1. Follow the DIS on Instagram! www.instagram.com/the.dis

June 1st Med Magic

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by Disney mam, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. Disney mam

    Disney mam Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    299
    Hi, this is my first trip report on here so please be patient with me.

    Myself, DH and 2 sons travelled from Wales, UK to Barcelona by train. We had a 4 hour car journey to Ashford, Kent where we would get the Eurostar to Paris Nord Station. We followed the signs for Metro 5 to catch the subway to St Austerlitz Station, where we would board the Elipsos overnight sleeper train to Barcelona- Franca. Subway tickets for a family of for from Nord to gare d'Austerlitz worked out to approx 8 euros. There were 9 stops between both stations.
    The subway was jam packed and my kids were a little nervous at first because we were crammed onto the train with no space to move and everyone talking a foreign language. :scared1: Both boys coped well though even when a couple of strangers came up to us begging for money! We met a real dodgy guy as we were trying to use the machine to purchase the tickets, he said something (don't know what) but I gave him a firm no and kept everything close. Within seconds security was there moving him on, so no big deal. :thumbsup2 Felt pretty safe really.

    Was going to post pictures of the beds on the sleeper train but they have vanished!!!
    Will be back with more soon.
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. Disney mam

    Disney mam Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    299
    We arrived in Barcelona at the exact time stated by the rail company, boy they are very efficient. :)

    I had an apartment booked for 2 nights in Barcelonetta, which was very close to the beach. Called the lady to let her know we had arrived and then we took to the streets and walked to Barcelonetta with the kids in tow and our luggage. The sun was shinning, everybody was feeling great after the train so we were happy to walk for 15 minutes in the sunshine.

    Here is a link to the pictures for Barcelona.

    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/kiki_304/story/15479

    We didn't too much tourist stuff. We enjoyed the beach, strolled down Las Ramblas and explored the side streets. Walked to the Columbus statue, visited MareMagnum and let the kids enjoy the local area and parks.

    The one thing we did notice about Barcelona was the awful smell from the street drains. Not very inviting to eat outdoors when they had lots of lovely tables set up. Not everywhere had this issue, but it was hard to not notice it.

    Someone on the cruise asked my boys if they like Barcelona and they replied "it was very smelly". OOoopps, kids.
     
  4. Disney mam

    Disney mam Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    299
    I had checked in on-line and completed the kids club forms also. My check in was for 11:30 so we walked from the apartment to Columbus statue to catch the blue port bus. There was a gentleman there ensuring everyone got on the correct bus for their cruise. The bus cost 2.50 euros each and was about 5 minutes. When we pulled up there was a queue snaking around the building but went down in no time. It looked worse than what it was, as everything ran efficiently to keep the queue flowing smoothly.

    After passport checks, we went through the security scanners before joining the check in queue. They were handing out navigators for the day here. I think we got there at the right time, as the queue really grew after us. Only a short wait until we got to a desk where they took our pictures and then couldn't print out our KTTW cards as the printer had broke. It was fixed within a couple of minutes and we were able to go through to the waiting area.
    I spotted the kids club check in and headed there to collect their wrist bands. This took the longest as people didn't fill in the forms on line. Once we got to the desk we were there for only about 2 minutes as we had filled in the forms on line. :) (great tip I picked up from here).
    We were number 6 to board but because the kids area took so long we were going in with #11.

    We did stop and have our picture taken just because I wanted it.

    Once we were welcomed on board to dropped off my picture mounts with treat to be signed. (another great tip from here). :thumbsup2 We headed to Parrot Cay for something to eat and a sit down to take it all in. This was our first cruise and we needed to take 5 to enjoy the moment.
    After lunch we were able to go to our room. I unpacked everything had look over the navigator, showed my boys their life jackets and how to put them and before I knew it, it was time for muster drill!!! Where did the time go? I missed my DIS meet !!! :confused3:eek:

    Okay, muster drill over. Both boys behaved brilliant and understood what they needed to do if the alarm went. SO what do we do next? WHat everyone else does, go up to the deck for the party. We were even on the TV (DH couldn't get a picture). The boys loved this party and danced, sang and partied hard. lol A kind lady invited my son to go in front of her by the railings to see Mickey. She did offer earlier but he wanted to dance. :banana:
    We didn't sail away from port until after 6pm and I was on main dining. My rotation was AAPLAPL. I ran and got change just before dinner and when I came back up top we were just turning around to leave the port.

