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Old 06-30-2014, 09:47 PM   #1
woody64
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Disney Magic in the Mediterranean-6/7-6/14/2014

Because I've enjoyed and learned from other trip reports I thought I would do one of my own in the hopes it would help someone else.

This cruise was the Magic sailing the Mediterranean from Barcelona on June 7th, 2014. The cast is me, DW, DS(19) and DS(15) from the western burbs of Chicago. All excursions were purchased thru DCL and we can't say enough about the guides, bus drivers and everything about these excursions. We went thru the ship so we would not have to worry about making it back to the ship in time.

We had late dinner seating and I will have very few pictures of dinner and zero pictures of what we ate except on one excursion.

Photography is a hobby of mine and I did take a lot of pictures and will include some in this report. The edits of these pictures are rough so please suffer through them, including some quick HDR shots.

Enough disclaimers, on with the show.
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:33 PM   #2
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Day 1:Trip to Barcelona and some touring

We chose to fly over a day early (thru Frankfort) to make sure we didn't miss the ship. We are very thankful we did this because we had some delays in Chicago. Unfortunately, United Airlines decided to put some bags on our flight that did not belong to anyone. Of course they discovered this at the end of the runway...back to the jetway, unload the bags, repeat trip to runway and takeoff. This cost us 2 hours and our connection in Frankfort. Not off to a very good start!

We were booked on a much later flight than originally scheduled and finally made it to Barcelona 4 1/2 hours later than intended after a 19 hour journey. We had barcelonadaytoursdotcom pick us up(thankfully I was able to get a hold of them and tell them of the delay) and waited about 15 minutes for them to arrive. Once we met up with our very nice guide, we walked outside, loaded the bags in the van and started our private 4 hour tour of Barcelona.

Our guide informed us that because we were so late we unfortunately missed our “skip-the-line” tours of Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia (United will be hearing from me on this) so we could kind of choose what we wanted to do. My oldest DS mentioned that he would like to see the stadium where FC Barcelona plays so that became stop 1. On the drive we were given a history of Barcelona and had important sites pointed out to us. The driver parked out in front of the stadium and stayed with the van (and our bags) while we explored the exterior of the stadium, which seats 100,000, and made a shopping trip into the official store.



When we were finished we reboarded the van and did a driving tour of Barcelona. We stopped and took pictures at the '92 Olympic Stadium and Torch-site of the coolest torch lighting I have ever seen. Google it to find out how they lit it.



We stopped outside one of Gaudi’s houses to take pictures and then it was on to La Sagrada Famailia. All I can say is that you must see it. Our only regret is not being able to go inside but gives us reason to go back when it is finished…in 16 years!

One of the houses Gaudi built


La Familia Sagrada-notice the differing styles as they are on opposite sides of the building




After walking all around La Sagrada we boarded the van again and set out for Park Guell. We again were not able to enter because we missed our time and they did not care why we missed it. We looked through the fence and did some shopping across the street and set out for our hotel.



Our driver dropped us off at our hotel, the Hotel Regina, which was ˝ block from Placa de Catalunya and La Rambla. The hotel was great! Great location, clean, and a big room that could hold all 4 of us! We dropped the bags and went in search of food down La Rambla. We ended up getting some really good pizza (not sure if it was really good or we were just really hungry) down one of the cool, narrow streets in the Gothic section. We wondered around some more and hit the hay early, 8:30 pm, after being up for about 24 hours.

La Rambla
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Last edited by woody64; 06-30-2014 at 11:08 PM. Reason: add pictures
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:27 AM   #3
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Looking forward to reading! We are on the Magic in August but luckily as we are in the UK we won't have such a long journey!

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Old 07-01-2014, 07:54 AM   #4
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Looking forward to reading the rest of your trip report we are on the Magic in August
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:22 PM   #5
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Looking forward to reading your report. We are on the last Med cruise this summer, can't wait!
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:42 PM   #6
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More Barcelona and Boarding the Magic

Having gone to bed so early, I was awake at 5:30. Finally around 6:00 I decided to get up and go take pictures. Some of the best light of the day is sunrise so I was going to take advantage of it. I picked up a map from the very helpful front desk and headed out down La Rambla.

I do have to warn you if you are an adult male walking down La Rambla by himself at 6:15 am. While I never felt unsafe, I was very uncomfortable because the ladies of the evening that were still looking for company were stationed along La Rambla and very aggressive, even grabbing my shirt sleeve. Looking back now it is funny but it wasn’t at the time.

