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Old 07-15-2013, 10:25 PM   #1006
MinnieDiva
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Your glass broke too???? My dad fixed mine for me. He found a framing place and got the glass replaced for $5. Unfortunately, the top part which looks like corrugated plexiglass is cracked. Nobody will see that but I was positively heartbroken when I excitedly took it out of the box to show my parents what Disney had given us...only to see it damaged.
DH took it today to get it fixed...$16. But...good as new! My corrugated part survived intact..
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:15 PM   #1007
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Kusadasi

Kusadasi narrative and pictures are up.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:49 AM   #1008
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Kim and Mindy,
You gals have done a great job in recapping and offering tips and advice from your experiences! Loving your reports and pictures.

Quote:

Here's a picture of where we all had dinner that night.

We ate here on our post-cruise stay in BCN.
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Ending the holidays ~ January 3 - 6 ~ Saratoga Springs
Girlfriends Trip ~ February 25 - 27 ~ Grand Floridian
Spring Break ~ March 16 - 23 ~ Animal Kingdom Kidani Villas
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Blogged our B2B Mediterranean Cruises 2013

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Old 07-16-2013, 07:34 AM   #1009
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I walked over to Mindy's DH and (as the guide seemed drawn to him for some reason) and told him to deal with it as apparently a woman wasn't going to be able to convince him. His tactic? Told the guide that there had been a bad carpet incident in the past and that if he went there he'd never hear the end of it from his wife. HAHAHAHAHAHA!! Totally worked.
hahahaha... I love him. So quick.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:33 AM   #1010
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Villefranche: June 16, 2013 Tendered Port

We had an 8:30 meeting time in Rockin Bar D. So did a thousand other people apparently. We got there right on time and the 8:15 excursions were still being dealt with. To say this morning was unorganized would be an understatement. It took us until nearly 10 to get off the boat and onto a tender. Not sure why exactly this was an issue this morning, but we were all worried about the following day when we would have to tender but on our own, not as part of a DCL excursion. Yikes....


It was an early night as we had to get up early for another tender. Our Navigator had a special insert with info about tendering in La Spezia. It gave clear instructions to meet in the Buena Vista theater with your entire party starting at 0745. It was a relief to see that there was a specific process in place...

The tendering in Villefranche was much improved on the Venice cruise but still takes a long time. I wondered if it was long because it was a Sunday. On the Venice cruise, there was another ship also tendered - we were there on a Friday. But it was ridiculous that first day! Because the tendering took so long, most of the tours left late and then returned late. There was a DCL CM on the pier telling people what their dinner options were for those that had main seating, that's how late they were running.

La Spezia was a dream for tendering compared to Villefranche. The only issue with the larger tenders is how long it takes you to get back on the ship once the tender gets to the ship. The Magic ported in La Spezia the next week and I meant to check yesterday to see if she ported or tendered this week.

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Later on in the cruise during a sea day, it was our host that was doing the class in the Promenade lounge. He was so helpful...the first night we were onboard we'd mentioned needing wine glasses and an opener, and they were in our room when we returned from the show!!
I love that your stateroom host gave your DD her own private towel folding class - it's magical moments like this that keep us sailing with DCL!
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Girlfriends Trip ~ February 25 - 27 ~ Grand Floridian
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:35 AM   #1011
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Kim and Mindy,
You gals have done a great job in recapping and offering tips and advice from your experiences! Loving your reports and pictures.

We ate here on our post-cruise stay in BCN.
Thanks Cindy. It's kind of fun to recap it.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:41 AM   #1012
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hold for La Spezia: June 17, 2013

I want to say that the drive was maybe 45 minutes. Stefano was our driver, not an official "guide" (you'll eventually get to the dissertation about the difference later on if you keep reading my diatribe), but we ended up finding out that he was the best kind of driver....a local!! He LIVES in Lucca!!!

We headed from Lucca (the walled area) thru the greater Lucca area. My DH had really gotten into asking about the local foods and wines, and it turns out that Stefano had his own little bit of land he did a bunch of growing on. He took us thru his neighborhood....to a store so that we could get bread (he shopped there!), and took us to a restaurant that he frequented....we were the ONLY tourists there, The lunch was FABULOUS!!! And cheap! It ended up being maybe $10E per person!! We had wanted to do a winery tour as well, but as we'd been advised to do 2pm Pisa tickets, the timing was all off. So a word of advice....press the email contact and whatever agency you use to actually consult with the driver/guide to get their input as far as timing. We seriously considered blowing off the tower.....but the kids were there with us and we supposed it wasn't all about the parents. Right??
That's one of the great things about booking private tours - that you can adjust on the fly if you want or need to. We had a similarly great experience with our Rome in Limo driver (not guide) for our day in Rome - local and knew all the non-touristy places to take us once we had seen what we wanted to see on our list (which was short). He booked us a table at a non-tourist restaurant for lunch near the UN building where "the working people" go for lunch - it was fabulous and we hadn't even talked about doing something for lunch - I had thought we'd just grab a snack and go. Then when we got back to the port area that day, he took us to his DD's favorite gelato shop. And yeah, sometimes those pesky kids get in the way of our adult
spontaneity But how cool it is to be able to say you've climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa
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Ending the holidays ~ January 3 - 6 ~ Saratoga Springs
Girlfriends Trip ~ February 25 - 27 ~ Grand Floridian
Spring Break ~ March 16 - 23 ~ Animal Kingdom Kidani Villas
Hawaiian Vacation ~ June 9 - 15 ~ Aulani
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:43 AM   #1013
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hold for Civitavecchia: June 18, 2013