    We met our table guests which had 2 boys like us and all the kids got along great. They were also pleased to find out that we would be dining together all week. The couple was nice and everyone was comfortable from the off.
    First night was "show night" only we didn't know this at the time. This was our table guests first Disney cruise and they weren't aware either. as they went to play one of the games else where. I don't think they were big Disney fans, so they didn't feel like they missed anything.

    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/kiki_304/story/15483

    After the dinner show the boys wanted to go to the clubs. There was quite a bit of excitement there when one of the girls found out they were from Wales and just down the road from where she lived. She felt a little piece of home and they spoke some Welsh to her throughout their stay. They even taught her some as she hadn't used it in a while. lol
    DH and I enjoyed a stroll around the decks and had a walk around to get some idea of where everything was.
    We were just so lost without the boys and had to go and get them from the club at 10pm. We headed to bed not long after and I was pleased that I didn't need any tablets sickness.
     
  5. cforsythe

    cforsythe Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Messages:
    209
    Great start!! My DH and I are going on the August 31 cruise. I am excited to read the rest of your report!! Thanks for the Navigators!!:goodvibes
     
  6. Stimpy

    Stimpy <font color=red>Is a WONDERFUL Mommy! The TF says

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2002
    Messages:
    2,780
    Can't wait to read more :)
     
  7. jedijill

    jedijill <font color=red>Chiefs fan living in Bronco countr

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    5,887
    I'm in! Off to a great start.

    Jill in CO
     
  8. debsters41

    debsters41 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,350
    Great report so far! Thanks for sharing!
     
  9. Disney mam

    Disney mam Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    299
    Sunday was a sea day and we were up early. The boys went straight to club after breakfast and DH and I chilled with a coffee by the adults pool. It was lovely a quiet this early in the morning and we were the only ones there for a bit.
    We decided to just enjoyed the day looking around the ship. We got the boys and took them enjoy the pool for a bit before it got too crowded. I saw lots of people saving loungers!! They did not just save one, they saved them for all family members, then let their kids fall asleep on them whilst they had towels and clothes on others. No one approached them from DCL, but that may be because there was a couple of spares dotted around the place.

    We had some lunch and dropped the boys back to the club because they just loved them. DH and I decided to pop back to the adult area and relax for a while. We found lots of empty loungers with items placed on them (but no one in sight belonging to them). We did have a chuckle at a few men who were at the bar and not using the loungers but had all their stuff on loungers! Their "empty" loungers had become shaded so they got their stuff and moved it to the bar area to a sunny are. If they were already sitting in the sunny bar, then why did they have a lounger? Probably hoping to go back in the sun I guess at some point in the day. (Not going to say what language they were speaking);)

    Okay, so now is the exciting part. We heard of a wedding taking place on board with a DIS member!! :thumbsup2 and I remembered my Dress was all creased up and I forgot to send it to be sorted!! :sad: Had to go iron it in that small room really quick or I would miss the wedding.
    We were told we could view the service from the deck above, and thought we would go along for support. My DH took photos of the beautiful Bride and Groom with the sea in the background. Shame the Disney photographer wouldn't pull back a bit, he seemed to only want to take close ups. I have shared the photos with the bride and she claimed they are better than Disney's (which I am shocked).

    [​IMG]

    After the Wedding I had to get ready for Formal night. We were on early seating and the wedding started at 4pm, I was cutting it close. I managed to get the kids from club, get ready and have a picture with the Captain before dinner. :) Luckily our table mates were just behind us (as the night before they had followed us in), perfect timing.
    I didn't get the photo with the Captain because I didn't like it.

