Grand Slam in the Med

keighttf

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 18, 2013
553202
Here is a trip report from our 7-night Mediterranean cruise aboard the Disney Magic in May 2018.

This is my first time writing a trip report and I am using a journal I kept while on the cruise and the pictures by DH took. We are in our 30s. This was our 6th Disney cruise but our first on the Magic so it was our grand slam cruise.

If you're like me the coronavirus has been discouraging for traveling and travel planning and I have been enjoying reading about other peoples prior travel experiences. So even though this trip was from 2018 I hope it brings you some joy.
 

Deb T.

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 17, 1999
We've had 5 cruises on the Magic cancelled so far since covid started so I'm really looking forward to your trip report and photos! Thanks for taking the time to do this! :)
 

keighttf

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 18, 2013
5/24/18 Travel Day 1

Today we flew from Boston to Toronto to Barcelona. We took a cab to the airport. It was a driver we have had before who is a bit crazy but always gets us there. It is about a 25 minute ride to the airport from our house. We flew Air Canada. The Air Canada section of the Boston airport is a small isolated area with limited food (just a kiosk with pre-made food but at least it is Cosi) and no lounges but we knew to expect this from our prior Air Canada flight to Vancouver for our Alaska cruise the year before. Our first flight to Toronto was very quick. We had pretzels and drinks. DH watched a movie and I started a new book.
We had a short layover in Toronto. We went through passport control. DH got us some sandwiches to go. Our second flight wasn't bad. It had a nice configuration of two seats on the side which we prefer. DH had gotten us some inflatable lumbar back pillows from Amazon which helped with seat comfort a lot. The airline provided the standard pillows and blankets. DH got some sleep. I read most of the flight (An Elizabeth George book) and then watched some Netflix TV shows. The typical plane food was chicken or pasta and a breakfast bread before landing.
We didn't really take many pictures this day and some of mine come in upside down when uploaded but there are more to come.
 

keighttf

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 18, 2013
5/25/18 Barcelona

When we landed in Barcelona we took a cab to our hotel, The Hilton Diagonal Mar. We had booked the hotel free with Hilton hotel points. We have Diamond Status with Hilton. We checked in and then checked out the executive lounge. I had an orange Fanta which I think is more like Orangina then American Fanta but I like it. The lounge is nice with an outdoor patio and nice views of the Mediterranean.

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We then went to our room and took a nap and then got showers. The time difference is 6 hours for us and our flight was overnight so we were tired! We received a room upgrade to a high floor, sea view, executive room with our Hilton Diamond status which had a great view from the room too.
Barcelona is located in northeast Spain in Catalonia. I had been to Barcelona many years before when I was studying abroad in England during college but this was a much different experience. This was only my DH's second time in Europe. We had gone to Rome a few years prior.
After our nap we went to the lounge and had an appetizer of chicken curry with rice which was good. DH had some sausage and focaccia pizza. He also tried two different cervezas. I tried some champagne but it was brut and not my type. I prefer sweet champagne and wine. So I had another orange Fanta.

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DH had gotten a new iPhone X just prior to the trip and he was exited to try out all the different photo modes. He liked the portrait mode a lot. We went out on the balcony of the lounge and took some pictures even though it was very windy.

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We could also see the La Sagrada Familia in the distance.
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We then had dinner at a restaurant connected to the mall across the street called Carnes y Tapas. Thankfully they had a menu in English. We had the tapes for two menu. Which included ham and potato croquettes (good), a salad (it had tuna on it and we didn't care for it), a dish with fries, eggs, and ham (pictured below) and a pork dish with more potatoes.

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After dinner we went to a small market down the street called fruta y verdura where we got some water to take on the ship and DH got a beer.
DH and I had taken some spanish in high school and college but didn't remember a lot. I had recently stated the Spanish course with online Rosetta Stone. I tried to use the Spanish I knew some but felt too nervous most of the time. Most everyone in Barcelona speaks good English too.
We then went back to the hotel and listened to a Rick Steve's Audio Europe podcast before going to bed.
 

