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June 27, 2013 - Magic in the Med (Venice)

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Meets' started by nzdisneymom, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. MrsScooby

    MrsScooby Active Member

    See that is one thing I am looking forward to a bit is being able to plan our trip without worrying if the kids will like it. Mine have both traveled well-no real problems, but I always made sure that I included things they would like and at a pace they would be okay with. They are just at a point where being with their friends is more important to them:confused3 My DD14 did say she would be "okay" with coming with us if we took the July cruise...but that date doesn't work for my DH and we'd rather she be a little more excited if we were going to change the date especially for her:rolleyes:

    We were debating if a verandah room was going to be worth the extra money for this cruise...but after looking at pics of Villefranche, Malta and Venice I am thinking I will be glad I can take it all in from my verandah while I get ready in the morning:woohoo:

    Welcome aboard :wave:
    That Baltic cruise in 2010 really spoiled us too:thumbsup2

    I was over on the Trip Advisor forums looking at the threads for Paris trip planning and was surprised by how many people posted that they wished they hadn't tried to cram everything into their first visit. They wished they'd known that their first visit wouldn't be their only one.
    So I scaled back our plans for our first Paris trip this summer based on this.
    Some places it is harder to follow this than others though:headache:

    I find planning a trip to be fun...almost therapeutic;)
    The trick is to not over-schedule your trip with things that can't be skipped. If you have a list of things you want to see that is one thing. But if you have reservations and tickets for things that you've invested money in then you'll be hard pressed to drop anything if you start to lose steam.

    Welcome aboard :wave:
    We'll probably get a facebook page closer to cruise time as it is nice to see people's faces before you meet them:goodvibes

    I think Venice is the one I'm the most excited about at this point. But sometimes it seems like it is whatever port I happen to be looking at at the time:rolleyes1 I agree Dubrovnik looks amazing:thumbsup2

    From what I read, Venice can be a DIY port. But they also have tons of local tour guides listed at Trip Advisor that have reasonable rates. Right now our plan is to take a one hour tour to get a general overview and then take off on our own. Probably have dinner in port the first day in Venice, a gondola ride at some point, and then up early the next morning to see the really popular sights before they get really crowded...

    Welcome aboard :wave:
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  3. jel0511

    jel0511 DIS Veteran

    I agree! We went to Paris for a couple night pre-cruise on our 2010 Med cruise. Unfortunately the weather was HORRIBLE! It rained every day and the high was only 60 in AUGUST!!! We did get to the highlights, but looking back I wish we had gone over separately, our first day was ruined by jet lag, we didn't wake up until after 1pm! With this being a 12 night cruise, I don't think we'll have time to go before or after to Paris, it would be nice though....... If we do anything it will be spend more time in Barcelona. We had one day pre-cruise in 2010 and one post. No where near enough time to see this beautiful city!!!
  4. nzdisneymom

    nzdisneymom DIS Veteran

    Janie (Bullseyebaby), welcome to you and your family! Glad to have you with us.

    So I finished reading the Barcelona section in the Rick Steves Mediterranean cruise book and have started reading the French Riviera section. I'm really looking forward to going back there. We did a morning bus tour of Nice - our tour guide was not the best but we did see a lot of the area and had a limited amount of free time. It looks like the area is easy enough to navigate yourself with reliable public transportation. But we'll probably end up doing a DCL excursion so Nathan doesn't fret about us missing the ship :)
  5. Cliffside

    Cliffside Member

    Right now it is Venice. I have been wanting to go there since I backpacked through Europe after college and never made it there...I also like the idea of having an overnight in the city it just gives u that much more time to enjoy the city...

    Having said that I am also looking forward to returning to the ports we did in the med in 2010....there was so much that we didn't get to do in each of those ports...and even in the ports where we rushed through to see everything it will be nice to pick certain things and do things at a more leisurely pace.

