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Old 06-09-2013, 12:59 PM   #1
kikids
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Our Way...Magic in The Mediterranean 6/1/13-6/8/13

Hello All. We just returned from our 7 night voyage on The Magic's 1st Med cruise of 2013. We are adjusting to major jet lag but hopefully it'll wear off soon and I'll add a port every day this week, telling what we did and how we did it.

For the most part we were "Doin' It Our Way". My husband said the only way he'd do a Disney Med cruise was if we didn't 'live in a Disney bubble'. To him this meant no Disney excursions...we figured out pre-hotel stay, trains, buses, transportation,etc at ports on our own (with one exception which was a Disney debacle, more on that later).

The first three tips you should know:
1) Yes you can make an early flight home!!! I read about so many people freaking out about early flights out of BCN to the US. I, myself, rejected a 10:45 flight in lieu of a 1:15 flight to be safe. Didn't need to do this! Ship got in at 5 am. We ate the LATE seating breakfast on the ship at 8 am (actually 815), were off the boat at 8:40, in our drivers car at 8:50, at the airport by 930, checked luggage and at the gate at 10 am. All at a leisurely pace! Could have made that 1045 easy. Could have made a 10 am flight with the early breakfast (not that I recommend it, I'm just saying, it's doable)

2) Don't be afraid to try the ports on your own, tomsportguides and rick steves were my sources of inspiration and education. While accurate about 90% of the time, they made my trip very enjoyable.

3) If it's not too late, get a Port side room! I am a Starboard fan, have always been starboard in the past but for most of the med ports, and for sailing along the coast (see the map of your voyage), the Portside views are waaaaaay better IMO.

BARCELONA
I booked Hotel Continental on La Rambla about a year in advance. They are mentioned in Rick Steves and I wanted to be where the action was. They also were one of the few places I found to have accommodation for 4 people in one room. It was 166 E per night. Not bad! I will be putting up a Tripadvsor review this week. However, staying anywhere near the Rambla would have been perfectly safe, very walkable to said action, and next time I'd opt to save a few bucks for a more modern place walkable to the busy areas. I strongly suggest having a day or town in BCN before the cruise. We really enjoyed the HOHO bus.

Pickpockets: not a problem that we saw. Very good police presence. Never felt nervous, even walking the side streets which I highly recommend, especially the gothic area, we enjoyed walking these beautiful narrow shop-lined streets even more than la rambla.

I used Autos Vilar for transportation. Juan's email address is info@autosvilar.com. He gave me a combo flat rate of 130E for a trip from airport to hotel, hotel to port, and port to airport again (3 transfers total). His guy spoke almost no english but man was he punctual! And very nice. Van was comfortable. Strongly recommend.

The port on Saturday went smoothly. We arrived at 1130, waited in a long line to check in but still had boarding number 7 or so (can't recall for sure) and we were on the boat by 1230. I spoke with some people who didn't arrive until closer to 1 and they reported the lines were much longer. Cabins were ready at 130. The sail away party, buffets, etc. were all typical Magic stuff, nothing new that I noticed. We left port a little late, maybe 630. I previously posted the dining rotations for the 7 night but if anyone wants them again, ask. One thing of note is that the Animators 'show night' is the first night you are in Animators.

I will be putting the following reviews on tripadvisor later this week: Hotel Continental, Montjuic Castle, Parc Guell, HOHO Barcelona City Tours, Grand Viader, Pappabubble, boqueria, Pizza Emporio. We did not take the subway so I can not address questions about this. We walked or HOHO'd everywhere.

