Day 2 began with a loud alarm waking us at 7.00am. Knowing tenders to shore would start around 8.45 we wanted to be ready to get off as early as we could. We had decided to go out by ourselves and visit Monaco. We could have experienced the same activities in an organised excursion but we could do it ourselves for a third of the price.

We had prebooked our train from Villefranche for 10.00am. Getting off early would give us the chance to amble through the town to the train station on the hill. Tenders began at 8.45 and after a breakfast in Topsiders we were one of the first to leave the ship for shore. We began walking through Villefranche and a general store caught our eye. Venturing inside we discovered that they did sell batteries (hooray!) unaware whether we would find any in the billionaire’s playground that is Monaco, we thought we better get them while we can. Displayed at the back of the counter were the AA and AAA batteries we needed. They had clearly been bought from Carrefour (a European supermarket chain) and what’s more, where from their value range. That didn’t stop the shop owner from charging us 7€ a pack!! As if the toy didn’t cost enough I’ve just sold my house to buy some batteries to get the thing to work.

we arrived at Villefranche-sur-mer station around 9.15. A train was due into the station in 2 minutes but due to the lack of ticket machines and a long queue at the ticket office, we had to wait. There isn’t really a huge advantage in prebooking if you are heading here. Another train was due in 10 minutes but luckily our ticket was transferable to any time so we hoped on and arrived in Monaco around 10am.

Monaco is only a small country and has a good transport network, many routes pass the train station and this meant we could jump on a bus very easily and head to the town centre of old Monaco. Single tickets are 2€ for adults and Harry (aged 6) was free. The journey took around 10 minutes and dropped us off right by the Oceanographic museum Monaco Tours. This red road train is a great, cheaper way to see the sights of Monaco. The 30 minute journey took us around the main parts of the Grand Prix track, past the palace, casino and harbour before dropping us back outside the Oceanographic museum. With the clouds clearing the sun had turned up the temperature. With the mercury pushing close to 34 degrees we caught the bus back to the harbour and took a walk along the bay. If you ever want evidence that people still have money, the boats moored in the harbour is it.

After a short trip back on the train and a tender to the boat we arrived back on the Disney Magic for lunch. We nipped back to the room, changed into our swim gear and headed to deck 9 for chicken strips for lunch followed by a dip in the Goofy pool and a slide into the Mickey pool. With the mouth watering prospect of flying to Neverland at 2, Harry went off to the Oceaneer’s club for the afternoon while Mum and Dad took a well deserved break in the adult only Cove area of the ship. This holiday thing is hard work!

At 5pm we decided that it was time to get Harry out of the kids club. He was having such a good time this proved to be much harder than we anticipated and on a promise of the chance to return for the Ratatouille Cooking School he reluctantly agreed. We returned to the room and got ready for tonight’s show “Villians Tonight”, a comedic look at the Disney villains as Hades, lord of the underworld had to prove just how evil he was. Although it isn’t scary, myself and Harry got a bit of a scare from a passing Hyena! The show is well worth seeing and very funny with topical jokes about, Simon Cowell, One Direction and even Lance Armstrong.

The comedy didn’t end there. As soon as the show finished Harry, as promised, went back to the Oceaneer’s Lab to make chocolate chip cookies at the Ratatouille Cooking School and we headed to the Rocking D Bar in the Beat Street district to watch comedy and magic with Danny Buckler. It’s amazing how cruise ships find talent that hasn’t hit the big time but Danny is another example. Funny without being rude and good for the whole family.

As Danny finished it hit 8.30 and time for dinner at Animator’s Palette. Tonight’s dinner included crispy cheese ravioli, swordfish, steak, creme brûlée and cheesecake amongst others. As if that wasn’t enough, with the Buena Vista Theater only a 30 second walk from our room, I decided to take in an 11pm screening of Iron Man 3 in 3D. Tomorrow is La Spezia but for us it’s going to be a day for a lie in and an empty ship to ourselves.

By Adam

Adam has been a fan of Disney since he was small. He runs the Disneybrit Podcast. He is also the author of several Disney books.

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