Repo & Med B2B Cruise July\Aug 2010 - FINALLY COMPLETE

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by Melcatfish, May 25, 2010.

  1. Melcatfish

    Melcatfish <font color=990099>In full planning mode!<br><font

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    Well I was pleased that even if Volcanic Ash disrupts us it will be on the way home, somehow, so long as I get onboard the MAgic I can cope with the threat of disruption coming home. I felt so worried for those April MEd cruisers who had so much trouble getting to Barcelona to board the ship!

    Mel
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  3. mkmommy

    mkmommy DIS Veteran

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    It is always fun to read a trip report for your own cruise:surfweb: as everyone has such different experiences, look forward to following, and also meeting you and your family. Your daughters are lovely, they always look like they are having so much fun.

    I agree with you about the lack of beach excursions, some of the beaches around Lisbon are supposed to be beautiful , but I guess if you only have 2 cruises stopping in a port you do not spend too much time developing excursions.

    Lisa
     
  4. vron

    vron Earning My Ears

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    Fab start! I can't believe we're only 8 weeks away now! The time seems to be flying by! I'm so excited to be going on our first cruise! :dance3:
     
  5. bats

    bats Enjoying Bahama Mama's

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    Great start Mel.

    If it's raining on the Friday, I'll look out for you ... you'll be the one frantically trying to keep your hair dry and curly!!:thumbsup2
     
  6. Melcatfish

    Melcatfish <font color=990099>In full planning mode!<br><font

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    Don't say the "R" word we will have none of that on this cruise, don't you know Disney can even control the weather?!?!

    Mel
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  7. scottishwee35

    scottishwee35 DIS Veteran

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    Hi Mel

    I agreed with you lol

    I look forward to meet you all...

    Scottishwee35:banana:
     
  8. Melcatfish

    Melcatfish <font color=990099>In full planning mode!<br><font

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    Likewise, any only a shade over 7 weeks to go!

    Mel
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  9. scottishwee35

    scottishwee35 DIS Veteran

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    :woohoo::woohoo: 7 weeks to go

    now I am off to Spain for Hen long weekend...

    I will be good ::yes:: :laughing:

    Scottishwee35
     
  10. phillipsajtj

    phillipsajtj Earning My Ears

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    Loved reading your plans we are one this cruise too. Your little girls are lovely I have a DD aged 4 called jessica. Maybe they could become friends?
    :dance3::dance3:
     
  11. Melcatfish

    Melcatfish <font color=990099>In full planning mode!<br><font

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    I am sure Izzy would love a little friend to play with. I was amazed last year when we went on our first DCL trip with children at just how much Isabelle loved the clubs, they had so many fun activities and seh loved joining in and playing with all the other children too.

    Mel
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  12. lisalisalisa

    lisalisalisa Mouseketeer

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    I look forward to your trip report. Your girls are adorable.

    We saw Magic off from Dover yesterday and my boys said that they didn't want to go to California this summer anymore they want to go on Mickey's ship.:rotfl:

    We are hoping to go on a 10 night Med next June.
     
  13. Melcatfish

    Melcatfish <font color=990099>In full planning mode!<br><font

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    I wanted to do an 11 night next year but they made all the UK summer holiday cruises into 7 nighters :( as DH and I are both teachers that rules out the earlier cruises unless we do the one that falls in half term and take 3 days unpaid leave for the end of the cruise (I am part time so could get away with that, DH would have to do some serious brownie point earning!!

    I am sure you will have a great time in California, I really want to take the girls there one day but I am not brave enough to do the flight with them until they are a little older - 8 hours to Florida was enough for me last year!!!

    Mel
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  14. Melcatfish

    Melcatfish <font color=990099>In full planning mode!<br><font

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    Have added some updates including news of our upgrade!

    Just 5 weeks to go now :)

    Mel
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  15. 2littlegirls

    2littlegirls Earning My Ears

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    Mel,
    Love the dresses! Can't wait to hear about your cruise with two young girls. We would love to do this trip so can't wait to hear how it goes.
    Nice upgrade:cool1:
     
  16. Melcatfish

    Melcatfish <font color=990099>In full planning mode!<br><font

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    Thanks!

