"Are these underwear yours?" DIS Viking Italian Sojourn 2018 TR *COMPLETE* 10/14 New TR Link!

Discussion in 'The DIS Unplugged Podcast' started by khertz, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Day 7 Continued: Wednesday March 28th

    We walked around looking for churches but most of them were closed. Eventually we made it to the Basilica of St. Nicholas and we were able to go inside.


    This church had the crypt of St. Nicholas down underneath, and you could visit down there but had to be silent.


    There wasn’t much else to do because everything seemed to be closed (sounds about right!) so we walked along the water before going back to the spot to catch the next shuttle back to the ship.


    There was a burned out ship sitting in port near us, which was weird.

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    We went back to the stateroom and had to shower and get dressed up for dinner because tonight we were eating at the other signature restaurant, Manfredi’s! We’d heard nothing but rave reviews from everyone who had been able to try it so far, so we were excited!

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    Our reservation was at 7:30 at our shared 4-top table, but we decided to try our luck and see if we could get in earlier. We checked with that same hostess, who I’m sure was sick of seeing us by that point, who again told us, “I’m sorry, it’s not possible.”

    We went upstairs to play some games at the tables to kill time, and at some point DH got some photos of us sailing away.

    Then we went back down to Manfredi’s closer to our reservation time, and without even saying anything, the hostess checked us in and brought us to a 2-top table. I don’t know why we even had to deal with the headache of that shared 4-top and not being able to dine with other DISers! It was so stupid. We were actually seated next to a huge table of podcasters, and Pete made sure to loudly make comments about how annoying it is when people take photos of their food. :rotfl:

    We started off with some bread, olive oil, and pecorino Romano cheese to snack on while we looked over the menu.

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    So many things looked so good that we ended up ordering 3 entrees and 3 desserts to share! For entrees, we got the chicken parmesan, smoked mozzarella ravioli, and lasagna.


    Everything was delicious, but that chicken parm won hands down!

    For dessert, we each went with the amarone chocolate dessert and got a tiramisu to share, but we both decided we are not fans of tiramisu.

    This was the best meal we had onboard! Everything was delicious, and the service was awesome! I wish we would have been able to eat here multiple times like others were, but I’m just glad it all ended up working out in the end.
    Somehow, DH still had room after all of that food and still wanted gelato, so we stopped by the buffet again.


    They were closing up by the time we finished in there.

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    After DH’s second dessert, we went up to the lounge and spent the evening hanging out with a bunch of DISers! It was so nice because it always seemed like we were getting to know another couple or someone else from the group when we got up there. It was a great end to the night before heading down to bed!

    UP NEXT: On To Croatia
     
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  2. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    That town you visiting looks so pretty with all the views out to the water!

    We had just done the included tour which went around the town near the port - which was nice, but I think your tour overall was much better. We did go to the St Nicholas Cathedral and it was awkward as there was a service going on in the crypt area but our guide took us down anyway. Prior to going down she said that due the service she wouldn't be able to talk - but then wound up talking the whole time. So we felt a bit awkward and like we were interrupting the service - but they didn't seem to mind much... I guess it is common

    We also explored the down a bit and did the ferris wheel they had that was fun

    Glad you enjoyed your meal at Manfredi's. It's funny that it was talked up so much beforehand but due to having such good Italian restaurants near where we live I usually don't get excited about Italian - but it was one of the best meals we've ever had in our lives - so, so good!

    Funny about Pete yelling about people taking pictures of food!

    Totally agree about hanging out in the lounge and just meeting new people each night! Though it was also fun to check in with people you did know to talk about their days, etc. - but definitely wasn't like there were a bunch of cliques or anything either
     
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  4. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    It was gorgeous! I wish we would have had more time to explore. Definitely the sleeper hit of this excursion, since I really was only interested in the caves when we booked it.

    I can imagine that would be very awkward!! You definitely want to be respectful in situations like that.

    I was surprised how much I enjoyed it considering we had been surrounded by amazing Italian food all week! But it was very good, and worth of the praise everyone was giving it all week. I'm a bit jealous of those that got to eat there more than once, but I'm just happy it worked out that we were able to eat there at all, and we ended up at our own table. I'm sure we would have been fine with strangers, but it was just so frustrating to know so many couples on the ship and not be able to eat with any of them!

    It's never a bad thing to get a good tease from Pete. :)

    We have done a couple of DIS events before, but traveling with DISers is a whole different ballgame, and so much more fun and less awkward than the events! We had a blast getting to know so many people, and feel we came away with a lot of new friends like we did on our ABD.
     
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  5. OKW Lover

    OKW Lover Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle. DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    So true! Our circle of friends includes many people that we met through the DIS.
     
