S: Disney Magic Mediterranean Cruise: Spain, France and Italy. August 3-13, 2011
BC: AKL/May 11, 2013
FC: A Disney Mediterranean Cruise Adventure August 3rd to 13th, 2011
1: Itinerary 08/03/2011: Depart Baltimore 08/04/2011: Arrive Barcelona 08/05/2011: Barcelona, Spain 08/06/2011: Embark 08/07/2011: VilleFranche, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco 08/08/2011: La Spezia, Italy; Pisa, Italy 08/09/2011: Civitavecchia, Italy; Rome, Italy 08/10/2011: Naples, Italy; Sorrento, Italy; Amalfi Coast 08/11/2011: Day at Sea 08/12/2011: Palma de Mallorca--CANCELLED; Barcelona, Spain 08/13/2011: Disembarkation. Depart Spain for U.S.A.
2: The day has finally arrived! August 3, 2011 We headed off to the airport to catch our first plane, British Airways flight 228 at 920pm bound for London Heathrow. The plane was on time and we were very excited to get going! In about 7 1/2 hours we'd be in London!
3: We did what we could to pass the time, eat, drink, watch movies and sleep. Some of us slept better than others. We arrived in London about 930am London time (430am Baltimore time). We had about an hour and a half until our next flight. We were ready to go!
4: LONDON, England | When we landed we were STARVING! We tried to grab breakfast but quickly realized our flight was closing and the gate was far! We RAN! Luckily, we made it! | Unfortunately, we didn't actually have time to SHOP at Harrod's!
5: On Our Way! | The 2 hour flight to Barcelona seemed like a few moments after the long ride to London! We landed in Barcelona, Spain at about 220pm on Thursday, August 3, 2011.
6: Welcome To BARCELONA, SPAIN | Thursday, August 4, 2011
7: L a S a g r a d a F a m i l i a
8: La Sagrada Familia | The Sagrada Família, is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. | Construction commenced in 1882 and completion is anticipated in 2026. The Church will have three grand facades: the Nativity facade to the East, the Passion facade to the West, and the Glory facade to the South (yet to be completed). The three entrances symbolize the three virtues: Faith, Hope and Love
9: La Sagrada Familia is actually part of the Eixample neighborhood. Eixample is mostly known for its modernist architecture, also called Art Noveau. At junctions, the buildings were placed at a 45 angle making for greater visibility and permitting carts to stop and unload without blocking traffic. | Anyone who drinks from the fountain will return to Barcelona!
10: Gran Foc Restaurant | Located at Roger de Lluria, 23 - 08010 Barcelona, this restaurant was directly across the street from our hotel. Foc means fire in Catalan and this restaurant was warm and inviting. Outstanding strawberry sangria was enjoyed outside on our first night. Bryn and Zach loved the chocolate fondue and nachos. The food was great and the atmosphere was exactly what we were looking for.
11: By our second night Zach was too tired for dinner. He ate ice cream instead and then was so wound up he jumped on the bed! | Mango Sangria
12: IL CAFFE DI FRANCESCO | Our favorite little breakfast place! Fresh squeezed orange juice, cappuccino, and the best pastries!
14: Passeig de Gracia is both one of the major avenues in Barcelona (Spain) and also one of its most important shopping and business areas. It is located in the central part of Eixample. Passeig de Gracia is the most expensive street in Barcelona. | La Rambla is the most famous street in Barcelona. The wide boulevard connects the Placa de Catalunya, a busy square, with the Columbus Monument and the city's waterfront. The often crowded street is popular with tourists and locals alike. The middle part of the Rambla is pedestrianized and bordered by trees. Kiosks, flower stalls and street artists are in abundance here. Traffic passes on either side of the pedestrian area.
15: Las Ramblas Friday, August 5, 2011
16: St. Josep La Boqueria Rambla, 91 08001 Barcelona
17: La Boqueria is a gastronomic temple, a place that congregates all the phases in the food chain, from the producers, harvesters, butchers and fishmongers who provide the food, to the individual and professional clients who wander through this magnificent, characteristic maze of traders in charge of the market stalls.
18: Mercat de la Boqueria
19: We saw very interesting an unique foods here. Sheep heads, brains, beautiful fruit and unusual fish.
