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Old 06-18-2007, 09:51 AM   #1
sharolyn
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6/6/07 med report...long

What a wonderful experience!! I am ready to go back and do it all again.

We left Houston on June 4th and arrived a day early. We took the bus into BCN and tried to find ramblas, well, we found out there are several streets and never found it that night. We did have a fun time trying to find that and the magic fountain. The next day we all planned on meeting at the port to drop off our bags at 9ish. When we got there, they let us register. We then left the port at around 10ish by taxi and all went to the chocolate museum. I had emailed earlier and made "reservations" for 23. The cost to enter is only 4.5 euros and worth every penny. The taxi was about 10 euros per car. It was amazing the things they made out of chocolate, and the smell!!! Anyway, we all really enjoyed the museum. We then walked to ramblas and yes, we finally found the right place, and walked up and down the street enjoying the street performers. We then walked back to the port at around 1:30 and were able to go aboard at that time. They were still serving the buffet and pizza, so we all went to deck 9 and just ate and relaxed. All of our bags did not actually arrive to our rooms until really late that night, so we were not able to unpack until after dinner. We did the show the first night and all enjoyed that, as well as the launch party on deck 9. The only glitch we had at first was that we were confirmed late seating, only to find they gave us early seating. Needless to say, I was a bit upset and was not getting anywhere with guest services. I finally went downstairs and was about to tell the resturant manager what to do with his early seating when he informed me that a group of 20 had just requested to change from late to early, so we seriously lucked out and got the late seating. I still do not know how they can confirm one seating for a group of 23 and then change it!! Anyway, I thought that we had lucked out, I think the late seating is great for the excursions - you have plenty of time to get back and eat on the boat, saving big bucks. BUT, with it being 8:30 seating, by the time you get out of dinner everything has either started or is ending. That is a big negative. I dont really know what more they could do though, but it is something to consider. Our first day at sea was a sleep and relax day, with 4 of us adults eating at Palo's. Joe was able to get reservations online prior to us leaving...dont know how he did that because I kept trying myself with no luck. I did sign up for the $90 week pass for the spa rainforest thing. I love that, did this on my last cruise as well. It actually worked out really well for us because we had 4 females - one being a teenager, in our room, so I would go and work out first thing in the morning, use the rainforest and then shower at the spa. I love that one shower head they have, so much better than the one in the rooms. Also, the yoga and other classes they have in the morning are wonderful and andrew the guy who teaches it is just such a sweet person!! Anyway, it was a great way to start the day. They did different things every day, just ask for a schedule at the spa. The first port, well, I actually ended up sleeping until 3 pm!! I know, I could not believe it, guess I must have needed it. Anyway, the rest of my group went into Palermo and shopped. They all enjoyed seeing the town and thought it was great just to hang around and explore the port town. We all thought dinner was for the most part great, loved our server Ever lee. We had a group of 13 teens and they really enjoyed the dinners, getting into whatever the theme of the night was!! It was fun seeing them get excited about Snow White, or dancing and clapping, etc. In our group, about half of us never missed the shows, while the other half enjoyed the various offerings such as the wine and beer tasting. The kids did hang out at the stack, but were kind of offended with the list of "dont do" that they were given on the first night. Anyway, the enjoyed the basketball, swimming and just hanging out! In Naples, we had our first private excursion. WOW, what an amaxing time we had. I had booked the excursion not really knowing what to expect! Were we going to get some broken down school bus with no air conditioning or what!! Well, we were not disappointed when we got off the bus to find a beautiful coach bus with driver and guide waiting for us!! Our guide was funny and the teens in our