BCV23

<br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/i
DIS Lifetime Sponsor
Joined
Feb 11, 2002
Thanks for writing a TR. Had yet another cruise canceled last week so reports like yours are really appreciated.
 

keighttf

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 18, 2013
5/25/18 Cruise Day 1

We slept in and then had breakfast in the hotel restaurant which was included with our Hilton Diamond Status. It was a large buffet. DH really liked the fresh orange juice machine. He also had toast and a fruit cup. I had some warm croissants and jam and tried some churros. We then stopped across the street at the market (which was kind of like a Walmart) in the mall.
After that, we got our bags from our room and took a taxi to the port. There were three other cruise ships in port. The other side of the port was industrial.

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There was a bit of a wait for security but no wait for check in and then we were on the boat!

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Technically this was my 6th cruise and my DH's 5th cruise as I went on one with my parents but he was really excited about the gold castaway club lanyard so I let him wear it.
Our first stop on board was Lumiere's for lunch. DH had the beef empanadas, a chicken caesar salad, and coffee.

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I had the prime rib and a coke. With rolls of course.

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We then checked on our dining plans. After a very awkward and unenjoyable experience with table mates on our first cruise we always request a private table. After that we walked around on deck.

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We then relaxed in our room, 6004. This was our first cruise staying in an inside room. This was also the first time we made door decorations.

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The safety drill was the usual and we back to our room. At some point this afternoon DH got room service, an all hands on deck cheese platter and a Mickey ice cream bar. Our go to room service order.
We had dinner in Animator's Palate that night. DH had the tomato tarte, baked potato and cheddar cheese soup, and grilled grain-fed sirloin steak. I had the backed potato and cheddar cheese soup, a chicken and walnut salad (which I thought was just ok), and the grilled grain-fed sirloin steak off the lighter offering menu. I really enjoy the steak and usually have it with a baked potato with sour cream. For dessert DH had the cookies and cream sundae and I had the warm date bread (just ok). Our severing team was good. Our waiter was from India and our assistant was from Honduras.

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After dinner we looked around the shops and I bought my journal that I used to write my trip report. We then sat on deck 4. Something we did commonly on this cruise since we had an inside room.

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We then returned to the room and watched Jumanji. We like that the Magic now has movies on demand instead of just channels that play in a loop.
 
Last edited:

keighttf

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 18, 2013
5/26/18 Sea Day

DH slept well but I still had jet lag so I read a book some in the night. This morning we slept in and ordered room service for breakfast. One of our favorite things to do! It was great as usual. We got croissants, a bagel, fruit, juice, tea, and coffee. Then we sat in Promenade Lounge and observed Disney pictionary and read about Naples in the Rick Steve's cruise port book. This was the best resource for this cruise and had all the information you needed about the ports.

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We then sat on deck 4 and listened to a Rick Steve's talk on Pompeii downloaded on his audio europe app. We discovered the app prior to a land based trip to Rome a few years ago and like to listen to the talks prior to visiting different European destinations.

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It was very windy on deck. We sailed between Sardinia and Corsica today.

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We had lunch from the Duck-In Dinner, chicken fingers and shawarma. DH then got some food from Cabana's and we took it back to our room.
After lunch we went to see the act Junk in Fathoms. It was very good and entertaining. We stopped by the door hanging crafts in Promonade Lounge. We did the craft, but more wanted to use the glue sticks to fix our stateroom door decorations to add more magnets because they were too weak. As I mentioned this was the first time we made door decorations. DH had the idea to get glue at the craft session which was a great idea!
After that we sat in O'Gills Pub by the window and listened to a Rick Steve's talk about Naples.

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We then went back to our room. DH took a nap and I read a book.

