"Are these underwear yours?" DIS Viking Italian Sojourn 2018 TR *NEW* 7/14

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 5 Continued: Monday March 26th

    We went down to the specialty restaurants to see if we could get into Manfredi’s as a walk-up for that night instead of waiting until the night we had a shared table booked. But the hostess once again told us, “I’m sorry, it’s not possible.”

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    But it worked out better because we ran into a group of DISers at the bar so we went to hang out with them for a little while. Eventually, we all decided to go to dinner at The Restaurant together. Our group ended up as DH & I, Phil & Judi, Angela & Eva, and Jenn & Joe. This was another wonderful dinner with lots of laughs, stories, and Disney! During dinner Angela & Eva began telling us how they had met the performers for the nighttime show coming up that night, and how they had talked up the show a lot as a really fun rock opera. So we all decided that we would give it a try after our meal. But first, the food!

    For the appetizers, I got some kind of fresh fruit mix that was pretty good. DH got a Caesar salad.


    For entrees, I got the rib-eye with mushrooms and a side of mashed potatoes. DH got grilled swordfish.


    Since no one at the table thought food pictures was weird, Angela let DH take a photo of her peanut crusted chicken. Although it looked good, she wasn’t impressed.

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    And he got a photo of someone’s salmon. Joe’s maybe?

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    DH and Eva had both gotten the swordfish, I believe, and everyone who tried it agreed it was DELICIOUS. I was having some serious food envy.

    Finally came dessert. DH got a slice of strawberry cheesecake. I had some kind of apple tart with a scoop of gelato, but only the gelato was any good. Unfortunately, I made some pretty poor dessert choices most nights.

    Angela offered a photo of her cheese plate.

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    Once we headed down to the theater for the nighttime show, the theater was packed! Somehow I missed the sign that the show had been changed from the rock opera that Angela and Eva had told us we were seeing. Instead we were treated to what I can only imagine is what Simon Cowell was talking about on American Idol when he told people they sounded like cruise line singers.


    It was suuuuuuuuper cheesy & lame!! We bailed after a couple of songs because we couldn’t stop laughing. We headed up to the second level of the Explorers Lounge and spent a nice long time hanging out with a big group of DISers until we called it a night at 11:45 or so and headed down to our stateroom for bed. We had a chance to Facetime the kids before we got to bed a little after midnight.


    UP NEXT: On to Crotone
     
  2. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Somehow i missed the round of updates. The food pictures look ok, but arent making my mouth water. How can they switch shows the day of? That seems crazy!
     
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  4. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

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    Sounds like you guys were spending a lot of your meals with fellow DISers, which I'm sure had to be a lot of fun. One of the reasons you chose to go on the cruise, I'm sure.
    That apple crumble looked odd. I'm not surprised it tasted mediocre.

    Oh gosh, sorry to hear you caught the start of a bad concert. The thing that made me laugh about that was how you said it was a packed theater! Guess folks set the bar for entertainment pretty low when they're cruising.
     
  5. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    To be honest, I hadn't heard or seen much of actual Messina as it seemed like most people did an excursion that went to Taormina or somehwere else, so nice to see some of the photos and glad that the cathedral was open

    Definitely think some of the best parts of the trip were the dinners with other DISers!

    The show, yeah, not good - I sort of felt bad leaving early, but it just wasn't any good. Gotta say it did seem like many in the crowd were enjoying it. I think the evening entertainment is the biggest area where the target audience for these cruises was a negative impact (and also where is lacked the most compared to, say, Disney Cruise Line - but I think we knew this going in)

    It turned out one or more of the performers was ill or for whatever reason couldn't perform so they had to change it it
     
  6. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like such a nice dinner! I'm sorry the show wasn't the one you expected :rotfl: Sounds like bailing and hanging out with Disers was the right call!
     
  7. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    It doesn't take much to impress us food wise. lol But some of the stuff was just meh and some things were really good, like DH's swordfish.

