MedCruise 6/15 to 6/27/13 from California travelers

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by abayaflowers, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    Another early day! Same routine... room service, coffee, walk up to Deck 9 to take pics of the ship docking, getting ready to leave the ship.

    Here's were our most challenging excursion began.

    We have been to Rome and the Vatican before and had a wonderful time. Since DH was not able to visit the Vatican on 2010, I promised the same visit.

    We went to deck 1 to leave the ship. We got onto the shuttle to get to the front of the Cruise Terminal. We met up with a wonderful family from Arizona. Both our DDs knew one another from the Chocolate Factory tour which I set up on June 14th.

    After we walked out of the shuttle, we walked across the street towards McDonald's. Then, we turned right towards the Train Station. Remember the Train Station is across the street from the water. There's also ATMs nearby and street vendors. We ignored everyone who tried to sell us something at 7:30 a.m.

    Too early to buy anything! So, you walk into the train station and turn right into the Tabaco shop. This is where you can purchase the BIRG ticket. You can use it for Metro, Train, and Bus.

    Remember to validate your train ticket before getting on board.

    We were on the "early" train to Rome, but apparently there was a delay. So, we didn't end up leaving until close to 8:30 a.m. There were many Italian police, and we could tell that there were many "pick pocketers" hanging around. It is so obvious. However, we were on guard.

    I was showing the Arizona family on how to use the train system, check the schedule and where to stand to get a good seat in the train.

    We had a great seat and was amazed that the train progressively got so full the closer we got to the S. Pietro station. We were scheduled to meet our tourguide, Emanuella from Limo In Rome. She was our guide in 2010. We loved her.

    When we got off at S. Pietro station, it was so crowded. We took our time getting to the Vatican City, because we knew that our ticket time was not until 10 a.m. We arrive around 9:15 a.m. There was a big line to get into St. Peter's Basilica, but we were scheduled to meet at the Museum.

    Little did we know that the Vatican was setting up for Wednesday mass. So the entire center was covered with guardrails, seats, cleaners cleaning the fountains, scaffoldings everywhere.

    After taking 10 mins to take pics of the center and surroundings, we walked North East towards the wall. We purchased a macchiato, took a pic of the Swiss guard, and ate some gelato. It was getting hot already.

    Then, we encountered a physical human roadblock. The line on the right is to skip a line. In order to get around, I started walking on the street, got whistled at by the Italian police, and walked back up on the sidewalk where there was the right line to skip a line.

    It took about 15 mins. to walk to the Museum, and there were SO MANY TOUR buses. I overheard that the Vatican Tours had become so much more popular because of the new Pope, Pope Francis.

    Well, we were there by 9:50 a.m. and looked for Emy. It was starting to get hot and humid. By 10 a.m., we saw a man who held up a sign with our family name. Who was this man? Well, he was our guide.

    Not expecting this, but was not also expecting someone who was going to rush us through the Vatican so quickly that I rarely took any pics. I won't bore you with details, but we literally ran the entire time until we got into the Sistine Chapel. DD10 was pushed, squished, and overheated. I told our guide 30 mins. into the tour that we can go slower and not in a hurry to get to the Pantheon, because we want to enjoy the Vatican.

    This part irritated me, he did not listen and proceeded to literally PUSH through the crowds. He even offered to carry DD10. ABSOLUTELY NOT! By this time, DD10 and I were completely done with him. We were not even in the Sistine Chapel.

    She was turning a shade of pink and miserable. My baby!

    So, when we were in the Sistine Chapel, the experience of enjoying the Vatican was gone.

    I just wanted her to go back to the ship. I kept telling our guide, but kept ignoring our wishes. He even offered for us to stay at the Basilica while he took DH and DD13 on the rest of the tour.


    I told him no and we were going to hit the "restrooms" before we headed to the train. DH and the tourguide were worried that I would encounter some problems going back to the train station.

    At this point, I didn't care. I wanted my DD10 to be happy and not miserable. Me, too!

    Before leaving the Vatican City, I switched my daughter's sandals to socks and tennis shoes. We walked through a tunnel and many people were watching us... I felt so awkward. The street vendors were scoping us out on our vulnerability. But, as an Angry Mom who was more concerned about Her Child who was miserable, they could tell not to mess with me.

    DH, DD13 and the tourguide continued onto the Pantheon. He was scheduled to be with "us" until 3 p.m.

    I thought that I knew where the Train Station was, but I got lost. I finally asked a lady and walked through a grocery store and walked across the street towards a park.

