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Rotterdam 11 days in the Med trip review w/photos


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Back on board the ship - no menu photo so I can't remember, but here are photos of what I had.


Drink of the day and appetizer at the Mix bar thanks to Orlando. He even had dinner menus on hand for us to look at but I never got the photo!



I remember it was a belini (sp?) with salmon, but thats it









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I goofed, I got my food pictures out of order because some are on my phone and some on my camera.


Here is the menu and dinner for Saturday, I think I gave you the missing day from earlier - sorry!





Table centerpiece



I had the frogs legs - they were OK, but weren't hot and tomato sauce took over all the flavors



I had the soup and the Schnitzel which was so large I barely ate half. Oh... and it was VERY good!




Rae had the salmon which he liked.



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At the recommendation of our dinner table mates, we tried the MDR for breakfast.











I did get the photos of the menus, then I ordered the Dutch Breakfast. when it arrived, it looked so good, I ate the whole thing before I thought about a photo. We were seating with a couple and their daughter for breakfast and they were a bit hard to deal with as they knew everything and conversation was strained, but we ate and then left to go see Ajaccio, Corsica.

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This was a DIY port, so we left the ship and walked down the street. Guess what we found? Yes... a market!!!










This woman was selling "beignets" in the basket in the back and we had to try them along with some other pastries.



Cutting a slice of nougat for us to buy!


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we looked long and hard at a 3 euro bottle of wine, but decided we didn't want to carry it around so we left the market and walked down the street, around the fort and to the beach.


DH officially put his toes in the water.






We sat at the seaside and nibbled on our treats from the market. As DH dried his feet, we ran into Rae and Nancy from our dinner table! We sat and chatted abit about who had seen what. THey had come from the opposite direction so we traded notes on what to see and each headed off the other direction.


delivery vehicle







The Chicken man!


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WOW--as soon as i saw the luggage photo, i knew i was in for a great trip with someone that see's the details in life..LUV it


Exactly! THe sites and scenery are just part of it. I'm fascinated by how different life is in different countries and details that make me stop and think.

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How much was the taxi from The Marseille port to Aix en Provence round trip?


The taxis are metered so it was slightly different each way, but just under 60 euros each way, 120 euros round trip which isn't so terribly bad if you have another couple to split the cost and you are on your own timetable.

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Wow, this trip went by fast!




Sunrise from our balcony



Today we are in Livorno and I hired Joe Banana to do a private tour with 3 other CC couples.


The driver met us at the dock and we were off!


We left in an 8 passenger van and I volunteered to sit front middle seat next to our driver.


The tour buses all stop on a pullout along the highway so people can take pictures. Instead, we stopped at a small roadside stand that sold gas, coffee and pastries. Sounds crazy but they were some wonderful pastries!


Were were the only tourists, it was a few locals, then several of the "army" guys showed up and Francesco (our guide) explained they were the equivalent of our airborne division. Anyway, they also stopped for coffee and pastries and we were a tight fit in the small shop, but everyone was friendly and accommodating. There didn't seem to be any order to the chaos, you just shouted out what you wanted and then told the other lady what you ordered once you wiggled your way to the register. They placed things on the counter and you grabbed what you ordered and tried to find one of the few seats. It was crazy but kinda fun at the same time. Great coffee and pastry.


We drove through back roads to a small village outside of town and stopped to take photos.








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I personally loved the mid size ship vs the mega ships. There were a few things that hit me wrong such as lido deck beverages. You often had to wait for coffee machine, the ice tea ran out, the ice ran out on one side, those were really annoying. The smaller ship was much easier to get around and the public spaces were very well laid out. There was always a quiet spot or a social place if you wanted to sit and meet new people. The dining room was a little slow, but then I think that is just cruising now. If you want more, you have to pay higher cruise fares such as on other lines I think HAL is a nice middle ground for price and service.


We constantly saw the officers around the ship and they were very personable. They went out of their way to engage you, several remembered our names and stopped to chat anytime they saw us. The food was good and a few items were exceptional. There were a couple of misses, but then again, nothing was a show stopper for me.


Orlando, the mix bartender was one of the most service oriented people we met. He worked very hard, but managed to make it all look effortless. We went out of our way to give him an extra tip at the end of the cruise.


The last day of the cruise I took extensive photos of the lido breakfast. I've never been a Lido fan, but HAL has changed that!



Thank you so much for your response. As I said, we will join the Rotterdam in Athens on Sunday for a 20 day cruise. I am trying to get my nerve up to write my first review!

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We drove through FLorence several times as Francesco pointed out a lot of the history and landmarks. In Italy, drives are not allowed to be tour guides outside their vehicle so unless you hire a guide AND a driver, they can only give info inside the vehicle.


He parked and gave us directions to what we had just driven past and we had an hour and a half to ourselves.


We went to Santa Croce which is where Michelangelo, Davinci, Galileo and others are buried and toured the church and the Duomo outside.












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Exactly! THe sites and scenery are just part of it. I'm fascinated by how different life is in different countries and details that make me stop and think.


I just love this post...I am the same way. My photos of our recent cruise are so similar to yours...many market photos. Those were my favorite and we visited a market in every port. Loved the one in Aix en Provence, too! I am really really enjoying your thread, Lisa!

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DH doesn't drink wine unless its super sweet. He's not a wine guy but agreed to go to make me happy. At the end, he said this was the highlight of the trip (along with Pompeii).


Patio of the winery as they explained the history



Our group along with Francesco (kneeling) the tour guide













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and then there was lunch!




I grew on and near farms and thought I knew tomatoes but it was like I had never before tasted a tomato until I had these. The flavor was so intense it has ruined me now for American tomatoes!






Cheese and honey - this was a new one and well worth trying at home!






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We sampled four wines, one desert wine and olive oil during the meal




I was so happy I would have bought the winery when we were done if I could find my credit card that is!






DH with Ariana, who did the tour and tasting



I bought wine and honey to bring home. I kinda drank the wine on the ship and only brought home one bottle :(




The winery was www.fattoriamontecchio.com


if anyone is interested. DH wants to go back again some day (yes the man who doesn't drink wine!)

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One last photo of me with the cute Italian tour guide!




Back on board - the view from our aft cabin




I was so tired that night, I don't remember much but more random food photos from my IPhone









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