Our Magical "It's All Part of the Adventure" London + 10-Night Med Cruise - July 2018 - Completed!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by disneyfaninaz, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Day 16 – Sea Day 2

    Sunday, July 15, 2018

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    While, I would have liked to sleep in, I was up early to go to our scheduled Character Breakfast at 8:00 AM. Since this was a 7 night or longer cruise in Europe, we got the VIP Character breakfast. It was held in Animator’s Palate.


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    I had the buttermilk pancakes.

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    I was a little disappointed based on my past experiences at the Character Breakfasts. First, our servers didn’t even bother with trying to make us napkin hats. That was the most fun thing at the breakfasts. Next, we only had 3 characters, Mickey, Minnie and Goofy. There really wasn’t anything special about it. However, our server has been with DCL for 20 years, one of the original servers. James came over and made sure that he took care of us. I am so sorry I can’t remember his name. Anyway, DH must have been wearing his ASU shirt, because he came up to us and gave us the “Fork’s Up” hand signal. He was familiar enough with ASU to know it. We ran into him later and exchanged hand signals!


    After breakfast, we went over to the Promenade Lounge for some Disney Trivia. There were some hard multiple choice questions. We didn’t do great, but we didn’t do too badly either.

    After Trivia I went back up to the room and started to pack. After all, tomorrow was another port day so we wouldn’t have a lot of time then. Then DH and checked out where we’ve been and where we are going. I’ve always like this feature.

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    As we were finally Gold Castaway Club members, we were invited to The Gold & Platinum Castaway Club Member Reception/Performance. We met at the Walt Disney Theater where we were given our free drink. Commander Tom came out and talked a bit about the new ships and asked the audience where they would like them to go. Several people shouted “”Asia.” He kind of shrugged and noncommittally said “We’ll see.” Commander Tom also told us that 1700 of the passengers were Castaway Club Members with 500 of them being gold. I didn’t catch the number of platinum.

    We were then treated to a performance of a scene from “Dreams: An Enchanted Classic” (One of my favorite shows). Of course, it was “Let it Go.” After the scene, the Show Director on board came up to introduce us to some of the behind the scenes cast members who made all the entertainment on the ship run smoothly. We then got to watch what happens behind the scenes while another scene is being performed to get ready for the next scene. Got that! It was kind of funny how they kept on saying, that this is live entertainment and if something goes wrong, and it sometimes does, this is what we do, etc. etc. It was very informative and entertaining. On our way out, we grabbed our free Rice Crispy Mickey Heads.

    Afterward a little shopping we wandered around the ship and looked at our photos on the kiosks. They no longer print all your photos and put them in folders. We debated about individual photos, a photobook or a photo package. In the end, we went with the book since we could put 35 photos in it. The only downside is that you don’t get any of the frames for the book. We then ordered some 8X10’s separately. Then we walked around for a while.

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    I was kind of craving a hamburger so I went to Duck-In Diner on Deck 10. There was a long line and nobody at the counter. Finally, one of the roaming managers came in, put on the funny little hat and some gloves, all while trying to find the somebody who was supposed to be there. Needless to say, it took a while to get my hamburger. When I did get it, it was only warm and the half the bun was rock hard. I guess I can expect that in the parks, but not on the ship. I wasn’t happy. I went to Cabanas to supplement my burger and eat what I could. They were offering Mickey Mouse Ice Cream bars for dessert, so I had one. When I opened it, the stick pulled out. I guess they are not hard frozen like at the parks. :mickeybar:rotfl:


    But, my day was looking up. At 1:15 PM, DD and I went to the Q & A session with Susan Egan.

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    They were handing out numbers so you could meet her afterwards.

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    Pau sat down and started asking Susan some questions.

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    Afterwards, we met Susan again and DD got her autograph.

    After the Q&A, DD and I went up to get some ice cream. It was only my second time since being on the ship.

