Iceland trip report

Discussion in 'Adventures By Disney' started by tsgirl, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. tsgirl

    tsgirl Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 1999
    Messages:
    238
    My family of 5 arrived this morning to begin our Iceland Adventure. Our family includes my husband and I and our 3 daughters (ages 20, 24, and 26). We flew Delta overnight and arrived to a rainy and chilly Iceland. We were met after collecting our bags by an ABD representative and sent straight away to the Blue Lagoon. Surprisingly, we were told that most of the other guests had arrived a day or two early. It is really breathtakingly scenic and the waters are so warm and relaxing. ABD sets you up with the premium package, which includes flip flops (these are yours to keep, so take them with you for the second lagoon trip), robes, towels, a drink (either alcoholic or not at the swim up bar or cafe) and lunch at the Lava Restaurant. You are given a wrist band which you use to scan at the locker room, use for all charges, and scan to leave. If you want to take pictures with your phone, bring a waterproof case. They sell them at the gift shop, but they are very expensive. The lockers themselves are big enough to hold a back pack and a purse. The locker rooms are quite confusing. You are first supposed to leave your shoes at the front of the locker rooms. We all missed this step and walked straight into the changing area. In the changing area, you choose an open locker, load it up, close your locker and then you have 5 seconds to scan your wrist band at the closest scanner. This is NOT explained clearly anywhere, so be prepared that it is confusing. Also, the water can really damage your hair and jewelry so it is suggested to remove your jewelry and leave a LOT of conditioner (provided in the showers)in your hair. This did the job, and my hair was fine. I didn’t put my head under the water though. After a required shower and the conditioner, we were ready to enter the water. There is a slow entrance, where you enter the water from inside. This was great. Even though it was raining and cold outside. The water kept us warm. We enjoyed drinks at the swim up bar, including cider, wine, and smoothies. After an hour in the water, we showered and changed before lunch at the Lava Restaurant. You can also enjoy lunch in your robe. ABD lets you know what time you should arrive and the restaurant is prepared for you. Sparkling wine, an entree, a dessert and a non alcoholic beverage are included. The food is phenomenal. Two of us are professional chefs and we were very impressed. There is a vegetarian entree available, which is not on the online menu. More to come....
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
  2. tink1970

    tink1970 DCL Platinum

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,753
    Love the photos and thanks so much for taking the time to post! This adventure looks wonderful!
     
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


  4. CaliforniaGirl09

    CaliforniaGirl09 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,038
    So excited to read a report about Iceland! I think this is the first. Enjoy your trip and can’t wait to read more.
     
    tink1970 and sayhello like this.
  5. tsgirl

    tsgirl Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 1999
    Messages:
    238
    Photos from the incredible Lava Restaurant lunch....
     

    Attached Files:

    SCFamily4 and tink1970 like this.
  6. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    13,675
    Yay!! Looking forward to more of your report! Have a fabulous time!

    Sayhello
     
    tsgirl and tink1970 like this.
  7. tsgirl

    tsgirl Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 1999
    Messages:
    238
    Day 1 is coming to a close. It was a great day. Our guides, Alyssa and Stefan, are both fantastic and our group seems warm and eager to start the adventure. The hotel is centrally located, and even though the rooms are small, the hotel is full of character and charm. It has adorable touches throughout and I loved it immediately. Our welcome dinner was in a local, trendy brew house, with a great feel and excellent food, only a 5 minute walk from the hotel. There was a bit of a language issue when ordering drinks (2 drinks are on ABD for the welcome and farewell dinner- alcoholic or not), but the guides were there to make sure all went smoothly. We are back in the hotel now, where it is still bright outside, as there is very little darkness here. We were given really nice night masks by the guides and they will come in handy, as the shades are not black out at all. Also, there is free WiFi in this hotel, which makes these posts much easier! We have a full day tomorrow, so I will write more then!
     
    DCPhotoGal, hilarys, sayhello and 4 others like this.
  8. BluesTraveler

    BluesTraveler Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2015
    Messages:
    387
    Thanks for taking the time to write! Can't wait to read more.
     
    tsgirl and tink1970 like this.
  9. CGB

    CGB Imagining the Impossible!

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    Messages:
    39
    Oh, you are in for a treat! I still miss the silica mud mask they sell at the Blue Lagoon. My husband was stationed at Keflavik Air Base (closed now) in Iceland a few years ago. I visited him for a week near the end of his assignment and instantly regretted the kids and I didn't join him! We've always talked about going back and taking our kids... so I'll be watching your report to see where Disney takes you! :) (Btw, the food there is crazy good... even the most out-of-the-way diners will set food in front of you that looks and tastes amazing.)
     
    tsgirl likes this.
  10. aggiedog

    aggiedog DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Messages:
    959
    Looking forward to hearing more! To be clear, though, the BL water will not damage your hair, but it will make it funky if you don't super condition it afterwards. I have fine, colored hair, and got it very wet (I had an in water massage, so spent an hour with my head in the water.) Two oil treatments later my hair, and color, was perfectly normal. I would never do an oil treatment at home, but the silica in the water does a number on the way your hair feels. The water WILL damage jewelry, and possibly coatings on glasses as well, so those should not go in the water if possible.
     
    tgeorge likes this.
  11. hygienist999

    hygienist999 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    470
    Thank you for posting. My husband and I will be on the Adventure just after yours, on the the 14th. Enjoy, and I'm looking forward to more of your posts.
     
    tsgirl and tink1970 like this.
  12. kristilew

    kristilew DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    2,084
    Thank you so much for reporting! Eagerly counting down to this trip and every bit of info is so welcome. I hope you’re having a wonderful time!
     
    tsgirl likes this.
  13. tsgirl

    tsgirl Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 1999
    Messages:
    238

    The mask is included in the Disney package!
     
