If you have kids and are looking for a great way to see parts of Europe with them, you should consider taking a Disney Mediterranean Cruise. Disney has both 5 and 7 night cruises that depart from Barcelona, Spain and take you on a voyage to several countries along the Mediterranean. You get to experience several different cultures while sleeping in the same bed each night. In my opinion, it is one of the best ways to see many different places in a weeks time.
Ports of Call for a 7 Night Disney Mediterranean Cruise:
- Barcelona, Spain. Your trip will start in Barcelona so you will want to make sure that you schedule some time here before (or after your stay) so you can fully take in this amazing city. We usually spend 2-3 days in Barcelona when we go. Here are some of my favorite things to do & see in Barcelona.
- Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy. Rome is on the top of many people’s bucket lists and it is easy to see why. While you are in Rome, there are so many things you can see including the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Trevi Fountain. While it is hard to see EVERYTHING Rome has to offer in one day, if you plan your time carefully, you will be able to see quite a bit.
- Villefranche (Monte Carlo / Nice), France. Ever dreamed about spending the day in the French Riviera? Here is your chance. You can spend the day shopping, laying by the beach or site seeing in Nice and see what it’s like to live the high life in Monaco! You can even do all of this if you choose the right excursion.
- Livorno (Florence, Pisa), Italy. When you get to Livorno, you are going to have to choose between Florence and Pisa. It is really too difficult to do both. My choice, hands down, is Florence. Florence is such an amazing city with so much beautiful history. And the views… there is nothing like seeing the Duomo from above.
- Naples (Pompeii), Italy. On this cruise, you will spend a lot of time in Italy, but each port you stop at will be different. We’ve been to Naples two different times, but Pompeii is my absolute favorite. My favorite Disney Mediterranean Cruise excursion was one where we had a guided bus tour to Pompeii followed by a trip to Sorrento to learn how to make Mozzarella while enjoying a full lunch. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. If you do choose to do Naples & Pompeii on your own, it is easily doable.
Tips for a Disney Mediterranean Cruise on the Disney Magic
- The Mediterranean Cruise itself is just like any other cruise you would take with Disney. Same great staff, on board activities, accommodations and food.
- Disney Characters will be dressed up in costumes based on port! Great photo opt opportunities.
- The Aquadunk is great for thrill seekers. Not so much for those with fears of dropping. The lines were not bad at all for that reason.
- There is one formal night (not all that formal, really) and a pirate night followed by fireworks.
- They have movies in English and Spanish. Be sure to know which on you are going to! The theater is small, so get there early. Movies fill up fast, especially first run movies. I’m talking, people sitting on the stairs. Yes, it is that packed and they do not allow you to save seats.
- Pack smart. Bring only what you need. Vary your luggage. We heard stories of airlines losing all luggage (those out of Heathrow were the worst), so make sure you have camera, electronics, medications and basic clothing in your carry-ons. There are laundry rooms on the ship so you can wash your items as needed.
- You will get FREE Disney Shampoo, Conditioner, Lotion and Bar Soap in your stateroom. When you run out, they will give you more.
- There will be a powerful hairdryer (better than the one on the wall of bathroom) in a desk drawer.
- There are 2 FREE Disney Cruise Line postcards in the desk. Stamps can be found at post offices (and some convenience stores) at each port of call.
Tips on Disney Mediterranean Cruise Excursions
While you can charge everything to your room while on the ship, you will want to make sure you get plenty of Euros prior to your trip for your excursions. You can use the exchange services on the ship (as well as at most airports, ports of call ATMs, European banks) BUT you will want to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck.
European exchange rates vary and fluctuate. Find the best deal you can prior to your cruise and get more than you think you will need. Also, whether you plan to withdrawal Euros from a Credit Card while in Europe or not, make sure you know your PIN code just in case. We had no idea what our pin code was and it caused us an unneeded headache when we needed more Euros.
Be prepared to be up early. Disney Cruise Line excursions seem to get priority in leaving the ship. In Villefranche, it can take up to one hour to leave the ship because you have to terry off the ship by small boasts. If you are doing a non-Disney or on your own excursion, so plan accordingly.
We did both Disney and Non-Disney excursions on our Disney Mediterranean Cruise. I do suggest you do your homework. You will pay more for Disney excursions than you will if you book private tours, but you are guaranteed that Disney won’t leave you if your excursion runs late (traffic is an issue in some ports of call). We did both Disney and non-Disney and I’m glad we did! You’ll find more information about this in my detailed Port of Call reviews.
You don’t need to speak Spanish, French or Italian. They all speak English. I was really hoping to use some of the Spanish I’ve mastered, but I hardly ever had the chance.
Wear comfortable shoes. For me, it was Skechers Go Walk Shoes. These are my go to shoes and I swear by them. I did see others wearing them too! The kids love their Keen Newport H2 Shoes. They are flexible, breathe and keep their toes covered. Best part is that no one got blisters or complained about how uncomfortable their shoes were.
Use a money belt or small purse that can be carried across the body. My husband carried the money belt (you will need to carry Passports with you and this is the safest way). Make copies of your passport to keep on the ship. I carried a small Vera Bradley Hipster Purse that held my small incidentals like phone and sunglasses. We also had a backpack for souvenirs, hats, sunblock and such.
Most of your lunches will be on your own. If you sit down in a restaurant, you will pay more than if you take it to go.
There is no tap water. If you want water, you will have to pay for it. Bottled water is cheapest~ 1-2 euros at small convenience stores (located just about everywhere). You’ll pay twice as much (same as a soda) in a restaurant. They serve both sparkling and “water natural” which is regular bottled water, so know what you are ordering.
Gratuities are generally already included in your bill at sit down restaurants. Most places will charge you for water unless you request tap water. Tap water is not always available. You will also want to make sure you request Still water if you want you water without carbonation.
Bathrooms are not always free, clean or big. Those with small children (or bladders) will want to know where “toilets” can be found while out and about. Keep small change with you in case they charge a fee. Bring a stack of napkins to dry your hands because most do not have ANY paper towels for when you wash your hands.
Best (and cheapest) shopping is Sorrento. Italy in general is a great place to purchase leather. There are people selling leather shoes, belts and purses nearly everywhere. Sorrento is known for two main things, Lemons and Olives. You will find everything from Lemoncello to pottery featuring lemons in most shops. There is a ton of souvenirs you will want to purchase while there.
Other useful info for a Disney Mediterranean Cruise:
- If you plan on staying extra days in Europe prior or post cruise, be sure to get at least one converter for your electronics.
- Trains are unpredictable. They will stop for no reason and can cause your trip to be off schedule.
- Pickpockets will look just like you. Be wary of strangers and never ask one to take your picture. You might never see your camera again.
- If you are handed a small card asking for money, don’t take the card. They will want it back… with some money.
- Our go to book was Rick Steve’s Mediterranean Cruise Ports. It was carried with us to every stop we made and was very informative!
We had a fabulous time on our Disney Mediterranean Cruise! What questions do you have about sailing to Europe with Disney?