    We were good until we spotted a homeless man coming out of the WC and started to follow us.

    Thank goodness that my survival instincts from growing up in a rough neighborhood in East LA and Eastside SJ kicked in. No one was going to mess with my DD10 and I.

    We finally made it back to the Train Station and waiting for the Train to Civitavecchia. It was delayed and by this time, the heat and humidity was tremendous. About 103 degrees. Almost ran out of water and DD10 was miserable. I kept apologizing.

    I felt that I ruined my family's experience of Roma.

    When the train finally arrived, we found the last seat and DD10 sat in my lap.

    After a couple of stops, we switched over to two available seats. Wonderful view!

    DD10 was so happy to count the stops back to the CruiseShip.

    We finally arrived at Civitavecchia after 3 p.m. We exited the train and walked into the shop to get something cold and fuzzy to drink.

    So many cranky people.

    The thing that stuck out in my mind was the Italian men and women who were going into work were wearing jackets. Really!

    It made me sweat even more by just looking at them.

    So, we took a leisurely stroll back to the CruiseShip terminal, got onto the shuttle bus, and gladly entered the ship. We took a shower and rested our weary feet, legs, and bodies until DH and DD13 returned. They returned by 6 p.m. also very tired.

    Glad to have this excursion all done!

    Sea Day tomorrow!
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  3. o&smom

    o&smom Mouseketeer

    Jun 23, 2011

    So sorry to hear about your day in Rome. Our train was postponed twice and then cancelled. We just got another sea day in port!:). I didn't even notice your poor hands all the times we ran into eachother. So happy they are better!

    Enjoying your trip report and reliving our awesome cruise through others' experiences!

  4. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

    Apr 17, 2010
    I'm sorry to hear about your Rome experience. Your DD is such a trooper! Your East LA reference was pretty funny. I grew up walking around downtown LA alot and lived in the Tendrloin in SF for school. The European bums got nothing on the California homeless people ;). Good job protecting your DD.
  5. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    Thanks, Marni! My hands do and feel better.

    I hope that your trip back home was good.

    As for your train, that's terrible. Did both trains around 9 and 10 get cancelled from Civitavecchia? Well, at least you didn't have to experience the terrible heat in Roma. I heard that Double Trouble just took the train to the next town and spent a wonderful day at the beach.

    I think that is what we should have done. Oh! Well. It was an experience.

    By the way, I saw a pair of shoes similar to what you purchased at one of your shore excursion, I believe Mykonos, and they were going for over $200.00. Wished that I did a little more shopping.
  6. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    Yes, DD is such a trooper! She knew that I wanted to make sure that she was happy. She kept telling me that it was okay and knew that I was trying to make it better for her.

    Exactly! Our family lived in Downey and then moved to Cudahy. It was pretty rough when I was a little kid and can only imagine the type of environment that it has turned into today.
  7. jennorthernireland

    jennorthernireland Mouseketeer

    May 12, 2013
    I love your trip report so far - so honest, yet still positive and some very helpful details. Thanks so much :)
  8. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    Thanks, Jenny! Are you sailing the MedCruise soon?

    I hope to update our TR as quickly as possible. ;)
  9. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    So, this was the best relief from all the B2B trips. I couldn't believe how absolutely exhausted our family was.

    We slept in until 9 a.m. and decided to go to brunch at Parrot Cay. We were asked if we would like to sit with some other people. We were game.

    So, we met the most wonderful couple who retold an awe-inspiring and motivational story about hard work of building Hubert Enterprises, Inc. of Ohio, family-owned business until 90's. Hubert made all the restaurant and grocery store equipment. You can see the markings on the equipment even on the DCL.

    It made me realize how I should work harder and solidified my belief that success does not come overnight. It comes with a lot of failures.

    I felt honored by sitting with Butch Hubert. He was so humble! I even looked him up after our brunch. Wow! He has given back so much to the community, but yet so humble.

    Thanks for the Hubert family!

    Then, I promised DD10 and her friend to watch them while they played in the Mickey pool. Since we were going through the Strait of Messina before we sailed to Piraeus around 3/3:30 p.m., I wanted to get a good view to take vids and pics. So, I positioned myself on Deck 10 above the Mickey Pool on the same side as the slide so that I can get a tan, watch the girls, and also get vids and pics of the narrow strait.

    The girls played in the pool from 1 to 5:30 p.m. During this time, I took the most amazing shots of the towns on the coast, the smoking, active Volcano (Mt. Etna), and enjoyed the "quiet" moment to myself.

