|04-04-2010, 11:03 PM||#1|
Join Date: Mar 2006
Magic in the Mediterranean...Dicecatt & Dicedawg, the April 24th Voyage
This is my pretrip and trip report for our upcoming Med cruise on the Magic! I am writing a full blog (see below) but I will be discussing it a bit different with my fellow Dis folks, so I am beginning this blog today as well as saving some pages for future posts, for ease of reading.
Me: Dicecatt, age 35. I travel a lot for my job (self employed in the travel industry) and I LOVE IT.
DH: Dicedawg, age 46...manager at a casino and as I type this learning Italian on the Rosetta Stone program.
Cast to be left at home:
DD15: AKA Whiney, she is a high school cheerleader and a singer who will be most crabby at the restrictions on her while we are out of town
DD11: AKA Drama, she is a competitive cheerleader and so tiny she weighs the same as our 4 year old, but is a huge personality
DS11: Drama's twin brother, AKA Goofy...is going through a "what can I say that will be funny" phase. Most of the time he is not successful.
DD4: AKA Spoiled. That pretty much sums it up.
DMIL and DFIL: These two glorious people are going to stay at our house for two weeks to take charge of our brood while we are galavanting about the Mediterranean.
I've always wanted to use the word "galavanting".
A fabulous deal came our way the first week of February for this cruise. Dicedawg and I were planning a 7 day Med on a Princess ship in October for our anniversary. Our anniversary is coming early this year since we switched it to April, but we saved a ton of money and I'd much rather sail DCL anyway. We will not miss the casino as DH is in one every day and I have no business being near a roulette wheel. As a former dealer, I KNOW I will not win, but still play when I'm around one (which is not often).
So...cruise booked...Cat 11 GTY...and excellent, my business partner and her husband, and her parents, are joining us! Airfare to Barcelona booked ($830 r/t each, with only one stop in Philly), hotel for a night in Barcelona before the cruise booked (Hotel Curious, which made us think of Alice In Wonderland). Cabin assigned a few weeks later...YEEEESSSSS! Upgrade to Cat 6, all three couples, and we are all in a row of cabins. Life is good!
Next I'll be describing the excursions we are going to be doing, while at the same time "holding" that spot for the actual report of the port.
Our travel companions will be called Belle and Beau, and Belle's parents...they are also cruising with us. Belle is Caroline'smom on the Dis and a great friend.
For my full blog, go to this link: http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/Dicecatt/
Last edited by Dicecatt; 05-06-2010 at 09:48 AM.
|04-04-2010, 11:06 PM||#2|
Join Date: Mar 2006
April 23, Day in Barcelona
April 22, flying day!
We are at the Philly airport having our first drink, a peach bellini. Dicedawg ordered a drink that came in a really sweet pink color. His man card has been officially revoked.
Flight appears to be leaving on time! Our friends are with us, I will call them Belle and Beau, she picked the names obviously the bellinis are obviously working. Beau' taking one look at Dicedawg's pretty pink concoction and ordered a manly guiness.
April 23rd, arrival and Barcelona
It has been a wonderful day so far. sorry for no caps, i am at the hotel and this keyboard is not normal. our plane was 45 minutes late in taking off last night, because of rain, so we were about half hour late this morning, and arrived 9 am barcelona time. easy to get the baggage and get a taxi. our driver was very nice and helpful, and comunicated well with dicedawg who has a limited knowledge of spanish. i understood maybe 3 words. the taxi was 28 euro. we had a slight problem when we were close to the hotel...la ramblas was closed! It is (oops I just figured out caps) Sant Jordi day (St. George´s day) and there were lots of festivities. Girls give books to boys, boys give roses to girls, so there are people, books and roses everywhere. We had to haul our suitcases, thankfully on wheels, down La Ramblas to a side street to our hotel. Dicedawg left Beau, Belle, and Belle´s parents at the airport to exchange cash, and we walk in and they are already in the lobby! THEIR driver took them a different way and they got dropped off in front.
From coversation and some eavesdropping, there were at least 30 people on our flight that are on our cruise, including several DVC cast members (one sat in front of us).
We are staying at the Hotel Curious, a little boutique hotel that is a bit funky and retro, clean, with a great location. The views from the rooms suck, big time, but I really like the hotel besides that. Free use of their computer and breakfast for 116 Euro. They speak decent English and were very helpful. So much was right within walking distance.
The other 4 members of our party passed out. Dicedawg and I showered and left, walking up La Ramblas finally to the Barcelona Cathedral. One word: Magnificent. Just go. 10 Euro for the two of us.
Then we had lunch, I forget the name but I´ll post it later. We drank delicious Sangria, had meat and seafood paella, and bread with garlic, tomatoes, olive oil and vinegar in the Catalan way. It was wonderful. We sat outside and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was 56 Euro.
After, we tried to find Parc Geull or however it is spelled (one of the Gaudi houses) but were directed the wrong way by a local and ended up really near our hotel. Before returning to rest a bit we stopped by a shop and bought my two youngest girls flamenco dresses with heels and fans. Black with red polka dots, they are adorable. The dresses were 7 Euro, and we got two pairs of shoes for 17, and the fans were 2 for 5.
Not sure what we are doing yet tonight, we might pass out and not wake up
So far, this trip is incredibly magical.
Last edited by Dicecatt; 05-06-2010 at 05:36 PM. Reason: Added photos
|04-04-2010, 11:07 PM||#3|
Join Date: Mar 2006
We woke up at midnight, totally messed up in time. After about an hour we got back to sleep and when we woke we were suprised to see it was almost 9 AM! We got ready and went down to breakfast, which was cereal, bread, yogurt, bread, milk, and more bread. We then walked around a bit more and went into the fresh food market off La Rambla, it was amazing...we took such beautiful pictures of FOOD. It was weird how food made it so magical, but something about the locals, the freshness, the colors...it was really one of the best parts of our stay in Barcelona.
We checked out at noon. We had the front desk call taxis and we were off to port! Of course, the first site of the Magic was thrilling, by far the prettiest ship in port. We quickly dropped our bags with a porter, and were soon in line in the Castaway Club line. There was about a 10 minute wait, which looked to be about 30 minutes for first time sailers. It was about 12:30 and we boarded at that time with no wait.
Ate in Parrot Cay, and then rooms were ready. We LOVE our stateroom attendant, Shaka, whom Belle keeps calling Chakakan. In fact, every single CM has been fantastic.
I'm going to write more, a lot more, including my Dooney & Burke success, but Dicedawg and I are heading to Diversions to play chess and drink (more), so I'll have to make it later
Okay, I'm back.
We spent some time exploring our staterooms and then Dicedawg, Belle and I walked to the Promenade Lounge and ordered drinks and made friends with the bartender, Pio. Yummy pomegranite cosmo. Then the Disboard meet at 3 PM, had a great chat with Aunt Lynne, and a few more awesome people. The lanyards are so cute, we were really excited!
