Toto, we're not in Winnipeg anymore


#1

So - here I will give a pictorial trip report (and some tidbits) of our Mediterranean Cruise.

After much angst about packing (somehow the Disney packing list doesn’t work too well for Europe - not too much need of a Tuxedo in the MK), we were off on June 11. As luck would have it we were delayed 4 hours in Toronto, so we arrived in London at about 10 a.m., totally exhausted. Luckily we had arranged for a car to drive us to Southampton (the Port where Towncar was happy to remind me the day before, was the same Port the Titantic left from…:glare: :glare: ) I didn’t see any English countryside. I slept the whole way. We checked into our hotel, The Ibis - clean, comfortable, no frills and reasonably priced for England and promptly fell asleep. Woke up, ate some dinner, fell asleep again. When I arose in the morning I could open the curtains and there was our ship - The Norwegian Jade - docked! A quick taxi ride to the port and we boarded our home for two weeks in short order. Exploring the ship, I knew I was going to have a good time (this first pic is for Donut)…


#2

Yes, Green Apple Martini in hand and the English coast floating by. Europe here we come. We were at sea for two days - and the ocean gods blessed us with lovely calm waters. Sea days are always fun. One dinner is always formal - so we were actually all dressed up and really DID have some place to go!


#3

A few words about our ship - we chose the Norwegian Jade because we liked it’s itinerary and we were anxious to try the “Free-Style” Cruising - which means that you are not tied to one table for dinner at the same time every night. The Jade has 9 restaurants and you can eat wherever and whenever you choose. Some do have a slight cover-charge - $10 or $15 - but what a treat to be able to eat when and where you like. We tried all the restaurants except one (we ran out of time) and loved a couple, really liked a few and just had one bad meal (well, Neil liked his, I didn’t). We had a balcony room on the 9th deck. If it’s in the budget go for the balcony. Just have access to some natural light and 3 feet more of space is a luxury - especially on a 2 week cruise. The cabin itself was very sleek and contemporary - I never felt claustrophobic. There were all the regular activities from bingo, to shuffleboard. The entertainment wasn’t the greatest. (When you’ve cruised on Disney it’s hard to be fair to other ships entertainment, but we always found something to do). (Martini Bar). OUr first stop was Malaga, Spain - a coastal resort town which reminded me too much of a Caribbean Island…let’s see if I can dig up a picture. Aw, yes - the Bull Ring in Malaga…now Bull Rings are not really my thing - but it certainly hit home that we were in Spain…


#4

Well, Malaga wasn’t terribly exciting, so if you ever find yourself there, don’t bother with the town. Take your bathingsuit and you can walk to the beach from the ship. The sand is white and the water is blue - I wished we’d known about it. Back on board, we decided to go for a swim because the weather was gorgeous - in two weeks we had clear blue skies and temps in the mid-eighties - every single day. Here is the pool deck:


#5

Yeah llama report…pictures look lovely. Like the drink one most…lol


#6

I like the tux and the posh frock. You both scrubbed up quite well there!:wink:


#7

Loving the report I so need to now go to DL and on a cruise because of these trip reports .


#8

Awesome, glad to hear you had calm seas & you both look lovely at the formal night. :smile:


#9

So glad your back… can’t wait for all the details.


#10

Beautiful pictures. Can’t wait to read more.


#11

I’ve been looking forward to this TR!! Great photo of you and your DH!!


#12

Thank you everyone for the nice comments.:happy: So after leaving Malaga, we set out once more on the blue, blue Med towards Barcelona. We were to have two nights in Barcelona, arriving around 6 p.m. and spending the following two nights in port. The Port of Barcelona is practically in the middle of the city - only a short bus ride to the Old Town. The first night we just took the shuttle into town and walked around Los Ramblos (The Rambles) a big, touristy shopping area. Years ago it was sort of a centre for artists, but now it’s become just a tourist draw. Hugely crowded and we were warned about pickpockets (one man did have his wallet stolen, and when he went to the police to report it, they had already caught the pickpocket, so he was very lucky). Interestingly, here is a little Disney-related note: Barcelona is where the “living statues” (like the ones you see in Italy in Epcot) actually started. The whole area is lined with people like marble statues or in fantastic costumes. They’re sort of like buskers - you pay to have your picture taken with them - if you don’t pay, be prepared for a good tongue-lashing of Catalan! But of course we always paid. Some of them are amazing - butterflies, gargoyles, a guy sitting on the toilet…don’t ask…anyway we strolled up and down, didn’t buy anything (mostly touristy stuff), but along the street is the Grand Opera House and Jose Carrerra was singing that night - a lot of limosines, bodyguards, etc., but I didn’t see anyone famous.


#13

Where? where is Neil? I can’t see, am I blind? :crying:


#14

Yea! This trip sounds fantastic already!


#15

Neil and a statue for Frau Dopey:


#16

Another gargoyle


#17

The next day we booked a walking tour of Old Town Barcelona and the Cathedral. Some of the tours were ridiculously expensive! (To go to Al Hambra from Malaga was $900 a person!) But this was just $49 a person, so we took it. The problem with visiting these marvellous cities on a cruise is that there is just no time - you have to choose just one or two things - it’s hard. The walking tour was great. The Cathedral was awe-inspiring and then our guide (Monsie - great girl) took us through the old Jewish section and the beautiful little streets. We saw the place where the Romans sunk the first well to begin the city of Barcelona. The architecture was amazing! It’s a beautiful city.


#18

Oh it sounds like the weather was perfect! Scary gargoyles, yikes.


#19

The Cathedral is dedicated to St. Eulalia - a 8th Century saint who was a 13 year old girl tortured and killed by the Romans. In the Cloisters of the Cathedral is a beautiful pond with 13 pure white geese - they represent St. Eulalia - always must be pure white and always 13, for each year of her life. But - geese-like - they were hardly saintly. As soon as they see you they squawk and pose and want food. Very spoiled geese.


#20

I think what touched me the most was the old Jewish section - it just hits home to you all that the Jewish people have gone through. Although they were free to do business and live in the city (until the Inquisition), they still were regulated to the Ghetto. The old barriers are still in place. It’s an area of twisting, tiny streets. While we were there the knife sharpener was on his rounds. He drives his motorbike through the streets, stops and blows on a little pan-pipe and people come out to have their knives sharpened on the sharpener he has on the motorbike.