    At 2:30, DNJ had us all over to his room for our traditional last sea day Wine & Cheese Party. Our neighbors had a handicap room on the aft of the ship with a fairly good size verandah. It was a beautiful day and it felt nice being on the back of the ship. That is until the huge water pump started running next door and we were forced inside because of the obnoxiously loud noise.

    Eventually, it was time for dinner. Dinner tonight was in Rapunzel’s. It would be the conclusion of the show started our first night there. Tonight, Flynn would make an appearance, which DD was very excited for.

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    To be continued. . .
     
  2. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Day 16 (Continued)

    Paper lanterns were handed out to the kids. Adhi, gave on to DD too.

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    The bread at the table was pretzels.


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    DD ordered the Tea Tower again, but this time with a glowing Pascal.

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    He was even hiding in the restaurant.

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    I ordered the Green Asparagus and Broccoli Soup


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    I had the Roasted Prime Rib of Beef for my entrée. It was absolutely delicious.

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    DD got photos with Rapunzel and Flynn, with his smolder.

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    For dessert:

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    I ordered the Rapunzels Fry Pan Sweet Bread.

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    After dessert, the dim the lights and all the servers came around with lit lanterns on poles and went around the room. It was really neat.

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    Since it was a celebration of Rapunzel’s birthday, the kids were invited to dance around the room with Rapunzel and Flynn. DD took DNM around.

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    After dinner, we went back to the room to change clothes and found this.

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    Tonight, DD and I were going to go see Dreams. We waited outside Keys for DNC and DNM to arrive so we could sit with them.


    We were really enjoying the show. The cast on this cruise was probably the best I’ve ever seen and Peter Pan was phenomenal. Anyway, we made it almost all the way through Olaf singing ‘Summertime” when all of the sudden all audio was lost. Anne Marie and Peter tried to ad lib what they could, but eventually, everybody was taken off stage.

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    Remember the reception earlier in the day: can you say foreshadowing. We were told to stay in our seats that they would be up and running momentarily. Well, every time Leslie would come on state, we were pretty sure they were going to call the show. But not yet. The third time Leslie came on stage, she brought Tim with her. Tim’s job on the ship was pretty much the resident BINGO caller. Anyway, he entertained us with trivia questions and eventually his live rendition of Tarzan with help from some of the kids in the audience, which had us in stitches.


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    Finally, they got things fixed and we were able to see Elsa belt out “Let it Go” again! The show finished on an up note.

    However, since the show ran about 40 minutes late, we barely had enough time to get back out and get to Fathom’s for Susan Egan’s Cabaret Show. Fortunately, Tisa hadn’t finished with her 80’s Music Trivia game, and we were able to snag a couple of seats.

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    Susan also played Sally in Cabaret on Broadway and sang one of her songs. Her set was fabulous. However, the best part was when she asked Elizabeth de Rosa to come up and sing a duet with her. They chose a song “I Know Him So Well” from “Chess” a musical written by Tim Rice.


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    They were both phenomenal. What a treat. Kudos to Disney for bringing these talented performers on-board.

    Well, it was late, so DD and I headed back to her room to get ready for yet another port adventure in the morning.

    Next: Hola España! Again!
     
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  4. GuardMusic

    GuardMusic Castaway Club Platinum

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    I would want to order EVERYTHING on the griddle menu and hope to get to make Pascal next summer! LOL!
     
  5. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    :thumbsup2
     
  6. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Day 17 – Palma de Mallorca

    Monday, July 16, 2018

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    The last 9 days had flown by. After all, time flies when you’re having fun! I couldn’t believe that we had almost made a full circle and had arrived back in Spain.

    Our plan today was a private tour with Mallorca Private Tours. We would be seeing Bellver Castle, Le Seu and Valdemossa.


    As I had done every morning of our cruise, I was up 7:00 AM at to watch us dock. This was the most clouds we had seen since we started our adventure.

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    We had our last breakfast at Cabanas before meeting our group to get off the ship and meet our tour guide for the day.

    We walked off the ship and met our guide, Maria Theresa and our driver, Roberto. Evidently, the mini tour bus we had reserved today was not working, so they brought the next best thing: A full size coach bus with a wheelchair lift!

