June 18, 2011, 11 night Med Magic---our 20th Anniversary Cruise! COMPLETED!!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by lornak, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. nifferearly

    nifferearly Mouseketeer

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    Hi Lorna,

    Your trip report is getting me so excited about our upcoming cruise! I have a couple more questions for you, if you don't mind the help.

    I currently have a Naples tour booked to visit Sorrento (with pizza-making school for our 6 year old), Positano and hike at Mt Vesuvius. The adults in our group didn't think we had much desire to see Pompeii, but I've read so many things saying it's a "must do". Are you glad you did it? Was it worth the heat? I'm thinking that I should cancel the pizza school and Vesuvius hike and do Pompeii instead.

    I've read that St Peters in Rome has a dress code of "no shorts" and other things say "knees must be covered". Did you notice if long shorts that stop just below the knee (when standing) were acceptable?

    Thanks!

    Jennifer
     
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  3. lornak

    lornak DIS Veteran

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    Hi, Jennifer! How fun to be planning your trip! I'm happy to try and answer your questions....or at least give you my opinion! Our Naples day has been the source of many discussions between the four of us. We loved Sorrento and Positano so much we have wondered if we should have skipped Pompeii. But in the end we feel that you just can't miss Pompeii. At least the first time you go...! If we had a second day or were returning for another trip we would definitely skip Pompeii and enjoy the towns! But given our day to do over again I just can't imagine skipping Pompeii. I think it just feels so significant!! Now, to be fair, we didn't have any kids with us! I have a 7 year old son and I think he would have been bored to tears on our Pompeii tour. So I think you have to weigh that into the decision as well. Even with a private tour guide we only spent 2 hours at Pompeii. Is there another excursion option for you that includes Pompeii but still keeps the pizza making? Or something like that???


    As for Rome... I did not notice any issues with shorts. However, they were definitely particular about tops. The had some scarves that they were giving out to people who had tank tops or bare arms. I will say that very few people in general were wearing shorts. Perhaps they had heard of the rule? I was wearing a long (ish) skirt and Becky was wearing a dress that barely made it to her knees. She was worried about her dress and just packed a large scarf in case it was an issue. She was prepared to wrap the scarf around her waist if it was an issue---it wasn't. But in several location (churches) during the cruise we saw women with large scarves tied around their waist or shoulders. I think it is a great plan. That way you can still wear shorts or tank tops if you want to...and the scarf is light to carry!

    Hope that helps a little??? And I hope you have a GREAT trip!!! :goodvibes
     
  4. HermanTriplets+1

    HermanTriplets+1 DIS Veteran

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    OK as long as we have already opened up "Fashion" as a part of this thread - I love this outfit!!!!!!!:goodvibes
     
  5. nifferearly

    nifferearly Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the answers, Lorna!
     
  6. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    That was absolutely helpful! I am also an obsessive planner, as many of the people on here are. I've already price matched things for the March cruise, things for two people are actually cheaper to do with DCL than with locals when I factored in taxis and lunch. So I guess I'll just do that for everything, check and see which is better/cost effective. With six people I'm sure that adds up really quickly! But also, you definitely have a point with the boat having to wait for you when you're on a DCL excursion, I've heard a few horror stories where people are running but the boat is just pulling away.

    I have no doubt I'll love it, I'm just sad it took me so long to discover DCL, all my attention has always been on WDW. I've already booked another, everybody says they have the DCL blues when their cruise is over, so I've nicked that in the butt and have another one all planned!

    I also love that outfit! The Mickey necklace adds such a wonderful touch too!

    Thank you so much for your input! I love that you got to go on the bridge, that is so cool! Did you have to pay anything? or when you're Platinum do you get these lovely perks free? I've also heard Platinum is given a Palo dinner. All the more reason to go on more cruises :)
     
  7. cass'mom

    cass'mom So, de beency bouncy burger, eh?

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    Me too! Even the pink cutout top was gorgeous!