After fast walking the gauntlet down the entire length of La Rambla I arrived at the Christopher Columbus statue and took some pictures. From there I wondered around the Gothic section including the rebuilt Roman Aqueduct Arch and the Cathedral.







After hustling back to the hotel to make sure I wasn’t missed I arrived to find…my crew still asleep. After everyone woke up, showered and repacked we set off down La Rambla which thankfully had none of my previous friends in sight. We wondered around the Gothic section some more and sampled some wonderful pastries. It was then time to head back to the hotel and grab a cab for the Magic.







One quick word about La Rambla. It was a great street to wander down but parents of younger kids just be prepared for your children to potentially see some interesting things for sale. There are vendors selling anything from cannabis seeds to seeds for anatomically correct vegetables and flowers with very descriptive packaging. My teenagers thought it was funny and took pictures of some of the packages. I did too but will not post those pics here.

After a quick 10-15 minute ride to the port (about €15) we were dropped off right beside the Magic. One note here is DO NOT try and walk from downtown to the port. There is a big, long bridge you must go up then down to get to the ship. We did see several people doing this and they looked miserable…except the one child trying to ride a four-wheeled suitcase down the hill!

There were lots of porters there to take our bags and then we were in line to have our passports checked. After a short wait there we went thru the metal detectors and then in line to check in and get our keycards. A short line for Castaway Club members and we were checked in and having our picture taken. Note, the photographers are not allowed to take a picture of you with your camera like at the theme parks.

The next thing we know our name was announced and we were back onboard the Magic! We last sailed on her in February of 2004 and she looked as grand as ever. We ate lunch upstairs, walked around and reacquainted ourselves then went down to our room. On the way down we bought the water bottle package so we would have water with us on our long excursions.

After the muster drill it was time for the sail away party. We were up on deck 10 and had a great view.

Miguel leading the party!






The Catalan and Spanish flags


After the party we had late seating so we just relaxed in our stateroom and around the ship. We didn’t feel like going to the first show in the theatre so we skipped it. For dinner we were on the LAC so we were at Lumiere’s. We were seated with a really nice family from Atlanta and greatly enjoyed dinners with them and comparing stories of what we each did every day. Our Server was Vitor from Portugal and his Assistant Sammie from Italy. They were very friendly and nice throughout the whole trip.

After dinner the other three went back to the room to chill while I headed out to O’Gills Pub and Fathoms for the Match Your Mate Game. A couple of notes here, Miguel (el Sugar!) did a great job throughout the cruise hosting the late night activities. He was energetic, friendly and a very quick wit with adult themes. For those people that think it is kid friendly 100% of the time…it’s not and that’s what I love about DCL. If you get a chance please check out the Match Your Mate Game (like the Newly Wed Game but with couple married for varying lengths). For reference, the final question was where is the wildest place you and your mate have ever “discovered the magic”. Enough said.

After that I decide to take some pictures around the very quiet ship and then it was off to bed.





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Old 07-03-2014, 04:48 AM   #7
Princess Clayre
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Great report so far, you take the most wonderful photo's.

We decided a while ago that Las Ramblas does not sound like somewhere we would want to visit and your report seem to back up what we thought.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:20 PM   #8
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You truly do take wonderful photos! I've been looking for recent photos of the reimagined Magic, and I will certainly keep following this trip report - I cant wait to see what else you've got for us!
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DCL Fantasy 11/13 (Eastern)
Oceania Riviera 05/12 (Mediterranean)
Norwegian Jewel 06/11 (Bahamas)
RCCL Monarch of the Seas 12/10 (Bahamas)
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Old 07-04-2014, 06:48 AM   #9
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Wow, Woody64 what a great trip report!! Thank you for all your information and insight on your trip! We are going on the July26th Med cruise. Your photos are AMAZING! Thank you so much for posting. Reading and seeing your pictures is really getting me excited for our trip. I can't wait to read more!
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Old 07-04-2014, 05:42 PM   #10
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Following along to your most excellent start!
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Old 07-04-2014, 06:36 PM   #11
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We will be on the Magic in August. So looking forward to this vacation. Your pictures are beautiful. Looking forward to your next installment.
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Old 07-05-2014, 09:25 AM   #12
woody64
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Day 2:Day at Sea

Thank you for all the kind words. It is nice reliving the memories and hopefully I can help someone out with insights or questions. Now, on with the show!

