Trip Log Day 4: 11-Night North Norwegian Fjords and Iceland Cruise – Stavanger

Trip log, day four. Stavanger.
11-Night North Norwegian Fjords and Iceland Cruise on Disney Magic – Itinerary A
July 2, 2015
Day 4 – Personal Navigator

Stateroom Map Stavanger, Norway Magic July 2, 2015

Three. If you are counting at home, that is 3 days in a row Emily has gotten up early and almost rope dropped the gym. That’s awesome; I give her credit for doing this everyday. During previous cruises, I would get up at crazy hours of the morning to take photographs around the ship, but sleep tends to win out and frankly, I was tired of my run-ins with ship security. Sorry about that little tangent…..let’s get back to talking about this cruise!

Today we were in Stavanger, the third and final Norwegian port of call during this itinerary and we only had about 5 hours ashore. All aboard time was 12:45 PM because we have a distance to travel to Iceland. All ashore time was about 7:30 AM and unfortunately, due to the Disney Cruise Navigator App technical glitch with the chat feature not delivering messages, we were unable to connect with the Jarretts to set a meeting point to explore Stavanger together and see the Swords in the Rock.

About 30 seconds after we walked off the ship, I pulled my camera out only to find out I left my memory card in my laptop case. After my 10-minute detour back to the stateroom, we resumed our day in Stavanger.Stavanger, Norway Shops It took about 30 minutes for us to get our bearings and find the closest stop by the pier for city bus 29. Our research had determined we just needed to go to a specific bus stop, but there was some road work near the bus stop which resulted in bus 29 using a temporary spot down the street. Luckily, the bus was still on schedule for its 8:42AM pick up. We spotted the bus as it round the corner, but still didn’t know which of the various stops on the street it was going to use. Luckily, we were only about 100 feet from the temporary stop!

For two adults and one child, the fare was 80 NOK (about $10 USD) which also included the return trip as we traveled the same route within a defined period of time. It is important to keep your receipt as it is your valid ticket and has the time when it will expire. Even if you stay longer, at double the price it was still vastly cheaper than any of the DCL excursions to see the Swords in the Rock, plus, I was not rushed and was able to take photos at my leisure instead of being headed back onto a tour bus. This is a definite bonus to exploring ports on your own.

Swords In The Rock Stavanger, Norway

There were a couple of tour groups that arrived and left while we were at the Sword in the Rocks and I cringed a few times when some of the kids were attempting to climb down a fairly steep area with some sharp rocks rather than taking a much safer route.

We spent about 20-30 minutes before heading back to the bus stop to catch the 9:33 PM bus, which on this day was running a few minutes behind. We took the bus back to the area we originally picked it up and walked along the pond towards the church to take few more pictures.Stavanger Church

During our morning walk before catching the bus, we spotted a few stores in town we wanted to check out, but first it was time for some caffeine.Stavanger Startbucks We stopped in Starbucks which was conveniently located to the ship and had good free WiFi. They are not able to accept payment via Starbuck’s smartphone app so we had to use some of the cash Emily converted at Guest Services the day before. Emily asked if we could use our Starbucks gold card via the iPhone app, and the Starbucks employee said that we could not. I did not ask about the physical gold card, though. Stavanger Startbucks You Are Here MugsThis Starbucks had a few unique Frappucchino flavors and two ‘You Are Here’ mugs.Stavanger Startbucks Frapaccino Special Flavors The last tidbit about the Stavanger Starbucks is that it has a restroom with a keypad. The code is written on the chalkboard just to the left of the bathroom door.

I have a love/hate relationship with port shopping. Ok, let me be completely honest, I HATE port shopping areas. The experience in Stavanger was much different. I did not feel I was in a typical cruise port like you see all over the Caribbean. There were definitely stores that catered to cruise passengers, but for the most part it was a nice place to walk around and check out some local shops. We stopped in the toy store which had some Frozen merchandise with the regional title, Frost. Additionally, it was neat to see a display of classic Disney story books in a language other than English.Norway Disney BooksNorway Frozen Frost Coloring Books

Norwegian 101 Dalmations BookHands down the best place we stopped was the local Salvation Army where I found a Norwegian sweater for $10 USD. Not only is a Norwegian sweater, it is from the 1994 Lilihammer Winter Olympics. Score!Norwegian Sweater 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics Salavation Ar

All good things come to an end, we walked into the jam packed tourist souvenir shop which was directly across from the pier. In our family we often reference the need to put on our patience hats for times we know something is going to be terrible, but we do it anyway. I lasted about 30 seconds in the store before I bailed. Emily was the trooper and stuck it out while Isabelle found a Norwegian trinket to bring home.

