Trip log, day four. Happy Mykonos Day!
8-Night Silver Anniversary at Sea Greek Isles Cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
June 15, 2023
Guests Ashore: 9:00 am Guests Onboard: 8:00 pm
Personal Navigator – Day 4
We finally made it to Greece! It feels like we booked a cruise to Greece back in Roman times. Incredible to finally get to check off a new region of the World, on this Happy Mykonos Day which started with Emily going to the gym and picking up caffeine from Vista Café.
We were going to explore Mykonos on our own today. We took our time and waited for the 9AM rush and port adventures to depart while we headed to Royal Palace for a sit down breakfast. Our server was smart offering a deconstructed Mimosa rather than a traditional Mimosa.
I am not sure if this is typical or not, but breakfast was slow this morning. Service was excellent, but the time commitment involved, yikes. While we had the time to spare, it did set up back about 30 minutes from the time we planned to head ashore. I would highly recommend heading up to Cabanas if you are trying to get ashore early, or be at a designated meeting point for an excursion, especially since what they serve isn’t anything special. Emily used to love the buckwheat tofu crepe, but it is a shell of its former self. The Southern Hash was nothing more than ingredients that I could’ve put together on a plate at Cabanas. We were hoping that the food would be better here than it had been at Cabanas, but we were mistaken.
While we were eating, I noticed Isabelle had a new KTTW card and it was unique to the VIBE with holographic text. She graduated from EDGE to VIBE during the cruise industry shutdown and has only been on the Disney Wish since the restart. During those cruises, she was not offered this card, which is issued in VIBE. They took her original KTTW card, but she was able to get that back on the final night of the cruise. It was a 25th design so she wanted to have it for a keepsake since our next cruise will be a month after the Silver Anniversary cruises end.
Rapunzel was hanging around the grand staircase in the atrium as we were heading ashore so I made the most of the opportunity to say hello since there was no line and we had a digital photo package that wasn’t being utilized.
We were not alone in Mykonos. However, the Disney Dream was the only ship that wasn’t tendering. So we got that goin for us, which is nice.
We docked at the new port in Mykonos and took advantage of the photo op set up on the pier.
There are two options to get over to the Old Port area; walk or take the Sea Bus.
There was a kiosk to purchase tickets for the Sea Bus, but Disney Cruise Line passengers were offered the service for free by showing their KTTW card when boarding the vessel.
The transfer on the Sea Bus from the New Port to the Old Port was just over 15 minutes. The Sea Bus in a way was a bonus boat tour of the waterfront area and provided a closer look at the other cruise ships.
While I really didn’t utilize the shopping guides handed out onboard, the shopping map included in the handout was at times just as useful as Cliff’s Notes back in the day. Generalized local maps are great additions to smartphone maps as they tend to highlight the most important aspects of the area. You can often find port area maps in the terminal or posted somewhere in the vicinity of the port area such as the map below.
Saint Nikolaos Of Kadena Holy Orthodox, the first of many churches we’d encounter, was just off the pier in the Old Port area.
A movie poster for ΦΥΛΑΚΕΣ ΤΟΥ ΓΑΛΑΞΙΑ 3 was hanging on the wall of Mykonos Town Hall advertising for a showing at Cine Manto the open air cinema in town.
The streets around the Town of Mykonos (Chora) are just like the post cards and on TV. Nearly all the buildings look like they have a fresh coat of paint.
It was subtle, but if you look closely, what appears to be white grout between the pavers is actually faux grout lines created with paint.
During our day ashore we came across a lot of cats, most of them friendly.
Remember the map… Well, it has a listing for a W.C. which is a very important point of interest when exploring ports. The water closets are few and far between and to use a restroom at most places requires you to be a patron of the establishment. Well, as we were walking around, we needed to locate a W.C. We walked into Zorbas Delicatessen which is located near the windmills and has a few seat as well as a shop with fresh pastries, beverages, and culinary souvenirs. We asked where we could find the nearest pay W.C. The amazing shopkeeper invited us to use their water closet even before we made a purchase. Moral of the story, when in need ask. The delicatessen smelled amazing. We did end up buying some Greek seasonings and flavored salts.
We spent some time walking around the Mykonos Windmills (Kato Mili), it turned out to be a good time to visit as the crowds were light compared to what we spotted later in the day when we were walking nearby. One of the windmills on the hill is now an airbnd called The Iconic Windmill.
The windmills are not a bad spot for a family selfie.