Back to the room our bags were there so we decorated our doors and unpacked. Muster was 5 PM
Directly after safety drill Dicedawg, Belle, Beau and I went to AuntLynne's room, she upgraded to a Cat 3 and much to my delight I got to photograph it, including its massive, Aft verandah (HUGE!!!).
We chatted for a bit and then left, Dicedawg was going for a body mass index thing at the spa and Belle and I went towards the shops which opened at 6. We stopped and chatted with the DVC lady, she sat in front of us on the plane, and Belle is a member so they bonded. We went to Treasure Ketch and there were the Dooney & Burkes. They said the large ones, all three sizes of them, were ALL out in the showroom, nothing in back. Not sure if that is true. They did have many wristlets, and brought more out for my perusal since I am buying 4 for disers that aren't cruising for a while. I bought the $160 bag and I LOVE IT, perfect placement. The CM was awesome (Nadia, she became my favorite merchandise CM for the cruise) and helped me choose good ones for the disboard people. Shocking price, I've never spent that much in one sitting at the gift shop!
After, we hung out in the room a bit, and went to the shops again because Dicedawg wanted to check them out, but a minute later the first show let out and the shops were swamped so we left to get ready for dinner.
Dinner was really good. Our server is Grisella, she is from Peru and married to a French server (Julien) that she met while working on the Magic! They even work in the same dining room. I had brushetta, crab soup, seafood rissotto and delicious mint icecream and some kind of pecan thing. Yumyummy.
Here is Dicedawg with another manly drink:
Head server Simone did confirm a couple of nights later that there were some complaints about the steak that night...mine was good but two others at our table did not care for theirs.
Then Dicedawg and I went to Diversions for some chess. I was doing quite well until I started getting tired then I pretty much gave him my queen with a stupid move and continued the dumb moves until I was trounced.
Till next time
Last edited by Dicecatt; 05-06-2010 at 06:03 PM. Reason: Added photos
|04-04-2010, 11:09 PM||#4|
Join Date: Mar 2006
April 25, At Sea
At Sea Day and Formal Night
We slept till 11 am jetlag has definitely taken a toll. We had brunch at Lumiere's and sat at a table with another Diser which was fun, purely by chance. The eggs benedict was very good, and I ordered the crab appetizer and added it to the eggs benedict.
We meant to go to the DVC presentation at 12:30 mainly to try to win the obc but breakfast ran over that time so we went to the shops until the next event.
At 2 we sat in a lecture held in the Buena Vista theater by Dr. Mark Rich about volcanos, Vesuvius in particular. It was very full so if he is onboard again I would get there early.
Next, there was a Vista Spa bingo with 4 cash prizes and 9 spa giveaways. Unbelievable but I won the last round, which was blackout bingo! $240 but split with another winner. Yay me! Dicedawg said he would not give me any more trouble over my $160 DCL Dooney.
Back in the cabin we ordered room service. I am bummed that they no longer have the Mexican pizza. Then we got ready for formal night! Dicedawg looked very dashing in his tux.
We had photos taken at the various backdrops set up on deck 3 (this is added later...ALL of our DCL formal photos were terrible) and then went to Diversions to play The Wheel, which is basically Wheel of fortune. We rocked the first phrase which was "To be or not to be that is the question" but our luck ended there. Although we ALWAYS knew the answer before the two other teams, we got two skip turns, one bankrupt, and 100 and 200 spins while the other teams kept getting 1000 spins.
There were three teams. Our team of 4 also had an honorary member, a helpful lady that came in late. Another team was a group of women that had not even wanted to play, and ended up wiping the floor with us! Then there was another team made up of fellow Disers. There was also an inebriated man that kept shouting out the anwers and he was not on a team. He did that several times despite all of us yelling "Whoa stop" everytime he began to speak. His wife kept shushing him. In the end the winning team shared their prizes with all three teams which I thought was classy.
Next up, Palo!!!
Palo was absolutely excellent, and our server, Dobi, outdid herself. We began with many appetizers. Beau and I ordered the shrimp "salad" which is not salad like at all. Dicedawg and Belle ordered calamari, and we also got two pizzas...one that Dicedawg ordered and another Dobi thought we needed. The lemon sherber pallete cleanser was yum, and then the flood of entrees began.
And when I say flood, I mean it. Dicedawg and I ordered the filet with gorganzola cheese sauce but she also brought out two grilled scallops for me and two other pasta dishes for Dicedawg. Belle got the special, carbonara, and LOVED it. Beau could not decide between the filet and tuna. He ordered the tuna but she brought him a "side" of filet! It was amazing. I have ordered the filet two other times with the red sauce but the gorganzola is better!
We all preordered the chocolate souffle because it takes so long to make, but Dobi brought out three more desserts just for good measure.
The chocolate souffle was unbelievably good. Dobi told us to put our faces down and have a "chocolate facial"
We also laughed hysterically like little kids over crossing our eyes at each other and flaring our nostrils. We are SO grown up.
In this one, Belle and Beau are demonstrating the weird pose one of the DCL photographers put them in:
Apparently, both Dawg and I when we cross our eyes, only one eye crosses, it was pretty hysterical.
Yes, to clarify, we were at PALO, the adult only venue.
Dobi also took us around and showed us the party room and the pizza ovens.
Last edited by Dicecatt; 05-06-2010 at 06:24 PM.
|04-04-2010, 11:10 PM||#5|
Join Date: Mar 2006
April 26th, Valletta, Malta
Time for Malta! I excitedly recorded our arrival.
City looked very old to me right off the bat, like a city from another time; weirdly like Egypt...not much green and plain buildings with big square windows. They had people playing music to welome us, it was lovely!
We went to the Walt Disney World theater to meet for the Blue Grotto Tour and Fishing Village and soon we were on our way! Too funny that sitting behind me was Grlzmom whom I'd been anxious to meet as we had been corresponding by email. Our guide was a young Maltese woman and was excellent. It is a very timeless city...it feels like people are doing the exact same thing today that they did a couple of hundred years ago.
The blue grotto tour was wonderful! Very organized, and the grottos and crystal waters were amazingly pretty. The boats held up to 8. We saw small jellyfish, small fish, and white sand at the bottom.
First, we stopped for a view from the top.
Then the tour:
Then we went to the little restaurant for a drink and snacks. We were encouraged to try Kinney, the local soft drink, which we did. I believe Belle's exact words were "it tastes like fried a*s in a can" and she was not far off. The snack was interesting. The bread with tomato sauce and what I think was tuna was pretty good. Also very large beans and a big pile of something grey. The boys ate the grey stuff. I took a bite but did not finish.