    So go ahead and let Kerm know there are a lot of us crazies on here! :crazy:
     
  8. lornak

    lornak DIS Veteran

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    You get a nice list of benefits for being a platinum cruiser:
    • boarding group #1
    • CC reception (for gold and platinum)
    • gift in your room
    • choice of additional gift (champagne, cheese platter, shrimp cocktail or fruit tray)
    • $25 onboard credit for each $100 you spend in the store (gold and platinum)
    • free dinner at Palo for all adults in your stateroom
    • platinum experience

    The platinum experience is what the Bridge tour was. On the first night of the cruise we got a little form asking us which tour we would like. For this criuse they were offering the Bridge tour and an Engine room tour. We were really excited as we have not done either! In fact, we have never seen either offered! In the past we have done a stingray experience with a trainer on CC, a backstage theater experience and a galley tour. We did not have to pay anything for it and we really enjoyed it!

    I think it is definitely worth becoming platinum! You should keep cruising!!! :goodvibes
     
  9. lornak

    lornak DIS Veteran

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    Oh, he is going to LOVE this!!!! :rotfl2:
     
  10. CaliforniaGirl09

    CaliforniaGirl09 DIS Veteran

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    Hi Lorna,
    We were on the ship with you and agree it was the trip of a lifetime. Love your trip report! As JNS said, it's really fun reading the same trip through someone else's eyes. I couldn't figure out how to copy from multiple posts to respond so here are my out of order comments, LOL:
    --I'm a twilight fan and used to watch 90120 religiously, so I recognized our celebs right away. Kind of fun having them on the trip. My daughter ended up being in the talent show with their daughter, which was kind of fun.
    --We had a similar experience to you with the very SLOW dining experience. It seems to have been a common complaint.
    --I also didn't anticipate how much I would fall in love with the Italian Riviera. We were able to do Capri and it was absolutely spectacular.
    --We did a last minute excursion to the beach on Palermo and thought it was beautiful. From your report, I'm very glad we did!
    --How funny is this: we planned to do the flat tire tour the same day you did and go to Montserrat the following day and ended up bailing on both. But great minds!
    --I, too, noticed the clothes and thought how cute you guys looked. Love the pink ruffle dress your sister was wearing!
    --Very jealous of your bridge tour!!!
    --Love the Captain Marco story. We had a strange smell in our room for a few days--wish we'd run into him in the hall, LOL.
     
  11. firecracker725

    firecracker725 Somethin' Clever

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    I HAVE to know...who were the celebs??? popcorn::
     
  12. CaliforniaGirl09

    CaliforniaGirl09 DIS Veteran

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    Sorry! Jennie Garth (from 90210) and her husband Peter Facinelli (Carlisle in the Twilight movies).
     
  13. poohbear83

    poohbear83 Earning My Ears

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    Great Tripreport and photos.
    We have still one week to go before boarding The Magic
    I'm so exciting!
     
  14. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Thank you so much for the info on Platinum perks! I must strive diligently forward to achieve this rank! I absolutely love behind the scenes stuff, we've done a few tours at WDW, the one that goes to all four parks is just amazing, I recommend that to everyone! It is quite pricey but worth every single penny. I hope they offer you the engine room tour again so you can do that and take pictures for us :rotfl: To me it just adds to the magic, to see how amazing everything is! I just love how Disney recognizes loyal customers and rewards them so nicely :) Just a little more Disney Magic!
     
  15. firecracker725

    firecracker725 Somethin' Clever

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    I would recognize her in a heartbeat, but I'd never heard of him until just now. I refuse to watch (or read) the Twilight series, despite peer pressure.
     
