MedCruise 6/15 to 6/27/13 from California travelers

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by abayaflowers, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    So, we woke up @ 2a.m. And started on our way to SFO.

    We arrived around 4:30a.m. It seemed that hundreds of travelers were already here.

    Our checking in as well as getting through security was ok.

    Family line was good.

    We are waiting @ the gate for the plane to arrive.

    Will post again when we arrive in Newark.
  2. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    We landed in Newark, and another Disboarder is on the same flight out to BCN.

    We leave @ 7 p.m. for our final destination.
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  4. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    Flight on UA: 1st portion very turbulent where it woke everyone up and my children started panicking.

    A couple sat beside my DH who are on the same cruise and this will be their 33rd cruise.

    We arrived in BCN with everyone else who looked like they were also here for the concert.

    The airport was rather busy.

    DCL was there in full force to pick up families.

    It took us an hour to get out.

    We experienced a couple of hiccups:

    Forgot to change over to an international phone line.

    Couldn't get loose change except if we purchased something.

    Wanted to buy a Sim card, but no one could direct me until we spoke to the tourisme office.

    The tabaca shop couldnt help, because they only sell iPhone sim cards and not SIII.

    The tourism office saved us again.
    They allowed us to use the phone to call the property mgr. for our apt. checkin.

    We took a taxi... Remember cash euros. They start with an airport charge of 2,05 euros.

    We had one large suitcase and 4 carryons.

    The city was busy with all the happenings.

    Apparently, there's a festival happening in Placa de Catalunya as well.

    The apt. Is 900 sq. Ft. Free wifi, includes 3 bdrms. 2 bathrooms, kitchen, dining rm, balcony, washer dryer. 4 people 2 days for 311 euros.

    Walls are extremely THIN!

    We are resting for our pre-cruise meetup @ 7 pm. @ Renaissance.

    Will post pics and more info. Later.
  5. cforsythe

    cforsythe Mouseketeer

    May 6, 2004
    Can't wait to hear more!!! We are on the 08/31/13 cruise.;)
  6. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    We walked 15 blocks from Joan Miro park to the Renaissance to meet everyone. We were late, because we took a nap.

    It seems that we missed two families, but three other families showed up. Cindy was there. And a wonderful couple from Tennessee and Chicago.

    We did realize how late it was when we all parted ways after 9 p.m.

    Enjoyed catching up in person.

    Everyone started experiencing delays in getting here.

    One lady's luggage never showed up.

    Remember to pack extra clothes on the carryon.

    So, we headed back to get ready for our Friday.

    We are going to Parc Guell in the morning, Museu de Xocolata, meetup @ Renaissance, dinner, then magic fountain.

    We will post again tomorrow.


    Renaaissance Hotel:

    We met for the Pre-Meetup organized NZDISNEYMOM. We met families from Florida and a couple from Tennessee. Absolutely felt connected.

    TIP: Don't purchase the drinks unless you are in for a sticker shock. My DH purchased a water drink for DD10 and it cost 7 Euros.

    The lounge chairs and cushions were so comfortable. You would not want to get up.

    There's a lot of things happening along the streets. Fun Activities! It cost more to eat along La Rambla than it is to walk 3 or 4 blocks down.

    I planned to purchase a postcard from Barcelona, but never got around to buying one. I am so bummed!
  7. 2003Eeyore

    2003Eeyore Earning My Ears

    Jan 12, 2013
    I am glad you guys made it safe! I can't wait to hear all about your trip.

    Patti :)
  8. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    Everyone is up and getting ready to leave. Seems like the entire neighborhood is still asleep.

    My DD10 forgot to pack an extra pr of shorts. So, she has only 1 pr., 1skort and some dresses.

    I just couldn't believe it.
  9. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    Our day started off by going to the Arenas to get a SIM card for my unlocked SIII. It costs $20.00. Vodafona store uses Moviestar. This mall is so nice. We were there after we walked to Panet to get breakfast bread with fresh cut meat, expresso, & 2 loaves of bread.

