Med Cruise with Greece and Turkey July 2013 - We Are Disney Sheep - updated 4/3/14

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by Scraptographer, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. Scraptographer

    Scraptographer Mouseketeer

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    The last day of any cruise is always tough since you know that most of the really fun stuff is over and you have to fit all of your personal possessions back into your luggage, including your newly acquired souvenirs! And there are lots of loose ends to tie up.

    Once we woke up, our first objective , as always, was for food. Since they did not seem to change up the menu at Lumieres, we headed to Topsiders where we had a nice breakfast together. And after breakfast the togetherness ended as both kids deserted us and headed for deck 9/the Vibe. Apparently DD had signed up for an 'assassins' styled game of Gotcha which started at 10 am and kept going pretty much all day long. DS on the other hand hung out with the guys swimming and eating and hot tubbing it from what we could tell.

    Since Shutters had left us a Mickey message over night telling us that we needed to confirm by noon that our photo cd had all of our photos on it that we expected to be there, DH and I headed to Shutters as our first stop of the morning to compare our hard copies of photos with the digital photos on our cd file. This was much easier said than done as Shutters was an absolute zoo and line ups for the kiosks were wildly long. Fortunately we easily organized our hard copy photos into 11 folders (one for each day) and then DH scored a kiosk on deck 3 rather than deck 4.

    DH and I took the opportunity to get our 5k in on Deck 4.
    [​IMG]

    And then later while DH was taking care of some last minute stuff at the customer service desk, I popped into Lumieres and asked for a 6 pack of GF donuts for me and the kids, which I put into the fridge in our cabin. DH and I then decided to head to the Buena Vista theatre to watch Monsters University (since there was no way in heck we were going near deck 9 pools on a sea day). The movie was cute and we enjoyed it.

    Back in the cabin we realized that the kids had been through there at some point, since the donuts were disappearing :) - yes, we had left a note. And finally we could no longer put it off, it was time to start to pack. I say start, because my job is to help sort and organize, and then to get the heck out of the way and let DH take over.

    Eventually we reached a point where we decided to call an 'operational pause' and head to Parrot Cay for dinner.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    And yes, it had been a little challenging to find the kids and get them to come back to the room since they were having so much fun, but we knew this was really the last opportunity to see our servers, since the last morning they are often crazy busy.

    Once dinner was done, we got a couple of last photos with Minnie in her red blazer outfit and then the kids and I enjoyed the Dreams show and left DH happily packing. By the time we got back from the show, we threw one or two last items into our suitcases and put them out by the door to 'magically' disappear with their Goofy tags on them.

    DH and I headed to bed fairly early, while the kids headed off to Vibe for the last time this trip. Apparently there was a slide presentation played with pictures that the Vibe CMs had taken in the Vibe or at Vibe activities all cruise long. And that is also how DD found out that she won the Gotcha game - for most points anyway,
    [​IMG]

    another girl won for most kills. I believe that 'You Go Girls' would be accurate here :).
     
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  3. Scraptographer

    Scraptographer Mouseketeer

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    Since we had the main or early seating for dinner on this cruise, that also meant that we had the early breakfast timing on disembarkation day, and we did not see anything that indicated that Topsiders was open, so we planned on breakfast in the main dining room. We were therefore up way too early to clear out of our cabin to head to breakfast. And everything about breakfast was just a little too rushed, but that seems to be the way the final morning goes. As a matter of fact, we ended up being mostly served by other 'additional' servers since there was a limited time for turnaround before the next breakfast crowd was due to arrive.

    Leaving the ship, finding our luggage in the Goofy aisle, and finding our bus to the airport was all very simple and straightforward.
    [​IMG]

    We did see a long line up for taxis as we left, however we had no idea how fast it moved. It was a very short drive to the airport, and that's where the long waits began. Even without rushing, we made it to the airport by 9 am. Checking in at the Lufthansa counter there was a really long line as very few of us were eligible to use the kiosks - perhaps due to the connecting flight issues of international travel? In any case, Lufthansa were very efficient about adding extra staff and before 10 am we were through both check in and security.

    And this had essentially been a hurry up and wait game as our flight to Frankfurt was not until about 1 o'clock ...due to Air Canada cancelling our direct flight. In Air Canada's defence, they did offer us a flight with fewer connecting legs ... It just didn't leave until the next day! And when we checked with Disney way back when we first found out about the flight change, by that time the Diagonal Mar would have been $800 for one night ( for two rooms mind you but still)! And once you combined the doubled cost with our desire to just get home, it made the decision to head home ASAP despite the length of the trip, fairly easy.

    Eventually at Frankfurt we found ourselves in the same lounge area from two weeks before, and DD immediately commented on how surreal this felt. DD even stated that in a novel, at this point we would realize that we had fallen asleep and dreamed the whole trip!! Nope, and I have the cheesy ceramic picture frames and pictures to prove it :).

