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Unread 28 Aug 17, 08:32 AM  
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#1
Gill H
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Join Date: Jan 08
Location: London

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Beyond the Sea: DLP and a DCL Med cruise, Sep 2017

Ahoy me hearties! Splice the mainbrace! Avast behind! (I beg your pardon?)

Sorry for coming over all nautical, but this is our first ever trip that involves a cruise, and indeed my first time on the Cruise Trip Reports forum. So Id better start off with the introductions.

The crew:
Gill, celebrating her half century with this trip.



Peter, celebrating his as well!





Were DLP veterans, having visited 10 times since 2000. Weve also visited WDW twice, as well as various European cities. Trippies (written and video) for many of our visits can be found in the links in my sig.

The date:
We leave London on Tuesday 5 September, so getting very excited now!



The voyage:
This is where it gets a bit complicated!

5 Sep: Flying from Heathrow to Disneyland Paris, for 3 nights in the Newport Bay Club hotel, to see DLPs 25th anniversary celebrations. The Newport Bay has recently had a refurb and looks sparkling, and we cant wait to ride the newly reopened Pirates of the Caribbean, see the new shows and parade, and of course the night time spectacle of Illuminations. We have full board dining and will be eating in the new Captain Jacks restaurant as well as the lovely Yacht Club restaurant at Newport Bay, among other places.

8 Sep: RER train into Paris (Gare de Lyon) to catch a TGV train to Barcelona Sants station. The journey is just over six hours, travelling through some beautiful countryside. Were promised vistas of vineyards, lakes, forts and even the Pyrennees mountains, as well as a glimpse of the Mediterranean Sea.

We arrive into Barcelona just after 4.30 and will grab a taxi to our hotel, the Ibis Barcelona Centro. Its near the citys most impressive church, the Sagrada Familia (Holy Family). This was designed by the eccentric and inimitable architect, Antoni Gaudi, and has been under construction since 1882 and is still not finished! We have pre-booked entrance tickets for 6.45 pm, and plan to eat at a nearby tapas bar/restaurant after our visit.

9 Sep: well grab a taxi to the cruise port and then (eventually) board the Disney Magic for our 7-night Mediterranean cruise. The itinerary is:

10th day at sea

11th Naples. We are planning on getting a HOHO bus to Herculaneum for a look round, and perhaps later spending a little time in Naples trying pizza in its original home.

12th Civitavecchia. This is the port for Rome, but we have decided to leave Rome for a future trip at a cooler and quieter time of year, when we can spend several days exploring. Instead were having a relaxing day on the ship, ending with dinner at the luxurious Palo restaurant. We might pop out to see the market in Civitavecchia for a little while if we can bear to drag ourselves off the ship.

13th Livorno. From here we are booked on a DCL port adventure, the easy Pisa trip. This includes a look round Pisa including the famous leaning tower from the outside. We arent planning to climb it sounds far too energetic!

14th Villefranche. While it would be easy to get to Monte Carlo, Nice or several other places from here, were just planning to explore the town and beach of Villefranche itself.

15th day at sea

16th we disembark, and fly back from Barcelona airport to Heathrow.
__________________
DLP: day trips 2000, 2003; Cheyenne Sep 2009, Feb 2011, Nov 2018; Sequoia Lodge June 2008, May 2012; Elysee May 2012, Jan 2013, Sep 2013; Disneyland Hotel Mar 2015, Santa Fe Nov 2016; Newport Bay Sep 2017, Ibis Sep 2019
WDW: Port Orleans Riverside Dec 10; SSR Nov 14
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Unread 28 Aug 17, 08:35 AM  
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#2
Gill H
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Join Date: Jan 08
Location: London

theDIBB Guidebook
Guidebook Photos: 86
Guidebook Reviews: 24
And now to drag you back from all that detail, back to the big picture

The history of the voyage:

How did this strange and wonderful trip come about, I hear you ask? (I have excellent hearing.)

Well, there is a rather convoluted history to it all. Let me take you back to New Years Day 2016. While other Dibbers were sleeping soundly after the previous nights festivities, we were booking a trip to DLP for November 2016. Wed found a great deal 4 nights for the price of 2 at 426 at the Santa Fe. We booked over the phone and paid the deposit, and then settled back to save up the rest. The trip would be a few weeks before my 50th birthday and a few months before Peters, so we would have lots to celebrate.

