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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    The Plan
    Again there are no firm plans for the day but sometime in the trip I do hope we can catch a couple of movies. We will be rewatching Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in the next week or so to hopefully be ready to watch Toy Story 3 onboard. I also want to watch Alice in Wonderland and Up, neither of which will be great for DD1 based on what I have been told so perhaps an evening or an afternoon when the kids are in the club \ Flounders... who knows.

    The Reality

    Today was a quiet sea day. Darren and I had reservations for High Tea at Palo at 3pm which, although it isn't my favourite Palo offering, was still very nice.

    This photo makes me smile as I don't actually like tea but I thought I would give it a try - as predicted I didn't like it but the food that came with the tea was nice!

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    Darren on the other hand loves tea and enjoyed trying a different type of tea.

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    We did indeed see a film on this trip. I took DD1 to see The Princess & The Frog. I enjoyed it and so did she but I felt it was one of the more sinister Disney films and she was scared of the shadow Man and his menacing shadows! Luckily, overall she really enjoyed the film!
     
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  3. Melcatfish

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

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    The Plan
    La Spezia is one of the ports that caught my eye when reading trip reports and "Strawberryblondes" trip report detailing her trip to Cinque Terre (albeit in the rain) had me intrigued with that area. Having done some research into this we plan to get a Cinque Terre card and travel by train to visit the five little towns and maybe walk between one or two of them (the easier routes of course!)

    Of course I am hoping to experience it in the sunshine but if it rains it still looks beautiful and is probably the place I am most interested in visiting this trip. As a little snippet of information I also saw on the Podcast Med Cruise interview with Brent that it is his favourite port and that he got engaged there!

    The Reality

    We gave the kids the option of whether to join us or hang out in the clubs. Izzy wanted to stay onboard and Olivia had a space booked in the nursery so we dropped them both off and took a render ashore. We followed the directions and walked through the town to the train station. On the walk we saw loads of street vendors all selling umbrellas. Once we arrived at the train station we queued for a long time to get to the front. We then discovered that the Cinque Terre card was not sold there but at the news stand on the platform!

    Ticket in hand (and validated at the machine) we made the short trip to the furthest of the five towns; Monterosso.

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    We had a wander around, looked at the beach area and took some photos. We then got a gelato from this place which was nice and refreshing.

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    Then it started to rain - we got wet, really wet. I kept thinking back to those street vendors and wished we had an umbrella!

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    Because of our long unnecessary queue at the train station we were on quite a tight schedule and had a lot less time in some of the towns than I would have liked. Our favourite was Vernazza and I would have like to have spent more time here. We used our train ticket to take a brief stop in all five towns before heading back to the ship. The walk back seemed a lot longer in wet clothes!

    Back onboard we collected the girls and got ready for Pirate night. We really don't love this menu but we do enjoy the interaction with our serving team!

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    On the way back to our room we ran into Minnie in her Pirate outfit

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    The deck party was cancelled due to the weather unfortunately which was awful by this point. We later learned that the last tender back had been stuck out on the water for ages before the seas were calm enough for it to safely dock with the ship!
     
  4. Melcatfish

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

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    The Plan
    I have visited Ajaccio twice and my two abiding memories were of a lovely beach and hundreds of Napolean statues - I figure our day will involve both. Perhaps a couple of hours at the beach, back to the ship for lunch and then optional (for the kids) wander round the town after lunch.

    just a lovely relaxing time on a really lovely island :)

    The Reality

    We got off the ship and took a ride on the cute little road train. Ajaccio was very busy as it was the anniversary of Napoleons birth, they were setting up seating for a parade along the streets. As we remembered there were Napolean statues everywhere including this one which our train stopped in front of to allow us to get off and photograph it. Darren decided to adopt the same pose as Napoleon!

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    After the train ride we took a walk round town and took a while to play on the beach. The girls loved the chance to get their feet wet and play on the sand.

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    We ambled back to the ship for lunch and opted to sit on deck with some fast food from Plutos!

