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Old 05-11-2010, 02:48 AM   #16
Pegasus928
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A great report and it was obviously worthwhile going as you got to see it in a different season.
I was surprised at how small the entrance to the park seemed - or does a photo not do it justice?
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:56 AM   #17
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a great bonus day for you Corinna, some fab pics there
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:06 AM   #18
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Fab pics, Corinna!!! DLP looks lovely...

Your report has convinced me that we should go overland from Paris to Barcelona in August as, if nothing else, it'll be more of an experience!!! Plus I'd love to get a day in DLP...
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:12 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Pegasus928 View Post
A great report and it was obviously worthwhile going as you got to see it in a different season.
I was surprised at how small the entrance to the park seemed - or does a photo not do it justice?
The photo is a pretty accurate representation. The first entrance is pretty soon after you get out of the station. There are two tables for bag checks in this area and it is a pretty tight squeeze. Once you are through this, it opens out into a nice little park. The main entrance is actually part of the Disneyland Hotel so that looks pretty small from the outside as well, but that then opens up into the entrance hall, which is pretty spacious.

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Fab pics, Corinna!!! DLP looks lovely...

Your report has convinced me that we should go overland from Paris to Barcelona in August as, if nothing else, it'll be more of an experience!!! Plus I'd love to get a day in DLP...
I would definitely recommend doing the overland thing. The irony is that we looked at this before we even booked the cruise, but using Eurostar and the Elipsos Hotel Train and the cost for this combination would have been nearly as much as the cruise so we went for flights instead. I suppose it was just meant to be.

Corinna
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:01 PM   #20
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A very enjoyable read so far Corinna
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:53 PM   #21
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really enjoying your report
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:52 PM   #22
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Day 4

We were woken up at about 6:00 AM by an announcement that we would be shortly arriving at Narbonne. At Narbonne they had to switch the engine around so we decided to get some fresh air while they did that. We had daylight soon after and admired the view during the last two hours of the train journey. The train stopped again at a small town called Cerbere, where the French boarder police got on board to check passports. Once the train was moving again, we just had to go through a long tunnel and we had arrived in Spain.







Port Bou is just a small mountain village, but the scenery is stunning. Right by the station was a beautiful church and I had to take some photos of this.






We had a pastry and some freshly squeezed orange juice at the station cafe. The orange juice was the best juice I have ever tasted. It was really sweet. Once we had our breakfast, we went to our train to Barcelona, which was already sitting at the platform.



I yet again spent most of the journey asleep, but DH enjoyed the scenery. When I woke up again, we were already on the outskirts of Barcelona. Soon afterwards we arrived at Barcelona Sants . This was a bit of a disappointment. I had expected that we would approach Barcelona on the surface and had visions of a big imposing Gothic style station. Well, Sants is about as modern as stations come and all trains arrive underground.

We decided that we would leave our suitcases in left luggage lockers at the station overnight so that we could go and explore Barcelona without having to go to the hotel first. We just packed a change of clothes and what we needed for the day in our backpacks and then we were on our way.

We bought tickets for a hop on hop off bus. Originally we should have had two days in Barcelona, but because of our great adventure, we had less than 24 hours. One of the circular bus tours started right in front of the station and this gave us a good overview of the city.

The route that we had chosen took us up on Montjuic mountain, which is overlooking the port. I was hoping to get a good look and even a photo of the Magic, which had actually arrived in Barcelona ahead of schedule on Thursday night, but no such luck. We even took the cable car on Montjuic, but the view of the Magic was blocked by some trees. We just got a glimpse of her funnels. When we got back on the bus, we went right by the port, but there was a building between the road and the port. We did however see a bit of her bow.

Barcelona was completely different from what I has imagined. I had expected a city with loads of historical buildings, but I found a city that is for the most part very modern and even a bit soulless. I loved Montjuic and would have liked the time and the energy to explore this. I also loved the random statues that can be found all over the city. The Bari Gotic or Gothic Quarter would also be worth a second look. This is what I had imagined Barcelona to be like. I would have loved to see Sagrada Familia and some of the Modernista buildings and parks, but we did not have time to fit this in. We will concentrate on this when we get to Barcelona for the Transatlantic Cruise.