21: La Rambla | La Rambla is a street in central Barcelona, popular with tourists and locals alike. A tree-lined pedestrian mall, it stretches for 1.2 kilometers between Barri Gotic and El Raval, connecting Placa de Catalunya in the centre with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. La Rambla can be considered a series of shorter streets, each differently named, hence the plural form Les Rambles (the original Catalan form; in Spanish it is Las Ramblas). Things you may find on La Rambla include human statues, kiosks selling anything from souvenirs to birds, street performers, a good old Starbucks and maybe even a pickpocket or two!
22: Barri Gotic The Gothic Quarter
23: The Barri Gotic is the centre of the old City of Barcelona. Despite several changes undergone in the 19th and early 20th century, many of the buildings date from Medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona.
24: Anton Gaudi, Barcelona’s renowned art nouveau artist/architect, designed this surreal Casa Battlo.
25: Placa Catalunya the Square of Catalonia, the link of Barcelona, where all roads start. From here one can practically go anywhere, by means of taxis, the tourist bus, metro or by some of the most important public bus-routes in the city. Here is where some of the most prestigious shops can be visited, also some of the most modern ones.
26: Placa de Catalunya | Placa de Catalunya is a large square in central Barcelona that is generally considered to be both its city centre and the place where the old city and the 19th century built Eixample meet.
27: The plaza occupies an area of about 50,000 square metres. It is especially known for its fountains and statues, its proximity to some of Barcelona's most popular attractions, and for the flocks of pigeons that gather in the centre.
28: Spending some Euros!
29: El Corte Ingles
30: Saturday, August 6, 2011 Embarkation Day!! | Hotel Roger de LLuÃºria Barcelona Roger de LluÃºria, 28 08010 Barcelona EspaÃ±na
32: P O R T O F | P O R T O F | Barcelona, Spain
33: We arrived at the port about an hour or so early to be sure we had plenty of time. We were given boarding group numbers and sat and waited to get the cruise started.
34: While we waited we got set up with the kids club, we got to meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse and we got our excitement into full swing. | Embarkation Day! August 6, 2011
36: FINALLY, Our boarding call! | The ship is just a few steps away! we can't wait!! | Right after boarding we went to the dining room for lunch!
37: Our cabin | The Castaway Club gifts
41: Away Party
44: Anchors Away
45: Rise and Shine! | We have woken up along the coastline of the South of France! We started the day with breakfast in the main dining room.
46: We woke up as we were sailing into the port of VilleFranche, France. It was chilly but so calming to listen to the water as we slowly sailed toward our destination. The sun rose over the mountains in the distance, revealing the beautiful colors of the coastal town.
48: Sunday, August 7, 2011 First Port
50: PORT | OF | VilleFranche-sur-Mer, France
53: But there's this one particular harbor, so far but yet so near Where I see the days as they fade away... Finally disappear. -Jimmy Buffett
54: To visit Villefranche, we had to tender to shore.
55: We were excited to reach land and see what the south of France was all about! From shore, it was beautiful!
56: Disney Magic
57: Villefranche-sur-Mer adjoins the city of Nice to the east and 6.2 miles south west of Monaco. The bay of Villefranche is one of the deepest natural harbors of any port in the Mediterranean Sea. | Villefranche-sur-Mer is in the Cote d'Azur. The Disney Magic anchored in the harbor and tendered us to a small terminal in the heart of Villefranche-sur-Mer.
58: Villefranche-sur-Mer sparkles on the French Riviera with the Alps in the background and nearby the famous resorts of Nice and Cannes.
62: The port of Villefranche is officially named “Port de la Santé”
63: The mousse au chocolat that gave Zach hives.
65: Villefranche Historic District | The Chapelle St-Pierre a 14th-century Romanesque chapel is in the distance of the stairs above.
70: Fort St Elme is the citadel'of Villefranche-sur-Mer, overlooking the harbor. Completed in 1561, today it houses city hall, public gardens and a couple of art museums.To protect the County of Nice from invaders, the Duke of Savoy had the Citadel built in the 16th century.
71: Next stop (by bus): MONTE CARLO, MONACO
77: Monte Carlo
79: Monte Carlo is an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco. Monte Carlo is widely known for its casino and its prominence. The Opéra de Monte-Carlo or Salle Garnier was built by the architect Charles Garnier as an exact replica in miniature of the Paris Opera House. The auditorium of the opera house is decorated in red and gold and has frescoes and sculptures all around the auditorium. | The pepper tree is indigenous to this area. The acacia-like leaves and pendant clusters of red berries over hang the walkway leading to the Opéra de Monte-Carlo. Rubbing a berry between your fingers smelled like black pepper.
