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Exploring Nice and Monaco in One Day – Disney Magic Cruise

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On our fourth and final excursion day, the Disney Magic left Italy and headed towards France! I was very excited to spend some time in Nice and Monaco and couldn’t wait to get back to sightseeing and exploring another country (well technically two!).

Mallory in Monaco
For some reason, I didn’t do any research about Nice and Monaco because I was going on a guided tour. Surprise – WE are going to another Country!

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Port Adventures for Nice and Monaco

For the trip that we are on, the Disney Magic docked in Cannes (Villefranche) than Nice. Due to that, we had to tender to port. This was my first time tendering on a cruise, and I was extremely nervous! Instead of booking private drivers like I did for all of Italy, I decided that our family would do a Port Excursion through Disney. After looking at all of our options, we opted to sign up for the Value Package – Nice & Monaco – Adult Departure Only (CN15).

casino monte carlo monaco
The Casino Monte Carlo is something you can be proud to see, however there is a fee to enter in the building.

Tendering to Cannes

I didn’t know what to expect, but the process went very smoothly. We showed up to Fathoms where we met our tour group, checked in, and waited for the tour to bring us out to the tender. Once our group was called, we went down to Deck 1 to get on the tender. Lucky for us, the water wasn’t too rocky, and we were able to go down the stairs and get a seat quickly on the boat.

I have to say – this port was one of the prettiest ports on the cruise! I loved looking back towards the Disney Magic and seeing it in a backdrop of beauty instead of in an industrial port.

Disney Magic in Cannes
Our view from the Tender Boat on our way to Cannes, Nice, and Monaco!

Arriving to our Tour Bus

Luckily for us, we were on the all Adult only tour, and it wasn’t a full bus. We grabbed our seats, and once everyone arrived, our bus was the first one out of the parking lot. After our guide introduced herself to us, we took a 75-minute ride to Nice to explore one of the prettiest destinations on our trip!

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Exploring Nice – in 60 minutes

After everyone got out of the bus, we took a stroll down to the Old Town Nice soaking in all of our surroundings. Let me just say, when you are doing an excursion with a group 60 minutes escapes you so quickly!

We walked around Old Town and immediately found the market where we decided to buy a couple of delicious treats both for a second breakfast and so that we would have a quick lunch in Monaco. Our tour guide told us that the prices in Nice would be significantly cheaper than Monaco, so we followed her advice and bought all of our snacks here.

Nice's Old Town with tourists.
Exploring Nice’s Old Town Market. This was one of my favorite markets on this cruise!

While we were in the Old Market, we explored all of the stands that contained delicious sweets, sandwiches, or vegetables. After deciding on our sandwiches for later in the day, we grabbed some croissants and some macaroons to eat while walking around. Of course, since we were in Europe, we popped into a Petits-Dejeuners to enjoy coffees before continuing on with our day.

Drinking a cup of coffee in Nice.
Relaxing and drinking coffee in Nice before we have to run back to the bus.

We were running out of time and needed to get back on the bus, so Ally and I split up from mom to go look at Nice’s famed pebbled beach. After soaking in the beautiful scenery, Ally and I promised that we would return to Nice one day soon.

Trying to get back to the bus on time, we ended up putting mom in the transport chair and running through Nice. Now, how many of y’all can say that you ran through Nice! We saw our tour guide, and she called us “Lady! Lady!” to get our attention. When we met up, I was running so fast with mom, that the tour guide was impressed that we ran through the gardens to get to the bus on time. After all of the racing through Nice, we were only 3 minutes late, and the rest of the day we ensured we were on the bus on time!

Ally and Mallory on the beach of Nice
Ally and Mallory exploring the beach of Nice.

Traveling from Nice To Monaco

Back on the motorcoach, we continued our tour from Nice to Monaco – our fourth country on this cruise! The trip took just over 45 minutes because the traffic wasn’t bad. During this drive, we went through gut-wrenching twists and turns with stunning vistas and views. It reminded me of driving on Highway 1 in California, but I was happy to not be the one driving.

nice monaco 4 of 16
One of the sites in Nice on our way to Monaco!

Princess Grace and the Riviera Car Crash

While the bus was clinging to the road, we learned and drove past the town of Eze. While we were driving, our tour guide gave us the full detailed story about Princess Grace of Monaco, formerly Grace Kelly, car crash and death in 1982.

After learning everything about the late Princess Grace, we continued on our way to Monaco – the second smallest country in the World.

The view from Monaco
Monaco is a beautiful place to visit – even if it is scary trying to drive there!

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explore nice and monaco in one day

Exploring Monaco

One of my favorite things about Monaco is that they know that tourists and visitors come to their country, and they built adequate parking structures to hold the large buses that many visitors on cruise excursions take. Our first stop in Monaco we were given 90 minutes to explore the area around the Oceanographic Museum, the Monaco Cathedral, and the Prince’s Palace. We took this time to soak in the sunshine and the stunning views.

