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Old 06-12-2011, 01:56 PM   #1
DVC2042
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Thumbs up Renée's Camera Gear added 6/30: 05-28-2011:Where In The World... 11-Night Med Cruise

Let it begin... LET IT BEGIN!!
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
This set of posts is dedicated to capturing some of the fun and excitement of our "Magic in the Med" European holiday.
Cross-posting from our Travelblog http://witw2011.wordpress.com/
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
If you’re reading this then you probably already know that Renee and Steve are off on yet another adventure.
This one is pretty special for us since we mark 25 extraordinary years together in 2011. While our anniversary isin’t until late August, we have had a special trip planned for a few years.
This is dedicated to capturing some of the fun and excitement of our “Magic in the Med” European holiday. Renee suggested the idea of blogging my way around the trip. I have to say I was not thrilled right off, but then she showed me that it was pretty easy (that was a big sell!) and fun (mostly) and it’ll give us a chance to have it all in one place for later.
So ‘buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!’

See ya real soon and have fun commenting

Last edited by DVC2042; 06-30-2011 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 06-12-2011, 02:19 PM   #2
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2 BE – Two Days Before Europe

Renee is 'trial-packing' to see how well she's done with clothing selection... and it is going so well that she's certain something has been left out or forgotten. Ahh the challenges of the well-organized

In the meantime, Maud decides she wants to work on her tan. She has to look her best as she and Ian are off to spend 3 weeks at “The Meadows Bed & Biscuit at Lake Norman”, a swanky, all-inclusive dog resort.


Bone-shaped, zero-entry swimming pool... how cool is that?

A couple of days ago on Friday night we went to a local restaurant, Martino’s, and had a great evening with our bestest friends and next door neighbors, Robert & Elizabeth and their twin sons Robert and Harrison. This place has great white pizza, yummy bruschetta and Fat Tire on tap. These lucky folks are kind enough to ‘keep an eye’ on Claudette, our 7 1/2 pound orange cat while we’re away.

Claudette tries to blend in at Christmas 2010
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Old 06-12-2011, 02:21 PM   #3
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Barcelona Forecast



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Old 06-12-2011, 02:27 PM   #4
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1 BE–1 Day Before Europe

Work, work, work! We are busy making certain our various teams can survive us being out of touch for 2 1/2 weeks. Lotsa preparation, extra documentation
etcetera, etcetera, etcetera
Flights are confirmed (despite the best efforts of Iceland!) and Boarding passes are printed.
Who Cares About That… Where Are We Going On The Ship?

Here’s the Magic in the Med Map:


SPECIAL NOTES:
  • We are spending three glorious days in Barcelona before we board ship
  • Renee will be visiting the mammoth Vista Spa aboard on the first sea day
  • Sicily replaced our original port of call, Tunisia… for obvious reasons. I really had looked forward to seeing the ruins of Carthage, and stepping onto the African continent, but Sicily ain’t bad!
  • We get back at about 8 or 9 am (or earlier) on the last morning, but we’re staying one more day in a different part of Barcelona and flying the following day
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Old 06-12-2011, 02:31 PM   #5
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Maud & Ian – Ready for their own holiday!

The kids... ready for playtime at 'The Meadows'
One of our best friends said "when I die, I want to come back as one of your dogs"... They do live happy lives

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Old 06-12-2011, 02:37 PM   #6
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The Longest Day

It’s 6am, Day Of.
Coffee is made, luggage is packed, the car service arrives in a few hours. Our destination is Barcelona, Spain arriving at 7:55am tomorrow… that’s 20 hours from now, adjusting for time zones, and we won’t be sleeping upon arrival. So here’s to napping on the trans-Atlantic flight — yeah, right!
———– 9:30am
BOOO!
DL 94 JFK to BCN is currently DELAYED, departing terminal 4, gate B22
Maybe this will open up First Class opportunities?
——— 11:05am
Checked in at Charlotte, about 2 hrs till the first leg departs
——— 12:40pm
Now aboard the smallest aircraft in the world. 3 seats across 1×2 for a lovely 2+ hour hop to New York.
I think I know some passengers better than My wife at this point.
Closing the door
--- Arrived OK, No upgrades. The flight will leave 1 hour late
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Old 06-13-2011, 05:15 PM   #7
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Formal Night

Tonight is the evening of our first ‘Day at Sea’. We’re enroute to the beautiful island of Malta.


