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Old 08-20-2013, 06:25 PM   #1036
tajz90
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Originally Posted by liberty6201 View Post
I know what red solo cups are (thank you Toby Keith!) but what cups did DCL used to use? Is it a massive change? I would have guessed on disposable cups anyway? I'm more concerned that they are running out of food/ drink and not bothering to replace it ..... Might have been different if our cruise was discounted but we paid just as much as every one else!! I'm just a bit wary because I've heard attitudes of staff are more 'meh' too, and was there much stripping of decor etc? Tbh out of order restrooms don't really bother me , ill just go elsewhere! But if the attitude is 'we won't bother fixing it bc we have dry dock coming up' that concerns me more
Well I don't listen to country music, but I do know the brand. DCL uses Disney branded disposable cups and yes, they totally looked out of place. The coffee cups ran out too. Food seemed to be plentiful and we never noticed soda running out, but we don't drink a lot of soda. I noticed more that the ice machines kept running out and / or needing to be worked on.


And the out of order restrooms were growing as our sail days went on. Just general upkeep seemed to be lacking and believe me, it's hard for me to admit that because WE LOVE DCL, but I do think the attitude was "no reason to fix" because of dry dock.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:47 PM   #1037
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We just got off the Magic from the Aug. 10 sailing (still fighting jet lag). Here are my observations:

The drink cups were DCL branded, not red solo cubs, whenever I went to the drink counter.

There were definitely signs of wear that I think would have been fixed if the dry dock was not happening in a couple of weeks. One example was torn wallpaper in the Ladies restroom near the theater.

We were in stateroom 6618. On the second day, I was walking in bare feet in front of the bathroom and the carpet was squishy, but not too much. We mentioned to our room steward and he got some towels and mopped up. But it didn't fix the problem, so my husband called guest services. Nothing happened, so I went down there about 11 p.m. and told them the carpet was soaking wet. The night guest services manager came to our cabin, called the desk manager and said, yes, there is a problem but since it's almost midnight, we'll have someone come about 9 a.m. Fine, we said.

(FYI, my husband is an insurance claims adjuster. He said there was obviously a leak in the plumbing and the leak had to be addressed.)

A maintenance guy came -- at midnight! I told him please come back in the morning. By noon, nothing appeared to have been done, so I went to guest services again. The incident had been closed since the maintenance guy came the night before, and our room steward tried to extract the water, but it was just as wet. They attempted to extract and dry and again my husband stressed there is a leak.

Another deck manager came, and told me that our bathroom had been refurbished already last week ahead of the dry dock and perhaps some water had been spilled and it was leaking out. It was not until my husband talked to him that he understood there was an active leak. They finally fixed the leak, extracted the water and dried with blowers and we had no further problems (and got a complimentary bottle of wine from guest services).

BUT... the hallway a couple of doors down was soaked for about 10 feet. Obviously, there was a plumbing issue.

What I think was more apparent was the staff was stressed by very full ship and demanding customers. In the dining room, you couldn't converse at dinner, it was so loud. Dinner was not a pleasurable experience because of it -- you just wanted to eat and get out. Likewise, in the theaters, the audience was very rude and very loud. Maybe it's a cultural thing but when the cruise director was giving his introduction before the show in the evening, the people around us EVERY NIGHT did not shut up. They continued to converse in Spanish while the CD was talking. Kids behind us knocked our seats. The dad translated through the entire performance. One lady rocked the back of my chair in time with the songs. On the last night, the CD gave his intro in both English and Spanish to try to engage the audience more.

One waiter said the 4 day getaway cruise before ours was "a complete disaster," and he couldn't wait to get through the next two weeks.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:20 PM   #1038
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Several washers and dryers were broken and never fixed our entire 12 night cruise.
That sucks. We were on the June 1 and on deck 6, a few of them were already not working too well. Someone on another TR mentioned GS drying jeans for her granddaughter.


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Originally Posted by tajz90 View Post
Just general upkeep seemed to be lacking and believe me, it's hard for me to admit that because WE LOVE DCL, but I do think the attitude was "no reason to fix" because of dry dock.
That is *such* a shame. This Med trip is such a major "trip of a lifetime" for many and that attitude (and for the cost of this cruise) is really not acceptable. I hope you guys pointed it out on the comment card.

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Originally Posted by texasgirl29 View Post
BUT... the hallway a couple of doors down was soaked for about 10 feet. Obviously, there was a plumbing issue.