The area has potential for some artsy photos of purple flower and your cruise ship.
The New Port where the Disney Dream docked is just over a 2 mile walk to Windmills, but is less than a half mile walk from the Sea Bus tender dock in the Old Port.
Back in the early 70’s, my mom lived in Mykonos for a short period of time while working at the Butterfly Bar. Before we left, she sent me a picture of the landlord’s business card who also owned a shop at 32 Matogiannia St, and I tried to track down the location. However, even with the business card information in hand and the name of the bar, I could only find the general area on Matogianni street. I mentioned the name of the bar and showed the business card to a few shop owners hoping to find the spot where my mom used hang out, but I kept hearing “a lot has changed” or “this place changes frequently.” This was evident the more we walked around. The port was BUSY with the influx of cruise passengers and the area was mostly a shopping and dining district. A significant transformation in just over 50 years. Don’t get me wrong, it was cool to tour the area simply for the unique layout and architecture. However, I was really hoping to get a drink at that same bar.
Our second cat of the day, a black cat sighting outside of a shoe store.
The Agia Kyriaki Church had a neat courtyard with flags hanging above.
Near the church was the next cat, a tortoiseshell napping in the shade.
Next order of business, lunch at the Mykonos Brewing Company… We found ourselves near the Manto Statue which is a great location to use as a 2nd focal point next to the Sea Bus tender dock to use as a meeting point or to get your bearings after emerging near the waterfront from the crazy walkways.
Looking at my phone, the brewery was just about a 1 mile walk. That’s nothing…. so we thought….. We neglected to take in consideration the topography of the area. The walk to the brewery was uphill all the way.
Our lunch and suds reward was in sight and then we discovered, the brewery was just a brewery… No food… The brewery was in what could be considered in the states as a strip mall, at the very least, there was a grocery store, a bakery, and a cafe in the area.
In the middle of the car park, we spotted a covered patio with tables and walked over. Inside, we were welcomed by the owners which appeared to be a husband and wife with their young child seated in her high chair at the lone indoor table. We were not sure if they were prepping for dinner or in fact open for lunch. When we inquired, the chef responded with ‘whatever you want I’ll make!’ We were taken to a table and presented a menu. It was all Greek to me, literally the menu was in Greek. So, obviously this is going to be a good thing. Chicken Souvlaki was recommended so chicken souvlaki it was. The level of flavor packed in the dish was outrageous. This could just be a result of eating bland food onboard, but seriously the food was delicious and worth the walk from town and ended up being our most favorite meal of the trip. There is nothing like home cookin’.
The only problem, Euros only, no card… Well, we were a bit short and needed an ATM. Conveniently, the ATM at the market in the parking lot was out of service. Emily returned to inquire where the next closest ATM could be found just as the owner walked out with a bonus ice cream bar for each of us. When Emily asked about another ATM, the owner said don’t worry about it, just pay me tomorrow. Well, that wasn’t an option so Emily headed back the way we came and found another ATM. It was clear as the blue skies overhead, we were well off the beaten patch, and picked an amazing spot for lunch – one not frequented by many cruise ship passengers. Just under €50 for 3 generously portioned and delicious entrées, a carafe of wine to share, and two 2 liter bottles of water. Without question, I would return to try some of the other dishes we saw ordered by a nearby table.
Thankfully, we had until 8pm ashore giving us the freedom to change plans on the fly and make the most of our day in Mykonos. If the all aboard time was early, we would have been pressed for time. We walked across the parking lot to the Mykonos Brewing Company, and decided to go for the Mikònu beer tasting experience. Each beer was served from either the tap or directly from the tank and introduced by one of the brewers. Empty bottles of each beer were brought to the table as part of the presentation. The labels were all unique and just as interesting as the beers. The brewery makes a house beer for one of the restaurants in the town area. At the end, I ordered one of the beers not included in the tasting, a lovely Tropical Weiss. There were 2 other couples in the brewery that also made the uphill walk from town, so we were not alone in doing so. Overall, a well worth trip on all accounts.
We talked about going to one of the beaches, but decided to go back to the port area instead. What goes up hill must come down. In this case, that meant the 1 mile decent back to the waterfront was going to be a breeze. Our trek back was very scenic with views of the cruise ships. This is where tendering would have created a great photo op. Instead of the Disney Dream, we had wonderful views of Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey Of The Seas. It would have been worth the tendering effort to have the Dream in the prime photo spot. IN a way, since we took the Sea Bus from the New Port to the Old Port, we basically tendered sans the hassle of the onboard tendering queue.