group LOVED him!! His name was Augustino, and when he introduced himself, he asked if we liked his name, if not, he would change it!! Very funny, very informative and just overall wonderful!!. I did comment when we first got on that we basically were going to do three normal excursions in one day!! Oh well, to have a group of young people keeps you on your toes!! Anyway, we did have a very full day of exploring the region. We started off with Pompeii and with Augustino guiding us, had an amazing look at the ancient town. At his suggestion, even though we are all starving, we headed over to Mt. Vestivius to climb up the volcano. The drive up to the trail head was beautiful. The climb was short, but steep!!! But worth the effort. When we got to the top, Augustino had arranged for the woman to give us a brief yet thourough tour of the volcano edge. At one point she asked us to come up with a one sylable word to yell...ok, we had 10 guys and they came up with DUDE!!! Our first try had us saying dude with a very heavy california flair, and the echo did not work well. When we did it stacato, our group was humored!!! The volcano echoed dude for us as clear as day!! OK, so it does not take much to humor teen boys!!! Anyway, it was fun, and they view, amazing!! And just seeing the crater was interesting, all worth the hike up!! We then left and went to a resturant on our way down and had a very traditional italian lunch before heading off to the Amalfi Coast. We then drove the coast up to Positano. I can not even put into words how amazing this drive it!!! Absolutely beautiful, breathtaking!!! We stopped outside the town and were amazed at the size of the lemons there. They sell lemon ice things that are delicious. Anyway, Naples for us was an amazing day!!! When we got home we were able to catch the show and eat dinner. The next day we all slept in and ordered the free room service. The poor people who work room service!! With my group anyway, they were kept very busy. One night I think the group ordered everything on the menue, seriously. There was a stack of the silver covers waist hight outside the guys room the next day!! Pretty funny actually. I must say that the hostess and host working our rooms were the best! No complaints at all! They worked with us, even with us having 5 of the guys sleep in one room, they let us take the matteress from the one room and would make that bed up for us every night!! They were just so wonderul!! Really everyone was great!! Our servers, hostess, even guest services ended up being wonderful. One of our group, Disney actually left her computer in BCN, and they bent over backwards to help her out and accomadate her! Anyway, our next day was Oblia. Getting there on a Sunday was not the best timing, half of the city, more than half actually, was closed!! Anyway, we managed to do a bit of shoping, finding some neat things made from cork, like purses, etc. It was just interesting. Again, we ate and enjoyed the shows, the movies, and the hanging out!! Some in our group took part of the art auction, others enjoyed the pools, it is just great because there is something for everyone. The next day was Rome. Well after such a great experience in Naples, i thought that everything was downhill from there. Well...when we got off the boat, our bus was not there!! I went into a bit of panic mode as we sat there waiting!!! It seemed like forever, but they were only 15 min late!! I guess they had a bit of issue with traffic, but after this little glitch, things went very smoothly!! We drove to Rome and went straight to the colesium. We bought our tickets at the palatine hill entrance and avoided any lines. Although the colesium was crowded, it was amazing to see. We then walked over to the forum and just seeing all the ruins was so interesting. We got a bit to eat from the street vendors and it was so delicious. We then loaded up on the bus and went to the vatican. We had booked a tour through the bishops office for american visitors to the vatican. What an amazing place, the museum, the sistine chapel. st. peters basilica and his burial placer. All very amazing. We then went to parthenon and trevi fountain. It was a very long day again, with the tour guide telling us this is more than what they usually do and tha tw might not get into everything. Well, we did!! We saw all that we set out to see. I will finish this later....just so much and such a great trip!!!
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Old 06-18-2007, 12:18 PM   #2
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sharolyn,

