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Ireallyneedavacation

My VERY late review of our Eastern Mediterranean cruise onboard the Navigator!

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I am also happy as well to stumble upon this review. My Father and I will be on the Navigator from New Orleans-Rome in a few weeks time. We look forward to the numerous sea days and ports of call(Ponto Degaldo Azores, Toulon France and Livorno).

 

I wanted to know how you enjoyed the new menus. Any special insiders information for us? I know I want to be up on Deck 11 for Sailaway and as we go down the Mississippi to look into the bridge and see the sights from up high.

 

Was their Bircher Muesli in the Windjammer/MDR?

 

Looking forward to reading your review and will ask more questions as you continue to write. I'm loving it so far.

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Loving the review so far. What website did you use to prepurchase your Accademia tix?

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I am also happy as well to stumble upon this review. My Father and I will be on the Navigator from New Orleans-Rome in a few weeks time. We look forward to the numerous sea days and ports of call(Ponto Degaldo Azores, Toulon France and Livorno).

 

I wanted to know how you enjoyed the new menus. Any special insiders information for us? I know I want to be up on Deck 11 for Sailaway and as we go down the Mississippi to look into the bridge and see the sights from up high.

 

Was their Bircher Muesli in the Windjammer/MDR?

 

Looking forward to reading your review and will ask more questions as you continue to write. I'm loving it so far.

 

Thank you! But I am afraid I am not going to be able to help you much. This was only my 2nd RC cruise, with the first being in the early 90's. I really don't have anything to compare the menu. I can tell you that in the dining room, I never had anything I didn't like. We did my time dining and had different wait staff during the week, and they were all great. The best meal of above all on the ship was at Chops. If you haven't made your reservations there, make them! It was divine! Um, I don't think we have Bircher Muesli in the South! I had to Google it to find out what it is! It looks good, but I can't tell you if it was in the Windjammer. Deck 11 would be a great vantage point for the sail away. There won't be much to see going into Civitavecchia. It looks like an industrial port.

 

I hope you have fun with your dad. I am sorry I couldn't be of more help! Let me know if you have other questions.

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Going back through, I just realized that part of my Venice pictures were deleted...but not by me. I am not sure where they went, so here they are!

 

This is the guy that entertained us the first night in Venice...

 

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Here we are trying to use our map the night we got lost....

 

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And here are some pictures we took around the city.

 

One of my favorites...

 

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The statue in front of our hotel...

 

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Wednesday, May 23rd

 

We had booked The Best of Tuscany Tour with Walkabout Florence. We met at the Santa Maria Novella Train Station at 8:30. There was a guy with a sign for the tour that pointed in the exact place we were to meet.....which was a long line of buses! We boarded and were on our way to our first stop Siena.

 

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We go to see the oldest bank in continuous existence in the world, Palazzo Salimbeni.

 

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Lots of different men's heads were part of the architecture of the building. Before posting, I tried to find out the significance of the men, but with no success.

 

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The Cathedral of Siena...

 

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We agreed that the interior of this church was the most beautiful of all of the churchs of our entire trip.

 

 

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One more of the Cathedral....

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Church of San Domenico...we didn't go inside it.

 

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Torre del Mangia....

 

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Siena holds the Palio di Siena twice a year on July 2 & August 16. Ten horses and riders that represent 10 of the 17 contrade (city wards) race bareback 3 times around a dirt-covered Piazza del Campo. It is not uncommon for the jockeys to be thrown from their horses, but only the horse needs to cross the finish line for the contrade to be declared the winner. The horses are chosen by lot immediately before the race. Each contrade has a coat of arms, and these coat of arms are displayed anywhere one contrade stops and another starts. This is Palazo del Camp. The Torre del Mangia is part of this palazo.

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A couple of the Coat of Arms that represent where one Contrade ends and the other begins....

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Walking into Palazo del Campo from one of the streets....

 

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Random pictures of Siena..

 

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Romulus & Remus

 

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I believe the Torre del Mangia was the only tower than we didn't go up! But we would have had we had the time! I am sure Siena is beautiful from above!

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Riding on the bus was entertaining in itself. We were the last 3 people of this particular bus, so you know what that means. You have to split up. Fortunately, two of us were always sitting beside each other. Unfortunately, we had to take turns sitting by this guy that would not even look at you, much less speak! His dad and brother were nice. I am not sure what happened to him. By the end of the day, we were calling him Snooty O'Toole!

 

See the guy sitting by Corrie, with the earbuds in, looking out the window? This is the guy. This is the way he stayed the entire time he was on the bus. We knew Corrie would get him to talk, because complete strangers lover her immediately, but unbelievably, she didn't!

