"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. DDuck4Life

    DDuck4Life DIS Dad #649

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    While I was ready to get home to, there are worse places to be stuck than Paris.
     
  2. Dugette

    Dugette DIS Veteran

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    Loved seeing all of your adventures in Venice (and Murano and Burano) - so want to get back there someday! But, boy, that rain-soaked, stair-filled, getting-into-apartment adventure had me sweating just reading about it! And all the gelato - yum, I'm with you on the chocolate and sea salt caramel. Good thing I'm eating some ice cream right now with all your yummy pics.
     
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  4. MaryKatesMom

    MaryKatesMom DIS Veteran

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    I was thinking maybe the Quattro Formaggio pizza may have had either blue cheese or smoked provolone. When you are not expecting those flavors it is pretty off putting. The pictures are amazing. Your DD's is gorgeous.
     
  5. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Believe me, I had the same thought. :rotfl:

    EXACTLY!! :thumbsup2

    Haha I didn't even think of those two events happening so close together, but you're probably right!! The subliminal message of that music made us navigate to the Universal website and book a trip.

    I LOVED the soundtrack. I couldn't stop singing the songs for days after that flight home. I don't own it, but maybe I'll put it on my Christmas list this year lol

    Yes, it's imperative to maximize your gelato stops on your last day in Italy! I'm sure I read that in a guidebook somewhere. :goodvibes

    It was so stressful. Navigating a foreign airport is anxiety inducing enough on its own, so throw in running behind schedule and a forever long line and I was a ball of stress.

    Well, yeah but being stuck in the Paris AIRPORT is not very magical. :sad2:

    Hopefully you get back. I'm hoping for a return trip some day myself! Venice is the most beautiful city I've ever visited.

    It was the overall worst couple of hours of the entire 12 day trip. Had it not been raining, I think the entire experience wouldn't have been nearly so exhausting and frustrating!!

    It's my favorite gelato combo, and my go-to every gelateria for the most part. Maybe one day I'll branch out and try something different but it's hard to top perfection, am I right?!

    Having a full stomach while reading an Italy TR is definitely an appropriate choice. :rotfl:

    Could be, I don't remember it saying what kinds of cheeses it was, or if it did I didn't see anything that jumped out as something I wouldn't like. :confused3 Or maybe it was in Italian so I didn't know what it said!! :rotfl: I've never had blue cheese so just the way I have had it described to me, I don't think it was that. It wasn't a very strong taste, just a little unpleasant. Very well could have been smoked provolone.

    Thank you & thank you!!
     
  6. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    FINAL THOUGHTS

    In case it wasn’t obvious throughout this TR, we had the most amazing time on this trip!! Our only other European experience prior to this was visiting Italy with Adventures by Disney, and while this was a very different experience from that one, it was fantastic in its own right.

    Only two cities were repeats of our ABD trip, and we thoroughly enjoyed getting to visit both Rome and Venice again, with a little extra time in both cities this time around. Although it made for a long time away from the kids, I’m very glad we decided to add on those pre and post cruise nights so we had time to enjoy some of the sights we enjoyed last time, and also got to explore new things.

    As far as accommodations, we really enjoyed our second stay at the Bernini Bristol. We probably could have gotten away with just booking the room without paying extra to have breakfast included since we only had time to take advantage of that on one morning. The room we had was very nice, nicer than our previous trip, and is in such a great location in relation to a lot of popular tourist sites. Moving on to the Viking ship…WOW! The stateroom was perfect for the two of us. The service was wonderful. The common areas were comfortable and clean. The ship was a great “floating hotel” for the cruise portion of our trip! As for Venice, I think I made it pretty clear that the VRBO experience was not great for us due to the check-in. Besides that part of it, the apartment itself was great. It had an amazing view from the balcony, and had all the stuff we needed for a few nights there. It was just a few steps away from St. Mark’s Square and nearby to many great shops and restaurants. I don’t know if we’d go that route again in a foreign country since it was quite a bit of a headache when it came to luggage storage and checking in.