    Frankfurt operates on a system that assigns you to a terminal where there are reasonably comfortable (for an airport that is) lounges to wait in. And then just before your flight is due to load, they flash your gate number up on a monitor. We took the opportunity to find salads and nuts etc as snacks and to use our 30 minutes of free WiFi, and then several hours later we were boarded on an Air Canada plane and headed for Toronto. At least the airplane had individual monitors with movies etc for each seat.

    Once in Toronto we again had a few hours to wait before our next flight, but at least we now had Timmies coffee :) - step away from the dark side and back into the light :).
    [​IMG]

    And as an added benefit, as the signs in the toilets at Pearson International say: We have free WiFi every where, even here :).

    Eventually we made it home, about 24 hours after our very long day had started in Barcelona. Winding down and getting to sleep at that point was another thing, but eventually we did. After all, we had unpacking, laundry and grocery shopping to look forward to now that we were back in the real world :).
     
  4. JCinMN

    JCinMN Mouseketeer

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    Great review! Thank you so much for sharing. I did a similar (non Disney) cruise in 2003 and it your review brought back great memories of my trip. I hope you go again sooner vs later, so I can read more!
     
  5. figment52

    figment52 <font color=royalblue>Oh man, I checked out the we

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    Great review but I have to ask again - are we going to see pictures of the picture frames? I am dying of curosity
     
  6. Scraptographer

    Scraptographer Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for reading along and for your kind comments. We really enjoy travel and Disney cruises, so our kids are already lobbying hard for another trip, our problem right now is their high school schedule and our preferred Disney itineraries seem to be pulling in opposite directions for us. I am glad that my report triggered some great memories for you.
     
  7. Scraptographer

    Scraptographer Mouseketeer

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    I am glad that you are still reading along. I have taken photos of my picture frames and hope to post them in my Trip Report Wrap up post, which should be coming soon. My problem is that DD who has been handling my photos for me has been away camping with friends - which is why there has been journaling but no photos since Malta.

    Hopefully we can get back on track much sooner than later.
     
  8. Scraptographer

    Scraptographer Mouseketeer

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    Now that we are back and people ask how the trip was I find it hard to put into words. I feel like the little kid in the movie 'The Incredibles' who is a witness to the Incredibles in action and yells: THAT WAS TOTALLY WICKED! Really.

    We are debating another med cruise next summer (since our kids are rapidly reaching the 'about to graduate high school stage' and the Mom side of me is worrying about separation from my 'babies' and therefore wants to have lots and lots of family trips together before that happens) and since the current Disney itineraries that are available to us when the kids are not in school aren't ideal from our perspective, we are considering other cruise lines. The problem we have is that we feel that the 'Disney difference' with respect to the cruise line itself really does make a difference to us, especially when I think about all of the time that we did spend on the ship after excursions and of course on sea days, and how it totally made this trip for us. However I will continue to read all of the threads about other cruise lines as food for thought :).

    Overall, we really did enjoy all of our Disney excursions. Especially the ones with Greek and Roman ruins and things to climb :). The interesting thing from my perspective is that one of our favourite excursions was Athens which we mostly did on our own, but that was tied in enjoyment with our excursion to Rome, which was very long and very structured.

    Least favourite excursion for me was Monaco, while for DH it was Delos :), although Monaco would be somewhere close down there on his list as well. Surprisingly Malta rated as least favourite for both kids, but then again they have their mother's love of climbing things, and even though Delos was a little 'without' when it came to interesting stuff, we had lots of room to climb around once we spread out - in other words we liked it despite (or perhaps because of) it being the most systematically laid out pile of rocks my DH had ever seen :).

    I do have some issues with the cost of the Disney excursions. There is no getting around the price of the 'Disney difference', especially for the 'Pisa Climb the Tower' excursion. As much as I enjoyed it, the financially responsible, logical side of me wants to stage a revolt... I am just not sure that my family would be willing to join me in the revolt.

    If there is another Med cruise in our future, although I will definitely check out what excursions Disney has to offer, I do believe that we will be more open to 'straying from the herd'... Or should that be flock?

    Overall though, on this trip we got to see and do so much together, and it is wonderful to have personal memories to go along with so many iconic monuments, and so many not so iconic cheesy picture frames :).

    Barcelona
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    Monaco
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    Pisa
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    Rome
    [​IMG]

    Athens
    [​IMG]

    Ephesus
    [​IMG]

    Mykonos
    [​IMG]

    Malta
    [​IMG]
     
  9. solgent

    solgent DIS Veteran

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    really nice trip report! your picture frames are AWESOME! how many do you have from all your trips?

    I feel bad about giving you the unwanted info on the cost of buying the Leaning Tower tickets directly. I hope you get to do another cruise and have a fabulous time as "sheep" or intrepid solo travelers, whichever path you choose!
     
