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Pia1913

LIVE from the Ocean Princess - 28 days from Rome to Singapore 10/15 - 11/12/2011

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Welcome aboard the Ocean Princess; live from Civitavecchia, Italy. I hope you will join me for the next 28 days as we cruise along from here to Singapore.

 

 

Just a short blurb before we get started, which by itself is fortunate because we almost didn’t get here. Our first flight left an hour and 20 minutes late for no apparent reason except we were told “air traffic control had a problem.” That problem got us into Philadelphia with less than ½ hour to make our Rome flight. That is one monster airport and without hijacking two guys with those handicap transport vehicles, we would still be there. Plane was already loaded and ready to close when we reached our gate. They left exactly on time fully knowing that there were many passengers who had yet to make their connections. This is why you never fly internationally the same day you board a ship. We had bought an all inclusive package from Hotel SanGiorgio and they were there to meet us upon arrival. Transfers, hotel room, dinner, breakfast and transport to ship. Easy peasy.

 

 

I am creating this masterpiece off line since there is no internet available. In fact, there is no system running at all, since we checked at the purser’s desk for our first printout and were told it was all out and probably would be until after sail away. We got on board about 1:00 PM, which at that time was a 5 minute operation. We grabbed some lunch and by 2:30 our bags had been delivered. We are in a BC balcony on deck 7 and on this small ship you get from here to there in 2 seconds. It is now 5:40; muster just completed and we have 6:00 PM dinner seating. Will check in later and hopefully be fully live at that time.

 

 

Hello…… and really LIVE now. It’s almost 9:30, we walked out of the welcome aboard show and shipboard life has begun. Our captain is Roger Bilton whom we’ve had the pleasure of sailing with previously and our maitre d’ is one of my very favorites - Guiseppe Franchina. We have a great table; table for six set for four and this is the way it will remain. Our friends with us are Donna and Dennis from Hawaii. The CD is Peter Roberts; don’t know a thing about him since I’ve never seen him before.

 

 

Since we are still a little “off” because of our travels and travails, this opener will be a bit brief. I’d really like to try and get a good night’s sleep and our first port is tomorrow morning; Sorrento. We are due to arrive at 7:00 and it’s a tender port. Our friends are planning to take the ferry to Capri and since we’ve been there twice before we will probably walk the town and reminisce. We spent a wonderful week in Sorrento about 15 years ago and hope it hasn’t changed too much. Since tomorrow is Sunday, I wonder whether anything will be open.

 

 

I am going to bid you buono notte for now and see you again tomorrow. Oh, by the way, I did manage to blow $10 in a slot machine in a m atter of 4 minutes. Who said the machines are loose on the first night? :mad:

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Donna here - Pia managed to lose - DH managed to win a bit, I am about even on the slots. We've had Peter as a our CD before on Royal Princess. Nice young man. The CC get together is on our first sea day. Will chime in as we go along. Still trying to adjust to the time zone as my body clock is around 12 hours off, so not much more to add at this point but goodnight.

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Hi Pia and Donna,

Have a great cruise and many thanks for the Live From.

Its a real epic journey this time.

Looking forward to hearing of your adventures

 

For others following on Cruise Critic ,

here is a map and the itinerary for Ocean Princess

as she heads to Singapore...

 

12oceanpmap.jpg

 

 

Itinerary

Date Port Arrive Depart

Sat 15/10/11 Civitavecchia (Rome) / Italy 18:00

Sun 16/10/11 Sorrento / Italy 07:00 16:00

Mon 17/10/11 At Sea

Tue 18/10/11 Piraeus (Athens) / Greece 08:00 17:45

Wed 19/10/11 Kusadasi / Turkey 07:00 16:00

Thu 20/10/11 At Sea

Fri 21/10/11 Passage Suez Canal / Egypt 01:00 17:00

Sat 22/10/11 Sharm El-Sheikh / Egypt 06:00 18:00

Sun 23/10/11 Aqaba / Jordan 07:00 19:00

Mon 24/10/11 Safaga / Egypt 07:00 23:00

Tue 25/10/11 At Sea

Wed 26/10/11 At Sea

Thu 27/10/11 At Sea

Fri 28/10/11 At Sea

Sat 29/10/11 At Sea

Sun 30/10/11 At Sea

Mon 31/10/11 Dubai / United Arab Emirates 07:00 17:00

Tue 01/11/11 Muscat / Oman 13:00 19:00

Wed 02/11/11 At Sea

Thu 03/11/11 At Sea

Fri 04/11/11 Mumbai / India 07:00 18:00

Sat 05/11/11 At Sea

Sun 06/11/11 Kochi / India 08:00 17:00

Mon 07/11/11 At Sea

Tue 08/11/11 At Sea

Wed 09/11/11 At Sea

Thu 10/11/11 At Sea

Fri 11/11/11 Port Kelang / Malaysia 07:00 18:00

Sat 12/11/11 Singapore / Singapore 07:00

 

Traveled Distance: 15,716.21 km/8,486.07 nm

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Buon Giorno from California..Grazie for taking us along on your journey. I look forward to your "live from" to places I would love to see and visit.

