For our 25th Anniversary, my wife decided to take Disney's Mediterranean cruise with a pre/post cruise hotel stay in Barcelona. Disney was well organized with every aspect of this trip from the moment we landed at Barcelona.
I did alot of my own research as this was our first time on Disney Cruise. Disney's Mediterranean cruise met our criteria for the dates and locations we wanted to visit. I didn't know about Disney's itinerary to the Mediterranean and I found it more by chance, but I'm glad I did.
Arrival - June 4 (Barcelona). We decided to arrive two days before the departure date more because of what we heard/read about possible travel delays. After a delay in Newark, we arrived pretty much near our arrival time in Barcelona. We purchased all Ground Transfers with Disney Cruise and they had representatives/driver waiting for us right outside the customs gates in the terminal. They took us straight to the Hotel (Grand Marina) on the waterfront, checked in and went to our rooms without a hitch.
Disney maintained a Cruise Table right in the lobby of the hotel and provided us with shore excursion information, Cruise CHECK-IN (i.e. we did not have to wait in any check-In lines at the terminal), and other tips.
June 6, Again, with the Ground Transfer, they picked up our bags from our Hotel room and delivered the luggage to our cabin...we did not have to check in our baggage at the ship terminal. We got a room on Deck 6 mid-ship. GREAT CONCEPT: Two separate half-baths per cabin.
We spent the day exploring Disney Magic, eating at the Topsider Buffet for Lunch (Disney is high on cleanliness...with sanitizing stations/wipes at every restaurant, bar, food station). From the moment we boarded, we were greeted by a very cheerful and helpful staff, not only the greeters, but everyone on the crew was very helpful.
June 6-16 - The whole trip took us to: June 6 Bon Voyage Party June 7 Day at Sea June 8 Palermo, Sicily June 9 Naples/Sorrento/Pompeii/Capri June 10 Olbia, Sardinia June 11 Rome June 12 Florence/Pisa June 13 Marseilles, France June 14 Monaco/Monte Carlo/Eze June 15 At Sea June 16 Arrive in Barcelona
The Disney shore excursions were impressively well organized. We went on a variety of tours (half-day, full-day, On-Your-Own). A big plus is that Disney had numerous shore excursion seminars, shopping seminars and rebroadcast the details of each seminar on their on-board tv. They also broadcast port of call shore excursions (channel for each port of call).
At Naples, Rome, and Florence/Pisa, the tour agency, that Disney hired, used one-way radios to allow us to hear the tour guide narrate as we traveled/walked through our destination. The radio's allowed us to concentrate on what we were seeing as the crowds in some locations were very large. We could also wander off about 100 yards and still listen to the tour guide.
On-BOARD SHOWS/ACTIVITIES/DINING: The shows were a wonderful mix of traditional Disney productions, new adaptations, Magic, Comic, and Cirque, as well as Broadway like themes.
The food was very good. I actually like the variety of the Buffets a tad more that the formal dining. I didn't get to go to Palo (they were booked solid) but will make it a point to reserve early since I am now a returning Disney Cruise member of the Castaway Club.
Things we would do differently: We'll definitely plan to use Disney Cruise again. We definitely plan to go to Europe again. We'll plan for a longer cruise, probably with a break at sea mid-way. We'll also plan to spend more time shopping.
Definitely go with Disney! The experience was first rate.