark
Ashore 9:00am / Onboard 5:15pm
Port adventure: Wonderful Copenhagen

Day 4 - August 29th 2018
Oslo, Norway
Ashore 10:00am / Onboard 6:30pm
Theme: Frozen Deck Party
Port adventure: Picturesque Drøbak

Day 5 - August 30th 2018
Kristiansand, Norway
Ashore 8:00am / Onboard 5:30pm
Theme: Semi-formal night
Activities: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique & Mixology

Day 6 - August 31st 2018
Stavanger, Norway
Ashore 7:30am / Onboard 5:45pm

Day 7 - September 1st 2018
At Sea
Activities: Palo Brunch

Day 8 - September 2nd 2018
Dover, England
Ashore 7:00am

As you can see we’ve booked a few things to do on and off the ship. Here’s a bit more detail about them, just in case you’re interested.

On Day 2 we have two ‘gatherings’. The Princess Gathering is a character meet and greet in the atrium usually with three princesses - last time it was Belle, Cinderella and Rapunzel. You can get photos and autographs, and who knows, maybe Isabella will get a selfie or four! The Frozen Gathering is in Animator’s Palate restaurant and is another meet and greet with Olaf, Anna and Elsa; another chance for Isabella to collect autographs and photos.


Frozen gathering

That evening will be Formal Night which means the Captain and his officers will be out in the atrium and there will be lots of free drinks - we’ll be there, suited and booted!

Day 3 we’re in Copenhagen, and the plan was originally to use the Hop On Hop Off open top buses to see the city. However, Jo discovered that they were three other cruise ships in port on that day, so we thought it might be a busy and decided to book an excursion - Wonderful Copenhagen. This is a coach tour around the city with a few stops at famous landmarks including the Little Mermaid statue, Gefion fountain, and Amalienborg Palace.

Next day we’re in Oslo. Once again we’d originally planned to use the Hop On Hop Off bus but decided to book the Picturesque Drøbak excursion which visits the quaint town of Drøbak, also known as 'the Christmas town' because of its famous year-round Christmas shop, and the thousands of letters written every year to Father Christmas that are collected here. It is purportedly his birthplace.

After Drøbak the excursion takes us to Vigeland Sculpture Park an area of 79 acres displaying 200 sculptures created by Gustav Vigeland - it looks amazing!

That evening is the Frozen Deck Party, which replaces the Pirate Night that you get on other Disney Cruises. I’ll be honest, I’m not a massive fan of either of them, but I’m sure Isabella will enjoy herself.


Ready for theFrozen Deck Party

Kristiansand is our next port of call and for this we’re just going to make our own way round the town, and maybe visit the cathedral and fortress. Some of the best port days we’ve had on past cruises have involved us just exploring a port; like Stavanger last time, and Lisbon, Vigo (Spain), and Villefranche (France) on our pre-Isabella cruises.

In the afternoon Isabella has the Crown package booked at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and then after that Jo and I are doing a special Mixology class in Keys (one of the onboard bars) organised by the Facebook group for our cruise (there’s always a Facebook group for a cruise).

Mixology class is a lot of fun, and good value for money (there’s a lot of alcohol!) but the one on this cruise was close to the time of our Palo Brunch, so when we saw that the Facebook group was organising one we signed up.


Mixology

That night is also semi-formal night, which is usually a chance to get some nice family photos in the atrium.

The last port of call is Stavanger. As I mentioned we’ve been here before and really enjoyed it. It’s a lovely city and the Petroleum Museum was a lot of fun. As well as making a return visit we’re also going to the Canning Museum; both are within 10 minutes of where the ship docks so we can have a relaxing start to the day without having to rush to get anywhere. There are some nice cafes and shops here which we didn’t really get to explore last time - and there’s also a Starbucks (we may add to our You Are Here mug collection!). So we’ll probably spend a few krone here before we head back to the Magic and back out to sea.


Stavanger

The final full cruise day will be spent at sea and as it’s our wedding anniversary, we’ve booked Palo brunch - we’ve been here a few times now, the food and service are absolutely amazing, just like a Michelin-starred restaurant. You have to pay for it, but it’s just $30 each, plus tip. It’ll be a wonderful way to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary, and we’re really excited about it. We may also try to book dinner there while we’re on board, we’ve not decided yet.


Palo Brunch

While we’re in Palo, Isabella will be in the kids club. She’ll probably spend some time in there every day - she loves it. I wish I could spend a few hours in there to be honest, it looks like a lot of fun!

A final couple of things to mention. Firstly, the fish extenders. The Facebook group for our cruise organised a gift exchange, and we have our gifts all ready to package up and distribute to the members of our group. We did this last time, and it was a lot of fun - we got some amazing gifts.

And finally, the characters. As well as the gatherings I mentioned earlier, there are a whole host of characters on board, and often the lines are short - considerably shorter than in the parks. I'm sure Isabella will get her a decent amount of character autographs and selfies to share with you all


Chip n Isabella n Dale


Minnie, Isabella & Daisy

So there’s our plan for our cruise. If you’ve never done one before, and are thinking of doing so, then I definitely recommend it. I hope you’ll all read along and enjoy reading about the Sears at Sea!

TFR


The Sears at Sea
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Old 1 Aug 18, 08:52 PM  
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Beaker89
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This sounds great. Looks like it will be a very busy week.

I'm an avid reader, terrible commenter but determined to change. Always love your trip reports.
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Old 1 Aug 18, 09:19 PM  
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Cinderella
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Love your trippies and looking forward to Isabella's selfies👍
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Old 1 Aug 18, 09:21 PM  
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EJSakaAnna
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Have a great trip Sears, sounds like a good one! xx
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Old 1 Aug 18, 09:50 PM  
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eleele
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How exciting and very relevant to us as I was only this afternoon pricing up this very cruise for 2019.

I cannot wait to read your trip report.

Hope you all have an amazing time!
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Old 1 Aug 18, 09:55 PM  
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mrsmickey
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Ooh, we’re doing this cruise next year so looking forward to this one (even if the itinerary is slightly different)
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Old 1 Aug 18, 10:21 PM  
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Looking forward to reading
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Old 2 Aug 18, 07:36 AM  
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Sounds great! I will be following along (as I always do ) we go on the magic next August and we have a couple of stops the same as you (Copenhagen and Stravenger) so I will watch with interest! Have fun!
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Old 2 Aug 18, 12:08 PM  
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Yes! Looking forward to this! 👍
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Old 2 Aug 18, 09:45 PM  
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Yeh! Sounds fantastic. We are off on a 3 nights dream cruise at the end of the month( as part of a bigger holiday) and a longer cruise sounds fantastic. Cant wait to read along!😊
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