S: Mediterranean Cruise - Disney Magic - 2011
FC: Mediterranean Cruise Disney Magic June 29 - July 11, 2011
1: Here we go! The Eastern Mediterranean in 12 days!
2: The Disney Magic! | Our home away from home!
4: Malta - July 1
6: More of Malta
7: Palermo - July 2
9: Shipboard Sights
12: Ancient Pompeii -July 3
15: Naples Archeology museum - art from pompeii (ooh! naughty!)
16: ROME - July 4
20: Vatican City
22: Back on board!
23: Florence - July - 5
24: Florence is full of amazing art
25: The Bargello - surprisingly empty and serene!
27: corsica - july 6 (hanging out in Bocagnano)
28: more Corsica | new friends - Michelle & Jocelyn and our dining team: Liam, Nestor and Ricky
29: nice and Monaco - july 7
30: Farewell to the magic! last day at sea - July 8
31: Barcelona | July 9-10
33: Barcelona - A Bustling, Vibrant City full of amazing architecture & great food!
34: cathedral of the sea
35: Park Guell - A Gaudi masterpiece
38: June 28 Flew JFK to BCL June 29 Arrived bcl - Disney transfer to ship Spent day on board exploring ship. Muster. As soon as we got on j got into his swimsuit and tried out the waterslide. And pool. Then oceaneer lab and club. Welcome show in wd theater hosted by Peter, our Swiss cruise director. Dinner at parrot cay. Met Ricky,Nestor, Liam - our dining team. Table mates: Barbara Stoffel, her mom, Jane. Girls Michelle and Jocelyn, and stepson Chris. Really nice family. Barbara is also a school librarian. Husband was an independent contractor killed in Iraq. Our houseboy is Tri. Jacob fell asleep on the floor at dinner. June 30 - day at sea Lots of swimming, and oceaneer center, quarter mast arcade, talks by ca professor glen dolberg about Pompeii and Florence. J and k saw tangled. Show was twice charmed. Of course the black actor played the villain. Dinner at Lumiere's. Much time spent in cove cafe area enjoying the peace and iced coffee. July 1 - Malta Off the ship early for Malta excursion. Short bus ride to Valetta, capital city. Visited palace and walked to st John co-cathedral where is "beheading of st. John" by Carvaggio. Then to Mdina - walked thru narrow and clogged streets. St. Paul's cathedral and ramparts. Very hot. A little free time in Mdina. Jacob played in a fountain. Marks and spencer in Malta. British store in mediterranean selling bagels. Culture conglomeration. Back on ship for 5:45 all-aboard. Dinner at Animator's Palace. Light show neat but did not live up to expectations. July 2- Palermo, Sicily Off to an early start before things open. Crowded,small streets. Opera house tour - faded splendor I. Lobby but theater itself stunning. Rehearsals for Turandot underway. Nice acoustics. Part of a godfather movie filmed on front steps. Mysterious Palermo tour. Highlights were Capuchin monks catacombs - @8000 petrified remains. Some in garb of their day. 16th -19th c. Zisa castle - summer residence of Norman king - Moorish architecture. Sadly run down. All of Palermo felt slightly neglected. Spasimo church constructed 1509. Mostly destroyed - open to sky. Reminiscent of Coventry Cathedral. Back to ship 5:45 all aboard. Show was Villains tonight. Dinner's in AP. At this point Jacob and girls started leaving dinner for Oceaneer lab at 9:30 each night. July 3 - Naples, Pompeii Half day Pompeii tour. Fascinating. Crowded which was atmospheric. Fast food restaurant. Mold of security door. Ruts of chariot wheels. D and k slipped away to visit the brothel with some people from Ohio since it was not part of the Disney-sanctioned tour. After return to Naples and lunch on ship, j stayed aboard with K and L. DAnd K took wild taxi ride to Archaeology museum. Taxii driver whipping down tiny medieval streets now seedy and dirty. Starts tailgating police car, and honking for it to get out of the way - which it did! Museum full of neat stuff - Pompeii mosaics and paintings and more. Including the "secret room" full of Pomeiian porn. Museum itself was a palace. Expected the guards to be smoking almost. Huge statues. Huge hall with zodiac on floor. Back to ship. All aboard 6:45. J saw Cars 2. (David fell asleep). Dinner at PC. Once again, cute towel animal. July 4 - Rome (port of Civitavecchia) Private train from ship to Rome. Transferred to bus tour. First stop, the Colliseum. Recreated photo of David and Ken. Walked around Constantine's Arch and saw the Forum and Trajan's column. Walked to Trevi Fountain where we lost 2 members of our excursion (they showed up later). then to the Pantheon. David very happy about the Pantheon. Then Piazza Navona, which was a Roman oval for track races. Shape is still evident - one lots of artists and restaurants. Long Italian lunch near Vatican. Then tour of St. Peter's square and Basilica. Waved at the Pope's window. All very ornate. Over-the-top. Loved seeing Bernini altar in person. And Pieta. Then official Vatican shop for a JP2 bottle opener. Classy! Back to ship by train. Dinner at Lumiere's. Jacob has perfected leaving dinner to play by now. Karen wona medal for a trivia contest. So smart.