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    It was pretty sweet having our own motor coach for the 7 of us. Anyway, our first stop was Bellver Castle.

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    The castle is now used for private events so we didn’t go inside, but had a great view overlooking Palma.

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    We climbed the stairs up to the top. We saw the moat.

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    After a brief visit with all of the other tours that showed up, we loaded up and headed to Le Sau. We were dropped off at an unloading zone near the waterfront. We had a great view of the Magic.

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    We also saw some wave action.


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    But, this was our destination.

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    We had to cross a busy street until we arrived at a small park.

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    Because we had the wheelchair, we had to literally walk around the block to get to the entrance.

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    There was a beautiful garden.

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    We passed some interesting architecture.


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    To be continued. . .
     
  7. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Day 17 (Continued)

    We arrived at the front of the Cathedral.

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    Antonio Gaudi once worked on the church until he felt that his ideas were not well received. The church boasts having the largest Stained Glass Rose Window of all basilicas.

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    Twice a year, the sun will shine through the rose window and reflect on the rear of the cathedral directly underneath another rose window making an infinity sign.

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    The church had so many beautiful alters and sculptures.


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    I loved how the light form the rose window bathed the pews in color.

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    The most recent addition to the cathedral by a modern architect.

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    The organ pipes.

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    We left the beautiful cathedral and headed back to the coach. On the way, Maria took us into the Parliament building.

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    The front door.

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    This olive tree is 1000 years old.


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    To be continued. . .
     
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  8. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Day 17 (Continued)

    We then made our way up the mountain to a village called Valldemossa. On the way we passed almond farms and olive farms. We even passed a few donkeys.


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    Our destination, Valldemossa is probably mostly known for a monastery that once housed the composer Frederic Chopin one winter.


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    When we arrived, we could tell that temperature was about 20 degrees cooler than down by the water. It was wonderful. Our first stop was lunch. Maria recommended a place to eat.

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    This was a popular place for tours to stop. We saw another DCL tour eat there too.


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    Maria helped us order. The owner brought out a vegetable ragu, rabbit, lamb and an excellent local white wine. It was all very delicious.

    After lunch, we wondered through the beautiful and picturesque village.

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    DH was enthralled with this sword shop.


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    More of the village.

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    They had a festival over the weekend, so the village was still decorated.

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    There were beautifully painted tiles in front of shops and homes.

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    We walked by the church and headed out to a beautiful overlook.

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    To be continued. . .

     
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  9. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Day 17 (Continued)

    Unfortunately, our time was up and we headed back toward the coach. But not before doing a bit of shopping and getting our daily gelato.

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    We made it back to the port at about 3:45 PM. From the dock you could see Bellver Castle.


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    And the Cathedral.

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    Sailing lessons.


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    Here’s a close up of the wonderful iced towels that we got after returning to the ship every time.

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    We got back on the ship and walked around the top deck to get some more pictures of this beautiful island.

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    We went back up to the room to do some final packing and get ready for dinner. We checked the Captain’s Log on the TV and saw where we have been on this amazing cruise.

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    Our final dinner was in Lumiere’s.


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    DD ordered the non-alcoholic drink of the day, Star-Night.

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    I ordered the Marinated Tiger Shrimp.


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    I also ordered the Fettuccini with Parmesan Crusted Chicken.

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    And the final dessert menu.

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    I ordered the Chocolate Lava Cake.


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    I know they stopped doing it years ago, but I miss the parade of nations and the presentation of the Baked Alaska on the last night of a cruise.

    To be continued. . .
     
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  10. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Day 17 (Continued)

    Dreams was being shown at 7:30 PM tonight, but since we saw it the night before, we skipped the show. Right after dinner, we caught up with Mickey in his Spanish outfit.


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    We then went up to our room to change clothes and get the luggage ready to be put out by our door. Our last towel animal.

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    DD and I took a stroll around the ship while DH finished his packing.


