Trip log, day five. Livorno, Italy near Florence and Pisa.
7-Night Mediterranean Cruise
June 6, 2018
Well, today, Emily dragged me to the gym.
We had some extra time this morning, so we opted to have our breakfast at Lumiere’s. From my perspective, it isn’t all that special. It is slow service and the food is on par with Cabanas except for a few specific items such as the buckwheat tofu crepe, which is a favorite of Emily’s.
We headed to the D-Lounge for our Port Adventure, LV100, which is the Torre a Cenaia Estate and the Tower of Pisa excursion. Sorry, if I confused anyone on Twitter saying it was LV10; the printout I had on me at the time was missing the last digit. We left the Magic and boarded the bus, driving about 30 or so minutes to the winery.
Upon arrival at Torre a Cenaia Estate, we received a friendly welcome and a micro tour (at best) of the winery.
We boarded a horse drawn carriage for a tour around the farm. We saw the olive trees, vineyard, & other crops. It was a lovely, leisurely ride.
Following the ride, we moved into the inside restaurant, Pitti & Friends Ostera, for a four-course wine tasting with a selection of food.
There was a lot of down time during the tasting experience and the wine was not flowing, nor was there an option to purchase additional wine by the glass, but we had an enjoyable time overall. The wine was delicious & the food was enjoyable. The winery employees were also very friendly,
The final 30 minutes at the Torre a Cenaia Estate was free time for walking around the grounds and to make any purchases in the wine shop. They had wine, beer, cheese and various merchandise for sale. Emily filled out the order form during the tasting. In the end, we ordered a case of various wines which they said would arrive to our house in Florida in about two weeks. We also purchased a bottle to take back to the ship.
The shop was offering free shipping on a full case or 50% off shipping on a half case, but only when you buy a case of the same variety. Mix and match cases like we ordered were not included in the promotion, but it was still a good deal with shipping compared to what we’d pay for similar quality wines at Total Wine in the states. Remember, even with DCL’s current guest alcohol policy you can still bring on two bottles of wine or a 6-pack of beer per person over age 21 in each port to enjoy in your stateroom.
Our time at the vineyard was over and it was time to move on to the second half our our Port Adventure, a trip to the Tower of Pisa. The bus departed and headed off on a 30 minute drive to Pisa.
Along the way our guide, Val, continued to share some information on the area – he was an excellent guide and he really loves Disney, he could easily fit in as part of the cruise staff team.
The area around the Tower of Pisa is not really accommodating to tour busses, so we parked in a bus lot and walked about 10 minutes to our destination. Val informed us we had a 3:45PM time to climb the Tower of Pisa which gave us approximately 30 minutes of time to walk around. There is a cruise friendly restaurant which includes restaurants, but the prices for food and souvenirs were some of the highest we’ve encountered. We utilized the restrooms which per the sign were complimentary for cruise passengers. Basically, the cruise lines and the tour groups have some sort of deal to recommend this place as a meeting point/safe house if you will. We walked down a street to a coffee and gelato shop for espresso and gelato.
The great part about visiting the Tower of Pisa is you are given a time to climb the tower. Think of it like an old school paper Fastpass where you get a ticket with a time to get in line. The bonus of going on a pre-arranged group tour such as a DCL Port Adventure is your group’s time is prearranged for the day. We regrouped and got in line. Bags are not permitted in the tower. We chose to leave our bags in the tour bus, but there are free lockers available in a nearby building a few hundred yards from the tower entrance.
The timed tickets allow about 30 guests at a time which really helped make it an enjoyable experience. You can stay at the top as long as you wish, but they do as ask you not to touch the bells.
The view from the top is nice, but there isn’t much to see beyond the immediate area.
The trip to Pisa to climb the tower was rather brief, but it did provide an adequate amount of time to climb the tower and take the cliché photos.
We walked back to the bus and headed back towards the port. The bus ride back turned into a Disney sing-a-long led by future Disney Cast Member, Val.
We arrived back at the ship with just enough time to get cleaned up and to dinner back at Rapunzel’s Royal Table.
As I mentioned earlier in the cruise, on our first evening at Rapunzel’s the dinner show was split compared to the singular show we encountered on our March 5-night cruise.
During these longer sailings, the single show is split with the first evening the “THUG” night where we celebrate Rapunzel’s birthday. The second night, is the “Lantern” show which focuses on the portion when Rapunzel and Flynn release the lanterns.
The menu served on this evening was the what we had during the single version of the dinner show experience. We are mixed on the evening. I like the show split into two even though the narrative was a bit wonky, while Emily and Isabelle enjoyed the single show better. I felt it made the dinner service flow better and it didn’t interfere with the show as much as it does on the single show night.
After dinner, I rushed off to do a load of laundry which turned out to be a great time in which a number of washers were available. I met back up with Emily and Isabelle in O’Gills to play a board game before another round of trivia.
Earlier in the cruise, we noticed the bar menus were changed limiting the offerings such as the cocktails in O’Gills. While speaking to Alex, one of the bartenders, we learned this was due to a provisioning issue with some alcohol as it is not as easy (I’m reading this as cheap, but I’m sure there is some legal or red tape issue beyond budgetary). The good news was that as long as they still have the ingredients available, they are happy to sell you the drink, such as the Gin Tea Tonic.
I cut out on the middle of our game to switch the laundry. We noticed the app alerts you about 5 minutes before the machines end so you’d arrive on time to keep the flow moving. During a previous trip to the laundry, Emily encountered an irate guest because she arrived and the washer still had 3 minutes to go, but the app/Wave Phone notification said it was done. I love it and I am sure anyone else who’s waited for a finished washer or dryer to open up will be elated. Sorry, I am not willing to deal with laundry room drama on the ship, it can get ugly and I don’t want any part of it my touching someone else’s clothes.
After trivia, the dryer made quick work of the clothes so I was able to free up a dryer early, return the clothes to the stateroom and get to the Walt Disney Theatre to enjoy the lone variety act, Hector is Magic, in the theatre on this cruise.
Hector’s show as really fun with a mix of card tricks, slight of hand and other illusions. His act is great for DCL, as it includes a lot of audience participation with a few kids. The final card trick was a hit.
Another long port day in the books and another one to go with Villefranche tomorrow, therefore, it was time to call it a night.