    The entertainment seemed very hastily thrown together for the rest of the cruise due to one of the performers being sick and never recovering though to reschedule the show. So we never got to see the one they were originally going to do!

    It was really fun getting to share tables with other DISers for dinner. Much better than the nights we were on our own!! lol DH and I remarked many times that while we would love to do Viking again, with the limited nighttime offerings we wouldn't want to do it just the two of us and would only do one if we could do another group like this, or at least another couple or two to travel with.

    I seemed to make poor dessert choices almost every night! lol

    There were many other people who seemed to enjoy the show A LOT more than we did!! There was one guy who was just clapping and clapping, even in the middle of the songs! I guess similar to the overall Viking experience, we are not their target audience. :rotfl:

    I struggled with the actual port cities themselves because it always seemed like by the time we got back from an excursion there was nothing to do. I'm glad DH at least got to visit the cathedral though. It looked really beautiful in the photos he took.

    The dinners were so fun! And just hanging out with other couples in general. We met so many awesome people on this trip!

    If anything, this experience made me that much more excited about getting to do DCL. I'm really looking forward to the nighttime shows!

    We had WAY more fun hanging out in the lounge than if we had stuck around for the rest of that show!! Definitely a good call.
     
  8. rdkeim

    rdkeim Mouseketeer

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    More beautiful photos! Nice the cathedral was open. You've experienced so many beautiful churches on your trips to Italy. I have to keep reminding myself you aren't on a river cruise - that's what I think of when I hear Viking. How many people were on the ship? I'm thinking it's smaller than some of the mega ships? My DH and I are doing a river cruise in Sept. I hope we meet some nice couples we can hang out with in the evenings.....
     
  9. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    I would LOVE to try a river cruise of theirs one day!! That's what pretty much everyone thought of when I told them we were doing a Viking cruise. lol That is definitely what they are most well known for!

    The ship was very small compared to other ocean liners. This one was about 930 people.

    Hopefully you find some couples to spend the evenings with, because otherwise we found their offerings for nighttime entertainment to be slim. They did show movies by the pool, but none of them interested us, and the couple of shows we did were just okay.
     
  10. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Day 6: Tuesday March 27th

    This morning, we woke up docked in Crotone. We got up around 7:45 am and got dressed, then went to get breakfast at the buffet. We still had some time before we had to meet for our excursion, so I went back to the room for a bit while DH went up to the top deck for some photos of the port.

    Our meeting point was the Star Theater at 9:15 am, and we ended up in a group of mostly DISers, along with Craig & his wife Kylie, and Ryno & his partner Eli. When we exited the ship and went down to the bus, they had some live music being performed for us. A little Titanic-esque, but at least we were already in port. :rotfl:

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    Our guide today was Paolo, and he was a total dud. This was our least favorite excursion, and our least favorite guide. He didn’t have a lot of personality, and he was fairly quiet overall, where our other guides almost never stopped talking and giving us information. Paolo spent a lot of time checking his watch to make sure we were making good time. We later learned from Kevin that this is a very new port of call for Viking, so I’m guessing these tours haven’t been done very many times.

    Anyway, we passed some interesting views along the way, including these adorable sheep.

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    After a fairly quick bus ride (compared to a lot of the other excursions we did), we arrived in Le Castella, and after a short walk we arrived at an overlook with a view of the fort we would be touring. DH and I both I think misunderstood what this excursion was and thought we were actually visiting a castle, so we were a bit surprised that we were only visiting the fortress.

    Once inside, we made our way first to a chapel, which had hints of where the artwork used to be.


    Then we went to see where the drawbridge and watch windows were located.

    Paolo described the window’s as a “wolf’s mouth” because they are narrow openings on the outside of the fort but larger on the inside so that the soldiers could see out, but invaders couldn’t see in.

    Once inside, we walked over a glass floor so that we could see the stratification below the fort.

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    Inside of the “wolf’s mouth” window


    Next we went up to the first level to see the outlook where soldiers would watch for pirates approaching. Sorry to not have a ton of notes from this day. Our guide was not very informative, like I said.