    [​IMG]

    Dinner was nice, went smoothly and my oldest boy ordered off the adult menu. Kenloy and Joy were our servers and we were sat at table 35. They were good with the kids, doing magic tricks throughout the cruise and entertaining them. Only thing was, from the 2nd night on they were bringing my boys soda because the other kids at the table was having it. And then later on I noticed the soda was free flowing. Myself and the other Mum had noticed this so we asked them to only allow 1 soda per night. So, just beware of how often soda is given with dinner.
    I did not get any menus and my memory has failed me, so for this I am sorry. But I do remember having steak, which was lovely.
    I think it was during dinner that an announcement was made to inform us we were high tailing it to Villefranche as someone needed urgent medical attention and that we would be there that night. Of course we were not able to get off as we hadn't had clearance by the port authorities and this was a tender port. But it looked beautiful all lit up at night!!

    [​IMG]

    After dinner, our table guests had to run again and so we decided to go get some more pictures done before heading back to our room to change into something more relaxed. The boys of course went to the clubs and we collected them on the way to the show "Twice Charmed". My youngest ran to the front row seats to the left (not the best place to sit, but we stayed). We loved the show and was looking forward to the rest. After the show, we had a little walk with the boys and everyone was marvelling at how beautiful the view was. A lovely cocoa later and we were able to get the boys to bed ready start the next day.

    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/kiki_304/story/15523
     
  10. Disney mam

    Disney mam Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    299
    We decided to just stay local here and have a look at the town, so there was no rush with a nice relaxed breakfast at topsiders.

    The night before they said that they wanted to get everyone who was booked on an excursion on the first tenders, but we could go to Buena Vista Theatre to get tickets for the tender. By the time we had our breakfast there was an announcement that no tickets were needed and we could head straight to the tender. There was one on aft and forward that would alternate. We had perfect timing and easy access to the aft because our stateroom was deck 2 aft. We took 3 water bottles on the cruise to use whilst out and about, and they were the best thing we took. We just filled them with ice and water to enjoy through the day.

    So, the tender was quite big and ferried many guests at a time to and fro to land. It was only a short journey and we were on land in no time. We came out of the port and headed straight across the road and up hill. We walked the side streets before walking along the main road to find some steps to take us back down.

    [​IMG]

    The views were lovely and the waters clear. We weren't unable to get a clear shot of the Magic as there was another ship in front of her!!! Oh well.

    [​IMG]

    We headed back to the ship just in time to miss the rain. Don't think it rained badly, but still I would not want to have a long walk back to ship when wet. We were only off the boat for about 2 hours, but that was enough for us.
    We had lunch with the kids before they went to the clubs. They discovered the day before that they don't get much food in the kids club and would rather eat with us. :rotfl2: This was fine with us as we actually missed our kids and had to get them out of club to spend some time with them.

    Dining was cruise casual at Parrot Cay and we were ready and punctual. We waited a little for our table mates before going in to sit and wait some more. Whilst we did not order without them, we did not like the idea of keeping our servers waiting. So we just waited at the table and our guest arrived only a little later.
    We skipped the show tonight which was a comedy musician and dropped the kids to club. Well, before dessert I had to rush and change my youngest into his PJ's for Pluto's party and run him to the club quickly. After dessert we took the other son to the lab, so no kids again. We wondered around a little lost without our kids and bumped into Minnie!! Of course, I never have any kids with me so character photos are few. Darn those clubs, I missed my kids. :confused3

    [​IMG]

    IronMan 3 was showing at 10:15pm and I told my DH to have some alone time and watch it.
    I collected the boys from club and we ordered fruit fruit and cookies from room service.

    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/kiki_304/story/15525
     
  11. ukintheus

    ukintheus DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Messages:
    1,375
    Following along, great so far. :thumbsup2 Looking forward to the rest. :goodvibes
     
  12. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Messages:
    15,980
    Following along. :)
     
  13. jennorthernireland

    jennorthernireland Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Messages:
    99
    me too and looking forward to reading more! :)
     
  14. Disney mam

    Disney mam Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    299
    We planned on doing all ports on our own which we were glad we did. Spending time being herded around like sheep is not our idea of a good experience. I read up a little on the trains and how to get there which worked out fine.

    We were up as we pleased (no alarm), had our breakfast and made our way to the train station with a relaxed attitude. Today we only planned on taking the boys to Pisa because I didn't want to make my boys feel like this wasn't a holiday by dragging them everywhere.