It was a little after 12 PM when we headed back to the ship. I stayed behind a few extra minutes to take some photos of the Disney Magic at the pier while the ladies went back onboard.Disney Magic Stavanger Norway

Just before lunch, we started a couple loads of laundry which turned out to be a good time to start as the laundry room was packed with people waiting for an open washer just 20 minutes later when I returned to put the clothes in the dryer.Daisy's DeLites Sandwiches

Emily and I grabbed panini sandwiches from Daisy DeLites, while Isabelle enjoyed some cajun grouper from Cabanas, which she enjoyed. However, she was more excited to find mint chocolate chip hard ice cream in Cabanas, as none of us enjoy the soft serve served on deck. When I returned from switching the laundry, our friends Tracy and Bill were sitting at our table. I was still trying to upload the Oslo photos, so Tracy and Isabelle walked around the ship to work on a photo scavenger hunt which was harder than I anticipated. Emily ordered the drink of the day – the Golden Leafs.Drink Of The Day Golden Leafs It was white rum, pama pomegranate, peach schnapps, club soda, cranberry juice with mint leaves. On deck, it was served with a lime instead of mint leaves and it was way too sweet for her liking.

When the alarm went off to go get the clothes out of the dryer, we packed up and headed back to the stateroom. I finally managed to upload the last two photos and post the Oslo trip log while we watched a little bit of Peter Pan on TV. Emily and Isabelle went down to the Oceaneer Lab for the open house while I sat in the atrium and imported photos from our phones and memory cards.

Tonight, Emily and I went to Palo, which means Isabelle gets a room service pizza and caesar salad for dinner before heading back to the Oceaneer Lab/Club. Some things just work out; we turned on the stateroom TV and Wreck-it Ralph was just about in the same spot as when we turned it off yesterday before heading to breakfast. When Emily called to order the food for Isabelle, she also ordered our Platinum Castaway Club gift. We chose the prosecco over the fruit platter. We were pleasantly surprised when a Santa Margarita prosecco was delivered.Santa Margarita Prosecco

Dinner at Palo was interesting in that it never got dark; it was like we were at brunch and they were serving dinner. As is typical, dinner started with the bread service and the antipasto plate.

Palo Bread Service Palo Antipasto

Emily selected the Palo Wine Experience, which started with the Tuna Carpaccio and Lemon Oil Dressing paired with Ferrari Brut.
Palo Wine Pairing Tuna

I started with the Tuscan White Bean Soup with Prosciutto and Parmesan cheese. This was flavorful, and for my liking the the prosciutto was not overpowering.
Palo White Bean Soup

The next wine experience course was the Grilled Portobello Mushroom stuffed with Polenta paired with Summus Costello Banfi. This was Emily’s favorite. She said it was truly delicious and paired very well with the wine.
Palo Wine Tasting Mushroom Stuffed With Polenta

The Lobster and Mascarpone Ravioli was paired with a glass of Cervara della Sala Antinori. The wine was a french version of a Chardonnay, as opposed to a California Chardonnay, so it was super light and Emily’s favorite wine of the pairings. The ravioli was ok – it’s been better but it was still good. The only problem was at this point, Emily was already pretty full…..
Palo Wine Tasting Lobster Ravioli

One of my favorite dishes on the Palo menu is the Gnocchi di patate con Gorgonzola e Asparagi. The gnocchi melted in my mouth and the gorgonzola cream sauce was very flavorful.
Palo Gnocchi

The wine experience continued with the Branzino in Cartoccio or in basic terms, Sea Bass with essentially mashed potatoes. The course was paired with Planeta Chardonnay. Although this was super good – an almost perfectly prepared and seasoned buttery fish – Emily was only able to taste two bites of it. Our server was concerned that something was wrong, and so she gave us a little bit of a break to pace the courses a bit more slowly.
Palo Wine Tasting Sea Bass

Time for a palate cleanser. The lemon sorbet is always a refreshing treat.
Palo Lemon Sorbetto Digestiv

Emily does not eat beef or pork, so the chef was accommodating in substituting the Osso Buco for Grilled Sea Scallops. Unlike the previous time when the Sommelier lost it when he went to pour the pairing red, Ross was even more accommodating and offered Emily Moet and Chandon Imperial to pair with the scallops! They also served her a full dinner portion of the scallops, and she ate one scallop but said it was delicious. She loves Moet & Chandon, so that was a no brainer!
Palo Wine Tasting Scallops

I ordered the Faggotti di Petto di Pollo con Ricotta e Basilico – essentially stuffed chicken breast. The red pepper flavor was present, but not overpowering and the Pinot Grigio reduction was so good; I wish there was more on the plate to sop up with each bite of chicken.
Palo Chicken

The wine experience ended with the Tartufo paired with Passito Albana Di Romagna. Emily took a few bites and remembered this dessert tasting like nutella and it paired well with the dessert wine. Palo Wine Tasting Dessert

I chose to pass on the chocolate shuffle and try the warm Orange Almond Cake. The cake had a nice orange flavor and worked well with the rhubarb puree, lemon cream and orange fennel. The ring was a bonus and tasted like a fortune cookie.
Palo Orange Almond Cake

To cap off Palo dinner we sipped on the frozen sparkling wine.
Palo After Dinner Frozen Sparkling Wine

After dinner, we stopped to get Isabelle another snack plate from Cove Cafe, picked her up from the club and headed back to the stateroom. Tonight we set our clocks back an hour and went to bed.

