Monday, November 21, 2016

Oslo, Norway: Magic Ice Bar

 Our first port was Olso, Norway. One of the things I was looking forward to the most on the trip was the Magic Ice Bar in downtown Oslo! It was the perfect first stop.

When you arrive, you step into a normal looking store, we were nervous we had come to the wrong place. They quickly assured us we were in the right place for the magical experience we had come for. We were guided to the back of the store to get all bundled in preparation to stepping into a below freezing wonderland. We were given heavy, hooded capes, gloves and boots to slip on over our shoes. Then we were invited to step through the two heavy doors into the enchanting ice bar.

Absolutely everything is made out of ice, the benches, tables, walls and even the glasses. There are also several works of art created by local artists, all made completely out of ice, on display and lit up with changing LED lights.

A drink is included in the price of admission, so we all chose to try their signature sparkling orange lemonade. All our drinks came in ice glasses and served with a straw. I tried to drink mine without a straw, and I instantly knew why we were given straws. My lips were freezing! But our drinks sure were cool and refreshing!

We stayed in the bar as long as we could stand the cold, the temperature is around -5 degrees celsius or 23 degrees fahrenheit. We definitely had to keep our gloves on or else our hands turned to ice. We all emerged from the ice bar with rosy cheeks and red noses and welcomed the warm rush of heat as we stepped out of the below freezing bar.

This experience definitely did not disappoint, it was just as magical as I was hoping it would be! Next, we picked up the rest of the family and headed to the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History which was fascinating and oh so beautiful. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Embarkation Day

Disney Cruise Time!!!!!!
Our family LOVES Disney, I try to make it to Disneyland at least once a year, if not more. Same with the Griffin Family. We are Disney Fanatics. Thus, a Disney cruise is the perfect vacation for our family. There were numerous activities that appealed to all the different age groups we have in our family, the kids loved the kids club and probably would have been perfectly happy to spend every waking minute of our two week cruise there.

Our obligatory boarding photos actually turned out pretty good! It helped that we had had a few days to adjust to the jet lag and didn't fly in that morning. We have had plenty haggard looking cruise boarding photos haha.

I made sure to plan a very Disney themed outfit for today!

The Disney Magic is a gorgeous ship. It is almost identical to it's sister ship, The Disney Wonder, which we sailed on when we cruised through Alaska. I took a lot of photos of the Wonder so I didn't document much of the Magic, to see my photos of the Wonder CLICK HERE.

One of the main differences between the two ships are the formal dining rooms, The Magic has Lumiere's, which is, of course, Beauty and the Beast themed, while The Wonder has Tritan's, which is Little Mermaid themed.

My next door neighbors were a bunch of really cute boys, lucky me!

Jenny made these adorable door magnets for all of our cabin doors to help us identify our doors among the sea of identical cruise cabins. I chose Daisy Duck for my door.

The infamous muster stations drill.

James is the best little traveler. He never complains, as long as he has his trusted companion eye-ya.

After the drill, and our first of many, many trips to the ice cream machines, we got some good seats for the bon voyage party! Thomas danced the ENTIRE time, he was super into it. And James could not believe that he got to see Mickey and his friends in real life! He was especially excited to see Minnie, she is his favorite Disney character. 

After the party, some of us set out to explore the ship and check out all of the different kids' clubs. There are four different clubs, two for 3-10 year olds, one for the tweens, and one for the older teens. Us old fogy adults are only allowed in the clubs on the first day during the open house.

I didn't take any pictures in the tween and teen clubs, the air was thick with adolescent awkwardness and we didn't stay long, but they were pretty cool. The tween club was called Edge, and it had a grungy feel to it. The teen club is called Vibe and is designed to look like the cool kids house at which everyone wants to be caught chilling.

I did take some pictures of the littles clubs, they were freaking sweet!

Our first dinner aboard was at Animator's Palate, which is one of three restaurants we would rotate between during our voyage. Animators is one of my favorites, it is super magical and has fun light shows. Again I didn't take the time to document it much this time around, CLICK HERE to see pictures I took on our first Disney cruise (scroll to the bottom of the post)

There was always a special (non-alcoholic) drink of the day that we all loved trying out

We had the second seating for dinner, so we started at 8 and would finish usually around 10, sometimes later. I don't think we ever made it through a dinner without at least one child falling asleep at the table. I don't blame them, we were always pretty exhausted by the time dinner rolled around.

Disney has created a super useful and amazing cruise app that has all the details of everything happening on the ship every single day. It also has a chat portion, which was invaluable since the texting on our phones didn't work while we were sailing. 

The best part about this app... the ADORABLE Disney emojis!! Seriously, I could not handle how adorable all the emojis were, I can't wait until they are released to the real texting world so I can use them in my everyday life. 

At dinner our first night, we had a super fun time assigning each member of our family an emoji that we thought best represented them...

There is no better way to end the first day of a Disney cruise than with a Micky Mouse ice cream sundae!