Disney Magic-mediterranean

jek22

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Just booked the 7 day mediterranean cruise for my honeymoon, state room with Verandah.
First cruise ever, any suggestions?
 
  • scgustafson

    DIS Veteran/DCL Platinum
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2014
    Just booked the 7 day mediterranean cruise for my honeymoon, state room with Verandah.
    First cruise ever, any suggestions?
    I did forget to mention - be sure to join the verandah club. Also, attend Match Your Mate in Fathoms, and hope that you are the most newly married couple.
     

    jek22

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2019
    Verandah club
    we will probably not be the most newly married, our wedding is this year, so we are doing a 5 day stay at the boardalk right after then this in may as our 2nd honeymoon
     
  • scgustafson

    DIS Veteran/DCL Platinum
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2014
    Verandah club
    we will probably not be the most newly married, our wedding is this year, so we are doing a 5 day stay at the boardalk right after then this in may as our 2nd honeymoon
    To save others of the trouble of looking up verandah club, it is an "adults-only experience(s)" making use of the verandah. Please make sure that the children are safely engaged elsewhere, preferably without self-checkout privileges at the club. Be warned, some members have "enjoyed" a permanent souvenir nine-months after their (re)joining.
     

    JARNJ3

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 9, 2008
    1. Skip Florence - go to Cinque Terre by boat - so beautiful and quaint.
    2. Try to go to the Amalfi coast as well. We did this excursion plus Pompeii - it was a long day, but both were fascinating.
    3. I know folks say to do private excursions, but I like the guarantee that the ship won't leave without me if we return late - and we did return late one day
    4. If it starts in Barcelona, arrive a few days early, try to visit Montserat - it is absolutely beautiful.
    5. Palo would be a nice way to celebrate with a honeymoon dinner.
    6. Have fun! The shows were fabulous
    7. Beware of the VAT tax - it is a pain in the neck to get it back - you have to spend a certain dollar figure for DCL to help you fill out the paperwork. And yes - they charge it when you are at sea.
    8. Finally - the photography looked great - we didn't do it - as my sister and I didn't need formal photos.
     

    brentm77

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2013
    Book/do excursions independently! Some good info here for exploring ports on your own - https://www.tomsportguides.com/mediterranean-cruises.html. Guided walking tours are also excellent. Don't try to do too much...relax and enjoy!
    This is good advice. Cruise companies market their heavily marked-up excursions by saying you could miss the ship (because they claim they will hold the ship if you are on their excursion, but not on a private one). It is true and people do miss the ship from time to time, but the risk is low if you go with a reputable company and plan to get back with extra time to spare (two hours is what I prefer, but that can vary based on how far you travel from the ship). Even coming back early, you will save significant time compared to the Disney excursions, which can require meeting on the ship, being escorted off, held somewhere again, then boarding transportation. The whole process can take a lot of the day (for beach excursions we have done through Disney, we have never had more than a few hours on the actual beach). With a private excursion, sometimes you get off, meet your guide, and are on your way while people are still waiting for Disney on the ship (in tender ports, this isn't usually the case, as Disney tender's their excursions first). So not only do you get your private excursion, but you pay much less. I used to be a cruise-company-only excursion person, but after a couple of cruises I realized that was a mistake. Now I look at both private and Disney offered and pick the best options at each port.

    Other tips:

    Get travel insurance from a company other than Disney and be aware there are time limits on when you must get it after you make your first deposit. There are several websites that let you compare prices. Make sure you read the policies and know what you are getting. Travel insurance is mostly beneficial for medical issues that could arise that could cost tens of thousands of dollars or more in the cruise setting. But it can also cover things like missing the cruise, lost luggage, needing to cancel for work, etc., depending on the policy. I personally prefer higher-deductible options to save money, as I am really only buying it to minimize catastrophic risk and not replace $500 worth of lost clothes. I will take that risk myself.

    Look at main and late seating for dinner and decide which one works best for you. Some people prefer late for mediterranean cruises, since dinner can be before all-aboard time. But, if you want to see the Disney entertainment, shows will be before late dinner anyway, so it won't help much in that case. You probably defaulted to late dining when your reservation was made. If you want early dining, get on the waitlist now by contacting your travel agent or Disney. There is a very good chance of getting moved to main if that is what you want.

    Don't pack too much. You won't need as much clothing and junk as you think. Nearly everything you need will be available on the ship and laundry can be done on the ship for a small fee.

    Rick Steve's has a good Europe cruising book.

    Enjoy! Disney Cruising is my all time favorite vacation option. We are doing our first Mediterranean Disney Cruise next June.
     
