Trip Log Day 2: 8-Night Silver Anniversary at Sea Greek Isles Cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy – Naples, Italy

Trip log, day two. Naples, Italy.
8-Night Silver Anniversary at Sea Greek Isles Cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy 
June 13, 2023

Guests Ashore: 7:00 am Guests Onboard: 6:00 pm
Personal Navigator – Day 2

Disney Dream Staterrom Map Day 2 Naples 20230613

Good Morning Disney Dream (GMDD) with Cruise Director Lee and Senior Entertainment Manager Tony from Spain was airing each morning with the same looking, but new each day plate of danishes. Kudos for the consistency Tony.

GMDD Show CD Lee Tony Spain

Emily made her way to the gym as would begin her daily routine. We had an early excursion meet time which had us up in Cabanas for a quick breakfast featuring at trip to the omelet station with a to-go breakfast for Emily.

Dream Cabanas Breakfast Omelet

The forecast looked promising for the day with morning temperatures around 68ºF (20ºC) with an afternoon high expected to be 75ºF (24ºC). There was however, a chance of rain. Overall, not a bad forecast for a day ashore.

Disney Dream Port Of Naples
Disney Dream docked in Napoli

The last time we were in Naples, the gangway on the Magic exited to the pier, this time we exited to a walkway and into the Porto di Napoli cruise terminal which had a few shops.

Porto Di Napoli Sign

The independent tour to Capri that we booked had a meeting point roughly a 5 minute walk from the ship over by the ferry docks. The easiest way to find the meeting point was to walk towards the medieval castle, Castel Nuovo (Maschio Angioino) and make a left as you are walking away from the Disney Dream.

Naples Castel Nuovo Maschio Angioino
Castel Nuovo (Maschio Angioino)

We booked the Capri and Blue Grotto Day Tour via Viator, the specific meeting spot for the Naples pickup spot was the Pic Nic Snack Bar Meeting Point which as you can see in the image below is located between the waterfront and Castel Nuovo.

It is not uncommon for us to book independent tours, or simply tour a port on our own with the use of public transportation. Today, we choose this independent port adventure because Disney Cruise Line did not offer a trip to Capri that included an opportunity to visit the Blue Grotto. I suspect this is because the Blue Grotto is not guaranteed due to various factors such as tides, weather, and sea conditions. Additionally, it is a popular spot and there is no way to bypass the line. Basically, DCL would have a line of guests demanding refunds all the time. Viator described the experience as follows:

Set sail for the idyllic Italian island of Capri as a full-day tour, including round-trip jetfoil transfers from Naples. The tour will take guests around the island by minibus, taking in the views along the famous ‘Mamma Mia’ road. Stop to browse the handicraft stores of Anacapri and soak up the atmosphere in buzzing La Piazzetta. Top it off with a visit to the Blue Grotto and a funicular ride to Marina Grande.

  • Full-day tour of Capri island from Naples or Sorrento
  • Admire views along the coast as you cruise to the island by jetfoil
  • Visit the lively island towns of Anacapri and Capri Ride the funicular from La Piazzetta to Marina Grande
  • Marvel at natural wonders like the Blue Grotto
  • Shared boat ride tour around the island ( if Blue grotto is closed)
  • Small-group tour ensures a personalized experience
Viator Capri and Blue Grotto Day Tour from Naples Overview

We paid just under $180 per person for the tour which we booked nearly a month ahead of time on Viator’s website.

For comparison, Disney Cruise Line was offering The Island Of Capri (NP01) with the following prices for this sailing: $215.00 (ages 10 and up) $195.00 (ages 3 to 9) $195.00 (ages 0 to 2). Disney’s port adventure listed the following port adventure highlights:

  • Embark on an approximate 50-minute jet-boat ride to the picturesque old port of Marina Grande on the island of Capri.
  • Drive 20 minutes to Anacapri and stop at Villa San Michele—explore its historic museum and groomed gardens for an approximate 45-minute visit.
  • Enjoy a half hour of leisure time to stroll around Anacapri and take in the breathtaking views of the city and its marina.
  • Eat an authentic Italian lunch at a local restaurant in Capri Town (included in the price of this tour).
  • Explore the picturesque square of Piazza Umberto including San Stefano Church, shops and cafés.
  • Take an optional guided tour of Augustus Gardens, overlooking the Faraglioni rocks and Marina Piccola, followed by 45 minutes of free time.
  • Transfer down to the Marina Grande by funicular (cable car) to catch the jetfoil back to Naples. There will be a short (10 minute) walk back to your ship.