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  6. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a great rest of your afternoon!

    I'm glad you enjoyed dinner, it all looks delicious!
     
  7. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Hopefully we will have many more DIS trips to come to make new friends in the future!

    It was definitely one of the better ports we visited as far as things to do close to the ship. The basilica was very cool, so I was glad at least that was open to be able to go inside and look around.

    It was the best meal we had on the ship! It was definitely worth the wait and the hassle it was to get to eat there.
     
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  8. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

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    Oh my, that bay/beach you visited looked gorgeous! I could have spent the entire day there, just staring at that blue water.

    The chicken parm you got with dinner....it just looked delicious. I shouldn't have looked at that photos while hungry!

    I love your husband's tolerance for gelato. :rotfl2: There's not many adults that can grab a quick scoop during the day and be like, "I could go for another" after dessert. :laughing: You guys are going on a Disney cruise soon, right? If so, I can't wait to see how much their soft serve ice cream machine gets used in your TR.
     
  9. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Haha, one of the things I love about eating with DISers is that everyone is OK with taking pictures of food! I always feel weird with regular people doing this.

    That reminds me - we will have to warn DDs BFF coming on our next trip with us about the food photos. She is already going to think we are mighty weird.

    Oh - and your food DOES look good. I think this is the first meal you've shown that really made me wish I was there.
     
  10. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    It was so beautiful!! I just wish we would have had a little more time there to explore. We were practically running around trying to take it in! lol No time to shop either!!

    Oh my gosh, that chicken parm was hands down the best thing we ate on the cruise ship! It was so good and a huge portion.

    I am sure an embarrassing amount of soft serve will be consumed on our cruise. :sad2::rotfl2:

    It was really funny on the nights that we ate with other couples, everyone's camera would come out and there was no shame in taking pictures of EVERYONE'S food! :rotfl:

    Definitely prepare her! I remember our first time traveling with other people and I was like, "WAIT don't take a bite of your food yet till I get a picture!" :rotfl2: It can definitely be startling for people who don't know. Of course now a lot more people do that for Instagram and what not so she may not find it that weird!
     
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  11. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Day 8: Thursday March 29th

    This morning, we were up at 7:30 am docked in a new country! Today we had a tiny break from the Italian coast as we stopped at the port of Šibenik, Croatia. As we learned later (because we had no idea), it’s pronounced like She-bah-neek. We were both really unsure of what to expect in this port since it was in a different country. I think for most people, this ended up being the sleeper hit of the whole cruise!

    After getting dressed, we had breakfast at the buffet, then met in the theater at 7:30 to get into a group for our excursion for the day to the city of Split to visit Diocletian’s Palace. While waiting in the theater for our bus number to be called, I got a little nervous by the video playing on the screen of information about the port. They were talking about food in Croatia and how they use LOTS of different animals for protein, including bear, so to be sure to ask what you were eating if you were unsure. I was glad I had packed some snacks for my purse that day! :rotfl:

    Once we had met our guide for the day (whose name I forgot to write down, oops), we got on the bus for our hour and 15 minute ride out to Historic Split. Along the way, DH and I had some buyer’s remorse when our guide pointed out a rock formation and said some scenes had been filmed there for the city of Meereen in Game of Thrones, and mentioned she guides tour around the cities of Split and Dubrovnik in Croatia to filming locations for the show! Neither of us knew that such tours even existed and were suddenly wishing we had looking into booking one of those on our own instead of a Viking excursion! But we got a bit lucky as this wasn’t the only Game of Thrones location our guide would point out to us during the day.


    After getting off the bus, our guide took us to one of the public restrooms and then over to the entrance of Diocletian’s Palace. This was another one of those things DH and I were a little confused by what we were getting. When I heard “palace” I was thinking we were touring a preserved palace that had maybe been redecorated to how it would have been at the time, similar to the plantation tours I love doing in Louisiana and Mississippi. But again, we were a bit mistaken.

    The Palace was built in the 4th century and was more like half palace, half military garrison/fortress. It was eventually abandoned, and in the 7th century, residents fled there to escape invaders and it has been inhabited by people who have made homes and set up businesses there ever since. So people actually still live inside the palace in apartments, and there are many restaurants and shops inside its walls. There are also many shops and restaurants on the outside perimeter along the water, which is where we started out our tour before heading inside.

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    Outside there is a small model of the palace to see where things would have been located in the time of Diocletian.

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    And there was one of the whole city of Split, where our guide pointed out different points of interest for us to check out after the guided part of the tour was over and we’d have our free time.