    Your girls are about the same age as mine were last summer when we cruised. I see your cruise will be your first DCL trip but not sure if you cruised before but if not I think you are going to love how easy a vacation a cruise is compared to a land vacation when you have small children. We LOVED the fact that everything was so near and the fact that there was great entertainment for them laid on by the experts!

    DH and I are getting VERY excited now, only 4 weeks til tomorrow and I have still managed to keep the secret from the girls :) :) :)

    Mel
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  17. Melcatfish

    Melcatfish <font color=990099>In full planning mode!<br><font

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    The Plan
    As the Back To Back was a last minute addition to our trip we have not really made any firm arrangements. There were no Palo Brunch reservations left online but as we will be reboarding quickly in Barcelona we hope to snag anothr Brunch ressie for this cruise on embarkation day... possibly for this first sea day.

    Other than that we will be settling into our new cabin - we got a little upgrade from a cat 12 to an 11 but will try for a window upgrade at port depending on prices and availability but of course we know we will have to pack up and move rooms so I am sure that on this first full day we will make many wrong turns heading to the room from the previous cruise!

    No other plans for today though.

    The Reality

    Well my trip notes never resurfaced so I am GOING to finish this report with the remaining photos and my vague recollections!

    This morning was the first Princess Gathering of the second cruise. We knew well enough to get in line early and although the line IS long I love the format of this, one line and then when you get to the front you move from princess to princess with no lines in between. Olivia was still not keen on going to have her photo taken on her own so this was really for Isabelle!

    While we waited in line Alice came by and stopped to talk to the children in the line which was nice and made the wait a little better.

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    When we got to the front Isabelle of course had her photo taken with all the princesses, her favourites were Snow White, Belle and most of all Tiana as we had watched the new Princess and the Frog movie onboard in the first leg of our cruise.

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    After this excitement Isabelle was keen to get to the kids club, Olivia was booked into the nursery and we went off for visit number two at the Palo Brunch. No photos this time, I think I decided that as we took photos the first time this time I would just savour the lovely food!

    I think we just chilled out for the afternoon before getting ready for formal night.
     
  18. Melcatfish

    Melcatfish <font color=990099>In full planning mode!<br><font

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    The Plan
    Having read a couple of trip reports I have decided that I really want to do the Blue Grotto and then just explore Valetta on foot. Many years ago I went on holiday to Capri with my parents and visited the Blue Grotto there which this one is apparently named after. It was lovely and I think Isabelle would love it... not sure how Livvy will get on in a little boat for half an hour but hopefully it will be fine!

    I have read that it is best to do this in the morning for the best effect so we plan to get off the boat and take a taxi to the Grotto. I have heard lots of good reports about the little fishing village nearby so depending on how the price works out we may see if the taxi driver will do a little mini tour with time to do the boat at the Blue Grotto and then spend a little while in the nearby village before heading back to Valetta.

    **Update - I have now read that you can get the bus very cheaply to visit the Blue Grotto - the post Is aw quoted 65 cents each way on the number 38 bus - we may hop on that if we feel like sampling the local bus service! **

    We will probably then get back onboard, have lunch and see what the kids want to do. Some of us will then probably go and wander around Valetta for a while taking in the atmosphere and seeing a few sights before returning to the ship.

    The Reality

    Well reality was a little different to the plan!

    Firstly I have to say I was totally blown away by Valletta. It was so unbelievably pretty. This was the view as we sailed in.

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    We decided to walk into town first to take a look around. We had borrowed a DCL stroller on this trip as Olivia wasn't going to last very long walking in the summer heat! DH and the girls are just in front of the quayside promenade in this photo.

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    When we got to this point the stroller seemed a little less of an ideal option but we persevered!

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    We had a lovely stroll around Valletta town and then it all went a bit pear shaped! We decided to head back to the ship for a while and walked downhill back towards the water. On the way we passed this sign - I felt a bit mean getting Izzy to pose next to it as she is only just 5 in this photo and didn't read the sign before letting me take the photo - I doubt our pet rabbits would appreciate this!