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    As had become our routine Olivia was booked into the nursery for a couple of hours in the afternoon and Izzy wanted to go to the club. Darren and I went ashore for a while, I loved how the Magic was reflected in this port building.

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    Almost three weeks away from home was lovely but we wanted to check in back home so we took the laptop ashore with us in the hopes of finding a café with wi fi - to no avail though :( Not sure why Darren thought he would get any wi fi here though!

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    We found a little café selling Movenpick Ice Creams. As a child I remember a particular ice ream parlour on holidays which sold Movenpick Caramelita so I was really excited to see it on their menu and pleased that it tasted just as good as I remembered!

    We went back to the ship after an hour or so and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. I can't remember what we did for dinner but I do remember there being a lot of speculation about us leaving port late as there was supposed to be a big fireworks display as part of the Napoleon celebrations. Izzy and I headed up on deck and waited and waited but no fireworks appeared in Ajaccio :(
     
  5. Melcatfish

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

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    The Plan

    I read that the beach in Villefranche is nice so if the weather is good and we feel like it we will go there, if not it will be another day of easy touring. Perhaps a train to Monaco or just a wander round Villefranche itself. By this point we will definitely be on go with the flow schedules!

    The Reality

    Well today we decided to try and take the train to Nice. We walked to the station in Villefranche which was a lovely walk

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    We successfully got there, bought and validated a ticket and boarded a train to Nice. When we got there we followed the Centre Ville signs but found we never quite made it to anything resembling a decent town centre. We did see the cathedral from the outside

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    but it was getting hotter and hotter and we were basically just walking the streets aimlessly. Everyone was getting hungry and hot so to my great shame we ended up in McDonalds as I knew there would be something the kids would eat, air conditioning and toilets!

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    After that we headed back to Villefranche, we browsed the little market area by the port and then reboarded the tender. Predictably the girls went to the clubs and Darren was feeling like he had had too much sun so he had a nap in the room. I went back ashore to spend a little more time (and money) in the market and bought a couple of cute necklaces.

    We found out that the cancelled fireworks from Pirate night would take place tonight so Izzy and I went out to watch them later on. It was actually the first DCL fireworks we have actually seen so it was a nice moment together.

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  6. Melcatfish

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

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    The Plan
    Well our epic vacation on the Magic will be nearly over. We plan on spending this day mooching around and making the most of the remaining time on the Magic. I am sure we will do all the boring jobs like packing as well as stopping by to say goodbye to the cast members who have made our trip special.

    One good thing about having a sea day as the last full day is that you don't feel like you have to hurry coming back from port to get packing, it always puts a dampener on the afternoon of Castaway Cay day if in the back of your mind you are thinking about packing so I am glad this itinerary has the last day as a sea day!

    The Reality

    The last day was spent preparing to go home :( We packed and organised souvenirs and clothing while the kids went to their clubs or played in the room. Isabelle wanted to do the Friendship Rocks show so she went to the preparation session and then we went to see her in the show.

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    We then got ready for dinner. Our last evening was in Animators Palette and we enjoyed watching the Baked Alaska parade. I am going to be controversial and say that the Baked Alaska is really not a good quality dessert on DCL - it is NOTHING like a baked Alaska should be, three flavours of ice cream in there? what's that about? Maybe it is a cultural thing, maybe it is just because they have to mass produce it but for me Baked Alaska should have a nice sponge base, vanilla ice cream, lovely soft meringue which has just got a crucng to the outer shell (preferably slightly brown and caramelised) and in an ideal world served with strawberries! We have long since learned that it if you order it amend your expectations!

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    After the meal we tipped our serving team and said our goodbyes. We don't do last morning breakfasts in the dining room, it is too rushed and tends to take some of the shine off memories of the serving team who are busy and on a mission that morning! We got another server to take a picture of us with Jayson and Matt who we had really come to enjoy over the trip.

