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June 1 Med - A Merry Band of Invalids (London, Barca, Med Cruise, Paris)

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by lilpooh108, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. clairedy6

    clairedy6 New Member

    I don't know their exact names but if you look on the TripAdvisor page for the restaurant and search hard enough there's lots of reviews saying "our tour guide brought us here for lunch".

    Also if you look at reviews of some of the top tour companies they'll say "our guide took us to (the same restaurant)"
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  3. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 New Member

    I see what you mean. When we walked into the restaurant, every table in there was a tourist table (no locals, which to me is always a bad sign).

    They had an entire back table of just tour guides. When our driver checked us in, they put a piece of paper on our table with our driver's name on it that said "8 p" for our 8 people who were there. Then they logged his name in a book (for his commission, I suppose). He sat at the tour guide table and got his free meal while waiting for us to order, and then chain smoked outside with his other driver friends while waiting for us to eat. I guess he had a great time ;)

    My DH and I considered for one moment of asking him to take us elsewhere, but everyone was tired and the kids were cranky so we stayed. I think that if it had been the 2 of us, we probably would have left.

    It took over 20 minutes for someone to take our order, and they then charged a service charge per person for the yucky table bread. We had to ask for oil & vinegar for it. Call me cynical but one waiter "accidentally" brought us a bottle of wine instead of balsamic vinegar. I'm pretty sure they were going to charge us for it had we not noticed or sent it back.

    It was situations like this (as well as being snapped at by the driver at Pompeii) that made me indignant throughout the day. Luckily, the rest of the family didn't know what was happening, and I was glad for it. No need for everyone to have a bad time :wizard:
  4. Stinkerbell1973

    Stinkerbell1973 New Member

    I so enjoyed reading this TR. First and foremost, your daughters are beautiful. The smiles on their faces, especially with Mickey and Minnie, made me choke up a little. Our daughter is 8 so it reminds me of how they make her smile too. I could go on and on about this topic, haha.

    We are doing this exact same cruise the exact same week next year (ours leaves May 31). You mentioned a couple of times about the heat and humidity. Do you happen to remember what the temperatures were?

    I bookmarked your TR so that when I start planning excursions, I can refer back to it easily. You provided such phenomenal, detailed information! I wanted to make sure I knew exactly where to go to research your tour companies, guides, etc.

    I'm so glad you guys had a great time, and personally I am thankful that you decided to write a TR. You are helping my family plan properly by doing so!

    Best wishes!!
  5. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 New Member

    It is so amazing to see their little faces light up when they see the characters. I remember Baby Ems walking away from Daisy, patting her tummy in satisfaction when the picture was done. She was just astounded she met her favorite "person" in the whole world.

    Is your daughter into princesses? They had so many princess photo opportunities on this trip. I'm sure she will really enjoy it princess:

    It was actually cold and rainy in Barcelona that last week of May. I decided last minute to bring Columbia Sportswear fleece for the whole family and we all wore it in Barcelona (all 3 days). It was pretty cold without fleece. I was surprised.

    Here is a picture near Placa Catalunya at 11:30 am. You can see a bunch of tourists off in the distance. Everyone was wearing jackets, sweaters.

    In Villefranche, the weather was mild -- mid 70s.

    We went to Portofino & Santa Margherita for our La Spezia day. These towns are by the sea and so the temperature was very mild. I wore a lightweight long sleeve and it was perfect. Probably low 70s with a breeze.

    Rome was easily 85 or so and in the sun when you are walking, it starts getting pretty exhausting. It was humid....so it's good to apply sunblock and bring some too to reapply since you'll sweat it off. There isn't very much shade at the Forum or the Colosseum. There are also hordes of people, so it "feels" hot. The A/C doesn't work well in the Vatican. Hot hot hot.

    The Roman Forum at around 10:30 am. Already hot hot:

    Pompeii has no shade, and it was very very very hot. I don't remember the exact temperature, but I would guess it was low 90s. The sun reflects off all the white stone so it's sort of just blinding everywhere. It's also humid since its only a mile or 2 above the coast. It takes about 2 hours to tour Pompeii, so the heat gets exhausting. Kinda like being at WDW in July and walking around for 2 hours. Your tour guide will have you stand in the shade of a wall every time they do an explanation.

    Pompeii at around 10:00 a.m. Bright and sunny, and the run reflects off the stone.

    We loved the weather in Positano. It was probably low 80s, with a breeze.

    The ship is always cold and it's super windy on deck. We brought a lot of layers in our luggage and that seemed to work well.