We had a small bit of time in that village where I bought a handmade table runner for 10 Euro. There are some awesome table clothes, napkins, and runners both at the village where the tour is held and at the market at the fishing village. Here is a Maltese ice cream truck:
Then we went to a fishing village which was adorable. Malta felt very safe and friendly. We took a lot of pictures of the little fishing boats and shopped a bit. They let us sample local treats, and we bought a limoncello gellato. They had awesome table cloths, runners and napkins. Not pressuring sales tactics either.
The excursion was excellent and a good value, I recommend it highly.
We rested for a long time back on the ship and then dinner was at Animator's Pallette. We just adore our serving team. Dinner was very good. We also really like Simone, the head server...he is very friendly. They brought us a "Happy Anniversary cake" which was awesome.
This was sort of a quiche and it was really good.
After dinner Belle went to bed and Beau, Dicedawg and I went to Rockin Bar D for the Danny Buckler show. It was absolutely hilarious, he did a great job. He chose Beau for one of his tricks and it was both teriffically funny and amazing.
After the One Hit Wonders began and was really fun, I actaully danced! People were chosen to guess what a song or artist was when a song began and those that were correct got a shot! I had three, yum. The CM David was a riot.
Last edited by Dicecatt; 05-06-2010 at 07:14 PM.
|04-04-2010, 11:10 PM||#6|
Join Date: Mar 2006
April 27, Tunis, Tunisia
Here is Shaka, enjoying the view of Tunis:
Pulling up to Tunis was very different than Malta.
The look is very different, but the welcome was just as welcoming, if not more so. There were two sides to the welcoming party although they started off on the wrong dock and then had to run over to the right one which was funny because camels were involved.
Debarkation was a bit late. We had to fill out forms that were left in our stateroom the evening before and turn them in as well as show our passports. Our tour was Carthage and Medina, and first we went to Carthage. On the way the guide was very knowlegeable and educated us in many things, including the history and politics in Tunis as well as the culture. Basically every time there is an election, the same president runs against himself almost always, and his photos are everywhere...but much younger photos of him, it was kind of a giggle. Egypt was like that too...old president but you'd never know it by their dapper photos from their 40's.
Carthage was very cool. It was fun to imagine what it would have looked like with the columns all intact. Our guide was excellent and filled us in on the history of the place.
Here is the view from Carthage of the Magic:
Here are some pics of Carthage and the Roman baths:
Belle, enjoying some posing time with a statue:
Then we drove to the medina and the fun really began. Having been to Egypt I knew what the souk would be like. We chose to have on our own time instead of going with the guide and the four of us walked through, sticking to the main strip and not going off the side. We stayed on the same main strip of the souk because you can easily get lost. Dicedawg bought a pair of sunglasses after the salesman basically chased him down the street. Price began at 100 Euro, he bought them for 10 and they broke in a day. I bought a few little jeweled camels, a couple of nice inlaid boxes, and a few very cheap necklaces. Belle bought a couple of pashminas. Other cool things were chess sets and bird cages.
To be successful in a souk, you have to do a few things. Mainly, keep good humor, as most of us are not used to the high pressured sales tactics used, and it can be intimidating, annoying, and maybe even a little scary. Also know that you must bargain if you have any hope of getting a good deal. They start out with prices incredibly inflated, hoping you are dumb enough to pay it. My rule of thumb that worked well both in Egypt souks and in Tunisia is begin your counter offer at about 75% of what they start with. Just remember that this is how many of them feed their families, and that bargaining and those sales tactics are a way of life for them. Just go into it knowing ahead of time that you WILL be annoyed. Another tip is to not get annoyed when they say things like "hey California" and "Obama". They think that is flattering to Americans. If aggressive shop keepers call out to you just ignore them or say "la shakran" which means "no thank you" in Arabic. Be prepared, they might even pull on your arms.
One lady on another Disney bus actually yelled at one salesmen, and stood their fuming, bright red, for a while while waiting for her guide. I thought it was pretty funny actually...I felt like telling her to get out of THEIR country if she didn't like it. No need to yell at them.
At the meeting place after about an hour of free time we were ready to go.
The excursion ran a bit over, was closer to 5 hours. Back on the ship I had a massage appointment, Dicedawg won 30 spa credit in a raffle and I used it for a much needed massage, the concrete-like bed in Barcelona wrecked my already always sore back. Denice was my therapist and it was easily one of the best massages I have ever had.
I didn't realize that she used hot stones until after it was done, it just felt like hot massage oil. It was totally relaxing.
Then I went back to the cabin and found a note in my fish extender, telling me I was on a scavenger hunt and I needed to go to the computer lab and look at user 10 and "keyboard fun". What??? So dicedawg and I went and looked, but he basically had to point at the computer, because, well, I'm slow apparently...and I asked the woman using it if I could check under the keyboard.
There was another note telling me to go to the "service of guests" and to "hurry". So I went to guest services and asked if they had anything for me. The CM was quite confused but finally found an email with my name on it.
The next one was something like "shop for treasure" so I headed to Treasure Ketch and Nadia handed me an envelope. That one said "wrong shop, the other one". So I went next door and the next envelope said "your favorite bartender.". Well, that would be Pio at Preludes but he was confused and knew nothing abnout it, even trying to hand me another, empty envelope. The assistant bartender had it! "Go to dinner". Argh. Seriously??
Almost time for dinner at Parrot Cay and when we got in I asked Grisell and she kind of winked. "Dinner" arrived in the form of a covered dish holding a present and a card. The card was from my wonderful husband thanking me for doing great work planning this trip, and the present was the Cinderella's carriage charm I had loved in Treasure Ketch. He said happy birthday (which is in May).
Then Griselle brought a birthday cake!!! It was very cool. Grisell's husband Julien came over and told Dicedawg he was not happy because he is making other husbands look bad, and that he would be "waiting for him when he gets off the ship.". So funny. I had no idea I'd be celebrating my birthday on this trip, lol.
To sum...the tour was a good tour...the guide was great, and it was interesting. I am not in a hurry to go back to Tunisia. And by the end of the day I was weary with being in a big tour group on a bus and thankful that my next several tours were private (small, up to only 8 people) tours...I had enough waiting for other people, especially those that don't know what a watch is. Tunisia and Malta were my first ever Disney excursions and like everything else Disney does, they do the tours well, I was impressed.
Last edited by Dicecatt; 05-08-2010 at 06:29 PM.
|04-04-2010, 11:12 PM||#7|
Join Date: Mar 2006
April 28th, Naples, Italy
We ordered room service the evening before, which is always a nice wake up call. We were a group of 8 for a private tour I set up through Marcello Maresco, and our guide was to be Marco. We were joined by Belle and Beau, Belle's parents, and 2 other nice Dis board members, Sue & Bill. We found Marco right away waiting with a sign. He spoke excellent English and was extremely knowlegeable, I HIGHLY recommend Marco.