    This was a tender port and ran smoothly again. When we got on dry land we walked to the left and just across the road was a tourist information centre where we got a map and they gave us more directions to the station.
    We walked straight ahead through the town (lots of shops) and then saw steps on the right to go up to the station. We headed to the ticket office (where they spoke limited English). This was a 15 minute walk to the right of the port. We purchased tickets to "Pisa Centrale" Which was due to leave at 11:38 and this train was assigned seats. It was just over an hours journey with a few stops as it was the fast train intercity. She validated this ticket for the outbound journey when we purchased it. The return ticket was only good to use on fast regional and regional trains, not IC.

    I had read that if you get off at "Pisa S. Rossore" then this was a shorter walk to Pisa. However, this IC did not stop there but Centrale was only a few seconds after. We got off and headed straight to the toilets for the boys. These are easy to get to, just to the left on the main platform as you're heading out and cost 1 euro each. Even though the lady only charged 2 euros for both boys and myself. These were clean, so I would use them if needed.

    [​IMG]

    Outside the station was a beautiful water feature and the sun was shining. There was a large map outside the station to show you how to get to the tower. It was straight ahead from the station and through a lovely shopping area. It was about a 20 minute walk from the station.

    [​IMG]
    If you see him then you are heading in the right direction.

    [​IMG]
    This bridge is about half way.

    [​IMG]

    The boys wanted to climb the tower but we decided not to as the queue was not moving at all. After we had walked around to have a look at some of the beautiful buildings the queue was moving but the boys no longer wished to go. We said we would have to go back for another trip. :)
    The Cathedral was free to enter, but you had to go in 2 at a time and not as a group (something like that). So we decided to leave it.
    After walking around for about 3 hours and then looking at the gift stalls that are all lined up across the way we decided it was time to eat. We ended up buying the boys snacks as they didn't want to stop in any of the places we passed because they wanted to get back for a volcano eruption that they were creating on the ship. (They missed this activity because they train was delayed for 20 minutes). :rolleyes1 Sorry boys.

    We caught the regional fast train back and they had lemonade waiting for us at the tender. Security to get onto the tender was straight forward, just use your KTTW cards and over 18's need photo ID just in case.

    We dropped the oldest off to club and Theo stayed with us and he was glad as we saw Donald.:) As you have probably noticed, I have very little pictures of the boys with characters, because they lived in the clubs.

    [​IMG]

    Tonight was cruise casual and the show was "Walt Disney The Dream Goes On". This was great for adults but I think the kids didn't enjoy this as much.

    After the show, we had a little walk and got something to eat whilst chilling on the loungers watching a movie.

    [​IMG]

    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/kiki_304/story/15537

    Tomorrow we go to Rome.
     
  15. braysmommy

    braysmommy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    First, your boys are just adorable!

    I will be doing this trip with my DS who will turn 8 on the cruise so thank you for the report. It will be the 2 of us and my mom and we plan on doing most ports on our own as we don't like being herded like sheep either and paying an exorbitant amount for the experience!

    Looks like you all had a fabulous time.....and yes my DS would live in the lab on a computer all day if he had his way:)
     
  16. Disney mam

    Disney mam Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    299
    Our table mates did all the Disney excursions and were totally worn out from running about place to place. They spent very little time in places and were on and off buses. They did enjoy it though, but they just look like they had been run ragged.

    Pisa train tickets were 2ad 2 kids and 35euros ic out and 21euros regional back.
     
  17. Figment_Fan

    Figment_Fan DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    546
    Great report. Can't wait to see the rest.
     
  18. Disney mam

    Disney mam Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    299
    Happy Birthday to me. :)

    Woke up at 6:30 and got ready for breakfast (which was room service at 7am). Hey, it was my birthday, so I thought I would treat myself.
    I walked out of the bathroom to my boys awaiting me with a gift. They had bought me a new watch whilst on board, Minnie Mouse. And then my DH presented me with his gift, a beautiful necklace (I had already said this was a no gift birthday)! Oh well, it was a very nice surprise. I opened my cards and I even had a card and gift in my FE from another cruiser (thank you, you know who you are). After a lovely start of the day we were going to Rome.