39: July 5 - Florence (port of La Spezia) Bus to Florence. Passed many stone yards for the travertine taken from nearby gorgeous mountains. Rest stop where David got a nutella stuffed croissant and didn't share. Got to Florence and first stop was the Duomo. Amazing exterior and dome frescoes. Walked through Florence past Dante's house to Palazzo Vecchio and Loggia Della Signoria - many statues including copy of Michaelangelo's David. Walked onto the amazingly crowded Ponte Vecchio where we decided to skip the long lunch and hit a museum. Guide recommended the Bargello for quality and lack of crowds. He was right. Stopped for delicious lunch (on the menu pizza for J). Then Bargello - statuary collection in 1255 Palazzo. Highlight: Donatello's David, Michaelangelo sculptures and Fresco featuring Dante. Then to Piazza Sante Croce to meet up with group. Went in church while waiting - wow! Tombs of Galileo, Rosini, micaelangelo, Machiavelli, Dante and others. Deadly walk in sun back to coach. Back to ship. Dinner AP. Pirates in the Caribbean night. Party on deck at night. Games and fireworks. Flying Mickey. Dessert buffet. July 6 - Corsica (port of Ajaccio) Coach through sea Alps towards Corte. Unexpected layover in village of Bocagnano due to original coach's lack of acceleration. Had coffee and enjoyed the view and the relaxed atmosphere and locals including a cafe dog right out of "triplets f Bellevue." then to Corte. Boy those roads are narrow and windy and up high! Lunch with tour then walked around town although most shops closed for the extended lunch. Then long drive back. Wonderfully relaxed day. David saw POTC4. Swimming etc. Dinner PC. July 7 - Nice & Monaco (port Villefranche) Drove to Nice. Short walking tour then some free time in flower/ veg market and beach. Should have brought bathing suit for J. Then drove to Monaco up into the mist on windy traffic filled roads. Still all decorated from royal wedding the week before. Walked around and admired exterior of palace and cathedral. Drove to Monte Carlo. Wicked hot. Saw casino. Decided not to go in. Great bookstore where we met a lovely whippet named Harry. Drove along part of the Grand Prix route. Long pretty drive back to the tender. Saw show "art of the story" meh. Odd concept, oddly executed. But performers are good. Dinner at Lumiere's. Ken and David went to magician/comedian's show. July 8 - full day at sea. Jacob took full advantage of his independence. Barely saw him all day. CArs 2, Oceaneer lab, arcade, pool. In fact he came in at midnight, an hour after we were done. Adults ate, relaxed. Afternoon trivia contest won by Karen, David and Jacob. Final dinner at AP. Grownups went to late night juggling comedy act. July 9 - Barcelona Early breakfast and they kick us off the ship! Took cab to Avienda Palace hotel and left luggage cuz too early to check in. Walking down Las Ramblas with a stop at the Boqueria (food market). Good bookstore. Tour of theater/opera house. Placid Domingo performing that eve. Walked to barri Gotti and had lunch and then back to Hotel to check in and take a rest. Early eve went back out. Barcelona starts hopping in the late afternoon and doesn't stop. Walked around dept store (? Anglais) and then over to Gothic cathedral - large groups of mostly elderly doing traditional dances with live music on the plaza outside. Tres cool. Dinner and bed. July 10 - Barcelona Early start for 9am Gaudi bus tour. Past dragon house and other buildings inbarcelona and then to park guell. Fantastical and organic. Amazing. Then to Gaudi's cathedral. One of the most amazing buildings we have ever seen. Organic, symbolic, stunning. Ornate and spare at the same time. Very expensive tapas Lucy onlas Ramblas. Featuring tentacles. Then a whole bunch of walking in old parts of the city. Cathedral of the sea (exterior). Gelato (again and again). Back to hotel for a rest. Out in the evening for dinner at a cafe. So many cages and restaurants on wide boulevards. Barcelona is a city for fooodies and nightlife. Looked more closely at Gaudi dragon house. Strolled and enjoyed the atmosphere. Ten bedtime. July 11 - van to airport with nice driver. Use for private tour next time. Long flight back to JFK.