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11 thoughts on “Trip Log Day 4: 11-Night North Norwegian Fjords and Iceland Cruise – Stavanger

  1. Robbie

    Thank you so much for your pictures and recap of Norway. I felt like I was back there! I especially loved seeing again the cobbled streets of Stavanger. I envy you your $10 sweater; I spent a small fortune buying sweaters on our last trip there but it’s been worth it. After all these years, they’re still in good shape and worn every winter. You do an amazing job with your photos and your blog. You make a person feel like they’re there with you. Thank you again!!!

    Reply
    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      Robbie, thank you for the kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the posts. I saw a lot of nice sweaters, but someone mentioned checking the second hand shops for a deal before we left. Living in Florida I may not get one wear out of it a year so I wanted to keep it he price low.

      Reply
  2. Robin

    Thank you for your posts. I look forward to them every day. We were on the recent Transatlantic and N. European cruises. Stavanger was our stop that was substituted for Iceland. It is such a beautiful town. We did not know about the change in itinerary until we had left home, so we had no time to research the area or excursions. We just picked one —the Fjord cruise and Bakern’s Paradise. It was a fabulous choice. It was rainy and cool on the Fjord cruise, but still beautiful. It stopped raining by the time we got to “Paradise”. Here we were served a snack of delicious Norwegian coffee with Norwegian waffles, strawberries and yogurt. The setting was so peaceful and beautiful and the people that we met were kind and welcoming. We would love to go back there as there is so much to see. Looking forward to your next post.

    Reply
  3. Sarah Adams

    Loving the report. Just to say the Starbucks Frappaccinos are the ones that just went on sale in the UK looking at the sign so I think they are the European summer flavours (lemon, coffee jelly and the other one I can’t think of the name of) so you should be able to get them most places. I would also assume you can’t use the US cards in Europe as you can’t actually use the UK ones outside the UK as I found out earlier in the year. Great reporting! Following closely.

    Reply
  4. Dana

    Thank you for the great trip reports; I almost feel like I’m there. We have cruised DCL to the Caribbean and Bahamas. After reading this report, I am now considering Europe for our next cruise! Looking forward to the next installment… Can’t wait for Iceland!

    Reply
  5. Sheila

    Hi Scott, thanks for sharing your trip report and beautiful photos. I have a question. You mention “run in” with security when you are up early taking photos. I am a photographer and looking forward to our cruise in February. One of things on my list is getting up early and taking photos of the ship at night. There are issues with this? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      Sheila,
      There are no issues as long as you are not going anyplace that is off limits. The times I’ve been met by security they ask me what I am doing and I tell them. Once, in particular they went as far as a mini interrogation asking who I am traveling with, why I on this cruise and if I was making a movie. Another time In invited them to sit with me in Meridian and look at the photos I was importing into Lightroom. He did not accept the invite and left.

      The issue comes down to walking around at odd times when most people are sleeping with a camera bag and tripod taking random photos draws attention from security – no matter where you are at. There are cameras all over the ship so they know what you are doing, as long as you haven’t crossed any lines and are willing to chat with security you should not have any issues.

      Reply
  6. Laura Shanley Bommarito

    Hi Scott, thanks for the post on Stavanger… we are going end of May for the 7 day Fjords (out of Dover) trip…. very little information available as it is so new. I am thrilled there is a Starbucks within walking distance of the ship… and we are a bit of collectors of the mugs, so will have to get one!

    One question… I am on the fence abut an excursion in Stavanger… our daughter is almost 6 and we are signed up for one in every port, it is just that this location doesn’t have experiences that seem worthwhile/must do…. seems like there is good shopping there to get a feel for the area. Your thoughts?

    Reply
    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      Laura,
      As you read, we essentially did our own tour in Stavanger. Once we returned from the Sword in the Rocks we just walked around the port area. We did not have full day in port during our itinerary. The trip to the Swords and walking around Stavanger left us with little time to see much else. I would have loved more time to hike Pulpit Rock. Other than that, walking around the port area was enjoyable.

      Reply

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