Soon we were off. I get motion sickness so thankfully I sat in front with Dicedawg. I was wedged against the stick shift which at times was annoying but I would have been barfing if I'd sat in back.
Our drive was through Sorrento, Ravello, Positano and Amalfi, and the word that comes to mind first is WOW. It is stunning; magical. All the houses built in stacks in the hilltops were just charming.
This little gazebo is on the property that used to belong to Jackie O...and the locals really respected her because she declined to be taken up by helicopter, instead climbing the steps that the common people used to get up to that village. Marco said she was considered "one of them".
This one was a funny story...the house, belonging to an American writer, was left to disrepair. There was an offer of 8 million Euro offered to the owner, and he turned it town. The Italian government gave the man 3 years to get the house into good condition...and he didn't, so they seized it, and sold it to a Russian businessman for 2 million Euro. It is now being renovated.
This is a hotel that costs thousands per night for one room:
There were tiny villages so high up; Marco said it takes 14000 steps to get to one of them and there are NO roads. I cannot even imagine a number like that. I tried counting how many steps I have in my own house and dividing it to figure out how many normal staircases that makes, but I claim motion sickness instead of poor math skills for the reason I couldn't figure it out. Okay, okay, it was poor math skills.
During our drive we stopped at a ceramic factory were I bought some really cute stuff; a lemon candle holder and a plate, wall hanging octupus and seahorse, and a few other items. There were some gorgeous things including fruit bowls that looked better and more real than real fruit. The awesome fake fruit bowls topped $400 in price, but really were works of art. I also purchased address numbers on dark blue background with lemon borders, to put on my house. There were lemon trees everywhere so my thought is I will think of Amalfi when I pull up to my house and see those numbers
We stopped at a fruit stand and sampled tomato spice which was so good we bought five packets of different versions. The lemons there were as big as my head! They also gave out tastes of their excellent olive oil but we did not buy any since it would be too hard to get home.
We were starving, and we did not have lunch until about 2, but it was well worth the wait. Perched high up on the hill in Amalfi was a farmhouse where we ate lunch. Two groups were there before us, Marcello and his group of 5 which included Diser Skoi and her two children, and another one of Marcellos's guides with a family of 4. They brought out food right away, and we had antipasta, fantastic buffalo mozerella, Pizza with amazing crust, red and white wine, gnocci with cheese, another pasta and a few other things. For dessert we had limoncello and melloncello along with a few different desserts including a seriously dripping rum soaked cake. Basically it was rum, with a little cake.
Marcello was there taking care of us during lunch and was explaining some different food customs. The rain began towards the end, and the smell of rain and grass and the sea was just an incredible combination. The rain, rather than hampering our tour, added to it; it was magical, being so high up in the mountains with that amazing smell of rain, and the sea as a backdrop. I brought ponchos with us so we were able to protect our bag and camera while dashing to the van!
Onto Pompeii, the rain lessened. Drivers in Naples are suicidal I believe. Just insane! There are no discernable road rules and every driver is agressive, sort of a crash-or-be-crashed mentality. It was the worst of the three Italy cities, although Rome wasn't much better. Florence was more civilized.
When we reached Pompeii it was still raining a bit but stopped a few minutes into our tour. We had arranged for a private guide inside (100 Euro), and he was extremely knowlegeable, taking us to the most important places inside. First we saw an ampitheater, and then onto the first main street. The size of Pompeii is staggering; it was no little village, it was a very large city. We saw the casts of the people frozen in time by the ash, and even a dog.
We saw several brothels, one that has head impressions in the stone bed, and another with very colorful and, um, descriptive frescos...our guide said it was a menu, lol. The head impression in the stone "pillow" was rather disturbing...how do you wear down a piece of stone with a head?
There was one single villa over 27000 square feet in size which must have belonged to someone very high ranking. The ruins appeared to be exactly what they were, a place that people dropped what they were doing and left everything, trying desperately to escape.
We did not make it to the archaeological museum, there just was not enough time. Pompeii was truly unreal...one minute it was a thriving metropolis...the next minute, it...wasn't.
Back onboard, we skipped dinner. We were very, very tired...and I was kind of cranky
Last edited by Dicecatt; 05-08-2010 at 04:38 PM.
|04-04-2010, 11:12 PM||#8|
Join Date: Mar 2006
April 29, Rome, Italy
Our port was Civittavechia, so Rome was actually over an hour away. We were touring with Belle and Beau, and Postman and Happy Goofy from the Dis. We were quite a nice group of travelers and spent Florence together as wel.
Our driver, Carlo, met us at port. He was from Rome Connections and was very good. Driving into Rome we could see ancient buildings all over...just in the middle of every day life.
First, the colloseum. WOW. At first glimpse you won't see the sheer size of it. Until you get right up on it, then you realize not only it is massively sized, but an archaeological feat, especially all those years ago.
You must GO IN. Our guide tried to say that most of the inside is gone...but we are so glad we went in. You can see the tunnels where gladiators and animals prowled, waiting for their slaughter in the arena. Close your eyes and you can imagine the noise from ancient times. It probably smelled absolutely awful, and the "entertainment" held there was truly disturbing, but the Colosseum to us was almost spiritual...especially to Dicedawg, who was really feeling his Italian roots.
Next we went to Circus Maximus. It is hard to imagine what it looked like as today it is just a big field.
Above it is the Emperor's palace, and we saw the pavilion where great Roman Emperors sat and enjoyed the chariot races, including Julius Caesar himself. We drove by the site of his murder, although there is not much left of the building, just a few pillars. Next we went to the Forum, which was outstanding. We only had 15 minutes there but could easily have spent a couple of hours, it is just amazing.
The Spanish Steps were extra pretty, decked out with flowers, which apparently only happens at one time of year:
Trevi Fountain was extremely packed. We did toss the obligatory coin. Our guide said the meanings are:
1 Coin means you will return to Italy
2 Coins means you will get married
3 Coins means you will get divorced
4 Coins means you are poor because you threw too many coins
We threw one...we have every intention of returning!
The Pantheon was magnificent. We expected it to be cool, being as old as it is...but what was completely unexpected was the interior. I thought it would be like the outside:
Awesome, but in some disrepair. The inside was amazing...probably the biggest surprise of the day.
We did not make it to the Roman Catacombs; the Vatican just took too much time.
We hired a guide for the Vatican, so we would see the best and not wait for it. Our guide was very knowledgeable and made a point to explain concepts and reasons behind some of the artwork.