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    Well unbeknownst to us Valletta has two natural harbours and we ended up walking all the way back to the wrong one. This put us miles away from The Magic and somewhat lost! We found Valletta public library and asked about how to get back to the ship - we got directions and started on a VERY long hot walk back in the heat of the afternoon. Some of the exciting sights we saw included Valletta Driving Test Centre, Valletta Cat Rescue Centre and an industrial estate. Imagine my excitement when we final spotted the Magic in the distance!

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    Eventually back on board we took the girls for ice cream and a late lunch. They had a quick splash in the toddler play area and then Isabelle was keen to go back to the club. Olivia was booked in for a couple of hours at the nursery. DH and I went back to the quayside and sat at a table in one of the waterfront cafes. We enjoyed a drink and used the free wi fi to check in with emails etc... At the table next to us there was one of the guys from the cruise entertainment staff with one of the girls who works in the nursery doing the same as us, enjoying a drink, a snack and some wi fi time!

    Later when I collected her she was busy dancing with Cinderella no less so I waited and got a couple of photos!

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    I have no idea what we did for dinner etc... but I know our towel animal was an elephant again which is my favourite!

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  19. Melcatfish

    Melcatfish <font color=990099>In full planning mode!<br><font

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    The Plan
    I am seriously torn here.

    I really want to go to Sidi Bou Said. My dilemna is as follows... If we do the DCL tour to Sidi Bou Said and Carthage it is 4.5 - 5 hours which is way too long for ou DD's. I have read that we could get a taxi tour very reasonably priced and we could then have the opportunity to time it to suit us but I have also read the "beware of Tunisia!" posts. Now once upon a time I was a fearless kind of girl who walked down dark alleys at night without a care and a taxi in Tunisia would require no second thoughts but once you have kids there is a tiny seed of worry planted!

    I am sure that we will be fine, I don't want to go on a 5 hour tour without the kids (especially as i have read that several tours in Tunisia over ran) so I guess it is likely that we will do the taxi tour and either take the kids or not take them!

    Regarding the camels at the port... well part of me is a little uneasy about them being there but on the other hand we probably will ride them on the basis that when would we get the chance again! I hope they are well cared for camels though.

    DH and I have an early Palo dinner reservation for tonight. I am hoping to change it to a later time if possible when we board though.

    The Reality

    Well we waited until the cruise was well under way to finalise our plans for Tunisia. By this point we realised how much the kids enjoyed the clubs and decided we would book the DCL 4 and a half hour tour to Carthage and Sidi Bou Said. The children went to their clubs and we headed out on our tour.

    We visited Carthage first and it was enjoyable to stroll around the ruins of this ancient city although quite amazing to see how the ruins had been built on top of up until very recently!

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    We enjoyed the tour and our guide was very informative. He pointed out the Tunisian presidential palace and then as I (and several other people) snapped a picture pointed out that it is illegal to photograph it! He smiled and said he would take us to a part of the ruins where we could photograph the ruins and get the "palace" in the background! It wasn't even an attractive palace!

    We managed to get a lovely lady on our tour to take our picture and in the background you can see the Atlas mountains.

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    We had a little look around the museum, browsed the gift shop, I loved the artwork but wasn't sure I could safely get any home so was very bad and took a photo of the display as a reminder!

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    Darren plays drums and was interested in the display of local percussion instruments.

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    After that we reboarded our bus and headed over to Sidi Bou Said famed for it's almost exclusively blue and white architecture. We looked at the museum house, climbed to the top of the house and took in the marvellous views and then strolled some more taking photos and enjoying our trip.

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    We returned to port (pretty much on time) and I was amused after all the blue and white doors to find this door at the port

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    Before we got onboard we saw all the camels lined up on the quayside. Having been a little uneasy before I was quite pleased not to have to make a decision as the queues were really long and we needed to get back and collect Olivia from the nursery. We did snap this photo though.