    CGB likes this.
  14. tsgirl

    tsgirl Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 1999
    Messages:
    238
    They warned us at the lagoon to over condition your hair before hand, leave it in, and then your hair will be fine. This is an easy way to avoid having to do any post treatment.
     
  15. tsgirl

    tsgirl Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 1999
    Messages:
    238
    Day 2 began with breakfast, any time after 6:30am with a buffet at the hotel. The buffet was small but varied, including breads, hard boiled eggs, fruit, bacon, sweetened skyrr (a local cheese similar to yogurt) and even salad and mixed vegetables. At 7:50, we boarded the bus and headed out to see lots of Icelandic nature. Rain pants, layers, hats and gloves were really needed, as we did have rain. We viewed spectacular scenery, visited a farm where we were given local ice cream, and saw incredible waterfalls and geysers. Then we headed to a tomato farm for lunch. The lunch takes place in a gorgeous greenhouse. There is a brief talk with a healthy virgin cocktail and tomato tasting and then a vegetarian lunch. It is really a nice, unique stop. We realized today that last night’s dinner was supposed to include a brewery tour and tasting which we never received. After lunch, we saw a caldera and then went to the horse back riding, which was a very negative experience. More info will follow. This was followed with a bakery stop- also not positive. Dinner for adults was included at the hotel: a very small restaurant but the food was great.
     
    tink1970 likes this.
  16. tsgirl

    tsgirl Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 1999
    Messages:
    238
    Also, nobody suggested coming a day early to us and we’ve realized now, upon leaving Reykjavík that we didn’t see ANY of the city. This is a shame. If you can arrive a day early and see the city, it seems like that would be worthwhile. Please send me any specific questions you have so I might answer them while here.
     
    tink1970 likes this.
  17. tsgirl

    tsgirl Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 1999
    Messages:
    238
    So, the horse back riding trip needs revamping. Our tour was full at 40 people. I will preface this by saying that our weather was NOT good. It was cold, windy and raining, so the experience could have been better with good weather, but even with good weather, the experience would not have been “good”...just better! We first were given the option of using their clothing: boots, gloves and hats, rain jackets and pants, and full rain suits. Everyone needs to put on one of the supplied helmets. We were asked who were experienced riders....we said we had ridden before and were given horses first, mounted and were sent to wait in the corral. We were left there in the wind and rain for a full 45 minutes. I am not exaggerating. The guides did not intervene and rectify the issue. We were waiting for all 40 people to be given horses. Then, we all started the trail, with one horse simply following the next in a line. The wind and rain were very unpleasant, but the ride was silly regardless of the weather. I understand that it is difficult to plan a 1 hour ride with both experienced riders and total beginners, so it made sense that they asked for experienced riders first, but then that made no difference at all, when we all went out together. My middle daughter, who had a cold before the ride, felt horrible after the 45 minute wait, so 10 minutes into the ride, we asked to go back. One of the guides didn’t even follow up afterwards to ask if she was okay. 80% of the guests complained when they finished the ride and said it was a total waste of time. Instead of apologizing about the negatives or even acknowledging that things were stressful, the guides decided to delay our return to the hotel to dry off, change, and have dinner, by “treating” us the coffee and dessert at a bakery rest stop. This stop was nothing special and took an hour. All in all, the second half of the day was a real let down.

    Day 3 is already better! The waterfall was majestic and breathtaking. The cafeteria lunch was really nice, with lots of options, and the drive is peaceful and scenic. The guides have been much more attentive, so perhaps yesterday was as stressful for them as it was for us.
     
  18. kristilew

    kristilew DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    2,084
    Thank you for being candid about the disappointing aspects. It really helps to go into a trip with eyes wide open.

    I remember our first ABD it never occurred to us to go a day early. We arrived when it officially started and then realized others had a jump on us both for rest and for touring. Since that time, we always go at least one day early, often more, and stay late as well. It can be tough with time off, but definitely improves trip experience.

    So many of us on these boards have done multiple ABDs that we can be casual talking about pre days. It’s a good reminder to those just starting out to read a report that points out just why it is a good idea.

    Glad you next day is going better and super glad I bought my family rain pants for this trip!
     
    tsgirl, sayhello, tink1970 and 2 others like this.
  19. BluesTraveler

    BluesTraveler Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2015
    Messages:
    387
    I echo kristilew - thank you for being candid. Expectations are everything when traveling. Your comments above are part of the reason Disney really needs to rethink its group numbers - a group of 23 or 24 is a big difference from 40 for things like that. I am glad today is better and really looking forward to reading more about your trip.
     
    tink1970, carpenta and DCPhotoGal like this.
  20. EllinK

    EllinK Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    427
    @tsgirl -- thank you for taking the time to post about this exciting trip. We were in Iceland last year OOO and plan to go next year on DCL. I had hoped to do horseback riding but your experience is not encouraging. I know there are 2 vendors in Reykjavik -- would you share the name of the one used by ABD?
     
  21. carpenta

    carpenta DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,985
    I agree with BluesTraveler that "size does matter" and 40 people in one group in the rain is crazy to organize. Should have been broken up into at least two groups. We did this trip with another company and with 22 people it was broken up into two groups advanced and new riders. A pre day is a must for this trip for we did not spend much time in the capital as you would suspect and saw the biggies o our own. Thanks for writing a report.
     
    tink1970 likes this.

Share This Page