She also thoroughly explained the meaning behind the artwork in the Sistine Chapel. It was unfortunate that people were talking and taking pictures in the Sistine Chapel. The guards kept shushing everyone, and saying "no photo" but the voices would lower for a moment, and then grow back to huge proportions a few minutes later. I felt the Chapel would have been quite spiritual, but many of the other tourists there treated it like they were looking at Dumbo...not that Dumbo doesn't deserve respect too, but I thought perhaps they should be a little more aware of their hideous behavior in a place such as the Sistine Chapel. I was feeling decidedly unChristian in that chapel, because I felt like smacking some people, and hard.
St. Peter's Basilica was spectacular. There is a "prayer only" chapel with no photos or noise, which was great.
Once back on the ship, I collapsed at 7 PM and did not go to dinner. Dicedawg did, but I didn't wake up until morning. Oh, wait, I did. My phone finally decided to work, and it rang in the middle of the night with my travel insurance rep calling me to discuss when he can hold a webinar for my agents. I was like "Umm, it is 2 AM here in Rome, can I call you after May 5th?" I didn't find it funny at the time but it is now.
Last edited by Dicecatt; 05-11-2010 at 05:45 PM.
|04-04-2010, 11:13 PM||#9|
Join Date: Mar 2006
April 30, La Spezia, Italy
Florence & Pisa
Port was La Spezia. We tendered in for the first time. I thought we had to tender in Tunisia but they have a brand new area for the ship to pull right up. The tender process was relatively painless…those without DCL excursions had to meet at the Buena Vista Theater to get tender tickets. We were on the second tender and arrived at the dock when we were supposed to meet the guide. It was a larger tender boat by far than the ones in Villefranche, which meant waiting while they filled it up, but it wasn’t bad.
La Spezia was quite cute!
We booked a private guide through Romeinlimo, and spent the day with Happy Goofy and Postman again, as well as Belle & Beau. Our guide, Mary Clara, was very nice and we enjoyed her as a guide. The vehicle was much larger than the minivans we were getting used to, but the driving seemed more civilized in Florence so it wasn’t as scary…I thought perhaps a larger vehicle would be harder to navigate but it was fine.
The drive was quite long, but very pretty. First we went to Pisa, just for a quick stop. We mainly just wanted photographs, and originally thought that we would skip Pisa entirely so we could maximize Florence. I’m glad we stopped there, though…it was really incredible. We were very baffled as to how the tower is still standing at all, it appears that it will topple at any moment! We did the obligatory picture with the hand holding up the tower, but it made me look chubby so that photo will not be included in this blog!!!
As you can probably tell, I love “sunlight” photos:
We also went to see the little known “other” leaning tower. Here are photos through the car windows, sorry about the glare:
On to Florence. All along the drive we saw the beautiful Tuscany, with rolling grassy hills, quaint farmhouses, crops, and animals here and there. On the way to Florence it was too foggy to see the marble quarries, but on the way back we saw them, it looked like snow! I didn’t get photos because of my position in the van but if Belle’s turned out I’ll post some in the future.
Arriving in Florence, we climbed through streets in an amazing park area with houses, trees, and people out enjoying the beautiful weather. Up at the top, we were treated to a magnificent view of Florence. You can see the Ponte Vecchio bridge, which was first built in Roman times and rebuilt in the 1300’s after it was flooded.
I love these pictures of Dicedawg:
Here is the Basilica Santa Croce:
And the Battistero di San Giovanni with the famed bronze doors:
Here is the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, or the Florence Cathedral:
Next we went to Acadamia to see David. We had an appointment at 2 PM, and only had to wait a few minutes. The building which houses David is relatively nondescript, and even had graffiti on it…you would NEVER know what it protects inside.
No cameras were allowed (although I saw some people sneaking them and the guards yelling). The corridor leading to David is filled on both sides with partially completed works by Michelangelo. I can’t imagine how long he worked on each one, and then decided it wasn’t good enough so it was abandoned. They were particularly fascinating because it really showed how he carved them out of one giant block of stone or marble.
David was breathtaking…I choked up a little…magnificent. Absolutely huge, I had no idea that the statue was so large. And PERFECT. Veins, muscles…all clearly defined. Knowing that I was looking at the original, well, it was actually kind of spiritual!
The Palazzo Vecchio was quite interesting, with its square filled with artwork. The copy of David here pales in comparison to the real David.
We saw the Ufizzi galleries but didn’t go in; that could easily take a whole day.
Mary Clara was very panicked about time towards the end, but it was unfounded, as although we met with some traffic we were still back on board by early evening and the ship wasn’t leaving until 9 PM.
I am going to continue the evening including a few pics from La Spezia in the next post, because I am out of room for photos in this one.
Last edited by Dicecatt; 05-12-2010 at 11:02 AM.
|04-04-2010, 11:14 PM||#10|
Join Date: Mar 2006
May 1, At Sea
Continued La Spezia:
Upon arrival to La Spezia, we walked around a bit hoping to find some shops, but we didn’t find the main square although I have a feeling we were really close.
Views of the Magic from the tender boat:
Onboard, we found a gift from Shaka on our white board…he loved to mix up our name magnets into interesting words:
Onboard, we decided to try to get into Palo…they asked if we could come right away and we said no, 15 minutes, we needed to clean up and change, but they gave us 8:30 PM instead which was perfect! Dicedawg and I ate alone this time, and requested Dobi, and once again she was wonderful.
Tomorrow is a Sea Day, thankfully, because we were exhausted!
May 1st, Day at Sea
Whew. Did we need a day at Sea! Five intense port days had an impact, and we really need a day “off”. I did get up at a fairly reasonable time, because I wanted to do the “Making Memories: A Scrap Booking Party” at 9:30 AM. First Dicedawg and I had breakfast at Lumiere’s, which was by far our preferred breakfast spot. The scrapbook event was held in Animator’s, it was just okay. They gave each participant a couple of cool pages to take with them, but I am not in a habit of hauling my scrapbooking stuff around with me, so I made one page with no pictures and left.
I got the brilliant idea of trying to surprise Dicedawg with SOMETHING, especially since he did that cool little scavenger hunt for me. So I headed to Treasure Ketch and coerced Nadia into helping me. We schemed, and came up with the plan that she would call him and tell him he won a raffle, and all the raffle sheets would say “Sunglasses” and then she would pull out the sunglasses I purchased for him, along with a note from me. Sunglasses are significant because he ALWAYS looks at designer sunglasses, but will never buy a pair. Ever. I bought him some for his birthday and he returned them; he looked at them the whole cruise, and even Beau bought a pair. Then in Tunisia, the ones he bought were crap and they broke right away. So I thought to surprise him. Good idea, right? Wrong.
So, I got back to the room and we decided to go up on deck 10 and relax on some lounge chairs, reading and drinking (good plan). Before we left, I saw the message blinking. Glad I listened instead of handing it to Dicedawg, because Nadia botched it; she said “Catt, please come see me. Dawg, you’ve won a raffle, come see me. Catt, I need to talk to you.” Sheesh. So I tell Dicedawg that he won a raffle (which he believed, because he won one at the spa too) and that he had to go to Treasure Ketch at 1:30.