    We then went to the metro @ Tarragona and took it to Liceu. From there La Boqueria was our goal.

    Wow! Lots of people. We walkwd around for 20 mins and buying food as we went.

    Such good food. We bought salami and watermelon. It was so good.

    Then, we walked over to Museu de la Xocolata.

    It was such a long walk along Jaume and Princessa.

    We found out that there's a car race on Sunday. So the city is preparing for more people.

    Due to flight issues and getting acustomed to time change as well as jet lag, some children couldn't make it.

    Good news is that many adults were able to take the remaining spots.

    Warning... While we, the parents were waiting for the children, we were told by the
  10. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    Sorry... Pressed the wrong button.

    We were warned that there's a pickpockter near by. They saw him loitering. So, they warned all the parents.

    Another dad and a couple who stayed behind believed that he saw the guy. He kept going in and out and appeared to look like a tourist.

    What tipped it off was that he was taking pictures of a pick pocket warning sign with a telephoto lense.

    We buckled down.

    Overall, thw children had a great time as well as the parents.

    We all parted ways and we went up to Parc Guell.

    What a trek with two tired DDs!

    We found the escalator to the top. Whew!

    But very hot!

    We brought lots of water.while we were there two policemwn were arresting all the illegal water vendors.

    We were going to go back down to the actual park where the children can play, but my DD10 was starting to melt. We went back down, but no escalator.

    If you go, just make sure you do it first thing in the morning or around 5 p.m. when it's cooler.

    Pls. Remember that it's a lot of walking.

    We took L3 back and now relaxing our tired feet before dinner.

    Will post pics as soon as I figure out how.

    Tomorrow, we will be headed to the port.
  11. poohmomof5

    poohmomof5 DIS Veteran

    Jan 3, 2007
    Thank you for the info!

    You should be on the Magic now! :)
  12. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    Sorry about the delay on the updates.

    We returned on Saturday, June 29th, 2013 and experienced a crazy amount of jet-lag and on top of it all, DH, DD13, and I came down with a sore throat and sinus infection.

    I will try to give a time-detailed trip report. :)

    If I forget any details, please let me know and I will be happy to add it in.
  13. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    • Need to pack more shorts and underwear
    • Use the press service the first day so that you do not have to fight to iron or press your clothing for the rest of the cruise
    • Use the room service - this helped us out alot especially trying to get out early to catch the train and other modes of public transportation

    Weather: nice, but sometimes humid!

