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Old 07-03-2013, 03:53 AM   #76
pharmjenn
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Originally Posted by gotomu212 View Post
That wraps up the Transatlantic portion of the trip. I need to take a little break while I head out to the Badlands for a long weekend. But, STAY TUNED because up next Barcelona (the whole Back to Back experience), Monaco and Monte Carlo (those people were the worst), Florence and Pisa (we get lost from the group), Rome (the eternal tour), Capri/Sorrento/Pompeii (the day I finally flippin lost it on someone), last sea day (I catch the bubonic plague), Barcelona (again), and the long flight home. And if you think hilarity ensued during those sea days just wait until we hit land again!
Great report. Can't wait to hear about Barcelona next. Enjoy the Badlands, and we will be waiting for your return.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:00 AM   #77
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Looking forward to part 2.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:59 AM   #78
jedijill
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Have a great time in the Badlands!

Can't wait to hear about part 2 of the report.

Jill in CO
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:32 PM   #79
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I'm loving your trip report
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:47 PM   #80
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Looking forward to Part 2!!
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:00 PM   #81
MomoMama
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I really enjoy your trip report!

Limbert was our server too. We said good-bye to him the day you got on the ship. He brought us extra plates of dessert too... he was great!

Looking forward to the part 2!
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:40 PM   #82
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Your trip report was great, hilarious. I love traveling and reading about traveling. I have just recently booked a 4 night on the dream, our first cruise ever. We have been to WDW many times and Disneyland Paris but never DCL. As I am obsessed with traveling and travel planning I have now decided we need to go on all of the DCL itineraries, including a transatlantic, even though I don't know for sure that we will even like cruising as we have never been, haha.
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:06 PM   #83
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Barcelona 1.0

Day 16
June 1

Did anyone wonder what happened to me?; worried I fell off Notch Trail in the Badlands? (Side note that almost did happen.) I just got so busy and kind of forgot I hadn’t finished this. Then someone commented on my old report yesterday, and I felt bad for not finishing. I don’t know if the report was helpful for anyone, but at the very least maybe I can entertain a few people with our zany week in the Med.

So when we last left off, we had just completed the Transatlantic cruise. Our luggage was mostly packed, I was a little seasick (probably from the fish at dinner), and we went to bed.

We woke up with Barcelona outside the window! Our shore excursion met at 7:45 so we were up early. Carlos ran up to Topsiders to grab a breakfast tray, while I randomly and chaotically threw our last unpacked items into bags resulting in this lovely conversation “uh Deann have you seen my socks?”, “oh I packed them”, “well that’s a problem”, “do you have to wear socks?”, “seriously? Yes I do”, “why don’t you wear your sandals?”, “because I don’t want to”, “okay well figure it out and um not quite sure where I packed your sandals either”. Carlos was not speaking to me by the time we met our friends in Sessions for our tour that went to Montserrat and then dropped everyone at the hotel Disney.
We got our numbers and followed the tour leader out through the atrium, past the big white hands, and into the port. Customs was really easy since we didn’t have any bags. Carlos got into a long discussion with the official in Spanish and there was lots of laughing by the official (Carlos may have been trying to get them to keep me; I have no idea but apparently there were no takers) and we went out and got on our marked bus.

(Just FYI for those on similar B2Bs. There was an option for all B2Bs to meet as a group at 9, disembark together and reboard by 10:30. Since we’d been aboard for 2 weeks I didn’t feel like an extra 3 hours on board was worth it for us.)

Montserrat is an Abbey about 40 minutes outside of Barcelona. It’s a really pretty drive out into the hills and then you see one hill that’s not like the other. The name literally means serrated mountain. The bus drove us to a little train. It was a 15 minute ride straight up the side of the mountain. This site is really cool. It’s a working abbey and a tourist spot, but it’s also very lively with the locals. We saw a lot of hikers, bikers, and rappellers. We got a quick overview from the tour guide and she handed out “refreshment tickets”. This was apparently a very big deal because she mentioned it on the bus, then waiting for the train she told us to make sure we got our ticket, then she showed us where the cafeteria was, then at the end when we were regrouping she asked several times if we had used our refreshment ticket. Thinking that this magic ticket must buy us something incredible I was disappointed to know we could get a bottle of water or small soda with it.

