Disney Cruise to the Mediterranean – Highlights & Tips

Disney Cruise Line in Mediterranean

Photo credit Disney Cruise

Avast, Ahoy, Ay-yi!   Disney Cruise Line sailed back to Europe in 2013 (also 2014)!   To celebrate their wedding anniversary in grand style, my friend author Robert Medina and his wife recently set sail on the Disney Magic to soak in the Mediterranean.   He has now generously put together this overview in breathtaking photos and witty commentary, for me to share with my readers some highlights and tips from a Disney Cruise to the Mediterranean!

Departing from the port in Barcelona, Spain – the Disney Magic was their floating home for the week.  They took in the fantastic sites, sounds, and foods of these European ports of call:  Nice, France; then on to Italy for Naples, Florence, and a grand finale of Rome.

I’ll let Robert tell you the story from here.  It’s a good one…  *o*  (And don’t miss the great tips at the end!)

Disney Mediterranean Cruise Highlights and Tips

Disney Cruise to the Mediterranean ~ Highlights

Greetings. It was an interesting trip to say the least. We began by spending  5 days at Disney World before we went on the Disney Cruise to Europe. This I do not recommend. As much as I love the parks and acting like a 12 year old, I was worn out before we left for the airport. I was however looking forward to my airport breakfast which consisted of a rather spicy Bloody Mary.

9 hours later we were in Barcelona and checked into the Disney recommended hotel. It was now 9:30 A.M. Barcelona time so naturally it was time for more breakfast. And this time I actually had food. There was a celery stalk in my Bloody Mary.

The bus picked us up and we headed for the boat. Not a bad ride. Got to see places in Barcelona that are not on the beaten tourist path. Pretty industrial but it’s what I expected traveling to a dock. You get to watch Disney cartoons on the bus so you really don’t notice. Got to the dock right in the middle of Mickey being caught in a mess. Still don’t know how he got out of it. If I see him on the ship I will ask.

Disney Cruise Mediterranean 1

These are the greeters on the Magic. It was our fourth time on a Disney Cruise and we expected to be on a different ship because all of our other cruises were in the Caribbean. They just so happened to move it to Europe just in time for us to be there. How did we get so lucky. The good thing was, we knew our way around the ship.

Disney Cruise Mediterranean 2

Leaving the port you can see the whole city. Heading out to sea. We experience more of Barcelona when we get back.

Disney Cruise Mediterranean towel elephant

Your bags are brought to your room. It’s great because you don’t have to maneuver them throughout the ship. You just show up and they are outside your door. Each day you are given a Navigator pamphlet  so you know what and where the activities are. No one wants to talk about the elephant in the room but I will. They also do art work with your towels.

Disney Cruise Mediterranean Nice France

First port… France. About 90 minutes from Nice. Bus ride and excursion awaits. I couldn’t wait to try some real French food. Very disappointed. Turns out… there are no real “French” fries. Maybe I should have tried French Toast.

Disney Cruise Mediterranean Chip and Dale

These chefs asked me to bring back a few things. For some reason it mostly involved various types of nuts.

Disney Cruise Mediterranean Beau Rivage in Nice France

This is a photo from a place in Nice called Beau Rivage. Nice place to have a drink and look at the water. O.K…. maybe I should have said a pleasant place. Nice, France…. nice.  Spelled the same but totally different. Those French are very tricky.

Disney Cruise Mediterranean Monaco France

Another bus ride. This time to Monaco. You can see the Disney ship down below. We were told Elton John has a house up there. He didn’t answer the door.

Disney Mediterranean Cruise Monaco France streets

One of the many narrow side streets in Monaco. Lots of shops. It was the cleanest place I’ve ever been. It’s like they repaint the town every night. The locals were nice. I had a momentary thought about doing the “Do you have Prince Albert in a can” joke but decided against it.

Disney Cruise Mediterranean Monado France cliff path

There is a winding path on the edge of the city. Great views. All they need is a couple of cliff divers and this place would be rockin.

Disney Cruise Mediterranean location screens

Everywhere you go on ship there are screens to let you know where you are. It’s kind of like the YOU ARE HERE sign at the mall only on a much larger scale.

Disney Cruise Mediterranean Italian Coast off Disney Magic

Morning on the Italian coast. Looking at the beaches that morning I had to wonder what would happen if I used olive oil instead of sun tan lotion. Now that’s what I call cooking in the sun.

We actually had an excursion planned and paid for to go to Florence but we were catching colds and had to sacrifice a day and stay on board to rest. It was either miss Florence or Rome. We chose Florence. I would rather let David down than upset Spartacus.