    Let me know if you have other questions!
  6. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers New Member

    Good for Baby Ems! Babies are great!

    I am so sorry to hear about your experience, because it's your vacation! Did you complain to the tour company?
  7. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 New Member

    You know, I didn't. I paid in cash and I really didn't expect anything back from them.

    Like you guys...we had major jetlag and were super sick after we got home so I never got around to it. I actually just posted my TripAdvisor review a few days ago. I figure my TA rating and my review here would deter at least some people. That's enough for me.

    In the end, we saved over going with other companies since we were able to see Positano. That *sort of* makes up for the negative experience.

    Did you guys use a driver in Naples? Do you have any recs? We'd like to do Positano again in the future, and would love a recommendation. :goodvibes
  8. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers New Member

    Yuck! DH and I checked everything in the room especially the bathroom.

    DD10 is highly allergic to milk and dairy. I should have ordered this. I will remember this for the next cruise.

  9. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 New Member

    What did he drink during the cruise?

    I know for a fact that DCL only recently started carrying the individual containers of soy milk. On prior cruises (as recent as last summer), they only had the huge kitchen-use containers that they'd pour out. It was also unflavored and DD hated them (she's 4).

    I saw a post for the Fantasy and a lady mentioned that she ordered these.

    I had to fax in a request, and they stocked them. Our head server mentioned my faxed request and brough out 2 each night for dinner. One for during dinner and one for before bed.

    The ones that room service gave us she drank throughout the day. We actually had 2 leftover at the end of the cruise that we left in the room untouched (hopefully they didn't just toss them).

    **BTW, the special diets department at the DCL call center had no idea what I was talking about and asked me to bring them myself. I would have, but since it was the Med I didn't know what they'd have in Spain. Anyway, I had to physically write it in as a request. Just FYI for future ordering purposes.
  10. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 New Member

    Found 3 photos of the Scavi Office, taken prior to the Scavi Tour. :)



  11. Deb in IA

    Deb in IA <font color=magenta>Knows that KIDS are better tha

    lilpooh, I started reading your trip reports, and am enjoying them a lot!

    Just wanted to tell you that your DD's are TOO CUTE!!
    I also had reservations about putting our children's pictures on the Internet, but now that they are both adults (22 and 18), I finally got over that! They've posted themselves all over Facebook anyway.

    Keep in touch - I'd love to cruise with you on the 2014 EBTA! Hope it works out!
  12. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 New Member

    Thanks for the compliments about my kiddos!

    We really wanna do the EBTA :yay: I'll know for sure later on this year.
  13. petals

    petals Irish Princess because Cinderella said so!

    joining in. I will be back to read.
  14. nirrakel

    nirrakel New Member

    Really loved your trip report, thanks for taking the time to write it
  15. linetbo

    linetbo New Member

    So, that tour is not fully guided?
  16. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 New Member

    No, it's not. There's 75 minutes of "free time" after the Palace tour (which itself takes only 20 minutes, and is audio- guided by a prerecording). Then the walk up to the Monte Carlo is not guided, and there is a brief optional 5-8 minute explanation of the Casino area and another 45 minutes of "free" time.

    It's alot of time to stand around, but not really enough time to explore. I'd skip this tour and get a private guide or choose another excursion.
  17. JCinMN

    JCinMN New Member

    Wow, what a great trip report! Very balanced and you covered the negatives fairly. Your photos are fantastic! Kudos to you and your DH for the nice compositions and great shots. Thanks for sharing. I love living vicariously through other's trips when I am unable to go someplace now. Thanks for taking the time to write it.
  18. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 New Member

    What nice compliments! Thank you so much :goodvibes
  19. Ellester

    Ellester New Member

    So enjoyed your report! The Med is a secret wish of mine. We have 4 kids so the airfare and two rooms are extra pricey, but maybe someday. For now I can enjoy it vicariously through great reports like this one!
  20. WishingMom

    WishingMom New Member

    Out of curiosity, did you happen to notice the price of the artwork in Positano? Your trip report is wonderful, thank you for sharing!
  21. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 New Member

    I did not :sad1: I actually realy really wanted to buy one, but we were really short on time.

    I do remember that these were "prints" and not original artwork, so that the price posted wasn't unreasonable. I'd say less than 50 Euros? Probably even less than that. They were beautiful though, and there were a few stores that sold them. The stores with actual storefronts probably had the nicer ones. The man with the stand had prints that looked a little more "worn."

    I did end up buying some ceramic knick knacks that were nice, and probably around 12 Euro each. The shopping is really fun there. Make sure you carve some time out for that :beach:

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