 

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Our next stop was the Chianti Vineyard for our Tuscan lunch. First, we did a little tour of the "farm".

 

For some reason, Katie and Corrie loved these cows. Me, not so much. It just smelled really badly!

 

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Here is the cow loving Corrie a little too much!

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We then visited where they make the wine...

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Next, we got to drink as much wine as we wanted at lunch! Now, this was a bus load full of people. Some people were much happier after lunch than before! (Not Snooty O'Toole)! Now, if you go on this tour and want to sit with the people you are with during lunch, don't linger on the bus. There are several tables set up, and you just go in and sit anywhere you would like. Once they get full, you sit where any open spot is left open....you don't want to get stuck sitting next to Mr. O'Toole!

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Where we had lunch....

 

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And the view of San Gimignano from our lunch spot!

 

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Lunch was delicious, and we did have great table mates! You started off with 3 bottles of wine, and as you finished them, they would bring you another. With the wine, they served homemade pasta, homemade salami and prosciutto, cheese, salad and biscotti. The biscotti was really good! Oh, and are you wondering where the actual lunch pictures are? Well, I am one of those people that left feeling a little happier than when she arrived. I was in Tuscany, I had to drink the wine! I didn't even think of taking a picture. We did really enjoy it!

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Next stop, San Gimignano

 

We didn't have much time here, but it was a very interesting medieval city. There were tin, naked statues, placed in odd spots. We never found out what there were for. If you know, please share!!

 

See the one on top of this tower???

 

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A closer shot...

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Driving up to the city...

 

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Joanna, you girls are just too cute for words! I love your bus story. My husband and daughter and I were on the same bus route to/from Sienna. You know how the bus has curtains? I was happily enjoying the view and some other passenger decided it was too much sun on his face and he CLOSED THE CURTAINS. :eek::eek::eek: Nooooooo! You should have heard me yell. My view!!! He was quickly persuaded to open the curtains again. Ahhhhh, glorious Tuscan countryside once more... ;)

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Joanna, you girls are just too cute for words! I love your bus story. My husband and daughter and I were on the same bus route to/from Sienna. You know how the bus has curtains? I was happily enjoying the view and some other passenger decided it was too much sun on his face and he CLOSED THE CURTAINS. :eek::eek::eek: Nooooooo! You should have heard me yell. My view!!! He was quickly persuaded to open the curtains again. Ahhhhh, glorious Tuscan countryside once more... ;)

 

Thanks! You are too sweet! We really did have fun this day and the view was partially why. How could anyone close the curtain on it?? Crazy! We actually did make somewhat of a game taking turns sitting by the guy. Somehow, I ended up sitting by him more than Katie & Corrie!

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I last left you in San Gimignano. After walking around, sightseeing and doing a little shopping, we headed back to the bus. Next up? Pisa!

 

We did not take the bus to the Piazza dei Miracoli or the Field of Miracles. We got dropped off at the bus parking lot, and took trolleys over to the field. There are lots of vendors there that try to sell you things but just ignore them and continue on to the sites! We had prepurchased our tickets to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa through Walkabout Florence. I am surprised, but not many on the bus actually climbed it. I wasn't going to Pisa and NOT climb the tower!

 

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Here is my cheesey tourist photo..

 

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Here's Corrie's. Katie refused to do one!

 

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I've been really enjoying your review, and you haven't even gotten to the cruise portion yet! Thanks for all the work you've put into this.

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I've been really enjoying your review, and you haven't even gotten to the cruise portion yet! Thanks for all the work you've put into this.

 

Thanks, Marla! You are welcome!

 

Coming here to read your comment made me realize that eventhough I have written up the remainder of our day twice, it still isn't here. Something is really working against me! Plus, Photobucket edit function is not working!

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Looking down into the tower....

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Immediately following our climb, we had to make it back to the trolley so that we could be taken back to our bus. Sadly, our day was coming to an end, but we were glad that we had one more night in Florence. If you only have a little time and want to see the Tuscan region, I would highly recommend Walkabout Florence. They were very organized, and the tour guide was great. I would give the tour an A++. If we hadn't have had to sit by Snooty O'Toole, I would give it A+++!

After we made it back to Florence, we were going back to our hotel to freshen up for dinner. Who did we see on the way back but the NYGs!! What were the chances of this happening??? For dinner, we decided that since we loved the restaurant that Luigi recommended, we would just go back there. Of course, the food was excellent again! I might just have to email the hotel and find out what the name of the place is! After dinner we called it a night, because the next morning we were saying farewell to Florence and making our way to Sorrento via Naples and Pompeii!

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