Barcelona was extremely busy that day. St. George's Day (or St. Jordi as it is called in Barcelona) is a huge event. It is traditional that girls and women are given red roses and boys and men are given books. There were stalls selling both all over the city and crowds were out of this world. So once we had come full circle on our bus tour and had arrived back at the station, we essentially had enough. We were hungry and tired. Dinner does not really start until 21:00 in Barcelona. We decided to head for a little Tapas bar by the station, where we had some bread with tomato and olive oil, potatoes with garlic mayonnaise and fried Chorizo to share. I also tried some ham croquettes and DH had some fish and prawns. The whole lot was washed down with a jug of Sangria. Once we were fed and watered, we decided to head for our hotel.

That was the next adventure. I got a really good deal on a Holiday Inn Express on the outskirts of Barcelona. I knew that there are very frequent commuter trains and what line we had to get. What I had not bargained for is that contrary to what I had heard, not many people spoke English. There are also three different types of ticket machines and it took us a bit to find the right one. Fortunately I managed to decipher enough Spanish to get the right ticket. The trains are very frequent and one arrived very soon after we got to the platform. The train took only 15 minutes to get us there as well.

I had not been able to find any instructions on how to get to the hotel from the railway station. I wad hoping that it would be pretty self-explanatory once we got there. Unfortunately this was not the case. After we walked for a while and still had not found the hotel, I decided that I should have a good chance to find somebody in a Western Union shop, but that was not the case. Still, with a lot of pointing and sign language, I managed to make myself understood and the woman there managed to give me directions by the same means. Yet again we had turned the wrong way out of the station.

We found the hotel very quickly after that. The hotel was modern and clean and our room was huge compared to what we had the previous nights. It was only 19:00 when we got to the hotel, but we were so tired that we went straight to bed.
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:21 AM   #23
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Wow what an adventure! I bet you were glad to get on the Magic for a rest after all that travelling.
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:24 AM   #24
dolphingirl47
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Wow what an adventure! I bet you were glad to get on the Magic for a rest after all that travelling.
I definitely was glad to get on the Magic, but I don't know about rest. Even though I had a wonderful time, this reminded me why I am not too keen on port intensive itineraries. I should post about our first day on the Magic later today. I just have to scan some photos first.

Corinna
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:28 AM   #25
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Am really enjoying your trippie, only thing I can say is that 'you're very brave', I'd be too scared to take on your journey. Looking forward to more

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Old 05-12-2010, 04:00 AM   #26
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You certainly seem to be the sort of person who just handles what life throws at her - and ends up with experiences of a lifetime as a result, so well done for that.
Looking forward to reading what else the holiday had in store for you.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:35 AM   #27
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I've never really fancied going to Barcelona but it looks nice enough in your pics. Looking forward to the next part.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:51 AM   #28
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Enjoyable report so far. I look forward to the next part
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:54 AM   #29
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Day 5

I was awake bright and early at 7:30 that morning. DH was still fast asleep so I decided to have a shower and then go downstairs to use the Internet. When I came back upstairs, he was up and in the shower. Once he was done, we took our stuff and went to breakfast. After we had breakfast, we checked out and headed to Barcelona.

Once we got to Barcelona Sants station, we retrieved our luggage from the lockers and proceeded to find the Metro. We had figured out the previous day that there is a direct Metro line from Sants station to the Columbus Monument and that we good catch the port shuttle bus from there. I was very happy when I realized that the ticket machines for the Metro actually have an English luggage option.

The journey could not have been easier. After 11 trains, a ferry and a bus, I finally stood in front of the Magic. Normally I have a little cry when I get my first glimpse of the ship, but strangely enough not this time.

When I saw the line, I got this sinking feeling. DH was joking where the board was advising the waiting time from this point. I have never seen anything like this. We found out afterwards that there had been a powercut, which meant that the X-Ray machines and the computers for the check in were not working. Fortunately the line soon started to move and moved quickly. When we got near the front of the line, the porters took our luggage and a member of staff checked our names off a list. We then had our handluggage x-rayed and got in line for check in. The check in process was quite smooth and soon we were on our way with our lanyards and Key To The World cards.