The Abbey is home to the Black Virgin which is a statue of a black Virgin Mary that was discovered in a cave near the Abbey several hundred years ago? I’m not sure I have all the facts straight. The Abbey people were very excited about it, they told us we had to see it and that we should get in line now because it was so short, and like sheep we all ran over and got in the line without really knowing what we were going to see. The line was 20 minutes long, but you were suppose to be completely silent for the entire time. Believe it or not we were able to keep two 5 year old boys silent for the whole 20 minutes while in this line. My question is why couldn’t the 70 year old couple in front of us shut up? We got some good silent chuckles out of watching the boys stare at them and make disappointed frowny faces while pointing to the silent sign. When we got up there the statue was there with a little glass cut out where you can touch her. I’m not catholic, but you know when in line for a religious icon, do as the Romans. Carlitos and I touched her and moved along. Carlos, who is catholic, did some sort of thing, and then proceeded to take a lot of pictures. Afterwards we went back to the front of the cathedral and there was a local drum/dancing group associated with St. George there. It was the first time they had performed at the Abbey. It was amazing to listen to them and watch them proceed into the Cathedral, and it made me imagine what Cathedrals used to be like when they were the center of a town and not just a religious house.

After sitting through a little of the service we left to walk around. The area has hiking paths and bridges and we found a really nice quiet courtyard with a fountain a little outside the Abbey walls. It was really peaceful and we relaxed for a few minutes before we remembered our refreshment tickets and ran off to see what kind of magic elixir awaited us. With our Dasini water in hand we noticed a local farmer’s market with the most incredible cheese ever. I didn’t think they would let us take it back on the ship or I would have bought a gigantic wheel. As it was we got multiple samples at each little tent. We met the bus and drove back down to Barcelona on a little city tour.

We were dropped off at the hotel and went out on the street to hail two cabs. Our friends were a little worried not speaking the language on how to get to the ship. Carlos was giving them the Spanish translation. I thought that was overly complicated and came up with a couple of pantomimes on “we (point to group) need to go to boat (water/wave signs), Mickey boat (two giant ears on your head plus the water/wave sign), at the Port (whistle noise). Carlos rolled his eyes at me, but then we all got a laugh when the driver spoke Barcelona’s catalan Spanish and couldn’t understand Carlos. My hand signals saved the day- until the driver said I speak English. Oh never mind.

We checked back into the ship in Port and were onboard by 2:00. We all went up to Topsiders for lunch. The energy on the ship is weird for back to backs. After being on board for 2 weeks, we had the drill down. The newbies were a little confused in line, had to double back for stuff, wandered the room looking for a table. They were excited but also a little harried from having to get to the ship and everything that goes with starting a vacation. It was just a little jarring for us and I felt like I should be more enthusiastic about the little shrimp.

After lunch we went to check out our new room. We had moved from the veranda down to Deck 2. I couldn’t really justify the veranda when we were going to be off the ship so much. As an added bonus our room was right over the freight entrance for baggage. You read the stateroom reports and always think people over exaggerate the noise issues in their rooms. These people had not. It was normally fine, but when they were bringing luggage on or off it was insanely loud. The last night when we got into Barcelona I was dreaming over and over of thunder.

We unpacked and then Carlitos and I went up to Deck 4 for the going off party where we were met with an infestation of ladybugs. Carlitos thought it was awesome. After the going off party, Carlitos and I decided to go to the show while Carlos relaxed in the room. Carlitos fell asleep before the show even started. I could not wake him up to save my life and considered asking for medical help as this was clearly some kind of coma. Instead I carried him from the third row all the way back to the room in heels (and oh thanks lady that jumped ahead of me into the elevator and then didn’t hold the door open- that was nice of you).

After 30 minutes in the room, he was still passed out so Carlos carried him to dinner with us. We put two chairs together and laid him out; he didn’t even stir. The other little boy passed out within 2 minutes too, so our table kind of looked like Jonestown. We were in Animator’s Palette. We had the same table and same assistant, but now we met our new server Sana. He was excellent and so nice; although I felt a little bad for him. It’s like showing up to a party that’s been going for several hours. You’re super psyched and ready for fun and everyone’s like “oh you should have been here 2 hours ago when Brian did the worm, we’re all kind of thinking of moving on soon.” I think he was constantly worried we weren’t enjoying ourselves and we were always saying no you’re great, it’s us not you.

I got the ahi tuna appetizer (good), butternut squash soup (good), and the mushroom risotto (good too). I ordered the sundae without the walnut cake or other nut and then we carefully instructed Sana on our Trio experience and how Limbert always had one for each of us, except one night and we had to recount that story while our assistant said “oh that night was just terrible wasn’t it Mrs.). Sana promised that he was on it. The boys slept through the entire meal.
Carlos lugged Carlitos back to the room….where he promptly woke up and told us he was hungry. Of course. We ordered him room service and passed out.
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:46 PM   #84
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So glad you are back to finish up! I'm still chuckling at the Jonestown comment. Hopefully the magic refreshment tickets weren't for the purple koolaid.