    Around 5:30 p.m., we went back to our SRs to get ready for formal night. Even though that I started off early. I encountered a big issue. My zipper on my favorite red formal dress popped.

    Yes! I tried for 30 mins to fix it. By this time, I didn't want to miss our picture taking time.

    So, I resorted to using my backup one piece black jumpersuit. Put on some silver and white jewelry.

    Tip: Bring extra formal clothing just in case.

    We also had a chance to watch Twice Charmed. Loved the shows. However, this was my only show that I watched during the cruise. I think that I would prefer to get the early seating next time. I didn't even have a chance to sign Karaoke with my daughter who we practiced for months for the big event on Disney Magic.

    After dinner, we stayed up for the 80's trivia. What a fun night! One hiccup, we wanted to continue dancing, but the Lab closed at midnight.


    Oh! Well!

    We will try again next time.

    So, we spent 2 hours enjoying conversations, food, and company.
  10. jennorthernireland

    jennorthernireland Mouseketeer

    May 12, 2013
    Yes, we are sailing on August 17th. It's a 7 night cruise so we don't get to go Greece, which I would have loved, but I am grateful to have the opportunity to visit the places we will see! I have never been to Italy before so I am very excited to go there, if a little daunted by the temperatures we know to expect! My good friend boarded the Magic today for a four day cruise and I got a text message a couple of hours ago from her. She sent it just before the sail away party and so far she seems so excited and overwhelmed by everything. I can't wait until it's our turn!
  11. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    That's so great! You will love the MedCruise. It's such a great experience. You will also love Italy! The breads are amazing.

    I hope that your friend has so much fun!

    I just posted the video for our trip from the Barcelona apt. to the Port via the taxi.
  12. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    It's another day to sleep in. However, we all woke up early. The DDs decided to watch cartoons in the room.

    DH and I went down to have brunch @ Lumiere's. We met a couple from Frankfurt who was stationed at the Air Force base and a family from Colorado Springs, Colorado who also complained on how hot it was in Rome, too!

    After brunch, we went upstairs to take a nap. Just trying to catch up on sleep and rest before another excursion day.

    DDs left to hang out with the friends who they made during the first few days.

    DH and I went to the Quiet Cove until 5 p.m.

    I also did some shopping which was nice. Some real expensive jewelry which I couldn't afford this MedCruise.

    So, we dressed quickly and thought it was semi-formal night. Unfortunately, I didn't get the "memo" that they changed it.

    So, DD10 and I were wearing semi-formal and DH and DD13 were dressed cruise casual.

    We tried to get some pics, but there was a such a long line.

    Right after dinner, we went to bed early, because we planned to walk to the Metro.
  13. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    DD13 - TR of all the ports.
    I love arriving in Barcelona, whether it be by land or sea. From either viewpoint, the old city slowly spreads out over the horizon or underneath you, depending on your method of transportation. The architecture, people, and language are all beautiful, and worth to go back again and again.
    France was a bit less dazzling.

    Monte Carlo was cool, with the Fairmont turn, the fancy McDonald's, and the super-shiny train tunnel. I would've liked more time on the first street we walked onto to take pictures.

    Now, the first stop in Italy, with the cute towns, was fun, even though my feet hurt a lot afterwards.

    The Vatican was as amazing as ever, and I liked that the guide gave us more history about it. The Parthenon was awe-inspiring, but it was more a one-time thing.

    Greece was awesome. The Acropolis has been on my list ever since I read the Percy Jackson books, and it was amazing to finally get to see it. Delos was even better, because you could almost literally step into the past when there were no ropes to hold you back.

    Kusadasi was great, Ephesus having the library, and being so well-preserved. The food and apple iced-tea at the rug shop was so good, to the point that if I had to eat and drink one thing for the rest of my life, those would be it. Though I would've preferred not getting a skull-splitting headache, it still was a wonderful experience.

    In Malta, I was a tiny bit disappointed that I didn't get to see the really old temples. The glass place was worth it though, with all the beautiful blow glass pieces. The cafe we went to was fun too, though I didn't like how you kept trying to get pictures of me and a monument (I really don't like pictures of me).

    DD10 - TR of all the ports

    1.I like the chocolate there.
    2.I sort of liked the apartment we stayed in.
    3.I didn't like walking so much.

    4.I didn't really like how we walked up and down places because it was tiring.
    5.I didn't like how we took so many trains.
    6.I liked how we went with some other people.

    7. I liked that we got gelato.
    8. I didn't really like walking all the stairs.
    9. I liked how we went with some friends.