As you can see, there are similarities to the independent version that we booked and we did see a number of DCL tour groups during our time at Capri as well as on the ferry to and from the island.

The instructions from Viator for our Capri and Blue Grotto Day Tour from Naples indicated it was operated by Raphael Tours & Events and to meet at the Pic Nic Snack BAR Meeting Point. Honestly, what a genius way to instruct guests on where to meet. The signage was so obvious, I actually missed it at first as I was looking at the cards held up by the various tour operators also meeting in this area.

Naples Pic Nic Snack BAR Meeting Point

We checked in with our guide, Alberto, who told us to meet near the ferry dock in about 15 minutes. This provided time for everyone else to assemble and for a last minute stop for snacks or water closet usage at the Pic Nic Snack BAR. Once the full group assembled (about 15 of us), we were given ferry tickets and we boarded the jetfoil for about a 50-minute trip across the Gulf of Naples to the Port of Capri. Just before boarding, Alberto let us know the conditions were currently favorable for the Blue Grotto, but it was on the verge of unfavorable conditions which could result in the grotto’s closure.

Naples Capri Ferry Ticket

The air conditioned jetfoil offered seating for each passenger, a snack bar, and most importantly, restroom facilities. Before boarding, Alberto instructed our group to head to the back exit of the ferry as we approached Capri as the ferry was full and time was of the essence to get to the Blue Grotto as soon as possible. We knew we had a good traveling group for the day when everyone assembled at the stern of the ferry well ahead of docking allowing our group to be the first on the pier and to the awaiting minibus.

Capri Tremiti Jet Ferry

As we waited for our minibus (Alberto, pictured below in a green shirt), checked in with his contact at the Blue Grotto to ensure it was still open as to avoid a wasted drive over to the grotto’s stairs.

Capri Tour Guide Alberto

The mamma mia road was a fun trip in the minibus complete with blind turns, narrow roads and occasional honking of the horn for both a heads up as well as in luew of expletives. I did not film any video of the drive, but I did find this brief video showing a little bit of the drive.

We made it to the Blue Grotto area after an exhilerating drive through the narrow streets and winding cliff side turns.

Anacapri Blue Grotto Sign

As I mentioned, there are 2 ways to visit the Blue Grotto, one by boat, one by car and then walk down the stairs. With some tours, you can pay extra for a skip the line pass, but at the Blue Grotto everyone waits their turn equally. Both methods have their pros and cons, but as you ponder the options while standing in line, there becomes a clear choice. Standing in a line on a descending staircase in partial shade, near a shop with refreshments is infinitely better than waiting in a small crowded boat, in the full sun bobbing up and down waiting for your turn.

The tour included our admission the the Blue Grotto and we could see the small boats loaded with people ready to enter the grotto.

However, this is as close as we would get to the Blue Grotto. After about an hour in the queue, Alberto made a call to his contact…. His contact ended up being the captain running the small boats, who made the call to close the grotto for the day due to diminishing sea conditions at the entrance. We could literally see the guy in the small boat answer his phone. What is the point of sharing this? Simple, we had an amazing guide who was connected with the folks in the area we were visiting. Touring in a small group, with a well connected local guide is priceless when visiting new destinations with only so little time. While we were bummed to come all this way and miss the opportunity to go into the Blue Grotto, it was not a big loss as I reflect back on the day.

Anacapri Old Town Map

With some extra time in our schedule, we returned to the old town area of Anacapri. Anacapri’s old town area became my favorite portion of the tour. The charming area offers a mix of shopping, dining and sightseeing opportunities. The highlight of this picturesque town is a chairlift that takes you up to Monte Solaro, the highest point on the island of Capri. The shopping is not your typical jewelry and high end cruise shops; the shops in Anacapri feature a mix of local handicrafts, stylish boutiques, and selection of cafés and restaurants serving authentic Italian cuisine.

