Thursday - Bergen
Lee followed Commodore Tom's advice and got up at 6:00 to go up on deck, but I stayed in bed for another half hour. After that I put on shoes and a jacket and went out on the verandah. I'm afraid the sail-in to Bergen didn't appear that special to me. Nothing like the grandeur of Geirangerfjord, which was worth the early wake-up. Lee returned around 7:00 and confirmed that it hadn't really been worth getting up for, so we both went back to bed until 10:00. Ahhhh.
After breakfast we headed off the ship about 11:00. We were going to be "Freezing the Night Away" that evening aboard the ship and the decorations in the Atrium were already up.
We picked up a map of Bergen as we exited the port and walked toward Bryggen - the old wharf area with all of the brightly painted wooden buildings you see in photos of Bergen. It's a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was a cool day but not raining, and we had a little bit of sun for a while.
They use antlers in all of their decorating, too. :-)
Across from Bryggen is the famous fish market. Lots of stalls selling fresh fish, or smoked fish, and also cooked fish. We had recently had breakfast, so we weren't hungry yet. But everything was very vibrant and busy and colorful.
My sister-in-law had given me a map and info on a walking tour they had done when they visited Bergen last year, so we did that. It started at the fish market, then went to a church, and then into some or the old neighborhoods with wooden buildings.
We found a cat who seemed friendly - but he was one of those Jekyll and Hyde cats that will roll around innocently luring you in to pet him, then swipe at you with claws and teeth. Yeah, we know YOUR kind, cat! :-)
We passed by the Ole Bull Theater (Norway's first musical superstar) and the tour finished outside the Museum of Decorative Arts. There was a bunch of construction going on and our view of the museum was blocked by fences and the steam from an asphalt roller. It seemed as though many of the places we visited on this trip had a lot of construction going on - especially Copenhagen and Bergen.
One of the recommended Bergen activities is to take the funicular to the top of Mt. Floien - about 1,000 feet up. This was a very popular activity and the line was long - took us about 40 minutes to buy tickets and then wait to board. We bought one-way tickets for 43 kroner each, since we planned to walk down.
The ride up was quiet and fast.
There were lots of people at the top. It was cloudy and cool, but the Magic had a little bit of sun on it.
We wanted to hike but didn't have a map, and the posted maps and signs weren't very helpful and didn't give us any idea of the distance involved. It was 1:30 by then and we had to be aboard by 5:15. And it would be about an hour walk back to the ship. We took off towards a lake first, which looked like a short walk - and it was, not even 1/4 mile.
We were walking through a very green forest. We did find some interesting signs in the forest...
No, we did not see any baby dinosaurs. We saw some flowers, though.
And some ferns that looked primeval.
We never did find any trails that went anywhere in particular, but we did have them almost to ourselves once we were about 10 minutes from the funicular station. Though there were a number of joggers on the trails. We had just a little bit of sun - this photo was taken the last time that it peeked out from behind the clouds.
This was a really odd sign...we decided it was much more fun to make stuff up rather than use a translator to figure out what it really says. :-)
Back at the top we found the troll - and the trail that went down to the City Center.
Near the top of the trail was an activity center with lots of carved wooden figures.
And we found some more fun signs.
There was this imposing figure.
Oops...too late! I hope this isn't some kind of Norwegian curse...
There were more people on the trail than I expected, though a lot of them were residents. And there were a lot of people running UP the trail! Whew. It was a nice wide gravel path, but it was a climb. They were definitely getting a workout!
We stopped in a shop in Bryggen and found a couple of sweaters that "spoke" to us, just like Dr. Marv had said. The sales lady was very helpful - she had worked at Epcot in the Norway pavilion. She was excited that the Magic is visiting Norway this summer.
We also stopped at a bakery for some skillingsbolle - Norwegian cinnamon rolls. They were warm and really good and we ate them so fast that I didn't take any photos. :-)
There was still an hour until we needed to be back on board, but we were ready to go back and relax a little bit before dinner. There were again hot beverages available when we boarded, but we did not partake - instead I went to the Atrium where there was warm spiced wine the night before. And yes, it was there. He'd only just gotten set up so it was only barely warm, but it still tasted good.
There was a Norwegian band performing out on the dock to welcome us back - we could see them from our verandah, and enjoyed their performance.
That evening, as part of the Freezing the Night Away festivities, there was a Maypole dance in the Atrium - Oaken's Maypole Swirl and Twirl. People of all ages were participating.
Minnie, dressed in her Norwegian costume, was watching from deck 4, and I was able to get my photo taken with her. Many of the Disney characters appeared in new costumes for this cruise, but Minnie was the only one I saw - I heard Goofy was dressed as a Viking, and I'm sorry that I missed that!