    Focusing in on the cruise portion, for a first cruise for me, Viking set the bar high! The ship had the feel of a high class yet comfortable 5 star hotel. We enjoyed most of the food served in the dining rooms, but our meal at Manfredi’s was absolutely incredible. The difficulty in securing a reservation there did leave a sour taste in our mouths, but I think once we were able to finally try it for ourselves, it was worth the hassle it took to get there. The only low note for me was Chef’s Table, but that seemed to be the general consensus of most on the cruise. Another place it was lacking was the nighttime entertainment, but that would have been more of an issue had it just been DH and I traveling together.

    And that brings me to my next point…cruising with other DISers! It was definitely the BEST way to experience this cruise!! I loved always running into someone we knew as we walked through the ship. The dinners we had were so fun and always seemed to happen organically instead of being scheduled. I loved that we were able to travel with some of the same people that we experienced our ABD with, but also that we were able to meet so many wonderful, fun, and amazing new people too! We have made some great lifelong friends through taking this cruise. It will make my Christmas card list a lot longer, I’m sure!!

    Finally, just touching on the ports, I have to say that overall we enjoyed everywhere we visited. By experiencing this cruise, we got to explore so much more of Italy than I ever would have thought I’d get to see! While I know we still only scratched the surface, seeing places like Sicily, Bari, and Naples was absolutely incredible! Some of the excursions we chose were duds compared to others, but overall I think we picked some really awesome ones. Visiting Taormina, Pompeii, and the caves were incredible. Getting to stop in Croatia was another surprise hit. Crotone was the low point, and hopefully with future cruises they can work out some better excursions.

    As promised, I took some photos of the souvenirs we brought home from this trip. We are not big shoppers, but we did have a few nice things to bring home with us this time.

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    Replica of the Pieta from the Vatican gift shop

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    Ceramic fountain we bought in Crotone and made into a magnet

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    Lace sampler from Burano

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    A gondola to build we bought for DS at the Aqua Alta bookstore in Venice

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    Venetian kids stories book also from Aqua Alta

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    Book of illustrations of locations in Venice from Aqua Alta

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    A sample of the foldout pages from the above book

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    This is the Venetian mask we found on our ABD trip, and we bought it because it Saints colors
    So before the trip we decided we would go back to the same mask shop and get masks for the kids. DS requested one that was red and gold, so we got him this one.

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    For DD, I just found one I thought looked pretty

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    My shirt from the Disney Store in Venice

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    My travel wallet, also from the Disney Store in Venice. It was perfect for carrying my ID, credit card, and AP on our Universal trip!
    In addition to the huge magnet the DIS podcasters had sent us prior to the trip to put up outside of our rooms, when we had the DIS meet on the ship Kevin was handing out buttons of the same design that we made into smaller magnets.

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    For honorable mentions, when we got home DH really wanted the books that some of our tour guides used that showed what the buildings and historical sites looked like back at their full glory compared to now. So we found online the Rome and Pompeii versions and bought them after we got home.

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    Thanks again to everyone who stuck it out for this non-Disney trip report and commented along the way! I love reliving my trips through writing trip reports, but of course it’s always more fun to have other people interested and engaged!
     
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  7. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

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    Wonderful trip report! I loved following along and reading about your Italian adventure! (And seeing photos of the daily gelatos. :goodvibes)

    Your masks are stunning and I love that you turned some souvenirs into magnets to make them more visible and useful.

    Will you be writing a report for your most recent trip to US? It was fun seeing the photos you shared on social media, so if you decide to I'll definitely follow you over there.
     
  8. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Thanks so much for following!

    They were great little finds that were fairly inexpensive but we see them daily and they remind us of our trip.

    Definitely!! I’ll most likely post the link here when I get started. I’m waiting on DH to start editing pics for me lol
     
  9. christannj

    christannj Mouseketeer

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    Thanks Kristy for another fabulous trip report. I will be able to relieve this whenever I need something to make me smile. It was great sharing another trip with you and Dustin. As I’ve said before, he has a great eye for taking a photo!::yes::

    Chris
     
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  10. Dugette

    Dugette DIS Veteran

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    Loved hearing all about this trip! Sounds fantastic - the trip itself and, as you said, sharing it with DIS friends.