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Dinner was at the new Rapunzel's Royal Table. Our first time there. We had a table with a port hole which we liked! Some of the other dinners complained about the sun though so our servers had to close the shades. We had first dinning which was a first for us but it seemed to work well for this cruise particularly with the early morning and therefore early nights for us and the time change. Previously we had always had second dinning.

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DH had the snuggly duckling platter, a chicken salad, and the grilled grain fed sirloin. I had a ceaser salad and veal entree. For dessert I had the bread pudding and part of a berry sundae.

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DH had the cupcake and then got a bread pudding when he saw how good mine was.

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We also had tea (me) and coffee (Wes).
Rapunzel and some of the other Tangled characters came around to all the tables.
Our server tried to do a crayon puzzle with us. We aren't a big fan of them but tried to play along.

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The Captain's reception was going on in the atrium so DH got a beer. Then we went to 70's music trivia in O'Gills. As usual we didn't do well and only got 7/40 points but we did have fun. After that we sat on deck 9 outside Cove Cafe and got coke from the beverage station.

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To finish the night we were going to go to the pub quiz but no one showed up so we looked around the shops.
 

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  • keighttf

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 18, 2013
    5/27/18 Naples

    Today we docked at the port in Naples, Italy. We had decided to go to Pompeii on our own using the information in the Rick Steve's book.
    We started the morning with room service breakfast with bagels, croissants, cereal, donuts, juice, and coffee. We love how easy it is so put the door hanger out the night before and they are good about coming at the requested time to deliver it in the morning. We always miss this on land based non-Disney trips where it would cost a fortune to get room service breakfast like this.
    We then headed off the boat. You could see Mt. Vesuvius in the distance.

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    We tried to buy tram tickets at the tobacco shop in the cruise terminal but they didn't sell them. Whe then tried to buy them at the tobacco shop right outside the port but needed euros which we didn't have. We tried an ATM but it was broke and a second one needed a pin we didn't have for the credit cards we had with us. So we ended up going back to the ship to get a debit card. While there we left our jackets because we had discovered it was very hot and humid out. So at least we didn't have to carry them all day. I then forgot our Rick Steve's book section in the room so went back on board to get it. Eventually we got euros from the ATM in the cruise terminal and tickets from the T shop on the street and were finally on our way.

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    The Rick Steve's book gave directions to take the metro or tram from the cruise port to the train station. We had planned on taking the tram because it seemed easier and more scenic. Well it apparently wasn't running. Thankfully someone stopped and told us as we stood at the stop. So we ended up going to the metro line 1 stop municipio and taking it two stops to the train station.

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    The metro station was very clean and nice. The train station and train not so much. We took the circumvesuviana train to the Pompeii Scavi station.

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    We activated DH's phone plan today. It was $10 for a day with a verizon international plan to help with navigation although we probably didn't really need it. The train station is right outside the entrance to Pompeii. We bought a bottle of water (for 1 euro) and then waited in line to get tickets. Eventually we made our way in.
    We used a headphone splitter and the Rick Steve's Pompeii audio walking tour from his audio europe app which we had downloaded for free. It was a great tour!
    It was crazy to see the buildings, mosaics, streets, etc. that are over 2000 years old.

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    These stones are in the streets to keep walkers away from the liquid that would flow in the streets and the groves are for the carriages to drive through.

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    The artifacts and molds they made of where bodies were found encouraged us to take time for some somber reflection.

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    We saw the baths.

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    Outside were ancient fast food stands.

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    It is impressive how well some of the mosaics are preserved.

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    keighttf

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 18, 2013
    5/27/18 Naples (Continued)

    We saw everything on the walking tour of Pompeii except the brothel which was really busy and we weren't that interested in it.
    This was a bakery.

