Back to the Med Greece/Turkey in 2013! Complete!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by MinnieDiva, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. mindelmouse

    mindelmouse Rabid Disnoid's Spouse

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    Beth,

    If I remember correctly we did it within the year we were going. I don't believe we booked hotels and tours this far out. I don't think the hotels will take the ressies or guarantee rates this far out...I've looked and can't book on the websites yet. I remember having all the discussions about tours and booking in the winter before we went.
     
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  3. ldo

    ldo DIS Veteran

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    We also did the Fat Tire bike tour (in 2008)---it was great. This was one of the best things we did on the trip. We hope to do it again in the Med 2013. I highly recommend it. You can book via Fattire website, or on viator.com. Sometimes, with the exchagne rate, viator gets a better rate.
     
  4. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

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    No problem! Now, I can't remember exactly when I booked my hotel, but I do remember it was more than a year out and telling the booking agent not to laugh when I told her the dates. That being said, when I was looking at hotels, very few of them would show dates out that far, and I think that's why I called. We stayed at Le Meridian, and again, I wouldn't stay there again. To book, though, there was an 800 #; I didn't have to call Barcelona. Last time, I wanted the peace of mind to know that the hotel had been vetted out by someone (Disney) who's quality standards we trusted. And, not having traveled in Europe, I wanted to use the transfers to the port, and have some of the uncertainty of the check-in process eliminated.

    This time, I need to focus on a completely different kind of room, and am lurking on all the threads on the main site about Barcelona hotels. Since I looked at my scrapbook yesterday and found the map, I'm planning on looking at family-style options and plotting out the addresses to see where a good location will be. Oh....and since you have twins (how old?? 9??) another thing to mention is that some places have roll-out beds available (for a fee, of course). I want to say that we were charged $50E/night for the extra bed. Really? Does it really cost that much to wash the extra linen? But, our little fish flip flops in bed too much for my DH to deal with, so the extra fee was better than dealing with his royal crankiness. :scared1:
     
  5. tinkerbelltwins

    tinkerbelltwins DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! I'm also keeping track of the family style options on the boards too! I had initially thought that a hotel near the airport would be great to take advantage of shuttle options to the port, but after reading up on it, it wouldn't work for us as we want to be more centrally located. And we need a room that sleeps four as our two can't be in another room. Our cruises are a month apart so let's keep in touch with hotel stuff! My twins, Skye and Hope, are kickers in the bed, so we are definitely not wanting them sleeping with us adults. I usually put a rolled up blanket between them when they share a bed at a hotel and that works. Once they pass out from exhaustion they tend to sleep through the night no matter who kicks them back! Our other problem is that Hope still falls out of the bed so we like to have her side over against a wall! I hope she grows out of that habit soon! My twins are eight now, in second grade, but will be nine next year when we cruise. :)

    Beth
     
  6. mindelmouse

    mindelmouse Rabid Disnoid's Spouse

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    My twins were nine when we did the Med last time....I think they really got a lot of it. My main issue is that mine won't share a bed...at 12 they probably shouldn't (b/g) but they've never done well with that. I did the same thing last time..tried to find a place to keep all of us in one room, it was really hard..that's why we stayed off the beaten path, so to speak.
     
  7. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

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    OOOOOOO!!! I've never heard of Viator!! Thanks for helping to feed my planning obsession!!:thumbsup2
     
  8. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

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    Do I get credit for running with the dog, starting laundry, and vacuuming? I NEED to wash the floors in the worst way, but this is far more fun!!

    Ok, so I'll get to more trip details later, but my mind was wandering while I ran this morning, and I started to think how I'd type trip report details while cruising next summer. I know that the wi-fi is HORRIBLE on the ship and have no intention of posting anything there, but there are a lot of internet cafes....right?

    I do not have a laptop. Don't really want one. Keyboard is too small and the 17" size is far too heavy. I'll eventually cave and get one when DD actually has legitimate use for one for school. Right now, she's far too busy during the week to crimp my computer time :surf web:. Oh, and perhaps I should back up. I've never owned a PC either. Ever. Use them at work, sadly, but I am a die hard Apple fan from waaaayyyyy back in the 80's! So, like every good cult member, I have drunk my kool-aid and am on my 2nd iPhone. Well, third, actually, but that involves Applecare and a replacement, but that's another story...

