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Ireallyneedavacation

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

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I'm sorry to hear you didn't get to climb Vesuvius. I would have loved to see your pics. of that! We have that on our list of things to do on our cruise next year, so I'd better warn my husband & kids it may not be a sure thing.

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I'm sorry to hear you didn't get to climb Vesuvius. I would have loved to see your pics. of that! We have that on our list of things to do on our cruise next year, so I'd better warn my husband & kids it may not be a sure thing.

 

Yeah, I didn't know a strike could close a volcano, but apparently, it can. If only the people of Pompeii would have known!

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I love the fact that your updates occur while I'm sleeping and I get to wake up to a new chapter in the adventure.

 

We're doing a few of your stops in advance of our May 5th cruise so I'm loving this review and it's helping my planning. I've already added a few options to my list and am waiting patiently (or not) for more!

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I love the fact that your updates occur while I'm sleeping and I get to wake up to a new chapter in the adventure.

 

We're doing a few of your stops in advance of our May 5th cruise so I'm loving this review and it's helping my planning. I've already added a few options to my list and am waiting patiently (or not) for more!

 

I am glad I am being of some help to you! If you have any questions about cost of tours or anything, just let me know!

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I would do the Colosseum and Forum one day and the Vatican the next. I could not imagine just going through the Colosseum, Forum and the Vatican alone. It would be so overwhelming! I hope you and your family have fun!

 

Thank you for all the tips. We are doing the Vatican on a seperate day with a private guide. I am going to get a guide to lead us thru the Forum and Colosseum, you have convinced me.

 

I can't wait for the rest of your review! My granddaughters will love it too!

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Thank you for all the tips. We are doing the Vatican on a seperate day with a private guide. I am going to get a guide to lead us thru the Forum and Colosseum, you have convinced me.

 

I can't wait for the rest of your review! My granddaughters will love it too!

 

 

You are very welcome! You won't regret getting the guide!

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I last left you at the Vatican waiting for Bruno. When he arrived we said goodbye to Tanguy with disappointment. Bruno immediately started proving his worth. As I have mentioned, we prepurchased our Vatican tickets. He went and collected all of our tickets. While he did this, he pointed us in the direction of the free restrooms, because this will be the last one you see until the end of the tour. Once you go in the front entrance, continue going straight, down the stairs.

 

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Bruno turned out to be just as good or even better than Tanguy! He told us about the paintings, the statues and helped us weave through the cruise ship tours.....If you ever wonder why you should take a private tour of the Vatican instead of a cruise sponsored trip, this is why. Most of these people were on cruise ship excursions.

 

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There is no way to do a start to finish tour of the Vatican, so I am going to give you some of the shots that I thought were "highlights" of our tour. Oh, and you can take photos in most places but the Sistine Chapel.

 

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After our tour, Bruno took us to one of his favorite bakeries and bought us each whatever we wanted! He was so nice, and I would definitely recommend both him and Tanguy as guides! They both did wonderful jobs and took their time with us. The tour actually went over 8 hours! It actually went so long, we did not have time to eat dinner before our next sceduled tour....night segway tour with Rome By Segway. This is where, for a second, I thought my vacation might be over. We got to Rome by Segway, which is pretty close to the Colosseum, a little earlier than we were supposed to be there. Katie and Corrie decided to enteretain themselves by measuring their hands on their faces....actually, we were amazed at how large Corrie's hands really are!

 

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Practicing on our Segways....

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Some of the sights we saw....

 

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Capitaline Hill at night...

 

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Now, prior to this, I had done two different segway tours. I had never had problems, but in the middle of the tour, I knicked the side of a barrier that caused me to crash my segway. I mean, completely wrecked it. I immediately got back on and thought only my ego was hurt, but a few minutes later, I started blacking out! At that moment all I could think about was not being able to make the cruise! Fortunately, Corrie got in front of my segway and stopped it before I headed into traffic or into a car! Once off my segway, I sat where I stopped, which happen to be in the middle of the supposed "road" (which they will use as parking). Someone drove up and was determined to park where I was sitting. I wasn't moving! Corrie just looked at them and shrugged her shoulders. The tour guide ran to get me some water, which turned out to be fizzy. He found out quickly that I hate fizzy water and couldn't drink it. After a while, even without the water, I had gained my sight and was much better. I believe that because we had been going all day and had not drank or eaten a lot, my blood sugar levels dropped, and when I crashed it messed up my equilibrium. At this point, the guide thought I needed food, and while we ate, he went and had a drink. Even with all of the drama, Rome at night is beautiful!

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Pantheon...

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Even with my little accident, I do think you should try to segway!....just make sure you don't do an over 8 hour walking tour before! Oh, and make sure you have eaten! They are really not hard to operate, and they can be really fun! My Mom did it on our trip to Washington, DC, and she loved it. You can cover a large area very quickly and see lots of things! They give you a little training before you head out, so your confidence does get a little boost! After the tour, which went until about 11:30, guess where we went? To bed! Tomorrow, we will finally rest, because we embark! NOS here we come!

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The Segway looks like fun!! We booked Sorrento first choice on you recommendation today...we have been very impressed thus far with the communication, so thanks!!

Really looking forward ti the cruise review now :)

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The Segway looks like fun!! We booked Sorrento first choice on you recommendation today...we have been very impressed thus far with the communication, so thanks!!