so happy we could meet on board. I think next time bill and i won't don any disney tours... i think that is an expensive lesson to learn, but at least we didn't have many schedueled to begin with.

Sorry I didn't stop to talk at the airport we were rushing to get to our gate only to find out we were delayed... and delayed and delayed...

Hope you aren't too tired any more.

Sarah
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Old 06-18-2007, 12:31 PM   #3
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What was the list of "Don't dos" the teens received at the Stack.
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Old 06-18-2007, 02:39 PM   #4
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Don't Do's

Hi everyone , glad you're all back - it was great wasn't it .

The don't do's took an hour to report to the teens and basically they allowed breathing

No alcohol , or smell of it on breath . No bikini tops ( t-shirts or more !) No assaulting characters , no P & A ( sorry from UK not sure what it is but kids got the message !) etc etc etc ........ my 17 yo DD didn't go often , most teens got into their own groups .

Best idea - meet a great group on the disboards like we did ... and make your own party !!
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Old 06-18-2007, 10:45 PM   #5
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Thanks for the report. We're going on the 10-day leaving July 18th and are really looking forward to it.
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:20 AM   #6
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report cont....

OK, so now that I have slept the entire day...i just want to write this all down so i do not forget. Funnybunny, no worries, I understood you were running...

Anyway, Rome!! The vatican was amazing, if you have to do anything in Rome, you must do the vatican. I think most in our group would agree with that. Originally everyone wanted to see the collesium and the ancient ruins, but after seeing the Vatican and the museums in particular, wow, it is amazing. There is just so much to see that honestly, you could probably spend a week in just one section and still not see it all. The Sistine Chapel is beautiful and amazing to think that someone painted this, there is such detail!! And St. Peter's basillica, and underneath the church the burial sites for the popes and St. Peter in particular, most in our group of 31 were very touched by this. Pope John's site is down there as well and many were weeping, very touching, can not be put into words! The whole vatican city is just something that must be experienced, even if you are not catholic you will be amazed! My dear friend who is Jewish was touched, it is something that should be the top of anyone's list who is planning a trip to Rome!! Anyway, Trevi Fountain is a not to miss as well, pictures do not do it justice. The detail of all the sculptures will leave you speechless, as well as the size of this monument. And the parthenon, amazing to think that it was built so long ago, it is just unbelievable the perfection and the size of the dome, how in the world did they do that without computers and such!??? Anyway, there is so much to see in Rome, I feel very fortunate that we saw as much as we did. Even though we did not get to spend a great deal of time at any one place, we saw enough to give you a feel for Rome. I now for a fact that if we had tried to do this on our own, we would not have seen as much. For those thinking about doing rome on your own, I would figure in using taxi's to maximize your time better. I do not think you can completely understand the scope, and the size of the crowds until you have been there. Anyway, having a bus there to pick you up and take you to were you needed to be next helped us out a great deal and played a huge part in allowing us to see all that we did. Just driving through the city and seeing ruins just in the middle of a park is just something that me as an American just found amazing!! When we got home yesterday driving to our subdivision, my kids were commenting on how new everything was, and how amazing it was being in europe were old there was before christ, or around that time. I have to agree, it is just amazing...

After our trip to Rome we returned to the boat and again, ate and took in shows and movies. And everytime we got back to the boat, our cabins were clean and beds made, etc. I could seriously get use to living on a cruise ship!! Especially now that I am home again, ugh, dishes, laundry and unmade beds!! The hostesses were amazing. And I say that seriously, the poor guy who was over the "boys" room, he is an angel!! That room, with 5 teen boys in it, ugh....the smell...the mess....but everyday he somehow made livable what was left a disaster...magic!!! That is what that is....again, everyone on the boat was just great! We all really felt special and wonderful, and for a group of guys to comment, well, they did above and beyond their "job".

