As I hinted a few months back, this summer my family is headed on a 7 night Mediterranean cruise onboard Disney Cruise Line. We have made a few plans and I wanted to share some of the pre-planning that we have done to prepare for our Eurpoean Family Adventure.We are starting the trip with a non stop flights from NYC. It is an overnight flight, landing in Barcelona at 10am.
We have the Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona Hotel reserved for 2 nights before our cruise to help us adjust to the time change and gives us some time to check Barcelona out on our own. Our hotel is close to a beach and right across the street form a mall, with all of our American creature comforts- plus there appears to be an amazing pool at our hotel as well. The day before our cruise I would like to visit La Sagrada Familia (we still have to pre-purchase tickets) and we will try to visit the Hard Rock in Barcelona after we track down some churros.
2 Nights later we board the Disney Magic for 7 nights. We reserved two, connecting, deluxe oceanview staterooms with Navigator Verandahs. The Navigator’s Verandah is enclosed for greater privacy while still affording a stunning view and sea breezes through a large, open-air porthole above the railing. We will make 4 stops and have 2 sea days during our cruise vacation.
We board on a Saturday and will absolutely attend the sailaway deck party, our first ever in the Mediterranean after 10 Disney Cruise Line sailings. We have the second dining time, so we have time to enjoy the pools a bit, watch the show in the Walt Disney Theater, and relax before heading to dinner later than we usually do. On Sunday, we booked the VIP Character breakfast onboard followed by the Princess Gathering in the morning. The rest of the day we will enjoy the ship and activities we are so used to and have been missing since our last cruise was such a short one.
On Monday we arrive in Naples. Here it is super important to my daughters to see Pompeii (Mike and I actually visited Pompeii during our honeymoon Princess Cruise Line Holy Land cruise nearly 20 years ago) so we reserved a half day tour, via Disney Cruise Line, with the hopes of exploring Naples a bit once we return (maybe some Limoncello for Mike and I? It’s the favorite drink of the area, or so I am told.).
On Tuesday we arrive in Rome, well- 90 minutes from Rome. We booked an excurson, via Disney Cruise Line, that will take us to the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Navona Square (where we have some free time for pizza and shopping!), ending in St. Peter’s Square for an inside visit of St. Peter’s Basilica. This is a LONG day (11 hours), and one of the reasons we requested second seating for dinner. This will give us all time to shower after we return to the ship (6:15pm) and enjoy dinner in one of the main dining rooms.
On Wedensday we arrive in Livorno. We chose an excursion (again, via Disney Cruise Line) That will bring us to 2 cities today- Florence AND Pisa. In Florence we will visit Piazza Santa Croce, Piazza della Signoria and the Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio Bridge, Cathedral Saint Maria del Fiore. We are also given 90 minutes to grab lunch and do some shopping or additional sightseeing. We then take the hour long trip to Pisa’s Miracle Square and (of course) the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Here we have 30 minutes of free time for pictures, tour the medieval cathedral, etc. This is another long day (11 hours) and another example of why we chose the second seating for dinner as we aren’t scheduled to return to the ship until 6:30pm.
On Thursday, we arrive in Villefranche in France. Here we chose not to schedule an excurson as the prior two days were so long and we expect to be exhausted. From the research I have done, this quaint 14th century town looks like a perfect relaxing type of afternoon. I invision Mike and I indulging in some wine and cheese and having our family pictures drawn by artists who pepper the port with their easels. The area is also known for it’s tableclothes and linens in Provencal florals- I will need to measure our diningroom table before we leave in hopes to maybe purchase something pretty to remind us of our day there. That said, there is also beautiful beaches nearby, and if we aren’t too exhausted- that is a very viable option as well for our family. From what I understand, all of the beaches there are free and open to the public.
Friday is a very welcome day at sea! We have Palo brunch reserved for Mike, our oldest daughter Jacqueline and I (Jacqueline’s 1st time!), but truth be told- if I can reschedule this for a late seating on Sunday, I would prefer that. I would like to keep Friday open without anything scheduled except that evening’s show in the Walt Disney Theater and dinner following that. We will have earned some downtime enjoying the ship before heading home the next day.
We head home on Saturday once we arrive back to Barcelona, via Disney Cruise Line transfers to the airport and another non-stop flight back to NYC, landing at 3pm.
We have been counting down the days since we booked and are really looking forward to this very unique cruise (for us). It comes just as the Magic has completed a dry dock with updates in the Vibe & Edge (tween and teen spaces), Oceaneer Club, Signals Bar, Cove Cafe, Shutters, Duck In Diner (quick, made to order burgers and hot dogs), the Rainforest Room inside Senses Spa, and the brand new Rapunzel’s Royal Table replacing Carioca’s.