What I think was more apparent was the staff was stressed by very full ship and demanding customers. In the dining room, you couldn't converse at dinner, it was so loud. Dinner was not a pleasurable experience because of it -- you just wanted to eat and get out. Likewise, in the theaters, the audience was very rude and very loud. Maybe it's a cultural thing but when the cruise director was giving his introduction before the show in the evening, the people around us EVERY NIGHT did not shut up. They continued to converse in Spanish while the CD was talking. Kids behind us knocked our seats. The dad translated through the entire performance. One lady rocked the back of my chair in time with the songs. On the last night, the CD gave his intro in both English and Spanish to try to engage the audience more.

One waiter said the 4 day getaway cruise before ours was "a complete disaster," and he couldn't wait to get through the next two weeks.
That sounds awful. I hope you guys otherwise had a great cruise.

We're going back on the Magic after the drydock this year. I hope we don't run into similar problems. Thanks for sharing your experience.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:00 PM   #1039
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That sounds awful. I hope you guys otherwise had a great cruise.

.
We had a great vacation. I'd never let a few incidents ruin it. Working on the trip report!

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Old 08-21-2013, 03:46 AM   #1040
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We will be in Dubrovnik in October and there is like 5 ships in port that day so buying tickets for the wall in advance would be great, where did you pre buy the tickets ?
Lucky you, wish I could go again.

Here's the link
http://www.dubrovnik-travel-experien...alls-walk.html

Scroll down the page to near the bottom and click and then you get this link. It's all in Croatian, but this is where I got my tickets from.

When you go through the Pile gate turn left and you will see the staircase going up. There was a chap halfway up the stairs collecting tickets from pre-paid people, so you can walk right past the long line. There were only two ships in port on our day and it was very very busy in port. I suggest you go very early to beat the heat and crowds. A very beautiful picturesque place.

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Old 08-21-2013, 04:03 AM   #1041
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Originally Posted by texasgirl29 View Post
We were in stateroom 6618. On the second day, I was walking in bare feet in front of the bathroom and the carpet was squishy, but not too much. We mentioned to our room steward and he got some towels and mopped up. But it didn't fix the problem, so my husband called guest services. Nothing happened, so I went down there about 11 p.m. and told them the carpet was soaking wet. The night guest services manager came to our cabin, called the desk manager and said, yes, there is a problem but since it's almost midnight, we'll have someone come about 9 a.m. Fine, we said.

(FYI, my husband is an insurance claims adjuster. He said there was obviously a leak in the plumbing and the leak had to be addressed.)

A maintenance guy came -- at midnight! I told him please come back in the morning. By noon, nothing appeared to have been done, so I went to guest services again. The incident had been closed since the maintenance guy came the night before, and our room steward tried to extract the water, but it was just as wet. They attempted to extract and dry and again my husband stressed there is a leak.

Another deck manager came, and told me that our bathroom had been refurbished already last week ahead of the dry dock and perhaps some water had been spilled and it was leaking out. It was not until my husband talked to him that he understood there was an active leak. They finally fixed the leak, extracted the water and dried with blowers and we had no further problems (and got a complimentary bottle of wine from guest services).

BUT... the hallway a couple of doors down was soaked for about 10 feet. Obviously, there was a plumbing issue.
We were on the same sailing and had issues with water too. We were in room 2011 and we had water outside in the hallway to start with. Our stateroom host reported it, but it seems that the maintenance guys do not take any notice of s/r hosts. She reported it again the next day as the water was getting worse, depsite the air blowers we had on it (loud and going 24 hours a day right outside our room)
After her 2nd report, we saw a maintenance man who looked up at the ceiling but then left.
On the 3rd day, I'd had enough as the water was now inside our room just past the bathroom door (not split bathroom). I went to Guest Services who did the obvious apologising, told me they could see the hosts reports but no plan to mend it. They told me the deck manager would visit and leave me a message with a plan.
That evening, our carpet was soaked almost to the bed and nothing had been done. No message left and a stateroom host getting herself upset because she can't do anything else.
So, back up to GS I go and I'm pretty peeved to say the least. The deck manager is called again. Anyway, she and the GS manager (lovely Sarah-Jane) came down to our cabin and saw the mess. Apparently the deck manager had just looked outside, saw the blowers and thought it was being dealt with.

The upshot was that once Sarah-Jane got involved, things moved pretty fast. The maintenance men came, took down ceilings, wall panels and air conditioning ducts in the hall and our room, found a leak .. surprise surprise ... and fixed it.

The air blowers were brought into our room and gave us a great tornado experience without the danger! We were offered a new room which we declined as we love deck 2 and my mum was 2 doors down. The blowers worked quickly to dry the carpet and the dehumidifier took the smell away. They offered us some OBC instead which I accepted and spent before they changed their minds!