  10. cforsythe

    cforsythe Mouseketeer

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    I really have enjoyed reading your TR. I love the fact that you all spend time as a family. It reminds me of our family. Both of our DDs are out of the house now. One is married and the other is a college student. We have LOVED all of our Disney trips and hope that we will get to share the Disney LOVE with our grandchildren sometime in the future. Enjoy those babies while they are there!!:)
     
  11. figment52

    figment52 <font color=royalblue>Oh man, I checked out the we

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    I love the frames. Another reason to do this trip again - I want to get frames too.
     
  12. Scraptographer

    Scraptographer Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for your kind comments about our trip report.

    Honestly, I really appreciated the info you provided about the cost of your Tower of Pisa climb - even if the logical, financially responsible part of me squirmed - a lot :). On the other hand, DH and I have discussed your comments a lot, in a good way, :), as we look ahead to hopefully taking another Med cruise in the next year or so, and how we intend to approach it.

    And as for my - as it turns out rather extensive cheesy picture frame collection - since I started collecting when DH and I did a Princess cruise to Alaska for our honeymoon, I probably have about 2 dozen, plus the ones from our most recent trip::yes::
     
  13. Scraptographer

    Scraptographer Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for taking the time to share about your family as well :), it really is wonderful when you can enjoy being together - especially in the close confines of an inside cabin :rotfl:.

    I really do enjoy traveling through my camera lens, and my most favourite pictures from the trip now that we are home are the simplest moments of our family goofing around together, granted, in some pretty amazing places :). The whole concept of college and marriage and grandchildren for my kids excites me and scares me at the same time, so at this point I am digging my heels in and holding my 'babies' tight all the way!

    Like you though, I look forward to sharing our Disney love with our kids and hopefully their kids (way in the future) for many years to come.
     
  14. Scraptographer

    Scraptographer Mouseketeer

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    I am glad that you like my picture frames :). And hopefully I am an 'enabler' in this case and you get to do this trip again sooner than later :).
     
  15. thymed

    thymed Mouseketeer

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    WOW, love your TR. Your cheesy frames are also great!!

    We are booked for the 9 night Med Cruise leaving June 26 1914 from Venice.
    However, we have been considering changing to the 12 night Mediterranean
    leaving July 26th. That would be this same trip and it sounds fabulous!!

    Thanks for all the great details you added, it makes me feel more comfortable about planning this trip :)

    We want to travel to Barcelona a few days early and explore. My biggest concern is the flight. I keep reading reports where these flights are delayed and rerouted and it is somewhat intimidating.
     
  16. Scraptographer

    Scraptographer Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for your kind comments. I read and re-read so many trip reports for the year before we left that helped me, and just tried to include info that might help someone else, so I am happy that this helps you with your planning.

    The 9 day trip truly looks great, however for us having 4 sea days on our trip really made it a vacation as it built in the time that we needed to recover from our busy days and just relax, however I know that not everyone needs the rest days, or else they prefer to rest once they get home. I honestly would not mind doing the same itinerary we did again since there is still so much left to see!

    As for the air travel, I am sure that everything will go smoothly for you as you have built in extra time that will give you that extra cushion that you may need and allow you to compensate if anything does go awry. Looking back, even though we were scheduled to fly in early morning originally, if we had booked our flight in to Barcelona for Sailaway Day, given our flight delays, it would have been hit and miss as to whether we would have made it before the ship sailed away. Luckily although we did not get to see everything in Barcelona that I had on my list, we prioritized and got to do what was most important to us. I guess this just means that we need to go back and visit Barcelona again if we want to do anything else on the list... At least that's what I keep telling my DH :lmao:

    I hope you have a great trip :)
     
  17. Joanna71985

    Joanna71985 <marquee><font color=green>Characters are my frien

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    Great TR! It makes me want to take a Med cruise sooooo badly (especially for the characters)
     
  18. Scraptographer

    Scraptographer Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for your kind comments. I have to admit that having the Disney characters around in their different costumes for several of the countries we visited was really neat and a nice Disney touch. I hope that next year they come up with Greek costumes for the other characters, or else Mickey is going to be VERY busy!

    I hope that you get to take a Med cruise sooner than later.:thumbsup2
     
  19. keenercam

    keenercam Loves Mickey!

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    I LOVED your trip report. Having done some of the same ports on our 10 night DCL Med cruise in 2011, I really enjoyed your photos and your accounts of what you did, where you went, what you ate, etc. We are doing the 12 night Med cruise July 14, 2014. The itinerary is fabulous with 7 ports and 4 sea days. You should consider that one. :)
     
  20. Scraptographer

    Scraptographer Mouseketeer

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    Many thanks for your comments, and I am happy that you enjoyed my report. We have actually booked the 14 July 2014 cruise, however I might wait to see the 2015 itineraries before we commit to airfare. That said, the teenagers are lobbying hard to head to the Med this coming summer:). Happily they have told us many times now how much they enjoyed this last cruise and they want a repeat :).
     
  21. linetbo

    linetbo DIS Veteran

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    Did you like this tour? I was thinking to do the best of rome.
     

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