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    After dinner we had the task of doing the rounds saying goodbye to all those who had made our trip so special:

    Crystal in the kids club

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    Grace from Shutters

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    and the lovely ladies in Flounders; Lisa and Katie

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    On our stateroom fish there was a message. I had read on the boards about this and hoped I knew what it was and I was right! We got an invite to the special meet and greet in Studio Sea before the Til We Meet Again Party. This is a lovely little event which a small number of families get an invite for. No one is sure how or why they pick, whether it is random or if CMs choose based on chance interactions etc...

    It is really late and Darren was all for not going or sending me with just Isabelle but I told him it was really lucky to get one and we may never get another invite so off we went. All the characters assemble there before the party and just mingle with the guests, you can chat and get photos although it is very informal so not much time for lots of posing. Here are just a couple of our shots from the meet & greet.

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    After that it was time to see the Til We Meet Again show, hand in the kids club pager and turn in for the night.

    While Darren got the kids ready for bed I finished off the last night ritual by ordering room service before it closed. A Cafetiere of coffee, a couple of fruit bowls, cerelas, juices and cookies. These were delivered within 20 mins and we put the cold stuff in the chiller ready for morning. MUCH simpler than trying to hurry for breakfast in the dining room at 6am... That time of day should NEVER exist on vacations!
     
  7. Melcatfish

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

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    The Plan
    I was able to transfer the flights we had booked originally for 7th August to the 18th August - the price hadn't gone up but there was a 25 Euro per person admin charge - boo hiss!

    However as we fly home on a Wednesday not Saturday the times had changed and we went from an 11:10am flight which was slightly too early for my liking, to a 13:50 flight which should be much less hurried.

    We also ditched the DCL transfers we had booked as the general consensus on the boards was they were over priced and that a taxi would be cheaper.

    So the plan is to get off the ship at a slightly less frantic pace than originally anticipated, and make our way to the airport. Depending on time we may not go straight to the airport but to be honest the thought or traipsing around with our bags as well as two small children is not that appealing so it may be direct to the airport to ditch the bags and then airport wandering until our flight is called.

    A fully charged laptop with DVDs may well be called for to entertan the DDs while we wait!

    We fly in to Stansted which is our nearest airport and around about 1 hour from home, so once we land Dad will get us and take us home and back to reality - no more stateroom host, no one cooking and delivering dinner and then washing up... you get the picture!

    The Reality

    Breakfast in the room went to plan but as you can see our youngest has the same sorts of feelings as me about both getting up early on vacation and also about ending our trip!

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    With all the last minute items packed we left 6571 - we know we will never book that room again (way too tight on storage) but it had been home for 11 nights and we would miss being on the Magic!

    In the hallway we said goodbye to our SRH (I want to call him Fitz but without my notes...?)

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    Customs was not too bad, we got out and into the Barcelona sunshine and a long line for cabs.

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    We weren't worried as our flight was not early. When our turn came we checked the driver spoke English and then arranged with him to do a mini tour of Barcelona before heading over the airport. He drove us through the city and I chatted with him about the Barcelona Olympics which I went to as a teenager with my Dad. We stopped off at Sagrada Famillia for a photo and then headed to Parc Guell for a wander and more photos. We then drove through Barcelona and looked at some of the Gaudi buildings before making our way to the airport. I can't remember how much this was but I want to say around 90 Euro. We didn't feel it was extortionate for the time we took and the driver being a pretty good tour guide and photographer!

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    We got checked in at the airport and then waited for our gate to be called. The girls rode the trunki suitcase in the airport halls (it was quite quiet) and eventually we boarded the plane and flew the short trip back to the UK.

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    We landed at our local airport so only an hours drive - what a contrast to our return flight from Florida the year before. On that occasion we landed, were collected by my Dad and took as long to get home as it had taken to fly from Orlando as the M25 (Londons main ring road) was closed in 3 places and diverted traffic was grid locking the alternative routes!
     
  8. Melcatfish

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

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    Just a post to include some reflections on the trip, doing B2B etc...

