We are narrowing down our plans for our Mediterranean Disney Cruise!
We have booked the flights and transfers directly through Disney so that part should be hassle free (hopefully!). We'll fly out of Baltimore (two weeks after moving to DC) and arrive in Barcelona the next morning. We'll get used to local time, by probably trying to stay up all day - or napping if we need to - really, that day can just be spent doing whatever we want, no real plans. We'd like to go to the marketplace, eat some tapas, and our hotel is right near the beach and also has a pool.
We can spend the morning however we want, and then get on the Magic in the early afternoon.
At-sea day, which will probably involve the pool, relaxing, and some princess time for Miss Lilly.
Malta! One of my strategies for the cruise is to only do port-intensive touring on every other day. Because the next day I want to do a full-day excursion, on Malta day the one goal I have is seeing the Blue Grotto, which we'll probably get to by taxi. Otherwise, we can explore the town near the port.
Sicily! We dock in Palermo, but the excursions I'm thinking about are an hour or two away. I can't decide, this is the one place where there are so many Lilly-friendly fun options for us all! One excursion involves a day at an authentic farm, making fresh cheese and bread, hanging out with the animals, and having a super fresh meal. Going to the Sicilian countryside just sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime. Another excursion involves a long boatride to a remote beach surrounded by caves and mountains, where we'll hang out for awhile before an included lunch at a nearby restaurant. And finally there's the excursion where we go to a village that's 1000 years old (or something) followed by a few hours at a beach, a nice lunch, and ends with a visit to a local winery. Seriously, how can I choose? (And how can I go wrong?)
Naples! All I can say, is pizza. It's a more low-key relaxing day, so we can do as much or as little as we want, depending on how we feel. We can also take a boat to Capri or Sorrento, if we feel up to it; but the main goal is to eat the authentic pizza of Eat Pray Love. The cruise was booked based on eating this pizza.
Rome! We're still undecided on how we're touring Rome, but it's the only day besides Sicily where I definitely want to do an all-day tour. We can get a private tour/driver which is about as expensive as doing a nicer cruise excursion, but would give us the flexibility of doing whatever we want - if Lilly gets bored at one point, we can go to a playground or go get a gelato; no set plan. Disney also has some great excursions, the one we like the most goes to the Vatican, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Villa Borghese park, a nice lunch... whatever we do, it'll be a great but super exhausting day.
La Spezia! We don't have any definite plans this day. We can take a boat on our own to the Cinque Terre towns nearby, or we can do a half day morning excursion to a castle in Lerici, where there's a kid-friendly dinosaur museum and apparently a great beach. We're skipping Pisa and Florence, as they're further away and in my opinion, low-yield for Lilly especially after an exhausting Rome day.
Corsica! And a certain someone's 30th birthday!!! But my birthday wish will be doing something relaxing - there are great beaches nearby, so that's where we'll be.
Villefranche! Thanks to great advice, I think we'll take the inexpensive bus to tour Monaco on our own, and maybe otherwise stay close to town.
Last sea day. Packing and being sad that our vacation will almost be over!
Depart the Disney Magic and hop on a flight (or two) back to Maryland. Because Jon starts work August 1!
So there is the rough draft of our trip... The goal for each city (except Sicily and Rome) is to explore all morning and then relax in the afternoon - especially trying to convince Miss Lilly to nap (she doesn't in everyday life but when we're on vacation she does, and I think the time difference and the dark inside stateroom will induce sleep). That way, we'll pace ourselves with energy throughout the trip, and also Lilly can stay up and be happy for dinner and the nighttime shows.
I can't wait!