Ahhhhh.....Roma!
The first thing our driver told us this day was that we were not going to Rome but to Roma!
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Girlfriends Trip ~ February 25 - 27 ~ Grand Floridian
Spring Break ~ March 16 - 23 ~ Animal Kingdom Kidani Villas
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:44 PM   #1014
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Hold for Athens: June 21, 2013

The walk wasn't bad, but I can imagine that my poor dad was looking at it in dismay. But up we went, with our guide telling us in detail about what we were seeing. This was the best part....it wouldn't have meant as much (to me) without the narrative! It turns out that she was an Athens native. She opted to take us up the opposite (back? less traveled?) side...her rationale was that it was less crowded.
I saw your group heading down while we were heading up and wondered why y'all were going against the traffic - makes sense. And I agree - some places really do need the narrative and having a well-versed guide is even better than having a pre-recorded audio-tour.

On our way down, we saw an ABD kid who got separated from his group in the masses.

Your photos are GREAT!
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Ending the holidays ~ January 3 - 6 ~ Saratoga Springs
Girlfriends Trip ~ February 25 - 27 ~ Grand Floridian
Spring Break ~ March 16 - 23 ~ Animal Kingdom Kidani Villas
Hawaiian Vacation ~ June 9 - 15 ~ Aulani
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:53 PM   #1015
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I saw your group heading down while we were heading up and wondered why y'all were going against the traffic - makes sense. And I agree - some places really do need the narrative and having a well-versed guide is even better than having a pre-recorded audio-tour.

On our way down, we saw an ABD kid who got separated from his group in the masses.

Your photos are GREAT!
We saw the same kid. James, the ABD guide, came flying down to get him.
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:50 PM   #1016
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We saw the same kid. James, the ABD guide, came flying down to get him.

Yikes!!!
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"Dreamy" 15th Anniversary TR!:
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:20 AM   #1017
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Mykonos narrative up!!!
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:33 AM   #1018
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hold for Mykonos: June 23, 2013
As we finished up the tour, we were herded back to the boat. Before we boarded, they collected the electronic device thingie, but we could keep our 1-bud earset if we wanted. LOL! Yes...only one bud.
We had a few tours that came with just one bud. I think in the future, we'll be bringing our own earbuds to use with their devices as half the time they didn't work well, and the size of the earpiece irritates my ear. For our tour in Florence, DS's earbud fell apart and the guide didn't have any spares, but one of the other guests was using her own so she gave him the tour-issued one. I kept one set of earbuds for my smash book.

Quote:
We were dropped off at the town port, as opposed to being let off at the old port to go back to the ship. Dad headed toward the buses to get shuttled to the boat, but the rest of us decided to have some lunch and wander. DH took the lead and led us off the main drag. We found a GREAT restaurant (with wifi) that had.....get this.....a pet pelican!!!!! Those are large birds, let me tell you!!! This bird wandered into the kitchen after wandering over to one of the staff for petting. The chef had to head out of the kitchen with a fish to feed to the pelican to keep it from getting underfoot. You had to wander thru said kitchen to get to the bathroom and I do have to insert here that the whole place was very, very clean.
We saw the pelican, too! I thought about walking around with him and holding a cup out to charge tourists a euro to take their picture with him (LOL). After all, I'd paid a euro to take my picture with a camel in Turkey the day before (hee hee).



Quote:
After we ate, we just wandered. There was no rhyme or reason to the street layout, but then again I'm a bit directionally challenged. We ended up over by the famous windmills and got our pictures!! After this we headed back toward the shuttle buses. We ended up seeing more friends at the beach on our way back...their kids were having a great time!! DD was a bit jealous......she wanted to go swimming....
We ran into so many people in port that day - it was fun to see everyone after having had such busy port days in Athens and Turkey. I told DH that Mykonos was my favorite day at that point in the cruise. We wandered those streets, too, and around 11:30 one of the shop keepers stopped us and asked if we were with the Disney cruise - and where were all the people? We told them that we knew a lot of folks were going over to Delos in the morning and that those who weren't would be over soon - since it was DCL's first stop there and on a Sunday, I think they were concerned about whether it was worth having their shops open. By the time we came back around from the windmills, the area was packed with people. Mykonos is one of the ports I would go back to for a land-based stay.

Looking forward to seeing your photos of this beautiful island.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:38 AM   #1019
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Mykonos pictures up and narrative edited a bit!!
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:08 PM   #1020
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We ran into so many people in port that day - it was fun to see everyone after having had such busy port days in Athens and Turkey. I told DH that Mykonos was my favorite day at that point in the cruise. We wandered those streets, too, and around 11:30 one of the shop keepers stopped us and asked if we were with the Disney cruise - and where were all the people? We told them that we knew a lot of folks were going over to Delos in the morning and that those who weren't would be over soon - since it was DCL's first stop there and on a Sunday, I think they were concerned about whether it was worth having their shops open. By the time we came back around from the windmills, the area was packed with people. Mykonos is one of the ports I would go back to for a land-based stay.

Looking forward to seeing your photos of this beautiful island.
I have been following along from the beginning on this trip report but haven't commented. I just wanted to say that my husband and I went to Greece for our honeymoon 15 years ago. We spent a week on Crete, 5 days on Santorini, and 3 days on Mykonos. We LOVED the Greek Islands. I would highly recommend going back for a land based stay. We stayed near the main town on Mykonos and rented scooters for our stay. We drove around the island and found a completed deserted beach one afternoon. Greece is a truly magical place!
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