After having lunch under a tree, we walked around on the streets popping into shops and eventually walking down to the gardens for a quick stroll.

Mallory in Monaco
Mallory still eating her sandwich while sightseeing in Monaco.

Boarding the Bus to Explore Monte Carlo

Probably one of the most frustrating and hilarious parts of the trip was us trying to navigate the Monte Carlo area. Let me be frank, this tour is not handicapable, but we usually can push through lots of areas that are not technically handicapable. Many of the people on our adults only tour (because frankly, Ally and I were the youngest) were winded with the steep stairs that we had to take to see the Monte Carlo. I told our guide we were just going to skip the Monte Carlo central area, but she insisted on helping us walk up the hill to the spot we wanted to get to.

Once we arrived in front of the casino, our tour guide took our passports to run it to the Office du Tourisme (2 Boulevard des Moulins), so we could get our Monte Carlo Stamp cancellation. This cancelation requires a bit of effort because there is no border checkpoint. The Cancelation is a beautiful Scarlett stamp, and if you visit Monaco, I recommend getting a stamp from the second smallest country.

We were given an additional hour of free time while we were in the Monte Carlo Area.

Monaco Passport Stamp
Don’t forget to get your passport stamp from Monaco.

Bus Ride Back to Cannes

We took the bus back to Cannes, and our tour guide told us some stories about her time living in Nice and working in Monaco. After the 75 minute trip back to Cannes, it was time to get back on board the Disney Magic. We forgot to purchase wine while we were in Nice, but we had so much left over from Italy that it was ok.

Value Package – Nice & Monaco – Adult Departure Only (CN15)

Even though I enjoyed our guide, we were totally spoiled by our private guides in Italy. If we were on a private tour, we would have had the flexibility to stay longer in Nice and skip Monte Carlo altogether. Since I was nervous about tendering, I realized that it really isn’t that big of a deal as long as you get to the boat on time.

Eating at Animators Palate

One of the dinners I was excited about was the Animation Magic Show at Animator’s Palate. During our cruise to Alaska, we missed this dinner because we had reservations at Palo, but on this cruise, we made sure we didn’t have reservations during this dinner.

The menu for Animators Palate Animation Magic is slightly smaller than menus on other days, and there aren’t as many choices because the waiters need to have enough time between dinner and dessert for us to watch our animated shorts.

A stick figured Mallory drew
Mallory’s Drawings at Animator’s Palate

For my appetizer, I got the Tomato, Spaghetti, and Meatball Soup with basil. Now I know what you are going to say – you HATE the soups on the Disney Cruise. Well, this one was actually good because there are actual chunks of meat in the soup.

Tomato, Spaghetti, and Meatball Soup with basil
Tomato, Spaghetti, and Meatball Soup with Basil.

My main course was the Chicken Schnitzel, a breaded chicken breast fried in Butter, served with roasted bacon potatoes and buttered green beans.

Chicken Schnitzel
Chicken Schnitzel

For dessert, we had to order the Celebration Cake and the Very Cherry Chocolate Sundae. The Celebration Cake has Layers of Cheesecake covered with Strawberries, embedded in Rich Vanilla Cream and White Chocolate. The Very Cherry Chocolate Sundae has Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Dark Cherry compote, chocolate fudge sauce, and whipped cream.

Celebration Cake
Celebration Cake
Very Cherry Chocolate Sundae
Very Cherry Chocolate Sundae

We had so much fun watching our pictures come to life. Mom decided that the more marker you put on the paper the better it showed up on the video. Take a peak at our animated stick figures!

Hanging out on the Disney Magic After Dinner

After Dinner we had the option to go see Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic or relax since we had already seen Disney Dreams on the Disney Wonder, we skipped the play to hang out on our balcony. This trip was had long excursion days which made us want to just collapse in our beds after dinner.

Since we decided to skip the movie, we watched Tangled and finally understood all of the references in Rapunzel’s Royal Table. After watching the movie, Ally and Mom’s favorite song is “I see the Light.”

The next day, we didn’t need to get ready for anything in particular since it was a Sea Day and soon to be the end of our epic trip.

Stay tuned this summer to read about all of my trip reports for our May 25, 2018, Mediterranean Cruise out of Barcelona.

Day 1 Boarding the Disney Magic

Day 2 Sea Day

Day 3 Naples (Pompeii), Italy

Day 4 Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

Day 5 Livorno (Florence, Pisa), Italy

Day 6 Villefranche (Monte Carlo/Nice), France

Day 7 Sea Day

Day 8 Disembarkation – Barcelona, Spain

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