Tonight’s towel animal:


We would get different ones every evening with the turndown service, a briefing on our port of call in the morning (if there is one) and a few chocolates. Notice which of the Seven Dwarves is on the chocolate (hint: it’s NOT Dopey)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Since it was ‘dress up time’ there were pictures to be taken with the Master of the Magic, Captain John:


…and the Master of Ceremonies

Some of us just HAD to ham it up a bit!

This little item arrived during the dessert portion of the meal, it was cute!
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:05 PM   #8
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Enjoying your report. We leave Los Angeles in 22 days 23 hours and 9 minutes for our July 9 Med Cruise!

PA
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:21 PM   #9
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We are enjoying your report. We live in Matthews, NC and will be on the June 18th Med. Cruise.
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:26 PM   #10
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by ctldavis View Post
We are enjoying your report. We live in Matthews, NC and will be on the June 18th Med. Cruise.
Hope you didn't book through JFK for your flights... we had an absolute disaster on the return trip Charlotte (we live in Concord) that includes sleeping in the airport. I'm a few days away in the trip reports from those posts.

Have an exciting and wonderful time... we had the time of our lives!

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Old 06-14-2011, 03:47 PM   #11
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lovin the report!
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:22 PM   #12
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by PVA View Post
Enjoying your report. We leave Los Angeles in 22 days 23 hours and 9 minutes for our July 9 Med Cruise!

PA
How cool is that... July 9th is my B-Day!
Have a fantastic time!! (Malta should be quite 'toasty' by mid-July) They told us by August it get's into the 40's (105+F)
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Old 06-17-2011, 02:21 PM   #13
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Port of Call - Sicily

Our second port of call, this was a replacement for Tunis, Tunisia following the turmoil in that region in the early part of 2011. I was still disappointed
though we understood the reasons. I had really looked forward to seeing the historic ruins of Carthage as well as stepping onto the continent of Africa… rats!

We planned to do a whole lot of nothing today. There was not much that excited us to hop on a bus and go off to see and the weather was
spectacular (75F/24C and Sunny)


Renee did get off long enough to shoot some pictures near our berth in the port of Palermo,

There are. perhaps, more points of interest on the eastern shore of Sicily but this location was too far to visit Etna for instance..
Here’s a couple links that may be of interest to those on upcoming Mediterranean cruises:
Palermo, Sicily: http://www.cruisecritic.com/ports/newport.cfm?ID=159
Private Tours:
http://www.bestofsicily.com/sicilytours_shore.htm
http://www.prestigerent.com/palermo-port.phtml
All-in-all this was the ugliest, most industrial port I recall being in during the trip. We berthed next to a monstrous grain (I think) storage facility.

I really enjoy the smarty-pants humor Renee has.
She spotted the fact that the Disney Magic had berthed in a no-parking zone with 24-hour towing



Here, we can see that they need to get a bigger tow-truck. I think they
were trying to put a boot on the anchor until they could find one…




Since that didn’t seem to be working………


At about Noon, Captain John had to come on the public-address system
to advise his crew that they needed to be prepared to remain aboard for
safety inspections (that went over well <sarcasm>). We heard from some
sources later that this was very unusual to have to announce it publicly.
It turned out that the Italian authorities had popped a surprise safety drill
on the ship and were requiring all the port-side lifeboats to be run out and
for the crew to actually lower a couple away, crew them, drive them
about and recover them! While they have the authority to do this, it’s
really rare to call for it in such a fashion. We think the tow-truck incident
played a role…












“Downtown Palermo off the Port bow!”





:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Finally, late in the day as we departed, Renée did capture a couple very nice city scenes…
She does a lot of cool photography work with growing commercial success.
If you’ want to follow her work, become a friend of Renée Peoples Photography here:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Renee-Peoples-Photography/92744637355
“Do you have a Renée?”



As we sail away from the island, I say “Sorry” to those who may have
wanted more info about Palermo, Sicily.
If you have done any Port Adventures here before (or since) or you have
visited near Palermo recently, please post up a response or three… we’d
love to hear about your experiences, good or bad.

We’re off to the Italian mainland and the next Port of Call… NAPLES!! Sweet!
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:29 PM   #14
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Awesome! The pictures are fabulous. Had to laugh at the tow sign. LOL!
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Old 06-17-2011, 05:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenercam View Post
Awesome! The pictures are fabulous. Had to laugh at the tow sign. LOL!
"7days" egads we just left a week ago ourselves. You must be SO excited!!
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