Arrivederci

 

P.S. That is the extent of my italian!! Good Day, Thank you, and Good Bye

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Pia,

Glad you are taking us all on your journey.

Love Sorrento. First time there 46 years ago. Last time on the Ruby, in 2010,

side trip there. It has grown but still so charming.

First time bought a music box that played Come back to Sorrento. Still have it.

:D

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Did ya'll have any effects from the "riots"/protests in Rome today that we are seeing on TV here. Seems there is tear gas and water cannons in use so I was curious.

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WOW thanks to Pia and Donna and also to David for the information on the cruise itself.

 

will be traveling along and wishing you a wonderful trip!!!!

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Hi Pia (and Mike),

 

You know I don't post much, but I'll keep in touch with the thread.

 

We did almost the identical sailing on Azamara a couple of years ago.

 

See you on the Pacific Princess in a couple of weeks.

 

Bon voyage,

 

Bruce and Gail

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Thanks so much for your "live" report, I have enjoyed some of your other ones and look forward to this one.

 

Thanks also to David for the itinerary map, now I know where all your stops are, looks like a wonderful trip. Hope you guys have great weather.:D:D

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What a perfect thread for me to come back to the Princess boards with

after being away for a year cruising on other lines!!!

A live from ...from Pia...Yippee!!!!

Have a wonderful adventure!

K.

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Donna here - Pia managed to lose - DH managed to win a bit, I am about even on the slots. We've had Peter as a our CD before on Royal Princess. Nice young man. The CC get together is on our first sea day. Will chime in as we go along. Still trying to adjust to the time zone as my body clock is around 12 hours off, so not much more to add at this point but goodnight.

 

Hello Donna,

 

We read that you arrived in Civatevecchia early and were looking for some good wine shops. Did you have any luck and if so would you be willing to share the names? We are boarding the Pacific at the end of November for the Transatlantic crossing and would love to take some bottles with us. We also hope to finally meet Pia on this cruise.

 

Hope the cruise is wonderful and the weather is good.

 

Thank you

 

Midge

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Pia and Donna,

Have a wonderful safe cruise ! I look forward to your posts. I will be on the Emerald 11/8/11 and hope them internet won't be too slow !

Sali

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Have a great cruise. We had Peter on our last cruise on the Royal. I wasn't so taken with him but his friend and Assistant C.D. was terrific and really knew how to run things.

 

I hope the Ocean is still in tip top condition. We are looking forward to being back on her in March - Sydney to Singapore.

 

Jennie

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We're really looking forward to your "Live from...", Pia! Thanks for sharing!

Great map, David, it really helps put us in the mood for some exciting travels ahead.

Wishing you red skies at night and a wonderful time.

-Ann

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Looking forward to your report. The spring (reverse) cruise was wonderful, although I thought that 120+ degrees in Luxor was a bit much. Also hope that Sorrento is a bit better for you ... there were 6 ships in the vicinity, and it was a total zoo. Enjoy!

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Look forward very much to the posts.

Oh and better luck next time at play Pia.......Heather.;):)

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Thanks in advance for your efforts...we loved our two weeks on the Ocean last September, and will look forward to hearing about this great-sounding itinerary!

 

Is Captain Ravera on a break? He was such a great captain...and so charming!!;);)

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Pia and Donna, what a great tandem. This is going to be a fabulous Live! Will be able to follow along with you for 10 days before going on our own TA. Then home just in time to cruise along with Pia on her adventure across the pond.

 

David, thanks for always adding to make Pia's Lives extra spwcial.

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Have a wonderful cruise! I'm very excited to read your "live from" as your itinerary looks so interesting.

Edited by chloedmom

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It’s almost 9:30, we walked out of the welcome aboard show and shipboard life has begun.

 

Was that "walked out" when it was over or "walked out" in the middle?

 

In preparation for this itinerary, how many of the ports required you to get visas in advance?

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Hi Pia,

Glad you got there safe and sound and I can't wait to see you in a month or so. Thanks for helping me with my live, and I will be following you until you pick me up in Rome. safe journey and exciting travels,

amelia

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Buongiorno on a cool Sunday morning anchoring in Sorrento environs. This will be a quickie since we’d like to get off early. We were told that there’d be a shuttle at the port to take us into Sorrento city after we get off the tender. It’s walkable but you need to navigate 200 steps. We are not going to the gym this morning and will try to get our exercise with the Italian stair stepper. No mention was made as to how much the shuttle costs or where to buy tix. Can it really be free?

 

Not much happening around the ship today for those who elect to stay on board. There’s a movie “Zookeeper” at 2:45 and that’s about it. Something interesting that I’ve never seen before is a Cabin Door Meet and Greet at 5:15. “Who are your neighbors on this long journey” says our CD Peter. So at the appropriate time he wants everyone to open their cabin doors and say hello. Also something different is that the prize that will be awarded for winning trivia is listed in the Patter. So we know in advance that the winning team this morning will get a Princess tote bag and the afternoon winners will get a lanyard. Interesting concept.

