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!

Jillian’s DCL Trip Report- Day 3

If you haven’t read Day 1 or Day 2 check them out!

The third day of our cruise we all woke up nice and early! I apparently wasn’t alone in my “I can’t sleep at Disney” mode.  We were already in port at Cozumel, Mexico. This day we had planned for a special character meet and greet, the Disney Junior characters. This meet had Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, and Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. If you have a kid under seven years old this is one meet and greet you will not want to miss out on. So again get those tickets first thing when you get on the ship. My daughter was wearing a custom Sofia-inspired dress and Sofia thought that was the bee’s knees! Doc and Jake were great as well and this is a great place to meet these characters as they only appear at Hollywood Studios so it is a rare thing to meet them in the parks.


After our morning meet we went to breakfast at Triton’s. This restaurant ended up being one of my favorites. It was just so pretty and the food and service were exceptional. I had eggs benedict, Petra had Mickey Waffles and Chelsey had something, probably food, but I didn’t snap a picture so I am just guessing.

After breakfast, Petra was wanting to visit the Oceaneer’s Club, but at this time there was an Open House which means you can come and play but parents have to stay with the children. We walked in and she said she wanted to color so we went in and to our surprise there were some princesses in there. Cinderella, Ariel and Tiana were just hanging out coloring with kids. Peter Pan soon joined them and we had a lot of fun just chatting. We learned that Michigan is the first star to the right according to Peter Pan. Soon, a Youth Activities Cast Member asked if they wanted to play Memory Wall. It is basically the game Memory with Disney characters but played on the wall instead of the floor. Petra thought this was pretty neat too as she got to really interact with the princesses and Peter Pan. It was absolutely hands down my favorite part of our cruise. I was probably more excited than the kid.

We decided to drop Petra off at the Oceaneer’s Lab and we would go check out Quiet Cove-the adult’s only pool. I will say it was a cool day but that wasn’t stopping me from getting in the pool and I had the thing to myself! It was quiet and empty and the loungers are beautifully padded. I could have stayed all day long. It was pretty glorious to be on a cruise ship of a couple thousand people and be the only one in a pool. But my kid apparently wanted to swim too so a quick stop to the kids club to pick her up and then another to the room and we were at the Goofy pool watching Aladdin while we paddled around in the very full pool. Not nearly as fun as having it to oneself but the movie made up for it.

The day before we settled on the Ocean View Explorer Tour.   This tour is for all ages, last 2-2.5 hours and costs $47 for adults and $36 for kids 0-9. Our excursion started at 11:45am and we met in Promenade Lounge for our excursion to leave. When they called our group up they also told us the sea was pretty rough so they said we could take the anti-nausea medication and we did pick up two packets just in case. We went off the ship and were immediately greeted by the excursion company employee, Adrian who gathered us all up and walked us to the pier where we were met by our tour guide whose name eludes me. He broke us into groups of 8 and loaded us into taxis. The taxi ride to and from was also included in the price of the excursion. We rode a short way towards another pier and were soon boarding our mini-submarine. You are in a boat about four feet underwater and you take a tour around Paradise Reef. First we went to a shallower reef and we circled it twice so that each side of the boat could see it. After that we went out a little further and again circled it twice.


Once we were done we headed back to the pier. There was a person who took pictures before we got on the boat and when were returned they were selling a framed copy. My daughter refused to look at the camera so we didn’t opt to purchase it. We then loaded onto taxis and returned to our pier. Instead of getting right back on the ship we did a little shopping and walking around. So what did I think of this excursion? I think it was very nice! I liked how it was great for all ages, it was affordable, I didn’t have to pack a backpack full of extra clothes, towels sunscreen and so on. It was short and sweet but so neat! We saw a ton of neat fish and even a giant eagle stingray! I would recommend this one to people with young kids in particular. It is not outside a lot which can help if it is hot or really sunny. The only downside we had was it was pretty rough seas so that made us all feel a little weird even after taking the medication.


On our way back to the ship I walked under something that was dripping grease, I have no idea but the ground was super slippery and I almost fell too so it was time to get back. The laundry was really close to our room so I decided to do a quick load of laundry. I am not one who likes to do laundry on vacations on purpose but it worked out well! It cost $3 including the soap and you can use your key to the world card to pay for it. No one else was there so I had my pick of machines. In the laundry there is also a large sink for rinsing and ironing boards and irons for communal use! So don’t be afraid to take that nice shirt or dress for formal night.

After our excursion we had a late lunch of pizza, hot dogs and drinks. Petra again wanted to go to the kid’s club and they did an activity called “Hats off to Peter Pan” where she met him again. She didn’t last long and soon she wanted to swim so we let her go in the Mickey pool where she made lots of new friends while we tried to stay warm on deck. Soon it was time to get dressed and ready for dinner.  Don’t laugh I am a northerner but it was chilly and the pool emptied quickly.

This night we were at Parrott Cay again but with a different menu. This dinner was much better than the previous night but we were all pretty tired from the medication and busy day. I had the Tuna Salad, artichoke dip, and Creole Crusted Grouper, Petra stuck with macaroni and cheese and Chelsey had a St. Maarten Stack and Slow Roasted Prime Rib. For dessert Petra had a Mickey Bar, I had a warm sticky date pudding and Chelsey went with a sorbet.

After dinner we split up again, Petra to the club (who is shocked?) I went to the gift shop and Chelsey went for a martini. But we were soon together again, tonight was “Toy Story: the Musical” and I knew we would all like it. Who doesn’t love a stage show with singing featuring some of your favorite Disney characters? She said this was her favorite show and I will admit it was a very close second to being my favorite. It was just so adorable! They really make the shows so that the entire family can see them down the littlest ones so they are well worth taking in! And really who doesn’t love to eat popcorn and listen to your favorite sarcastic potato.

Not related to the content but we were all so tired we were about falling asleep during this show so we went straight back to our room since we were all pretty much exhausted and were out in no time at all.  We had another full sea day ahead!  I’m sure you can guess there will be more swimming, kids clubs and food!