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    After we collected Olivia Izzy decided she wanted to stay in the clubs for a while longer. Olivia was getting a bit braver with the characters and so she and I checked out Mickey and Minnie in their Tunisian outfits!

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    Dinner tonight was in Lumieres. It was the rotational menu so I thoroughly enjoyed Mrs Potts French Onion Soup again - just love it! At the end we were joined by Belle and the Beast to dance through the restaurant.

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  20. Melcatfish

    Melcatfish <font color=990099>In full planning mode!<br><font

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    The Plan
    OK so today we don't really have a plan. We might try to go to Sorrento on the train and mooch around the town there. It is one of those days where we want to just soak up the atmosphere and enjoy being in Italy! We have been to Pompeii together and I enjoyed a holiday in Sorrento and on Capri when I was younger so rather than sight seeing we want to just relax and maybe eat some pizza or pasta!

    The Reality

    We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and then got off the ship.

    As we got off the ship Donald in his Italian outfit was waiting on the dock so we of course had our photo taken!

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    It quickly became clear that the ferry times to Sorrento were not going to work for us as we would have needed to get the early ferry. No problem, instead we went for a stroll around town. Now Naples gets a bad press and we did have to walk past a few vendors touting for business and tours and firmly say "No" but it wasn't awful. While we were there there was a city wide refuse collection strike though so there was a lot of trash in the streets :(

    We strolled, took photos, bought magnets and postcards and headed back to the ship.

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    Onboard we went to Topsiders for lunch, there was a crepe station which was lovely and we all enjoyed a nice lunch.

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    We saw Matt our assistant server working there. Olivia really did like him but so I have no idea why she wouldn't have her photo taken nicely although we were looking into the sun a bit I guess.

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    After that we used the pool for a while - we had the Mickey pool pretty much to ourselves as many people were still ashore on their excursions.

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    Soon it was time to get ready for dinner in Animators Palette. I got a little surprise at dinner, when Jayson brought my order he also fetched me an order of French Onion Soup from Lumieres... Yummy!

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  21. Melcatfish

    Melcatfish <font color=990099>In full planning mode!<br><font

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    The Plan
    Now, if you are reading this but not in a seated position, brace yourself or take a seat.... We are not going to Rome! There, I have said it! i know it is a huge shock to some that we could even consider such a thing but even with the option of the cheao BIRG ticket we aren't planning on going to Rome on this trip.

    As background, DH and I visited Rome on a cruise excursion on our honeymoon in 2002 - we had a lovely day, saw lots and decided to go back for a mini break so the following year spent 4 days there exploring the sights and enjoying the city. Being from the UK it is not a long or even particularly expensive trip to go for a few days to Rome or any of the mainland European cities and ports so for us it wasn't difficult to decide that on this trip Rome wasn't on the cards. Our children are too young to last a full day excursion without getting tired and fed up and also, in our opinion, they are too young to appreciate the history and significance of the major sights. I have no doubt in my mind that I will take the girls to Rome and many other cities when they are older but just not this time!

    So waffling and justifications over what ARE we going to do? Well this is a tricky one, we are going to play it by ear. We may go ashore and amble around Civitavecchia if it looks appealing. I have no memories of the port area itself from our previous visit and obviously we don't want to wander round an industrial port for 3 hours so we shall see. One thing is for sure, the pools are going to be empty, the ship will be quiet and we will definitely spend some time enjoying that - of course there may even be a spa special if bookings have been slow while everyone else visits Rome!

    The Reality

    We really did just hang out onboard today. We had the pools to ourselves a lot of the time and Izzy was thrilled to see her favourite Youth Activities counsellor was out doing pool duty today. Here she was with Crystal by the pool. Note Izzy was the only one in there or we wouldn't have asked Crystal for the picture when she was on pool duty!

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    We also saw Chip and Dale wandering around the pool deck!

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    The day was just really relaxing and with so few people onboard it was quiet! The kids had a quick poolside lunch today and then to the club \ nursery for a bit while Darren and I went to lunch at Lumieres which was very peaceful!

    Not sure what else happened as there are hardly any photos!
     

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