  • TestingH2O

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2014
    I know folks say to do private excursions, but I like the guarantee that the ship won't leave without me if we return late - and we did return late on
    This is not entirely true. The cruise guarantees they will be responsible for helping you meet the ship if they leave before you are back. Reputable tour operators make the same guarantee. In fact, our tour operator in Rome said even it was our fault (ie not returning to the meeting spot on time) they would be responsible for getting us to the next port. When the ship has to leave due to tides, port schedules, etc it has to leave.
     

    lilsonicfan

    <font color=teal>The TF knows Canada VERY well!!<b
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2003
    I feel like scgustafson exists here and elsewhere only to mention the verandah club... awkward...

    I fully agree with booking private/semi-private excursions. It's an interesting thing, really, because I think smaller tours are actually far less likely to be late arriving back at port than the big DCL excursions. On our EBTA, twice people were late getting back, and they were on the huge 50+ DCL excursion buses where an entire bus broke down. When there were just 5 of us on a private excursion, had the minivan broken down (unlikely anyway b/c the company used it every day, unlike the buses which are often only used when multiple ships are in port), the company would just have sent another one or called us a taxi, so much easier to accommodate 5 than 50. Join a cruise meet group here or on social media to share excursions if that interests you.

    The Rick Steves cruising in the Mediterranean book is great, as it covers many of the ports you'll visit.
     

    tlprice

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 5, 2014
    Choose the thing you really want to do in each port and figure out the best way for you to do it the way you want to. Don't try to do too much. There's no way you can do it all, so just realize that you'll probably have to go again someday to do the things you couldn't do this trip.

    My DD11 and I did the Med cruise last summer. We only did one DCL excursion and only because there wasn't really any other way to do it. The excursion was fine, but after waiting in one place for half an hour for everybody to go to the bathroom, we were very glad we didn't have any other DCL excursions booked for the rest of our cruise.
     

    JARNJ3

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 9, 2008
    This is not entirely true. The cruise guarantees they will be responsible for helping you meet the ship if they leave before you are back. Reputable tour operators make the same guarantee. In fact, our tour operator in Rome said even it was our fault (ie not returning to the meeting spot on time) they would be responsible for getting us to the next port. When the ship has to leave due to tides, port schedules, etc it has to leave.
    Hmm - then they repeatedly stated it over and over and over again......... that they wouldn't leave until your tour came back. Perhaps they allowed for extra time from when we were supposed to be back?

    Any way - I was happy with the tours I chose and only had one where we left a little bit late (where I could have slept an extra half hour).
     

    TestingH2O

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2014
    Hmm - then they repeatedly stated it over and over and over again......... that they wouldn't leave until your tour came back. Perhaps they allowed for extra time from when we were supposed to be back?

    Any way - I was happy with the tours I chose and only had one where we left a little bit late (where I could have slept an extra half hour).
    I haven't had a BAD DCL excision, but, in Europe and Alaska especially, our private tours were less expensive and we were able to do more by booking on our own. I just think that, especially when booking these port intensive cruises, it's really important to explore all the options.

    4FB9371D-0921-4BCC-9B4B-17B982E7486B.jpeg
     

    scgustafson

    DIS Veteran/DCL Platinum
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2014
    True example of a time that DCL did not wait for guests on a DCL Port Adventure (PA) that was delayed. On Disney Magic on the Eastbound Transatlantic crossing in 2016, during a port stop in Dublin, local traffic was so bad, that 33 guests on a PA could not make it back to the ship for the all aboard time, and the Captain held the ship for as long as he could (in the neighborhood of 2+ hours). However, due to the ebb (lowering) tide, the ship had to absolutely get underway before it would become stuck, but the PA was not back. Disney Magic got underway, less 33 guests and a couple of Guest Services officers. When the PA did arrive much later, their transportation to Liverpool (the port city for the next day) had been arranged by DCL via a ferry. The guests and Guest Services officers were transported to Liverpool, arriving around 2 am, beating Disney Magic by three hours, as she moored around 5 am.
    So, yes, DCL will do what they can to wait for guests on DCL PAs until it is no longer either safe or operationally feasible, at which point they will get underway and leave CMs behind to arrange and provide transportation for the impacted guests to the next port.
    We were on the inaugural 12-night British Isles cruise following the EBTA, and when we were in Dublin, they were advising people to ensure they allowed for a significant buffer to make it back to the ship for traffic, especially if using non-DCL excursions.
     

    JARNJ3

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 9, 2008
    Wow! Did they feed them? What about sleep? Did they just stay on the ferry til the ship came in? That would have been a big bummer for me - no show, no dinner - then how could you go on an excursion the next day????
     

    scgustafson

    DIS Veteran/DCL Platinum
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2014
    Wow! Did they feed them? What about sleep? Did they just stay on the ferry til the ship came in? That would have been a big bummer for me - no show, no dinner - then how could you go on an excursion the next day????
    My understanding was that there was food available on the ferry with DCL picking up the tab. As for sleep, you can either sleep in a seat or you can't. Do not know if they had get off of the ferry when it got to Liverpool or not, but if they did, there was always the cruise terminal to put everyone in.
     

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