Not the greatest experience, but not one that spoilt our cruise thankfully.
Chatty and loud Spanish people who tried to hide their children in Quiet Cove came close though!!

Didn't notice anything running out (apart from the Diet Coke for around 4 hours as I said previously). Cups were plentiful, food was plentiful, staff were great.
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:27 AM   #1042
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Originally Posted by nzdisneymom View Post
oh yikes - did they restock before the end of the trip?
No! Only way to get it was to pay for it at the bars - even the restaurants were out
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:15 AM   #1043
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No! Only way to get it was to pay for it at the bars - even the restaurants were out
If it's the Diet Coke you're talking about, it was only out for no more than 4 hours, not a massive deal. All other drinks were available, so we just drank diet Sprite or water.
Not sure who told you the restaurants were out, but one of our party had diet coke with their meal every night, served from the MDRs.
As far as I can remember though, the diet coke was out during the day, not evening as that's when Mick was doing drink runs for our party (slave)!

Anyway, hopefully it didn't spoilt anyones cruise, I certainly wouldn't let it spoilt mine!
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Old 08-22-2013, 04:27 AM   #1044
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We were on the July 25th Venice Cruise and after the second day there was no Diet Coke from the self service machines for the rest of the cruise

I don't think you can say Disney did not care as the ship was going into dry dock as everyday we saw CM's repairing, painting and polishing on the ship

Also don't blame Disney for rude and loud Spanish people. I know they were not looking forward to the 4 night cruise as it was made up of mostly Spanish people. Thank God i wasn't on that cruise
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:17 AM   #1045
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No! Only way to get it was to pay for it at the bars - even the restaurants were out
Quote:
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If it's the Diet Coke you're talking about, it was only out for no more than 4 hours, not a massive deal. All other drinks were available, so we just drank diet Sprite or water.
Not sure who told you the restaurants were out, but one of our party had diet coke with their meal every night, served from the MDRs.
As far as I can remember though, the diet coke was out during the day, not evening as that's when Mick was doing drink runs for our party (slave)!

Anyway, hopefully it didn't spoilt anyones cruise, I certainly wouldn't let it spoilt mine!
We were on the 25th July cruise with Celestine. Diet Coke ran out at self service a few days in. The restaurants had it until night 10. After that there was none in the restaurants either. Our Assistant Server was most apologetic as DH and I don't drink wine and were both drinking Diet Coke with dinner each night!

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Old 08-22-2013, 08:58 AM   #1046
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I don't think you can say Disney did not care as the ship was going into dry dock as everyday we saw CM's repairing, painting and polishing on the ship
I think we were just spoiled by Disney's excellence on our previous Med and Baltic cruises. People were polishing day and night, but there were things that should have been addressed that were not.

Didn't ruin our cruise, just made me question why they did not.
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:04 PM   #1047
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This thread has been so great! Thanks a lot for not only starting it, but for updating it. It was really helpful when we were getting ready for our July cruise this summer, and i am pretty sure that i have read and re-read just about all of the TR's. And now that we are considering another cruise in the next couple of years I have been re-reading this thread again.

Just thought I would mention that the link to Scraptographer's Trip Report actually goes to DisneyPrincess4ever's trip report ... Which I definitely enjoyed, but just thought I would mention it.
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:49 PM   #1048
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This thread has been so great! Thanks a lot for not only starting it, but for updating it. It was really helpful when we were getting ready for our July cruise this summer, and i am pretty sure that i have read and re-read just about all of the TR's. And now that we are considering another cruise in the next couple of years I have been re-reading this thread again.

Just thought I would mention that the link to Scraptographer's Trip Report actually goes to DisneyPrincess4ever's trip report ... Which I definitely enjoyed, but just thought I would mention it.
Thanks for pointing that out. Fixed
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Old 08-25-2013, 06:55 PM   #1049
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The first page was updated with TexasGirl29's TR link, and a link to Ingrid of Kultours' website.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:25 PM   #1050
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We're back!

We had such an awesome time! The weather was perfect: every day sunny and around 85. I'm not planning to do a full TR but just some highlights.

Our non stop flight on USAirways was fine. For transatlantic flights, each seatback has a touchscreen with movies, games, music, etc. I wish they offered it on all their planes.
We used Barcelona Day Tours for our transfers from & returning to BCN. Both times were fine & no complaints though he was around 10 mins late for our post cruise pick up.

