9 Night Greek Isles cruise on the Disney Magic! Updated 8/24 with Day 5 :)
For over a year now my husband and I have been planning a trip to Alaska on the Disney Wonder. I had every port excursion planned out, knew what dinner rotation I wanted us to be on and even had our pre and post cruise hotels figured out. An unexpected change of events left us headed off to the Disney Magic on July 5th, 2014 for a Mediterranean cruise with absolutely no plans at all. This is the story of the best unplanned vacation we could have ever hoped for!
Day 1 Venice, Italy Part I , Part II
Day 2 At Sea Part I , Part II
Day 3 Katakolon, Greece Part I , Part II
Day 4 Athens, Greece Part I , Part II
Day 5 Ephesus, Turkey Part I , Part II
Day 6 Greek Isles
Day 7 Mykonos, Greece
Day 8 At Sea
Day 9 Venice, Italy
Day 10 Venice, Italy
I'm Jamie, age 28 from Boston area Massachusetts USA. I'm a travel agent and Disney blogger/podcaster who is lucky enough to be able to work from home and keep an eye on my rescue dog Dexter during the day! This was my second Disney cruise, also on the Disney Magic. Though I've visited other parts of Europe this was my first time to Greece!
My husband Brent is also 28, works very hard as an IT professional in Boston, and always looks forward to a vacation. He is not a Disney fanatic like me, but Brent was pretty impressed with his very first Disney Cruise!
Day 1: Venice, Italy/Embarkation
The morning of July 5th Brent and I woke up in our hotel in Venice, Italy. We had flown in the day before and spent the afternoon exploring Venice in hopes of working through our jet lag. We had semi-success after some authentic Italian food and gelato and went to bed early, filled with excitement about the next day!
The view from our hotel in Venice:
After checking out of our hotel we walked 2 minutes to Venice's "People Mover" which is a monorail from the Piazalle Roma into the port area. After another few minutes walk we made it to Terminal 117, home of the Disney Magic! There was no wait to check in and receive our Key To The World cards. We were assigned boarding group 12 and had about 45 minutes of wait time before our number was called.
First order of business once boarding the ship for me was to head to Palo. Prior to boarding the ship I had been able to reserve a dinner at Palo, but not something I'd never tried there before, a brunch! Luckily for me there were a few spots left on our last day and I was able to nab one. Success! All that running around made us hungry so Brent and I decided to head to the buffet on the Magic, called Cabanas.
After lunch we were able to get into our room. Brent and I were in room 6654, a category 06A cabin. This means that our cabin had a white wall as opposed to a see-through acrylic on the bottom. No big deal to us! This room is also handicapped accessible, so it is a bit different from a traditional verandah room: there is more space, the bed is lower to the ground (meaning no luggage can fit underneath), the balcony is oversized and so is the bathroom (which is not split).
After we dropped off our bags in our room we checked the personal Navigator that we had been given upon boarding the Magic. Brent and I spotted sign ups for some alcohol tastings that we wanted to try so off we went to Promenade Lounge to sign up!
Brent got a ticket for a whiskey tasting and we both signed up for the tequila tasting and a Mixology class. All this talk about drinks made us thirsty so we decided to check out Signals, the pool bar in the adults only area on Deck 9. Brent purchased the Disney Cruise Line beer mug for $14.95. This mug allowed him to get 22oz. of beer for the price of 16oz. for the rest of the cruise. Each visit to the bar he'd present his "token" (really a card) to the bartender and he'd receive a nice cold beer in return! I went for a Mai Tai this time.
As we were finishing our drinks we noticed that the pool deck was empty. It was getting close to safety drill time. On Disney Cruise Line you don't need to bring your life vest to the safety drill so Brent and I headed right to our station to check in (there are signs set up all over deck 4 telling you how to get to your station, which corresponds to a letter on your Key to the World card). Our station was in Animator's Palate, so we found our Assembly leader, checked in and listened to the safety presentation.
Quick and painless, the safety drill was over just like that. Brent and I headed to deck 10 to watch the Sail Away party happening on Deck 9. It was a little crowded for our liking so we headed to the very back (aft) of deck 10 to watch our sail away from Venice instead. Brent got us both ice cream from the soft serve station on deck 9 to enjoy while we waited.
Sail away ended up being delayed by over an hour so we decided to go to our room and enjoy from our own verandah since it was starting to get congested on Deck 10 now too. Our balcony had an amazing view! Sailing out of Venice took over an hour and the view was spectacular. The tugboat was there to help the Magic with the tight turns and small waterways on the way out of Venice.