Disney Cruise Mediterranean Magic Lobby Character Greeting

Minnie was out having a meet and greet that afternoon. There are character times all over the ship. So if the kids want to fill their autograph books, this is the place. She smelled nice too. Sort of like Parmesan.

Disney Cruise Mediterranean sunset

The sunsets were always great. And if you didn’t like the show that night, there is going to be a new one tomorrow. Disney thinks of everything.

Disney Cruise Stop in Rome

Disney Cruise Mediterranean Rome on Segway

This is Rome. You can use a Segway during your tour but the streets are really rocky. So unless you are a former circus performer, just bring some comfortable walking shoes.

Disney Cruise Mediterranean Rome Coliseum

Inside the Coliseum. You can feel the history. It’s an amazing piece of architecture. They say Rome wasn’t built in a day and I believe it. It must have taken at least 3 weeks to make this place alone.

Disney Cruise Mediterranean Rome Trevi Fountain

I was going to throw 3 coins into the fountain but all I had on me was American change. I figured the wish wouldn’t work unless you use Euros.

Disney Cruise Mediterranean Rome pope

The pope just left. It was a huge crowd. I didn’t know what he was saying because I don’t speak Italian. As near as I could figure, it had something to do with football because every once in a while people were cheering and doing something like the wave.

Disney Cruise Mediterranean Pompei Mt Vesuvius

We climbed to the top of Mt. Vesuvius that day too. Brought along some great reading material for the bus ride. The air up there is so thin you can see through it.

Disney Cruise Mediterranean Italy Wine Tasting

After all of the hiking around we had a wine tasting and lunch. It was really really good. There was also a tour of the winery. I wanted to stay for a couple of months but they said no. I guess they already had a taste tester.

Disney Cruise Mediterranean Pompeii Excursion

Disney Cruise Visit to Pompei

Next we went to Pompei. So much to see in so little time. Our guide pointed out to us that this store was like the McDonald’s of its day. But… just like in France… no fries.

Disney Mediterranean Cruise Market in Pompeii

This was a huge market in Pompei where people would meet to eat, drink and be entertained. This place had everything. Shops, theatres, schools. They had baths, fountains, running water but alas… no seismograph.

Disney Mediterranean Cruise Pompeii victim

This is one of the unfortunate members of the population who perished in Pompei. They are still excavating to this day.

Disney Cruise Shows and Restaurants

Disney Mediterranean Cruise Disney Magic Lumieres

Back on board ship for the return journey to Spain. This is one of the many restaurants on board. We actually missed out on all of the dining halls because our excursions got back so late. But it was all good. The crew at Topsiders took care of us. I believe we also drank every bottle of Pinot Noir they had aboard. They really need to stock better next time we go.

Disney Mediterranean Cruise Disney Magic hallway Walt Disney Theatre

Heading down to the Walt Disney Theatre. It’s almost showtime.

Disney Mediterranean Cruise poolside ice sculpting on Disney Magic

One of the events happening the last day is ice carving. This guy is really good. I tried ice carving once. I didn’t do all that bad. I made a cube.

Disney Mediterranean Cruise Animators Palate

The entrance to the Animator’s Palate restaurant. Our favorite of the family places. Starts off with everything in black and white. While the dinner progresses the room starts to slowly transform with color. By the end, it’s like being in a full blown Disney cartoon.

Disney Mediterranean Cruise Disney Magic Parrot Cay restaurant

Parrot Cay. The tropical family restaurant. In here you can actually have your cake and eat it too.

Disney Mediterranean Cruise Disney Magic Sessions

Lots of places to hang out while the kids are occupied. This is Sessions. Once again, many bars. And the ship is so big that once the kids are not occupied, they can’t find you.

Disney Mediterranean Cruise Disney Magic Theatre

This is the theatre. It is so beautiful. If I had any breath to be taken away, it would hang out in there.

Disney Mediterranean Cruise Disney Magic Diversions

This is Diversions. It’s a sports bar. Not only can you annoy your wife by watching football at home, now you can do it on a ship at sea. Isn’t technology wonderful.

Disney Mediterranean Cruise Barcelona Gaudy

We had a little time in Spain so we decided to go see the Gaudy Church. It was so elaborate that the word gaudy actually comes from the guy who designed it. I never made it inside but I understand there is an Elvis at Graceland section complete with velvet paintings and leopard couches.