  16. cornish pixie

    cornish pixie DIS Veteran

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    Hi Thank you so much for shareing your brilliant trip and amazing photos:goodvibes
    We will be sailing on the magic a week tomorrow and can't wait we are also staying in Barcelona for 3 days after the cruise and have been reading with interest your escapades in the city Very impressed with you both after that long flight sight seeing and on then riding a bike around the city:thumbsup2
    Anyway have a few questions you might be able to help us with ?
    Positano looked amazing would love to visit Sorrento and then travel up to Positano for a few hours , do you mind me asking who you booked with ?
    Do you possibly remember the name of the restaurant you went to In Rome?
    We generally visit our friends when we are there but they are on holiday so thought we would venture in and have a wonder have been lucky enough to visit all the sights so would be nice to just chill but that restaurant looked really nice:goodvibes
    La Spezia am tempted to do the cinca terras opps sorry don't think I've
    spelt that right ) how easy was it getting from a to b?
    Back to Barcelona loved the cheese shop and found it but sadly it's closed all of August:sad2: never mind will check out the market and grab some nice things to eat whilst watching the fountains what a brilliant idea:thumbsup2
    Anyway any other sugestions would be much appreciated once again thanks for shareing your amazing trip hope your hubbies leg is better and look forward to hearing from you
    Take Care
    Cornish Pixie:goodvibes
     
  17. lornak

    lornak DIS Veteran

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    Cornish Pixie---glad you are enjoying the report!!

    The tour company we used in Naples was the same one we used in Rome. It was Romlimostours (www.romelimostours.com).

    I'm so sorry that I didn't get the name of the restaurant in Rome. However, I think Romelimostours might be able to tell you. There were a couple groups from that company in the same restaurant so I'm wondering if it is a "standard" lunch stop for them. I do know it was very close to the Vatican.

    I think you could definitely do the Cinque Terre on your own. Get the Rick Steves book (there is a little one just on Cinque Terre). I thought the hardest part was finding the train station in La Spezia. But even that wasn't horrible---I think I would just encourage you to get better directions to the train station. Once at the station buy the Cinque Terre card and you are good for the day! You can use the trains, buses and hiking trails. There are a lot of people doing the same thing so you can almost follow the crowds!

    Our picnic at the fountains was one of our favorite experiences of the trip! I hope you enjoy it as well! If you have any other questions I will be happy to try and answer!!!

    Hope you have a GREAT trip!!!!!! :goodvibes
     
  18. lornak

    lornak DIS Veteran

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    We were up by 7:15---Kerm ran to Topsiders for some coffee and a pastry. I just can’t eat…at least not yet!! We needed tender tickets again and since the theater process had worked so well we decided to do it again. We were at the BV theater by 7:45 AM. We got our tickets and walked in. We took our seats and who should be right next to us----Becky and Brant!!! We hadn’t planned on traveling together today as they were going to Nice and we were going to Monaco and Eze. Too funny…. We only had to wait about 5 minutes for a tender boat and once again were led to deck 2 to board. It took about 20 minutes to reach the port.

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    It is a great port area! It had a large building and inside was a very helpful TI stand. We wanted to confirm our travel plans for the day and the woman at the desk gave us maps, train schedules and bus schedules. We felt much more sure of ourselves after the stop.

    We walked to the train station and bought a ticket to Monaco. The train was just 11 minutes away! We took the 9:01 AM train to Monaco which was E3 each. The terminal in Monaco is gorgeous! It has beautiful tile work in the tunnel areas. Very clean and easy to navigate.

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    But we still managed to exit the “wrong” way out of the terminal and we ended up on the far side of town. We didn’t know where we were (even after checking the map!) so we just walked around for a while. It was almost all uphill and we were very hot! But the views were amazing!!

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    I saw what I thought was the casino (across the bay) so we started walking in that direction. Prince Albert is getting married in 5 days and the entire town is in a flurry! They have banners for the wedding up all over the place---on the street signs, in shops, on windows, etc… Plus, there is a lot of sprucing up going on (repotting flowers, putting up decorations) and we saw them building some kind of stage area in a few locations (at the water and at the casino). It will be fun to try and watch the wedding when we are home and see what they actually do!

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    The walk to the casino was LONG and HOT! But I was right and we come upon the Hotel de Paris and the Casino. Everything is very lovely! After what I had read about this place I expected EVERY car to be a Porsche, Maserati or Rolls Royce…so I had to laugh to myself as I saw quite a few Hondas and Toyotas! We took pictures in front of the casino, the café and the hotel.

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    I had originally thought we should stop and eat in the café but I was so hot by this time that I was kinda crabby! It seemed like it might take up too much time so we decided to take a little break in a shady area where we had seen a Hagen Daaz! We stopped and got a berry smoothie that cost E7. Now, I would NEVER consider a small shake for $10.50 back home but I have lost all sense of Euros being “real”. I just keep spending them like play money. Kerm is thrilled with this!