OK, so the next day, to Florence/Pisa. I have posted elsewhere about this excurision, but will post info here as well. We went to Florence first and for our group, we all split up and did Florence on our own for about an hour and a half, agreeing to meet up again at 12:30 for our 12:45 slot into the academy to see David. We actually arrived into Florence probably around 11ish, it took longer to get into Florence than we all thought. You have to stop and get a permit to even enter the city if you are on a bus, etc. Anyway, the time is very limited in Florence for sure. And with such a large group, it was a bit trying to say the least. However, our little group went to see the dome and then grab something to eat. The ceiling of the dome in Florence is beautiful and since it is free to enter the dome, something that everyone should do. Make sure you are dressed appropriately because they will NOT let you in!!! And yes, this is from personal experience, they would not let in one of the girls with us because her shoulders were not covered. We then went and ate at a resturant across the street from the dome and then off to the academy. What a nightmare!!! I had made reservations with the academy a month prior, and because we were a group, had to fax them info prior, had to wire the $3 reservation fee to them in advance, etc, etc, etc. Well, they had no record of the wire, and charged us again the $3 euros per person plus charged us $11 euros instead of 6 because we "changed" our reservation, when we did not change anything, anyway, no one would work with us, etc. We finally just decided to worry about it later when we got home and went in and saw David. Well, I did not know you could actually see David from the street and did not actually have to go inside the academy, there is a window for viewing. There is usually a crowd at the window to see in, but after our experience at the academy, I do not think I would buy tickets ever again to go in!! David is amazing to see, and it is amazing to think that it was all made from one block of marble, but the attitude of the academy workers just kind of made it not worthwhile. In addition to the issue with the tickets, at one point we all sat down on some benches and one of the girls with us was sitting kind of with her foot folded under her on the bench, well one of the female workers came over and "yelled" at her and told her to put her feet on the ground. Anyway, it was the last straw for us and just one of those deals that left you rolling your eyes! On top of that, with such limited time, having any appointed time in Florence to do anything just adds to much stress to an already stressful day, to be honest. If i had to do it over, I would not get tickets to any museum in Florence...i would walk through the town and go into the dome, but forget the Uffizi or the Academy, there is just not enough time!! And the walk through the city is amazing in itself. The architecture and the statues, beautiful!! Seriously, it is an amazing city with so much to see that i understand many saying that the museum is the city itself. I think with the time it takes to get to Florence from LaSpezia and because of the crowds, just a stroll through the city would be the best way to see Florence. I think the Disney excursion does that, and for once, I can see why!! Again, we were on our own private excursion and my group all wanted to see the statue of David, so that is why we decided to buy the tickets in advance. Complicating the situation for us was that we also had already purchased tickets to climb the tower in Pisa. So we really had no flexibility and it complicated things for sure. I think if we had not had the tickets to the academy it would have given us a little more flexibility and would have relieved the stress. But anyway, live and learn!!! We had to leave Florence by about 2:30 to try and get to Pisa in time for our first group to climb the tower. Well, we ended up late to Pisa and missed our 3:40 climb. The people in Pisa did work with us and managed to squeeze us in. We had 35 with us all trying to climb, all of us had purchased tickets prior to the trip. If you order online, you have to purchase them at least 16 days prior...and forget trying to get tickets on sight, they will be sold out!! Anyway, climbing the tower was a highlight for many in our group! It is very unique and the view from the top is amazing!! It is a very wierd feeling climbing a leaning tower!! And you do feel the lean!! Beautiful to say the least...and amazing!! And what is great is that there are Disney photographers everywhere - and the pictures they took of the group in Pisa were great!!! It looks like the guys are pushing the tower over and the girls are holding it up!! Fun pictures. We ran into the photographers in Pompeii, the colesium (where disney actually hired some gladiators to pose with you), the vatican and in Pisa. They were probably in other places as well, but this is where we ran into them!! And the pictures they took are great!! So a huge kudos to Disney for this!!!!

Well, back to the boat, barely!!! Yes, the Florence/Pisa combo is a lot in one day and we barely made it back to catch the last tender of the day! Well, the last posted tender anyway. Disney said the last tender was at 7:30, we arrived back to port at 7:29 after running a block to try and catch this boat. All 35 of us, most of us in our "green disney shirts"...it was funny now thinking back on it, but rather scary at the time. However, when we left Pisa we ran into two Disney excursion persons with the little hand!! When I asked one when they were leaving she said as soon as they could gather their group. They were not climbing the tower but were shopping, and according to her, running late!!! Anyway, I knew there was no way they would be able to get back before us, but still, your heart is racing until you are on the boat again. In addition, our guide was in contact with the tender company so I knew we were going to be ok, but it was still very stressful. There ended up being two more tender boats after us, but again, you do not know this at the time. Not being on a Disney excurion there is the added stress of not making it back to the boat, and they will now wait for you!!! I do believe people were left at every port!! I heard a story about someone being lifted in Naples from a speed boat that they had hired. Anyway, not sure how true that is, but they make it very clear that if you are not onboard and you are not on a disney excurion, they will leave you!! The good news for us was that we knew that there was at least two disney excursions still out there, so the boat would not leave without them onboard. So you can use that info to your advantage. The best plan though is to get back to the boat in plenty of time!! OK, lesson learned for us, which would come in handy in Monte Carlo!!!

OK, so now that our biggie excursions were over, for me anyway, it was time to relax!! In Marseilles, we just took the shuttle that Disney had arranged into town and ate crepes and bought soap, basically!! I thought that providing the shuttle was wonderful. If you wanted to you could catch the little train that goes through the town or up to Notre Dame at the end of the pier, about a 5 minute walk at most from where the shuttle lets you off. I think the cost was about 20 euros roundtrip to Notre Dame for the little train. Some in our group did do this and raved about it!! You have many options at this port and the shuttle they provided helped out a lot!! If you get off the shuttle, walk to the end of the pier and go across the street there and you will find many street vendors, etc. We had no idea and crossed the street where the shuttle stopped and could not find anything to do really. It took us a while to find the "shopping".