Disney Mediterranean Cruise Orlando headquarters

We finally left Europe and headed back to Orlando. We also decided to stay a couple of days at Disneyworld to get some rest before we headed home. As you can probably guess…. that didn’t happen. How can we be in Disney without hitting the parks. I mean.. it had been a week since we were there. That’s a lifetime in some places.

Disney Mediterranean Cruise ~ Tips

We are back home now. It’s been a month and I’m still resting. In all of that time I have come up with some tips should you decide to take this trip.

  • Pace yourself. Don’t take all of the excursions unless you are in great shape. Leave some ship time in there to enjoy what they have to offer aboard.
  • Get Euros before you leave the ship. Exchanging U.S. funds for Euro’s is tricky once you get ashore. Everyone has their own exchange rate.
  • Be prepared to pay for something to use the restrooms. Most places have a 4 digit code on your receipt that will let you in. And you ladies should note, there are very few if any places with toilet seats.
  • Don’t eat anywhere near the Vatican on days when the pope has an audience.
  • Many places are under construction so check before you book excursions. Nothing like getting to Nice and finding out it’s being renovated.
  • Bring an umbrella. I didn’t think it rained in Europe…. who knew.
  • Get really good street maps. I mean… it’s Europe. It’s old. A lot of places are not marked very well so don’t be afraid to ask.
  • If you are going to a hotel before you return to the U.S., don’t take the Disney bus. We waited two hours for one. Take a taxi. They were plentiful. If you’re heading straight to the airport, good luck.
  • Don’t miss out on a completely adult night at Palo. Awesome.
  • Don’t wear a Where’s The Booty T shirt on Pirates night.
  • Don’t wear Croc’s to climb Mt. Vesuvius.
  • And if you see the pope, tell him he still owes me twenty bucks.

*o*    *o*    *o*

Disney Mediterranean Cruise Tips

Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us, Robert!

When he’s not visiting Disney World or cruising the Mediterranean, Robert is also a chef, retired firefighter, and cookbook author.  If you enjoy Robert’s writing style, and would like to try some New Orleans firefighter cooking… you’re gonna love his cookbook If You Can’t Stand The Heat!  I have it.  I love it.

Here’s my cookbook review, if you’d like to read more. Best fish tacos I’ve ever tasted (the key is his amazing cilantro dressing recipe).  And just wait til you try the Flashover Seasoning (he’ll give you the recipe to mix your own, or you can buy some from Fireitup Foods LLC).

You can also find/follow Robert here:
 Author Website
 Fireitup Foods LLC Website
Twitter:  @Medinalite
Facebook:   Robert.Medina.NOFD

 

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About COMtnMom

Hi, I'm Tami! Writer, Influencer, and mom of two who loves travel, the outdoors, staying active, photography, reading books, and eating desserts. We are pretty much always planning our next trip to Disney World.

Comments

  1. I unreservedly LOVE this review. It’s hysterical AND informative and the pictures are great. Elton John missed out because Robert sounds delightful to me!

  2. Yeah, the Mediterranean cruise is the one that I really want to go on. We’re trying to coordinate with a few other families to go in a few years. (When I say coordinate, we have to get a certain ratio of adults to kids in order to get the best pricing given Disney’s catering to families with 5 or less.) This post just added even more fuel to the fire to make it a must do.

    • Just to let everyone know, as of next month the Magic will be taken out and completely overhauled. Not sure what ship they will use in the med so better check into it. When it returns to the fleet it is supposed to be the most up to date in every way. Maybe I’ll get to sail on her again. In fact, they should give me my own room. 7126. Same one we get every time so you know… it’s kind of like my room. Just sayin’.

  3. Giggles through this entire post. Have to ask, what was Mickey mixed up in?

    • It seems that during an appearance at a Green Bay football game he was involved in an incident after he became overwhelmed by the amount of cheese heads throughout the stadium. It was similar to an incident when Porky Pig went to an Arkansas Razorback game and discovered the football was made of pigskin. Simply unnerving.

  4. That is a FANTASTIC review. My husband thought I was weird when I told him how much I want to see Pompeii (is it really that weird??)…. but that is like my dream cruise right there!

    • Pompei is actually much larger than I thought. They told me it takes 4 days to see it all but the shortened version is very interesting. Beautiful art work on the walls. I may have to put out some of the other pics we took to show you how cool it was.

  5. This has got to be THE BEST cruise report post that I have EVER read. I have yet to board a Disney ship, but it’s a dream of mine! This particular cruise sounds great. I actually had opportunity to live in Italy for 5 months as a child – and I’ve always wanted to go back. I remember being so intrigued by the story of Pompeii as a child – it would be so cool to actually see it up close and personal. And Rome . . . wow!

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