Apparently we weren't as adjusted to the time change as we thought, because the next order of business was a nap. We slept for close to 2 hours before it was time to get up and ready for our dinner at Lumiere's. We were on the second seating, which for this Mediterranean Cruise meant eating at 8:45pm. I thought that might be a little late for us but it ended out being perfect. Prior to boarding I was pretty sure I was going to request that Brent and I be seated on our own. I didn't really love the idea of "forced" interaction with other sailers but I'm so happy to say I was wrong. Disney sat us with three groups of 2 women (so at an 8 top table) and we got along SO well! We loved hearing what they had done each day and sharing with them what adventure's we'd had. It worked out amazingly well and I'm so glad we didn't sit alone! (Hi Holly, Danielle, Michelle, Carly, Lindsey and Celeste, if you're reading!)
Farmhouse Salad: Lettuce, Asparagus, Cherry Tomatoes and Fingerling Potatoes served with a Cheese Crostini and Olive Vinaigrette
French Onion Soup: with Gruyere Cheese Crouton
Lobster Macaroni: Elbow Pasta Mixed with Lobster Meat, Tarragon, Gruyere and Cheddar Cheese Sauce, drizzled with a White Truffle Oil
Chateaubriant-Roasted Filet Steak: Roasted Filet Steak, Crushed New Potatoes with Shallots, Buttered Green Beans, Red Wine Jus, and a Béarnaise Sauce on the Side
Peanut Butter Mousse: Dark Chocolate infused Peanut Butter, Chocolate Crisp Base and Whipped Cream
Strawberry Shortcake Sundae: Strawberries, Vanilla Ice Cream, Whipped Cream and Shortcake
Our serving team was Hasan (head server), Inyo (server) and Dinesh (assistant server) and they were all amazing! Hasan has the best laugh ever. Dinesh tortured us each night with puzzles involving crayons and word tricks. They truly enhanced our Disney Cruise experience and were so happy to have them :)
After dinner we headed back to our stateroom to upload our photos from the day and decompress. Waiting on our bed was tomorrow's Navigator, maps of each of our ports and the first of many towel animals, a swan!
Up next, a Day at Sea!
Don't stop now!!
Love your report so much! Keep it coming!
We will be on the Magic for the first time in February. The ship is beautiful, cant wait to see more of your pictures!
We have cruised 6 times and 6054 is our Favorite room my friend is wheelchair bound and the room works perfect for us! The rooms balcony is breathtaking and we always host a small get together for friends we meet on the cruise out there, I say it could hold 30 people comfortably :) looking forward to the rest of your trip report!
Thanks for the comments so far! I'm enjoying reliving the trip by writing it all out :)
Day 2: At Sea
Today was a day at sea, so we decided to take advantage of having nowhere to be (this would not be the case for the next 5 days!) and slept in until 9:30. After taking our time getting ready we headed to Cabanas for breakfast. The food is a little bit different since there are different suppliers in the Mediterranean but it was still very good. I didn't love the new hash browns, but the donuts were so good I didn't even care that they weren't Krispy Kreme!
After breakfast we decided to do a little bit of shopping. I had no intention of buying anything, I just wanted to gather some ideas for later, but as I walked into one of the shops on deck 4 I spotted them. Animators' Collection Elsa dolls. With zero hesitation I grabbed two! These dolls are flying off the shelves at Disney World and in Disney stores across the country. One was for a friend, and I used the other for a giveaway on the blog I write for. As I checked out the cast member commented that it was smart to buy the dolls now, as they'd be sold out in a matter of days. Sure enough when we returned just over a day later there were none left! I'm so happy we snagged them.
I also picked up some adorable pins. I was looking forward to this since I had purchased one during my last cruise and loved it! These pins are sold by the register in black bags for only $2.95 with a minimum purchase of $30. Last time I got a Mickey anchor, this time I was lucky enough to get two different ones, a Dumbo and a Donald Duck!
Upon returning to our room we found out that we were locked out! Our view for the next hour while we waited to figure out what was wrong (the batteries in the card reader on the door had run out) and for the carpenter to fix it was this:
As soon as we got back into the room we got changed and headed for the adults only pool and pool bar!
I got the Pina Colava, a drink I love to get at Disney World! It's a basic Pina Colada, just with added pureed raspberries. YUM! The temperature of the pool was perfect. Just cool enough to be refreshing but not unpleasant to get in to. Some liquid courage had Brent ready to try the Aqua Dunk. Me, not so much. Now if you don't know, the Aqua Dunk is one of the water slides on the Disney Magic. This particular slide starts off with the floor dropping out from underneath you, then shoots you out over the side of the boat before coming to a stop. No thank you! Brent said it was an absolute blast though, and worth the short wait he'd endured on this sea day.
Checking on the time, I realized that we needed to head back to our stateroom to shower and get dressed if we wanted to make our meeting at Keys at 2:00. This was a prearranged meet up of people from the thread here on DISboards and the Facebook group about this particular cruise. It was nice to put some names to faces at this event! Brent and I enjoyed a few drinks and some conversation before we decided we were very hungry and needed to head back to Cabanas for some lunch. I do wish we'd decided just a bit earlier that we wanted lunch, as then we would have been able to get something at one of the sit down restaurants instead of the buffet but oh well! It was still pretty good.