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    We ran into Donald in his Spanish outfit.

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    We headed up towards the Cove Café to meet up with everybody and captured this beautiful last sunset.

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    It was finally time for the “Til We Meet Again” show in the Atrium. The assistant cruise director, Anthony, introduced the cast and characters before they were let go to meet and greet with all the guests.

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    DD finally got her picture with Pluto.

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    But more importantly, she got her smolder selfie with the cast member who played Flynn in Tangled: The Musical.

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    Then the moment arrived where they all sing “M-I-C-K-E-Y” and they wave good-bye.

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    And that was good night. We headed back to our room as we had breakfast at 7:00 AM in Lumieres in the morning.

    Mallorca was a wonderful surprise. I remember hearing about the reflection of the rose window at a basilica; I just didn’t realize it was going to be in Mallorca. Valldemossa was a real treat. Not only was the cooler weather most appreciated, but the quaint village was a wonderful place to eat and shop with an incredible overlook of the scenery. We still laugh about having an entire charter bus for our use around this small island! All and all it was a wonderful day in Mallorca.


    Next: Wait, we’re not done yet!
     
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  11. FSU Girl

    FSU Girl DIS Veteran

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    This is so cool that you got to meet her.

    This restaurant is really beautiful, I'm so glad they changed it to this.

    This building looks really cool with all the little spiraling towers.

    It looks you had an amazing cruise! The last day is always the hardest when you know you have to get off the ship the next day.
     
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  12. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Day 18 – Barcelona

    Tuesday, July 17, 2018

    The saddest day by far is the day you have to get off of the ship. We were up early to pack up the remainder of our belongings in our carry-on luggage.

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    We had breakfast at 7:00 AM at Lumiere’s. We left our carry ons in our room. I told Ari the night before and he didn’t have a problem.

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    After breakfast, we all gathered our carry-on luggage from our rooms and decided to meet in the Promenade Lounge and wait until it was time to get off of the ship. Our luggage tags were Green Tinkerbell, but all tags were called at one. We had a private tour planned with Barcelona Day Tours to go to Montserrrat at 9:30 AM.

    We wanted to put off getting off of the ship as long as possible. DCL kept announcing that all color luggage tags could depart the ship. We wondered how long the announcements would be polite and made up our own, like , “Enough already, GET OFF THE SHIP”. We weren’t sure where we would have to meet our tour, so at about 8:30 AM we sadly made our way off the ship.

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    We got to the warehouse and found or luggage right away. The Tinkerbell section was literally the first one to the right once we entered the terminal. And it was the terminal where we waited to board.


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    We actually went out the same area we arrived at 10 days ago.

    We grabbed a spot and waited.


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    At about 9:30 AM our tour guide, Eva, came and met us. She told us that there was a problem with the size of vehicle she had been given and she had been working on getting a bigger one. It wasn’t long before it arrived with our driver Ernesto and we were off through Barcelona.

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    Along the way, Eva, told us about how the monastery at Montserrat came to be. Way back, some shepherds saw a light coming from a cave up in the mountains. They hiked up the mountain to discover a statue of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus in her arms made out of white wood. Eventually, some monks heard of this discovery and started the monastery. The Benedictine monks are best known for the creation of manuscripts. During the Napoleanic war, the monks were afraid that Napolean would steel their statue, so in order to disguise it, they painted it black, with ink. Well, the ink soaked into the wood and it is now a black statue.

    The original abbey was destroyed by fire but has been rebuilt. It is now a boarding school.


    We finally arrived.

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    There is a large visitor center with a restaurant, snack bar, gift shop and restrooms. We stopped there before heading up the hill to the abbey.

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    You can get to the abbey by road, train, or cable car.


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    There is also a funicular that will take you further up the mountain.

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    Eva tells us that it is a tradition for residents of Barcelona to walk to the Monastery at least one in their life time.

    They had a small farmers market which included a lot of cheese vendors. The cheeses were wonderful and we bought one to bring home. Since it was sealed, we had no problem with security or customs.