We spent some time exploring the cobblestone streets and the various shops. There were two big items of interest Anacapri that Alberto told the group about – perfume, and custom made sandals made famous by Jackie O. We set out looking for a specific shop to purchase a specific item, but the success or failure of this mission will remain classified until late December.

Anacapri Carthusia Profumi Di Capri

Alberto once again came through with somewhat of a skip the line pass for the Monte Solaro Chair Lift. Basically, he asked the group who wanted to go up on the chair lift, and offered to wait in line for us buying tickets. When we returned from shopping, he handed us our tickets and gave us his place in the line. Once again, local tour guide comes in clutch!

Anacapri Seggiovia Monte Solaro Chair Lift

The chair lift takes about 12-minute each way and a return ticket is required so keep it in a safe place until you are ready to descend.

Once off the chairlift, there is still a bit of a walk, but I promise the effort is worth it. This experience offers breathtaking views of the azure sea and the rugged coastline via this unique perspective.

Anacapri Seggiovia Monte Solaro Chair Lift

Once you reach the top of these stairs you are presented with panoramic vistas of the natural beauty surrounding you.

At the top, you will find a statue of the first Roman to set foot on the island, Emperor Augustus with Capri’s Faraglioni Rocks in the background.

Anacapri Seggiovia Monte Solaro Chair Lift Emperor Augustus Stat
Emperor Augustus Statue Mount Solaro, Capri

The decent portion of the Monte Solaro Chair Lift ride if the most scenic, as you can see in the following video.

When we first arrived in Anacapri, Alberto mentioned a few places including some spots to dine. The places in the Old Town area are fine, but location, location, location = more Euros. He recommended Le Arcate Ristorante, and most of our group ended up there for lunch, including us. Obviously, Alberto was a bit biased knowing the owner, but the recommendation hit the spot. Additionally, the previously mentioned captain from the Blue Grotto was also at the restaurant eating at the same table as our guide. We’ve encountered this in the Caribbean where tour guides recommend a place then vanish with a little payola on the backend I suspect. Regardless, the recommendation was great and carries more weight when the guide sits down for lunch. It was also helpful because he was able to get everything expedited, from food delivery to getting the check timely as well.

Following lunch, the clouds were starting to move in and it felt like rain was apporaching the island. We drove back to Capri to walk around La Piazzetta, basically the main shopping and dining area. This area was CROWDED to say the least and the shopping was more high end brands than local shops, a stark contrast to Anacapri.

Porto Di Capri Overlook

There were some highlights in Capri, such as the iconic ceramic clock on the bell tower.

Alberto provided two suggestions for treats in Capri, one of them was the Special Drink at the kiosk near the clock tower. The special was a lemon slush with orange juice and mint and when in Capri, add a floater of Limoncello. Nice and refreshing, would highly recommend both versions.

There was this art installation in the area, a bronze statue titled “Walking In Beauty” by Spanish sculptures Joan Coderch and Javier Malavia.

Piazzetta Di Capri Statue

One of the little shops along the walkway had a selection of postcards, including these made in Italy Walt Disney “Capri” postcard with Mickey & Minnie and another with Donald.

I already referenced my affinity for visiting grocery stores when traveling, but I also enjoy seeing variant movie posters in the local language. Currently screening on the island of Capri are Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse, Transformers Il Risveglio, and La Sirenetta. Spider-Man unfortunately didn’t have a localized poster.

Capri Movie Theatre Posters

The other spot suggested by Alberto was Pasticceria Gelateria BGA, where Isabelle ordered a lemon sorbet. The sorbet was rich in citrus flavor and creamy. If the line wasn’t as long as it was, I would have gone back to get one for myself.

Kinda going through feline withdrawals today around Capri, so this adorable Capri themed ceramic piece of art in the window of Eureka Capri will have tide me over.