    The smoothie was great and refreshed us both. We did decide, however, that we should consider a bus for the rest of our touring! We asked at the Hagen Daaz where we could find a TI. There was one just up the hill so we headed over there. It was a nice, large office with three workers who all spoke English. We told the gentleman helping us that we would like to see the palace. He showed up another map and told us what bus to take. He also showed us how we could walk but said it would be at least a 40 minute walk. Ok, it the buses for sure!! The bus stop was just across the street from the TI. We waited for our bus to arrive and then hopped on (less than 1E each). It was a nice air conditioned journey. We had our bus decision affirmed as it was a long trip and almost all uphill! We arrived at the palace stop and had to walk a little ways to the actual palace. The place was PACKED with tour groups. And there really was very little to see as so much was already blocked off for the wedding. We didn’t have the option of going inside so we just took a few pictures and wandering through the shops.

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    We had cooled off and got a little cocky—we were sure we could just walk back to the train station. We should have used the bus! But at least it was downhill this time! And we did get some gorgeous pictures of Monaco!

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    We stopped at a small open air market and then kept going to the train station.
     
  19. lornak

    lornak DIS Veteran

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    We wanted the 11:43 train to Eze but had to go quite a ways into the terminal (and upstairs) to find the ticket booth (E1,80 each). That took much longer than we expected but it turned out fine as we were on the tracks about 5 minutes before the train.

    We arrived at the Eze station at 11:52 and had to find the bus stop. We went the wrong direction initially but figured it out quickly. The bus stop is actually very close to the train terminal. There was already a large crowd waiting for the 12:05 bus to Eze Village (bus #83). We ended up having to stand on the bus but at least we got on (E1 each)!! The drive to Eze village was CRAZY! It was uphill and curved back and forth. Kermit started to feel car sick so I was very relieved when we arrived about 20 minutes later. The bus dropped us off outside of the village and we had to walk way, way up to get to the actually fortress/village. About halfway up the walk we saw this huge defibrillator station….not exactly comforting!!!

    We finally made it to the entrance and then it was an adorable adventure of exploring pathways! There were little shops around each corner---some even in “caves”. You couldn’t tell where the cobblestone road were taking you so we just walked and tried to see every nook and cranny.

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    We came upon a church and a small courtyard and we sat to rest here for a while. For the first time Kermit’s foot was really bothering him. We sat for a while he rubbed his ankle and we just took a break. Nearby was a cemetery so we explored that area as well.

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    After our break we stopped for a few gifts for the kids. Then we headed back out of the village. We were trying to decide if we should stay in the town or head back to Eze when we saw bus #83 pull up. We decided that was too good to pass up so we hopped on once again (1E) and descended those crazy roads! We arrived in Eze 45 minutes before the train to Villefranche. We went to the ticket office to purchase ticket but it was closed! The only way to get tickets was in a machine---and that machine only had instructions in French! We tried to figure it out but couldn’t find Villefranche on the list of stops anywhere. A local family saw that we were struggling and asked us where we were going. We told them Villefranche and they said we should just ride without a ticket….especially since we were only going two stops. They said they did it all the time?! Well, I just couldn’t do that---too much of a first born I guess! So back to the machine we went… We decided to buy a ticket for the stop after Villefranche and boy were we glad we did!!! We when got off in Villefranche there was a police barricade and everyone had to show their tickets!!! There was a whole line of people without tickets that were being detained!! Now is that going to be a good lesson for the kids or what?!?!

    We had lunch in a café in Villefranche…a quarto formage pizza and a nutella crepe…but it wasn’t nutella, it was just chocolate syrup?! How could they?!?! I had a yummy rose wine and Kermit had coffee…total bill was E24.

