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Old 01-29-2013, 09:06 PM   #1
psimon
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Question Taking the Magic in Europe?

I am looking for comments regarding taking the Magic in Europe. How was that cruise as opposed to any of the Caribbean cruises? Did you feel like you were rushed through the cities you visited? Did you take the DCL air that was offered or did you do your own flight planning? If you booked your flight through Disney what time of day did you arrive in Barcelona and what time did you get to the ship?

Any and all insight you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

---Paul in Southern NJ
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:38 PM   #2
jdb in AZ
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The biggest difference we found in cruising europe as opposed to the caribbean, is that the european ports have much more to see and do than the caribbean ports. We could have easily spent another day or three in each european port, but felt we'd spent long enough in the caribbean ports.

We booked our own air and flew non-stop overnight into London for a Baltic cruise. Since I don't sleep well on planes, jet lag was a problem. Theoretically, if you fly during the hours you're normally awake, that will lessen the jet lag. I would love to fly first class or business class, but the air fare is sky high -- higher than the jet flew. We spent three days in London pre-cruise seeing the sites and adjusting to the time zone change.

Even if you arrive in Barcelona just a day early, it will give you a cushion to allow for flight delays. We met a couple on our cruise whose plane had mechanical problems and they barely made it to the ship on time. He was still stressed(!) about it at dinner that evening, hours later. Not a fun way to begin a fabulous vacation.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdb in AZ View Post
The biggest difference we found in cruising europe as opposed to the caribbean, is that the european ports have much more to see and do than the caribbean ports. We could have easily spent another day or three in each european port, but felt we'd spent long enough in the caribbean ports.

We booked our own air and flew non-stop overnight into London for a Baltic cruise. Since I don't sleep well on planes, jet lag was a problem. Theoretically, if you fly during the hours you're normally awake, that will lessen the jet lag. I would love to fly first class or business class, but the air fare is sky high -- higher than the jet flew. We spent three days in London pre-cruise seeing the sites and adjusting to the time zone change.

Even if you arrive in Barcelona just a day early, it will give you a cushion to allow for flight delays. We met a couple on our cruise whose plane had mechanical problems and they barely made it to the ship on time. He was still stressed(!) about it at dinner that evening, hours later. Not a fun way to begin a fabulous vacation.
Thanks...

I wanted to go early, but my kids are camp counselors and have to work until 1PM on the Friday prior to the cruise (late August). We can make an evening flight, but that means getting in the day the cruise departs. I hope that doesn't hurt us.

---Paul in Southern NJ
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:15 PM   #4
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Airfare to Europe is so expensive, so we are visiting Paris (Disneyland Paris - yay!), Vienna and Barcelona for 2 weeks before our Med cruise. Trying to make the most out of it, and not sure when we will be back.

We always book our own flights since we are flying out from Canada.

I have the same feeling that we will be rushing through each port since there are so much more to see and do in Europe. Maybe I will visit again with a longer stay after I retire so I can visit during non-peak seasons. This is going to be a long countdown though!

Have fun planning!
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:35 PM   #5
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Long ago, I spent several days to a week at each of the major cities, but the Med last year was a first time for my family. Honestly, you just get a taste of the place on the ship and you spend way too much time getting from the ship to the cities. However, it was a lovely introduction to Europe.

We do our own flights, and we flew in 2 days early to allow for safety (just in case) and to recover from jet lag in time to enjoy the cruise.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:06 AM   #6
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Loved it. Yes, you only get a day in each port, but if you plan your time, it will be just as nice as a few days.

We took a private tour vaca for an extended time in Italy and visited Rome for 3 days and we saw as much on our one day in port as we did in the 3 days. It's all about planning.

I feel safer and I like the Euro ports much more than the Caribbean ports. The ports are much more interesting.

And to tell the truth, I like cruising Europe much better than staying in their hotels. :0.
You just can't beat American comfort. We haven't stayed in a ton of Euro hotels, but enough to see they were all similar enough. The air condition doesn't come close to what we have and I need my air condition haha

A cruise is a nice way to get your feet wet.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:27 AM   #7
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So I'm from Europe and have now done 2 Med cruises with DCL with 2 more this summer.

Even as a European, it's rushed. You only have 1 day to visit each city and there is so much to see .. honestly, if you like your sight seeing and history, then Europe definitely has it in abundance.

Saying that though, it's a great little 'hello' to Europe and well worth doing, if only to know you want to come back maybe?!

One thing I would say, is that organising your own tours allows you to see much more of the cities IMO. We did a mix of DCL ones and DIY ones last year and the DIY ones were by far better.
For Rome, we had mini vans which could get right into the city centre .. DCL had coaches/buses which could not, which meant all passengers did a great deal of walking that day (100 degrees!!!)
Some DCL trips may be better, but from what we heard from fellow cruisers there was alot of walking, waiting for everyone to gather, then rushing to the next bit.

There's a great thread going for Med cruisers this year (any date) .. gives lots of info about booking things DIY and how people got on.
Med Cruisers Planning Thread

Although ideal to fly in the day before, we never have and we've been ok so far (touch wood)! If you book DCL transport, at least they'd be someone waiting for you at the terminal .. it's not far to the Port. I'd pre-book a cab for the return journey though to save money.

For jet lag, try Melatonin. It's great and something we always pick up when we're in the US at Walmart.