A few days later we said hello to the newest member of our family our lovely cat Spikey! She is apparently 18 (was 17 at the time), but youd never believe it, she is so lively and in great health. We got her from a local rescue centre her previous owner had to go into a nursing home.



With all the excitement of adjusting to having a cat, we missed the chance to book Eurostar at the cheapest price, and in February we found ourselves paying 103.50 each return, rather than the 72 we usually manage to snag but still a good bargain.

So, as is often the case with Dibbers, having one holiday countdown wasnt quite enough. We began to wonder. Much as we love DLP, we go there pretty much every year apart from our two WDW years. Maybe it was time to think about a bigger holiday to celebrate our 50th birthdays, sometime in 2017?

We began to look at options: pricing up Orlando of course, but also looking at Disneyland and the West Coast. But realistically, our budget wasnt going to stretch to either. So we found ourselves in a hitherto unexplored realm of the Dibb the Cruise Planning forum.



We asked lots of questions and considered doing a taster cruise. Im not the worlds best traveller in fact I joke that I get seasick walking through a puddle. But everyone assured me that Id be fine on a cruise ship (theyd better be right!) So in August 2016 we got in touch with the lovely Deb from Travel On A Dream, and booked ourselves onto the Disney Magic for a 7 night Med cruise in September 2017, departing from Barcelona.



A few months in, and we started to get nervous about our budget. Could we really afford to do DLP in November 2016 and still pay off our cruise balance by the following May? We werent sure. So with a heavy heart, we phoned DLP and postponed our booking till the following year. OK, so we couldnt get a refund on the Eurostar tickets. And we had to settle for 3 nights instead of 4 for the money although we later managed to upgrade from Santa Fe to Newport Bay with free half board, for an extra 200 (which we figure we would have spent on food anyway) and then upgrade again to full board for an extra 15 per person per day.

And our new booking enabled us to do things a little differently.

You see, wed found out that it was possible to go from Marne-la-Vallee to Barcelona by train, with one change at Valence and about an hours wait there. So we looked up prices and set an alert for when the tickets came out. But nearer the time, we discovered (thanks to our lovely Facebook cruise group) that the direct train from Paris released its tickets earlier, and was much cheaper. So we grabbed tickets for that. Yes, it means we have to get the RER into Paris first, but it also means we dont have to hang around for an hour changing trains.

Meanwhile wed also booked our flight from London to Paris. Yes, flight this time. Peter had a new manager at work, and due to various reasons, holidays werent approved in October as usual. In fact they werent approved until the following January. So we were much too late to get the cheap Eurostar tickets. However, we did have enough Avios to get two flights from Heathrow to Paris Charles de Gaulle for the princely sum of 9,000 Avios and 35. So we grabbed those.

Then a little later we booked the flight home two flights from Barcelona to Heathrow. These were not so much of a bargain, and because we were only booking from Barcelona, we had to pay BA in Euros very annoying! It cost us 216 for the flights home.

We then booked an inexpensive hotel for our night in Barcelona, choosing to go with an Ibis as weve always found them fine in other countries.

And that was it booked: flights, DLP, train, cruise, hotel ... now we just needed to trawl the DIbb forums and the Facebook group for helpful hints and begin planning for our fish extender group.

Oh, and one other thing those Eurostar tickets for November 2016 which we couldnt cancel? They got used in the end. We ended up with a bargain trip to DLP after all see my trippie From Santa Fe to Santas Sleigh for details.

From Santa Fe to Santa's Sleigh - The Compendium

From Santa Fe to Santa's Sleigh - The Box Set (videos)



So thats the yarn, me jolly crew, now its all aboard for fun!

>>Travel Day/Day 1

INDEX
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DLP: day trips 2000, 2003; Cheyenne Sep 2009, Feb 2011, Nov 2018; Sequoia Lodge June 2008, May 2012; Elysee May 2012, Jan 2013, Sep 2013; Disneyland Hotel Mar 2015, Santa Fe Nov 2016; Newport Bay Sep 2017, Ibis Sep 2019
WDW: Port Orleans Riverside Dec 10; SSR Nov 14

Edited at 07:57 PM.
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Unread 28 Aug 17, 08:45 AM  
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clochette
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Looking forward to reading along Gill. I am trying to convince DH that he wants to go on a cruise.