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    There was free wifi at the café which was great as I was able to email the kids and check in back home. But the disappointment over my crepe was so great that I told Kermit we had to find a REAL Nutella crepe!! He graciously went to another restaurant and talked them into selling him a crepe to go!!! It was E4,50 and worth every penny…or euro….whatever, it was delicious and I was calm once again! There was a market in the port area with all kinds of clothes, jewelry, table clothes, perfume, etc. We spend some time checking this area out and picked up a few more items for the kids. Kermit decided he needed one more gelato---I was too full from my TWO crepes but he enjoyed a strawberry and chocolate chip gelato (E4) before we went back to the tender area.

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    We caught the next tender boat and were back onboard by 5:00 PM. It was really, really hot so went to the pool for an hour just to cool off. I wanted to see “The Art of the Story” show so we quickly dressed and went to the theater at 6:45. It was ok…pretty cute! There were several fun numbers and lasted about 30 minutes. Overall it has been fun to see a few different shows, even if they aren’t the same caliber as the big three!!

    Becky and Brant spent the day in Nice and brought back a couple bottles of wine. We drank a bottle from Corsica and another from Villefranche tonight. We have to up our consumption as we only have one day left!!

    Dinner was in AP tonight….we could tell Cyprian wasn’t feeling well right away. He is a diabetic and we know he has had some issues with it in the past. As the meal went on he became more and more disoriented. We were very, very concerned but not sure if we should say something as we know he doesn’t want to have to leave the work floor. He had an episode a few years ago and had to go home. He told us that he was told that if that happened again he would not be able to work on the ship any longer. So I think he tried very hard to not show any signs of sickness. But after an hour I thought there was a chance he was actually going to pass out so I spoke with our head waiter. He said he was aware and that he had told Cyprian to go and lay down/get something to eat. Finally Cyprian did leave and another waiter came over to help Adrian. I was very relieved that he left but was concerned that we had said something. (Just in case someone from DCL reads this I want to say that Cyprian is an excellent server---and I would never want us saying something about our concerns to result in some kind of disciplinary action!!)

    Tonight was the “Taste of the Med” menu…. I had garlic shrimp, a tapas plate, andalusian soup and chicken and orzo pasta. It was a very good menu! As we were leaving the dining room and walking through Shuttlers, Cyprian came running up to us with two covered trays. He was very apologetic and said that they were planning on celebrating our anniversary tonight and he had forgotten. He wanted to make sure we got our special dessert!! Honestly, I felt terrible! We thanked him profusely but then told him to go back to bed!!!!! I really couldn’t believe how sweet he was or how dedicated to his job.

    At 10:45 we went to Rockin Bar D for the comedian, Dylan. He wasn’t very funny. Actually there were a lot of off color jokes which I didn’t like at all. He said it was his first cruise with Disney and I don’t think he got the audience at all!! At one point he started a monologue with “can you imagine if a couple came on here with no kids?” A few people applauded and he said something like “are there really people here with no kids?” A whole bunch of people (including us!!) clapped. He was totally flustered and just kept saying “really??”. He couldn’t finish his bit and didn’t seem to know what to say next. It was not a very impressive show!!

    We were back in the room by 11:30…Kerm was sound asleep within about 2 minutes. But not me, I am just writing and reflecting. TEN DAYS on board already!?! I thought maybe I would be “finished” or tired of it. No way, I could go another week easily!!

    On a side note---FOUR different people have called or stopped by Becky and Brant’s room today!! All wanting to know if the door situation is ok. It has now been over 24 hours and none of us have heard as much as a squeak from that hallway!!!!
     
  20. cornish pixie

    cornish pixie DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for replying am going to check Romelimotours out:goodvibes
    Can't believe we will be flying on Friday so excited Am staying at Barcelo Sants for first night it's only a 15 min from the airport so were going to get the T 10 and go for it : )
    Am looking forward to some sun Cornwall has had nothing but rain most of the summer so I hope the Med sun is out waiting for us.
    Take care
    Tracey

    p.s.loved your Villefranche report will be our 18 years wedding anniversary that day so am looking forward to a nice romantic day finished of with Palo:goodvibes
     
  21. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Wonderful addition! Very cool little town, it feels like you've gone back in time when you find places like that :) I'm so glad you bought tickets! how horrible it would have been to be detained by the police!
     

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