    We then walked towards the abbey. There was a museum you could visit. We did not.

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    You walked under the arch unto a big courtyard of sorts.


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    This is a new façade of the church.

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    To be continued. . .
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  13. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Day 18 (Continued)

    This is the working part of the monastery.


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    You go through a corridor into the Atrium.


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    This is the cathedral.


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    The Black Madonna, as the statue is known holds a place in the alter of the cathedral. You can stand in line to go up and touch the Madonna.

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    We then left the church to look around and grab some lunch before leaving.

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    On the way back to Barcelona, Eva pointed to a village that was ravaged by a flood a few years back. You could see very high water marks while driving through.

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    Ernesto dropped us back at the Hilton Diagonal Mar in Barcelona. Our room wasn’t quite ready yet, so we waited in the lobby. DD decided that she was going come down with a cold on the next to last day of the cruise, so she wasn’t really feeling all that well.

    Meanwhile, our neighbors made arrangements to eat dinner downtown. We excused ourselves and got into our room. It was a little bigger than the last time we were there.

    We decided to go to the mall across the street for dinner. We found La Burguesa. The burgers were huge and the fries were really good.

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    After dinner we decided to walk around a bit. DD wanted to find the Primark and go shopping. The mall was under renovation so it took us a while and 3 different levels to find it, but we did.


    I guess I would describe it as close to a Ross or TJ Maxx. There were displays everywhere and it was very crowded. They had some rally cute Disney and Harry Potter themed stuff, but the line to check out literally wrapped half way around the store, so DD didn’t end up buying anything.

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    We left and went to find some gelato for the last time. There was a good place almost next to the place we had dinner, so we headed up there.


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    The sunset on our last night from our room.

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    Thus ended our last night in Europe.


    Monserrat was a very interesting place to visit based on its storied history. It is not at all what I expected, but I was pleasantly surprised. We loved our tour guide and she was told us so much about this beautiful place. It was a nice way to end our European adventure.

    Next: Going home!
     
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  14. FSU Girl

    FSU Girl DIS Veteran

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    That's what I had the first time I sailed Disney :)

    Getting off the ship at the end is probably the saddest part of the vacation. I've tried to linger for as a long as possible, but the people who were so nice to you all cruise are now like ok time to say goodbye since they have to get ready for the next sailing.

    I don't know if it's because I'm from Florida where everything is flat, but I find these mountains so impressive.

    What a great way to end your time in Europe. A fantastic trip!
     
  15. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    I do have some mountains in my state, but I am always impressed with them. Even more so that they were able to build this monastery on the mountain! Thanks for reading and for your lovely comments.
     
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  16. lilsonicfan

    lilsonicfan <font color=teal>The TF knows Canada VERY well!!<b

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    thank you again for this amazing trip report. your pictures were wonderful and i'm so pleased to have read through all of your super fun days. looks like the trip of a lifetime!
     
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  17. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    :flower3: Thank you! Yes, it was a magnificent trip!
     
  18. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Day 19 – Going Home
    Wednesday July 18, 2018


    We had a 10:10 flight out of Barcelona to London, Heathrow. We got up, finished packing our bags and checked out of the Diagonal Mar.

    There is a long line of cabs outside the hotel at all times of day and night. We were able to get a cab at 6:30 AM. It wasn’t one of the big ones and I’m surprised the driver was able to stuff all of our luggage into the car. Our driver claims he didn’t speak English, which was fine, he understood Airport and Terminal Tres. However, the funny thing was that he had 80’s pop music playing on the radio in English. Go figure.

    We made it to the airport in plenty of time to check in.

    Vat tax refunds. Remember I told you that we spent enough money at one shot on DCL to get a tax refund. One of the caveats is that you have to keep all the merchandise with you when you check in at the airport to claim the refund. We also found out that you don’t get the entire refund, they charge a handling fee. In addition, we weren’t sure if the tax refund office would be open that early before you check your luggage. When I looked it up, they said they didn’t open until 8:00 AM. Our bags were already weighed and I didn’t feel like opening them up to pack our DCL souvenirs and I have to tell you that our carry-on bags were stuffed and we were limited to just one small personal bag and 1 carry-on to fit in the overhead bins. Therefore, we opted not to hassle with the tax refund, even though the office was open when we got there.