    8 a.m. We had ate the loaves of breads, meats and cheeses that DH purchased the night before. We were forever happy.
    9 a.m. We all took showers and got ready to pack everything up.
    10 a.m. We looked over the apt. and waited for the property manager to show up.
    10:30 a.m. Surprise! The cleaning people showed up early. We told them to come back.
    10:50 a.m. The property manager showed up and checked us out.
    11 a.m. We moved all the luggage in the taxi (room enough for all of our 4 carry-ons and 1 big suitcase to fit in the trunk). I took a video of our taxi ride over to the port.
    11:30 a.m. We unloaded and met up with 5 cruise members who asked us what we needed to check in. Don't forget to put your DCL luggage tags on. It is important.
    11:45 a.m. We stood in line. It was very hot and humid! Remember, this is about the same time as all the shuttle buses are bringing the other passengers. So, the line was starting to wrap around the building and down the block.
    12 p.m. The DDs were very anxious. We met a family from the UK and everything seemed to go very smoothly. It took about 15 mins. to get to the front door where we had to show our signed contract and passports.
    12:15 p.m. We waited in another line. Don't forget to sign the document which asks if you or anyone in your party is sick.
    12:20 p.m. We were at the counter to receive our KTTW cards. We took an overall family picture and they eventually cropped it for each person.
    12:30 p.m. Done :)
    12:45 We were group #12. Time to use the restrooms and checkout the big warehouse full of people. Note: When we arrived in Aug 2010, it was not this crowded. There were hardly any people waiting.
    1 p.m. Our number was called and off we took our first family MedCruise pic.
    1:15 p.m. Our family name was announced and it was the greatest feeling!
    1:30 p.m. We headed up the the 9th deck so that our DDs can get something to eat at Topsiders. We bumped into a family who we met at the Chocolate Factory class that I set up for the children the day before. I enjoyed the nice conversations and company until 2:30 p.m. where we finally checked into our SR. We were 5509. Love the sideways cabin, but not the foot traffic. We had our magnets and door decorations stolen.
    2:45 p.m. We headed up to the promenade lounge to meet the other disboarders. Heard alot of the issues that many other passengers encountered. So, I thought traveling over 20 hours from our home in California to the apartment in Barcelona was long, I was completely wrong. Some families were bumped and traveled over 48 hours.
    After the meetup in the Promenade Lounge, we went back up to our SR and started to unpack.
    Then, we all went up to Deck 9 & 10 to take pictures of the Port of Barcelona. And to do some dancing for the Sail Away party!
    I have to say that the crowd was not as energetic and the previous MedCruise 2010. I also noticed that there not as many children onboard. One of the Crew Members mentioned that there are 400 less children onboard this cruise.
    With that being said, this did not deter our family from dancing along with having the beautiful donated Caesar Gold Laurel crowns and the red and blue streamer sticks.
    We also had these beautiful blue handkerchieves from the FEs. We were so happy.
    After this was finished, DD10 checked into the lab and I had to register her. DD13 decided to watch a show with her new friend& wonderful young children on this ship. All the children and young adults were polite.

    I decided to finish unpacking and DH went to look around the ship. As I unpacked, I noticed that I couldn't find DH's formal and semi-formal pants. REALLY! So, I told him and planned to purchase pants in our next two ports, if possible.

    TIP: Remember to pack formal and/or semi-formal pants for DH.

    We finally met up around 7:45 p.m. so that we can all go to dinner together. We were waiting downstairs on Deck 3 for Lumiere's to open up. DD10 was thirsty and asked a crew member, who was serving paid cocktails near the Guest Services, for a cup of ice water. He told me to wait so that he can tally up his sales. Really!!!

    So, after waiting 5 mins. and DD10 complained more, I told my husband to go to Deck 9 and get her something. I have called Disney to complain about this non-Disney experience. I didn't want to complain there, because we were waiting for dinner and everyone was hungry.

    Our family was paired up with an family from Ohio. What a wonderful family! We got to know them really well and enjoyed their company and conversation.
    We found out that the Ohio mom forgot her expensive camera on the plane and couldnt get it out of the secured area, because there was only one person with the key to the locked lockers. Note: This one person went home for the weekend!
    So, she had to purchase a digital camera from the Neward airport. Not the same, but she was so upset.
    Our families and children had similar interests and we knew that it was going to be a fun dinner every night.
    After dinner (around 10:30/11 p.m.), I had to do some laundry because we only had clothing to last us 3 days. I wished that I packed more shorts and underwear for everyone. One can always purchase shirts/tops anywhere. I met two other families who were also doing laundry. There was a woman whos from Colorado Springs, CO who got stuck with the terrible washer and dryer which took her until 3 a.m. to finish her laundry.
    I finished at about 1:30 a.m.

    Note: Two of Deck 6 washers & dryers were not working properly. Then, I went to Deck 7 and one washer & dryer was not working properly.

    We had a very challenging experience when trying to wash our clothing in the portable washer in Barcelona. It took over 9 hours to do one load& SERIOUSLY!

    Then, off to bed. WHEW!
  14. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    It's Father's Day and DD10 surprised him with a home-made card. We kept it up next to the mirror in our room.

    I ordered room service for the family: Donuts, coffee with 1/2 & 1/2, fruit loops, croissants, and cinnamon rolls. It arrived at 5:30 a.m. Surprised everyone in the cabin. Remember, room service is free. However, I did tip in Euros.