The next morning I got up and went to do the yoga class on the back of deck 7. When we opened the door and stepped out onto the deck, it took my breath away. Without a doubt the most beautiful port was Villefranche. WOW...and doing yoga in that setting, amazing!! I can not even put into words how beautiful this port town is. We split up at this port with some going to Nice and Old Town, and our group went to Cannes. If I had to do it over, we would just stay in Villefranche!! But anyway, we wanted to ride a train, and what an experience!! It ended up breaking down, the doors would not open, so people had to crawl out the windows. They brought in a new train and we had to cross the tracks to get on the new train...just a unique experience...but also the reality that trains do break down kind of made getting back to the boat in time something we began to think about again...we did not want to be running for a tender boat again!! Anyway, when we got to Cannes, the area we were in was not a tourist trap, which was really nice. It was like we were at an upscale mall in a suburb of Houston, and just being a part of how they really live was kind of fun! I do not think we could have found a postcard if we had tried, and this was very different than all the other ports we had been to! So we just found a street cafe and ate while the kids went and shopped. Pretty relaxing...we caught the train and went back to the boat after a couple of hours in Cannes. The train ride was fun, you ride along the shore so it was scenic. Other than the breakdown on the way to Cannes, very uneventful. Later several of us decided to go to Monte Carlo. We took the train there, for about 4 euros a piece. We then walked from the train station to the casino and what a beautiful town Monte Carlo is!! And the casino was amazing. The ceiling and just the decorations. And the cars sitting out front, worth the trip itself. I am not a gambler, but I would say that it is not vegas!! My husband was playing craps and the people working the table kept making mistakes, like putting the wrong person's money down on the wrong spot, picking up the chips before the dice had finished rolling, etc. Stuff you would NEVER see in Vegas, very shaddy!! Which was kind of surprising actually for such an upscale place. Anyway, some of the other in the group played the slots, etc. Oh yeah, we had heard that the minimium bet was like $100, but it was only $10 at the craps table. They had 5 cent slots, etc. So it was affordable, but no one won. So the odds are for sure against you in Monte Carlo!! Oh well...it was fun to experience the lifestyle of the rich and famous!!! Anyway, one of the highlights of our trip was the taxi ride home from the casino!!!! We agreed to a price of $50 euros to the port prior to leaving, which we all decided was a good thing!! The drivers wanted to get us there quickly....so we drove the coast back to the boat and it was fun and beautiful!! Fun in that the drivers were driving the coastline like a NYC taxi driver....it was so much fun!!! And yet the views were breathtaking!!! The drive through Villefranche was what made me realize we had made a mistake leaving the town earlier that day. The streets are winding and quant, and how these cars made it is something I still am wondering about. But anyway, the town is amazing and I really wish I would have explored it more. And for sure, taking the train and then a taxi back is much cheaper than the $100 per person that disney charged. And from what we were hearing, I guess there was some drama on the buses...not real sure what prompted it, but apparently people were cussing each other out, etc. Anyway, glad to not be a part of that!!

So, I can say that this is not your normal disney cruise. When we took the caribean cruise in 2004, it was a very relazing experience. We did not do any shore excurions, just rented a car and drove to a beach here and there. But this trip, you would want to explore the different ports. So the design of this cruise was from the start very different!!! For us with having so many in our group, it made sense to do our own private tours. The benefit of doing our own private excurions was lower cost and more flexibility to do what we wanted. In the end, we were able to see more and experience more and for that we were blessed.

