Sunday, May 23, 2010
The Maltese Archipelago, consisting of the inhabited islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino are located in the Mediterranean Sea, about 52 miles south of Sicily. The history of the Maltese Islands goes back some 7,000 years, to the dawn of civilization. Malta and Gozo are the home to mysterious prehistoric temples that pre-date the pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge in England.
Posted by Jlspence at 8:59 AM
Monday, May 17, 2010
Well, somehow I just deleted two paragraphs of typing! Uggghhh. How frustrating. Anyway, from the time we got out of the taxi to when we boarded the ship was just under 30 minutes so I guess we arrived in a lull period. I heard from other people that boarded about 2:30 that it was busier but they also mentioned some computer problems so that probably contributed to the backup. Once aboard we walked around to get Brian used to the layout since he'd not been on board since 2001. At 3 pm, we made our way down to Promenade Lounge where we met up with more than 120 of our fellow cruisers who had been posting on the DIS boards about this cruise for quite a few months, where we've been helping each other plan and research the ports. We handed out lanyards and chatted until we had to break up to attend the mandatory muster drill at 4 pm (was scheduled for 5 pm).
The Sail Away party was held at 4:45 pm even though we didn't actually leave the port until 9:30 pm. I guess Disney decided after its first cruise on 4/24 that more guests would participate if it was held during the day when it was warmer.
Posted by Jlspence at 10:12 AM
Saturday, May 15, 2010
We were able to meet up with DIS family ICollectBelle at JFK and had a nice chat with them while waiting for our flight to Barcelona. After 8.5 hours we landed in a cool, rainy Barcelona. Processing through customs was smooth. Just make sure you find a "Non-EU" line to go through. Our only hiccup was baggage claim. It was so slow - we waited a good hour and ten minutes before finally collecting all our bags. There must have been some kind of break down somewhere. No biggie - we arrived on time and our bags made it too! For those reading this that will be cruising later, there are PLENTY of taxis waiting at the airport. The four of us plus 5 bags, 3 backpacks and a camera bag were fitted (tightly) into what we in the US would characterize as small-medium size vehicle. I didn't see how the driver could get the bags in there but he did.
We stayed at the Novotel Barcelona City, which is further away from the port that it shows on Tripadvisor. The good news is that it's a short two block walk to the Glories metro station. We bought the 10 trip metro passes and we've had no problems at all using the metro to get anywhere we need to go. It's clean and very efficient. After a 3 hour or so nap, we met up with fellow DISer "sayhello" and walked Las Ramblas. We had dinner at Amaya restaurant consisting of a sausage assortment, a truffled cannaloni, sizzling shrimp with garlic and Spanish tortilla/frittata, toasted bread topped with tomato and a pitcher of sangria.
After dinner, we headed to the Metro to see the Monjuic magic fountain show at 9 pm. We met several other DISers including rashdecision (Rob) and his family, ggleigh (Tina, Andrew and Rachel), ICollectBelle (Donna), Appleguy (Gary) and their family, Pinmeister (Frank & Nancy). The fountain shows were neat - the third show being all Disney themed. Definitely well worth a visit! Tomorrow - the Magic!
Posted by Jlspence at 4:12 AM
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The departure day is rapidly approaching and the only thing standing between us and Barcelona is a ash-belching Icelandic volcano, with a name only two guys (Brynjulfur & Ragnheidur) in Iceland can pronounce - Eyjafjallajokull. Grrr...
We've stopped our mail, newpaper (yes, we're among the few that actually still do read a newspaper), and will be dropping our dog (Oliver) and our daughter's dog (Bree) off at the kennel this afternoon. We've yet to put anything into a suitcase yet, but have been working on our packing lists and gathering our stuff together in order to be ready to pack it. We've also notified the bank and credit card company that will be traveling out of the country so they'll know (hopefully) not to freeze our cards while we're away.
Posted by Jlspence at 10:40 AM