Hope that helps .... fingers crossed we'll be welcoming you to Europe soon!

p.s. Did you realise that DCL are most probably coming back to the Med in 2014 too? Port schedules suggest that they'll do a few Med cruises, then up to the Baltics (sail from Dover, England ... near me!!), then back over to the Med again.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bats View Post
Hope that helps .... fingers crossed we'll be welcoming you to Europe soon!

p.s. Did you realise that DCL are most probably coming back to the Med in 2014 too? Port schedules suggest that they'll do a few Med cruises, then up to the Baltics (sail from Dover, England ... near me!!), then back over to the Med again.
Oh, I hope you are right. We are doing the Med this summer but really, really want to do the Baltic. 2014 would be perfect.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:48 AM   #9
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Oh, I hope you are right. We are doing the Med this summer but really, really want to do the Baltic. 2014 would be perfect.
It looks that way as it was the same in 2010, the last Baltic year.
We did the Dover-Barca repo that year and it was a hoot as we ony live 40 mins from Dover. Seeing the Disney Magic in OUR port was hilarious!

Lots of friends came down to the port to wave us off which was fantastic. I now know how people who live near PC/Galveston/Miami feel!!

Should hear in the next few weeks hopefully .. I'm betting the 2nd week of February.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psimon

Thanks...

I wanted to go early, but my kids are camp counselors and have to work until 1PM on the Friday prior to the cruise (late August). We can make an evening flight, but that means getting in the day the cruise departs. I hope that doesn't hurt us.

---Paul in Southern NJ
If that's the only option then you have to go with DCL air even when it's mpre expensive.
If something happens with any kind of dely then you are screwed.
Wit DCL airfare you aren't or the ship waits for you (if it is within a couple of hour timeframe) or they fly you in to the next stop.

You can make it as rushed as you want to....
You can do Rome for example and that is a linger drive to Rome and back to the ship and with all the things you can see and do it is a rushed day.
But you can also do excursions on your own and have it more leisurely.
Problem is that you want to see as much as possible and that makes the choice so hard.

Plus the Med cruises are very heavely port cruises 8 ports is almost every day a port on the cruise.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yvet View Post
If that's the only option then you have to go with DCL air even when it's mpre expensive.
If something happens with any kind of dely then you are screwed.
Wit DCL airfare you aren't or the ship waits for you (if it is within a couple of hour timeframe) or they fly you in to the next stop.

You can make it as rushed as you want to....
You can do Rome for example and that is a linger drive to Rome and back to the ship and with all the things you can see and do it is a rushed day.
But you can also do excursions on your own and have it more leisurely.
Problem is that you want to see as much as possible and that makes the choice so hard.

Plus the Med cruises are very heavely port cruises 8 ports is almost every day a port on the cruise.
Thanks for the insight. I kind of figured that was the case with Disney air vs finding my own (I wonder what travel insurance through my agent would do in those cases).

I think you are thinking of the 11 day cruise with 8 ports.

The cruise I am looking at is a 7 day cruise. Only has 4 port stops. Starts in Barcelona, Spain, so all we see is the airport . Then it's a day at sea, Villefranche (Monte Carlo, Cannes, Nice), France, La Spezia (Florence, Pisa), Italy, Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy and Naples (Pompeii), Italy. Another day at sea and then back to Barcelona and the airport!

So much for seeing Barcelona!

---Paul in Southern NJ
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psimon

Thanks for the insight. I kind of figured that was the case with Disney air vs finding my own (I wonder what travel insurance through my agent would do in those cases).

I think you are thinking of the 11 day cruise with 8 ports.

The cruise I am looking at is a 7 day cruise. Only has 4 port stops. Starts in Barcelona, Spain, so all we see is the airport . Then it's a day at sea, Villefranche (Monte Carlo, Cannes, Nice), France, La Spezia (Florence, Pisa), Italy, Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy and Naples (Pompeii), Italy. Another day at sea and then back to Barcelona and the airport!

So much for seeing Barcelona!

---Paul in Southern NJ
You travel insurance probably doesn't delays...

Yes is talked about the 11-night

Barcelona has a debarkation port excursion on the day you debark the ship you can do a tour of Barcelona (highlights) and a dropp off at the airport. At least for debarkation of the Trans Atlantic this is offered.

Villefrance:
Nice town to just stroll around yourself.
Also goong to Monaco isn't that heavely rushed excursion. Nice would be more rushed i think.

La Spezia:
Think of doing an excursion on your own to Cinque Terre. On your own pace so not rushed.

Rome:
Spend the money here, go for the expensive tour and go fly thru Rome. Very very rushed but sooo worth it.
We did in 2010 a Rome tour and we called it running thru Rome.

Naples: go see Pompeii the tour we did in 2010 isn't offered anymore (that's such a shame).
Can also be a rushed day.

Go here on the DISboards to the disney cruise line section at the top of the page in grey.
Choose itineraries/ports the choose Europe and click on Magic in the Mediterranean.
This is from 2010 when the DIS covered the 11 night cruise with the excurions offered.
Not all the same excursions are offered this time but it sure gives you a good idea.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:58 AM   #13
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If you do book air with DCL, still see if you can spend an extra day or two in BCN. It is such a beautiful city, it would be a shame to miss it.

I also recommend looking into private tours rather than through Disney. The DCL tours are so expensive that if you share a tour with another family it is cheaper than the ship and you get a much better experience. We used RomeinLimo in two ports and they were fabulous.

A Med cruise is definitely far busier than a Caribbean cruise. We really enjoyed a beach day in Mallorca and our sea day but port days are early, long, and busy but so worth it. I agree it is a great way to get a taste of things.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:26 PM   #14
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Europe vs. Mediterranean

You can't cruise the Alps!

Remember, it's a Med cruise, not a Europe cruise. Lot of Europe is located a long way from the Mediterranean Sea.


-Paul
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