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    We headed inside of the palace walls, and the entire long entrance way was filled with lots of tables and kiosks of souvenirs, some handmade. But instead of heading down that way, we made a left and viewed a large painting of what the palace would have looked like when it was built.

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    She showed us the area that had been basically the place where people had thrown their trash down into the cellar of the palace when it was unoccupied, and had been filled to the ceiling. All of that had been cleared out, thankfully.


    We headed down into the cellar, where a majority of our tour took place, because it’s an exact copy of how the palace had looked back when it was built, so you could get an idea of the layout.

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    One of the things excavated was the remnants of this sphinx statue

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    A sarcophagus from the 4th century

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    Next, we went into the copy of what would have been the reception hall on the floor above. This just happened to be another Game of Thrones filming spot! It’s from a scene where they showed where Khaleesi was keeping her dragons.


    Next we made it to the Peristyle, which was at the time the main square. It gave access to the imperial apartments, the Cathedral of St. Dominus, and 3 temples. Two of the temples were destroyed, and the one that was left, which used to be the Temple of Jupiter, was made into a baptistery.

    Unfortunately, we weren’t able to go inside of the Cathedral because with Easter approaching there were many services taking place inside all day.

    As we walked into one of the vestibules, we came across a klapa group. A klapa group is a group of a capella singers who perform traditional Dalmatian singing, which originated in Dalmatia, Croatia.

    We stayed to hear them perform a song, and some people in the group even bought one of their CDs they were selling.


    We moved on to the next area of the palace, which at the time it was built would have been the grand dining room, then back through the main square to get to the baptistery.


    Inside the baptistery there is a large bronze statue of St. John the Baptist.


    The baptismal font had some beautiful artwork carved in it.

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    We made it to the opposite end of the palace from where we had entered, and that was the end of the guided part of the tour.

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    There is a huge statue of Gregory of Nin there, and similar to the statue of St. Peter at the Vatican, the tradition here is to rub his toe. It’s supposed to make a wish come true if you make one while rubbing the toe.


    Looking back at the “Golden Gate” where we had exited the palace.

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    Gregory of Nin

    And then we were on our own for the rest of the excursion!


    UP NEXT: Exploring Split
     
  12. rdkeim

    rdkeim Mouseketeer

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    Looks like a really interesting stop! For me it might have been fun not knowing exactly what it was all about ahead of time. Interested to hear what you did with the rest of your excursion time!
     
  13. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

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    Croatia is one of the top vacation spot during the summer for people here! I feel like every time I turn around someone's telling me they drove over there to visit the beaches and tour the Game of Thrones sets. :confused3
    Glad you got to see a couple filming locations, yourself. While you didn't get to go on that one tour, at least you got to see the place where that one scene was shot! :goodvibes
    Can't wait to hear more about your day in the country.
     
  14. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like an interesting tour and something different - which is always a plus on these types of trips!

    We just did the included tour that just went around Šibenik - but it turned out to be the best included tour we did (had a great guide) and then we just explored on our own and had a great time - such a charming city

    Fully agree it turned out to be the "sleeper hit" of the cruise!
     
  15. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Nice to stop in a country you probably normally wouldn't get to visit! The tour sounds interesting, and I am glad your guide was still able to point out some GoT stops!
     
  16. Cousin Orville

    Cousin Orville Inventor of Air Cooling

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    Kate and I loved Spit! We did a tour that combined Split with another Croatian town further down the coast. Croatia was wonderful. It was one of our favorite ports. I'd love to go back on a cruise or on our own for a few days.
     
  17. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Not knowing what to expect makes me nervous. lol But this definitely ended up being a pleasant surprise. We really enjoyed our time in Split!

    It is really beautiful! The water was gorgeous, so I can just imagine the beaches are worth visiting during the summer months. I am really wishing we would have known about the GoT tours. That would have been so cool! We did one of filming locations of Lost when we were in Hawaii and it was incredible as a fan of the show. But it was nice getting a sneak peek of a couple of locations that we wouldn't have even realized we were seeing had it not been for our guide. Definitely lucky timing getting placed on her bus!!

    While it wasn't what I expected, it did end up being pretty cool. And the location was absolutely beautiful!

    I'm glad the included tour was so great for y'all! I loved being so pleasantly surprised by Croatia when I really wasn't looking forward to it much at all going into the cruise.

    It was cool getting to add another country to our list inadvertently. lol It was cool to get a couple of GoT locations as a bonus to our tour. We got lucky getting placed on her bus!

    We almost did that tour too! I'm sure the coast was beautiful. We really enjoyed it a lot more than I would have ever expected!
     
  18. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Day 8 Continued: Thursday March 29th

    Once on our own, DH and I spotted a restaurant serving pizza and pasta so we decided to stop there for lunch, since it seemed safe. I didn’t want to end up anywhere that might serve me bear meat!