As we were making quick work of the walk back we spotted encountered the fourth and fifth cats of the day!
One cat really took a liking to us, and ran after us twice. Finally, we had to say to each other “DO NOT LOOK BACK” as we were approaching a busy road crossing. We would have adopted this cat in a heartbeat, it was so sweet.
We returned to the town area and started to retrace our steps from the morning in search of a piece of artwork Emily spotted earlier. Either the canvas art was sold, or we simply never found our way back to the right shop, but we never found it. We did however, meet the sixth cat of the day, a gorgeous orange tabby.
Followed by the seventh cat, another tortoiseshell.
Near the seventh, was the eighth cat napping on a paver.
The waterfront areas was picturesque, and is one of those spots that match the brochure.
On the waterfront we found the Captain’s restaurant which has a house beer brewed for them exclusively by the Mykonos Brewing Company which we tried as part of the tasting flight.
Hello ninth cat of the day and third orange tabby!
It was approaching the end of our time ashore, we stopped to get post cards and drop them in the mail. Along the Old Port waterfront near the Marché Aux Poissons (fish market) was an old fishing boat on display as part of a protected monument.
Time to return to the Dream via the Sea Bus. One of the popular tours in Mykonos was over to Delos, a popular archaeological site and in no way related to Delos Incorporated… If we return, it would be a destination high on my list of options.
The trip back offered some more unique photo ops while sitting on the top deck.
We returned to the Disney Dream around 5:30 giving us about 30 minutes to get turned around and down to Animator’s Palate for dinner. The menu for this evening was the standard Animator’s Palate menu. The service was excellent and the plating was lovely. Isabelle’s favorite are the black beac chipotle cakes, and she remarked that they looked freezer burned, but ended up being decent overall. We have also begun to use the dip that accompanies the bread to add flavor when needed.
Following our time in Animator’s we headed outside to enjoy the view as we were sailing away from Mykonos. So far, the weather has been great with a promising forecast for the remainder of the voyage.
We walked around deck 4 then headed inside stopping in Skyline to browse the latest menu and ordered a couple of cocktails while Isabelle made her way to Vibe.
We took our cocktails to go and walked over to 687 for Movie Quotes Trivia. Trivia sessions can be really busy and there are times were it is difficult to place a drink order, or when you do, the drinks arrive near the end of the allotted trivia session. If you are interested in a beverage to enjoy during popular trivia sessions, I’d recommend stopping at a nearby lounge to purchase a drink on your way to trivia.
After trivia, we made our way to the upper decks and stopped in Vanellope’s for a Happy Mykonos day cupcake because I didn’t remember its just a blah Disney cupcake, and I should have ordered a scoop of gelato instead. In general, Disney does a great job at making food look great playing to ‘the camera eats first mentality,’ but I find more often than not, it is smoke and mirrors to cover up cheap ingredients, or recipes that do not scale up well outside of the test kitchen to theme park or cruise ship quantities. I threw at least 75% of it in the trash, but hey, it photographed well, and I’m sure if I post it on Instagram no one will even ask how it tasted (at least until some reads this sentence)…
One of our favorite pastimes was grabbing a cheese plate from Vista or Cove Café at the end of the night for a late night snack for Isabelle following her time at the Oceaneer Club/Lab. However, now that she is living the VIBE life and is much more independent while onboard she is bringing me back late night snacks from The District. If you haven’t tried a cold onion ring right before bed, you’ve made the right decision. Anyway, the cheese plate available was pretty solid, 4 please!
Time for some household chores before retiring for the night. The Disney Wish launched with an incredible central guest laundry room, and now it’s hard to go back to the other ships to do laundry. Full disclosure, we have done exactly 0, that is ZERO loads of laundry on the Disney Wish since the longest sailing was 5-nights and it wasn’t necessary. However, having a central location would make the onboard chore of laundry so much more magical eliminating the need to run all over to find an available washing machine. Actually, that give me an idea… DCL has this app they keep forcing guests to use by not placing a stack of printed navigators out near guest services for easy self-service. I digress… How about putting the machine availability summary information in the app allowing guests to easily see which of the ship’s 7 launderette locations have machine availability at any given time??
It was a team effort, but we managed wash two loads of clothes before heading to bed to rest of for tomorrow when we plan to head out and explore Athens on our own. We ended up putting in a little over 10 miles walking around in Mykonos today!