We got to deck 10, and I told Dicedawg I was going to get drinks, and I hauled tail to Treasure Ketch. Nadia said that she wouldn’t be back from lunch until 2, so make it 2:30. Okay.
Right before I left our lounge chairs, I reminded Dicedawg to go to Treasure Ketch at 2:30. He said “I thought it was 1:30?” And I said “No, 2:30.” Again, sheesh.
I went to the DVC presentation at 12:30. The drawing for $300 OBC was a rip off, because they had a little girl next to me choose the name, and she just pulled the top sheet out. The sheets were long, laying on top of each other, in a bag. Not mixed up AT ALL. Even the child’s parents were irritated. The winners? The jokers that strolled in 10 minutes late to the presentation and had the very last form in the bag. I am normally quite happy for winners, but that really aggravated me…the CM standing there (almost in front of me) looked like she wanted to put the sheet back in, she KNEW that was bogus. Oh well. I didn’t think I would buy DVC anyway, being a TA, it doesn’t make sense for me, but weirdly the drawing put me off completely. Also, their videos are out of date…they still have the Artist renderings of Bay Lake. If I have pictures of Bay Lake, so should DVC!
Next up, I went back to the room to try to rouse Dicedawg for the 2 PM Disboard meet at Studio Sea. No luck, he was not going to get up. I reminded him to go to Treasure Ketch at 2:30.
The meet was fun…I met Disneyfalcon and it was great talking to her, as well as Dispete, and saw a few others like Happy Goofy, Postman, Auntlynne, Skoi. The buffet was really nice, and they accidentally gave us a bunch of free drinks before they realized they weren’t supposed to and stopped.
After, Michelle and I went out to the chairs by the DVC desk and chatted business, it is always nice to talk to someone in the same line of work! Susan, one of our tour mates for Naples, came by and said Dicedawg was in the Jackpot bingo, wondering where I was. I told her to tell him I wasn’t coming, as my presence would jinx us since I already won once that cruise
I really wanted to do the Martini tasting, but it was at 2:30 and just wouldn’t work.
So after Bingo, Dicedawg and I found each other, and he laughed about his “raffle win” and told me that Nadia messed it up further by telling him that he was the last one to come in, but then he wanted to see more papers and she said “there are more people coming”. LOL. He loved my note, which said “bonus gift of an awesome wife, nonrefundable”, but the sunglasses? THE WRONG PAIR. And they were out of the right ones! Sigh. I’m so done with the sunglasses.
Another thing I wanted to do the whole cruise was see Disney Nature: Oceans. Never happened, the timing was always bad.
Dinner was good, as usual. It was at Lumiere’s, and it was Villains Night! And no, I did not go see the show! Yes, I know, I should have. We just aren’t show people, and although I love the Villains, I didn’t want to waste my time since the reviews have been so bad. The menu items had cute names.
At 10:45, we saw Phil Keller’s magic show, and because of my irritating (I mean darling) husband, Phil chose me to go up and help, I felt like the world’s biggest dork. He was very good.
Last edited by Dicecatt; 05-12-2010 at 01:45 PM.
|04-04-2010, 11:16 PM||#11|
Join Date: Mar 2006
May 2, Ajaccio, Corsica
Corsica: It’s ALL About Napoleon
Today was our “Planned Unplanned Day”. To purposely not plan is a challenge for me…I am a planner, through and through. Not having a plan made me nervous. Our “plan”, if you could call it that, was to check out the town. Probably because of that, and because we had rain to deal with, Corsica wasn’t a great port day…it was okay, and it is a very pretty island, but we definitely did not make the most of it. However, that was kind of a good thing, because we were still tired from five intense port days in a row. We spent the morning in Corsica and were back on the ship by around 1 PM.
The rain hadn’t started quite yet when we got off the ship. Of course, that was the one day I forgot our ponchos onboard. We did receive a very nice welcome:
Next to the musicians there was a stand with information about Corsica with a nice little informational book, free. Make sure you grab one, they were really nice.
We went up to a desk that appeared to offer tours involving sea animals, but the girl at the booth spoke zero English. No one speaks English in Corsica, so be prepared for that! We walked over to where there were a few outdoor cafes and got what I guess was kind of a continental breakfast. It was 6.5 Euro each, and included a hot drink (tea or coffee) with pastries. Please note, apparently in Corsica, it is entirely acceptable for the waiter to rummage through your bread basket with his hands to show you what type is in there.
We spent a bit eating and reading the information that we picked up, along with the Med book Disney leaves in your stateroom as a guide. It started raining a bit…I suggested going back to the ship to get the ponchos. “It won’t be that bad,” says Dicedawg. Umm, okay. It proceeded to rain the entire rest of the day, and as the crappy umbrellas we found were 12-15 Euro, we just got wet. I carried ponchos with me every day, except of course the day we REALLY needed them.
Napoleon is EVERYWHERE. Truly, not much doesn’t involve Napoleon. Which is great, if you are into Napoleonic history. Me, not so much.
Here is the church where Napoleon was baptized. Mass was going on but we did step inside, it is very pretty…much prettier inside than out. Dicedawg motioned me to follow him and to leave, stepped out, and at that moment a tour group of about 50 came in through the door and trapped me. I thought that was extremely in poor taste for them all to come in, seeing as it was in the middle of mass and they made quite a ruckus, taking pictures and whispering to each other. Bad tourists!
As you can see, there was also a homeless guy camped out right next to the doors of the church, with two dogs. Very strange, considering that mass was actually taking place inside. It was the only homeless person we saw the whole day. The guy actually walked away, leaving the two dogs snoozing right there.
We decided a good way to see the town would be to take the little train ride around. There were two…one for 45 minutes, and a longer for 1 hour and 30 minutes. We chose the longer, but since no one spoke ANY English, we didn’t know until after we bought the tickets that the train didn’t leave for an hour (it looked ready to leave but that was the shorter tour).
We figured out about 10 minutes later that it wasn’t our train, and walked around. More shops that expected were open, it was Sunday so we thought everything would be closed, but we shopped a little. Didn’t buy much; a red coral necklace for Whiney, the Corsican representation of luck. There were a LOT of little Napoleon figures for sale, and Napoleon coffee mugs, snow globes, ect. Did I mention it is ALL about Napoleon in Corsica?
There were a lot of cool buildings to look at on the train ride, including a really neat looking cemetery that had it not been raining, we would have returned to and explored.
There was a casino that we had discussed going to, but forgot until we were already back onboard, and by then we were lazy. And it was still rainy.
We decided after the train ride to go through the little fruit market that was set up, although a lot of vendors were already breaking down for the day.