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    It was a massive city and we could have spent longer but we were hot and tired so decided to head back to the ship.
    We got a frozen orange juice which was delicious and then took the train and then the metro back to the port. It was much busier than on our trip out.
    We were so glad we decided to do this on our own instead of an excursion. We saved a lot of money but even more so it was nice to go at our own pace and wasn't too difficult.
    Before getting back onboard DH got a cappuccino at a cafe. He likes how they stand at the bar in the cafe to drink them which he had learned about from a prior trip to Rome.

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    We walked 6 miles today! We enjoyed our visit to Pompeii and were glad we didn't stay in Naples for the day. We though it was loud and busy.
    Once back onboard we got in the pool for a bit and then had a late lunch on deck. Shawarma and chicken fingers for me and a turkey cranberry panini for DH. He also tried the chicken broth ramen build a bowl but said it was spicier than he likes. We also got our go to Coke from the beverage station. We then relaxed in the room. DH took a nap and I read a new travel book.
    Dinner was great, our favorite so far, at Lumiere's. DH had the iced lobster and jumbo shrimp appetizer, read wine bosc pear salad, chateaubriand roasted filet steak, tahitian vanilla creme brûlée, and coffee. I had fried brie (I didn't care for it), french onion soup, grilled grain fed sirloin, and creme brûlée (which was great), and the grand mariner soufflé (which was also great). I didn't know I liked soufflés until prior cruises when I had one at Palo and now I always order them if they are available. DH has been getting chocolate milk every night to drink and I have been getting Coke.
    We thought about going to music trivia but were too tired so we just sat on deck 4 for a bit.

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    We again listened to a Rick Steve's talk about Rome before going to bed.
     

    chamberlain

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2014
    Thank you for writing your trip report. I need a little vicarious vacation right now! We just watched Rick Steves last night and it was all about visiting Rome. So looking forward to reading more!
     
  • keighttf

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 18, 2013
    Thank you for writing your trip report. I need a little vicarious vacation right now! We just watched Rick Steves last night and it was all about visiting Rome. So looking forward to reading more!
    We’ve been watching Rick Steve TV shows too. We go to Rome in the next day of our cruise!

    Enjoying your report!
    Thanks for reading!

    I also did not like the fired brie! Loving your report!
    Thank goodness there are always 5 million other delicious things to eat if you don’t like something. I like to use the cruise to try new foods sometimes.

    Enjoying your report.......
    I’m glad you are enjoying it. I should have a new update soon.
     

    keighttf

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 18, 2013
    5/29/18 Civitavecchia

    Today we stopped at Civitavecchia, Italy. This is the "gateway to Rome" according to the morning show on DCL. We loved watching the morning show every morning while eating our room service breakfast. We started watching the morning show some on our prior Alaska cruise and now make a point to every morning. The cruise director for this cruise was Darren McBurney. We found him to do a good job and be entertaining. He was also the cruise director on our Alaska cruise the year before.
    We of course got room service breakfast again, bagels, english muffins, cereal, juice, croissants, and coffee. We had decided to take a Disney excursion because of the distance from the port to Rome and public transportation not being right at the port.
    The excursion we took was Vactican Behind the Scenes. We met in the D lounge and then took a bus about 2 hours to the Vatican. We had a bus guide and a separate Vatican tour guide. The Vatican was very busy and very hot and humid. The were long lines outside to get in that thankfully we did not have to wait in. We went through the museum entrance and out to the grounds and walked through some of the gardens.

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    The excursion description had mentioned walking but a few in our group that were older and less mobile had difficulty and did not do the full walk through the gardens.
    We had previously visited Rome on a non-Disney land based trip a couple of years prior. We could see the hotel we stayed, the Waldorf Astoria, across the hill from the gardens. We were excited about this because that is where we got engaged.
    We then walked though part of the museum. We had gone to the Vatican on our prior visit to Rome but just to the museum and Sistine Chapel so we enjoyed some of the other parts. It was much busier than our prior visit though. We are so glad that we had gone before because it was very difficult to appreciate much this time in the museum given the large number of people there.

