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Old 09-14-2019, 09:39 AM   #1
UD Blue Hen
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Default Northern Europeon Cruise

We just returned from the Magic cruise leaving Dover and hitting Denmark and Norway and I thought future cruisers might be interested in a few of my observations.

While the Magic is older and smaller than the bigger ships, it is Disney and everything as always is memorable. You do tend to run into people much more often than on the two bigger trips. As an aside, rumor has it that in 2-3 years Norway is planning to restrict cruise ships from their ports if using certain types of fuel; Disney cruise Line ships (and many others) would not qualify.

No fireworks !!! Extremely disappointing night-time show. I heard there are restrictions on fireworks in that area but you would think they would do a laser or drone display workaround. Also no after party Cabanas - we always like seeing the ice sculptures and grab a quick desert.

Heathrow is an interesting airport. Long hike from plane to baggage claim and I could see some having issues with the hike. Leaving Heathrow is an acquired taste and we will do much better after going thru the first time; plenty of extra lines with little guidance. Flight gates are not posted until 15 minutes prior to boarding so you have a short window to get transit to get to the right terminal.

You have to love British Air and its staff. I could listen to their conversations all day. Plus free alcohol. Reclining seats as always are a challenge

Disney's sponsored hotel - The Churchill - is in a terrific location. If you choose Disney transit, there is a greeter right after baggage claim (we had a private sedan ??) that takes you the hour drive to the hotel. One bus picks everyone up to go to Dover for the 2 hour drive at 10. A two hour bus from cruise back to Heathrow.

London is London. Super place to visit. We always use Viator for our guided tours and we had a great time, even with the Brexit demonstrations.

Denmark and Norway are different from the other cruises (Mediterrean, Carribean, Hawaii) - everything is clean and the history is amazing. As they say in Norway, it's not the weather, it's how you're dressed for the weather

Global Entry is worth its weight in gold..
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:26 AM   #2
erikthewise
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Denmark and Norway are different from the other cruises (Mediterrean, Carribean, Hawaii) - everything is clean and the history is amazing. As they say in Norway, it's not the weather, it's how you're dressed for the weather

Global Entry is worth its weight in gold..
Looking forward to your report! I have booked a Northern Europe cruise for next summer (the Baltic one) so it will be of special interest. Thanks for the reminder on Global Entry. Got TSA Pre a few years ago but need to do Global Entry also.
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:09 AM   #3
brp
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Heathrow is an interesting airport. Long hike from plane to baggage claim and I could see some having issues with the hike. Leaving Heathrow is an acquired taste and we will do much better after going thru the first time; plenty of extra lines with little guidance. Flight gates are not posted until 15 minutes prior to boarding so you have a short window to get transit to get to the right terminal.

You have to love British Air and its staff. I could listen to their conversations all day. Plus free alcohol. Reclining seats as always are a challenge.
Heathrow is one of our favorite airports in the world, although many do not like it. It gets even more interesting with terminal transfers on buses through the bowels of the airport. If one has access to any off the BA lounges, they are quite nice.

We also love BA as an airline. Their alliance partners with AA, and we fly both a lot. Free booze, food and lie flat seats are nice...plus the accents, as you say. The pre-flight safety video is fun, too.

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Global Entry is worth its weight in gold..
Amen to that! Already on my second round.

Also worth noting is that the GE card is valid for TSA security at US airports. This may matter to some with the switch to Real ID. For CA, this happens October, 2020. However, my driver's license doesn't expire until 2022. So, I can wait until then to renew the license (and get Real ID) and use the GE card in the meantime at airports.

Cheers.
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:25 AM   #4
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We also love BA as an airline. Their alliance partners with AA, and we fly both a lot. Free booze, food and lie flat seats are nice...plus the accents, as you say. The pre-flight safety video is fun, too.
.......
Cheers.
Perhaps not as fun as this one though.
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:31 AM   #5
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Perhaps not as fun as this one though.
That one is more fun. But, interestingly, the BA video (the older one, not the new one) actually has a LotR reference with Ian McKellen himself, and a fun cast.

BA last year video

Cheers.
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:57 PM   #6
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Thanks for the summary, glad you enjoyed. Very very true on Global Entry.
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