    We made it through security very easily with no additional checks and headed to our gate. We had to go through passport control in order to enter the international gates.


    We grabbed some breakfast and found our gate to wait and watched our neighbors arrive to find their gate (they were on a different flight).

    Our flight to London was great. However, we were surprised when not only did we have to go through passport control when we landed in London; we also had to go through security again. Well there go our water bottles.

    Anyway, once again we were dumped into the huge waiting area inside all of the duty free stores to await our gate assignment to Phoenix. Our first mission was to obtain Harrod’s shortbread biscuits for our neighbor’s mom who has been getting our mail for the last 3 weeks, even though we put a hold on it! That’s another story. We also had to grab a bite to eat. We grabbed sandwiches at Nero Coffee.


    Once our gate was assigned, we went straight there and waited to board. I guess one of the jet ways wasn’t working so they could only load from the front, so instead of boarding in groups, we boarded based on where we were sitting. We got on after all the first and business class passengers.

    [​IMG]

    Our flight home was very uneventful. Again, we had the shabby seats and scratchy screens to watch. I think I watched 3 movies on the way to Phoenix. We tried to stay awake so we would sleep when we got home. Despite the shabby condition of the plane, the crew were very nice and the flights were very smooth.

    We landed at 5:30 PM and headed through customs. As many times as I have landed in Phoenix, I have never gone through customs there. What an experience. We had to go up to the fun little kiosks to scan our passports and take a God awful selfie. Then we had to wait in another line to go through customs and make any claims. Once we did that, we headed to the luggage carousels.


    They must have been having problems that night because it literally took an hour to get all of our bags.

    Finally, we went up to the transportation area and caught the Super Shuttle that I had arranged prior to leaving home. Fortunately, it was a quick drive, as we were exhausted.


    Well that ends our trip.

    Overall, we had a marvelous European vacation. I am so glad that we were able to see all that we saw. I can’t say enough good things about the weather. It was absolutely perfect the entire time we were there. We had no rain or stormy seas and it wasn’t too hot.


    While I enjoyed being at port and seeing all the incredible things we saw, I missed just having down time on the ship. Even the two sea days we had seemed rushed, or we were busy packing.

    I am looking forward to our upcoming Panama Canal cruise because I will have 7 days to just enjoy being on the ship!

    Thank you for reading my trip report! :surfweb: I appreciate all of the kind comments and feedback. :love: Please feel free to ask any questions and I will try to answer them. :wave:
     
    iivye, ksack, Geomom and 1 other person like this.
  19. ukintheus

    ukintheus DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Messages:
    1,960
    Great report, I’ve really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for taking the time to do it, I know they are quite time consuming to put together but it’s a nice way to re-live the vacation. :goodvibes I have to admit that it’s the busy port days that have kept me pondering a med cruise, it’s definitely a trade off between wanting to go and wanting a vacation that’s a bit more relaxing. It looks fabulous though. We are on the WBPC in February and I’m definitely looking forward to all the at sea days. :thumbsup2
     
    disneyfaninaz likes this.
  20. ksack

    ksack Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    184
    Glad you made it home safely!! It was a fantastic trip report! I'm keeping it in my trip reports to peruse so I can start taking notes!!
     
    disneyfaninaz likes this.
  21. ofcabbagesandkings

    ofcabbagesandkings DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2014
    Messages:
    798
    Just found this report, looks like you had a great trip! We went to London and Barcelona in November and hit many of the same sights but since we had littles we had to go at a much slower pace, and we chose to skip Montserrat because DH and the kids weren't interested. You kept mentioning the ice cold towels, was being there in July unpleasantly hot? I've never been to Europe in the height of summer.
     

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