Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Our Mediterranean Cruise ... Part 1

Oh boy, I knew if we didn't have internet on the ship the task of recapping a 10-day cruise was going to feel overwhelming ... it does! So let's get right to it, shall we?

Not too long ago we booked a 10-day Mediterranean Cruise aboard the Disney Magic with our friends, the Wagner's. We were both cruise newbies and neither of us had any idea what to expect! Originally when we priced the cruise I had called to see what the Cast Member discount was ... we decided to book the cruise. As I was giving the agent our mailing address I explained it was a military address overseas ... she asked "you're military?" ... I said, "yes" ... she said, "let me give you the military discount!". Holy cow people ... it was a DEEP discount! Anyway ... if you want more info on the cruise details ... email me! We are already talking about our next Disney cruise ... it was AMAZING!

Oh! And let's not forget that Disney upgraded us to a Deluxe Exterior Stateroom WITH a balcony for FREE! Oh yes ... in the evenings we were able to sit on our balcony and drink wine while pulling out of port. Sounds to good to be true doesn't it!

Here we go...onto the ports, pictures and fun!

Day 1 - Barcelona and Embarkation (Wednesday, May 5)

After going to bed at 1:30am, we woke up 2 hours later to drive to airport and fly to Barcelona, Spain ... where we boarded the Disney Magic! It was a mixed day of traveling by car, plane, taxi and ship! After arriving in Barcelona we found our taxi driver (we pre-arranged transportation for all 7 of us) and drove an hour to the port. After a brief wait we registered and then boarded the ship at 1pm. It was an astonishingly simple process. After we boarded the ship we explored the boat at our leisure, participated in the mandatory "evac exercise", reserved a few hours of child-care, played at the Oceaneer's Club (for the kiddo's), played at the pool, ate dinner and watched our first show!

Kelty totally dug his life vest and wouldn't take it off .... silly boy!

Exploring the ship!

Watching our first show! Now, being an entertainer for Disney ... you know I watched with a critical eye! Let's just say "2-thumbs up" ... I was VERY IMPRESSED with the Character Performers in particular! FABULOUS animation ... not just during the shows but during all of the meet-and-greets in particular!

Day 2 - Day at Sea (Thursday, May 6)

This was our day at sea! It was a really nice "warm-up" and gave us a chance to just relax, explore and go "ooh & aah" over all the amenities and activities they offered on the ship! Oddly enough, I didn't take that many photos! What!

Playing in the Splash Pool!

The Wagner kiddo's and Kelty peering out to sea.

After dinner we fit in a little dance action before our evening stage show, Twice Charmed ... it was a twist on the Cinderella story.

Day 3 - Malta (Friday, May 7)

After a wonderful day and evening at sea, we awoke just before pulling into the port in Valleta, Malta. We stood on our balcony and watched as we pulled into port. We spent the morning and afternoon just strolling through the city, poking our head into shops, drinking coffee, stopping for lunch ... there was also some sort of little festival going on and we were able to watch their marching band and enjoy a bit of traditional Spanish dancing ... (yes mom, with castanets!).

Pulling into port ... the city looked as though it was built right out of the face of the cliffs.

Look at the hot stud I picked up! ;o)

Enjoying my coffee and admiring the view, *sigh*.

Out and about in the city.

The Spanish dancer's ... mom, they were performing the basic "pa, ta, ria, ta".

I just could not pass up posting this photo ... it cracks me up every time I see it!

Day 4 - Tunis, Tunisia (Sat, May 8)

Africa! Tunisia is location in Northern Africa between Libya and Algeria but is a predominantly Muslim country. Al was really anxious to introduce me to the Souq's ... the alleys of markets dominated by persistent sellers and "back-room" goods. We left the kiddo's in child care during our visit to Tunis ... it's not really a place you want to bring the kids. This was quite the experience and a little intimidating at first ... as you are literally chased down and haggled into buying goods. It didn't take long before you develop a bit of a thick skin! I did however walk out with a pair of leather sandals and a "Burberry" shoulder bag (if you know what I mean) ... after haggling them down from 50 euro (no way buddy) to a mere 10 euro. Whoop!

On the bus to downtown Tunis

A snapshot of the Tunis

Drinking Tunisian Coffee and Mint Tea. We visited a store filled with hand-made Tunisian carpets ... they were expensive but very beautiful. I thought our friend Jeremy was going to have a throw-down with one of the Tunisian dudes as he was literally chasing Jeremy around trying to get him to buy a carpet ... he just wouldn't stop haggling!

Waking down one of the narrow alley's in the markets, I looked in to see a man chopping meat on a log ....

This broom was made out of twigs ... hey, whatever works!

A look down one of the shopping alleys ... the Souq's are literally a maze of shop.

Oh yeah baby ... my 10 euro Burberry sling!

Strolling through a residential street near the Souq's on our way to check out the carpets.

to be continued ...

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