Jill in CO
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:24 PM   #85
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I just found this today and read from start to finish. I am so pleased you came back to fill in part 2 of your trip.
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:28 AM   #86
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OMG, it was fun!!!! Cant wait for more....
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:46 PM   #87
gotomu212
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Warning- This day is a little boring

Day 17
Sunday June 2nd

Today we were sailing into the Gulf of Lyon. The seas were really high, but because we were basically surfing on the waves there wasn’t much rocking. We were up at 9, trying to start a trend of waking up before lunch. We grabbed a quick breakfast and stopped by the Port Adventure desk to book a Barcelona tour for debarkation day. This time it was just for us (sad face) but it was still overly complicated for some reason. It worked itself out though.

We walked around Deck 4 for awhile but it was a little too cold and windy. We were really killing time until the Castaway Club reception. I know, I know we had just been to one the week before- but there’s cheap champagne and cookies! This time we got to stay long enough to hear about the updates planned for the Magic (spoiler there’s an Aquadunk and the rooms are going to leak during the first few cruises. Just kidding).

We dropped Carlitos off at the Kid’s Club and told him to soak it up since our port intensive days were about to start. Carlos and I went to the Florence and Rome lecture. It was actually a cool overview of both cities and got us excited about going. Fun fact did you know they are actually straightening the Leaning Tower of Pisa? It’s not as lean-y as it used to be. I’ve been to Italy before (I went the summer before my senior year of high school with my older sister who lived in Germany with her army husband. We did an Italy tour with an USO tour group which included a couple of single army guys- let me tell you that is the way to see Italy!! I was pretty sure this visit would be a lot different…for everyone’s sake I guess it better be.) The France lecture was scheduled an hour after the Florence/Rome one so we chilled in the room for an hour and then went back to be edu-macated. This one wasn’t as good. That should have been some foreshadowing for us.

Carlitos wanted to stay in the Club where he was involved in high stakes Uno. My kid is a ringer with the Uno. An hour later he was out, and we went up to enjoy the pool. It was much warmer and we spent the rest of the day relaxing and sipping the cocktails (well only I was sipping the cocktails, you know pool safety, Carlos needed to stay sharp. To be fair every time the drink guy came by I forgot to order Carlos a drink, then Carlos would look over and say hey where did that drink come from? Did you grab mine? I’d say oops. It’s amazing how many times this happened).

Tonight was formal night, yet again, so we went down to get ready. We went to the ventriquest show tonight. It was actually really funny and a little racy. At some point the Captain made an announcement that we were going to arrive in Villefranche tonight around 10:30 for a medical emergency.
Dinner was in Animator’s. I got the blue cheese and walnut cake which was just okay, the coronation mixed leaves-my notes here say it was “hard to eat” but I have no memory of this and can’t imagine how leaves could be hard to eat unless they were like maple leaves. Sorry that one’s going to be a mystery. I also got the butternut squash pasta which I loved the week before but this time it wasn’t as good. To be honest all the food was slightly off from the week before. Some of that could have been food fatigue on our part, but they also switched out a bunch of galley crew too. I also got the Auroa Sundae which my notes say was weird. I guess I didn’t take very good notes this night.

After we finished dinner we were anchored at Villefranche. This is a tender port and you anchor pretty far back from the shore. The shore lights were all on though and it was really beautiful. They were just starting the anchor and evacuation process which took about 45 minutes. I stayed out enjoying the air and the lights and more and more people came out to watch what was going on. It was actually kind of sad and I felt bad for watching afterwards. It didn’t look extremely serious (clearly we were taking our time here) but to see the family with their suitcases and I’m sure they were scared and worried and their vacation had taken a turn, anyway I wish I hadn’t watched I’ll just say that..

I went back to the room to meet the guys and we went to bed early for the next 4 days of early morning excursions. Carlitos has decided to also keep a journal on his post it note pad he got for an FE so that was fun and as a bonus our room is being wall papered with post its that say things like “swimming”, “mouse”, “ice cream”.
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:55 PM   #88
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We are so glad you are back!! My husband and I have really enjoyed your report. Thank you!
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:14 AM   #89
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Thanks for coming back to finish! Love your report and we will be doing the B2B this May so can't wait to see what you did for Med excursions.
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:53 AM   #90
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Thanks for coming back to finish! Love your report and we will be doing the B2B this May so can't wait to see what you did for Med excursions.
I want to know that too.
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