    There has been a lot of discussion regarding where to stay per and post...it is going to b hard to decide how many days we can spend there...DD school does not end till the 26tg and I only want to pull her out for a day so we will b flying out on the 25th...so that really gives us the 26th to tour Barecelona before the cruise and of course we will be totally jet lagged...in 2010 we stayed on Las Ramblas at the hotel the royal Ramblas...we were pleased with the hotel...upon arrival in 2010 we took a tour of the city with people we met on the dis...the tour was good but I was so exhausted..it is hard because u want to get on local time and u probably can't get into your hotel room so i don't know what else people do...after the cruise we stayed at the renaissance by the airport and we spent the afternoon at the pool...I probably will want to spend that day touring this time..

    Happy planning everyone!:cool1::cool1:

  6. MinnieGarden

    MinnieGarden <font color=royalblue>Sweetie, let's focus on vaca

    We are in! My husband Mike (k5jmh) and I are getting excited! My goal is to plan and enjoy our Podcast Cruise on the Dream in June and our ABD Backstage Magic trip in July before I get heavily into researching and planning this one.... :rolleyes1

    We also did the ABD Knights and Lights this past September and visited London, Paris, and Disneyland Paris. So if anyone needs Paris or DL Paris tips, let me know! :thumbsup2

    Look forward to getting to know everyone! :goodvibes
  7. nzdisneymom

    nzdisneymom DIS Veteran

    We are doing the cruise right before this one as well, so it sails June 15th which means we'll want to arrive in BCN on June 13th which means we'll fly on June 12th. The 2012-2013 school calendar just came out and the boys will get out of school on May 31st. We needed to go in the first part of summer because Zachary will be in the marching band and they start practice at the very beginning of August, so for us to be gone nearly a month, we have to do it earlier rather than later.

    Christy, welcome to the group. With the addition of you and your DH, that brings us to about 32 DISer families if I've counted right!
  8. jel0511

    jel0511 DIS Veteran

    Our 12-13 school calendar isn't out yet, but I'm hoping there won't be any conflicts. We usually get out the 3rd week of June and I can't imagine it going any later than the 21st. We will see though. DD will be a freshman that year in HS, so those last days are REALLY important, since that's finals. I'm sure if something happens, we will be able to make alternate arrangements for her, but I'm hoping to avoid that.

    In the end, we'll probably also be flying in on the 25th like Susan.......
  9. nzdisneymom

    nzdisneymom DIS Veteran

    Sometimes in high school they are allowed to exempt exams - especially in the year long classes - at our school, depending on your grades, you can exempt first semester and then you have to take the exam second semester. But if you take the exam anyway and are eligible to exempt again, then you don't have to take the exam 2nd semester. Also electives don't always require exams, so depending on grades and attendance, you can exempt from exams for those classes, too. Might be worth checking on what your high school's exam policies are to have an idea so if you're running really close, y'all can make good decisions at the end of the first semester to shore the bets for second :)
  10. jel0511

    jel0511 DIS Veteran

    I wish that was the case here, but it's not. Exams are most definitely not option regardless of your grades. My DD is a straight A student and exams are always mandatory here.
  11. booger73

    booger73 Stayed at a Holiday Inn last night...


    Me, DW, DS (to be 12), DS (to be 9)..

    Thinking about doing the ABD when it's available.. just so I don't have to plan anything.. Anyone on the previous ABD-Med have any thoughts?
  12. jel0511

    jel0511 DIS Veteran

    VERY EXPENSIVE!!!! In 2010 it was like 2500pp to book ABD add on. IMO the excursions they booked STUNK. They all were available to be booked separable, you just didn't have ABD guide, just a local one. Yes they got all their photos but still not worth 10k for my family of 4. God only knows how much it will be for 2013, I can't even imagine based in his much they increased suite pricing from 2010 to 2013 which was basically double!!!!
  13. k5jmh

    k5jmh <img src=http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

    DH (Mike) for Christy is K5JMH
  14. Lifelong_Dreamer

    Lifelong_Dreamer DIS Veteran

    Question for those who have had an overnight port on a previous cruise, how late can you stay off the ship? Are you able to wander back at any time of the night that you want or is there a cut off where they close the ship doors for the night?
  15. nzdisneymom

    nzdisneymom DIS Veteran


    Hi Mike... glad to have you with us.