80: Hotel de Paris MONTE CARLO Place du Casino 98000 Monaco Monte-Carlo, Monaco 98 06 30 00
82: The Monte Carlo Casino is owned and operated by the Société des bains de mer de Monaco, a public company in which the Monaco government and the ruling family have a majority interest. | CASINO MONTE CARLO
85: The life of the rich and famous!
87: Out and about in Monte Carlo
88: CAFE de PARIS Brasserie le Café de Paris Place du Casino MC 98000 Monaco
89: The road of the Grand Prix de Monaco!
92: Cool Cars in Monte Carlo!
94: The race is held on a narrow course laid out in the streets of Monaco, with many elevation changes and tight corners as well as a tunnel, making it one of the most demanding tracks in Formula One. In spite of the relatively low average speeds, it is a dangerous place to race.
95: The Monaco Grand Prix | The Monaco Grand Prix (French: Grand Prix de Monaco) is a Formula One race held each year on the Circuit de Monaco. Run since 1929, it is widely considered to be one of the most important and prestigious automobile races in the world. The circuit has been called "an exceptional location of glamour and prestige."
97: The Rock of Monaco (French: Rocher de Monaco) is a 141 meter (459 foot) tall monolith on the Mediterranean coast of the Principality of Monaco. | T H E R O C K | The Rock is in the oldest of Monaco's four quarters, Monaco-Ville, which is also the location of Old Town, the oldest part of the city. The Prince's Palace home of the current monarch, Albert II, the Cathedral, and the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.
98: The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco (Oceanographique de Monaco) Avenue Saint-Martin 98000 Monaco
99: Monaco, officially the Principality of Monaco, is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by France and is about 9 miles from Italy. Monaco is the second smallest country in the world. The old city on a rocky promontory extending into the Mediterranean, known as the Rock of Monaco.
100: Cathédrale Notre-Dame-Immaculée Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception | The burial places of past sovereigns, including Prince Rainier and Princess Grace.
102: The Prince's Palace of Monaco is the official residence of the Prince of Monaco. Built in 1191 as a Genoese fortress, during its long and often dramatic history it has been bombarded and besieged by many foreign powers. | Prince's Palace of Monaco
104: Crepe au chocolat
105: Shopping in Monaco
106: It was a long day, Zach got an allergic reaction to chocolate mousse, we walked a ton and toured around Monaco, but it was great!
107: Au Revoir France!
109: Anchors Away!
110: La Spezia, Italia | (La "Spet-see-uh") | Monday, August 8,2011
111: 'girasoli' | Beautiful sunflowers of Tuscany!
112: Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy.
113: Above/Right: Palazzo della Carovana (also Palazzo dei Cavalieri) is a palace in Knights' Square, Pisa, Italy, presently housing the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. Left: The Marble Quarries along the drive from La Spezia to Pisa
114: Arno River
115: Del Ponte di Quartiere of Pisa, Italy: | The Bridge is the Ponte di Mezzo: this bridge is the place where the "Gioco del Ponte" takes place
116: Cittadella Medicea with its Torre Guelfa (Guelph Tower): this red brick building with the high tower (from which you can enjoy an amazing view over the centre of Pisa) is what remains of the old Republican Arsenal of Pisa originally called Tersanaia. This tower is lit on the day of the Luminara by a fall of red fireworks as if it was on fire to remember the Florentine assault. The white statue in the garden is called "La porta della Sapienza" (the Knowledge Gate) and was put there on the 650th anniversary of the founding of the University of Pisa.
119: Name : Tower of Pisa, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Bell Tower of Pisa Italian Name: Torre Pendente di Pisa Location: City of Pisa, Italy. Construction: started in 1173, finished in 1399 Original Height: 60 m Actual Height: 56.67m - highest side 55,86m - lowest side Stairs: 297 steps
121: The Square of Miracles | Duomo, the medieval cathedral
123: Torre di Pisa
128: The Baptistery, dedicated to St. John the Baptist
130: McCafe was very different from ours. TINY coffee drinks and incredible desserts. Much more like a real cafe.
131: McDonald's Ristorante Italia | A quick snack at the McDonald's around the corner from the tower.
140: Pinocchio was from Tuscany! | The town of Pisa was adorable and the road home through the Tuscany Region of Italy was breathtaking!