    We made our way to the awaiting bus just outside the ship that would drop us off at the port gate. AT the gate was lots of people touting for your business whether it be trying to sell you fast train tickets or something else that I didn't hang around to find out.
    We walked passed these and out of the port and spotted a beautiful statue that we thought we would get a picture of on our way back, (we totally forgot but discovered that my 9 year DS had got one). :cool1: My boy is so good.
    [​IMG]
    This is the picture we forgot to get!!!

    We crossed the road and turned right towards the train station. I had read that there is normally a long queue at the station but to go passed this and buy my tickets from the newspaper shop. This is inside and to the right of the ticket area. No one else seemed to know this as it was empty. We bought 4 BIRG tickets for 12 euros each and this gave us unlimited travel within zone 5. We were able to get to and from Rome (approx 1 hour journey), use the metro and can be used on the bus around Rome too.
    We validated our tickets in the machine just inside by the ticket area and had to write our names and D.O.B on our tickets. This train was a double deck and we had seats up top.

    I used this site to print off pocket sized timetable of trains to and from the port- Rome. It was the best thing I had on me.
    http://www.civitavecchia.net/travellers-trains.html

    [​IMG]

    We got off the train at Ostiense and got the metro to Colosseo. The metro is Line B and is only 2 stops to the Colosseo station. When you exit the station, the Colosseum will be directly in front of you. Note if you are European and have children they get in for free with a passport.
    There was a girl outside who offered us a guided tour of the Colosseum/ Forum and Hill for 30euros each. We did this and were glad that we had because the queues were ridiculously long and the man who was our guide was great. He was Italian and very passionate about the place. My DH was impressed by this guy and how he was able to articulate the history and what went on here. Like I said, I did not pay for the kids and the guy took their PP to get their free entry (he has to pay for the group to get in). We did not have to queue to get in, but had a fast pass as a tour group.

    One thing I did hear was an American tour guide saying "when we built this". I was shocked because firstly she was not Italian and it just sounded wrong. Secondly, she wasn't around when it was built. I just felt like she sounded like she didn't have any passion for the place and was reading a speech!

    [​IMG]

    We loved the Colosseum and have decided to go back to Rome for a few days without kids (or maybe when they are older). We were going to pick up the 2nd tour of the hill but my youngest was complaining he wanted to eat and then Thunder started to rumble, so we headed back to the ship as we already decided we would come back for longer. We headed to Rome with the intention of the Colosseum, hill, fountain and steps but decided to just enjoy the Colosseum only because we were in awe of it. If you just wanted to run through the Colosseum and move on to other site then you can do it (better with kids), but we planned on being as relaxed as possible because we know we can easily go back. This was just a taster sort of thing for us.


    We had to be back on the ship by 6:30pm and tonight' dinner was cruise casual with the show "Villains tonight".
    My DH met a lovely man from Singapore and we walked back to the port with him and his wife as they were getting a cruise from there and didn't what stop to get of at and know where to go for the port.

    Whilst were at dinner there were a couple of announcement for 2 families to report to GS and we didn't leave until later. Not sure if Disney waited for them or if we had a late slot out of port as there was a few other ships in.

    Villains tonight was great!!! We sat with our table mates to watch this show and had good seat in the middle of the middle. After the show it was up top for our drinks and to bed for the next day.

    Here's a couple of Pictures my 9 year old son took.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The next picture is the plaque informing you of this mosaic.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    He loved these items.
    [​IMG]
    Ooops, if the guy had caught him I et he would not have been happy as they charge you.

    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/kiki_304/story/15597

    Tomorrow we will visit Herculaneum.:)
     
  19. poohmomof5

    poohmomof5 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,605
    Thanks for sharing, I am really enjoying your report!
     
  20. jeni37

    jeni37 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    104
    Thank you so much for your report! I am enjoying it so much! I love your son's pictures. My DD will be nine on our cruise to the Med in Aug. I love it when she takes pictures.

    Was there a character breakfast or a late night dessert buffet?
     
  21. Disney mam

    Disney mam Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    299
    Sorry to say but there was none of them. :(


    I was looking forward to a character breakfast.

    I too love seeing things through a child' eyes. Some pictures we were shocked to see as we hadn't realised he knew "sepia" and then discovered he had pictured dome of his food. lol I will post them later.

    I will do another day tomorrow, had to work from 9-7pm today!!!
     

Share This Page