We stayed at Hispanos 7 Suiza Hotel. It wasn't luxurious but very nice & the staff was super nice. It has 2 BR & 2 baths & a small kitchen & living room. The only TV channel in English was Al Jazeera, aka: "The Unrest in Egypt" channel. There was no coffeemaker; just an espresso maker. I was ready with some tea I brought from home for my morning wake up caffeine.
The condo had a washer/dryer but it was all one unit that washed & dried. I did a test run and it took like 3 hours! Also the dryer settings were something like 1000, 1500, etc. Is that watts? Who knows but I wasn't going to take a chance on ruining our clothes so I waited to do laundry on the ship.
The hotel is only 1.5 blocks to Sagrada Familia. Plenty of places to eat & get cash from ATMs. We walked around the area a bit on the day of our arrival til we were just so sleepy we couldn't take anymore.
The hotel's restaurant, the Cupola, was closed for the month of August so that was a bummer. Also it seems no one eats breakfast in Spain or if they do, the food is no different than lunch/dinner.

The next day we took a 4 hr tour with Barcelona Day Tours. Our driver was prompt, courteous & van was clean & modern. No complaints. At the end he dropped us off on Las Ramblas where there is a large square 1 block over with lots of restaurants. We walked down to the Christopher Columbus monument (too dark for pics by then) and hopped a taxi to the Magic Fountain. It was ok but not really "all that". Some TA reviewers said it was the highlight of their visit to Barcelona. I can't agree there. Perhaps they've never been to WDW. Perhaps I'm just spoiled by Disney that it takes a lot to make me say wow! and feel impressed.

We took the hotel's shuttle to the port for 55E for 6 of us in a van. He had a portable cc swiper so that was nice. Every ATM charged a small fee so I wanted to save my Euros for things we definitely had to pay cash for.

Boy were we happy to see the Magic! Barcelona was ok but we were ready to move on. We stayed in cabins 7620 & 7621. No issues that I just read about in previous posts. Plenty of Disney cups & diet Coke. No flooding/plumbing issues either. Just the usual annoying shower curtain. Our teens love having their own cabin with real beds that separate (yes I know this will end!) and their own TV, closet etc. We love it too.

I was surprised to see that there were so few Americans onboard. Reading on here I felt like I was the only one who's never done a Med cruise but I'd say it was only around 15% American, mostly guests from Spain. Ds13 met a boy in Edge from South Africa and we saw luggage outside a cabin with large print all over one side with their address in Kuwait. People really travel a long way to sail DCL. All announcements on PA system were in both English & Spanish, as well as pre/post show announcements in the WD Theater.

BTW, all perishable food items, such as milk cartons, seemed to come from Europe so when I ordered a Mickey bar in the MDR I was told that they are in FL & DCL didn't/couldn't bring them on Med cruises. (I don't recall if I had any on Alaskan sailing but I guess wouldn't be too hard to ship by truck from DL to Seattle.) The maple syrup was some concoction but nothing like real maple syrup from Canada.

So for our Villefranche day, we booked through DCL to burn up some OBCs. We did the Nice & Monaco tour. It was fine & our guide was nice & informative but it's not easy moving a busload of people place to place. Also there were several very young children & babies who cried/screeched half the time. Believe me, I'm a mom & not at all anti-child, but a 9 hr tour is way too long to expect kids to keep going. This isn't Disney World; I was worried that ds13 would be bored. These kids were like 2 & 5. I don't blame the kids; it's the parents that are nuts. They should either find something to do that is fun for kids or at the very least, just keep it to a short tour. My parents did the train tour of Nice that was 4 hrs total so I know they do exist. Anyway, we were really looking forward to our private tours in Italy.

We booked all 3 Italian ports with Rome in Limo. They were great & I would highly recommend them.
For La Spezia, we had Elisabetta for a driver. We loved her enthusiasm! First we went to Pisa, took some pics them climbed the tower. I was able to buy tickets on site at 9:30 for a 9:45 climb time.
The views were great but dh was disappointed that there is such a high fence around the top. (We later heard, from our Rome driver I think, that on more than one occasion, people would jump from there to commit suicide.
After that we moved on to Florence. She dropped us off in front of the cathedral (Duomo) with an hour there. By the time we used the public restrooms (long line) and ate some pizza that killed a lot of our time there. We shopped a little & moved on. We got up close to Ponte Vecchio where we could get good pics of it and also the Galileo Museum. Then moved on to the Accademia and the gorgeous statue of David. We had reserved tickets but couldn't prepay. Our guide got us discounts for our teen sons & whisked us past the lines. This was a good part of our afternoon. We then moved on to the Church of Santa Croce which holds tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli & others. The line to enter was long & we didn't have much time. (We didn't even look into buying advance tickets.) We had some gelati & took pics outside.
Then moved on to the area that overlooks all of Florence from up high. I forget what area this is called but the view is just stunning. I can't wait to download my pics!