    I'm sitting here typing this on my less than 9 moths old 27" iMac. LOVE LOVE LOVE my computer. Why do I need such a big computer with the extra 2 TB hard drive, you ask? Well thanks for asking! :rotfl: I take all my pics/video and roll them all into ginormous videos. We're talking like an hour long. Started doing it the year my daughter was born and have done it every year since. I've branched out and have started doing topic-specific videos, so that those who may not want to see our Disney trips (really? who wouldn't, right? :confused3), can opt out of that part. Lat year I even branched out and put 3 long videos on a dual layer DVD! The only bad part is that you either had to have a blue ray player to see it as intended or be knowledgeable enough to find the file in the DVD and play it on VLC. I didn't know that, and have yet to figure out how to fix that bug. What I NEED to do is to learn Final Cut, but it's so different that I really would like a class that would teach it to me. Anywho, I've clearly got obsessions, and I digress....

    Back on track. The iPad 3 is in my future. Rumors of a better display didn't originally impress me......until I got my handy dandy iPhone 4s. Then, I was convinced! I'll bide my time. In the meantime, my $$ had to go to payoff the deposit on this stinking cruise, right? So, I'll pray to the shift fairy to grant me more work and maybe I'll gift myself....soon....So far, the fairy's doing a crappy job.

    Well, I'm not a great typist to start with, let alone having to ramble on like I do about lots of travel details. So, I look up keyboard options. DO YOU KNOW that there is a collapsable/foldable bluetooth keyboard available???:woohoo: I'm not sure if this will work, but here's a link:
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/H5235LL/A/ieagle-bluetooth-keyboard?fnode=MTc0MjU4OTY
    And.....it's well-rated. But pricey. But collapsable!!!! Perfect! But first I need the iPad to be released...heeeellllloooooooo......Apple.....????

    :) more later....
     
  9. Travelbee

    Travelbee DIS Veteran

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    I really resisted chiming in and was a bit overwhelmed by the 20+pages of the Dismeet thread for June 15 Med cruise, but this pre-trip report is just too good to ignore! My family, consisting of me, DH (also named Sean), and DD (also 10 at the time of cruise), booked this AND the June 27 Venice cruise on opening day. June 27 works better for our schedule because school will be out and DD will only miss one week of gym practice because her gym shuts down July 4 week. But our good friends (CasaMartinez, already posted on the Dismeet) and another Disboard family preferred the Greece itinerary, so here we are. June 27 is a backup in case the two families change plans and cancel.

    Like you, we did the Med in 2010. We originally planned for 2011 but jumped on the same $999 pp deal that Jedijill spoke of. Since it wasn't our first cruise, we eagerly took the 11-night knowing how valuable the sea days are (plus it was the same price)! It seemed like we did completely different things in each port so it's fun to read what your experiences were. The only time we splurged and hired a driver was in Naples. We also paid for a private tour with an archaeologist in Pompeii, then the driver took us to Amalfi Coast. It was so worth the money!

    BTW DD started wearing glasses right before 2010 cruise too. She then switched to contacts and now is doing Ortho-k. So no more glasses or contacts during the day!
     
  10. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

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    Resistance is futile! :rotfl: (Yes, I crack myself up!) and WELCOME to my insanity!!

    DD has an eye exam in March...I quickly googled what Ortho-k was, and will have to do more research, but will certainly ask the doc when we go! I wore contacts as a kid, and once I saw DD bruising her eyes b/c of the frames and just watching them fall off her face, I decided to take her in and get her fitted. SUCH an amazing difference!

    The archaeologist must have been amazing!! Our tour guide (we did DCL's Pompeii and Sorrento tour) was very good, but I can imagine how awesome it could have been! I'd love to hear what else you did in other ports....there's so much to see and do!!

    We do have a pretty active DisMeets thread, but it's a good group! Stop on by and just jump in! We are also traveling with friends, and as there are already 37 different rooms on the Google doc ( a spreadsheet that there's a link to on the Meet site), you can get a really good grasp on the ages of kids that'll be there!
     