Really looking forward ti the cruise review now :)

 

I am so glad that you have been impressed with them so far. They are very quick to get back to you. Hopefully, your tour will go even better! Have fun!

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Hi,

 

Great review, I can't wait till the cruise review. Looking forward to knowing what you did in Athens and Turkey. We go in October. Yvonne

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Hey Laurie!

 

Just saw your post & thought it was too funny... I just downloaded the same Rick Steve's book to my iPad to start researching for our 2014 Mediterranean cruise for our best friends 30th anniversary. We're having the same dilemma choosing. East, west, back to back 7 nighters, 12 or 13 nights. There are too many choices and too many ports. But if we're spending the $ to fly that far it will be a minimum of a 14-16 day trip.

 

Cindy

 

Hi Cindy! We have the same taste in cruises! Since we go a year later than you, we can glean some good information from you! So many decisions...this is such a great review...it makes me so excited for our trip. 2014 is Brookes HS graduation so that will be a busy year..so 2015 is the perfect year for Europe! We would definitely extend our vacation both pre and post cruise to make the most of the airfare!! ..Happy planning! Lauri

Edited by lah66

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It's embarkation day! We got up and had breakfast on the roof top deck of the Albergo Cesari. It was a beautiful view!

 

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Corrie would kill me if she know I was posting this!

 

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We went against the status quo of hiring Rome Cabs and hired Ivano and Italy InLimos to take us to the port. We weren't supposed to be picked up at our hotel until 10:30, so we walked around a bit to take in some sights we had not seen....

 

Spanish Steps...

 

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Corrie's model pose....

 

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Trajan's Column (I think)...there is a small one & large one. I get them mixed up.

 

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We also went to the Capuchin Crypt. If you have never heard of this, do a search on it. It is believed to be the the remains of 400 friars. They have arranged their bones in different patterns, made chandaliers, whatever they could decorate with a bone, they have. No pictures are allowed, and there are only 6 small rooms, so it does not take long to see. We did make a small donation to the church to enter. Oh, and if you are interested in buying a Hard Rock t-shirt, it is right down the street on the left side from here. (And surprise, we didn't eat here!).

 

Our driver from Italy InLimos was right on time! He picked us up first. We were then heading over to another hotel to pick up others from our Cruise Critic group. Oh, our Cruise Critic group was AWESOME, by the way!:D

 

It took about an hour to get to the port. We had booked junior suite 9622, so after we filled out our health form and went through security, we were like second in line to check in! We were on the cruise ship in no time and immediately told our cabin was ready! We went to our cabin, and I was amazed at how large it was....especially the closet. It was a walk-in! I had only ever done inside cabins, but with this being a special trip and three of us, I booked a balcony. The suite prices then dropped, so for only $200, we upgraded! I am so glad we did! Our cabin steward did have to bring in a roll away for Corrie each night, but there was plenty of room for it! And actually, this was the one complaint we had. The roll away was basically shaped like a banana! Corrie ended up taking the mattress off and just sleeping on it on the floor. Our steward tried to help, but he said all of them were shaped that way. We then went to the Windjammer for lunch. It was packed, but we did find a seat.

 

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After eating, we went back to the room and lounged for a while, then we went to a great spot for sail away!

 

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This is the beautiful cruise port....

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Now you're getting to the good stuff - for us anyway. We are taking this cruise on April 28th, after spending 3 nights in Rome prior. Can't wait to hear and see the rest of your review! :)

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After resting for a while, we got ready for dinner. We had any time dining, but had made reservations with a couple from our Cruise Critic group, Cheryl and Mike from Mississippi. We then walked around the ship.

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Regretably, I don't have very many pictures of the ship itself. The pictures I have posted so far have been selections from the pictures taken from all 3 of us. I don't think Corrie or Katie took one picture the entire time we were on the ship! I do have others, but I will post them as I go along with the days.

After dinner and exploring, we didn't even think about going to the Welcome Aboard show. We went to bed. Toni and Chris that did the walking tour in Rome with us did go, and they said it was very good.

Prior to the cruise, we made arrangements to do our excursions in 3 out of the 4 ports with Toni and Chris and Steve and Steve from Orlando. Before we left, Toni and I joked that we hoped we liked each other because we would be spending a lot of time together! How do you think it turned out??

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Now you're getting to the good stuff - for us anyway. We are taking this cruise on April 28th, after spending 3 nights in Rome prior. Can't wait to hear and see the rest of your review! :)

 

I am so jealous of you right now! Can you shove me in your suitcase? That is right around the corner!

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First port stop.....Sicily, Italy.

 

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In Sicily, I had booked the Unknown Etna Towns and Taormina tour with Sicily Limousine Service. Toni and Chris and Steve and Steve from our roll call decided to join us. After we had breakfast at the Windjammer, we all met in Steve (Dos) and Steve's (one) huge suite. We discovered two amazing things this first morning, the Nutella stuffed crouisants in the Windjammer and Steve and Steve's suite! Both were amazing! Oh, and in case you have forgotten, this is Toni and Chris....Toni is the girl!

 

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And not trying to give anything away from our future port stops, this is Steve and Steve....

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After we had our short meet and greet, we made our way off the ship to meet our driver for the day. He met us right outside the port, and since he had a sign with my name on it, he was very easy to spot. We loaded into a very clean, comfortable van where the first thing he did was pass out delicious cannoli! It was really delicious!

From the port, we made our way to the Alcantara Gorge where we made our fist stop to take in the beautiful views!

 

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