Capri Ceramic Tile Cat Art Sculpture

As a consolation for the missed Blue Grotto tour, the backup option was a circumnavigational boat tour of the island of Capri which was our next adventure leaving from the same dock we arrived at earlier in the day and the same where we will depart later… Hopefully, as we need to be on the 4:30p ferry as we have a 6pm all aboard time today.

Porto Di Carpri

The boat ride sailed clockwise around the island of Capri departing the port area heading east. Below is a overview map showing the various points of interest with a focus on our boat tour with a summary of the route in blue.

Capri Tour Map 20230613

Initially, I thought this was a person sitting on the rock base my vantage point from the boat, I only noticed this was a bronze statue when reviewing the photos from the trip. The statue on the rock is called Gennarino Scigunizzo Di Capri and on the particular day was wearing a shirt while holding a flag.

Capri Gennarino Scigunizzo Di Capri Statue On Rock

Our next point of interest where the boat backed in was the Grotta Bianca (White Grotto). The most interesting aspect in my opinion was the view looking up.

Capri Grotto
Grotta Bianca

Up nex,t we sailed through the Faraglioni rock formation on the southern coastline of Capri. The rocks are named from left to right: Stella, Faraglione di Mezzo and, Faraglione di Fuori.

Just past the Faraglioni near the Marina Piccola, we spotted Tommy Hilfiger’s $46 million dollar yacht named FLAG. If you think a Disney Cruise is expensive, the FLAG charter rate starts at €378,000 for a week.

Our tour continued past Marina Piccola, where the beach offers a lovely view of the the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Faraglioni.

Capri Marina Piccola

While I do not have anything to compare our next stop to, the Grotta Verde (Green Grotto) was the highlight of the tour and I wish we could have joined the others jumping off the boats and swimming though to the other side. The time of day was perfect for this afternoon visit as the light was hitting the water at a perfect angle. Our tour boat was one a big boat in comparison to the others offering similar tours, so it was not practical for passengers to go for a swim. The size of our tour boat also impacted how far they could maneuver into the grottos. As you can see in the images below, the smaller boats were able to get much closer.

On the Southwestern coastline of Capri, you can spot the Faro di Punta Carena. Construction on the lighthouse began in 1862, entering active service 1867, and remains active to this day.

Capri Punta Carena Lighthouse
Faro di Punta Carena (Lighthouse of Punta Carena)

Bookending our day in Capri, we passed by the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto) which was nearly empty since the entrance was closed earlier in the day. There were, however, some folks taking a closer look and a dip into the water from the stairs.

The video of the boat tour below is not great, I simply attached the GoPro to a rail on the port side of our tour boat and hit record. Knowing what I know now, I would have tried to get a seat on the stern or at least on the starboard side. Alternatively, this is a video of a Capri boat tour that looks out at the sea instead of the island. A new perspective if you will, kinda like the backside of water.

We made it back with more than enough time to board the 4:30 pm ferry back to Naples. However, the ferry was pretty full by the time we boarded so we were split up in different seats. The ferry offered free WiFi, but thankfully I was not able to connect and took the 50-minutes to sit in noisy solitude until a tap on my shoulder from my loving wife who was able to connect to the WiFi… Fall 2024 DCL itineraries just dropped…

Sea conditions and weather were great for the commute both ways, so we made the crossing to and from Capri in about 50-ish minutes and were headed to the terminal by 5:30pm. There was a line of passengers as the security screening occurred in the terminal, not onboard. There were some shops open in the terminal for some last minute gifts or vino.

Disney Dream Naples Port Totem For Peace

I was prepared for the Fall 2024 itinerary release during this cruise, but I was anticipating it on Thursday, not Tuesday. In a way, this was a blessing in disguise in a rip the band-aid off kinda way. Rather than returning from a day ashore in Capri, I quickly showered and headed to my office to update the website with the new itineraries. This is where I started to lose my mind with the premium surf plan ($240 for the cruise which was a $48 savings versus per day price of $36); what should have taken me an hour tops, took 3 hours, and I still didn’t accomplish what I would have normally accomplished at home with traditional internet. I am not exactly sure why I keep paying for the top premier plan, as each cruise it seems like more and more adjustments are made to limit usage, and overall the service continues to underwhelm. This was amplified more during the sailing when I tried to accomplish some real world work tasks.