    Can't wait to hear all about your recent trip too!
     
  11. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Thank you for following along, Chris! We loved getting to travel with you & Chuck again as well. I hope it's just the second of many such opportunities!!

    Thanks for following!!

    I hope to get working on it asap. :thumbsup2
     
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  12. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    I'm so glad you both had such a wonderful time! Love the souvenirs you ended up bringing home!

    Can't wait for you to start your Universal TR!!
     
  13. Terra Nova guy

    Terra Nova guy DIS Dad #811 Newfoundland, Canada

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    Thanks for writing! It was great reading about it. Perhaps it's not something I will ever have the opportunity to do, but I know a bit more about it now, and at least I can dream :P
     
  14. tammy

    tammy DIS Veteran

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    What a wonderful report. Thank you so much for sharing!
     
  15. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    thanks for following along! I hope to get started on our Universal TR. I hate coming home from vacation, but I do LOVE getting started on a new TR!! lol

    Thanks for following along! It was an amazing trip, and not nearly as expensive as I would have thought, so never say never!

    Thanks so much for reading!!
     
  16. rdkeim

    rdkeim Mouseketeer

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    Great TR! I read all of your TR's but this one and the ABD are my favorites! You've certainly made me want to see Italy. We recently returned from a river cruise in Europe which was wonderful! My only complaint was the short amount of time in some of the ports. I'm so happy we extended at the end of the trip otherwise I might have been a bit frustrated with the lack of time to explore. So nice you had some pre and post cruise days. Thank you so much for taking the time to write about your trip and sharing the beautiful pictures!
     
  17. mmmears

    mmmears DIS Veteran

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    I love your TR! Thanks for sharing. Viking has such interesting itineraries around the world. I've been looking at them and it's nice to see a write up of one their cruises. I worry the ship will feel small after DCL (the smaller DCL ships still have twice the number of passengers), but it all looks so nice.
     
  18. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Thank you so much!!

    I can definitely understand the frustration with the short time in port. Especially in Italy with the afternoon siesta times, making the afternoons pretty useless off the ship. But it was a great way to see lots of Italy that I might never have had the opportunity to visit otherwise! The pre and post cruise time definitely helped too.

    Thanks for reading along!!

    Thanks for reading! The ship was pretty small, yes, but I had absolutely nothing to compare it to, so it didn't bother me. In fact, it makes me a little worried for the opposite effect on our upcoming 1st DCL cruise...I'm afraid the Fantasy will feel too big!! lol
     
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  19. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    I know some people maybe only joined in with this TR because it featured the DIS team, but I also know a lot of people who read the rest of my Disney & Universal TRs hopped on as well. So since I got my new Universal TR up and running, I thought I'd post the link here for anyone who may want to follow along with our next adventure!!

     
  20. mmmears

    mmmears DIS Veteran

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    I sailed on the Dream and found it too large for me, so I get the concern. We have really enjoyed the Magic and the Wonder - that size seems to work for us - but Viking's itineraries are so much better I keep looking at their brochures. If only I could put 3 of us in one room I think I would have booked one already. I'm really glad you had a great trip!
     
  21. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    That is a downside to Viking, only being able to book 2 people per room. But as far as the size of the ship, it didn't bother us much because we had no sea days. Had we had some sea days, I think we would have been bored. While the ship was pretty and well appointed, there was not a lot of activity happening.

    Hopefully the Fantasy won't feel too big for us, but I guess we will see! We might get a chance to try one of the smaller ships if they keep doing the cruises out of New Orleans! We won't be able to make another cruise in 2020 happen, so hopefully the New Orleans cruises do well and they add more with upcoming releases. I'd love to do the Magic with all of the Tangled stuff on that one, but the Princess & the Frog stuff on the Wonder would be awesome too.
     
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