Disney Mediterranean Cruise Trip Report: Day 4, Athens Greece

This is Part 4 of a 10 part series on the Disney Magic Mediterranean/Greek Isles cruise. For links to the rest of the trip report please visit here

Today the Disney Magic docked in Athens, Greece! This was the port I’d most been looking forward to before we even set sail. While it ended up being one of my least favorites it was still amazing. And I have the photos to prove it!

This morning started early with our port excursion leaving at 8:15am. After meeting in Promenade Lounge with our group we quickly headed off the ship and on to our bus. This morning we were going to take a bus tour of the city of Athens (with a quick drive through the port city of Piraeus) before a guided tour of the Acropolis of Athens, home of the Parthenon. 

Unfortunately I was not able to take many pictures through the city of Athens on the bus, so you’ll have to trust me that the buildings and monuments of ancient Athens mixed in with the modern ones was really a site to see! We saw: the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch (which separates the old and the new Roman towns), the National Gardens, the Parliament building (formerly the Royal Palace), the Academy, the first University and the National Library of Athens. We also stopped and got out at the Panathenaic Stadium, home of the first modern Olympic games in 1896!

We finally made it to the Acropolis to start our guided tour. It was CROWDED. Really, really, crowded. This is not a surprise as the Acropolis is one of the most incredible sights in all of Greece, and it is tourist season!

Parthenon from the base of the Acropolis

The Parthenon, which is a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, was completed in 432 BC. There is currently a selective restoration project going on, which is why you’ll see some scaffolding and construction equipment in the photos!

The Theater of Dionysus:

View from the Acropolis:

It was REALLY hard to drag me from the Acropolis, but it was time to grab our bus back to the boat.

Once we got back on the boat we realized we were really hungry! So we decided to check out Pete’s Boiler Bites, one of the quick service restaurants on the boat. Brent got the day’s special, a Philly Cheese steak and I got a fish sandwich.

In short, we were not impressed and wouldn’t return to a quick service location for the rest of our trip, though we heard some amazing things about the wraps, salads and fresh fruit at Daisy’s De-Lites!

Continuing our tradition of reading on our balcony and naps, we went back to our stateroom for a few hours, and were able to catch this amazing sunset over the Greek coastline. It was a moment that took our breath away.

Tonight’s dinner was the most anticipated, at the adult’s only restaurant Palo! I had been to Palo on my previous cruise and couldn’t wait to bring my husband there. I was right, he loved it!

Every dinner starts with the antipasto and garlic pizza/breadsticks:

And what a way to start the meal! Delicious. Up next, appetizers. I got the calamari (a dish I’d been dreaming of since January!) and Brent ordered the Tuscan White Bean Soup with Prosciutto and Parmesan Cheese. They were both amazing.

Between the appetizers and the main course we were given a palate cleanser of sorbet! Classy touch.

For the main course I ordered the wild mushroom risotto and Brent chose the steak. I really don’t think we can overstate how wonderful this meal was. Every last bite was cleared from our plates and left us wanting more, even though we were totally stuffed!

For dessert there was no other option for us than the famous Palo chocolate souffle (there ARE other options, just not for us 😉 ), which was the perfect way to end our perfect meal.

Yes we did each get our own, but I only photographed one of them. I might have been too busy eating the other!

Following dinner we headed back to our room to find the most adorable towel animals of our trip, the swans!

It was the perfect night for the swans after our romantic dinner at Palo.

Up next, our surprisingly awesome day in Kusadasi, Turkey!

Disney Mediterranean Cruise Trip Report: Day 3, Katakolon/Olympia, Greece

This is Part 3 of a 10 part series on the Disney Magic Mediterranean/Greek Isles cruise. For links to the rest of the trip report please visit here

We woke up this morning very excited, our first port day! We opened the curtains to our verandah to see that we were already docked in the small port town of Katakolon, Greece.

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After a very quick bite to eat at Cabanas (Mickey waffles for me!) we headed straight to D Lounge, which was the meeting place for our excursion set up that day through Disney. We checked in with our excursion tickets and photo ID and followed our group (number 15 that day!) to the bus, located just outside the ship.

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Katakolon is located about 30 minutes from Olympia, Greece, our destination for the day. During the ride our tour guide gave us lots of history about the areas we were traveling through in preparation for our visit to the archaeological ruins.

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We arrived at the Archaeological Site of Olympia, which is still being actively explored by archaeologists, as you can see in the picture below:

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Some photos of the Archaelogical site at Olympia:IMG_3518 IMG_6065

Inside the Temple of Hera:

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The Olympic arch:

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From 776-726BC there was just one single Olympic event, the “Stade”, a foot race. This is a photo of the starting line of the race, where a person on either end would hold a rope, then drop it when the race began. For all you Disney World fans, this is THE original “rope drop”! It prevented any cheating at the start of the race, as the person attempting to start too soon would be tripped by the rope!

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However, there still were cheaters. Here the name of the person who cheated (or bribed someone), plus the names of his parents and his home town would be displayed for all who entered the stadium to see. This was a great shame for the men and their families!

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Following the archaeological site we visited the museum, on a tour led by our guide who did a great job explaining what we saw there:

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This is a lot of information to take in, but if you’re interested in learning more about Olympia please visit the UNESCO website here. Olympia was fascinating, and I’m so glad I had the chance to visit!

There is a small cafe and shop at the exit of the site where we relaxed for a few minutes. Brent enjoyed a Greek beer (Alfa), I just watched since I’d had a fresh squeezed orange juice (which was so yummy!) on our walk from the site to the museum.

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Our group boarded the bus and we drove into modern Olympia for some shopping.IMG_3587 IMG_3588 IMG_3590 IMG_3591

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We boarded the boat and took showers (it was HOT at Olympia!) then decided to go have a refreshing drink at Cove Cafe, the adults only coffee/drink shop on the MagicIMG_3633

 

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There is outdoor seating just outside Cove Cafe, and that’s where we chose to watch the Magic sail away from Katakolon!

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After Cove Cafe was dinner at Carioca’s, one of my favorites!

Deep Fried Lobster Croquetas with a Banana-Lentil Salad and Creamed Horseradish

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Empanadas Panzudas de Carne: Argentianina Beef Empanadas with Red Chimichurri

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This is the chicken I had, it’s not on the regular Carioca’s menu, but it was in place of the pork belly and was very good!

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Skewers: Beef and Sausage (this is also a little different from the standard rotational which includes shrimp and lobster)

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Coconut Tres Leches “Three Milk” cake

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Sweet Temptations: A trio of Torta de Choclate, Strawberry Cheesecake and De la Costa Cream Cheese Flan

Our towel animal tonight was a dog! Our stateroom host Jojo used my sunglasses again, I love that 🙂

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Off to bed, ready for another early port day tomorrow, Athens, Greece!