This trip was kind of a mixed blessing for us. The last cruise we did in June 2004 was the last thing we got to do with my sister before she passed in August 2004 from cancer. We were on the Magic on that cruise as well, so this had special meaning to us, and in particular to her son that she left behind. I have to say that on both cruises, the disney staff bent over backwards to help us in some pretty special and unique ways. On the 2004 cruise my sister was very sick, yet all she wanted to do was fullifill a promise she had made to her son years before and take him on the Disney cruise and parasail with him at Castaway Cay. The medical staff on the Magic worked with my sister to make that possible and for that we are forever grateful. My sister decided to be cremated and we as a family decided that we would do whatever William wanted with her remains. Long story short, this kid has gone through some stuff over the past couple years, not only losing his mother, but his father a year later as well. This cruise was just something that came together as a way to help him and our family really to heal. In the process of planning this trip, he asked if he could bring his mom on this trip with us and wanted to scatter her remains from the boat. I am sure this is not something that Disney advertises, but we brought her remains with us, hoping to either scatter her remains from the boat or in Italy - a place she always wanted to visit!! Once onboard we talked with the chaplain and found out that they would allow us to do this from the boat. We scheduled a ceremony on Friday, our last day at 5pm. Our group of 23 went to the aft of deck 2, and had a beautiful ceremony with the chaplain. We then scattered her remains from the back of the boat into the beautiful meditrainian ocean. Within minutes of her ashes being scattered, out in the middle of the ocean, a dove appeared and flew down to where her ashes had landed and landed on the water and sat there for a brief second before taking off again. It was the most beautiful and amazing thing!! We are forever grateful to Disney for not only the wonderful cruise we had with my sister in 2004, but for allowing us to celebrate her life with this cruise on the Meditrainian this year! There is no doubt in my mind that my sister was there every second making sure that this cruise was an experience of a lifetime!! And for sure, it was.
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:19 AM   #7
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Wow.... just wow.

Thank you so much for sharing your trip and your story with us. I am beyond words right now.
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Old 06-19-2007, 05:55 AM   #8
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Hi sharolyn

Thank you for your story and it make me weeping!,about your dear sister, I give you a

as it was lovely story.

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Old 06-19-2007, 07:26 AM   #9
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TFS.............
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Old 06-19-2007, 07:53 AM   #10
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sharolyn - What a beautiful story about your sister. It brought tears to my eyes. Her son is lucky to have such a wonderful family to see him through all this.
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:35 AM   #11
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Wow......

Thanks for all the details - can't wait to read more.
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:15 PM   #12
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thanks all..

I did not mean to make anyone get teary eyed, but it was a beautiful ceremony. In looking at how I wrote this report, i did it in chronological order, not in order of importance! And sorry for having to do it in two posts, I was so tired after writing the first post...after about 10 hours sleep, I wrote the second one - it is posted for those who might have missed the rest of the story, it is probably like the third or fourth post on this thread.

Anyway, for all you who are cruising in the future, happy sailing. For those on the 6/6/07 sailing, it was so wonderful to meet you all. I failed to mention that we disboarders met on the first day at sea, on that Thursday for us. It was so nice to put a face to the names that we had come to know. We had decided to do a gift exchange onboard, and that was wonderful. We recieved post cards from everyone's hometown- a lollypop with a scorpian was one of the more popular gifts with our group, precious zebra print with boa around the top water bottle holders, personal artifacts like a miniature police badge, etc. It was just a lot of fun and I am glad we were a part of that. (however, in all the craziness of the different shore excursions, i guess I forgot to give out a days worth of gifts because i came home with them all!!! ugh...) We also ended up adding three families from the disboards in with our group for our private shore excursions. They were a great addition and we were all so glad to meet them all. We are already talking about a reunion cruise next summer!!!

Anyway, the disboarders group also managed to get a group reservation at Palo's (thank you Paula). I did not attend, but the three other adults in our group who were not able to get palo reservations did attend and thought it was wonderful!! So this is something you might look into if you are not able to get those reservations. I do believe Paula went to Palo's and asked the day we boarded. She was able to get this for 16. We were a bit unclear if all could attend, as they usually do not let you have more than one night at Palo's, but apparently, I could have gone. Oh well...

The other thing I failed to mention in my reports above was my laundry experience. Whatever you do, bring enough clothes for the entire sailing, or send your clothes out and pay the extra money to do so!!! Laundry onboard the Magic is anything but magical!!! And I do not know how you all feel, but the last thing I wanted was to have to hassel with laundry on vacation time!! ugh, and then for it to be such a nightmare. Anyway, the machines were always packed, there was always a line, and for whatever reason, we had a woman meltdown over a machine on deck 7!!! Seriously, she started going off on this poor woman who had been waiting for a dryer!! I guess she thought that if you had your wash in the washing machine below a given dryer, that the dryer above was "marked" as yours. (They are stacked, so I guess I can see how someone might think this...) Unbelievable i know, but true. I guess vacations bring out the beast in people because I was hearing about the fighting on the excursions as well. Anyway, we actually were going to come back from Monte Carlo on the disney excursion bus, the drivers and the disney escorts were all ok with us doing so, and then at the last minute, the escorts came up to us and told us that we better not ride on the bus that they had some very tempremental passengers that might go off, so, Thank God, we took the taxi. As i mentioned above, the taxi ride from Monte Carlo was one of the highlights of our cruise!! So it all worked out, but in talking to some of the disboarders who were on the bus, it was not a pretty sight on the way to Monte Carlo!!! Hello.....you are in the middle of the meditranian, what in the world can get a person that mad!????