    We overnighted in St. Petersburg, Russia. I don't remember there being a "curfew" for the overnight, but I do know excursions were coming back really late. But Russia is different than Venice will be - pretty much you couldn't be off the ship in Russia unless you were on an excursion or private tour. But in Venice, I would guess that as long as you're back onboard before the ship sails the next afternoon, then you're good!
  16. MrsScooby

    MrsScooby Active Member

    60 degrees in august:eek:
    We're going in July...I intended to pack light, take a sweater, but I'd be one sad, shivering american if it got as low as 60. What did you do?? I bet the nearest gift shop sold alot of sweat shirts that day:rolleyes:

    I think my DH was saying he wanted to visit Nice:confused3
    He went on a trip to France when he was 14 and wants to revisit a couple places he went to before.

    As for missing the ship, I decided I'm not going to worry overly much about it. We'll take our passports with us and make every effort not to cut it close and be back to the ship in plenty of time...but I am so not going to be that couple running down the pier while the crowd looks on...
    If we have to meet the ship in the next port I'll deal with it:upsidedow

    I don't think we need visas in any of these ports, do we?

    For getting on London time I followed a fellow Diser's advice. She said to have something fun but not strenuous planned for the day we arrive and it should help us stay up. Now I don't know if we just got lucky, maybe had a low sleep debt prior to the cruise or slept more on the plane than I thought we did, but we had alot of fun our first day in London. Arrived in the morning, took the river cruise and the London Eye and then met Disers for dinner and went to bed between 10-11:confused3 Hoping we have the same experience this summer when we go to Paris and next summer on this cruise.

    Welcome aboard :wave:
    Love your Paris photo in your signature:thumbsup2
    While I have most of our Paris trip planned for this summer I could certainly use any advice as it is my first visit:goodvibes

    My DS, Andrew was in marching band in HS. Never saw him work so hard, especially the month of August, but he loved it. Now my DD, Kelly, usually does rock band camp in August so even though my DS is a HS senior, we still don't travel in August if we can help it:rolleyes:
    My DS plays clarinet and my DD guitar.
    What instrument does your DS play?

    Funny how the school districts are all different all over the country.
    I don't recall ours ever scheduling exams for the last couple days of school:confused3 I think they usually set those days aside for make-up work. But my kids would hate to miss them because that is when the class parties are:rolleyes1

    Welcome aboard :wave:
    Haven't done an ABD yet:confused3

    Welcome aboard :wave:
    My DH is "Nick Charles", but he mostly lurks:rolleyes1

    We stayed overnight in St Petersburg and I think you could stay out all night if you wanted:confused3 I know some people had night tours scheduled and I don't recall anyone saying they had a curfew:confused3
    But St Petersburg was different as there were visa requirements. You couldn't go off the ship unless the tour you booked included a temporary visa.
    No idea what will happen with Venice:confused3
  17. MrsScooby

    MrsScooby Active Member


    I was typing while you posted;)
  18. jel0511

    jel0511 DIS Veteran

    We checked the weather before we left for Paris and packed accordingly. It stunk to have to pack sweatshirts and rain gear, but at least we were prepared. The jeans and sweatshirts we packed didn't see the light of day after we left Paris, since it was SO WARM the rest of the trip.

    Again, based on this years exam schedule, they're taking exams right up until the 2nd to last day, with the last day for make up exams. So there is no fun time here at the end of the year!
  19. nzdisneymom

    nzdisneymom DIS Veteran

    We did not need anything heavy in the Med in 2007, and only had one cool night or two in the Baltic - they had unseasonably warm weather (record highs in both Helsinki and St. Petersburg) when we were there.

    As far as I know we don't need visas. We loved Nice when we were there - we did a bus tour but had plenty of time to walk around the Old City / market / promenade, and we went up to the ruins and had a fabulous overlook of the city.