    10.I liked that we saw the acropolis.
    11.I didn't like the wind picking up little rocks that were hitting me.
    12.I liked getting yummy gelato after we dropped daddy and Carlie off at the small boat.

    13.I liked that mommy bought me a bracelet.
    14.I liked that I got to go to the lab and play with my friends.
    15.I liked having breakfast in my room.

    16.I liked that we got yummy honey.
    17.I liked that we saw glass blowing.
    18.I didn't really like the ride on the bus because it was a little boring.

    Please be aware that our family is very adventurous and we try to take public transportation as much as we can, walk, or hike. We feel that it is a better way to see the town, people, and culture. So, DD10 complained about walking. She really meant walking, climbing stairs, running, etc. from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. I also love different writing styles of both DDs.
  14. jennorthernireland

    jennorthernireland Mouseketeer

    May 12, 2013
    Aaaah, bread; always my downfall! I don't suppose it will be much better for me in Italy that it is at home, but I will enjoy making sure ;)
  15. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    We woke up early, but room service never showed up. No-one picked up our room service ticket.

    So, I had to hustle and get some breakfast before the DDs and DH woke up. Once I rectified this issue, we packed our gear, water bottles packed with ice, water bottles with ice cold water, wash clothes to pour the water and hold ice, sunscreen, sunglasses, and our handy-dandy maps.

    We left the ship and we could tell that it was going to be another extreme HOT and HUMID day.

    We walked towards the Terminal Cruise B. It seemed empty. We bumped into our lovely Arizona family friends and all walked towards the left down the street to what appeared the front entrance of the Port. There was a street so that's what we assumed.

    Our Arizona friends went on the Hop-on Hop-Off red bus. Our goal was to use public transportation as much as we can.

    We walked on the left side of the street where the blue buses where parked. My initial plan was to use the bus to get to the Metro. Personally, it appeared rather dreadful. All the bus drivers were smoking in or around the buses. DDs and I are asthmatic; so, we decided to keep walking.

    I kept thinking to myself that this can't be the Athens that I imagined for many months.

    There was so much litter, overgrown weeds, trash, oil stains, etc. I really imagined white buildings, clean white streets, Athens... the home of the Gods and Goddesses.

    Quickly, I overcame the view and kept walking. It was almost 80 degrees by 9 a.m. Not humid or unbearably hot, yet.

    5 mins. into the walk, we encountered no legal crosswalks. I observed that people do try to use the "walkways", but they made their own street crossings whenever.

    In general, I wouldn't try to "jaywalk". I used the small crosswalk. We kept walking along the waterside and saw a policewoman dressed in high heels and appeared to be ready for a party. She was directing this amazing traffic.

    About 15 mins. into the walk, we quickly adjusted and found the street which led to the a set of stairs. We used these stairs to walk over the busy street and down the escalator.

    There, we turned left into the Metro terminal. It does not appear to look like a terminal, but we saw so many street vendors approaching people. So, we knew we were close.

    We walked into the building. We made it! Whew!

    DH purchased two adults and 2 children tickets. 1,40 for adult and ,70 per child.

    They are so tiny. Don't lose it!

    We got on the next train and encountered a gypsy trying to sing and ask for money.

    One of the Greek ladies started cursing at this man. She was absolutely beautiful! She wore her money on her. Gucci glasses with "diamonds", expensive outfit, shoes, jewelry, etc.

    Now, the train was covered inside with graffiti. We also noticed that this train has some AC. So, it was very welcomed by this point.

    We took the train (Green Line) to the Omonia. Then, we switch train (Red Line) to the Acropolis. This dropped us directly at the lower entrance. So, when you exit, walk upstairs toward the statues. It appears like a little museum.

    You will turn left up the hill. Then, you will turn left down a grey paved street. This will lead you to the acropolis.

    However, stop at the Tourist Office to get a map, experience AC for the last time, and use the NICE bathrooms that are not SIT-N-SQUAT. There's no line.

    Then, walk out of the tourist office. Turn right. Walk directly across to what appears a dry barren area with a ticket booth and a fence.

    You can purchase your tickets here for 24 Euros per adult. Children are free. Just show and tell them the childrens ages. We made it in time before two bus tours was released at this entrance/ticket booth.

    If you use the ticket/booth and main entrance to the Parthenon, you will be waiting in a LONG line to purchase tickets Then, you need to wait in a LONGER line to get into the Acropolis and not even close to the Parthenon.