OK, I think now I have covered it all!! Again, it was the trip of a lifetime and I would not trade one second for anything!!! What is amazing is before we left, we found out that the return portion of our trip - for 10 of us, had been accidently cancelled!!! So, Air France had to figure out a way to get the 10 of us home from BCN. We ended up leaving that Sat night and flying to Paris. We overnighted in Paris and then flew to Houston the next day. When we got to Paris we wanted to go into town and see the Eifel Tower. The manager at the hotel hooked us up with a van and tour guide and we got a whirlwind tour of Paris in about 3 hours!! The kids were thrilled, we saw the Eifel Tower, the Arch di Triump, Notre Dame, etc, etc, etc. So for what started out a mistake actually ended up being a perfect end to a perfect trip!!! We could not have asked for more!! And I have to say, Air France does a great service!! We sat in coach, but their coach service was outstanding! And the seats were roomier than most, I had no complaints!! Anyway, the whole two weeks were just magical!! Hope to see you on a future cruise...thanks to all the disboarders who were a part of the process of planning this trip!! Wow, it was unbelievable!!!
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:23 PM   #13
johnnymac1962
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Great Trip

Hi Disboarders -

I cannot top Sharolyn's report. I agree with all that she said.

I think future cruisers will see that DCL excursions are expensive and its really not that hard to do some planning on your own. Just use sources like Fodors or Rick Steves to get details.

We did one day different than many. While in Naples, we did Capri, Sorrento, and Pompeii in one day - TOO MUCH

Drop whichever one you prefer, but we took the hydrofoil to Capri (the dock is adjacent to where we dock). Watch out for rude and pushy taxi drivers outside the gate offering you "free tours" and telling you hydrofoil is oversold. IGNORE them! 45 minutes to Capri!

Once on Capri, buy incline railway (funicular) tickets to Capri town on top of mountain to the right of the dock. Also buy your return hydrofoil tickets at the same time (later ones sell out). On top, just explore shops and take lots of pictures. Very nice!

We took a return hydrofoil to Sorrento! The walk UP the hill to town is just that - UP! Just follow thr road and adjacent steps - take your DCL shopping map. But it is an absolutley beautiful town. Have a pizza at the restaurant DCL recommends in it shopping guide! Spend time shopping but remember many stores close 1:30 to 4:00.

We took the train (Circumvesinuvia) to Pompeii and did that in about 2 hours on our own. We saw a lot with a guide book but a personal guide or audio guide would have been better. It is a safe train but somewhat dirty and has grafitti.

Then we took the same train on to Naples and a taxi back to the port. We saw a lot but it was tiring and we got back about 6:45 (ship left at 7:30)

In Villefranche we took the bus to Nice and just walked around and ate on the beach. Very "nice" town but be aware of the beaches and optional clothing!

If you like adult beverages and prefer not to pay DCL $5.00 per beer or $40 for a bottle of $10 wine, get some at a local store in each port. I think we paid 4 euros for 12 local beers and 5 euros for a nice bottle of wine. DCL willcharge you $15 to "uncork" your wine of you want to have it at dinner. Drink it before! Take your own opener and or corkscrew

Overall, 7 ports in row was a lot and we were also too tired to go all day every day but thge trip was wonderful. I also highly recommend trying to meet up with other disboarders the first sea day. We met some wonderful people and shared excurions and time together

Hope to see some of you again on a future cruise (right now we are booked for the eastbound Panama Canal cruise in August 2008)

BTW-Has anyone seen Paula's glasses????? (those of us from the cruise will understand)

John
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:14 PM   #14
funnybunny921
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i think the rockette might have em
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Can't wait for our next half ... this year in DL!
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:29 PM   #15
crusincrazy
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paulas glasses



....on her head ...... under the table ....... anywhere but her face !!!!!!

Viva le private tours !! Gotta do the 5e train in Marseilles !!
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Med cruise 6/6...we had a blast !!
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