Danielle was on the phone for 7,5 hours to book the main part of this vacation, the 7-Night Mediterranean Disney Cruise from Barcelona to Barcelona. Just 2 more nights of sleep before it all starts!
The first night we will stay near the Munich Airport in the Holiday Inn Express as our flight with Vueling to Barcelona leaves as early as 9:50am with boarding starting at 9:10am and we don’t like getting up too early during our vacation.
If everything goes according to plan we arrive exactly at noon in Barcelona, assuming everything goes smooth at Barcelona El Prat airport we should be in our hotel around 1:30pm. We will be staying in the Hilton Diagonal Mar in Barcelona which is right across from a large shopping mall and close to the beach.
While we plan on taking it easy we hope to have some time to visit a Tapas Bar nearby for dinner before jumping into our beds early as our 7 day long adventure will start the morning after.
Embarking the Disney Magic is estimated around 12:00pm and we plan on taking a taxi to the port. The first day will be a day at sea, the second day we will be at Naples. In Naples we have an excursion booked to Pompeii. The day the ship docks in Civitavecchia we stay on-board to make sure we are all rested enough to get on land in Livorno to spend the morning in Pisa and to explore Monaco when the ship docks in Villefranche.After that only one day on the ship is left before we are forced to disembark.
But don’t worry the fun isn’t over yet we added some Disney fun at the end of the trip. After leaving the ship around 7am we need to get to the airport where our plane to Paris (Orly) leaves at 12:45pm.
Yes, you figured it out, we are going to Disneyland Paris. After staying at the airport in a Novotel we jump on the Magical Shuttle towards the most magical destination in Europe.
Danielle already started packing our suitcases, she prepared the Fish Extenders for the cruise (it’s a privately gift exchange between fellow passengers on board a Disney Cruise), and she got the magnets to decorate our door.
And Emily? She is trying out all summer items she has, she already packed her suit case twice, and unpacked it because she wanted to play with the toys she packed.
And I? I wrote this blog…
If everything goes according to plan today will be the longest travel in both distance and time.
But first the story from yesterday, late in the evening when both my princesses where already in bed I decided to settle our bill. Everything was fine I only paid 1 out of the 2 nights and as an additional bonus they also didn’t charge us for parking (28$/night) and we got fee breakfast (14$/person)! I’d say I did like the outcome, to bad we need to spend time on it. The hotel itself was very good and the location was perfect.
Back to today, at 6:41am the little princes decided that it was time to switch from the bed with mama to the bed with papa. That including a pretty loud announcement and without holding back she started jumping on my chest, at least she said “Papa I missed you” which made a lot bit more bearable.
From there we got ourselves ready, Emily and I loaded the first suitcases. And when mama was ready we went to the breakfast, I’m glad that we didn’t spent money on it, it was only slightly better as the free breakfast at a Holiday Inn Express.
9:00am sharp we drove out of the parking garage for our 384 Miles long drive to the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, North Carolina. For the European readers this a the North American variant of CenterParcs. Difference are that it’s a hotel and a single building and the pool is more exciting but less themed.
But we still had about 6 hours driving to do. Unfortunately we told Emily that she was going to swim today, she asked about it roughly every 15 minutes! The road was very boring we drove over 3 interstates the I-395, the I-95 and the I-85.
But lucky for us we found some entertainment along the road in getting gas at WaWa, shopping at a Target.
Just after we drove over the border of North Carolina, State #7 we stopped and tried out a new restaurant for lunch. The restaurant was Bojangles but it was a disappointment, the staff didn’t even knew their own menu and the service was, even for fast food, terrible. After lunch Daniëlle drove the last 2 hours and soon we arrived at the Lodge.
The lodge was way bigger as we imagined and we called see it from far away. When we checked in, or better to say got our paperwork as I checked in online yesterday already, we learned that the bracelet where like MagicBands they were your credit card, your room key and your ID. Perfect for a hotel build around an indoor water park/pool.
We got to our room, changed in our bathing suits and we were off to the kids splash area. Emily went from the yellow slide, then the blue slide and played a little bit.
Finally we convinced her to leave and go into the wave pool. She loved it…she was jumping and running until she wanted to checkout the section for bigger kids.
At first we thought adults weren’t allowed but apparently at least one us needed to accompany her. First we played with buckets and other water spraying elements until Emily wanted to slide… There were 2 longer slides and I would have not believed that she went of either one of them if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. And she didn’t only went once, she went 3 times until she decided that she wanted to eat a pretzel!
After dinner in the water area we jumped one more time in the wave pool before wen went back to our room to get dressed and see a short nighttime show for kids in the lobby. After the show it was time for bed.
When we got back to the room it was a little challenge to get Emily to sleep in her own bed for a night but good old Edwin, her interactive rubber ducky helped us out playing some lullabies, it’s also a Bluetooth speaker!
Tomorrow we’ll start in the water area and around lunch we’ll be starting to drive to our next stop!