    Then we headed towards the tower so we could climb up.

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    To climb the tower meant taking a narrow and tight spiral staircase that went counter clockwise. The idea behind this was that should the fortress be breached, invaders would have to take the stairs down single-file, and one soldier could stand at the bottom of the staircase attacking them as they came down with his right arm while the stone protected his left side.
    Continued in next post...
     
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  11. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Day 6 Continued: Tuesday March 27th


    There were two more spiral staircases, getting darker and more narrow as we went up, so some of the group only made it up the second set of stairs, but skipped the third. We went all of the way to the top. But there wasn’t much to see at each level inside of the fortress, just the beautiful views it offered.


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    One spot on the next staircase was a shift into the opposite direction with a huge step to climb up!


    Finally we made it up to the very top level, where Paolo told us this tower was never conquered.


    That was pretty much it for the tour. We walked back down all of the staircases and out of the fortress. We had a few minutes of on our own time, but not enough to really do anything, so we just stayed there and took some photos.


    We had to walk back up the street and meet at the spot where the bus had dropped us off. I’m not sure where Paolo was during that time, but we waited around for awhile there.

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    Once Paolo returned to collect us, we continued walking down the street for the second part of the excursion.

    UP NEXT: How To Make Ceramics
     
  12. rdkeim

    rdkeim Mouseketeer

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    Sorry it wasn't the best excursion but you got some interesting photos. That water is so blue!
     
  13. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    Sorry to hear the tour wasn't the best - definitely found, at least for the included tours, it was "make or break" depending on the guide.

    The fort seems pretty neat though and definitely got some good photos!
     
  14. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    I'm sorry this wasn't the best tour or guide.

    The fortress offered some great views though. The sky looked pretty cool that day!
     
  15. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    It was definitely some gorgeous scenery, so I wasn't too upset. This was only "bad" compared to the other amazing excursions we experienced on this trip!

    The guides were a large part, for sure. This one was just so lackluster and the fortress itself was pretty mediocre, but I wonder if a better guide could have enhanced the experience there. Overall, this was the only low point for me in regards to our paid excursions, so I'd still say that's really excellent!

    The scenery was really beautiful if nothing else. So it was worth the trip out there.

    I guess they can't all be winners! lol But if this was the worst excursion the whole cruise, I think we did very well!

    The blues in the sky and the water were just incredible.
     
  16. met19

    met19 Mouseketeer

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    I agree most excursions seem to go elsewhere, but Dusty's Messina photos look interesting. And handing with the other Disers was one of the highlights.
     
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  17. met19

    met19 Mouseketeer

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    i thought the water shots that Dusty did were great. Italy is so scenic- its why I always want to go back. Interestedly, the churches in Northeast France, (strasbourg area), Switerland and Germany are not as decked out as the ones in Italy. Not that they aren't amazing, but Italian churches have such art and architecture associated with them
     
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  18. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

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    Sorry the excursion was a bit of a letdown. It's kind of a bummer that the success of the day relies a lot upon whether or not you get a good tour guide. Maybe once that particular excursion gets going for a year or two it'll start to improve.

    The fortress looked pretty cool, though. I know it wasn't the castle you expected, but at least it gave you a nice view from the top and another chance to enjoy the sight of the Italian waters.
     
  19. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    We enjoyed the excursions, but Messina was a great port city as well. I wish we would have been able to see and do more that afternoon as soon as we got back. Walking around hoping something would be open just didn't sound appealing to me. lol

    That's interesting! I guess I just always assumed old European churches would be about the same all over as what we have seen in Italy. I definitely wouldn't mind visiting those countries just to make the comparison though!

    The guides were a huge part in the enjoyment of the excursion, but sometimes a mediocre guide could be overshadowed by a great location. This excursion really seemed to lack both an interesting guide and an interesting location. But yes, the sights were really gorgeous from the top! Never seen such beautiful water.
     