  11. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

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    History buff here!! My first thought, though, when I saw Tunis on the itinerary was: What? Why? Until my DH gently told me (insert ton of bricks here): Carthage, dummy. Oh. Ok.....I get it! At which time I started googling all sorts of things about Carthage and was way psyched to go there!

    Well, that heat thing had pretty well shot any idea of us taking DD into Tunis with us. We talked to the tour desk and asked if we could cancel her excursion (went with DCL on this one...) and explained that the heat wasn't sitting well. They actually let us do that, and did not charge us. We were willing to just eat the cost (wasn't much...only like $40, maybe...), but were pleased that DCL was willing to work with us. I think had it been all of us it would have been an entirely different scenario.

    We met in the WD Theater at 0915 (because I kept my stubs......!!!!) and were given a piece of paper ( a Tunis Visitors Embarking Card..said that on the Navigator :)) that the Tunisian government would stamp instead of stamping our passport. Something to do with hostile nations, etc, etc....We started off by going to Carthage. Our tour guide was of French-Tunisan heritage and spoke very clear English. He told us a bit about the education in his country, and while they first learn Arabic, they move on to French, English, and then a language of choice (usually spanish or italian). All citizens can go to college and have it paid for, but their performance (grades) determined what college they would attend. Interesting...and do note that this information was current at that time; since the revolution last spring...who knows! And...in all the questions that were asked of him, in no way did we ever get any impression that there was any turmoil in that country.
    The port was not attractive, and I didn't get any pics of the stinkin' camels they had there to "greet us". Carthage, however, was amazing:

    [​IMG]

    An amphitheater with modern-day usage:

    [​IMG]

    Aquaducts:

    [​IMG]

    And then off to Sidi Bou Said:

    [​IMG]

    Which, while pretty, looked a bit run-down and the "market" was crazy expensive. I don't like to haggle. And a lot of the stuff was cheaply made. uck. Could have done without seeing this town. However, you never know when you're going to have a great interaction with a local! DH found a little market (after avoiding some guy stalking us...) and got some cokes:

    [​IMG]

    In paying the lady (who spoke no English), he pulled out a handful of change (Euros) and she got excited when he handed her a coin that had been made in Malta. Apparently, each country, though they all use Euros interchangeably, produce their own currency. She pulled out a box and started showing DH coins that had different countries on one side of them! Very cool!

    This, I thought, was just funny:

    [​IMG]

    Amen? I have money in my bank, amen! :rotfl:

    We went back to the port after this, and though DH and I were glad to have seen some amazing ruins, we were happy to be back "home". While walking thru the port building, another creepy thing happened...some guy was trying to record all the people as we walked by. Very, very strange and as someone who's never been in such a situation, unnerving. Glad I went, not going back.

    DD stayed in the kids club most of the day. We'd lifted her "lockdown" so that when Clifffside and family came back from their Tunis adventure they could take DD to see a movie with them. It worked well.

    All abord time was 3:45 ship time (which was different that the time we were at, I guess), and as I have a Palo card scrapbooked in the Tunis section, we must have gone to Palo that night! But I don't think I took my camera as I have NO pictures of it! However, I do have a towel animal:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. mindelmouse

    mindelmouse Rabid Disnoid's Spouse

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    So now I must jump in here (sorry to intrude, but you know you just inspire me) and say we had a very different time in Tunis and story when we got home as well. We started our day at the non air-conditioned mosaic museum. The Mosaic's were incredible, but it was hot. Disney had a kids activity where the kids actually made a mosaic to take home. They were very heavy and they had them delivered to the ship. I think the kids took them home in their backpacks because they would have put the luggage over the weight limit.

    After the museum we went to the market (I knew the name it and now I can't remember it) - but here's where the fun starts...although the market sold everything...my DH decided he needed to buy a cashmere carpet..(from Tunisia, really???) So we bought a $2000 cashmere carpet (stupid americans) that 3 months later still hadn't shown up at our home. So when we called the CC to dispute the charge, all of a sudden the carpet shows up. Its stained and falling apart and I don't know what it went through but unless I can show proof that I returned it, I can't get my money back. Fat chance since we can't even get in contact with the company that sold it to us....so now I have a stained carpet that isn't usable....MORAL OF THE STORY - DON'T BUY A CARPET IN TUNISIA.

    Just had to get that in. Sorry to interrupt.
     