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    We learned that the same pope who invented the modern day calendar also had the hall of maps made for geology. My DH found this very interesting.
    This was apparently a map of the port.

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    We then visited the Sistine Chapel and moved on to St. Peter's Basilica.

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    keighttf

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 18, 2013
    5/29/18 Civitavecchia (Continued)

    We had not previously been to St. Peter's Basilica before and were impressed with the size.

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    We continued to have our Vatican tour guide here with the listener devices.

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    We saw the Pieta.

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    We saw the Swiss guard outside. It is really interesting that they all come from Switzerland not Italy.

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    After that we walked through St. Peter's Square to a gift shop. Which would be our meeting point after our free time. Of note there was not an opportunity to visit the Vatican gift shop on the way out. We did not mind this as we had previously been there but I think some people did.

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    We then had free time. We walked down the street to a cafe where we had gone on a previous trip to Rome. My DH had a coffee at the stand up bar next to a lot of priests which he thought was funny and definitely unique. He bought me an orange fanta.

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    He then walked a few blocks off the main street and found a restaurant for lunch. My DH had a ham and cheese calzone and I had a margarita pizza. We have found usually you get better food for less money a little ways a way from the tourist attractions. After lunch we stopped at a farmacia for my DH to get some deodorant. Always a mystery when it is in a different language!

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    We then meet back up at the meeting spot gift shop. From there we had a very shady walk to the bus. We were very glad we were in a group.
    The bus then did a driving tour through Rome going by Piazza Novona, Castel Sant'Angelo, and a few other sites before stopping at the Colosseum.

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    We had a small amount of free time at the Colosseum. We took even MORE pictures of the Colloseum which is a joke in our family because my DH took a ton on our first trip. We then got some gelato in the neighborhood on the side of the Colosseum opposite the Roman Forum. DH got lemon and banana and I got menthe and stracciatello. My DH says it is always a good idea to have a few euros handy. We tried to say grazie and ciao when out and about today.

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    We then rebounded the tour bus for the 1.5 hour return trip.
    Once back on the ship we stopped at the drink station and then headed to our room.
    We had dinner in Palo. As always, great food, great server, and great views.
    The antipasto was good. I like the cheese mostly. DH also likes the prosciutto and the bread is so good. We both had Coke and water to drink. DH had the fritto de calamari e gambrel (calamari and shrimp) appetizer and I got the tomato mozzarella capreze salad. Then we had the lemon sorbet palate cleanser. We both had the grilled prime beef tenderloin. I got the gorgonzola sauce and DH had the red wine sauce. The steak is always so tender! DH also got the sea scallops. For desert we both of course got the chocolate soufflé. DH got some espresso gelato to go with his. I also tried the vanilla bean panna cotta. The meal finished with the digestive (small drink).
    We then sat in Keys for a bit and listened to the piano player.
     

    keighttf

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 18, 2013
    5/30/18 Livorno

    We again started our day with room service breakfast of cereal, croissants, juice, and coffee and watched the morning show.
    Today we decided to take a DCL port adventure because we would be going far from port.
    We took an excursion to the Cinque Terre.
    Our meeting point was in the D lounge again. Then we took a bus 1.5 hours to La Spezia.
    The bus stopped at a rest stop on the way there. My DH got a coffee and couldn't believe the good quality from a roadside rest!

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    After that we boarded a boat. There were three buses from DCL that all boarded one boat. We got listening devices.

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    There were guides that talked but their microphones didn't work well. But that didn't matter.

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    The scenery looked just like pictures!

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    We first stopped in Vernazza.

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    We got what we call snack pizza. Which is the focaccia type pizza. We walked around the town for a little bit. There were so many stairs! There were also a lot of tourists.

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    We then got back on the boat and went to Monterosso.

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    We had a very short walking tour to the church and then wandered around on our own.