141: Beautiful Tuscany
144: When we returned to the ship we got lunch and enjoyed the beautiful view!
145: Bryn enjoying a gift from room service, chocolate covered strawberries!
147: Civitavecchia, Italia (siv-it-uh-veck-E-uh) The Port of Rome August 9, 2011 | Fontana dell'Acqua Paola
148: The Fontana dell'Acqua Paola sits on a high point on the Janiculum Hill and offers splendid vistas of the city and its domes. It's considered one of the most romantic spots in Rome.
149: The Fontana dell'Acqua Paola also known as Il Fontanone ("The big fountain") is a monumental fountain located on the Janiculum Hill, near the church of San Pietro in Montorio, in Rome, Italy. It was built in 1610-12 to mark the end of the Acqua Paola acqueduct, restored by Pope Paul V, and took its name from him. It was the first major fountain on the left bank of the River Tiber. | Via Garibaldi, 35, Rome
150: The Colosseum
152: It was amazing to see something so old and big right in the middle of a city!
153: The Colosseum is an elliptical amphitheatre in the center of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire, built of concrete and stone.
158: We had perfect weather to explore this amazing area. We couldn't believe how big The Colosseum was! We walked all of the way around.
160: Of course you can't go home without a miniature Colosseum!
162: These are the ruins of ancient government buildings.
163: Foro Romano (The Roman Forum)
166: Piazza del Campidoglio, on the top of Capitoline Hill, with the facde of Palazzo Senatorio. | The Capitoline Hill
167: The Campidoglio ("capitol")
168: Fontana del Moro Located at the southern end of the Piazza Navona, the fountain represents a Moor, or African standing in a conch shell, wrestling with a dolphin, surrounded by four Tritons. It is placed in a basin of rose-colored marble.
169: Piazza Navona
170: The Piazza Navona is beautiful. Everything about it seemed Italian. The fountains were so impressive. It was hard to believe we were here.
172: A can of coke was 4.50 euros or $5.85
173: Gelato! Even though it was 10am we had to sample this delicious Italian treat! | We got a cup of gelato to share, Zach was mad because he thought it was all for him. | A street performer
174: Pantheon | Piazza della Rotonda. | Pantheon is an ancient Greek composite word meaning All Gods. The ancient Roman writer Cassius Dio speculated that the name comes either from the statues of so many gods placed around this building or from the resemblance of the dome to the heavens.
176: The light from the oculus moves around this space in a sort of reverse sundial effect.
177: The Pantheon dome. The concrete for the coffered dome was poured in molds, probably mounted on temporary scaffolding. The oculus is the main source of natural light. | The interior of the dome was possibly intended to symbolize the arched vault of the heavens.
182: Fontana di Trevi | A traditional legend holds that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome.
184: We each took our turn tossing a coin into the fountain over our right shoulder. You had to fight big crowds to get right up from but we did it!
187: Spanish Steps Piazza di Spagna, Rome
188: L'Insalata Ricca Ristorante | We had a wonderful lunch in Rome. Our tour guide dropped us off and gave us time to enjoy pasta, pizza and salad. The Italian bread is made without salt and was different from home. The food was all delicious!
190: St. Peter's Square, the basilica and obelisk
191: Stato della Citta del Vaticano | Vatican City
192: It was very hot in St. Peter's Square. We skipped the long line to see the Sistine Chapel.
193: Pope Benedict XVI was at his summer home during our visit.
194: Visitors headed toward the Vatican | Just outside of the Vatican.
195: All good things must come to an end. We finished our day with delicious gelato! Green Apple, nutella, chocolate chip, and chocolate. | Next port of call: Napoli | Arrivederci Roma
196: Naples was loaded with trash and a scary town. Luckily we just drove through! | Benvenuti a Napoli | August 10, 2011
197: Mt. Vesuvius
198: The drive to Sorrento was incredibly breathtaking! With the mountains on one side and the Mediterranean on the other, it was hard to pick where to look next. Our bus driver even pulled over for us to get some pictures.
199: Destination: Sorrento
201: Today we separated. Chuck went on a separate trip to the Amalfi Coast while the the ladies and kids went to Sorrento.
202: Sorrento, Italy
203: Sorrento is an incredibly adorable, quaint little town. The main road had nice little shops including a wonderful perfume shop, Carthusia. .....
204: Lemons bigger than you could ever imagine!
