Magic in the Mediterranean: The Disney Cruise Line Mediterranean Cruise
|by Kim LaPaglia, PassPorter Guest Contributor|
Last modified 02-16-2011
PassPorter.com > Articles > Disney Cruise Line > Cruising
In May 2010, our family embarked on a dream vacation. We flew to Barcelona, Spain, and then sailed for 10 nights aboard the Disney Magic. The voyage around the Mediterranean took us to sights we had only dreamed about seeing. I still can't believe that we toured such wonderful Old World places as Pompeii, Rome, Pisa, and Valletta.
We had sailed with the Disney Cruise Line to the Bahamas and Caribbean. Yet the preparation for a European cruise took much more planning. If you are considering a Mediterranean (or Baltic) cruise or are fortunate to already have one booked, don’t forget the following: Pack snacks in your carry-on. It’s a long time between barely adequate meals on the flight, and travel delays may have you running to a connecting flight. We took lots of peanut butter crackers to help with low-sugar spells.
• Get your passports early and make copies of all important documents. Take one set of copies with you and leave the other set with a trusted friend or family member.
• Check and re-check your flight arrangements. We flew with Delta and while I was pre-occupied with worry over the Icelandic volcano creating havoc with our airline schedule, I neglected to keep an eye on our flights. When I went to check-in online for our flight, our seats were no longer together. My 11-year-old son was at the back of the plane! This was our first trans-Atlantic flight, so seating arrangements were important to us. We did get it worked out so that my son and I sat together while my husband sat behind us. Learn from my mistake and even if the weather is cooperating, keep an eye on all of your flights. Our return trip had also changed!
Stay healthy. Use hand sanitizer on the airplane. Just pack it in a quart-size bag and put it in with other liquids that need to clear security. Skip the ice with your cold beverages. I saw a horrifying story about filthy airplane ice machines prior to our trip. Any preventative measures to avoid getting sick on an airplane are worth it to me.
Take a travel neck pillow and small travel blanket. It will help to relax on the plane even if you are unable to sleep. Often the cabin can be very chilly and a blanket is much more comfortable than a jacket on an overnight flight.
Research the ports-of-call thoroughly. To save money, we did all the ports on our own with the exception of Tunis. In Tunisia, we took a Disney Cruise Line tour. The Med cruise is port-intensive so choose your favorite sights to see and then scale back on other days. For instance, we spent a 12-hour day touring Rome, but in Valletta, Malta, we got up to see the ship sail into the Grande Harbour, then rested in our stateroom and finally walked into the walled city to see St. John's Co-Cathedral.