    We did something similar when we went to London - we also had the Eye on the day we arrived. We got to our hotel around 9:30 a.m. and our room was ready, so we were lucky. DH went right to sleep and the boys each got a shower and went to sleep. I got a shower and then slept maybe 30 minutes and then went out to explore - I got back to the room about 11:30 a.m. and woke everyone up because while I knew they each needed a nap, I wasn't going to let them sleep too long nor waste my time in London :) We got something to eat and then figured out the Tube to get to the Eye. Afterwards we went to the British Museum for a bit, then stopped for dinner where some other DISers were only we didn't know they were DISers until we met them at our hotel DIS Meet and Greet we had arranged. It was fun to meet each other ahead of being on the ship and a great time to exchange information about what we'd done all day since we still had another day in London before getting to the ship.

    Zachary plays trombone. Started at a summer band camp between 4th and 5th grade - loved it and still plays now in 8th. By the time we take this trip, he'll be between 9th and 10th grade so he'll have a season of marching band behind him. He's not excited about it, but he likes the other type of performances, and he's also in the jazz band at his middle school (first year they have it) and loves it. So he'll suffer through marching season to be able to do the concert band classes.
  20. MinnieGarden

    MinnieGarden <font color=royalblue>Sweetie, let's focus on vaca

    My best Paris tip is to dress in layers! Being from Texas, I had a really hard time with that concept, especially since we were in the middle of record heat. The weather outside was absolutely gorgeous, however indoors and in the Metro was a totally different story! Air conditioning seemend to be a foreign concept and there wasn't a fan any where to be found. So, I often wore a very light sweater and took it off inside where it was unbearably hot.

    Also, I recommend staying in an American-branded hotel. For our ABD, we stayed at the Hilton Arc de Triomphe. Good air conditioning and ameneties! We added on three days after our adventure and rented an apartment near the Eiffel Tower. While I would totally do it again, it was a COMPLETELY different experience.

    And the Eiffel Tower..... we had lunch actually in the tower. If I had it to do all over again, I'd skip it. Lunch was ok, however the elevator system to get you there and back down was absolutely awful. My husband is an avid photographer, and actually went up another level when I left to go shopping. He actually took the stairs down instead of getting back in the elevator. Besides, you can't see the tower if you're in it! ;) (and be sure to save time to watch the tower sparkle at night! Truly magical.)

    Hope that helps! If you need a car service, let me know. I still have the name and number of our driver that was recommended to us by ABD.
  21. MrsScooby

    MrsScooby Active Member

    Yeah some things you can't change so best to just deal with them and move on to the things you can control :thumbsup2

    My DS was not crazy about marching band at first. It was alot of work which he was not used to. 8 hours of marching a day, 40 hours a week for the first 2 weeks and then 5 hours a day for the next 2 weeks. But the trips, the friendships, the being a part of something that big eventually won him over and it wound up being the best part of high school for him. It also gets easier every year once they get the marching down.

    Which Eiffel Tower restuarant did you eat in? I had heard there were 3 of them. One a cafeteria, one a sit down restaurant (just ok) and one a gourmet, high priced restaurant. I was tentatively planning to have dinner at the Eiffel Tower on our first day there as my DH really wants to make it to the top level which he missed on his first trip. He doesn't want to spend the money on the gourmet restaurant (2nd floor one I think), so we were thinking the less expensive restaurant on the first floor for dinner and then take our time getting to the top afterwards:confused3

    I have read mixed reviews about this restaurant (totally blanking on the names right now uggg). Some people love it and some don't. Most agree it is overpriced because of where it is. I'm thinking that if I go into it with realistic expectations we'll be fine. We've been up the Empire State Building a number of times and I am expecting the experience (crowds and such) would be similar:confused3
    We're only in Paris for 3 days and then we are heading to the Normandy area. Actually planning to take the train to Caan and then rent a car to visit Mont St Michel and Bayeux.

    I don't think we'll be using a car service (at least for this trip) but if you can pm me the name you have I can save it for emergencies or future trips:goodvibes

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