The waiting area at the cruise terminal in Barcelona is rather sterile and looks just like a big warehouse. To give Disney credit, they tried to brighten this up with colourful banners. As soon as we entered the waiting area, they started the boarding process. We were in boarding group 8. We had only just missed Minnie Mouse in her Spanish outfit, but there were Flamenco dancers in the waiting area and we met another family from the DisBoards. Mickey came out in his Spanish clothes as well and I was first in line for a photo with him.



Soon afterwards, our boarding group was called. We had our embarkation photo taken, which was actually pretty good. This was the first time ever that we purchased the embarkation photo. Afterwards we had to go up an escalator and down the gangway.



I was very happy that we still boarded the Magic on deck 3. I get a big thrill out of stepping into the beautiful attrium and being announced. I have to say at this stage it had not quite sank in that I was really on the Magic and I was walking around in a daze for a few hours.



We decided to go and get some lunch. This is always a bit of a battle of wills on the first day. Disney is trying to herd everybody up to Topsiders, the buffet restaurant on deck 9. We prefer to eat at Parrot Cay on deck 3, which is also a buffet at breakfast and lunch, but much more civilized. Disney were trying a new trick this time. They told everybody that Parrot Cay was very busy and that people would have to wait to be seated and recommended that people went up to deck 9 instead. This did not wash with me and I told them that I was happy to wait. Sure enough we were seated straight away and Parrot Cay was pretty empty.

As soon as we were seated, we saw Edward, our server from the last cruise. He came over to say "Hi" and we talked to him for a bit. Unfortunately he is working a different dinner rotation from the one we are on so there was no chance that he would be our server again. Still, it was great to see him.

Lunch was great as usual and I even got my favourite chilled Strawberry and Mint Soup.

After lunch we headed up to deck 9 to get our length of cruise passes for the Tropical Rainforest Room. Once this was done, we headed down to deck 2, to check if our cabin was ready. The corridors were still closed, but soon afterwards we were allowed to go to our cabin.

This was something new for us. We usually stay in inside cabins, but so far we have always been lucky enough to have a category 11 cabin with a sideways layout. This time round, we are in a category 12 cabin and they only come in the standard layout. I thought that this might bother me, but I actually rather like it. The location is fantastic on deck 2 forward.



I had made magnets for the first time for this cruise and I was busy decorating our door with those and also to hang our Fish Extender.







DH headed straight to the adult pool for a swim. Once I finished decorating our door, I went for a walk around the ship.















At 15:00 we had a DisMeet at the Promenade Lounge. It was great to add some faces to the names and I really enjoyed chatting to some of the people there.

All too soon it was time to go back to the cabin to get our life vest for the safety drill. Our assembly station was actually inside the Walt Disney Theatre and the whole process was well organized and over very quickly.

After the safety drill, we went back to the cabin to drop of our life vests and get changed for the gym. We exercised for a while and then relaxed in the Rainforest Room until it was almost time for dinner.



Dinner that night was at Lumiere's, which is my favourite restaurant on the Magic. That night, the same menu was served at all of the dining rooms. It was called " Welcome on Board- Let the Magic Begin" and was new for us. I had some Morrocan chicken pastry, a chilled cucumber soup, sirloin steak on the bone with cheesy baked potato, brocoli and peppercorn sauce. For dessert, I had something called Sweet Temptations, which is just a mouthful of three of the desserts. That night it was raspberry cake, chocolate and Kahlua creme brûlée and a chocolate and pistachio parfait.

We have been incredibly lucky with our table mates again. We are sitting with two other couples, both of which are from the USA. One couple are from New York and the other from Los Angeles. Both couples are very nice. Our serving team are OK, too. They are less fun than our serving teams on previous cruises, but they are friendly and efficient.

After dinner, we were ready for our bed. We checked out our towel animal. We are still not entirely sure what it was supposed to be, but I think it might have been a butterfly.



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Old 05-13-2010, 04:47 AM   #30
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Excellent update!

Just wondering- is there only one of each cruise ship?
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