206: Delicious lemon Granita | Limoncello
208: Traditional Italian Market
209: While walking around the streets of Sorrento we stumbled upon a cute little market with looking delicious cheeses.
213: Beautiful Sorrento
214: More of the beauty of Southern Italy
216: Shopping in Sorrento | Sorrento is known for 'Cameo Jewelry'
219: Before we left Sorrento, our tour included a snack of olives, cookies and a soda or chocolate mousse. | Fauno Bar Corso Italia Piazza Tasso, 80067 Sorrento, Italy
220: And so we head back to the Port of Naples...
221: From one end of the ship we overlook the city of Naples, Italy...and the other we see Mt. Vesuvius.
222: Back on the ship! Enjoying the incredible scenery of Mt. Vesuvius from the ship after enjoying a delicious lunch.
223: P O M P E I I | Pompeii is a ruined and partially buried Roman town-city near modern Naples and Caserta in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the commune of Pompeii. Along with Herculaneum, its sister city, Pompeii was destroyed, and completely buried, during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in AD 79. | Chuck took an all day tour along the Amalfi Coast which began here.
226: Ruins of Pompeii
229: Positano, Italia | The name Positano, is linked to a legend. In ancient times, a Turkish boat became beached just off the shores of what has since come to be known as Positano. Aboard the ship there was a painting of the Virgin Mary. The captain heard the painting whisper "posa, posa" ('set me down, set me down') and, obediently, threw the image into the sea. Miraculously, the ship floated. The locals built a Church on the spot where the painting washed ashore, interpreting the episode as a sign that the Virgin had chosen their town as resting place.
230: An authentic Italian lunch on the Mediterranean in Positano | Ristorante Covo Dei Saraceni
231: Headed toward the isle of Capri
232: The Amalfi Coast
233: Boating along the beautiful Amalfi coastline on the way to the isle of Capri. The water was crystal blue and the spray felt nice to cool the warm Mediterranean sun. The views were breathtaking!
234: Isle of Capri
235: The beautiful views from the top required a ride on the funicular. The steep ride took just three minutes through lemon groves but the lines for the ride were long.
236: Funicolare di Capri
241: Our Day at Sea! August 11, 2011
242: Enjoying the ship!
243: Bryn took a class to learn how to fold towels into different shapes!
244: Back to Barcelona August 12, 2011 | A transportation strike meant our ship had to bypass our last port, Palma de Mallorca. Instead we headed back to Barcelona one day early and did some final sightseeing.
245: Bryn opted to stay on the ship and enjoy the kids activities.
246: Out and about in Barcelona, Spain
248: The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, also known as Barcelona Cathedral, is the Gothic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona, Spain. | Catedral de Barcelona
249: Adios Espana
250: Disney Magic
252: Mickey Bars!!!
253: Mickey bars were on the dessert menu every night. Zach was determined to get his money's worth! | He ate TEN!!!
255: Pirates in the Mediterranean | Dressed as pirates, we celebrated with a deck party! The fireworks were postponed due to winds.
256: Fun on the Magic | Zach's trip to the infirmary
258: Bryn had her hair braided on the ship by a very nice woman from Trinidad. It turned out GREAT! | Hair Braiding
259: It was always fun to get dressed up for dinner. You never knew who you may run into or how sleepy you may get!
260: We had a formal dress night as we sailed away from Naples. Also this evening was kids karaoke night and Bryn stood in front of a crowd of people and sang, "It's a Small World!" She did great!
261: Formal Night
262: 'Til We Meet Again | Tonight was our final night on board!
263: Bryn decided that she would order all of the desserts on the menu to celebrate her last dinner on the ship!
267: Our time on the Disney Magic and in Europe went so quickly. We will always remember the wonderful trip along the Mediterranean!
268: Dessert, Milk and Cookies before bed! The 'midnight' dessert buffet was a special treat, but the room service cookies and chocolate milk at bedtime really hit the spot. What a wonderful end to a wonderful vacation!
269: Now it's time to say goodbye, to all our company... M-I-C...See Ya Real Soon K-E-Y...Why because we like you! M-O-U-S-E! | August 13, 2011
270: Our journey began at the El Prat airport in Barcelona, Spain. Since we had some time to wait for our first flight to London, we had a final SPANISH meal...at McDonald's! | Our flight to London was less than 2 hours. We'd have to wait nearly 3 hours for our flight home to Baltimore.
271: We had a 'delicious' meal on our British Airways flight and SOME of us even caught a catnap!