  20. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Day 6 Continued: Tuesday March 27th

    Once Paolo returned, we walked a little ways more to a ceramic shop, where Paolo explained that Manuel was going to be doing a demonstration for us. He was going to show us how he makes a ceramic mask of an ugly face, that I think he said was worn to frighten their enemies in battle.

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    He cut a piece off of a large and wet block of clay to start.


    He spread it over a rock to stretch it and mold it so it would fit over a face, then painted it with glue to be able to add the facial features.


    Then he explained how they would allow it to dry and bake for a very long time before they could paint it.

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    Then he invited us inside of his shop to purchase.


    I ended up buying a small ceramic fountain that once we got home, DH glued magnets to the back of so we could hang it on the refrigerator.

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    There were also some larger ceramic butterflies that caught my eye for DD but I wasn’t sure how it would travel home so we didn’t get it.

    Then we went over to the deli next door where the owners had prepared a snack for us, some bruschetta with different spreads and of course, wine.


    I tried one of each, and they were all very good, though now I couldn’t tell you what ANY of them were!! There were some more ceramics and fabrics in the store attached, plus we looked at all of the candies and pastas they had, but didn’t buy anything there either.

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    A peek inside the ceramic shop once it was empty.

    Then it was time to head back to the bus to go back to the ship.

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    When we got back to port, we went onto the ship for lunch and got some huge and delicious hamburgers from the pool grill, then followed it up with some gelato from the buffet. It was pouring rain while we ate, and the forecast didn’t look good for the rest of the afternoon, so we decided to stay on the ship for the rest of the afternoon. We didn’t want to chance going out and getting caught in more rain when everything would be closed for siesta time anyway.

    We ended up spending the afternoon in the stateroom watching Blade Runner 2049 until we got ready for dinner, and I think we threw in a load of laundry before we headed down to The Restaurant to eat. It ended up being just the two of us this evening. For our starters, I had the shrimp ravioli and DH had a Caesar salad.

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    None of the new menu options really appealed to us this evening, so we both went for the staples that were available every night. I had the roasted chicken with mashed potatoes, and DH had the steak.


    For dessert, I made another poor choice with the crepes while DH went for his old faithful, the cheesecake.

    I didn’t enjoy the crepes at all, and in fact, I don’t think I even finished them. So I didn’t object when DH said he wanted to hit the buffet for some gelato.

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    We went back to the stateroom after our second dessert to put away our laundry we had started earlier and finish the movie since we hadn’t been able to watch the whole thing before dinner. While folding the laundry, the title of our TR came about when I held up a pair of underwear from the pile and asked DH if they were his, because they certainly weren’t mine!! :rotfl2:A rogue pair must have been left in one of the machines and gotten wrapped up with ours! What made it even funnier was that just the night before, Phil said the exact same thing had happened to him & Judi! Check the machines when you move your laundry, people!!!

    Then we decided to head down to the theater to see if tonight would be the rock opera we had been hoping to see the night before, but there were signs posted that it still would not be performed because one of the singers was sick. Instead, our cruise director Aaron Syfert would be performing a mix of songs. We met up with Phil and Judi for the show.

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    His Johnny Cash medley

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    He told us how he played one of the main characters in a traveling stage version of the kids show Lazytown, and Judi said she wanted to tell him at the end of the show how one of her friends is a huge fan of the show. So we stopped on the way out of the show to talk to him, and he said he actually had photos of himself as the character in his stateroom that he could sign for her friend and send to their room! It was really funny.

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    We thought about going up to the lounge that night, but it was already pretty late so we figured we wouldn’t be staying long anyway. Instead we just played a couple of games on the interactive tables, then went back to the stateroom to get to bed.

    UP NEXT: Beautiful Bari
     
  21. OKW Lover

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

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    We've been fortunate enough to visit France, Austria, Switzerland & Germany in addition to the countries on this cruise and I'd agree that the churches in Italy seem to be the most ornate. Not that some of the others aren't, just Italy seems to be more so.

    Oh, and of course you can always contact @DisneyKevin to arrange seeing those other countries. ;)
     

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