Disney Mediterranean Cruise Trip Report: Day 6, Rhodes, Greece

This is Part 6 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 was another one of my favorite days! I feel like I say that every day of this trip report because, really, it just kept getting better and better. Today is mostly going to be a photo overview. Old Town Rhodes is breathtakingly gorgeous so Brent and I really just wandered around taking photos in awe.

We did not have any excursions planned this day, so we slept in a little! It was probably close to 11:00 by the time we got off the boat, after having our typical breakfast at Cabanas. If I could go back in time I’d have had a sit down breakfast this morning! Not sure why we didn’t think of it before, and I regret that I missed doing so on our trip.

The view from our room, you can see the ship was “parked” right next to an old tower!

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The port security building. I always got a kick out of seeing signs in Greek. Guess I’m easy to please 😉

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Rhodes is a walled and gated city, so we walked along the road until we found a gate to enter:

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The Mediterranean Sea!

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Inside the city, we spotted some Mickey ears!IMG_6547

The view was breathtaking:

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The inside of Rhodes Old Town was a mix of modern and ancient. All modern shops, surrounded by the ancient architecture!

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We decided to climb one of the towers, to get a better view of the sea:IMG_6579 IMG_6582 IMG_6586

These are the stairs we used to get up to and down from the tower. I was terrified! No hand rails.

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We found a small cafe to sit at and enjoy a drink. I got a soda but my husband, well… he got a giant boot of beer. I think it was 2 liters, so a soda bottle’s worth of beer. I don’t know how he did it!

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Following the giant glass of beer I had to gently steer my husband back to the ship. At least the view was still pretty!

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The drink stations were set up inside the ship again:IMG_6623

 

More reading and watching sail away from our balcony on the ship, before dinner:

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Soon it was time to get dressed for dinner! Tonight we ate at Lumiere’s, and the menu was the Mediterranean menu.

Spanish Melon Cup: soaked in a Moscatel Wine and fresh Mint:

 

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Tapas, Taste of the Mediterranean: Proscuitto, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Marinated Olives, and Parmesan Cheese with Grissini Stick:

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Battered Soft Shell Crab: with wilted Spinach and spicy Tomato Basil Vinaigrette:

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“St. Sebastian” Pan-seared Chicken Breast: topped with sliced Tomatoes and Emmentaler Cheese Gratinee on creamy Orichette Pasta

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Sweet Temptations: A trio of Flourless Chocolate Cake, Kahlua Cheesecake, and Black Currant Napoleon:

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Flourless Chocolate Cake with Contreau and Orange Compote:IMG_3778

Another day over! Back to our stateroom and to bed in preparation for our last port day tomorrow, Mykonos Greece!

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Disney Mediterranean Cruise Trip Report: Day 5, Kusasdasi/Ephesus Turkey

This is Part 5 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

Our one Turkish port was the one I knew least about before heading on this Mediterranean adventure, but it ended up being one of my very favorite days of the entire trip!

We pulled into the gorgeous port town of Kusadasi early in the morning.

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We were greeted by traditional Turkish dancers and music, what an awesome touch! And check out the view of the Disney Magic in the windows of the port building 🙂

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Like the previous two days we again boarded a bus to our destination, this time to the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, Turkey. Our tour guide this day was extremely knowledgable and loved sharing the history of her homeland with us!

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Ancient terra cotta water pipes:

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There were lots of feral cats in Ephesus.

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This is the gate into Ephesus, with my husband so helpfully modeling the distance between posts 😉 The gate was made wide enough for people and animals to walk through, but not chariots. Security!

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Isn’t it gorgeous?

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The Library of Celus, built in 135AD:

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Our tour guide showing us where criminals would be handcuffed, right in the center of town for maximum embarrassment. Apparently it worked really well to deter people from committing crimes!

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The theatre at Ephesus, able to seat 25,000 people, this theater is still functional and has been used even recently for concerts. The acoustics are such that a person can stand at the bottom and speak in normal tones, yet the people even in the last row would be able to hear just fine.

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A collection of ancient road signs:

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After our visit to Ephesus we were scheduled to go to a Turkish water park! I know, I know, we could easily do a water park at home. But this was so much fun! And a great way to wind down and cool off after hours out in the sun that morning. IMG_6369

We particularly enjoyed the lazy river:

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We spent a few hours at the water park, and grabbed a quick lunch (just burgers… yes in Turkey!) before it was time to get back on the bus. Our tour guide told us the next part of the excursion was an optional trip to a carpet making shop. Brent and I were pretty concerned that this was going to be a hard sell type of place, and we didn’t really want to go. Our tour guide assured us that she just wanted to be able to share more of her culture with us, and she’d really like for us to give it a shot. I am SO glad we went.

We were lead into a room upstairs in the shop and offered something to eat and drink. I had cold apple tea (it was delicious!) and Brent had Turkish coffee. We were able to see the process of making carpets, and man, as expensive as they are they’re worth every penny! Such hard work, but such a beautiful product.

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After stomping around (encouraged!) on some carpets Brent and I decided it was time to head back to the boat, since we wanted to stop at the Duty Free stop in port before sail away. Our hosts at the carpet shop said goodbye, and we told them we were so glad we were able to come and witness more of the Turkish culture. I’m so happy we didn’t skip out on it.

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I finally got a picture of something I’d been meaning to share with you since our very first port day! Today these stations were set up outside, but the other days they were just inside, past security. We were offered cold glasses of water or lemonade, and cold wet towels for our neck and head. Such a nice touch, I think! Both the drink and the towel were welcome after all that time out in the hot sun. IMG_6407 IMG_6409

 

 

On our way back to our stateroom to watch sail away from our balcony we stopped at Cove cafe for iced coffees to enjoy on our verandah.IMG_6411 IMG_6417 IMG_6435

We were sad to see Kusadasi go! What a lovely place. My husband has now decided a return trip to Turkey is in order. I say only if it’s on another Disney Cruise 😉 Sailing to our next destination we followed the coastline very closely! It was amazing to see the scenery as we sailed past.

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We soon decided on pre-dinner drinks at O’Gills pub. I was saving my appetite for dinner but Brent enjoyed the snack buffet. There was cheese and crackers, veggies, nachos, meat pies and more.

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Yes, I did order a margarita at an Irish bar 😉

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And here I am diligently working on my notes for the day, so that I’d be able to remember and blog for you, Dole Whippies!IMG_6493

Dinner tonight was again in Animator’s Palate, with the Prince and Princess Menu. Not only that, but it was animation night! Everyone received a template to draw their character, like this:

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I chose to draw a cat! I don’t know why, I’m not an artist. My husband made Iron Man and his was much better… so I’m not posting it here 😉IMG_6502

Special napkins for Prince and Princess night!IMG_6503

I honestly have no idea what either of these appetizers were. But I’m sure they were delicious!

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For dinner I had the Roasted Portobello Mushroom Triangoli Pasta:IMG_6510

 

And Brent had the Peppercorn Crusted NY Strip:

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After dinner but before dessert we were treated to an animation show, with all of our characters! It was really cute. They danced and twirled and it was just really cool seeing our creations come to life. Disney magic on the Disney Magic!IMG_6518

They even put our names up on screen:

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Then dinner was served. Brent and I both got the Princess Jasmine Banana Bread Pudding:

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And then we got our drawings back, with an official guest animator sticker!IMG_6525

 

Today was a long and exhausting but amazing day. So back to bed we went, where we were greeted by a scorpion towel animal… and the realization that our vacation was already half over!

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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!