    I scheduled a Mickey wake-up call everyday. DDs hated this, because they wanted to sleep in.

    DH took some time getting up, get a cup of coffee, and off he went up to Deck 9 & 10 to take pictures of when the ship reach the port of VilleFranche-Sur-Mer. I wanted to take a shower, because I knew that it was going to be hot and humid. I didn't want to feel yucky on the return back from our DIY excursion into Monaco.

    Here we had to tender into the port.
    Just as beautiful as I remembered it. We were late in getting off the ship, because we had to wait in the Theater on Deck 5 to get a spot on the Tender. Well! This was chaotic and everyone’s nerves were started to get fried. We had to wait almost 50 mins. to finally get to the Tender.

    DD13 received a nice Nikon camera for Christmas and we purchased a new lense for her graduation gift. So, she went up with DH and took pics. After we docked, DD10 played a little ping-pong with DH. :)

    We finally got on the tender @ 9:30 a.m. A 45 mins. wait. I don't know what happened, but a lot of people in the Theater who were looking to DIY excursions were pretty irritated. We were to meet-up with Double Trouble, but we were behind.

    The crew member Shiree handled the heated tempers very well. We did the wave for 10 mins until we left for the Tender.

    We were headed to Monaco (DIY). So, we were not worried about missing any type of excursion. Once we arrived in the tourism office, I made everyone use the WC facilities. My DDs were complaining about the smell in the bathroom, but I just know that these were going to be the nicest ones that we were going to encounter.
    After the brief stop, we took our time walking along the water to the the Train Station. No-one seemed to be up and about in the town (This was about 10:30 a.m.). We purchased our tickets at the Station and were notified by all the police and Station officials that pick-pocketers are out in force. They told us to hold on tight to our belongings and make sure that everything is zipped up. 2nd time on our trip when we were told about the issues.

    Note: we never encountered any issues previously or during the cruise or any of the port excursions.

    Our train ride was about 20 mins. We bumped into the same family from Colorado Springs, CO at the train station. They were so nice. We took the train together until we arrived at Monte Carlo.
    They had the Rick Steves’ book and we were just enjoying the sites. It was getting hot and humid.
    However, we took the escalator and then walked over to the elevators. Then, walked up the steps and turned left onto the streets. We walked for about 15 mins., took some pics, and then parted ways. Our families had different ideas of our visit which was ok. They were so nice and fun!
    Monte Carlo is absolutely gorgeous. It reminded me of Beverly Hills but on steriods and on the water.
    Eventually, we found some gelato and the fun began for the DDs. We walked along to more shops that was attached to the Casino. Everyone was smoking so it was hard for us to sit and enjoy the “fresh air”. My DDs and I have asthma so this was not going to work.
    We walked along towards the casino and all the shops were closed. So, we continued walking until I found WIFI. Yes, I had to check into work.
    Then, we encountered a sign that said “McDonald’s”. Personally, I never eat at McD’s, but I had to see it.
    There’s a sign that will point you the way… By the way, the entire town was getting ready for Formula 1 racing.
    Inside McD’s, there were electronic kiosk to preorder your food in whatever language you like.
    But, we wanted to pay in Euros and to experience the Monte Carlo McD’s way.
    So, I ordered an ice tea, bottled water, and chicken nuggets. You would think that I could not go wrong.
    I was terribly wrong… the chicken nuggets tasted like cardboard and the ketchup was eek! My DDs took a pic of me, because I never eat at McD’s.
    The icetea was not regular. It had a berry taste. I pawned it off to my DD13. My DH ordered a machiatto from the bar. Yes, a espresso bar.
    The bathrooms were interesting. Same level around to the left of the elevators. The toilet stalls were dark. There are no paper towels.
    Then, off we went to find the bus to get to the Castle. It cost 2 Euros for each person, except my DD10 was free. We were there in 10 mins. Air-conditioned. Nice!
    Then, we got off the bus stop and walked up this beautiful path. We decided not to take the stairs, because we wanted to make it the castle with the humid feeling.
    Took more pics along the way. Beautiful scenary! We finally got up to the Castle from the bus stop in 20 mins. I felt like that we were participating in Amazing Races! We took some windy narrow streets and finally encountered the Castle. By the way, more beautiful people/couples dining for lunch in the small side cafes/restaurants.
    Once we arrived, it was so neat! One thing that stuck out was an addition to the Castle (all in Yellow) that was grey and appeared like a bad Castle addition/renovation.
    In front of the Castle was a guard who paced back and forth.
    There were the guards and police all around.
    We bumped into several DCL port excursion bus passengers.
    We spent approximately 30 mins. here and then off we went to find more gelato and the way back to the train.
    Through a passage way and many steps down, DH wanted to go down to the waterfront and back up to the train station. I told him that once we get down there, he won’t be able to get the DDs back up the hill.
    So, he said “Why don’t you lead the way!”. We crossed the street and turned left. My GPS wouldn’t work on my SIII. So, I winged it, by turning right into this clean alley/walkway. There’s an entrance to the left that pointed to the trains. I knew that we were very far. It was so hot and humid!
    Any shade at this point was very welcomed!
    Lo-and-behold! We found the tunnel, marble, air-conditioned with a conveyor walk way. We were the only family down there.
    What a nice surprise! It led us back directly to the train station.

