First, this was mine and Bill's first cruise ever. We're from los angeles. I'm 29 and he is 47. We have no children and we traveled alone.
Before the cruise we spent a few days in Rome. We did not book thru Carnival. Our arrival into Rome went smoothly. The first day in Rome we spent in Old Rome at the Colisseum and Palatine Hill. The line looked a little long for the Colisseum and people were saying it would take about 45 min to get in but it actually only took about 10min. The next day we spent at the vatican. Again, the line was long but went quickly. We're good shoes here because you'll be walking ALOT. There is so much to see here. Its absolutely incredible. There are people outside of the colisseum and Vatican offering tours but we always bought the self-guided audio tours, which worked out great. They were about 5Euro extra.
The next day we spend at the trevi fountain, pantheon, spanish steps (not that big a deal) and walking around. Rome is very easy to get around in just get a good street map and you'll be fine.
TO THE SHIP:
We woke early and went over to the train station to get to Civitavecchia. It was very easy and inexpensive. We packed fairly light so carrying our bags were not difficult. I had heard so many bad things about Italian trains but we tooks the trains all throughout our trip and we never ever had a problem with a late train and we never had a long wait.
The ship was a long walk from the train station in Civitavecchia so we took a cab. We joined with another couple and it was $20 Euro total. So 10Euro a couple. Not bad considering we were so excited by now, we would had paid double.
Embarkation was EASY. And we were completely surprised that we were upgraded to a Veranda room when we just booked a windowed room!! I was sure they were going to come and kick us out that I didn't want to unpack ! This was absolutely the best surprise and it really made our trip so much better. We had room 8448, the corner room. I LOVED waking up everymoring and stepping out and seeing another port. WONDERFUL!
The rest of the day we spent exploring the ship (again we're new cruisers).
Day 2: Naples
We hadn't plan on taking any excursions but we decided to take the Pompeii, Amalfi, and Capri tour after the Cruise Director said that all these places were a Must see. Well, I think the whole ship decided to take this tour. It was crazy ! There were about 10 buses on this tour ! While our guide was very knowledgeable and she kept us moving pretty well, we felt like we were rushed through everything. I would have preferred to do Amalfi and Pompeii only. I wasn't really empressed with Capri, however the boat ride was a nice break. Lots of people fell asleep ! This was our only tour. We decided it was way too chaotic. I felt bad for all the older folks who were rushed around in the heat. Some people seriously didn't look to good.
NO more excursions for us....We did all the other ports on our own and let me tell you it was Great ! ( I'll tell you more later).
Day3: at sea.
We didnt' really know what to do. I hadn't booked a spa treatment. So we spent most of the day lounging in the pool or in our room. We didn't like the casino too much, ofcourse after we lost about $80, but mostly because it was really, really smokey in there. We did enjoy the outside evening movie. It was nice and warm out.
Oh, we did get the late dinner sitting, yeah ! We had heard so many people complaining about getting the early one. We even heard that 1/2 the tables were empty, I guess people just didn't bother.
Overall our first impression of the cruise was that it reminded us of camp, but for older folks. All the bars were dead, but again it was the first night, the clubs were quiet too. There were no children at all, I think I saw one 5year old. That was it! We did think the service was excellent everywhere on the ship. And the room was sooooo comfortable (hint: get extra pillows!).
Day 3: continued later
Gotta get back to work........
(sorry If this is a little onorganized. I'm working on 5 hours sleep. But I'm so excited to talk about the ship. If anyone has any questions please respond. I check this thing all the time)