  13. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

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    Yay!! Got an email from Rick Steve's site today and he had listing for travel classes in March. I signed up for one on "Rome" for March 3rd! There was one right before on traveling light, but I laughed and moved on. Which brings me to my next travel-related train of thought:

    Does anyone else look at the clothes they buy and think: "will this be useful on my cruise?" ? I do. I even think about stuff I already have and think what I need to replace. No WAY and I going to have 2 vacations with the same exact outfits! That makes for really boring photography! As I said before, it doesn't get very warm here in the summer, so my need to purchase lightweight summer clothing just doesn't exist.

    So, I haunt Rei-Outlet and Title 9 off-season looking for deals. And, when I was at the fabric store looking at patterns, my mind kept drifting to all the cute summer patterns that are beginning to appear in the pattern books. Doesn't matter that I won't need summer clothing until this august...
     
  14. Tracerr00

    Tracerr00 DIS Veteran

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    Oh my gosh - now I don't feel so bad for thinking about the outfits that I will wear a year and a half from now!!:rotfl2: Thank you for bringing this up! After reading the Med trip report from lornak I realized that I must start shopping now! The outfits that she and her sister wore were all so cute . If I'm taking a trip like this I must have cute clothes in the photos that I will be showing all over Facebook and probably on the DIS!! And who knows what size my DD will be in at that point but I've seen some super cute dresses for formal night that I want to buy for her! It doesn't help that I work at the Mall of America - I walk past cute clothing every day so it's dangerous.
     
  15. lostboysean

    lostboysean Earning My Ears

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    Yeah, Tunis wasn't a place I was really looking forward to visiting but with a chance to see Carthage I was excited. I am glad Turkey is the only Arab country on the list and if you haven't been to an Arab country before, do some reading or talk with someone who has. Turkey is very progressive and the area we will be at is safe for tourist and women but they look at both differently than Westerners. I can say that when I was there before everyone was very friendly and I had no issues.
     
  16. mindelmouse

    mindelmouse Rabid Disnoid's Spouse

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    Tunis was the second Arab country I had been two (went to Morocco during my honeymoon cruise) and I can say I was a little antsy in both places. Less so in Tunis. I will feel very safe in Turkey....you'll be there :):)
     
  17. Travelbee

    Travelbee DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2 DH will be happy to know there are Star Trek fans onboard!
    The only reason we switched to Ortho-K was because DD's prescription was increasing quickly. Her prescription went from 2.25/2.5 to 3.75/4.5 in 10 months. Ortho-K is supposed to stop the progression of myopia. It's been about 3 months and her eyes haven't changed, so I'm hopeful. It took some adjustments (slight discomfort with hard lenses) but once DD got used to it, she loves it. Not having to wear contacts during the day is definitely a fringe benefit.

    BTW - One of your posts said you were disappointment that the 2010 med trip didn't leave a big impression on your DD. I have a funny story along that line... A few months after we returned, DD said "Remember the Colosseum in Rome?" I excitedly replied "Of course, what do you remember?" It was followed by "that's where you dropped the walkie-talkie in the toilet!".

    That's awful. But at least I don't feel as bad about spending $200 on a bowl in Tunis that broke in our luggage on our way home!
     
  18. mindelmouse

    mindelmouse Rabid Disnoid's Spouse

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  19. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

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    Oh...too funny about the walkie-talkie! Amazing what they remember!

    And was the bowl one of those that was supposed to be indestructible? The non-scratchable variety?
     
  20. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

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    So I was up till 3 this morning doing research (work tonight, so had to sleep in), and am bug-eyed from staring at the computer screen. Saw a lot of tour prospects and a few hotel options. Wow, I really think the Europeans need to take a page from our hotel playbook. Why, pray tell, does it cost THAT MUCH to get a hotel room there? Let alone 2? Look at a suite, and find that it doesn't sleep any more people...what's the point?

    On the bright side, I now think I know which flight I'll be on out of Seattle on June 12,2013!!

    Ok, stuff to do...
     
  21. mindelmouse

    mindelmouse Rabid Disnoid's Spouse

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    are you flying and stopping in the NE on the way? We'll probably leave Thursday 6/13 to arrive morning of the 14th.
     

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