You will love DLP. It looks so shiny and beautiful at the moment. We loved the new Pirates on our visit a couple of weeks ago - much more atmospheric. And you have GOT to watch Mickey and the Magician! Also see Forest of Enchantment if you can; also good but not a patch on Mickey and the Magician.

And Happy Birthday. All the best people were born in 1967!

ETA Just read your next post and am guessing that I am too late with the birthday wishes, but I stand by my statement that the best people were born in 1967 - lol! Have a great trip anyway.

Edited at 08:49 AM.
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Yay, I've got a countdown!
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Unread 28 Aug 17, 08:47 AM  
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Gill H
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Join Date: Jan 08
Location: London

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Guidebook Photos: 86
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Thank you! We loved Mickey and the Magigican last time.

Sadly Forest of Enchantment is supposed to finish on 3 September so I've still never seen it!

I was actually born in December 1966 but Peter was born in March 1967 so he agrees with you.
__________________
DLP: day trips 2000, 2003; Cheyenne Sep 2009, Feb 2011, Nov 2018; Sequoia Lodge June 2008, May 2012; Elysee May 2012, Jan 2013, Sep 2013; Disneyland Hotel Mar 2015, Santa Fe Nov 2016; Newport Bay Sep 2017, Ibis Sep 2019
WDW: Port Orleans Riverside Dec 10; SSR Nov 14

Edited at 09:42 PM.
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Unread 28 Aug 17, 09:41 PM  
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#5
Gill H
Thread Starter
VIP Dibber

 
Join Date: Jan 08
Location: London

theDIBB Guidebook
Guidebook Photos: 86
Guidebook Reviews: 24
Peter's teaser trailer for the trip (look out for his YouTube videos later!)

__________________
DLP: day trips 2000, 2003; Cheyenne Sep 2009, Feb 2011, Nov 2018; Sequoia Lodge June 2008, May 2012; Elysee May 2012, Jan 2013, Sep 2013; Disneyland Hotel Mar 2015, Santa Fe Nov 2016; Newport Bay Sep 2017, Ibis Sep 2019
WDW: Port Orleans Riverside Dec 10; SSR Nov 14
Gill H is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Gallery Click to view Members Trip Plans
Tokyo for silver wedding
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Unread 29 Aug 17, 09:32 PM  
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#6
Gill H
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Join Date: Jan 08
Location: London

theDIBB Guidebook
Guidebook Photos: 86
Guidebook Reviews: 24
And here's trailer number 2!

__________________
DLP: day trips 2000, 2003; Cheyenne Sep 2009, Feb 2011, Nov 2018; Sequoia Lodge June 2008, May 2012; Elysee May 2012, Jan 2013, Sep 2013; Disneyland Hotel Mar 2015, Santa Fe Nov 2016; Newport Bay Sep 2017, Ibis Sep 2019
WDW: Port Orleans Riverside Dec 10; SSR Nov 14
Gill H is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Gallery Click to view Members Trip Plans
Tokyo for silver wedding
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Unread 1 Sep 17, 10:47 AM  
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#7
Gill H
Thread Starter
VIP Dibber

 
Join Date: Jan 08
Location: London

theDIBB Guidebook
Guidebook Photos: 86
Guidebook Reviews: 24
And it's time for trailer number 3...

__________________
DLP: day trips 2000, 2003; Cheyenne Sep 2009, Feb 2011, Nov 2018; Sequoia Lodge June 2008, May 2012; Elysee May 2012, Jan 2013, Sep 2013; Disneyland Hotel Mar 2015, Santa Fe Nov 2016; Newport Bay Sep 2017, Ibis Sep 2019
WDW: Port Orleans Riverside Dec 10; SSR Nov 14
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Unread 2 Sep 17, 10:24 PM  
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P&S
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Join Date: Sep 06
Great trailers there looking forward to what you both think of cruising
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Girls trip to Glasgow
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