    Back to back wasn't as smooth as I had hoped from reading posts on here but I guess sometimes things just don't go to plan, even with a couple of hours of not knowing and inconvenience it was more than worth it to be staying onboard when most others were getting off knowing their trip had ended!

    We really had a great time. Cruising is simply the simplest vacation with a young family and we felt very happy with the care our children received when they were away from us in the kids clubs. Our cruises with the children are the only trips we have taken since having children where we truly feel that we have had a holiday as well as the kids.

    We were really sad knowing we wouldn't be cruising in 2011 but we also knew it was because we were planning a trip in 2012 so that kind of helped!
     
  9. Melcatfish

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

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    Got back today, updates (and photos) coming shortly

    Mel
    x
     
  10. scottishwee35

    scottishwee35 DIS Veteran

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    Hi Melcatfish

    I was thinking about you and wonder how was your cruise?

    Scottishwee35
     
  11. CaliforniaGirl09

    CaliforniaGirl09 DIS Veteran

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    Looking forward to hearing how the plan met reality! BTB cruises sound wonderful but exhausting!
     
  12. Melcatfish

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

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    It was fabulous, we really loved it and now I am homesick for the ship!

    Well as you will see we had, for whatever reason, a less than perfect transition but that was not something in Disneys control and I wouldn't hesitate to do B2B again - we really loved the fact that when you usually get the end of cruise blues we knew we had another cruise to look forward to!

    Anyway, Day 1 Report added on page 1 of this thread.

    Mel
    x
     
  13. eeyorefanuk

    eeyorefanuk DIS Veteran

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    Loved your first day, cannot wait for more.

    We have just come home from three weeks staying at WDW, and like you totally have the blues :sad1:
     
  14. amystevekai&bump

    amystevekai&bump DIS Veteran

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    really enjoyed Day 1!! - looking forward to more soon!!:thumbsup2
     
  15. TotallyAngelic

    TotallyAngelic Disney Addict

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    Really enjoyed your first day .... it must make so much difference not having to fly for 9 hours with small children. How lovely that so many CMs recognised you all :thumbsup2
     
  16. bats

    bats Enjoying Bahama Mama's

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    Great first day, looking forward to reading Day 2.

    We thought the same about Cherbourg but it was actually really good and surprised us.
    Did you see the little horse and carriage rides into town? The market stalls selling artisan gifts? They were all put on by the Cherbourg Port Authority just for Disney. Apparently they were so chuffed at having a Disney ship in Cherbourg for the first time, that they laid out the lovely reception!

    Not to spoil it for your trippie, but that departure!!!??? Best ever!

    Well done Cherbourg :thumbsup2
     
  17. scottishwee35

    scottishwee35 DIS Veteran

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    hear hear ....

    Yes it was a lovely day... I enjoyed it.... and horse with carriage rides into town was fun... we got on when back to disney cruise... we managed to squeeze in :rolleyes1

    Also it was great fun to watch man with a dog with black eye.. chased after the horse and man was tipped over, what a laugh and we all laughing at him... wish Ian video it...as it was so funny....then my husband's camera len was falling off and about half way back to ship... He had to walked back for it....

    Scottishwee35
     
  18. ibouncetoo

    ibouncetoo <font color=009999>I get excited by the little thi

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    Mel, really enjoying your report and LOVE the foremat! :thumbsup2
     
  19. scottishwee35

    scottishwee35 DIS Veteran

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    Mel

    I would like to saying many thanks for FE and this things are so beautiful and I will add on the photos and show my friends of our cruise....

    Scottishwee35
     
  20. Melcatfish

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

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    Updated and filled in the Cherbourg day - only a 5 month gap since I last wrote any! I had completely forgotten about this until I was looking at my Dis signature and saw the link lol. I will be a lot quicker to complete the next bit I promise :) It is good fun reliving it a while after the trip.

    Mel
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  21. amystevekai&bump

    amystevekai&bump DIS Veteran

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    so pleased you are back - another great installment - hopefully we won't have to wait quite as long next time!!!:goodvibes
     

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