Next day for Civitavecchia we did the Rome Highlights tour with our driver Nick. We got out of the van to see Fountain of Trevi, the Pantheon, & Vittorio Emanuele building. We went inside the Coliseum and now looking back I wish we hired a separate guide for that too. We did "drive by" looking at the Spanish Steps, Roman Forum & Circus Maximus. We did have a separate guide for the Vatican. Her name was Nicole and she was awesome. She has degrees in Art & Archeology. Much of her time in school was spent studying in the Vatican so it feels like home away from home to her. We saw the Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica. Still just as jaw-dropping amazing the 2nd time around. Sad to see the plastic shield in front of La Pieta which was not there my previous visit.
We never got to Piazza Navona which I was really looking forward to. Had I known it would turn out that way, I would have simply done a 'drive by' for the Vittorio Emanuele building. I was the only one in our group that had been to Italy before (did a 14 nt Perillo tour) so they don't miss what they never knew but I did.

For Naples, our driver Giovanni was especially kind. He really hit it off with my dad & they quickly became buddies. My great grandmother is from just outside Naples and though she never spoke English, my dad grew up learning some Italian from her. Funny thing though in Florence & Rome they couldn't understand him & we all laughed that he was just rambling but Giovanni understood him & responded, etc. It was so nice for my dad. Like he found home. More than once, Giovanni invited my dad to come stay at his house in Sorrento & go fishing with him off the Amalfi coast. At the end he gave my parents a bottle of limoncello.
We rode along the Amalfi coast, visited Positano for about 1.5 hrs then some time in Sorrento to shop & have lunch. I wish I wrote down the name of the place we had lunch but it was excellent, nice table service. mmmm....
Then onto Pompeii. By then it was hot & my parents were exhausted from so much walking in the heat and being our 4th day of touring. So we saw the highlights of Pompeii, then back to the ship.

I had been stressing about our 10:45am return flight but worried for no reason. In fact, I called GS the last night asking if we should carry off our own luggage & they assured me all luggage will be in the terminal by 6:30am and guests could debark by 7. Our BDT transfer was due to arrive at 7:30. We were there by 7:18 and getting really stressed by 7:35. It was a bit annoying to stand there watching DCL buses leaving for BCN when we were told that they wouldn't offer transfers for guests with flights before 11.
Anyway, our driver came 10 mins late but it was all fine.
That is until it became my lucky day & I was chosen for a random extra security search. I was told when we checked our bags that I should ask at the gate at 9:30 to see a security guard. I did and was told they would page my name which they did, along with around 8 others. We were all led together to another area where they collected all of our passports & boarding passes. We each got a full pat down, another xray of our carry on bags, and visual inspection of all contents. We then had to wait again while a higher officer did some call in type of check on our passports. (You'd think they'd have this on computer.) They held all passports until they finished calling in everyone's. Then even after passing them out, we couldn't leave. Another guard had to walk us back to our gate. By now I'm just about running cuz it's been an hour at least & I have dh's & kids' passports in my bag & boarding had begun long ago. I was scolded by the guard for getting ahead of him & he stopped the whole group until the last person caught up.
So I finally get to the gate & it's just as well that I'm holding all the passports cuz at least I see dh & kids with the gate agent where I was told, "Don't worry, we're holding the plane for all of you." We could have used those comforting words while we were being detained & all of us sweating bullets that we would miss our flight. By the time I sat down I just broke into tears. What should have been a nice relaxing time at the gate, maybe get some extra waters for our flight & unwind from the stress of getting picked up late, getting bags checked, getting through security, & finally be able to chill out knowing there's nothing else I have to do & no where else to rush to, then I have all of this & running to an empty gate with just my frazzled family there. Ugh! What a crappy way for an awesome trip to end. Oh well....
Still not as bad as for my parents. Their debit/Visa card was eaten by a machine in Barcelona & though they called back to the US to tell them what happened & was reassured that the card would be disabled, somehow someone was able to use the card to make 2 purchases: first $70-something and 2nd over $600. My parents spent a good part of today at their bank trying to get it all straightened out & their bank assured them that they would be credited for the fraudulent charges but still, for now, it's cash out of their checking account. What else can you do but go with the flow? Stuff happens.

Overall, it was still an excellent trip & so glad we did it. I can't imagine an even longer cruise with more port days. It's too bad they don't offer longer cruises but with same ports. Let's say an overnight with 2 full days in Florence & also for Rome. That would be perfect. Heck, I'd even spring for a hotel instead of riding back & forth an hour each way to the ship.

For now it's back to reality; back to work tomorrow.
Thanks to everyone for all of the advice I got here & for answering my million questions.
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