Day 2 (Sunday)– At Sea
Our first full day on the Magic started…late. We all slept in until about 9:30, which never happens at home. We were on deck 6 with a room with a balcony but with the curtains closed and the a/c on it was cool and dark. It felt great to recharge and we were so happy the itinerary was laid out this way. We ate breakfast, changed into our swimsuits and headed for deck 10. We pretty much stayed here most of the day, grabbing pizza, chicken tenders and ice cream from the various places on deck 9. We also enjoyed the beverage service on deck 9 outside of Cabanas. It had all the Coke products with glasses, tops and straws as well as water. The boys did their own thing and I think went and saw the newest Captain America movie. My wife did attend the shopping presentation and received some good information about shopping in all the ports.

Adults Only Pool


Kids water play area


Family pool with video screen where we watched movies


A note about the last picture. I had read about the mug deal for beer on the ship. I am a beer drinker so I took advantage of it. You buy the mug and for the length of the cruise you drink 22 oz. of beer for the price of 16 oz. It was a good deal in my book. Also, you could turn in the mug when you are done and they would give you a token to use the next time you wanted a beer instead of carry around a dirty beer mug.

Tonight was formal night. We did not bring any real dressy clothes because of the long trip. We boys were all in khakis and nice short sleeve button down shirts while my wife was in a dress. There were people WAY more dressed up than we were including some in tuxes and sparkly ball gowns. We also saw people in shorts and jeans. It didn’t matter as everyone was having a good time. The lighting on Deck 4 was fantastic so we took many family pictures and I took these as I thought they might make some cool shots.





One note about the dress for any dinner during this cruise, the dress for dinner was extremely casual. We saw anything from jeans to shorts and t-shirts and it didn’t bother us at all. In fact, towards the end of the cruise we would wear shorts and a polo shirt to dinner. Hopefully this won’t bother anyone but we enjoyed that each family could dress how they chose.

As always there were tons of picture opportunities before the show/early seating. We took pictures with one background and then headed to Walt Disney Theatre for “Twice Charmed”. Word of warning, they are serious when they say no pictures/video. Several people tried and they were immediately asked to stop. It was a cute show that we enjoyed.

Here is some information for Disney Vacation Club members. Stop by the DVC desk every night and you might win little gifts. It was a fun little thing to do and the people there were so nice.

Dinner tonight was formal night at Animator’s Palete. We originally had scheduled to go to Palo but were told by our servers that tonight was the special show in AP so we cancelled our dinner reservation at Palo to see the show. We were very glad we did this as we loved the show. I will not tell you more, as it was a great surprise to us what they did and want you to have that same experience.



Loved the dishes!


After dinner the family went to the room and I went to O’Gills/Fathoms. Tonight in Fathoms was Kyle Knight and Misty. They do magic and illusions and were really good. I would recommend seeing them if you have a chance.

After that it was back to the stateroom, read a little on the balcony and then time for bed. Tomorrow is our first stop!
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Old 07-05-2014, 02:24 PM   #13
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Hi, loving your report

Can I ask do you still have your navigators that you could post pics of? I am particularly interested in the character meet and greets.

Many thanks

Claire
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess Clayre View Post
Great report so far, you take the most wonderful photo's.

We decided a while ago that Las Ramblas does not sound like somewhere we would want to visit and your report seem to back up what we thought.
If you get a chance, I hope you'll reconsider. Las Ramblas is one of the great walking streets of the world. Just for another perspective, I've been to Barcelona (and down Las Ramblas) a couple of times and guess I've missed some the more colorful parts. Many families are strolling around. Just not at 6:15am. :D
Incidentally, I too woke up early and walked down Las Ramblas a couple of years ago looking for some coffee. It must have been just after 7am. Found Starbucks, but it still wasn't open yet! Talk about a culture that wakes up late and stays out late.
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woody64 View Post

One note about the dress for any dinner during this cruise, the dress for dinner was extremely casual. We saw anything from jeans to shorts and t-shirts and it didn’t bother us at all. In fact, towards the end of the cruise we would wear shorts and a polo shirt to dinner. Hopefully this won’t bother anyone but we enjoyed that each family could dress how they chose.
We're flying out next week for our cruise out of Venice. I've been debating shorts vs pants in the main dining rooms. Thanks for you persecutive. I'd rather just wear shorts on the mdr nights, but will probably bring pants just in case it's too cold in there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by woody64 View Post


Dinner tonight was formal night at Animator’s Palete. We originally had scheduled to go to Palo but were told by our servers that tonight was the special show in AP so we cancelled our dinner reservation at Palo to see the show. We were very glad we did this as we loved the show. I will not tell you more, as it was a great surprise to us what they did and want you to have that same experience.
So is the show always your first night in Animator's Palate? I'm going to try to book a 2nd palo dinner, but don't want to miss the show either.
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