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    I think DH took this picture just because he liked being served our water in wine glasses.

    We decided to share a pizza and a slice of white chocolate cheesecake for lunch.

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    Our view while eating.

    We were seated at a table on the corner of the outdoor patio, and something strange happened while we were eating. A little girl came up to us and started talking to us in another language, I’m guessing Croatian, and we both looked at her and shook our heads to let her know we didn’t understand. Then she just said, “Money, money.” We shook our heads again and she ran off to her mom. It’s a shame that there are so many scammers in these areas that you are really jaded against all of them.

    After lunch, one of the things we wanted to check out was a replica of Venice’s St. Mark’s Square, so we headed that way. I found another funny picture to send home to DS since he loves Harry Potter!

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    We quickly found the replica square.


    Then we made our way back down to the water.


    We kind of just wandered around after that, shopping and seeing if there was anything interesting to buy.


    We even stumbled upon some kind of farmers market or something, but they seemed to be packing up as we walked through.

    We passed through a flea market type area and sampled some olive oil and thought about buying some honey for my in-laws, but decided to wait and see what we could find for them in Venice instead.

    It was getting close to meeting time to head back, so we walked towards the place where the bus was parked. We passed a restaurant with outdoor seating and thought it was funny these people had so many dogs with them.

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    We got to the meeting spot a little early, so we had time to go up to the rooftop area over a strip of restaurants to take some scenery photos.


    Then it was time to head down to the bus.

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    DH got a better view of “Meereen” on the bus ride back to the port.

    Continued in next post...
     
  19. Cousin Orville

    Cousin Orville Inventor of Air Cooling

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    We enjoyed it, but I think just staying in Split was the best call. There was plenty to do and see there. Our second stop was nice but too short given the travel time to get there.
     
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  20. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Day 8 Continued: Thursday March 29th

    With traffic it took longer to get back from Split than it did to get there, so it was 4:30 by the time we made it back to the ship. That didn’t leave much time to walk around before all aboard time. I went right back on board, but DH wanted to get further away to get some photos of the ship and the port.


    Once we had showered and changed for dinner, we went up to the top of the Explorer’s Lounge to meet up with a big group of DISers (Chris had messaged me on FB to let me know they would be there) to watch the final sail away of the trip! After this, we would be docking in Venice and remaining docked there overnight, so this was the last time to watch the ship leave a port. We had to go through a pretty narrow looking channel, so there were a lot more people than just DISers up there to watch this happen.


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    People up on the rocks watching us sail away

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    It got really windy outside on deck, so I watch most of this from inside. A big group of about 13 or 14 of us went to the buffet after that because most of them wanted a pre-dinner of sushi, but we decided just to hang out with them for now and wait to eat at The Restaurant. The hostesses eyes when we got down there and Chris told her how many we had were the size of saucers! :rotfl:


    They managed to accommodate us at two larger tables, but so as to not overwhelm one server, we were placed in two different sections. We ended up at a table with Kevin & Kate, Scott & Pam, and Patty and Chandra, so it was nice to get to spend some time talking with other people we hadn’t spent as much time with yet.
    Will was over at the other table, and he was nice enough to send over a bottle of wine he had bought on one of his winery tours for our table to share.

    For appetizers, both DH and I ordered the soft shell crab, which was really delicious!

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    DH got the lobster, and I had another steak, but I should have gotten the Dover sole they were serving that night instead.

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    For dessert, I got the cheesecake (since I had made such poor dessert decisions thus far and had always wished I had just gotten the cheesecake instead) and DH got a chocolate and vanilla layered cake.


    Patty did manage to get a soufflé again this night (she had been one of the ones in our group asking almost every night for another chocolate soufflé that had been served earlier in the cruise) but not a chocolate one.

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    After dinner, we moved up to the lounge where all of the podcasters came up to join us this time! Kevin told us about some upcoming DIS trips in the works, which was cool to get a sneak peek but I doubt we'll be able to do any of them. Boo! It was the biggest group up in the lounge since the first night, so it was a lot of fun! We were there until about midnight when we were ready to head to bed. Our last cruise day was rapidly approaching, and in just a few hours, we’d be waking up in the beautiful city of Venice!

    UP NEXT: Venezia!
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
  21. Cousin Orville

    Cousin Orville Inventor of Air Cooling

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    Coming off the Fantasy recently, your photos reminded me how much better the food is in the Viking main dining room vs DCL's main dining room. DCL's is fine, but nothing to brag about. Despite not being able to do another chocolate soufflé (a repeating joke), Viking's dining room food was very good.
     
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