Cabanas Office Fall 2024 Itinerary Release

By the time we managed to get through security, board the Dream, and clean up, our dinner seating was already underway. We settled for room service where the menu was a bit different than recent menus from the other ships, I’m going to chalk it up to the seasonal deployment for the Dream, not a fleet change until I see the compare additional menus from across the fleet. The highlight of the order was a plant based chicken sandwich served with sweet potato fries; Isabelle said it was delicious. Emily actually went up to Tow Mater’s to get grilled chicken (not pictured) to add to her arugula salad, which she said was basically chicken jerky.

Evening dinner alternatives is where Disney Cruise Line is falling behind. Back in the day, they’d offer a casual dinner service in Cabanas with a sampling of offerings from the main dining rooms. Additionally, on prior European cruises on the Magic, Cabanas has been open with a dinner buffet on the longer port days where passengers would be returning later in the evening. The quick service on the pool deck was nothing more than fast food and thus the reason we settled for room service. They didn’t even have pizza, or the window with wraps and salads open past 6pm. For the first time, I wished I was on the Wish and Mickey & Friends Festival of Foods was open in the evening as a casual dinner option. After sailing on Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras back in March, I became smitten with the casual food options where we could easily forgo the MDR and number of other venues both included and an additional charge. Sure Palo and Remy are available as alternative, but those are adult-only and not designed for casual dining. For a family, it is kinda MDR or bust. In our case, it was looking more like we would be eating a nice lunch ashore and not worry about dinner onboard.

After dinner, Emily and Isabelle were out and about on the ship. As they were strolling through The District, they spotted a Disney100 souvenir coupe glass at the District Lounge. The glass has the Disney100 logo on one side and “Disney Cruise Line” text logo on the opposite.

A long day is over and we were welcomed back to our stateroom by an elephant towel animal, chocolates, and an invitation to the Castaway Club reception which is held on cruises of 8-nights or longer.

Stateroom Towel Elephant Castaway Reception Invite

Tomorrow is our first day at sea, a day we that should help us rest up from our travels so far and prepare us for the long port days in Greece.

Oh hey, did you know we have not one, but 2 group cruises planned for this fall on the a Halloween on the High Seas cruise, and next summer in Alaska? We love if you considered joining us. For more details on our group sailings, click on the previous links to each of the sailings.

Complete Trip Log Index

9 Replies to “Trip Log Day 2: 8-Night Silver Anniversary at Sea Greek Isles Cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy – Naples, Italy”

  1. Margot

    Every time I get an opportunity to fill out the “review” packet or a survey related to Disney cruise in any way, I offer my happy to be here first but end with laments about evening dining. Long days in port create issues and they know they have guests returning late and exhausted. And families…. They need to keep all the qs windows open and have something in Cabanas (the lighter side menu?) and expand the room service menu. Or add more restaurants. Every other cruiseline it seems, has more choices and a better room service menu. Why can’t I have eggs in bed, Disney? (sigh)

    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      My only logical guess, is that the survey results they have do not support adding more options in the evening. It has been a long time since I’ve heard the phrase “due to guest feedback” uttered.

  2. Alistair

    I was on the Northern Europe cruise last year on the Magic and due to about 50% occupancy they did not open Cabanas for dinner, I’m wondering if the Dream was seeing a similar occupancy rate, if it was it makes it difficult to justify opening an other restaurant when the other 3 are not at capacity.

  3. Beth

    Really enjoying your report thanks. We are dcl cruisers but took a six year detour on other cruise lines (+covid). Going back on dcl in September and am honestly a bit worried about the evening dining situation. We used to dine in cabanas at night a lot to escape rigid meal times. We have definitely gotten used to your time dining and 24 hour pizza or close to it depending on the line. Ugh

  4. Anne

    Did the dining improve throughout the cruise ? It didn’t sound like it. Would you have an idea why ? A ship crew not used to such long itineraries and/or European providers ?

  5. Nancy

    Thank you for a wonderful trip report. This tour sounds amazing and one that my family would love to do. Did they promise to have you back to the ship on time, being given the length of this tour?


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.