Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Disney Mediterranean Cruise: La Spezia

Our second stop on our Mediterranean voyage brought us to La Spezia, Italy, gateway to Florence and Pisa. This is one of those Mediterranean ports where cruisers get off the ship and scatter throughout the Italian countryside. We would be doing things a little differently however...

Early on in our planning we had decided to use one of our port days as a second day at sea. The decision was made for a couple different reasons. The first was that with so many ports to visit, and only one sea day, we knew that we all, and the kids in particular, would need a take it easy day. For us, we knew that after being in a very foreign country for 6 months, and not having been on a Disney ship in over a year, we would want to spend a day taking advantage of everything the ship has to offer. La Spezia was chosen as our second sea day because it made sense to have a good day of rest before we tackled Rome, which was sure to be a tiresome day for everyone. Another reason was because that Florence was at least a 2 hour trainride from the port, and since it was Monday the museum where the statue of David is located would not be open.

We started the day very leisurely, we slept as long as the younger kids would allow, grabbed some breakfast and checked out the navigator to see what was going on and when. Today would be a good day for the kids to hang out in the Oceaneer Club, and for the adults to hang out at the Quiet Cove pool! Nobody put up a fight with this plan, but we promised the kids they would get some pool time today as well! We wanted to make sure that our daughter got to see her favorite character Stitch, so after she got some pictures with him, we dropped them off at the club.
I was a little surprised how many people stayed on the ship. I thought that we would have the place pretty much to ourselves, but apparently, our idea was not as novel as I had thought! The Quiet Cove was active, but not busy, and we were able to get a couple loungers in the sun. We nabbed a couple of decent magazines from the Cove Cafe (although my wife enjoyed her Smithsonian magazine more than my Everyday with Rachel Ray), and some sweet treats, and just relaxed. It was pretty warm in the sun so we grabbed some lunch after about an hour and a half. We grabbed the kids so they could have some pool time, and I think that is when I decided that ice cream would be a good idea!

After some pool time, we thought our oldest daughter might like to do some family crafts. Theywere making buttons in the Promenade Lounge, so we grabbed some drinks from the drink station and headed down for craft time. The crew member who was running this activity was Matthew from Canada, and for the first 15 minutes or so, we were the only people there. We got a chance to really talk to him, and he really seemed to love what hewas doing. We always appreciate Disney Cast Members, but on the ships they just seem to be the best of the best! I think that there is so much guest interaction in a smaller (than a theme park at least) setting, you have to be really good with people, and the Disney Cruise Crew Members are just great at it!
My number one thing for this day was seeing Cars 2 as a family. You might remember that I wrote this post a couple months back about Cars 2, and how I was really looking forward to taking the kids to see it. Since Cars 2 has been out for awhile now, I won't bother with a full review, but the family enjoyed it. It was a little loud for my son, but he watched intently the whole time. Our youngest daughter fell asleep (I guess she was having lots of fun in the club)! Everyone above the age of 12 really liked it too. While I didn't like the story (or felt it was up to the high standards Pixar has set), I thought it was the best looking animated film I had ever seen (we saw it in 3D)! It was also really cool to see places we were going to see very soon!

After the movie it was time to get ready and head to dinner. I have to say that the food was very good on this cruise. Every night we really enjoyed our meals. This was also the first time that I taken part in the time honored cruise tradition of ordering 2 entrees. I usually split the second one with my Dad, but it was still fun to do it! I also ate more seafood than usual on this cruise. I guess my body decided that it missed fish living in Romania! I'm usually such a steak eater on the cruise... Sometimes I surprise myself!

for the rest of the evening we followed the theme of the day, and took it easy. I think after the kids were in bed we put the grandparents in charge, and checked out some of the evening adult activities. We weren't very impressed with the piano lounge singer in Sessions, so we just strolled up on deck before we turned in.

The next stop is the eternal city of Rome. Adventure awaits!

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