Disney Cruise - Mediterranean
Updated: Aug 24, 2018
The Mediterranean Disney Cruise ... an Unforgettable Family Journey!
Whether it's on one of their cruises or at Walt Disney World, the "Disney Experience" for our family has been nothing but a positive one (see our separate blogs on this site for details about each). We have had several close friends take the Mediterranean Disney Cruise over the past few years, and the consistent response has been "it was fantastic!" We could not agree more: our Mediterranean Disney Cruise was simply outstanding. And while you may not be able to properly see Europe from a cruise ship, you can certainly see the European coast quite well!
As with our previous Disney travels, we booked our cruise with Cindy Minor and her excellent staff at Big World, Small Fun; and we began making reservations about a year in advance. Once we had our Staterooms locked down with Disney, flight arrangements were made about seven months out.
With our large family, the issue was whether to do a Concierge Level Suite with a connecting room; or 2 connecting Deluxe Family Oceanview Staterooms with Verandah. While the Concierge option may appear attractive on the surface, the cost savings are significant by opting for the 2 connecting Deluxe Family Oceanview Staterooms. One point to remember about cruises in general, and certainly about Disney cruises: cruise ships are designed for you to be out of your stateroom, participating in activities on the ship (ie, spending money!). So, the short answer for the 6 of us was the 2 connecting Deluxe Family Oceanview Staterooms.
“...you may not be able to properly see Europe from a cruise ship, you can certainly see the European coast...”
Once the cruise and flight arrangements were booked, our excursions were then booked individually, independent of Disney. Details are provided under each excursion.
The Disney Cruise is a blast all by itself!
The Disney Magic was the original ship that launched the Disney Cruise Line back in 1998. And the Magic had a makeover a few months before we set sail. As with all Disney ships, you can have a phenomenal time without ever leaving the ship!
As we have said, the Disney service is superb. For example, our children have a host of food allergies; and the Disney staff went above and beyond to make sure that each child was assessed and had a menu tailored just for them.
The Disney Magic sailed out of Barcelona. Upon the recommendation of several good friends, we began our journey three days early. This was the perfect amount of time to adjust to the jet-lag and also enjoy a phenomenal city (see our separate DisneyCruise – Barcelona blog for more details).
**Itinerary for the 10-Day Disney Magic Mediterranean Cruise**
- Day 1: Disembark from Barcelona
- Day 2: MARSEILLES (Aix-en-Provence and Cassis)
- Day 3: VILLEFRANCHE (Nice and Monaco)
- Day 4: GENOA (Cinque Terre)
- Day 5: LIVORNO (Florence, Tuscany and Pisa)
- Day 6: At Sea
- Day 7: CIVITAVECCHIA (Rome)
- Day 8: NAPLES (Capri)
- Day 9: At Sea
- Day 10: PALMA DE MALLORCA (Mallorca)
- Day 11: Barcelona/Home
We booked both our Marseilles and Villefranche excursions through 1388, a wonderful tour group lead by Robert Dahan (our guide for our first day). Our excursion centered around the towns of Aix-en-Provence and Cassis. It was the perfect "maiden voyage" for our excursion experience; and Robert was the perfect host. Aix offered us the old world charm of southern France. And Cassis is a beautiful oceanfront village that was the perfect spot for lunch at L'Ousteau de la Mar.
Our second excursion day found us on the French Riviera; and we had the pleasure of getting to know Katherine, our guide from 1388. We primarily were in Nice and Monaco. From the antique market in Nice to the Monte Carlo Casino, it was a terrific day! And we were able to see Villa Nellcôte, the estate where the Rolling Stones spent a year as tax exiles and recorded their infamous album, Exile on Main St.
Our trip to Cinque Terre was the perfect departure. The typical excursion destination for the port of Genoa is the city of Milan; but as has been noted, we opted for coast/water-based venues as much as possible. Captain Alessandro and the crew at Angelo's Boat Tours provided the perfect day of relaxation on the water plus a fabulous lunch of frutti di mare at Il Porticciolo in the village of Manarolo.
While our excursion to Florence, Tuscany and Pisa was more traditional, it was anything but typical! Michele ("Mike") Traversi was our guide from Italy Shore Drivers, and he provided an extensive and insightful tour of the lovely city of Florence. In addition, he also arranged for an incredible lunch in the Tuscan countryside. We were hosted by the ever-charming and very entertaining Fabio Corti, the winemaster at Fattoria Poggio Capponi, who sampled for us a variety of different wines produced by the farm. And no better way to finish the day than taking a few photos propping up the tower in Pisa!
No trip to Italy is complete without some time in Rome. And while Rome wasn't built in a day, Katia Cutrone from Appetitours certainly helped us see it in one day. From the Colosseum to underground Rome to the Sistine Chapel, we were able to capture the heart of Rome during our time in the Eternal City. We grabbed a quick bite at Rosso to optimize our time in the city.
As with Cinque Terre, we decided to pursue another water-based excursion at the port of Naples. Instead of going to Pompeii, we chose Capri instead; and Rebecca at Capritime Tours arranged for a high-speed boat to get from Naples to Capri. And it was another fabulous day on the Mediterranean! The Blue Grotto was beyond picturesque. Lunch on the outdoor patio at Da Luigi was a delight. And the chair-lift to Anacapri was breathtaking!
Our last excursion was on the island of Mallorca. Marialaura Dolfi was our delightful guide from Urban Adventures. She took us on a relaxed tour of Palma de Mallorca, up to the Campanet Caves, and down to the ocean. We had a great beachside lunch at El Sol, the perfect chiringuito for some tapas and an afternoon cocktail.
We were able to disembark the Disney Magic at 7:30A on our last day with plenty of time to make our 10:30AM flight back to the US.