    Warning: If you have walking issues, faint, elderly, disability issues, I DO NOT recommend this trek. It is very challenging and there are no Handicap accessible areas. You are basically on your own. There were many elderly and physically challenged visitors who just gave us at the entrance. There is no shade when you get up to the Parthenon. There were children melting before the Parthenon including DD10.

    Then, you are in the Acropolis. (We were at the Parthenon before the crowds before 9:30/10 a.m.). There are separate perforated tickets for each area. So, don't lose the perforated tickets. Keep them in your pocket. We were walking around for about 40 mins. until we reached the entrance to the Parthenon.

    It is an amazing experience. Take the time to take it all in even though it is hot. We were lucky to have this amazing breeze. Try to stay on the concrete where the preservationist have poured to prevent slippery slopes. Yes, it is all at an angle. The marble stones are slippery.

    There are no bathrooms up at the top of the Parthenon so remind your children to use the one at the Tourist Office. The restrooms at the main entrance is a long line and it's a SIT-N-SQUAT.

    There's a place to purchase drinks. I HIGHLY recommend getting the frozen beverage before you leave the Acropolis. Also, there's a post-office to mail a postcard.

    There are also a lot of Stray Dogs that broke our hearts.

    DD13 wanted to stay longer at the Parthenon. So, I had DH stay with her and told them to meet DD10 and I at the museum. By 10:30 a.m., we were headed down towards the main entrance. I wanted to get some shade. It was getting HOT and HUMID.

    Back to the stray dogs. We missed our 72 lbs. Chocolate Lab at home. So, DD10 decided to adopt the dogs along the way. I told her that we couldn't adopt one. They belong to Athens. So, got a frozen drink at the stand and started walking along the stone stairs.

    We encountered many visitors who were elderly and physically challenged who just gave up and sat along the stairs underneath what there is left of shade.

    Then, we turned left again and kept asking people along the way of where the Museum is. Everyone kept telling us "Down the stairs, and left". Really! It's like telling someone, "It's over there!" No technical directions.

    So, DD10 and I walked along a path that was shaded by Olive Trees. There were many visitor walking along the HOT pavement and no shade. Beautiful buildings, but I decided that shade equals happiness for DD10 and I.

    We walked another 5 mins. until we saw an Athens police car parked in the shade with the doors open.

    I decided to ask the policemen where the museum is. I believed that I startled them out of a nap, because one was laying in the car, and the other was smoking a cigarette.

    When they responded, they each pointed a different direction and didn't know where the Museum was.

    Made DD10 and I laugh. So, we decided to keep walking until we the shade ended.

    We finally walked for another 5 mins. and walked back to the Tourist office to use the restrooms. They loved speaking with DD. They thought her "American Accent" was so cute.

    Then, we walked back out again to find this beautiful black marble building with glass floors.

    This was the Museum. It was absolutely beautiful and Air-conditioned. There's a metal detector to walk through.

    We walked into the shop and purchased a black pencil. DD10 thought that it was awesome.

    Note: The things in the shop are expensive. I thought that the pencil was a great purchase.

    We were still waiting for DH and DD13. I thought that I saw them and asked the lady if I go in to check for DH and DD13 and if I can't find them, can I exit and return back in. Unfortunately, there are no in-n-out privileges.

    So, I decided to wait 15 more mins. I found WiFi, and DD10 found all the clear glass floors interesting to look at while we were waiting.

    They finally showed up and we wanted to tour the Museum. Well, we didn't realize that the Acropolis tickets were not good for the Museum.

    By this time, we were done and wanted to eat, drink and enjoy our time.

    We ate at the cafe, purchased bottled water, and espresso.

    DD13 and DH shopped for their souvenir from the shop. Then, we were off again.

    With heat and humidity, everyone wanted to return back to the ship. So, we just backed track and headed back.

    On our return trip, we encountered little children alone trying to sing and ask for money. We dropped our sunglasses and held on tight to our belongings just in case of pick-pocketing issues. Then, they got off and another set got on.

    We finally returned to the Metro near the port. Whew!

    So, to prevent from getting overheated, we walked on the opposite side of the water so that we can get some shade.

    We also wanted to get to the Citibank ATM that we saw when walking towards the Metro.

    We tried to purchase DD10 some dairy-free icecream, but everything including the breads had some type of dairy. She is highly allergic to dairy. Didn't want to risk it.

    By the way, everytime DD10 complained that she was hot, DH placed some icecubes from our waterbottles into a washcloth and gave it to her.

    It saved her from overheating.

    I kept telling her that she was on Amazing Races. She loved the challenge.