Back onboard, we tried to go to Lumiere’s but it closed at 1:30. We were there at 1 and there was a line that was about 30 minutes long…I don’t do waiting, so we went up and grabbed wraps and sandwiches from Goofey’s Galley, they have a really good Brie & Bacon sandwich.
We took some photos from deck 9:
You can see the decks were empty, the rain wasn’t that bad but made it chilly and wet so there was hardly anyone out.
Then we just relaxed. Can I note at this point that Disney really needs more shows on TV? I was truly sick of repeats of Desperate Housewives and Lost.
We did go to Diversions for some Jenga and another awful game of chess in Diversions; Dicedawg had never seen Jenga before. I drank a couple of apple martinis and took one for the road (Animator’s being the destination).
Dinner was great as usual. I was quite giddy for some reason…maybe the apple martinis had something to do with that...it was a really fun night. We were seated next to Grzlmom and Brooklyn and they were also giddy…must have been something in the Corsican air. They engaged in marshmallow fights and tipped us into the fact that we could ask for real butter, so we harassed poor Trevis and asked why we weren’t cool enough to merit real butter. I was encouraged by them to try the Drink of the Day, which was, what else, the Napoleon. It was quite good, so I had another. After dinner we headed to Rockin’ Bar D where Disco Legends rocked out, I could have easily done at least an hour of Disco but alas, it was only 30 minutes. It was so fun, and we all danced and drank some more…
Much to Dicedawg’s (and my own) surprise, I was NOT hung over the next day.
Last edited by Dicecatt; 05-13-2010 at 07:40 PM.
|04-04-2010, 11:16 PM||#12|
Join Date: Mar 2006
May 3, Villefranche, France
Today we are doing a private tour with Nice, Eze, Monte Carlo and Monaco.
Villefranche was even cuter than La Spezia. It was completely adorable. We tendered into Villefranche. The boats were smaller than La Spezia, and the water was rougher, so it was kind of a bit roller-coaster-ish walking down the stairs to the tender boat.
These delightful pieces of art were in the port building.
We met our driver, Michel from Revalation Tours, right outside. He was exactly on time, and we were excited it was Michel himself, as we requested him but it wasn't certain who would be our guide. He was absolutely wonderful and I would recommend him to anyone!
We were touring with Belle & Beau, another couple from the Disboards, and a woman that joined us spontaneously the morning of the tour. Everyone was very congenial, and it was a great tour group!
First we went to Nice, where we strolled around a little outdoor market. We found a present for DMIL, which was an antique teacup and saucer set, the saucer was very unique, it has a lip on it for a teabag and was very cute.
Some of the prices were outrageously high, but there were a few bargains to be had.
we drove up to a very high spot and took great photos of Nice below
On the way to Saint-Paul, the view became even more gorgeous. The houses in this village were spectacular. Michel drove us past an elementary school where there was an actual Chagall mural, donated by the artist, and there right outside for all to see, next to kids playing kick ball.
Entering the absolute adorable Saint-Paul, we were welcomed by a canon. The stone streets were small in width, and were surely built when people and donkeys were the only things that walked them. This village was my favorite part of the day...the shops were quaint and cute, and the artist shops were amazing. Merchandise did not come cheap, but browsing was quite enjoyable. We only spent an hour, but could easily have spent at least half a day here.
The cemetery in Saint-Paul is worth a visit. Chagall is buried there, but the cemetery itself is really cool...the view is stunning and it is really worth a stroll.
Monaco is an amazing little country. Very, very small, there is more wealth in this tiny little fingertip of a town than anywhere else. Monaco itself is mostly charming, while Monte Carlo is excessive. It was being set up for the Grand Prix. We drove on the racing circuit, and then when we got home we watched the Grand Prix!
We walked around the shopping area, and bought a few things like a tshirt for Goofy with a race car. The shops mostly held the same things. We went to a deli and got yummy sandwiches, I love how they flatten and heat them. Then we got gelato...our last gelato of the trip! I love lemon gelato.
There was "interesting" body art displayed...half skin, half no skin.
I think the cost of just these yachts alone could feed an entire impoverished country for years. While I enjoyed Monaco, the sheer excess got to be too much.
The Monaco cathedral is gorgeous, and worth a visit. Princess Grace and Prince Ranier are buried inside.
This photo shows the entire country of Monaco
Land is worth a LOT in Monte Carlo...so people make the most out of every square inch. Like growing grass on top of buildings.
Here is the Grand Casino:
This is an elementary school with the playground on the roof. I would imagine that these kids probably have parents that could buy just about anything they want.
All around, bleachers were being constructed in anticipation of the Grand Prix.
We went inside the Grand Casino, but didn't go inside the main casino. Not only was it very expensive just to enter, but there was also a tour bus of at least 50 people buying tickets to enter, so we just looked around and left.
Hot cars were pulling up to the front...This lamborghini was driven by a kid no older than 25 with a girl that was clearly either a model, or wanted to be one. We saw a lot of "interesting" women in Monte Carlo...stick insect thin but no amount of plastic surgery has enhanced their faces. Not to be mean, but we saw as many butter faces as we did overpriced cars.
Even the taxis were Mercedes.
While I am happy I saw Monte Carlo, I am not in a hurry to go back. It was truly excessive, and the people that live there shop at Fred and Louis Vuitton like I shop at Target. I found it a bit disturbing that so much wealth was spent on, well, nothing.
Continued in the next block, I've maxed out the number of allowed photos in this one.
Last edited by Dicecatt; 05-17-2010 at 11:37 PM.
|04-04-2010, 11:17 PM||#13|
Join Date: Mar 2006
May 4, At Sea
Continued Monte Carlo & Eze:
While I am happy I saw Monte Carlo, I am not in a hurry to go back. It was truly excessive, and the people that live there shop at Fred and Louis Vuitton like I shop at Target. I found it a bit disturbing that so much wealth was spent on, well, nothing.
While I preferred Saint-Paul over Eze on the whole, Eze was still quite charming. The shops are a little more spread apart, but climbing to the top of the hills takes you to a great view; we could even see the Disney Magic!
We found an adorable little French dress for 20 Euro for Spoiled, and we ran into Grlzmom. Then, although we thought we had our last gelato in Monaco, that turned out not to be the case when we spotted another gelato shop in Eze!
Then we headed back to the ship. The whole tour was splendid. The driving was more civilized on the whole than Italy, although we had a few scary moments on streets that were surely never meant to be driven on by motorized vehicles. We had one close call where we turned a corner and another car was coming right on top of us, and a few different times, Michel had to back up so another car could get through the narrow streets.
Michel was an excellent guide. He talked throughout of history and facts of each area, and answered questions readily. His English was superb, and we enjoyed every minute of our day.
Next time, we'll spend more time in Saint-Paul, and we'll visit Cannes.