    BIG TIP: Find the map to the tunnels once you leave the train. It leads directly to the casino and back to the Castle as well as the train station. It's air-conditioned.

    The ride back was quiet. Not as many people. It took about 15 mins. and we slowly walked back.
    We found another gelato place 2 euros for a scoop on a waffle cone.
    Then, back to the tourism office to download more emails and answer work.
    Tendering back to the ship was easy.

    On a side note, I started to develop an allergic reaction to the recycled/treated water on board as well as the towels. My hands developed a severe case of eczema. So, I recommend those who are as sensitive as myself to request and ask about the chemicals used to treat the water and towels. My hands looked so swollen and so raw. It started to go away as soon as I lathered my hands in vaseline and not use the towels. My body started to get the same reaction. I spoke to the Guest Services. Couldn’t help me with my issue. There was no cortizone on board. Just vaseline (saved my hands). By the way, it all went away as soon as I took a shower in our home in California and next day… 75% back to normal. I have never experienced this before on the DCL especially on the MedCruise (our 2nd with Disney Magic

    Ok, back to the ship. We took showers and the DDs were off again with their new friends at the Lab and other shows.
    DH and I took some time to take a quick nap and regroup. We met up with our new dining room family. It was so nice to have dinner with them.

    After dinner, we left and I forced all the DDs to go straight to bed, because the next day was La Spezia.
    Again, we ordered room service to be delivered at 5:30 a.m. and I had put an order out for our clothing to be pressed. Was so great!

    By the way, our magnets were starting to disappear. So, I spoke to guest services. They mentioned that it was probably teenagers and they are so sorry.

    Lost the magnets that we made our cruise. Our neighbor SR5513 had their FE bag and magnets stolen, too!

    So, we left a note on our door to have them returned. We never saw them again. It was sad for the DDs, because they worked so hard.
  15. Stimpy

    Stimpy <font color=red>Is a WONDERFUL Mommy! The TF says

    Apr 23, 2002
    So sorry to hear about the magnets & your neighbors stuff being stolen!! That really stinks :(

    Thanks for mentioning about the smoking. I also have asthma which isn't bad but it is aggravated by smoke. I hardly worry about it anymore around here since smoking in public places isn't that common anymore. Great reminder!
  16. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
  17. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    Yes, it was challenging. Please remember to bring your inhalers and allergy medicine.
  18. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    Medication: Wow! I did not realize that I would have a severe allergic reaction to the laundry detergent used for the linens and towels; and the recycled water on the ship. So, pack cortizone & antibiotics for, just in case, a sinus infection which I came down with on the last two days of the 12-night cruise.