    As we discussed our DIY excursion, we never figured out where the Shuttle from the ship was to the front of the terminal.

    Funny part...DH went out after returning to the ship so that he can get free WIFI at Terminal Cruise A. He found the ONE shuttle bus and it took so long to get to the other Terminal which was half-way to the metro station. So, if you walked it, it would take you 10 to 15 mins. to get there.

    When we reached the buses, shuttles, and HOHO buses, DD10 said that she could not go any further.

    So, I gave her a piggy back ride. She absolutely loved it.

    Note: Our return time was around 12:30 p.m. It was HOOOOT!

    We took of our walking shoes and put on some flip-flops and got some lunch at Deck 9.

    Then, we took a nap.

    So nice to just get back to the ship. We totally appreciated the Parthenon, the Theater of Dionysus, the Museum and Piraeus.

    We also took time to do another load of laundry. No-one seemed to be on the ship. So, it was much easier to finish the laundry within 1.5 hours.

    Before dinner, there was an amazing sail-away and Greek Party!!! Loved the deck parties. Dancing, laughters, smiles, clapping, etc.

    Then, dinner!

    DH and I discussed Kusadasi and decided that DD10 was going to stay on the ship. It was going to be a hotter day in Ephesus and knew that she was not going to last. She might have heat exhaustion.

    That's the plan. ;)

    Off to bed early... the next day was Kusadasi.
  16. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

    Apr 17, 2010
    Please tell both your DDs that their trip reports were great. We also love Percy Jackson in our house. We've never been to the Acropolis and it sounds very exciting. It's so nice that they both liked it.

    My DD4 agrees about the walking. She told me at the end of the trip that "I have walked so much I'm just gonna fall down. I'm serious mom. I"m just gonna fall down." :rotfl2:
  17. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    Thanks! I will tell them. They will be happy to hear it!

    You DD4 sounds so cute! Did she fall down? ;)

    We always try to make our DIY excursions fun and exciting. We tried the DCL excursions for our Mexican Riviera cruise ('08) and one for the MedCruise ('10).

    The excursions were not flexible enough for our DDs at those times. One of the excursions were so bad that I felt that I threw money in the wind.

    The Malta DCL in '10 was so short and spent more time getting on the bus, waiting for the bus to maneuver around the tight roads, and walking to the hotel than enjoying the surroundings.

    So, we figured DIY excursions are better suited for our family.

    It has worked out well so far.
  18. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

    Apr 17, 2010
    She dramatically sat down on my feet. Then I couldn't move. :rotfl:

    Awwwh. My husband and I used to be major DIY-ers through Europe. Then we had little kids. They keep threatening to fall down, so we're not back at the DIY stage yet. :)

    I totally agree about setting your own pace. I love lingering in cafes, buying breads and not looking over your shoulder for tour guides and meet up times.
  19. Deb in IA

    Deb in IA Knows that KIDS are better

    Aug 18, 1999
    Hi abayaflowers! :wave2:

    I am loving your Trip Report, as it is helping relive our wonderful cruise!

    I really liked reading about some of your experiences, especially your DIY tours! DH will not do ANYTHING that is not a DCL activity. He went to Europe when he was 12 with his family, and he remembers the pickpockets and theives - they were robbed in Rome - and he is so paranoid about this that he refused to do anything on our own, so I like reading about the things you did!

    We saw the dogs at the Acropolis too. I was amazed at how calm they are - hundreds of people walking around, and they are just lying in the middle, sleeping! Our guide told us that they are safe and healthy, all vaccinated, etc.

    We have also have a Chocolate Lab! His name is Remus and he is 4 years old.

    I am so sorry about your door magnets. I remember seeing your sign as DD Jennifer and I were passing out our FE gifts. Jennifer got so upset that someone would do such a thing. Even if they are "just kids", I expect kids to know the difference between right and wrong, and taking things that do not belong to you is definitely wrong!
  20. tony64

    tony64 <font color=blue>Should've been a Cowboy<br><font

    Jun 21, 2003
    See you there :)
  21. just drea

    just drea Earning My Ears

    Jan 5, 2013
    interesting to read your comments...we sailed this voyage the week after you and both me and my hubby came down with a SERIOUS upper resp illness and sinus infection...there were many people on on 6/27-7/9 trip that got it also. In fact we are still SICK from it....bummer for us old folks.

    I HIGHLY recommend anyone going on the Magic to take meds for this kind of sickness, take lots of immune boosters time I will also "re-clean" our stateroom with disinfectants.

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