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    When it started to rain we had lunch in a waterfront restaurant there. This was not included in the cost of the excursion. DH had lasagna and I had ravioli. We had a glass of moscato to drink. We then took the boat back to the bus in La Spezia. The guides had bought a bunch of pizzas for a snack on the way back.

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    keighttf

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 18, 2013
    5/30/18 Livorno (Continued)

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    We then took the bus back to the port. On the way we could see the marble mines in the distance.

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    We could also see Pisa and the leaning town in the distance from the bus.

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    There was a traffic accident with a big traffic hold up. A ton of people were walking around out of their cars. We were so glad we were on a port adventure though DCL so we didn't have to worry about getting back to the ship on time.

    Back on board we stopped at the room and then went to dinner at Rapunzel's Royal Table. We started with the crisp isle of corona shrimp which was ok. DH had the romaine lettuce and hot smoked salmon salad. We both got the captain of the guards roasted prime rib of beef. For dessert we both got the warm braided apple strudel and we shared the Rapunzel's fry pan sweet bread which was kind of like a donut. DH got a coffee.
    After dinner DH got another coffee from the drink station on deck and we sat on Deck 4.
     

    keighttf

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 18, 2013
    5/31/18 Cannes

    Room service breakfast was great as usual. We had donuts, english muffins, croissants, juice, and coffee. We got to start the day a little later as we decided to go out on our own and not with a port adventure. We used the Rick Steves mediterranean cruise ports book which had great directions. We had to take a tender to the dock today but there was no waiting.

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    We then walked to the train station and took a train to Monaco. It was easy to busy tickets and was a nice clean modern train. We listened to a Rick Steves audio Europe talk on the way.

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    We then walked up to the palace following some of the walking tour that was in the Rick Steves book.
    On the way up you could see the barriers that were still up from the grand prix. These were to prevent people from watching without paying for tickets.

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    From the top you could see all the yachts in the harbor and some of the grand prix track and stands that were still up.

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    We then stopped at a Starbucks and DH got a raspberry latte and a chocolate covered donut.
    After that we took the train back to Cannes. It took about an hour.
    We stopped at a supermarket and got wine, beer, and a huge bottle of Orangina that less than $2!
    We spend some time sitting outside at a cafe and had a cappuccino, water, and bread and cheese.

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    DH then stopped at a bakery to get a chocolate croissant which he really liked.
    We took a tender back to the ship. It started to sprinkle on our way but thankfully we didn't get wet.

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    Back on board we stopped at our room and then the beverage station on deck to get a coke.
    We stopped by guest services to load some gift cards we had gotten as gifts onto our account and then sat on deck 4 while we waited for our turn to book a cruise at the future cruise planning desk.

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    We saw Cinderella walking around there.

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    We had dinner in Lumiere's that night. We really liked our serving team this cruise and think our head server was the best we had ever had.
    DH had the marinated tiger shrimp and I had the braised oxtail soup. DH also tried the oysters rockefeller on the half shell and did not like them at all. Always a good time to try something new even if you do decide you weren't missing out on it before. We had our usual drinks this cruise of coke for me and chocolate milk for DH. We both had the grilled grain fed sirloin steak and DH also got an oven baked lobster tail. For dessert we both had the raspberry vanilla creme brûlée. I also got the chocolate lava cake and DH got a coffee.
    After dinner we stopped at the room and DH had a beer we had brought earlier that day. We then went to 90s music trivia in O'gills. We did better than before getting 20/40 and were close on two others. We sat outside briefly on deck 4 after that but it was really windy so we then sat in the atrium. We think we may like to vacation on the french riviera sometime.

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    We then did two new activities for use. We went to "The Feud" game show in the D lounge and then to Donald animation drawing. DH did much better than me.
    Later we tried some of the wine we bought. We learned that muscot is not the same thing as moscato and we weren't big fans. DH did like the beer he got though.
     

    Laundress

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2011
    Thank you for taking the time to share your trip. We are rescheduled for next year. Looking forward to your next installment:flower3:
     





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