 

Tonight’s entertainment will be Dan Hodge who is advertised as a piano entertainer, singer songwriter with songs and stories from his slightly twisted mind. Will check it out and let you know what this was all about.

For those who are interested in the food venues, the Panorama buffet will close at 5:00 and the Bistro will open at 5:30. I understand that these two will never be open at the same time. This ship still has the Sterling Steakhouse which is also never open at the same time as Sabatini’s. Diningroom will also be closed on all port days for lunch.

 

 

Answers:

 

1. We weren't in Rome; just transfer from airport, so no knowledge of demos

 

2. We know Capt. Ravera from past cruises. He's on vacation.

 

3. Only Visa needed is India

 

That’s it for now. Gotta run. Will answer more questions later.

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Thanks Pia for taking the time to go "Live"..look forward to following you along the way....and Donna too of course...We are boarding in Singapore so this thread will be for us a PreCruise virtual cruise...lol... Hope you got a good night sleep....cheers Shiona

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Pia - Donna, many thanks for taking time out from your cruise to take us along with you! And David your maps and pictures make this log complete, THANK YOU.

 

Pia guess we could all send you our pennies to make up that $10 you lost in the slots! ;) Wow, an Italian stair-stepper, now that's a concept. Will be interested in hearing about Dan Hodge as he just might be very entertaining.

 

Love the idea of the Cabin Door Meet and Greet; sounds like something they should do on more cruises. If it was an original Peter concept then he gets at least one Gold Star from me.

 

Pia, let me know how the lamb is! :D

 

Barb

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I'll be following you until wed when I board my cruise for 10 days and pick up when I get off.... can't wait to here about your experiences in some of those countries....:D

 

Best travels,

 

CC

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Dan Hodges info for all of you

Larsen, Pia and anyone else interested.

We had him on the Azamara Journey last year for 24 days. AZ ships are like the Ocean and Pacific Princess.

Onboard those ships right where the future cruise consultant desk is, is where AZ put a mosaic coffee cafe and piano on the side of the room where Dan Hodges would entertain.

We really enjoyed him, found him to be friendly and outgoing not only on the ship but also in port when our paths crossed!!!

Here's a video of him on our youtube channel

AND you can view our tender in and out of Sorrento. just use the scroll bar within the youtube screen to access the videos.

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/OurPassportStamps

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Pia and Donna, thanks for reporting in. Will follow along for the next few days and then hopefully there will be two 28 day live from threads. ;)

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Pia

 

Thanks for this wonderful "live". I will be following it closely since we do the reverse next year....<grin>....always a day late and a dollar short....

 

John

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Hi Pia and Donna

Thanks for doing this "Live From". It will be fun to sail along with you.

The cabin door "Meet and Greet" is a great idea! How creative of Peter. Let us know how it works out.

Could you ask Arturo and Giuseppe how long they'll be on board. We have sailed with both before and they're wonderful! Contemplating sailing on the Ocean this February and their presence would certainly be a plus!

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Back on board from our Sorrento escapade. First: the 200 steps. Nope. False. When we got off the tender there were 20 steps up to the shuttle area. And yes, the shuttle up to the city was free. Instead of steps there is a winding, steep and narrow roadway which our bus navigated slowly. Along this roadway is a narrow sort of bike lane where you see those adventurous walkers. We chose not to be four of them.

Very, very crowded. Could hardly walk through some streets. The 5 ships that were with us in Civitavecchia probably all came here. But not here; Naples. We are the only ship in Sorrento and the other zillion people are in town on shorex from their respective Naples docking. Lots of stores open even though it’s Sunday, but just as many closed. We found exactly what we were looking for; a supermarket with good wine prices. Could you ask for more? For all you folks who intend to be here, the supermarket is next to the cinema/theater and very close to the town center.

The ship is using two tenders; #3 and #5. #5 has the better driver. But no guarantee it will be same guy when you get here.

 

We’ve just returned from our first trivia session and started with our “same old, same old.” Tied and lost the tiebreaker. Oh well, we already have lanyards. Time to start getting ready for dinner and since we lose our first hour of many tonight, will probably not be checking in with you until tomorrow morning.

 

Answer : Giuseppe on until Feb.

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Hi Pia and Donna - just getting chance to chime in. Couldn't find ya'll before we left for Rome. Made it to and fro with no problems. Didn't see anything lingering from the Protest except for many many police wandering around the tourist areas. Saw nothing that resembled a pickpocket either. Met some friends at the Spanish Steps and they said that Princess didn't bring them to Rome Termini where the protest began at 2pm - dropped them off at another train station.

 

Looking forward to cruising with ya'll thru the "live". Have lots of fun. Do you like your table location? Suppose to be#46.

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