Back onboard, we relaxed a bit and got ready for dinner. It was amusing because Griselle and Trevis were both disturbed when we informed them we would not be attending the character breakfast the next morning. None of us brought children, and I'm not interested in experiencing a character meal without the kids, we missed them! So they entertained us with the fun napkin hats they would have made us in the morning.
After dinner, we just retired...it was a long and fabulous day, but we wanted to begin packing a little and relax for the rest of the evening.
May 4, Day at Sea
The whole trip has been amazing...tonight is our last night onboard, and it was sad to say goodbye to everyone...Griselle, Trevis, Shaka, Pio, Dobi...all of our favorite people onboard! Tomorrow we have a pretty horrid day ahead...Debarking at 6 AM for the first bus to the airport, and a 10:25 AM flight.
Today we had Palo brunch and had some excitement...The weather was CRAZY today, huge waves, and a crane came a bit loose and looked nearer an nearer to breaking the windows at Palo right near our booth. The pole kept swinging closer and closer to the window.
They finally moved us when they realized that it was getting too close for comfort and a bunch of officers went out in the gale and tied the thing down.
The brunch food was excellent…Belle ended up leaving before she could eat anything, the sea sickness just got to be too much for her. We stuffed ourselves silly.
What I had planned to do and what actually happened was two different things. We had meant to go to the Final Jackpot Bingo, and to try to do Martini tasting. We wanted to play more games, and see Disney Nature: Oceans. What actually happened?
I spent most of my last day sleeping because it was psychotic, you couldn't walk anywhere and most activities were canceled, we heard SO MANY plates and things crashing, including a housekeeping cart when it tumbled over. So many plates broke that they brought more in from the crew dining room. It was wild! A lot of sick people today. The crew said it was the worst tossing since the 2007 TA crossing. I was just thankful it was today and not on one of our other days...we had rain in Corsica, but not too hard..a bit in Naples but it just cooled off Pompeii and made Amalfi neater to experience if that is even possible, and a bit of rain towards the end in Villefranche when we were in Eze.
I went down to deck 1 to the infirmary to have them look at my massive bruise that I got in the van in Villefranche (to make sure I wouldn’t die of a blood clot on the flight home) and the rocking seemed worse…I know that supposedly, the lower decks are more stable, but it didn’t seem any better down lower.
After a while, things settled down…the captain kept us all informed throughout the process, and told us he was taking us into the storm with the goal to re-route and get out of it, which is exactly what happened. It was nasty for a while longer and then when I woke up from my nap, it had calmed down.
We packed everything and made sure we had clothing for the next morning, and left the bags outside, while we walked around the ship for the last time of the trip.
Dinner was good but sad to leave our awesome serving team. We did not see Shaka that night to give him his tip, but we left it in the room the next morning, so unfortunately we didn’t get to say goodbye to him. We made a point to praise all of them highly in the comment card.
Last edited by Dicecatt; 05-16-2010 at 10:24 PM.
|04-04-2010, 11:18 PM||#14|
Join Date: Mar 2006
May 5th, Debarkation and on our way home
The next morning, we were supposed to go to Rockin' Bar D to await debarkation. However, there were people standing right by the door on deck three, so I went over there and asked if they were waiting for the bus and they said yes. Turned out, I was really in the wrong place, because those were people with the uber early flights, but when a CM asked me if I could go to Rockin' Bar D I said no...Dicedawg had wandered off and I had all of our carryon bags, so she told me just to step back. Oops. I'm actually glad we weren't in Rockin' Bar D, because Dicedawg went there in search of coffee, and said it was a madhouse, with no organization and no other types of drinks, just coffee. He said a group of people just set their carryons right in the doorway and stood there talking, while no one could get through, and were completely oblivious. I didn't personally see it, but that oblivion set the tone for the entire day. We were on the second bus out to the airport, and there was no traffic getting to the airport. The airport was chaotic, and the gate changed and we didn’t know it. Then the plane was switched, and many people were bumped from the flight. It was the single most unpleasant flight experience I’ve ever had.
It was like everyone had just been let out of a cage (or a mental institution) and went totally berserk. First, there were crabby elderly bullies behind me yelling at us for putting our seat backs back (even though their own were back too) the whole 9 hours and telling me to shut up when I tried to explain I couldn't just put the seat back "a little instead of all the way", requiring me to involve the flight attendants who looked completely shocked that these people were harassing us in such a manor. Every time we got up they'd push our seats up. Their bellies were apparently too large to put their tray tables down when our seats were back, but the people in front of us had their seats back, and the elderly crabs didn't care that we would be completely cramped if we sat up. As long as they had more comfort, they would have been happy. I suggested if they wanted more space, they should have paid for first class. I told the flight attendent that she had told me to "shut my mouth" and the woman declared "yes, yes I did!" Sigh. The people in front of us heard what was going on, and put their seats up, and the flight attendant begged us to put ours up just to keep the peace.
At the end of the flight Dicedawg said to them "I sure hope we are on the next flight with you, maybe we can sit in front of you again, you've been a real pleasure." Snicker.
More fun was to be had on that flight. There were folks who decided to do stretching exercises with their heads in front of the television screen and their rear ends sticking out. I said "folks" because there were SEVERAL of them, completely obvious to the fact that instead of watching "two and a half men" on the screen, we were all watching their backsides stretch.
There were the two parents walking their adorable toddler up and down the row, then standing next to the emergency doors letting the little cutie pull on the bar. That seems smart.
Then, on the flight from Philly to STL, there was a guy who at first glance didn't appear to be a nut, but spent over 2 hours clicking glass beads together. Loudly. The WHOLE flight. Then, when it was my turn to get out of the seat, when I reached up to get my bag from above he said "c'mon c'mon c'mon" pretty aggressively. At that point my husband stood up and got in his face and said "back off, do not talk to my wife like that" and kind of with his body made the guy back off since he was nearly on top of me. I said to the guy (keep in mind I am NOT a rude or aggressive person, I have a smile on my face most of the time) "you are the most annoying man I've ever seen. You just spent 2 hours annoying the hell out of everyone on this airplane with your freaking beads." He said "oh, is that right?" and I said "yes, what else do you do with those beads, Jacka*s?" And walked off. Later at baggage claim he was still twirling and clicking the beads.
Seriously, what the heck? All the crazies were out in full force. All day, my favorite phrase was "are you kidding me?". Just completely oblivious. I told my husband if he ever gets that annoying, I will tell him, and he must promise me the same.
Last edited by Dicecatt; 05-16-2010 at 10:27 PM.
|04-05-2010, 06:48 AM||#15|
Awesome setup! I'll follow along as you post. Thanks in advance! I look forward to reading about your adventures.
DVC Members since 2003: 7 Disney Cruises and Counting: AP holders
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