Since we'd been so late getting lunch by the time we wanted dessert they'd already starting putting it away, so we headed to Deck 9 to the self serve ice cream station. Over the course of this trip there were many different flavors of ice cream that were rotated every few days. I saw: mango, strawberry, blueberry and banana. Of course there was always chocolate and vanilla! They also had Mickey sprinkles and chocolate sauce to add to your ice cream if you so chose.
Day 2: At Sea
Following dessert we went back to our stateroom to read books out on our balcony.
In what you'll soon see develop into a theme ;) we took a nap before it was time to get ready for formal night and the Captain's Gala. We headed down to Deck 3 mid ship for one of the best parts of the Captain's Gala: free drinks! The line to have your photo taken with the Captain was very long so we just enjoyed our drinks, then headed outside of Deck 4 to watch the sun set.
Dinner this night was at Animator's Palate. On my previous cruise I'd been underwhelmed by my meal at Animator's Palate, but this night was much better! The food was fabulous and dessert was one of my favorites.
Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes: Pasta Purses filled with Truffle-scented Cheese and coated with a Champagne Sauce
Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup with Bacon Bits and Chives
Creamy Butternut Squash Soup garnished with Chives and drizzled with Sour Cream
Lemon-Thyme Marinated All Natural Chicken Breast with Sour Cream mashed potatoes, roasted root vegetables and grain mustard au jus
Pennete Bolognese: Pennete Pasta mixed with a rich Bolognese Sauce garnished with Shaved Parmesan Reggiano and Toasted Garlic Ciabatta
Crunchy Walnut Cake: Dark Chocolate Mousse and Raspberry Coulis
Cookies ’n Cream Sundae Cookies & Cream Ice Cream with Chocolate Sauce and Chocolate Chip Cookies
This night was "show" night at Animator's Palate. I tried to take some photos but really none of them would have done the show any justice. The restaurant starts out black and white, with black and white drawings on the screens. As the meal goes on color starts being added and by dessert the whole restaurant is in full color (even the serving teams, who'd previously been wearing black and white) and there is a visit from Mickey himself!
Our server, Inyo:
After dinner we made a quick dash to our stateroom to get changed out of our formal clothes. There was an adults only show at the Walt Disney theater, ventriloquist Paul Zerdin. It was so funny! We were glad we'd stayed up late to see it. Following the show we went straight to bed, since it was up early the next morning for an excursion. Tonight's towel animal was one of my favorites, an elephant. Our stateroom host Jojo had even used my sunglasses for the elephants eyes! Love it.
Up next, our first port day: Katakolon/Olympia, Greece!
Enjoying your report. Looking forward to more :goodvibes
Really enjoying your report! I loved Venice and hope you had a chance to enjoy it!
Jill in CO
Loving your report. We were on this cruise too. Wasn't it just fantastic!
I was on that cruise too and I really enjoyed it! I hope that you will post the rest of your trip report also, because it is nice to read someone else his/her experiences about the same trip.
Day 3: Katakolon/Olympia, Greece
We woke up this morning very excited, our first port day! We opened the curtains to our verandah to see that we were already docked in the small port town of Katakolon, Greece.
After a very quick bite to eat at Cabanas (Mickey waffles for me!) we headed straight to D Lounge, which was the meeting place for our excursion set up that day through Disney. We checked in with our excursion tickets and photo ID and followed our group (number 15 that day!) to the bus, located just outside the ship.
Katakolon is located about 30 minutes from Olympia, Greece, our destination for the day. During the ride our tour guide gave us lots of history about the areas we were traveling through in preparation for our visit to the Archaeological ruins.
Some photos of the Archaelogical site at Olympia:
The ruins are still being actively explored:
Inside the Temple of Hera:
The Olympic arch:
From 776-726BC there was just one single Olympic event, the "Stade", a foot race. This is a photo of the starting line of the race, where a person on either end would hold a rope, then drop it when the race began. For all you Disney World fans, this is THE original "rope drop"! It prevented any cheating at the start of the race, as the person attempting to start too soon would be tripped by the rope!
However, there still were cheaters. Here the name of the person who cheated (or bribed), plus the names of his parents and his home town would be displayed for all who entered the stadium to see. This was a great shame for the men and their families!
Following the archaeological site we visited the museum, on a tour led by our guide who did a great job explaining what we saw there:
This is a lot of information to take in, but if you're interested in learning more about Olympia please visit the UNESCO website here. Olympia was fascinating, and I'm so glad I had the chance to visit!
There is a small cafe and shop at the exit of the site where we relaxed for a few minutes. Brent enjoyed a Greek beer (Alfa), I just watched since I'd had a fresh squeezed orange juice (which was so yummy!) on our walk from the site to the museum.
Our group boarded the bus and we drove into modern Olympia for some shopping.
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