    Wipes - unscented - to clean your shoes when you return from excursion, wipe your hands when eating out the delicious foods, cleaning seats on a train in Italy, etc. Yes, I am a germ-a-phobe.

    Compact extension cord - it's very compact. square for several USB extensions. Extension cords are confiscated on the ship.

    More t-shirts and tank tops - it was so hot and humid. YUCK! I didn't like spending over 2 hours each time I needed to do laundry. Rather pay for the extra luggage weight.

    Scent-free detergent - $2 a box to purchase on-board detergent.

    Unlocked international phone or international plan with data.

    Need a pillow - I was not fond of the feather pillows. Need a firm one.

    More pjs - again hated to waste my time on laundry when I could be enjoying a show, playing bingo, or singing karaoke.

    More chewable dramamine - there were a couple of days on the ship where the boat was rocking. The day at Sea before we were scheduled to Disembark in Barcelona (June 26th), I was so sea sick. I barely could even pack. I took Dramamine and it was ok.

    Download more movies for the DDs on the iPad and other portable device for the 11 hr. non-stop flight from UK to SFO & the 22 travel time from Los Gatos, CA to BCN. Wow! We made it!

    More dresses and or skirts. I felt underdressed especially at dinner. There much more adults than children on this cruise.

    Bigger shampoo, leave-in-conditioner bottles - the small travel size ran out 1/2 way in the cruise.

    Hair-dryer - the bathroom dryer was not working too well for me and I have short hair.

    Lamisil - really!
  19. Cousin Orville

    Cousin Orville Inventor of Air Cooling

    Aug 27, 2000
    I'm enjoying reading your trip report. Thanks for posting. Sorry to hear about your magnets being stolen. I know how frustrating that is.
  20. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    So, I thought that this would be a great tool. It was, but DH and I were so paranoid about losing them.

    It came to a point when I would ask where the wave phones were everytime DDs walked in.

    So, here is what I wrote down in my journal so that the DDs can use it without trying to find the 2" x 3" tip sheet left on dresser.

    If you need to call another wave phone:
    1. Pick up the wave phone.
    2. Press OK.
    3. Press OK again.
    4. Press the top left button. I will try to upload the pic later on.
    5. Enter the SR # with either a 1 or 2. This references which Wave Phone the person is holding.
    6. Then, press the green button to call.
    7. Press the red button to end the call or hang up.

    To dial a SR, enter 41 then the SR# and the corresponding wave phone #:

    e.g. 4155092

    Hope this helps.
  21. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2008
    This was our most exciting DIY port. We had some type of idea of what we wanted to do and visit: Cinque Terre. I knew that we needed to purchase train tickets.

    We ran into a wonderful Florida family. We miss them already!

    We took the tender into town.

    Here are specific directions:

    Once you leave the tender boat, turn left onto the stone path/road/walkway. There will be vendors setting upon the right of this road.

    You will continue walking until the path ends, turn right (cross-over 2 - busy streets - Viale Italia).

    Continue walking North-West onto Via Armado Diaz. The carousel and park will be on your right.

    You will cross Via Domenico Chiodo. Via Armado Diaz will turn into Via Del Prione that will take you into the little shopping area.

    Via Del Prione will become Via Fiume (take the right fork in the road).

    Continue take the right-fork in the road. Via Fiume will become Piazzale del Stazione.

    Go to the window and ask to purchase Cinque Terre cards. If you have children, purchase the children's tickets. They will need to know the ages of the children.

    Then, look to the monitor or schedule to find out which track you will need to get.

    The fast train to Monterosso was packed. I am assuming the slow train is not as packed, because it stops at every town.

    We took our time in getting to the train station, because we took a lot of pics.

    It will normally take 10-15 mins. without pics along the way to get to the train station (La Spezia C. Stazione).

    This was one of our favorite excursions.

    Again, I felt that we were on Amazing Races show without the cameras.

    DDs loved the towns.

    I will try to go into more detail with each town.

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