I watched a little bit of the Maypole dance but then I continued my "Chocolate Chase" - I was down to the final three clues. The very last one was a bit of a challenge - I'd narrowed it down to two locations, but it wasn't in the first place I looked. I wasn't the only one who was looking there! I found it in the other place. The instructions said to leave the answer sheet on the bed on Friday morning.
Since we were "Freezing the Night Away" we wore our new sweaters to dinner. We were in Animator's Palate, and it was the night of the "Animation Magic" show dinner. Unfortunately, it was also the night of the ship-wide "Frozen"-inspired menu, and because of the show dinner, we did not get a chance to try most of the new menu. We had an appetizer sampler and soup (and none of those items were on the new menu), and a dessert sampler, though at least it included a couple of the new menu items. Only for the entrees did we have the full range of choices available. But I was disappointed because there were several appetizer and dessert items I would've like to try.
At the end of dinner we received special light-up snowflake amulets that we were supposed to wear for the deck party later that evening.
After dinner we went to see the new show: Walt Disney: The Dream Goes On. Though this is not a new show to Disney Cruise Line it was new to us. It was not as much a Broadway type of show as the other shows are - there weren't a lot of huge production numbers. Lots of narration and lots of video clips of Walt Disney (much of it familiar from things like "One Man's Dream"). Some of it was more like living dioramas, with elements that wouldn't mean much if you weren't a Disney fan. For example, in one scene there was someone dressed as Alice from the Alice comedies standing in front of an old-style camera.
The only big production number was Mary Poppins, and there was also a nice version of "Go the Distance" sung by three male singers with a male dancer doing a somewhat interpretive artistic (but acrobatic) dance.
I thought the show was interesting but not quite up to the usual standards - it didn't seem to be very polished. Some of that may have been because it was relatively new to this particular cast. Though I was happy that it didn't have the contrived story line of things like "Disney Dreams" and "Disney's Believe".
After the show it was time to get ready for Freezing the Night Away. That's the deck party that was replacing Pirate Night, though I must admit I had been hoping for a Viking Night. :-) I knew it was going to be cold on deck given the temperature and especially the wind. I put on just about every layer I had, including the wind pants and a lined windbreaker on top of my regular jacket. We went up to deck 10 and were able to get a spot right on the rail. This was about 20 minutes before the show started, and the rail spots were going quickly. Right before the show started a family with two little girls (both dressed as Elsa) came up and stood behind us. They weren't being pushy at all but we offered to let the girls stand in front of us so they could see. They were mesmerized, and their parents were very grateful.
There were already quite a few people in the dance area on deck 9 - and quite a few little girls dressed as Elsa! Not surprising. There were some Annas as well. Most of them were wearing jackets over their dresses. There were even some adults dressed as one of the princesses - I saw some pretty elaborate costumes that were quite beautiful.
The Royal Party Planners came on stage first, followed by Kristoff and then Anna.
Even Sven made an appearance on the big screen, and we played some Reindeer Games, like "Sven Says". And we did the Reindeer Hokey Pokey: "You put your left hoof in, you put your left hoof out..."
Olaf also joined us on screen for an "In Summer" sing-a-long.
But Olaf started to melt (maybe some people are worth melting for, but perhaps it's not an appropriate thing to do to a guest of honor), and Anna frantically called for Elsa, who appeared in the nick of time, and with the help of our snowflake amulets was able to provide Olaf with his own personal snow flurry.
And of course everyone had to sing "Let it Go". Some nice CO2 arctic air blasts to accompany those frozen fractals all around. And it even snowed a bit down on deck 9.
It was a fun show and it looked like everyone had a good time, including the cast and cruise staff. No fireworks for this one, but considering how light it still was at 10:40 when it ended, we wouldn't have been able to see them very well anyway.
There did not seem to be any additional family activity after this - no dessert buffet in Cabanas - but all of the adults were encouraged to visit Fathoms for "Club Frozen" - the continuation of the party.
We went by our stateroom to discard a few layers of clothing (I had stayed warm enough, but only barely), and went to Fathoms.
There were already a number of people there. We got a couple of seats at the high bar in the back where we could see but be out of the way. They had a large ice sculpture on top of the bar that they were using to make the specialty drink of the night: a Frozen Fjord. It was very blue. We ordered two. It was quite good, made with blue curacao and I'm not sure what else.
There were also servers circulating with platters of appetizers and desserts. It was a nice selection.
We didn't stay very long: there was a DJ playing dance music and it was pretty loud. We went over to O'Gills, since the event had flowed into that space as well, but all of the tables there were full.
So we went to Keys instead. Much quieter there. Fletcher made me a lovely Godiva Chocolate Martini. Very pretty.
I don't remember when we left - close to midnight. It was kind of sort of almost dark outside. :-)
Sea day the next day - we could sleep in!