Villefranche to follow........
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Last edited by kikids; 06-12-2013 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:29 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting your trip report. We are scheduled to sail on the 6/27 sailing and I am looking forward to reading your entire report.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:46 PM   #3
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We were on the same trip and sounds like we travel similarly. We actually did return on the 10:25 am Delta flight to JFK. It could not have been simpler. We ate at the buffet at Topsiders because too early to make our late seating breakfast. Delta even checked our bags and issued boarding passes at the Port, so we didn't have to do anything at the airport other than the usual security steps.
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:47 PM   #4
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Oh, I am so excited! Yours is the first trip report that I have seen for the Med this summer and I have been waiting eagerly for them as we will be sailing on 13th August! I have subscribed and I can't wait to read more, especially as you have visited the ports by yourself, which is what we intend to do for the most part (will definitely do an exursion for Rome, undecided for Naples). Really looking forward to seeing how you found everything. I don't remember seeing the dining rotations you posted, so if you don't mind posting it again or pointing me in the right direction,that would be great!
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:41 PM   #5
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Jen, hi! Here are dining rotations:
Rotation 1 is Lumiere, Lumiere, Animator's Palate, Parrot Cay, Lumiere, Animator's and Parrot Cay.

Rotation 2 is Animator's, Animator's, Parrot Cay, Lumiere, Animator's, Parrot Cay and Lumiere

Rotation 3 is Parrot Cay, Parrrot Cay, Lumiere, Animator's, Parrot Cay, Lumiere and Animator's

kventventx, you're going to have a great time! It was certainly a trip of a lifetime.

a37027, thanks for adding your info. These boards were so helpful in our planning and I'd enjoy hearing more about your time off the ship as well and what you decided to do.
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:59 PM   #6
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Photo fun of BCN

Sorry these are so big, I'm going to work on sizing them down.


View of La Rambla from our hotel lobby balcony at night.


Don't research dining ahead of time - you don't need to. You can't walk 50 feet without finding a place like this with pics and prices.


Spanish Nemo


Stray cats around Montjuic.


Magic not in port yet, photo from Montjuic castle.


My DD on the wall around the castle.


Graffiti seems to be an art form around BCN, my DD really enjoyed taking pictures of graffiti with her ipod.


Meat sampler and cheese sampler plates, tomato bread, plus some churros. This wasn't a cheap snack but it was certainly a fun taste of the local foods.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:00 PM   #7
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Can't wait to read more! We leave July 13th!
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:38 PM   #8
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Looking forward to more of your TR. I'd love to do a Med cruise, so I'm interested in hearing about your cruise and the ports!
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kikids View Post
I booked Hotel Continental on La Rambla about a year in advance. They are mentioned in Rick Steves and I wanted to be where the action was. They also were one of the few places I found to have accommodation for 4 people in one room. It was 166 E per night. Not bad! I will be putting up a Tripadvsor review this week. However, staying anywhere near the Rambla would have been perfectly safe, very walkable to said action, and next time I'd opt to save a few bucks for a more modern place walkable to the busy areas. I strongly suggest having a day or town in BCN before the cruise. We really enjoyed the HOHO bus.
Did you book the hotel directly through their website, or a third-party site like Hotwire or Priceline? How many people did you have in your room and did they charge you more if you have more than 2 people in the room? (Some hotels charge beyond 2 people, as we found out in Vancouver when we booked a Comfort Inn from Priceline.)
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:31 AM   #10
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Hello and Welcome back! I am so happy to see your report! You remind me so much of..... me! We also have a family of 4, booked at Continental (No where near your fabulous rate, though) and also have Autos Vilar booked! We are on the last Med 7 night in August. Thank you for posting the dining rotation. I am going to ask my travel agent to put in a request for me. I can't wait to hear more about your adventures! We will totally be doing it on our own, as well. Thank you for sharing!
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:31 AM   #11
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I can't wait for more! Love the pictures!
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:14 AM   #12
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I am so excited about reading your trip report. My DH and I are on the August 31 cruise. Love your pictures of BCN. I have not planned anything for the first day.

We have the 10:45 flight back to the US. We also have the 2nd dining time. Should we do the buffet or can we do the 2nd seating time for breakfast? We have Disney transfers and that makes me a little nervous...
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:15 AM   #13
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Can't wait for more.
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:02 PM   #14
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We leave in a week and a half and I am so excited to read this!!! Please let us know when your trip advisor reports are up too...love it!!
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:07 PM   #15
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So excited to read this report. For my DH's 50th we are doing a 15 day Hawaiian Cruise and for my 50th we are doing this cruise.
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