Saturday 13th July 2013
Here we are back in Barcelona again, on a warm but grey-sky morning. Our breakfast timing was for 8.15 a.m. and many of us spent a pleasant time watching the other ship arrivals before we could go and eat in Parrot Cay again.
I was off the ship at 9.15 a.m. to take the port bus into the end of the Ramblas, and then enjoy a quiet coffee. Several of us then met up to take a final harbour tour before going to the airport for our flights home to various destinations.
Ships seen: Adventure of the Seas, Sovereign (Pullmantur), Grand Holiday of Ibero Cruises, what looks like the yellow-hulled Isobel del Mar a long way over on the far side of the cargo docks, Miranda, Europa 2, Iolcos Dignity cargo ship, Disney Magic, Alpena cargo ship, Vitality from Limassol, Ios 1, Garcia del Cid, Constancia, Amerigo Vespucci, and the little harbour tour ship Ma. Del Carmen
I really enjoyed my 4 nights on DISNEY MAGIC. We were a big group of adults, although many people think the Disney product is for children. I think we can say that most of us had a fascinating and enjoyable time, because the layout and facilities of the ship offer so many choices for adults and children of all ages. I would certainly recommend trying this traditional-looking and well-run ship, and I look forward to seeing her again in the future.
Friday 12th July 2013
Today we arrived in Palma de Mallorca, on a very hot summer’s day. The daily programme plan told us we would be berthed in what I and many friends knew was a ferry berth, but of course we weren’t. We were at the cruise terminal on one side of the Bay of Palma, and Disney had arranged for free coaches to take passengers into the city and back, during the day. Passengers went on excursions into the island, or visited the Cathedral and city, but many of us found it so extremely hot that we stayed on board and enjoyed all the facilities on the ship.
I did venture out in late afternoon to take pictures of the ship from the quayside, and from up on the passenger walkway to the terminal, but that was enough. Many of the decks were in the shade as the sun moved, so made for a very pleasant location.
This is our last night on board so the early evening show called ‘Dreams’ was excellent; it featured many of the original Disney characters and proved very popular.
Dinner this evening was in Parrot Cay Restaurant, on Deck 3 aft, which was interesting. Parrots and toucans were up in the ‘trees’ or hanging from the light fittings, and one had to be grateful that they were not real as their nether regions hung over some of our food. Again, the choice of food was excellent and we all seemed to enjoy everything. There was music and dancing by the wait staff during dessert, and it seemed a memorable finale to our time on board.
Ships seen: Albayzin of Trasmediterranea Acciona, Abel Matutes of Balearia, Visemar One of Balearia, Costa Serena, Tenacia of Acciona, Marco Polo harbour tour ship
To be concluded...
Thursday 11th July 2013
Today we are at sea, travelling from Villefranche in France towards Palma de Mallorca, and the temperature is steadily rising out on the decks. We went on a short tour of the ship with a ship’s guide, which was interesting for many reasons. I gather there are probably a million Mickeys around the ship, of all sizes.
I like the way the position of the lifts is shown with Mickey’s finger pointing towards the deck number.
I also did my own tour and was highly entertained in the Atrium because there were Crawling Races for small babies. I saw many reluctant babies placed on the Start end of the big mat, and being told to crawl to a parent at the other end of the mat. Some hated it, some grinned and crawled happily, one fell face down immediately and was so shocked he seemed beyond crying. His father put him down again and again, and I wanted to pick the child up and put him in his mother’s arms, but didn’t. I guess some parents have more of a competitive streak than others. There were 3 races, with those 3 winners in the final race. The winner of that was given a Disney bib, one child sat and bawled his eyes out, and another refused to move.
I visited the shops, which were full of Disney products of course, and full of children who wanted Disney products. I managed to find a few simple items to please my little grandchildren, so I was out of the shops very quickly. The Cove Café was a welcome haven for coffee and a chat.
Dinner that evening for us was in the Animator’s Palate restaurant, which was another fascinating venue.
The idea is that we dine in each of the three restaurants in turn, and our wait staff comes along with us each time.
The pictures around the walls all changed during the courses, from black and white pencil drawings to coloured pictures of Disney characters, and all at different times. They were very eye-catching, and it was worth being alert to the surroundings to enjoy the spectacle.
All the pillar lights were like giant artists’ brushes, with the top light being the bristles. The ceiling appeared to be covered with large artists’ palates with blobs of colours in them which kept changing.
The waiters all wore coloured waistcoats. At one point before dessert all the waiters disappeared and when they came back their waistcoats had all become white with black Mickey Mouse figures over them.
That was fun, as they all seemed to be enjoying it too. As a finale, the lighting changed yet again and the magic waistcoats all changed from black and white to various colours.
We saw no identifiable ships today.
To be continued...
Wednesday 10th July 2013
It was another hot and cloudless summer day as we arrived in Villefranche, on the Cote d’Azur.
We anchored in the bay and after breakfast some of us went ashore to get a taxi to the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, at Saint Jean Cap Ferrat. The perfumes from the abundant flowers at the entrance, plus the views around the bay, hardly prepared us for the sight of the beautiful Villa and gardens which we entered. The Villa was owned and built in 1907 for Beatrice (born in 1864), daughter of the banker and major art collector Baron Alphonse de Rothschild. The Villa is built around a covered courtyard, with its two floors filled with treasures from around the world. It is no longer inhabited but run by the Institut de France, and audio-guides gave us information about the house and its contents.
Another wonderful sight was the fountains in the gardens, some of which were accompanied by music at regular intervals. The view from the Villa towards these gardens and fountains was said to be like the view on the ship ILE DE FRANCE which Beatrice had travelled on and enjoyed. We enjoyed our tour of the gardens and Villa, and I was happy to find a lavender-coloured straw hat in the shop.
Another sight from the Villa gardens was the luxury motor yacht NERO, built in 2007 and one of the world’s largest, which was anchored down in the bay. She looked a little beauty, as well she might – she is available for charter and apparently is now also for sale at more than 60 million Euros.
Back at the port and after a water-side lunch, some of us were happy to discover violet-flavoured and lavender-coloured ices at an excellent ice-cream shop.
On board later that afternoon we realised it was Pirate Day and many of the child passengers had dressed up and looked so sweet in their little costumes.
Dinner that evening in Lumiere’s was Pirate-themed and after dinner we all went on deck for the arrival of Pirate Mickey by aerial wire!
That was fun, as he flew above our heads from one of the funnels and landed on the big stage; the Pools had been covered after dark, and were filled with many passengers dancing to the music. The show ended with a wonderful firework display up in the sky above our ship (which some of us noticed had been turned, to allow for the breeze to keep the fireworks in place overhead, yet blow the slight smoke away). The music and dancing continued, in a very happy atmosphere, which I loved.
Ships seen: Nero with its wonderful styling and funnel, M&M, Disney Magic from the Villa
To be continued...